‘For everyone who has philosophized, now or in the past, has been motivated only by wonder. Now, wonder is defined as a constriction and suspension of the heart caused by amazement at the sensible appearance of something so portentous, great, and unusual, that the heart suffers a systole. Hence wonder is something like fear in its effect on the heart. This effect of wonder, then, this constriction and systole of the heart, springs from an unfulfilled but felt desire to know the cause of that which appears portentous and unusual…’ Albertus Magnus (1200-1280) Commentary on the Metaphysics of Aristotle.

This quote is from ‘The Artificial Kingdom’ by Celeste Olalquiaga a book recommended to me by artist Bridgette Ashton who I met when she led a walking tour of Hackney all about the Loddiges’ Nursery 1785 – 1852.

Bridget Ashton  Leading the walk

Bridget Ashton leading Loddiges’ Miscellanea Walk

We looked out for clues left behind from the Loddiges hothouses and exotic gardens that once were here.

Hackney

History in Hackney

Trees like this have been in the area for 200 years yet still they remain other.

Hackney

Hackney Town Hall

Bridget has a fascination with the Monkey Puzzle Tree.

Bridget Ashton Monkey Puzzle

Bridget Ashton Monkey Puzzle
papier mache, glitter, soap, found object

Bridget Ashton  Monkey Puzzle Tree Presentation Case

Bridget Ashton
Monkey Puzzle Tree Presentation Case

The Loddiges’ Miscellanea walk was part of  ‘Wintergarden’ a collaboration between Sutton House and Transition Gallery.

Sutton House

Sutton House

Sutton house was an elegant backdrop to work that references the public pleasure houses of the mid 19th Century where tropical flora and fauna were displayed often for the first time in Europe.

Alison Stolwood Dark Green Fritillary on Wildlife Attracting Mix

Alison Stolwood
Dark Green Fritillary on Wildlife Attracting Mix
photomontage, digital c-type print

Focussing on contemporary artificiality and fake environments, the artists embrace the notion of a self conscious spectacle in the remaking of nature.

Rachael Adams

Rachael Adams

 

Mimei Thompson Rhododendron Screen

Mimei Thompson
Rhododendron Screen

Jo Wilmot Neon Lights

Jo Wilmot
Neon Lights

Jackie Chettur Ivor's Chrysanthemums'

Jackie Chettur
Ivor’s Chrysanthemums’

Jackie Chettur 'I set out to pick a yellow bunch to place as a lamp on my table'

Jackie Chettur
I set out to pick a yellow bunch to place as a lamp on my table
white modelling wax, wax colour pigment, silk, wire, copper jug

International Lawns with Rebecca Eastland  Joppatowne (The Gunpowder Falls)

International Lawns with Rebecca Eastland
Joppatowne (The Gunpowder Falls)
water clear casting resin

Darius Lambert

Darius Lambert

Cathy Lomax Aloha from Hawaii

Cathy Lomax
Aloha from Hawaii
oil on card, mirrors on rotating mirror turntable

Cathy Lomax Aloha from Hawaii

Cathy Lomax
Aloha from Hawaii

Annabel Dover Holy Mountain

Annabel Dover
Holy Mountain
cut paper, glass dome, papier mache

Annabel Dover Phantasm

Annabel Dover
Phantasm
cut paper, orchid cloche , peat

Annabel Dover Lux

Annabel Dover
Lux
dressing table mirrors, cocktail glasses, cut out hothouse flowers

Went to two very interesting talks at the RCA , Peter Kennard whose photo-collage work has a political agenda and David Rayson who dreams of escaping suburbia aboard a galleon bound for some exotic island of the imagination.

Peter Kennard is concerned with getting a message across so admits his work may sometimes appear unsubtle, but then he has created some iconic images that are globally recognisable.

Peter Kennard

Peter Kennard

David Rayson makes drawings that originate in his own back yard but often offer a way out to sail to distant shores.

There were so many of his ideas that I relate to.

David Rayson

David Rayson

Listening to these speakers helped me think about ideas for my dissertation – to clarify the difference between utopia (Peter Kennard –  social ideology) and paradise (David Rayson – fantasy landscape).

I thought these painting by Caleb Taylor look interesting. Showing in NYC though – only saw this via the re-title.com newsletter.

I like what they have to say about the idea of access open/denied. Looking through.

Caleb Taylor  Space Gate I - Pull 2012 Oil and acrylic on canvas

Caleb Taylor
Space Gate I – Pull
2012
Oil and acrylic on canvas

Bands of dark grey and black paint, like bars of a gate, sweep across the surface in broad gestures – vertically, horizontally, or crisscrossing – blocking or revealing the more luminous bright colors underneath. Gates serve a dual purpose: they deny entry, but they also allow it. This tension and duality carries on in Taylor’s work with investigations into what is near/far, foreground/background, concealed/revealed. According to Taylor, his paintings “create non-specific places where modes of looking are as much the content as material, subject or presentation strategy”.

Fascinating to read about how Gina Soden creates her atmospheric photographs on Rise Art website

Mine:Changing Room Gina Soden

Mine:Changing Room Gina Soden

‘I like to shoot at the best time of day if possible, the ‘Golden Hour’. The light is thick and takes over the scene, picking up a lot of texture. In high contrast scenes such as these, many cameras find it hard to depict all of the tonal range in one single exposure, so I blend around 5-9 shots, painting in different layers of exposures, (depending on the scene) to gain the best possible dynamic range in one shot. This is otherwise known as HDR. The process brings out the shadow detail and gives a painterly feel to the image. I chose this aesthetic as I like to breathe life into the scenes, in certain light the colours can look dull and flat in camera and I like to be able to depict what my eyes can see, with a bit of extra pop. I also like to shoot the ceiling, middle and floor of the image (5 shots each sometimes with the HDR process, so the image can made out of 15-18 images) If it is a wide angle scene with lots of verticals, this tilt shift lens gives me little to no distortion, and I have a HUGE file at the end of the process which can be printed at a very large size.’

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