I have been considering the impact and use of different materials in some of the shows I have seen lately.

The weight of Phyllida Barlow’s sculptures

Phyllida Barlow

Phyllida Barlow

Because of their displacive presence and the stillness, they look heavy, immovable;but maybe they are not and if you pushed against them they would swing lightly away.

Phylida Barlow

Phylida Barlow

The frozen painting of Lawrence Carroll.

Lawrence Carroll

Lawrence Carroll

In the Holy See Pavilion at the Venice Biennale tasked with the theme of re-creation after the cleansing of the great flood Carroll (click for interview) chose to use ice as the medium of a new beginning.

Noemi Niederhauser, winner of the ArtLacuna Prize created an installation during her residency at the gallery – Vista Follies explored themes of artifice and a fetishized view of nature.

Noemi Niederhauser

Noemi Niederhauser

Her chosen materials are at odds with the objects they form.

Noemi Niederhauser

Noemi Niederhauser

Out of the mud. Like ice, mud talks of beginnings.

In the exhibition Delve at Leyden Gallery Atsuko Nakamura uses salt crystals as metaphors for natural evolution and time passing.

Atsuko Nakamura

Atsuko Nakamura

The land has all been cut from this atlas encrusted with salt crystals leaving only the oceans

Atsuko Nakamura

Atsuko Nakamura

after the tsunami the sea has grasped attention away from the land where power is usually described.

Glass Cat at Danielle Arnaud Gallery modest and even abject objects are hieroglyphs in whose dark prism social relations lay congealed and in fragments..In this perspective, a thing is never just an object, but a fossil in which a constellation of forces are petrified. Things are never just inert objects, passive items or lifeless shucks, but consist of tensions, forces, hidden powers, all being constantly exchanged.’ Hito Steyerl
William Waterhouse uses glycerine to repeatedly form a bubble – surface tension plus emotional tension.

William Waterhouse

William Waterhouse

Sophie Lascelles uses an unfolded cardboard box as low key screen for her projection ‘In the grasslands’

Sophie Lascelles

Sophie Lascelles

Sarah Woodfine’s sculptures are so smooth and solid. The pencil drawings on paper are immaculately pressed to a curved block of mdf – mdf made sexy

Sarah Woodfine

Sarah Woodfine

Helen Maurer uses light through cut glass and shadows to create mini animations in space

Helen Maurer

Helen Maurer

James Ireland uses materials found at the local diy centre, mock mini waterfalls in lumpy resin on garage shelving

James Ireland

James Ireland

There is a certain beauty through lighting and repetition and exposure, this can be the new sublime. The work is called ‘Epic’

Is a symbol now enough. This idea of the authenticity of the fake is something I will be tussling with in my dissertation. I have had a look at Jean Baudrillard on simulation but am not quite grasping his language yet.  So, first order simulation is an artificial copy of an original. Second order simulation blurs the boundaries between the authentic and the fake so they are hard to tell apart. Third order simulation is hyperreality which is artifice with no original. But wouldn’t that mean that the first of anything man made was an example of hyperreality. What about the first garden centre, the first cathedral. I got on better with Umberto Eco, Travels in Hyperreality.

Barton Hargreave gave an interesting talk at Ochre Print Studio about his work. Combining print with photography and sculpture to create simple silhouettes of figures in frozen movement.

Barton Hargreaves

Barton Hargreaves

The figures have a lightness about them which comes from the photographic origin and staging of his models who are captured climbing, suspended, or mid jump. Much of his work is installed in site specific locations and so he uses locally photographed images randomly collaged to inhabit the silhouettes.

Barton Hargreaves 'Promised Land'

Barton Hargreaves ‘Promised Land’

He also deals with images of the crowd, multiplying the figure. He has a wealth of knowledge about print surfaces and new technologies that are available. Wallwrap sounds an interesting material for outside installations and dibond was not something I was familiar with.

It’s been a crazy busy few weeks at the RCA making new work for the show at Café Gallery Projects so my blogs have got rather behind yet again.

Etching

Etching – work in progress

I have been working on the Paradise Forum piece as an etching. Etching is good for getting a really velvety black for the universe. It has been a real struggle to get the blend right between the photo etch and the aquatint. The problem of a dark or a light circle as one surface changes to another. I have learnt a lot about etching along the way.

Also had Paradise Walk SW3 piece on the go as well. From the photos I took on location I liked the scaffolding at one house – a Jacobs ladder.

Screenprint on Perspex

Screen print on Perspex – work in progress

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