Enclosure is a word that has connotations of the comfort of an embrace and also the isolation of the prison yard.

In my thinking around ideas of paradise it reflects the dilemma of accepting sanctuary but also confinement.

Expulsion from Eden was surely a release not a punishment, for in reality the delights of an earthly paradise where all is provided and nothing changes would not satisfy our hungry curiosity and need for stimulation.

The exhibition ‘Enclosure’ at Danielle Arnaud covered similar opposing themes.

Gabriela Schutz’s wall sized graphite drawings ‘Holyland’ capture the bleak beauty of a territory divided by religious belief.

Gabriela Schutz - Holyland (Beit Arye)

Gabriela Schutz – Holyland (Beit Arye)

Particularly emotionally charged at the moment with the terrifying escalation of animosity and violence that the people caught between these fragile borders are suffering.

From stark realism to enchanted fantasy. Sarah Woodfine seduces us with glitter and glass in a sealed world.

Sarah Woodfine Castle

Sarah Woodfine Castle

But this is a grey landscape, a place of possibly macabre incarceration.

Also alluringly claustrophobic are Stephen Walter’s dense drawings of woodland. The eye scans the scene for an opening, as if you were within the wood hearing a sudden crack in the undergrowth…

Stephen Walter - Of This Wood Men Shall Know Nothing

Stephen Walter – Of This Wood Men Shall Know Nothing

Walter’s witty idea of using a hagioscope to scan the intensely detailed map of his invented ‘Nova Utopia’ is good fun.

The back history that he has established in his conception of this world is obsessive.

It has some of the same social and cultural grammatics  that Grayson Perry uses in his contemporary commentaries on society.

Stephen Walter - Nova Utopia

Stephen Walter – Nova Utopia

The circular peephole can be manually slid across the map revealing new zones and topographies. It is not a world view but a segmented journey across the land as through an ancient voyagers telescope.

Marion Coutts also edits her landscape to a vignette. With laborious care she removes the borders from the frame of the film leaving behind a floating island.

Marion Coutts - Everglade

Marion Coutts – Everglade

Only subtle movement within the image reveals it to be a film rather than a static projection.

My pieces ‘Would’ (1&2) hung for the Summer exhibition at Ochre Print Studio have a layered translucent surface which adds suggested movement.

1407 SAOS

This work reflects the aura of an imagined event.

2014 Would

A magical space, like an abandoned walled garden.

1407 Henstead Garden

The remnants from an age of explorers who brought back the first examples of exotic flora now thriving in the Suffolk landscape.

1407 Henstead Garden 3

Just a few miles from where I was born is the Henstead Exotic Garden.

Planted 10 years ago by Andrew Brogan it seems impossible that these sun worshippers would survive those icy easterly winds from Siberia that gave us all chilblains.

1407 Henstead Garden 2

I have met a lot of special people at the RCA – the graduates of printmaking 2014 are ALL amazing people

Here is some of their work

Vangeli Moschopoulos

Vangeli Moschopoulos

Sophia Jones

Sophia Jones

Rei Matsushima

Rei Matsushima

Pauline Emond

Pauline Emond

Pauline Emond

Pauline Emond

Jian Zhou

Jian Zhou

James Seow

James Seow

Holly Graham

Holly Graham

Hadas Auerbach

Hadas Auerbach

Gabriele Dini

Gabriele Dini

Danny Augustine

Danny Augustine

Chud Clowes

Chud Clowes

Lisa Lee

Lisa Lee

Christian Jaskolka

Christian Jaskolka

Ben Zawalich

Ben Zawalich

Theo Eriera-Guyer

Theo Eriera-Guyer

Anastasia Mina

Anastasia Mina

Alice Gauthier

Alice Gauthier

Weixin Chong

Weixin Chong

Sad to see them move on but hopefully to amazing new adventures.

It was a privilege to help with all the prep work involved in setting up the show. Now we know what to expect next year…

1407 Show prep

Such a buzz when the whole college comes together

1407 Team work

A strange bubble of expectation is created

1407 Show 2014

To see a short film of SHOW2014 click on this link

One room which stood out for me at Show2014 was a collaboration between two artists Marlene Steyn and Abraham Kritzman

1407 Abraham Kritzman Marlene Steyn 3

Abraham Kritzman and Marlene Steyn

It wasn’t clear who made which pieces but the room worked as a whole

1407 Abraham Kritzman Marlene Steyn 1

Abraham Kritzman and Marlene Steyn

1407 Abraham Kritzman Marlene Steyn 6

Abraham Kritzman and Marlene Steyn

1407 Abraham Kritzman Marlene Steyn 2

Abraham Kritzman and Marlene Steyn

1407 Abraham Kritzman Marlene Steyn 4

so much to engage with

Abraham Kritzman and Marlene Steyn

Abraham Kritzman and Marlene Steyn

and from the RCA jewellery department the talent of Max Danger –

Max Danger

Max Danger

Bees are precious as demonstrated in these beautiful pieces

Max Danger - Bees

Max Danger – Worker Bees

with an eye on the ecological importance of bees as well as a sense of humour

Max Danger  - Robot Bee

Max Danger – Robot Bee

Confinement. I don’t like boundaries that restrict and I don’t want to lose being an artist to being a printmaker.

I don’t really like a show that is put together based on process yet I seem to be more and more being involved with such projects.

I went to see IMPRESS at the Courtauld Gallery Somerset House – the strapline was Print Making expanded in contemporary art.

Some works were as clunky as the premise, and no show transports you when there are wires marking your viewing boundaries and officious invigilators watching your every move.

Nicky Hirst - Wall 1

Nicky Hirst – Wall 1

Filigree in silver onto a printed circuit board – Cornelia Parker and silver work well together

Cornelia Parker - Small Thought

Cornelia Parker – Small Thought

A favourite was the impressions of controlled combustions taken onto photo-sensitive paper of spores from lycopodium plants.

Raphael Hefti - from the Lycopodium Series

Raphael Hefti – from the Lycopodium Series

Definitely an opening here for the imagination.

 

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