I so loved Nick Abrahams exhibition at The Horse Hospital.

“Lions and Tigers and Bears” – the fears of the forest that haunted Dorothy and her companions as they followed the yellow brick road

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Nick Abrahams makes short films, sculptural and installation pieces.

A wild man sings power ballads around Hampstead Heath and explores the suburban streets by night

Nick Abrahams 'The Wild Man'

Nick Abrahams ‘The Wild Man’

Dogs perform dance routines to the music of Iggy Pop

Nick Abrahams - Doghouse

Nick Abrahams – Doghouse

His award winning film Ekki Mukk is a beautiful and poignant story of a man, a snail and a fox.

I bought the 7″ single with recordings of a snail eating, a fox sleeping and sounds recorded of nature under the Tolpuddle Tree, the site of the birth of the first trade union.

Shirley Collins the film narrator tells a magical tale.

Nick Abrahams 7" single

Nick Abrahams 7″ single

These pieces are suggesting a way to look with your eyes shut,

Nick Abrahams - Fox Sleeping

Nick Abrahams – Fox Sleeping

bearing witness to the British countryside that you may not always be able to notice, a landscape that is both political and mystical, alive as it is with ‘animal magick’.

Nick Abrahams - wild man illustations

Nick Abrahams – wild man illustrations

Rachel Champion looks at urban architecture and energy in her installation at Hales gallery.

Pools of green algae sit in what might have been an abandoned attempt at some suburban municipal space.

Rachel Champion - Primary Producers

Rachel Champion – Primary Producers

Pebbledash has such resonance of the cheap and ugly that walking around this work is a bit of a dour experience.

The punched out circles glinting with the promise of little worlds, maybe offering the wonder of the rock pool, instead present a prosaic stagnant puddle more reminiscent of the back yard bucket.

Or flowerpot in my case.

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In its aim to highlight the successes and failures of the cheap fix and reassess materials it is an effective installation. The artist is hoping that we will look with new eyes for unexpected saviours to our urban afflicted energy crisis.

I went to the WYSIWYG? (What you see is what you get?) discussion evening at South London Gallery to hear more about What happens to Art in a Digital World.

Too many speakers had been booked for the time available so it was a shame they had to rush, rather like me in my end of year exam with 58 images in 15 minutes.

I was hoping for a bit more discussion about the immersive possibilities of virtual gallery spaces but the focus was more how technology is used in institutions or by artists rather than the experience of entering a new space online.

It was still interesting and we could try out some technological innovations.

ChairAXJ01 designed by Joe Want and Andrea Concha

ChairAXJ01 designed by Joe Want and Andrea Concha

Joe Want and Andrea Concha have designed a chair that records the unique movements of the sitter and creates a graphic depiction that can be controlled a bit by wriggling around  in your seat.

My personal graphic made by sitting in ChairAXJ01

My personal graphic made by sitting in ChairAXJ01

Melanie Lenz from the V&A talked about the difficulties of archiving digital art due to commercial upgrades of the necessary hardware and software.

Julia Crabtree and William Evans spoke about their exhibition at South London Gallery made by using 3d imaging techniques to create digital smoke then capturing the image and finally printing it onto carpet so in fact the image begins digitally and then ends up in a physical form.

Julia Crabtree and William Evans

Julia Crabtree and William Evans

Natalie Kane spoke about the power of  algorithms in connection with the artist Jonus Lund and his exhibition Fear of Missing Out, and TED talks from Christopher Steiner and Kevin Slater.

An essay by Christopher Pinney – Future Travel: Anthropology and Cultural Distance in an age of Virtual Reality; Or, A Past Seen From a Possible Future which was recommended to me by Esther Teichmann is interesting reading on the possible effects of digital technologies on everyday life. Thinking about cyberspace in terms of a space for a new paradise tailored to your own specification. Pinney’s view, looking back from an imagined future, sees physical and moral boundaries being broken with total sensual experiences allowing unlimited sex and no need to travel.

‘The Nether’ a new play by Jennifer Haley at The Royal Court Theatre tackles similar issues.

The Nether

The Nether

Popa has created his own dream space, a house populated by young children in Victorian dress with whom he and the guests to his world can have sex and then axe to death.

An argument unfolds on stage about the need for the same moral codes we employ in reality to be enforced in cyberspace. Popa’s plea is that no real children are harmed, the characters are avatars of adult participants in this world.

The Nether

The Nether

This virtual world felt very visceral when reaction to such a dilemma is sort.

Entering a very different staged environment I finally stepped over the threshold of the RA annual summer exhibition  My first visit to this annual institution  was in the belief that things are changing backstage, its updating and bringing in new blood. Also two of my RCA classmates had won a prize and a few other people I know were in it. Time to stop being sniffy. It was good to see Pauline Emond’s etching and Wuon-Geon Ho’s artist book.

Wuon-Gean Ho receiving her prize for 'unending forest'

Wuon-Gean Ho receiving her prize for ‘Unending Forest’

Wuon-Gean Ho - unending forest

Wuon-Gean Ho – Unending Forest

Pauline Emond with her winning work Regarde De Tous Tes Yeux

Pauline Emond with her winning work ‘Regarde De Tous Tes Yeux’

I was surprised how many names I recognised in the selection and how many red dots there were.

Maybe I’ll even have a go in future.

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It seemed appropriate to be reading Raymond Williams ‘People of the Black Mountains’ in the Azores even though the book is set in Wales.

1408 Raymond Williams

The islands have a black volcanic landscape, still very primeval in parts with bubbling hot springs and paralysed lava flows.

 

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These tiny islands are also a mixture of the pastoral

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and the tropical – in a garden setting

1408 Azores 8

there are inaccessible forest covered mountains

1408 Azores 3

and the blazing sun can turn to thick fog in minutes

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With all the rain and fog it’s moist and things grow

1408 Azores 2

everywhere

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best discovery was the crumbling ruin of 5* Hotel Monte Palace high on a volcanic ridge

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emerging from thick fog at the end of a tortuous jeep ride along tiny precipitous roads

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built only 30 years ago it never fulfilled its owner’s dream and has been left to rot

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The eerie atmosphere of abandoned space is echoed in Suzanne Moxhay’s constructed images

Suzanne Moxhay  - Copse

Suzanne Moxhay – Copse

Her work was part of ‘The Combinational’ at Studio 1.1 curated by Paul Carey-Kent, last years gallery fund-raiser ‘lottery winner’

'The Combinational' at Studio 1.1

‘The Combinational’ at Studio 1.1

I was drawn to the ethos of the show-

“The found and the collaged are dominant modern modes; what artists choose to use, and how and why they present or combine them, count for more than their ability with traditional techniques.

One could also say that life in most of the world is less about individual survival than it would have been in pre-modern eras, more about how we live together and whether we can survive that.”

I bought a ticket for this years lottery, so fingers crossed.

Despite a raging thunder storm the opening of Ochre Originals showing two pieces of my work at New Ashgate Gallery was really busy.

My work at New Ashgate Gallery

Rainforest Section 1 and 2

I have been reading in my research about paradise how the botanical garden emulates ideas of Eden with its mix of species cultivated together in a garden.

It offers a tame nature, we look like we are in control

and then this happened

Collapse of paradise

Collapse of paradise

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