Archives for posts with tag: Danielle Arnoud

Past time is finite, future time is infinite –  Kathleen Herbert’s exhibition at Danielle Arnaud explored the connection between a lost landscape and personal identity, place and memory, the natural and the manmade. Her video A History Of The Receding Horizon is a poignant narrative of a land stripped of people, homes, gardens and woodland to allow for the municipal construction of the Kielder reservoir.

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Kathleen Herbert – still from A History Of A Receding Horizon

How do we sense time?  In her film we are reminded of the journey light must make to reach us from the farthest stars. Kielder Observatory is here, looking out into the cosmos. We are then taken underground into the antiseptic tunnels within the walls of the damn. Scientific endeavour. The demands of an industry that also vanished leaving the flooded valley to reinvent itself as a leisure resort. The heart ripped out and replaced with a mechanical version.

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Kathleen Herbert – Past Time Is Finite, Future Time Is Infinite

 

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Kathleen Herbert Time Creates Great Distances in Life

Katie Paterson looked at tracing the history of life on earth through its fossils.

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Katy Paterson Fossil Necklace

Light gives life. Rocks hold a record of life and its absence impacted by times of darkness.

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Katy Paterson – Fossil Necklace

Carving beads from different strata the necklace she threads is a manifestation of deep time and ancient secrets, each bead a tiny world echoing untold planets of the universe and their unique geologies.

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Katy Paterson – Fossil Necklace

Beneath the ground – Silent Movies was an exhibition of purely monochromatic work at Q Park, an underground car park. The low oppressive ceilings of this vast space added to the strangeness of this nether world emptied of colour.

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Cathy Gale and Carol Wyss were exhibiting their installation Casting Couch. These artists have been casting the landscapes of their bodies.

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Cathy Gale and Carol Wyss Casting Couch

 

The death mask seeks to preserve the memory of a face. These little hummocks are casts of elbows. A part of our own body like the face that we need a mirror to view.

Jananne Al-Ani’s paper View from Above: Latent Images in the Landscape expanded on her research into the Aesthetics of Disappearance. Speaking at the symposium Shadow without Object she asks how one can disappear a body? She told us the grimly poetic story of the The Butterfly Hunter. Margaret Cox, a forensic archaeologist reads the geophysical anomalies in the landscape to discover the hidden mass graves of genocide victims. Clouds of blue butterflies gathering in the Kosovo hills uncovered the sites of tragedy. The butterflies were attracted by an unusual and intense blossoming of Mugwurt which signified a change in the nutrient levels of the soil as the buried bodies decomposed and leached into the earth.

The landscape can work as an unexposed photographic plate. A trace, a latent image can be read and transformed into a site of information. Our understanding of conflict is often from an aerial perspective. The view from above is of depopulated space. We look down on abstracted and beautiful landscapes scarred with trenches and shell marks.

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Jananne Al-Ani Shadow Sites

From above we can pick out prehistoric dry stone structures, archaeological sites that are invisible at ground level. These are the traces of the people now absent. Jananne Al-Ani is looking at the bare landscape of the desert, where the past is slowly eroded away by the winds, in Sarah Sze’s The Last Garden the past is overgrown with vegetation. We are left to discover the interventions she has inserted amongst the tangle of undergrowth and abandoned architecture.

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Sarah Sze The Last Garden

It is a treasure hunt of clues to a world of materiality and entropy where we can see  breakdown and decay but are also aware of new growth. The crack in the wall stuffed with images of the canal water about to burst through from the other side, the weight of the gently swaying rock are reminders of fundamental forces at play.

Hours, Years, Aeons; a site specific installation by Patrick Söderlund and Visa Suonpää known as IC-98 takes us into a dark space as though we are stepping off the edge of the world and looking back.

Abendland (I: The Vaults of Dreams; II: The Place That Was Promised) is a two-channel video with animation by Markus Lepsitö and a haunting soundtrack by  Max Savikangas. We see the slow death of a desolate gnarled tree set against the alien black skies of a world with no atmosphere. The film runs in a cycle and so the tree is reborn but this may be the part that is a dream.

Vincent J. F. Huang on behalf of small island nations at the mercy of rising sea levels presented Crossing the Tide.  A world of only sky and water.

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Vincent J. F. Huang Crossing the Tide

 

Regardless of how far the world has evolved the four primary elements are eternal. In many classical world views four basic elements are believed to constitute the essential components of which everything consists. Usually these classical elements Earth, Air, Fire and Water relate to ancient philosophical concepts which today are generally compared to the contemporary states of matter, with earth relating to the solid state, air to gaseous, fire to plasma and water to liquid. In Buddhist philosophy the four elements are not viewed as substances, but as categories of sensory experience.  –  Thai artist and printmaker Kamol Tassananchalee on the theories that underpin his work

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Kamol Tassananchalee

When did these primal elements first separate out from the turmoil of the big bang?  Sarkis gave us a neon rainbow as part of his installation Respiro.

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Sarkis Respiro

Reflected back at us through a constellation of finger prints on mirror

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Sarkis Respiro

and in the unsteady surface of water. Through his arrangement of objects, images and codes Sarkis wants to take us back in time to the very first rainbow.

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The flysheet of The Quantum Universe depicts a rainbow and the inside cover explains how particles of light from the sun (photons) approach a cloud of water droplets in the sky.

1512 The quantum UniverseSome pass through, while others enter the drops and reflect and refract back. Quantum theory is able to precisely calculate the probability that a photon, will reach your eye along with many others to create a rainbow on your retina – but (and this is the bit that I still don’t really get) – only by allowing each and every particle to explore the entire universe on their journey through the rain. My understanding after tackling the book is that this doesn’t really happen but in order to compute the probability the maths requires that it does. It’s a poetic thought that the photon hitting my eye has explored the entire universe before connecting with me.

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I have been immersed in the final preparations for my Royal College of Art MA degree show. Consequently the updates to my thoughts here have not happened recently.

Along with tidying my studio after this intense period of activity I need to tidy my thoughts.

The last time I posted here I had just been to Paradise Park Lane, Cheshunt, looking for clues.

It was muddy but illuminated.

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I found Paradise Nursery was not lavishly planted with beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers. It was Eden after the expulsion.

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It was those outside the walls, for whom it was unattainable, who called it Paradise.

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Those inside found it a confinement.

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

I found the waters of Paradise feeding into a glutinous green pond

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

and a touching roadside tribute to a lost son. These ideas fed into my work. I spent many weeks in the screenprint room.

Printing the circles took up all of my time, each one has 14 layers. They are on 50cm diameter mirrored acrylic.

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

I had found the tree of life in Paradise Park, Bethnal Green.

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

The fruits of temptation in Paradise Walk, Chelsea.

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

There were promised riches in Rue du Paradis, Paris

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

as in Paradise Row –  will it be riches on earth or in heaven?

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Jacobs Ladder was found in Paradise Industrial Estate, Hemel Hempstead.

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Holiday dreaming in Holloway’s Paradise Park

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

and a taste of the tropical in Paradise Street, Southwark

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

where there was also the tender nurturing of a garden, however small.

I did manage to see a couple of shows. The First Humans exhibition at Pump House Gallery had some interesting work. The curator Angela Kingston was interested in the number of artists in recent years who are investigating the prehistoric and the primeval and wonders if this is a return to raw materiality, a response to ecological crisis or a dystopic analysis of what might be the last humans – us.

I enjoyed the playful nature of Jack Strange’s primitive boulder with video insert where Doctor Who type aliens peer back out at you.

Jack Strange

Jack Strange

Andy Harper’s The Threefold Law looks like a mash up of insect, tribal mask and tropicalia.

Andy Harper

Andy Harper

Ben Rivers’ film, The Creation As We Saw It, recounts the myths of a village where straw huts exist alongside mobile phones.

It cuts scenes of geological activity with mythological tales and contemporary images of people, tracing a line from spectacular eruptions to present day mundanity.

Ben Rivers

Ben Rivers film still from The Creation as we saw it

Adams Hut, Paradise Park Lane

‘Adams Hut’ Paradise Park Lane

Nicky Coutts look at mimicry in her exhibition My Previous Life as an Ape at Danielle Arnoud threw a light on our animalistic tendencies and questioned our evolution and the commonalities we share with fellow living creatures. Through film, staged photography and commissioned portraits from a court artist she explored our need to fit in, our use of guises and disguises, the lies and deceptions evolved to hide from predators and the predatory nature of the lies and deceptions practised in our courts of law. Her series of photo etchings Mimics were stunning.

Nicky Coutts Mimics

Nicky Coutts Mimics series 1