Archives for posts with tag: Gina Soden

‘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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The final talk in the Whitechapel Gallery programme ‘To Make a Tree’ was from Ivan Morrison (Heather was busy in rehearsals for their travelling puppet show tour of Wales)
A great raconteur Ivan presented an overview of their practise concentrating on key interests and their overriding belief in the importance of integrity of materials.
Making something have more depth by doing it the long way even if the end result looks the same, he strongly believes that the commitment to an object though a long making process imbues it with a value beyond the visual.
He is also a great believer in the importance of failure –  natural entropy. From the ashes of disaster…

He decided the best way of forming a direct engagement with nature within an urban environment was to become involved in gardening.
This involvement was to become one of his first projects; the documentation of his gardening experience in Birmingham.

Postcards were printed and sent out to selected people stating the progress of his gardening endeavours.

Heather and Ivan Morrison

Ivan Morrison

He listed the colours to be found in the garden at certain times of the year.

Ivan Morrison

Ivan Morrison

As time went on the success and more often the failures were documented in what became an ongoing narrative of the battle every gardener faces in order to maintain control and defy attack.

Ivan Morrison

Ivan Morrison

The Morrisons are inspired by the passions of other people, the importance of family and ancestors, of staking a claim in the soil by planting an arboretum tended through generations, or the spirit of the idealist who builds an escape vehicle on the back of a truck and heads for the open road.

Heather and Ivan Morrison Tales of Space and Time

Heather and Ivan Morrison ‘Tales of Space and Time’. Converted Bedford Green Goddess, Douglas Fir, books, other media

This idea of an escape vehicle became translated into other forms of refuge.

Heather and Ivan Morrison 'I am so sorry, Goodbye'

Heather and Ivan Morrison ‘I am so sorry, Goodbye’

Ivan Morison explains; ‘The conjoined domes of ‘I am so sorry. Goodbye.’ are inhabited by a guardian whose task it is to keep the stove lit, water boiled and visitors supplied with hibiscus tea. The guardian has the vocabulary of the words: I, am, so, sorry and goodbye. These words were first conveyed to us whilst staying in an old upmarket hotel on Alexandria’s corniche. Late one night I received a call in which the only words that were said, by the slow doleful male foreign voice, were ” I am so sorry sir… I am so sorry sir… Goodbye sir.” After putting the phone down I felt witness to something I didn’t fully understand, but felt that we had been given the task to pass on this cryptic message.’
The refuge is hand built from naturally fallen trees in Tatton Park. Made from its own environment it looks both archaic and futuristic. Dystopian or utopian it could come from any era. An apocalyptic future or the idealisms of a hippy commune. The Morrisons are interested in social architecture and how architecture impacts social behaviour. These thoughts are also influenced by science fiction and dystopian novels such as  J.G. Ballard’s 1975 novel, High-Rise. The idea of the building design having a direct effect on the social relationships of the inhabitants was part of the thought process for the Morrisons in creating a site specific structure ‘Plaza’ in Vancouver.

Heather and Ivan Morrison Plaza

Heather and Ivan Morrison Plaza

‘Plaza’ looks about to fall down. It is made of reclaimed dark heavy wood, burnt black. In contrast to the pale linear city it looks like the bones exposed at the moment of collapse.

A reminder of all the great cities that have fallen over time. It is an exciting place because it is dynamic. It creates a shift in perception.

The Maldives are facing a very direct impact on their environment from climate change, not a natural entropy.

Communities come together to build sandbanks to try to keep the sea at bay.

Portable Nation

Portable Nation

At the Venice Biennale the art collective Chamber of Public Secrets explored east west views of nature. Where western thought considers nature and culture to be in opposition, eastern thought considers nature as a guide, a source of inspiration and harmony.

Portable Nation

Portable Nation

For the pavilion they presented the culture and nature of the Maldives as one aesthetic experience in line with the concept of contemporary Environmental Romanticism.

Portable Nation

Portable Nation

The crumbling brickwork of the pavilion was a perfect backdrop to the video projections of nature giving an ethereal ghostlike quality to the images – a disappearing landscape.

Portable Nation

Portable Nation

For many the Maldives is synonymous with paradise.

Portable Nation

Portable Nation

A place for the western romantic to escape to has become a place that its own people want to escape from.

Portable Nation

Portable Nation

Simryn Gill for the Australian pavilion fully embraced entropy in her work.

Australian Pavillion

Australian Pavilion

‘Here art grows on trees’  allows the elements into the Pavilion.

The drawings of insects on paper made from the pulp of decayed plants will over the seasons return to a state of decay, exposed to the rain and sun and insects of the Giardini.

The work is about the passage through time of paper, the artwork, the pavilion, the artist.

Simryn Gill Eyes and Storms

Simryn Gill ‘Eyes and Storms’

Looking at cycles, at circles. Eyes and Storms are photographs of mines. Huge circles carved into the earth.

It will be interesting to see how the work has changed when I return in November with the RCA study trip.

Another artist undertaking a similar project at the moment is Matt Calderwood on the roof of the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill.

Matt Calderwood Exposure Sculpture

Matt Calderwood Exposure Sculpture

The paper covered steel frames of ‘Exposure Sculpture’ will remain on the roof, at the mercy of the elements, over the summer period to be taken into the gallery and reconfigured later in the year.

Terike Haapoja in the Nordic Pavillion at the Biennale questioned the human view of nature and wanted to express the interdependency of all living things, the energy passing between us and through us.

Nordic Pavillion

Nordic Pavillion

By talking or breathing to the CO2 sensor next to a branch on the trees in the Pavilion the visitor can activate the lights and open the glass chambers.

Terike Haapoja

Terike Haapoja

Breathing together.

Nordic Pavillion

Nordic Pavillion

The loss of heat from a body at the moment of death is recorded. It is a poignant witness to the warmth of life slowly dispersing.

Terike Haapoja

Terike Haapoja

Thinking about the natural processes of life and death can lead to thoughts of the spiritual.

Our ancestors had other than scientific explanations for things they didn’t understand and believed in spirits.

Mark Leckey’s exhibition ‘The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things’  looks at the objects we interact with today in a similar vein. As things possessed.

His concept is of ‘techno-animism’ – the blurring of the animate and the inanimate.

Mark Leckey

Mark Leckey

At the Biennale a digital taster was showing of the main exhibition held at the De La Warr pavilion in Bexhill on Sea.

Mark Leckey at The De La Warr Pavilion

Mark Leckey at The De La Warr Pavilion

Felix the Cat – the first image ever transmitted on TV

Mark Leckey The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things

Mark Leckey The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things

The exhibition was presented as a collection of objects that all talk, literally or metaphorically, to each other.

Mark Leckey The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things

Mark Leckey The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things

I was interested in the backdrop image which is Piero di Cosimo The Forest Fire c1495-1508.

The painting is thought to show the birth of civilization as man gained supremacy over the animals through the use of fire and language.

Concerned with the history of early man, inspired by passages from Book 5 of De Rerum Natura by Lucretius (98–c.55 BC), who traces the origins of life on earth and the birth of community life, emphasizing the role of fire as a catalyst for change.

Roger Hiorns

Roger Hiorns

The machine encrusted with crystals making its original purpose defunct it becomes something else.

Nicola Hicks Maquette for Crouching Minotaur

Nicola Hicks Maquette for Crouching Minotaur

Imposing presence of a minotaur skull, a symbol of the unnatural. A monster created from desire that cannot be controlled.

Doesn’t feel impossible.

William Blake believed he was visited by spirits from other worlds in his imagination.

William Blake The Ghost of a Flea

William Blake The Ghost of a Flea

This is his record of the spirit of a flea which has undergone a demonic transformation inhabited by the souls of bloodthirsty men.

Possession.

At the Biennale in the Belgium pavilion Berlinde De Bruyckere created a mausoleum.

Berlinde De Bruyckere's 'Cripplewood'

Berlinde De Bruyckere’s ‘Cripplewood’

A tree is cast in wax, it is then traced with blood red veins and pink mottled flesh. A process of metamorphosis has begun.

Berlinde De Bruyckere's 'Cripplewood'

Berlinde De Bruyckere’s ‘Cripplewood’

Bound with what appears to be bloodied bandages and laying on its side, the trees limbs take on the fragile nature of the bones of a giant disfigured human corpse.

The circle of life, the exchange of energy is something that Lin Xue wanted to convey in his detailed fantastical landscape drawings made with sharpened bamboo and ink.

Lin Xue

Lin Xue

The “Treasuries of Knowledge” exhibition by Khaled Zaki and Muhammad Banaw for Egypt looked at the two cycles of the universe – the first infinite cycle of nature and the second cycle of humanity continuously walking the earth.

“Treasure of Knowledge”  Khaled Zaki and Muhammad Banaw

“Treasuries of Knowledge” Khaled Zaki and Muhammad Banaw

At the point where the two cycles overlap is the point of creation, of wisdom and where such mysteries as knowledge of the afterlife might be found.

Lara Almarcegui is also interested in renewal.

Lara Almarcegui

Lara Almarcegui

Working at the boundary of urban regeneration and natural decay she filled the Spanish pavilion with builders rubble.

Mirroring the unpredictable power of a landslide the mounds of rock look like they could keep pouring into the room.

There is a strong smell of brick dust also filling the space and adding to the slight sense of claustrophobia, that you might be trapped, or can’t breathe.

Lara Almarcegui

Lara Almarcegui

The mound of smashed glass though is quite seductive, it sparkles like ice. You want to make crunching footsteps over it and gather it up to see the light play on its shattered surface.

The materials of construction are presented in their raw form. Buildings mechanically broken down to be reused and dispersed into other landscapes.

Gina Soden’s painterly photographs on the other hand depict nature slowly reclaiming abandoned and derelict buildings left to ruin.

Gina Soden

Gina Soden

Showing at ‘Natural Selection’ at The Fine Art Society she captures the beauty of decay. There is a nostalgia here, a sense of the past crumbling away before us, returning to the earth.

Where Gina Soden looks at nature reclaiming ancient buildings, Paul Davies celebrates the dynamic juxtaposition of the clean lines of architecture in an organic setting.

Paul Davies

Paul Davies Modern Cathedral Invert

The balance of power between nature and the manmade is explored in his highly textured paintings of modernist buildings in dramatic landscapes.

The forest becomes the cathedral.

I was intrigued to find that the name for the unfurled heads of fern is shared by a Bishop’s staff of office – Crosier.

1308 Succession ve 1 1308 Succession ve 3 1308 Succession ve 6

I have finished this set of prints. The title is ‘Succession’.

As the ice retreats; from first life to ferns to first trees to forests to man to religion.

A few people have seen the prints now, the majority do not spot the embryos tucked in the furls of the fern unless I push them to look harder.

I like things to be hidden so I think it’s OK this is the case.

I also did some with more colour but am happiest with the grey tone ones.

1308 Succession ve 2 1308 Succession ve 4 1308 Succession ve 5