Archives for posts with tag: Landscape

Thinking on an international scale can be daunting.
I have been trying to imagine a world before religion which must of course be a world without man but how long was man around first, as religion in some form seems to have been something that emerged very early in our development.

When I think about snowball earth and the coming of the forests I do think globally. Those seeds growing and spreading.

Cross pollination. No borders.

I have been working on adding the fern embryos to the iceberg landscape.

1308 Fern Collagraphs

I made some relief plates of the ferns from cardboard and gave them a bit of texture with acrylic medium and carborundum.

Then I gave them a coat of shellac to give them a bit of strength.

1308 Precursor in progress

I am using them to give a background texture to the fern images.

I will then screen print on top of these to add detail.

What was so great about visiting the Venice Biennale this year was that I found so many of the artists I really like were showing there.
Alfredo Jaar makes work that hits you bodily. I can still feel the power of his work I saw in Brighton years ago about the photo journalist Kevin Carter.

The Sound of Silence, tells the story of one photograph taken in Sudan 1993. You sit in a dark space and the story is told in simple sentences, on a black screen.

Alfredo Jaar 'The Sound of Silence'

Alfredo Jaar ‘The Sound of Silence’

The photograph is shown briefly before a blinding flash of light scores into your retina.

You are left blinking in the afterglow. I can still feel the sadness.

Kevin Carter’s suicide at just 33 is so poignant, he had just seen too much suffering to cope with his own problems.

Should you intervene?  Lucy Kirkwood’s play Chimerica also addresses this issue. On the Headlong website is a link to a bbc interview with war photographer Don McCullin who discusses how ‘ there came a natural limit to looking at what others can’t bear to see.’

In Venice Alfredo Jaar looked at the Giardini and its political and economic posturing of pavilions built before the second world war. He then made a model of the Giardini which gets submerged underwater – we see it disappear into obscurity then emerge, green and dripping only to vanish again.

Alfrdo Jaar 'Venezia, Venezia'

Alfredo Jaar ‘Venezia, Venezia’

It might signify the highs and lows of economic powers but of course being in Venice the water rising is a very real threat.

The whole idea of a national pavilion in the art world is questioned now that artists work internationally, moving and exhibiting around the world.

France and Germany have swapped pavilions and to push the international crossover further Ai Weiwei is showing along with 3 other non-German artists in the German Pavilion.

Ai Wei Wei 'Bang'
Ai Wei Wei ‘Bang’

BANG is an expanding,  rhizomatic structure made from the once ubiquitous wooden stool which has now been superseded in China by manufactured models in metal and plastic.  These simple objects that hold the traces of their life in the patina of years, are part of the cultural identity of a nation being lost to globalisation, just as the individual is swallowed up and forced to conform.

Gilad Ratman for Israel also wanted to question the national boundaries that such a setting as the Biennale constructs and he also made work about  transgressing boundaries.

We see a group of people making their way though underground passages, crawling and dragging themselves through the earth.

Gilad Ratman 'The Workshop'

Gilad Ratman ‘The Workshop’

Eventually they emerge into the light from a hole in the ground straight into the gallery space.

Gilad Ratman 'The Workshop'

Gilad Ratman ‘The Workshop’

Underground there are no borders.

Gilad Ratman 'The Workshop'

Gilad Ratman ‘The Workshop’

Once in the gallery each member of the group begins to sculpt a self portrait in clay.

Like a birth, some new body is forged and given voice.

Joana Vasconcelos also looks at the journey, navigation and passage.

Joana Vasconcelos 'Trafaria Praia'

Joana Vasconcelos ‘Trafaria Praia’

Addressing common themes that Lisbon and Venice share she created a floating pavilion – well a boat.

It has a gift shop and art books, cultural history and then in the depths you can climb down into a dark and warm space, soft and feminine and full of wonder.

Joana Vasconcelos

Joana Vasconcelos

Reduced to basic sensory levels of pleasure like a baby in the womb, soft dark warmth, gentle undulation.

The Instituto Italo-Latino Americano a forum for cultural exchange between Europe and Latin America  is all about how cross fertilization can impact cultural identity.

The cavernous pavilion is scented with spice.

Latin American Institute

Latin American Institute

I loved the animation ‘Los Andes’ by Cristóbal León & Joaquín Cociña.

A primal spirit possess an office causing drawings to appear on the wall and plants to emerge from the furniture.

Latin American Institute

Latin American Institute

The spirit appears in the form of a giant growing in size and then crumpling away.

Leon & Cocina Loa Andes

Leon & Cocina Los Andes

Jasmina Cibic for Slovenia looked at how national identity is portrayed and guided by the state into what is acceptable.

Her project ‘For Our Economy and Culture’  looks at art as a token of national identity and how the integrity of the art commissioned for public arenas may be compromised by institutional hierarchies intent on influencing its presentation..

Jasmina Cibic 'For Our Economy and Culture'

Jasmina Cibic ‘For Our Economy and Culture’

Art by committee.

The Pavilion is lined with wallpaper depicting a beetle which has become endangered because of its ideologically charged name – Anophthalmus hitleri.

Anophthalmus hitleri

Anophthalmus hitleri

The beetle which is only found in caves in Slovenia could have been a national cause celebre were it not for it being named by a fascist species collector.

The official Chinese representative Simon Ma had been to the rainforest of Southern China and come back to a life in the city that now was too grey.

He had been inspired by the dramatic landscape, the colours of the forest and the magnificent height of the trees.

Feeling overwhelmed by the power of these colossal living forms he was aware of how deep the roots much reach to support such heights which in turn made him think about the scale of the cities sprouting up all over China

and the need for people to also have roots.

Simon Ma

Simon Ma

His oversized rain drop sculptures gave a good photo opportunity against the dramatic architecture of an ancient palazzo.

Simon Ma

Simon Ma

Simon Ma

Simon Ma

These plastic raindrops were left over form a performance piece.

At the Manchester International Festival Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack and film maker Adam Curtis got together to create a new kind of media experience combining film and music on a mega scale.

The result of their collaboration tells the story of a new system of power that has risen up in the modern world to manage and control us. It is a fake, but enchanting world which we all live in today – but which has also become a new kind of prison that prevents us moving forward into the future.

Massive Attack v Adam Curtis

Massive Attack v Adam Curtis

So many ideas are set off by this ‘gilm’ as they called it. I was spellbound by the scale, the decibels vibrating through my chest, the wonderful eclectic music set, the pure voice of Elizabeth Fraser and the stream of images – my era in soundbites. There were mixed reviews but I loved it. It wasn’t all news but there was a lot of things I didn’t know about –  Russian Punk Yegor Letov for instance though whether the story we were spun was actually true or not I can’t quite work out. The history is mapped out in personal stories such as the tragic case of Pauline Boty who died at 28 after she refused cancer treatments that would have harmed her unborn daughter.

Pauline Boty

1308 MIF 2

The daughter, Katy ‘Boty’ Goodwin went on to study at the California Institute of the Arts, Walt Disney’s idealist art college, but she became obsessed with her appearance, developed an eating disorder, took heroin and died.

The Japanese gambler Akio Kashiwagi known as ‘The Warrior’ got into a row with Donald Trump’s casino when his system finally failed and he left owing 10 million dollars. Trump never got the money however as the gambler was stabbed to death with a samurai sword before the debts were paid.

Risk management.

1308 MIF

Lots more info about this and other ideas of Adam Curtis can be found on his blog

Mayfield Depot

Mayfield Depot

After a chilling look at the recent past and the nature of control and illusion the crowd is channeled through a subterranean world under intense spotlight to the ferocious barking of the guard’s dog.

Mayfield Depot

Mayfield Depot

Despite the dystopian exit route we were left with the message that now it’s up to us to change the world.

Artist Maria Cristina Finucci is having a go.

There are huge patches of rubbish floating in seas around the world like islands and so to bring something tangible to the debate she has got the U.N. culture agency UNESCO  to grant the “Garbage Patch State” symbolic statehood. This brings them onto the world stage. They are a global problem.

These “garbage patches” are areas of high marine debris concentrated in the North Pacific Ocean, the exact size and content of which are hard to define.

The patches are mostly invisible to the naked eye as the debris – chiefly plastic – breaks down over time, without ever fully disappearing.

In Venice there was an immersive installation using plastic bottle tops to highlight the problem.

Maria Cristina Finucci 'Garbage Patch State'

Maria Cristina Finucci ‘Garbage Patch State’

Every time you throw away a bottle top you are part of the problem.

She is hoping to give direction for good behaviour rather than an apocalyptic message.

In the Emergency Pavilion, a multinational event took on the topic ‘Rebuilding Utopia.’

40 years have gone by without us realizing it.

This exhibition will be a game, what happened during
the last forty years? What worked, what didn’t, what
appeared and what disappeared? When did the world
begin to change? Was it 1973 or 1989? When did
“imagination in power” die, was it in ‘68 or 2012?
Or was it on the first of January, 2013?
Jota Castro ' Here comes the rain again'

Jota Castro ‘ Here comes the rain again’

It didn’t really offer much optimism for a better world it felt full of sadness and lost hopes.

However, these artists from all parts of the world are thinking about a better world, and how art can contribute to imagining such a world.

Emergency Pavilion - Rebuilding Utopia

Emergency Pavilion – Rebuilding Utopia

During the early 60’s when Pauline Boty was studying at the RCA and involved in the anti capiltalist students movements of the time she followed the ideas of the german political theorist Herbert Marcuse.

A year after her death he gave a speech titled “The End of Utopia”. Marcuse said he didn’t mean that utopia was impossible but now we had the technical and scientific means to achieve what had only once been dreamed of, utopia was a real possibility no longer an imagined idea. Poverty and hunger could be solved.

I’m not sure that anyone any longer believes utopia is a real possibility certainly not on a global scale. Even Jesus said there will be poor always.

We have to try though.

Adam Curtis encourages us to look to the future and to think about what sort of a world we want to live in. Our origins are important too.
How much changes how much we learn is debatable.
Pauline Boty is posthumously going to have retrospective of her paintings this year – the show is to be called Pauline Boty: Pop artist and Woman
I suppose that has to be taken in the context of history.
Pauline Boty 'Colour Her Gone'

Pauline Boty ‘Colour Her Gone’

Advertisements

Tumbling through time
1307 Tardis-in-Space

Space has been a bit of a theme in my recent excursions – in a sense of delineating a space architecturally as Charles Avery does in his precise drawings of an imagined world; in the exploration of space examined through Cristina De Middel’s photographs of ‘Afronauts’ which also play into ideas of sci-fi as does Jess Littlewood in her fictional landscapes; in attempting to make the unknowable palpable, Luci Eldrige has used radar imaging of Venus undertaken by NASA and translated it into richly coloured etchings. Then there is the space where the making takes place – the art institution.

The RCA SHOW has come around again.

RCA SHOW 2013

RCA SHOW 2013

This year the experience was heightened by the possibility that I may one day get the chance to participate in the creative dialogue of this institution.

Look at that amazing space for making.

RCA printroom

RCA print room

Since my application and interview in March I have received some really positive feedback from Jo Stockham the head of the printmaking course.
I have been encouraged to apply again next year if a place doesn’t become available for me this year so I was keen to see what the current graduates were exhibiting and if I could see progression from the exhibition they had in spring at Café Gallery Projects.

A favourite was Luci Eldridge. Fascinated by the ‘invisible visions’ acquired through the use of science’s cybernetic eye, she is captivated by images of lands we cannot empirically experience.

Luci Eldrige - four colour photo etching

Luci Eldrige – four colour photo etching

I also identified with the work of Jessica Wallis ‘The History of the End of the World’

Jessica Wallis - Book Cover Series

Jessica Wallis – Book Cover Series

Jessica Wallis - Formula for disaster DVD

Jessica Wallis – Formula for disaster DVD

Jessica Wallis - Formula for disaster dvd

Jessica Wallis – Formula for disaster dvd

I was intrigued by the films of Nicola Thomas – ‘Imitation’ and ‘ Dancing with Monk’ and her etched prints from The Look Series were captivating.

Nicola Thomas - Carole #3 etched print

Nicola Thomas – Carole #3
etched print

Bee Flowers work has a feel of the mausoleum

Bee Flowers - plaster acrylic

Bee Flowers – plaster acrylic

Alice Hartley must have had some upsetting school reports

Alice Hartley - screenprint on blue black paper

Alice Hartley – screen print on blue black paper

Elizabeth Hayley’s prints on brass had a wonderful quality of time passed

Elizabeth Hayley - silver gelatin on brass

Elizabeth Hayley – silver gelatin on brass

Yanna Soares - Loom of Neith - silk embroidery on etchings, cotton thread, wood

Yanna Soares – Loom of Neith – silk embroidery on etchings, cotton thread, wood

Liz Lake - run aground

Liz Lake – run aground

Hannah Thual - between exposed and concealed

Hannah Thual – between exposed and concealed

I realise I must have missed some of the printmaking exhibits.

From Painting I really related to the work of Zoe De Soumagnat

Zoe De Soumagnat - Al Fresco

Zoe De Soumagnat – Al Fresco

Zoe De Soumagnat - Black Painting. tasty

Zoe De Soumagnat – Black Painting. tasty

Tomie Seo - All in a vision and Court of Regulation

Tomie Seo – All in a vision and Court of Regulation

Lian Zhang - oil on board

Lian Zhang – oil on board

From Sculpture discipline I really liked how the paper constructions of Yana Naidenov looked like concrete

Yana Naidenov - rammed paper pulp

Yana Naidenov – rammed paper pulp

The materiality of Virgile Ittah’s sculptures were also intriguing, and rather unsettling

Virgile Ittah - For man would remember each murmur - fabric, mixed wax

Virgile Ittah – For man would remember each murmur – fabric, mixed wax

The Lilliputian sculptures of Sun Lah stood out

Sun Lah - wood and pastel

Sun Lah – wood and pastel

Observing from a distance

Sun Lah

Sun Lah

Loved this little projection from Lucy Joyce

Lucy Joyce - Gold House - video

Lucy Joyce – Gold House – video

Lina Lapelyte - Candy Shop

Lina Lapelyte – Candy Shop

I liked photography student Julio Galeote’s work

Julio Galeote - excess

Julio Galeote – excess

The Charlie Dutton Photo and Print Open Salon had a really strong selection of work, it was tightly hung but as the work was all so strong it wasn’t a case of your eye skimming the wall and only taking in one or two pieces.

I was fascinated by a lot of the work showing and noticed Luci Eldridge had a couple of pieces in the show.

Luci Eldridge - The Invisible Sky

Luci Eldridge – The Invisible Sky

Hannah Williamson

Hannah Williamson

Adam Dix - Be As One - screenprint

Adam Dix – Be As One – screenprint

Frances Disley - Little Boy Lost - reduction lino cut

Frances Disley – Little Boy Lost – reduction lino cut

Alex Lawler - Celestial Navigation  - print on chiffon

Alex Lawler – Celestial Navigation – print on chiffon

Harry Meadows - Medallion

Harry Meadows – Medallion

I have often found that in the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize show there is one clear winner for me but this year all 4 candidates drew me in and inspired me.

No Man’s Land is shot entirely with Google Street View. The coordinates for prostitutes operating in remote locations were picked up from internet chat rooms.

Henner’s method of online intelligence-gathering results in an unsettling reflection on surveillance, voyeurism and the contemporary landscape.

Mishka Henner - No Man's Land

Mishka Henner – No Man’s Land

Chris Killip documents the disintegration of the industrial landscape through the people that live there.

Chris Killip- What Happened - Great Britain 1970 - 1990

Chris Killip- What Happened – Great Britain 1970 – 1990

‘War Primer 2’ reimagines the pages of Bertold Brecht’s 1955 publication ‘War Primer’. Brecht’s book was a collection of photos and newspaper clippings that were paired with a four line poem.

Broomberg and Chanarin have layered google search results for the poems over the original images. The results are extraordinary.

Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin - War Primer 2

Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin – War Primer 2

In 1964 Zambia started a space programme to send the first African astronaut to the moon.

Cristina De Middel - The Afronauts

Cristina De Middel – The Afronauts

Through photographs, manipulated documents, drawings and letters  De Middel presents a folkloric tale which blurs myths and truths. Great costumes and funky fabrics.

Cristina De Middel

Cristina De Middel

Jess Littlewood’s prints showing at BEARSPACE have a wonderful sci-fi quality without them being too unbelievable. There is a common motif of a pentagon, a makeshift habitat and an opening through to a stellar sky. They speak of new beginnings from dystopian endings.

Jess Littlewood - The Dissolution of Mother Island

Jess Littlewood – The Dissolution of Mother Island

Central to the exhibition, The Dissolution of Mother Island maps the inevitable collapse of the founding commune and the emergence of a new epoch, defined by five new derivative sects. Each sect inhabits a new island, and looking to the future each attempt to establish a unique society whilst never achieving true autonomy.

The further five exhibited works act as chapter headings, describing each sect and their specific obsessions. All maintain a fixation with the shrine like shelters of their past, highlighting futility in their attempts for individualism. These five new islands will now act as anthropological testing grounds in which Littlewood can explore the parameters and tendencies of human behaviour.

Littlewoods otherworldly landscapes are the product of extensive collecting, collating and archiving of images. Working digitally Littlewood builds layer upon layer of found imagery, the final outcome a window into an alternative world.

Jess Littlewood - Island Folly

Jess Littlewood – Island Folly

Wow, what a mind Charles Avery has.

Charles Avery View of the Port - from The Islanders

Charles Avery View of the Port – from The Islanders

He talks at a fast pace about the world that he describes through his expressive drawings, writing and sculptures. He has considered so much more about his imaginary world than most people ever consider about the one they actually inhabit. He has models of the island in his studio so that when drawing a new scene he is aware whether there should be a tower in the background or not. He knows where the toilets , the kitchens, the lifts are in buildings that are never more described than as background facade in a scene. This world is built on mathematical principles and animated with philosophical debate. Space is mapped out precisely in both the built environment and the geographical relationships but time in the concept as we understand it does not apply – events happen, time is not linear.

It was fascinating to hear about his process of creation at Whitechapel Gallery as part of the To Make A Tree programme.

Charles Avery

Charles Avery

The trees in jardindagade are based on a mathematical formula.  He told us how hard it was to devise a formula for a willow tree to be well balanced and the leaves not to fall and tangle with each other. He decided to go outside and see how a real tree coped with this problem and found that it didn’t, it was messy and tangled, but it didn’t fall over.

He has ambitions to build the whole of jardindagade as an immersive installation –  let’s hope someone with some money was listening.

Saw Chimerica, an amazing new play by Lucy Kirkwood. It is a powerful exploration of two cultures – China and America.
We are taken back to the student protests of 1989 in Tiananmen Square and follow the search of an American photographer, who took the iconic shot of the student standing with his shopping bags in front of the tank, as he tries to discover the identity of  ‘tank man’.

The fate still remains unknown of the unarmed man who blocked a column of tanks as they moved along Chang’an Avenue towards Tiananmen Square.

1306 Chimerica 3

The script is very tight, funny and moving, playing out  a touching relationship between the photographer and his Chinese contact as they question their roles in history.

There are questions about cultural identity and personal responsibility.

Chimerica by Lucy Kirkwood

Chimerica by Lucy Kirkwood

Who is a hero and how can one voice rage against the machine.  I found it a little scary to contemplate the future in this context as China is such a hard country to relate to and it’s influence is spreading quietly across the world.

In China there seems little compassion for the individual.

Yet obviously there are individuals who raise their voices, people we can relate to in their desire for justice, for free speech and for clean air.

Chimerica by Lucy Kirkwood

Chimerica by Lucy Kirkwood

Chimerica explores the courage required to step outside the control of the state and the security of a job.

It also makes us wonder about the dramatic changes to the landscape, the explosion of consumerism and urbanisation and the sources of energy to power this explosion in growth.

1306 China coal

The ideas behind Chimerica can be found at  http://headlong.co.uk/work/chimerica/explore/

1306 smog

I have always loved the work of Antii Laitinen since being introduced to his work by Nettie Horn Gallery.

I went to listen to him at the ICA in conversation with Elizabeth Neilson, Director of Zabludowicz Collection, and Harri Laakso, a co-curator of the Finnish Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale.

He undertakes extraordinary feats of endurance to make his art such as building his own island from bags of sand, only to have it swept away by a storm and then starting again.

Antii Laitinen 'It's my Island'

Antii Laitinen
‘It’s my Island’

In his talk  he stressed that he uses nature as his material and his studio space and what he is exploring is the nature of human existence. He questions the value of effort which stems from his native Finnish culture and its Lutheran attitude to the benefits of hard labour. In ‘Sweat work’ he constructed a human sized hamster wheel and ran until he was dripping in sweat, he then removed his clothes and laid down onto photographic paper.

Antii Laitinen 'Sweat Work'

Antii Laitinen
‘Sweat Work’

The photographs were then hung on the wall where the image of his body slowly faded and disappeared.

Antii Laitinen 'Sweat work'

Antii Laitinen ‘Sweat work’

Each of his pieces has required physical exertion in often futile exercises. Originally training as a photographer he moved into performative work which he then documents himself through photography.

He likes to be in control. He prefers if possible to perform all the hard labour himself.

There was an interesting discussion on the reaction of different cultures to his sawing up of a tree into many pieces and then trying to fix it back together again like a puzzle. In Finland where there are vast forests and there is a pragmatic relationship to a tree and he had no problem getting any number of trees to chop down. In Vienna he caused an outcry at the stupidity of his endeavour. In Bristol he had real trouble getting a tree at all, and the tree he was finally given was a very small tree, barely a tree at all, weak and diseased. What is it that makes it hard for us to chop down a tree. The shortage of trees or the love of the old, a national instinct to preserve maybe.
What was it that mobilised the nation into protest recently – the threat to the forests. We might never visit them – but it’s good to know they are there. Our cultural history is tied up in the forests not as a source of fuel and income but as a refuge, as a source of myths and legends.

Antii Laitinen

Antii Laitinen

For the project “FOREST SQUARE”, new work made for the Venice Biennale 2013, Laitinen chopped down a ten meters square section of forest and sorted the entire found material such as the soil, moss, wood, pines, etc into various categories. He then reorganized the forest according to different colours – the composition referring to the pure abstraction and utopian ideal of spiritual harmony and order from the De Stijl movement.

Antii Laitinen 'Forest Square'

Antii Laitinen ‘Forest Square’

I am still working on the collagraphs  ‘return of the forest’ and still not entirely happy with the way it is going.

I have been painting trees with sublimation inks to print onto organza which I will then cut onto the iceberg collagraphs I have made.

The thing about sublimation inks is you can’t quite tell what colour they will print until you put them in the heat press.

130701 (2)

I was upset to find out that London Printworks Trust had closed in February.

It is so sad that such a great resource is lost. I did think it bad though that as a paying member I hadn’t been told it was closing, I guess as they were in financial difficulties they weren’t going to refund memberships.

Now I have to find another large heat press to use.

The Ochre Print Studio Summer Exhibition had lots of good feedback. Shame I had to miss the Private View this year.

Susan Eyre 'Yellow Sky'

Susan Eyre ‘Yellow Sky’

‘Yellow Sky’ is about looking for refuge and reliance on a controlled environment to survive

Susan Eyre 'Graft i'

Susan Eyre ‘Graft i’

‘Graft I’ explores ideas about the changing landscape, the urban and the cultivated space, the hybrid landscapes and the empty inbetween spaces where imagination can flourish if nothing else.

Lots to see from other members and guest artists. It’s a good opportunity to bring the community at Ochre together.
Tom Hammick

Guest artists -Tom Hammick – woodcuts

Richenda Court's lino cut

Richenda Court’s lino cuts

Julie Hoyle

Julie Hoyle screen prints on wood

Lockwood Group

Lockwood Group artists with learning disabilities

Anna Hennings - artist in residence

Anna Hennings – artist in residence

Guest Artist - David Dragon - monoprints

Guest Artist – David Dragon – monoprints

 

Susan Eyre 'Subluna'

Susan Eyre ‘Subluna’

 

Sold ‘Subluna’ at Ochre and also some of my ‘Collected Thoughts’ sold at the Surrey Contemporary.
Always a strange mixed feeling of loss and pleasure.

Joanna Gore at Canvas and Cream had the hard task of curating a joint show of very different work.

Ashley Hanson and I were voted winners of the Canvas and Cream art prize last February at the inaugural exhibition of this new concept gallery in Forest Hill.

Susan Eyre ‘Entrance’

I was showing ‘Entrance’ in February and Ashley was showing two paintings from his City of Glass series.

For our joint show Ashley had completed his series of 8 paintings inspired by Paul Auster’s novel City of Glass from his ‘New York Trilogy’.

These are large colourful canvasses mapping the land mass and streets of New York through clues and narratives relating to the novel and Ashley’s own memories of New York.

Ashley Hanson ‘City of Glass’ series

Ashley’s interest in the relationship between fact and fiction, natural and man-made landscapes and layering techniques in his work meant we shared some common ground to build a coherent show from.
 
Joanna was drawn to my StrataGem series as she felt these pieces, considering man’s geological interference in the landscape, worked well with Ashley’s take on the geographical changes imposed by the city.

StrataGem series

The StrataGem series imagines the possibility of the formation of geological strata and beautiful gemstones created from the waste of plastic food packaging trays.

From this point we considered what other work of mine would be strong enough to hold its own against Ashley’s vibrant paintings.

I was very happy that we chose the new piece ‘Incidence’ as a complete contrast visually but still relating to the passage of time within the landscape.

Incidence

‘Incidence’ explores both a spiritual and scientific response to nature.

Reflecting on the loss of childhood it exploits a nostalgia for youthful abandon when nature was full of wonders to be discovered.

At the final hanging stage Joanna decided to include two more small pieces of mine and this really balanced the show.

Graft I and Graft II are very much about the changing landscape, the urban and the cultivated space, the hybrid landscapes and the empty in-between spaces where imagination can flourish if nothing else.

Graft II Graft I

Back in the studio I am still working on the idea of the Graft, as a process of cutting and joining using some of the other collagraphs I made as starting points for new pieces.

I am cutting and combining two prints as the background for one image – not a purist approach at all.

I have taken some images of bonsai trees and blown the scale up against the background so they become full-sized fantasy trees.

work in progress

I want to give these trees big shadows but as yet am not sure what medium will work best for this, maybe another collograph printed on top if that is possible once I have joined the background together.

Also I am thinking hard about my practise and its core values while I struggle with my statement for my MA application.