Archives for posts with tag: obelisk

I realised how much I have to learn about weather ballooning while attending the UK High Altitude Society Conference where I was kindly invited to give a short presentation about my hopes to launch my own balloon to film at the edge of the earth’s atmosphere. It was also Helium’s birthday and a cake had been prepared to launch into near space.

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I found much of the language of the day to be beyond my knowledge with many of the enthusiasts also keen coders and electronic wizards.

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Still my presentation received a warm response and I am hoping I now have some contacts to call upon as I begin to get to grips with the logistics and add to my list of what is required.

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There was a particular enthusiasm to actually launch a cloud chamber. This could be a first if we manage to achieve such a venture.

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It is all a delicate balance of weight, helium and wind direction.

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Wonderful to see the launch.

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The really tricky bit is the tracking and retrieval. I’m not sure yet if they did get it back as I haven’t yet mastered navigating the websites let alone the skies.

In the studio

– work in progress for In Search of Darkness exhibition at Grizedale Project Space began with some tiny maquettes.

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With valuable advice from John Purcell‘s team helping to choose suitable card I scaled up.

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Added hand thrown acquatint etched starry skies

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some screen printed dark matter visualisations and hand drawn star maps

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folded with light pollution images printed on metallic c-type (from the print space)

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and repeated 12 times to reflect the sides of a dodecahedron.

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Out of the studio

– excellent afternoon spent captivated by Guy Oliver’s performative Songs of Eternal Praise for And You Thought I Was Bad at Zabludowicz Collection. Delivered in sermon style with attendant angelic voiced choir and backing musician; politics and pop culture collide in excruciating discord.

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Enjoyed Lee Bul’s exuberant mix of materials from the organic to the industrial and all encompassing diatribe on power, politics and the decay under the gloss of idealism at Hayward Gallery.

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Lee Bul – Willing To Be Vulnerable

‘I’m fascinated by failures, as well as by the dreams that the dreamers knew could never materialize’  Lee Bul

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Lee Bul Thaw (Takaki Masao)

changing landscapes – brutalist concrete edifices – impact of an individual – held in ice – history returning – climate change

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Lee Bul Heaven and Earth

Dark depths of the psyche.

Came across this obelisk out in Wiltshire. It is rather stubby and further prevented from piercing the sky by the tree that has grown over the last 250 years to embrace it.

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William Eyres – we almost share a name and do share a birth day and month. Born at the time when the Herschel brother and sister astronomers were discovering Uranus and its moons; the moons of Saturn, infrared radiation and performing deep sky surveys. You died just before electric light spread its glow into the night.
Dark skies were yours.

 

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Progress is slowly underway on my dodecahedron sculpture. Beginning with a rough mock up in card to gauge the size.

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I was relieved to finally finish screen printing the curse of the obelisk. Never had so many setbacks in a piece of work.

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Made of one single stone, dedicated to the solar gods, an obelisk is a fusion of the earthly and the divine. A symbol of power, piercing entry to the fickle world of the gods beyond the clouds, cursed and desired. Over 3,500 years old, the London Obelisk, raised on The Embankment for convenience sake, snubbed by a state embarrassed to revere a shady political gift made by a country they were about to undermine, fought its removal from the soil it was hewn from stands alone, separated from its twin. The gift to state made in 1811 lay fallen and uncollected in Alexandria until an eccentric Victorian adventurer (Sir James Edward Alexander, Knt.,C.B., K.C.L.S, F.R.C.E.) saw the twin in Paris and discovered that Britain’s prize had never been brought home. He found a fellow enthusiast with money and the pair designed a special vessel to contain the obelisk that could be towed behind a ship. The Olga set sail in 1877 but met a violent storm that broke the tow ropes and cast the obelisk adrift. Six men struck out in the storm to rescue the vessel but were never seen again. The obelisk however did not sink and was later discovered, recaptured and finally towed up the Thames to be set incongruously upon a plinth under the unblinking guardianship of Victorian repro Sphinx’s who traditionally would be outward facing to ward off evil, but spend their days eyeing the needle.

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I had an intriguing parcel arrive from the incredibly helpful Alan Walker from the School of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Edinburgh who is giving me loads of advice on building my cloud chamber. He has very kindly had an anodised aluminium plate made for me in his workshops. The plate is the one crucial component that has to be specially made so it was wonderful to find that he had done this for me.

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The black metal plate will sit on dry ice, it will be the viewing backdrop for all the cosmic particle trails and I can now get on with the next stage – making the insulated box.

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I have set up a hydroponics tent in my studio to create a dark space ready for filming once the cloud chamber is fully assembled and ready to test.

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On a very crisp bright day I took the crystal ball a short walk along the banks of the River Wey to the ruins of  Waverley Abbey.

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This was the very first Cistercian monastery founded in Britain 900 years ago by an Abbot and 12 monks from France.

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These images of the crystal ball set in different locations are part of research with a view to making a work about portals in time, space and imagination.

The first work you see at Bloomberg New Contemporaries, ICA is Kate Fahey’s delicate plumes from a multitude of explosions billowing into one giant cloud – Cumulative Loss.

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Through scale and fragility we sense the dust caught momentarily before it settles over devastation upon devastation. It sets a thoughtful tone to enter the lower gallery.

Lisa Porter’s glazed stoneware Connection X (Thank Finch for That) and Rodrigo Red Sandoval’s installation Satellite reflections were two works I was drawn to.

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Kate Fahey Superficie I

Kate Fahey’s Superficie images developed during a residency on the remote Isle of Coll were included in Reference Mollusk, a beautifully curated exhibition  with some timely concerns at new gallery space Gossamer Fog in Deptford.

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Solveig Settemsdal Singularity (video still)

“We are the goo that slipped out of the oceans 430 million years ago, the goo that changed the earth beyond repair, the goo that will fossilise, leaving only future archaeological relics”

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Justyna Kabala Feel Better

Helen Maurer re Composing at Danielle Arnaud had a delicate touch.

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Transferring from the forsaken voids of the Church of The Holy Trinity in York it brought with it the quiet sense of unease that comes when entering a darkened space on a summers day.

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The gentle chimes sounding from hidden spaces under cabinets added to the undercurrent of something slightly sinister

by exposing the construction of this fairy tale landscape Maurer adds rather than depletes mystery

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This was a captivating transformation of space at the House of St. Barnabus Chapel. Staccato is an audio-visual installation by Evy Jokhova

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exploring the interconnection between music, movement and ceremonial architecture

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featuring three sculptural works and a soundtrack made in collaboration with James Metcalfe.

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In similar vein, I was struck by Dr Rupert Till’s comment ‘architecture and acoustics are the same thing.’ He was speaking on the Radio 4 programme Did Stonehenge Sing? explaining the mysterious hum that emanates from the stones and how much more powerful the sounds would have been 3,000 years ago when all the stones were still standing. Thanks to Dr Till the lost sounds of Stonehenge have been reimagined for us to experience today.

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Finally made it to a meeting of the New Materialism reading group. The text was Veronica Strang Fluid Consistencies: Materiality and meaning in human engagements with water http://dro.dur.ac.uk/19432/1/19432.pdf  Points that struck me were the observation from Tilley that ‘knowledge of a thing is grounded in our bodily experience of it’ and it made me think of Plato’s debate on true belief and knowledge, although a different kind of knowledge it does come back to the idea of being there, of engaging on a physical level. We think of flowing rivers, water carried in clouds but not always of the movement of water around the globe held in a juicy pineapple or mango or even our own bodies. I was introduced  to the work of Samara Scott and her liquid painting Developer created with bio-degradable dyes in the Pleasure Garden Fountains in Battersea Park.

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The reading group meets at the Wellcome Trust Reading Room. On the same evening, another group was meeting to discuss materials as part of an collaborative programme between artists and scientists. I didn’t get to note down the names of participants, but a magician and an expert from the Institute of Materials had each brought along objects to spark debate. 1612 Wellcome Trust debate materials.jpg I liked the relationship struck between that of the magician as performer and the idea that the materials themselves are performing.

Turner Prize visit. Materials were performing here.

I found the materials of Helen Marten (left) difficult – though there were some I could enjoy like this wonderful ceramic disc I felt more of a connection to the materials of Michael Dean (right). It is something very basic about a reaction to the surface and the connotations it brings with it.

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Marten’s sculptures are very busy visually. Like a car boot sale, unexpected juxtapositions and mostly cheap and nasty material. (though I do appreciate the thought in her designs). Anthea Turner offered more open space, albeit surrounded by brick walls and facing giant theme park style buttocks, moving on to the next room offers open blue skies but also disturbing chastity belts. Heaven/Hell.

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Josephine Pryde brought us homely goods; thick kitchen worktops bleached by the sun leaving hazy shadows of random objects. Also painted fingernails. A sit on size train tastefully graffitied encountering leaves on the track.1612-josephine-pryde

Finally entering the space of Michael Dean; smoothly curved walls morph into the floor, a strange unworldly lighting (as in James Turrell light works – the walls disappear)  and you are in a void or maybe underwater.

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The work (United Kingdom poverty line for two adults and two children: twenty thousand four hundred and thirty six pounds sterling as published on 1st September 2016) consists of £20,436 in pennies. This is the amount of money the government states is the minimum that two adults and two children need to survive for a year in the UK.

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One penny has been removed. A family on the shore line/breadline, trying to keep their heads above water.

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This landscape has similarities to the war blasted landscapes of Paul Nash showing concurrently at Tate Britain.

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He too acknowledges the primitive power of single vertical forms.

Enjoyed the playful narrative of Bedwyr Williams’ The Gulch in the Barbican Curve.

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Always intriguing and despite ominous undertones uplifting through the sheer joy of following the surreal twists and turns of his stories.

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The simplicity of his constructions are part of the exuberance in his work, they provide the outlines for the journey.

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Went to see Melanie King’s installation Pulsar Oscillograph as part of SPACE/LCN showcase of projects that have been developed by artists with the support of the LCN programme over the course of 6 months.  

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Transforming audio pulsar data (supplied by artist and former astronomer Steve Aishman), Melanie uses laser beams and mirrors to draw these “sounds” captured from outer space onto phosphorescent paper. The images layering, building and fading to the frenetic beat of the spinning collapsed star. As part of The Laboratory of Dark Matters experimental residency at Guest Projects Melanie will develop an Oscillograph  to visualise data obtained from dark matter research scientists in their search for the missing 85% of matter.

 

In the humanist library and archives  at Conway Hall home to the ethical society is a section labelled Humankind. I love that. Are all the answers here?

1601 Conway Actants 3I was taking part in a tour of Conway Actants exhibition led by Jane Millar and Deborah Gardner who have placed site specific work throughout this wonderful building responding to the ethos and history of Conway Hall. 1601 Conway Actants

The bee hives on the roof inspired Deborah’s interventions of hexagonal sculptures morphing from the circular ceiling windows. Translating the activity on the roof and the interconnectedness and clusters of activity within the building.

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Looking through the lenses of history, travelling through time, preserving and learning from the past. Conway Hall is a place for free thinking.

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The archive is a place of secrets as well as a place of discovery.

 

I made another visit to Conway Hall for the panel discussion – Why Do We Believe? It was a  diverse mix of people who packed the hall to ponder this question.

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On the stage were; Prof. Francesca Stavrakopoulou, Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Religion “an atheist with huge respect for religion” who regards her work as “a branch of history like any other”; Prof Richard Wiseman, Britain’s only Chair in the Public Understanding of Psychology who has gained an international reputation for research into unusual areas of psychology, including luck, deception, and the science of self-help; Alice Herron a PhD candidate who was brought up a Catholic, married a Muslim, got divorced and spent 27 years in the cult of Indian Guru Sri Chinmoy and is currently researching atheists who claim to have had some sort of mystical-type experience; Bruce Hood a Professor of Developmental Psychology, currently the President of the British Association for Science psychology section who has given the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures “Meet Your Brain” and written books such as; SuperSense: Why We Believe In The Unbelievable and The Self Illusion: Why There is No ‘You’ Inside Your Head; Deborah Hyde the editor in chief of the UK’s only regular magazine to take a critical-thinking and evidence-based approach to pseudo-science and the paranormal and who is fascinated by the supernatural, and probably knows way too many facts about werewolf folklore.

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The opinions expressed can all be heard at the above link. There were different perspectives and lots of interesting facts but on the whole what I found fascinating was the general consensus of disbelief throughout the room considering the percentage of the population cited to hold a belief in ‘something’ supernatural. Maybe the discussion should have been called ‘Why did we believe?’ or ‘Why do other people believe?’ Perhaps it was the authority of the panel who made it sound like a weakness, a fiction to turn to in times of existential crisis, to bring a sense of order and comfort to our lives. I was hoping for someone to pipe up during question time and dispute these claims but none did. And what about belief in a supernatural that brings disorder? It’s a fascinating debate believers or not.

A Leap Of Faith at St. Laurence Church, Catford was presented for one day only by The LivingRoom a nomadic space committed to blurring the boundaries between the display of  work and the work itself. 1601 A leap of Faith 1

The artist’s works were placed among the Church’s artefacts, propped in pews and laid on tables. The boundaries disappeared.

1601 St.Laurences ChurchI entered late in the day, there had been a schedule of performances but I had missed most of these. Coming in from torrential rain outside, the place was immediately a sanctuary. People milled quietly and took their seats along the pews. I sat waiting but not sure what for and in the hushed gloom had the uncanny feeling I had inadvertently joined a cult. After a while, strange resonating sounds from Michael Speers  performance of distorted feedback filled the space. We sat in quasi religious contemplation.1601 A leap of Faith 2A leap of faith considers the universe, civilisation and the individual; questioning our existence in relation to infinite time and space or to a particular moment in history. Based on natural phenomena, scientific observations or constructed narratives, the works ponder on past ideas and beliefs whilst also constructing their contemporary ones. This cycle of renewal, found in religion as well as in other systems, is visible in the artists’ attempts to make sense of and reorganise traces of our existence. 
1601 A leap of Faith 5Among the artists in this show were Mark Ariel Waller projecting SO-LA, video footage from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory above a bronze cast replicating ‘Sit Shamshi’ a 12thC relic of Iran which depicts two figures in a temple setting performing a ritual to the rising sun.

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One of my current objects of interest – an obelisk seen here in Salvatore Arancio’s mash up of Carl Sagan footage from the TV series ‘The Cosmos’. These striking forms also originated from rituals of sun worship.

In a very different space Cerith Wyn Evans exhibition at  White Cube focused on flows of energy, referencing Marcel Duchamp’s work The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even.

The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) 1915-23, reconstruction by Richard Hamilton 1965-6, lower panel remade 1985 by Marcel Duchamp 1887-1968

Reassigning and charging with gas the circular forms that are known as the Oculist Witnesses in Duchamp’s piece.

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These forms now glowing brightly above our heads would have centred the flow of illuminating gas from the Bachelors to the Blossoming of the Bride should Duchamp have allowed this ejaculation to follow its course.

Ghosts of the past brought to life to bear witness once more.

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While we circle the gallery a sighing breath intones a melody from glass flutes suspended above us and large potted palms silently rotate though slowed time.

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Also using light as medium Tsang Kin-Wah’s immersive installation ‘The Infinite Nothing‘ contemplates the uncertainty of life.

Beginning with Nietzsche’s pronouncement on the death of God: ‘Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space?’ we are led on a circular journey through four stages of transformation, titled 0, I, and r giving physical shape to Nietzsche’s theory of ‘eternal recurrence’.

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Tsang combines philosophy, mythology, religious symbolisms and popular cultural references.1601 Venice Hong Kong (2)

We face Heraclitus’s river into which ‘one cannot step twice’; Plato’s Cave Allegory; and Nietzsche’s notions of ‘Camel Spirit’, ‘slave morality’ and ‘the Overman’.

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Inspirations also come from Béla Tarr’s film The Turin Horse (2011) and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) along with thoughts on karma and reincarnation as Tsang explores all routes in the human quest for self-betterment.

Taking inspiration from the 12th century quest for the philosopher’s stone The Obsidian Project is an investigation into alchemy by Ralph Nauta and Lonneke Gordijn who make up Studio Drift. Exploring relationships between nature, technology and mankind they are working with a contemporary chemist who can abstract gold from chemical waste.

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Left over from this process of extraction is ‘synthetic obsidian’ a black stony glass with unique reflective qualities. Perhaps in its meditative dark space of reflection it is the Obsidian that offers something more precious than gold.

 

 

 

My thoughts have been directed to change, counting time and mapping data, the aura of place and sacred sites, and the lure of the apocalypse.

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As Utopia is no place so Uchronia is no time.

Helga Schmid gave a very interesting presentation on Uchronia at the Material Environments Symposium, University of Greenwich. First used by Charles Renouvier in the title of his 1876 novel which translates as Uchronia (Utopia in History), an Apocryphal Sketch of the Development of European Civilization Not as It Was But as It Might Have Been.

Uchronia suggests an alternative history, a what if scenario. Helga is interested in the possibility of changing the time constraints society forces upon us to allow us a more natural experience of time in tune with circadian rhythms and our natural sleep patterns. Her research looks at the transition from agricultural to urban society, the temporal fragmentation from punctuality to flexibility and the ongoing pressures of speed and acceleration which conflict with the human biological clock. She conducts experiments with groups of people removed from clocks and natural light to explore biological and societal constraints with a view to advocating a new lived experience of time which does not conform to the temporal structure of contemporary technology driven life.

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Creative group Uchronia at Burning Man 2006 http://www.uchronians.org

Another speaker at the symposium, Laura Kurgan uses new technologies to chronicle social change with a view to influencing political ideologies. She has written on the subject of mapping data in Close Up at a Distance.

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Satellite data images are built from pixels radioed from outer space. These statistics often record situations of intense conflict and can express fundamental transformations in our ways of seeing and of experiencing space. This data was intended for military and governmental uses but Laura Kurgan repurposed it to open up new spaces and present new views.  Technology has brought about a revolutionary shift in our ability to navigate, inhabit, and define the spatial realm. The traces of interactions, both physical and virtual, charted by the maps in Close Up at a Distance define this shift.

Laura Kurgan presents two of her projects which map the movement of people in this link: Human Geographies

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Native Land looks at economical migration and money transfers, migration due to natural disasters exacerbated by climate change, loss of forests and loss of native language. Through a series of animated maps and graphs she shows major social change happening on a global scale in an easy to grasp visual format.

What we’ve traditionally called “the universe” — the aftermath of “our” big bang — may be just one island, just one patch of space, in a perhaps-infinite archipelago. There may have been an infinity of big bangs, not just one. Each constituent of this “multiverse” cooled down differently, ending up governed by different laws. – Lord Martin Rees

Current theories in physics that debate the possibility of us living in a multiverse challenge our perceptions of space and time.

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This subject was tackled in Constellations a play by Nick Payne.  It was superb theatre acted impeccably by Louise Brealey and Joe Armstrong and powerfully directed by Michael Longhurst.

Constellations by Nick Payne

Constellations by Nick Payne

Constellations takes one relationship and looks at alternative scenarios and the possible outcomes of infinite possibilities. What if we live in a multiverse and every decision we make is somewhere else happening just slightly different? The twists and turns and subtleties that these actors brought to life in funny and heart rending moments was astonishing in itself and then the ideas that this play throws up about the big questions of our place in the universe and our relationship to death added depth and resonance to a play that stays in your heart. It helped to analyse the concept of a multiverse in very human terms.

We are fascinated by the disaster. The allure of the sublime always contains some element of death.

Shown by curators Coates and Scarry in Complicit Kate MccGwire’s sleek feathered sculptures and Juliette Losq’s muted watercolour landscapes take you to the edge where beauty slides into a sort of dissonance.

Kate MccGwire Taunt

Kate MccGwire Taunt

MccGwire’s amorphous shapes that gleam and curl in upon themselves sit well with the lost spaces Losq creates in both 2D and 3D where she physically tears through the paper landscape drawing you further in to a world falling apart around you.

Juliette Losq Covert

Juliette Losq Covert

The beauty of destruction on an epic scale was showing at Thomas Dane in a screening of Bruce Conner’s thirty-seven-minute film CROSSROADS produced in 1976 from archival footage of the first nuclear tests conducted in 1946 at Bikini Atoll.

Bruce Conner Crossroads

Bruce Conner Crossroads

As terrifying as it is beautiful, CROSSROADS plays witness to the detonation of a nuclear weapon as powerful as the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, ninety feet below the surface of the ocean, under a fleet of decommissioned naval ships as test subjects for the bomb’s destructive powers.

Sixty-four aircraft with 328 cameras (some of which were radio-controlled drones) circled the detonation site using high speed film and equipment that would take a million pictures in the first few seconds of the explosion. This event was to be the most comprehensively photographed moment in history.

Conner was able to draw upon this extensive footage allowing the viewer to experience the detonation repeatedly in a constant succession of waves, overwhelming in its beauty and tragedy creating an unbearable ecstasy.

Bikini Atoll caught in the crossfire symbolises the dawn of the nuclear age, despite its paradoxical image of an earthly paradise.

Bikini children leaving the island 1946

Bikini children leaving the island 1946

The terrible legacy of the nuclear tests lives on through the forced displacement of the indigenous people of these islands whose homes and health were sacrificed.

Peter Kennard

Peter Kennard

The politics of Peter Kennard are blatantly siphoned into his art with no apologies.

I visited his major retrospective at the Imperial War Museum which I found moving in its directness.

Peter Kennard

Peter Kennard

I was interested in Matt Gee’s exhibition Nutri-Artifice at  Gallery 286 for his use of crystals and human intervention in landscape. He shows us an unreal beauty. Chemical colours and textures mingle in an unclear divide between the artificial and the organic.

Matt Gee Mountain Bend

Matt Gee Mountain Bend

Marc Quinn was also exploring desire and the artificial in The Toxic Sublime at White Cube, Bermondsey. In his Toxic Sublime series the use of sugary colours echoes the formulaic image of the sun rising over the ocean that he takes as his starting point and then the sickly sweet is attacked, frottaged with municipal street architecture, blasted to aluminium before finally being bent and geometrically distorted.

Marc Quinn The Toxic Sublime

Marc Quinn The Toxic Sublime

If it was the vulgar Quinn wanted to expose with this process then it works and the repetition in the gallery adds to this toxic overload. The sculptures in the same show vary dramatically from a similar overdone crudeness to the sublime.

Marc Quinn Frozen Wave

Marc Quinn at White Cube

Frozen Wave, in highly polished stainless steel, has all the magnificence of a weight of water about to crash. It embodies the frisson of disaster that holds you in awe of its power and beauty. Vast and primordial Frozen Wave (The Conservation of Energy) makes connections between nature and humanity that resonate deep within us.

Marc Quinn

Marc Quinn Frozen Wave (The conservation of energy)

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I was pleased to be invited to take part in the Rising Stars exhibition at Coombe Gallery, Dartmouth, Devon.

Coombe Gallery

Coombe Gallery

For this show I mounted some of the screenprints I had made on paper from the everydaymatters series.

Susan Eyre everydaymatters (tropical SE16)

Susan Eyre everydaymatters (tropical SE16)

I used laser cut mdf circles and painted the backs with fluorescent paint so they radiate a glow on the wall behind.

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One step to my independence has been the purchase of a power saw to cut mitre joints for sub-frames to hang work. Not very exciting but I was able to make my own subframes for this work so they can sit a little out from the wall.

Susan Eyre everydaymatters(tropicalia SW3)

Susan Eyre everydaymatters (tropicalia SW3)

I have been pleased that I was able to transfer the screenprints I had made on fabric onto mdf too. I have been able to collage these with new sublimation prints and am quite pleased with the outcome.

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A lot of my time since leaving the RCA seems to have been taken up by admin, submitting proposals, writing statements, framing up or mounting work, delivering and picking up.

Susan Eyre everydaymatters (palm SW4)

Susan Eyre everydaymatters (palm SW4)

I used the trip delivering work to Dartmouth to stop off and look at some Neolithic landscape as part of my research looking at ancient rituals and then considering their modern equivalent.

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Dating from 2300 BC, Woodhenge is thought to have marked a particular stage in the evolution of human religious belief and community organisation. Originally believed to be the remains of a large burial mound the concrete markers that stand there today replace the six concentric rings of timber posts which are believed to have once supported a ring-shaped building. The small grave in the centre believed to be of a child is still paid homage to with candles and flowers today.

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On the day I visited there were TV cameras and helicopters overhead as news was broadcast that archeologists have discovered evidence of the hidden remains of  a massive Neolithic stone monument, thought to have been hauled into position more than 4,500 years ago completely rewriting the history of Stonehenge and the surrounding area.

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While I was in Devon I was also able to visit Widecombe Fair famed for the ditty from which this verse is taken…

When the wind whistles cold on the moor of the night.
All along, down along, out along lea.
Tom Pearce’s old mare doth appear ghastly white,
With Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter Gurney,
Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all,
Old Uncle Tom Cobley and all.

Widecombe Fair

Widecombe Fair

I was interested to see if I could identify any ancient rituals being passed on and adapted

Widecombe Fair Town Cryer competition

Widecombe Fair Town Cryer competition

Widecombe Fair Prize Vegetables

Widecombe Fair Prize Vegetables

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Widecombe Fair Viking

Viking re-enactment with mystic raven

Widecombe Fair

Widecombe Fair Morris Dancers

In another excursion west I was pleased to have my sculptures everydaymatters selected for the Wells Art Contemporary by judges Richard Wentworth, Mariele Neudecker and Donald Smith.

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

As space was tight in the Wells and Mendip Museum where the exhibition takes place it was only possible to show three of the seven but I did have a great backdrop in Wells Cathedral.

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

While in Wells I took the opportunity to visit their impressive Cathedral. Set upon the source of ancient springs (or wells) there has been a sacred site here since the first human settlements.

1510 Wells Cathedral

This most ancient Cathedral is also famous for its astronomical clock and it was a real treat to see it theatrically strike the hour.

The clock is inspiring not only for its immense age but the intricacies of its design and mechanisms. The ornamental dial depicts the pre Copernican geocentric view of the universe, with the sun and moon revolving around earth at the centre.

1510 Wells_cathedral_clock_dial

Above the clock sitting in the corner is a figure, known as Jack Blandifers, who has been counting time for over 600 years. Every 15 minutes he hits a bell with a hammer and two bells with his heels while above the clock a troupe of jousting knights hurtle around a podium.

1510 Jack Blandifer

Carsten Höller intends for his work to bring about ‘moments of not knowing.’ For his exhibition at the Hayward Gallery Decision you enter through Decision Corridors a dark tunnel which twists and turns and divides. It is a hesitant journey made by feeling along the walls and punctuated by screaming teenagers careering though at speed.

Carsten Holler Flying Mushrooms

Carsten Höller Flying Mushrooms

I liked the Flying Mushrooms mechanisms of interconnecting cogs and rotating orbs which seemed to represent an alternative solar system. There was the opportunity to push a bar which in turn moved the cogs.

Haywood Gallery

Haywood Gallery

BBC Drama Block

BBC Drama Block

Most of the exhibits in this show were participative in some way and the decisions were much about whether to push the bar, take the pill, or ride the slide but some did interfere with perception in an uncomfortable squeaky chalkboard sort of way.

Carsten Holler The Forests

Carsten Höller The Forests

I found I couldn’t cope with The Forests a dual screen video shown on a headset that splits your vision in two as one eye takes a route in the forest one way and the other eye another. This made me squirm as I felt my brain trying to cope and reconnect to one single image made from both eyes.

1510 Ben Rivers 3

The mysterious title of Ben Rivers cinematic installation The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers  originates from a whispered warning overheard in a Tangiers café by Paul Bowles.

Ben Rivers

Composer and novelist Bowles and his wife Jane settled in Morocco in the forties. In turn inspired by this landscape Ben Rivers films weave in and out of fiction and reality layering the violent narrative from Bowles short story A Distant Episode of a European abducted by bandits though re-enactment by non actors using the abandoned film sets that litter the Atlas Mountains.  By chance while in Tangier, Rivers meets and subsequently films Mohammed Mrabet now 79 who once inspired the Bowles couple with his stories of local folklore.

Ben Rivers The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers

Ben Rivers The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers

Another serendipitous opportunity  for Rivers to add yet another layer was meeting artist Shezad Dawood on location independently filming for his own work.

1510 ben rivers 1

This palimpsest of stories, real and fictional, is then appositely presented in the former BBC Drama Block at White City currently due for demolition.

Ben Rivers installation at BBC White City

Ben Rivers installation at BBC White City

Led into a world that has moved on there is the chance to explore the vast BBC studios before they are erased.

1510 bbc centre 5

1510 bbc centre

In an interview in the Paris Review 1981 Paul Bowles responds to the question of violence in his work

“Yes, I suppose the violence served a therapeutic purpose. It’s unsettling to think that at any moment life can flare up into senseless violence. But it can and does, and people need to be ready for it. What you make for others is first of all what you make for yourself. If I’m persuaded that our life is predicated upon violence, that the entire structure of what we call civilization, the scaffolding that we’ve built up over the millennia, can collapse at any moment, then whatever I write is going to be affected by that assumption. The process of life presupposes violence, in the plant world the same as the animal world. But among the animals only man can conceptualize violence. Only man can enjoy the idea of destruction.”

1510 bbc centre 6

Up Projects with The Floating Cinema presented a series of events for Extra-Terrestrial London a highlight of which was the screening of Shezad Dawood’s Piercing Brightness.

1510 up projects

Before the screening Shezad gave an informal talk aboard a canal boat to explain how the film had come about and how he found Preston to be the perfect setting for a film about what it means to be alien.

Shezad Dawood Piercing Brightness

Shezad Dawood Piercing Brightness

There is a loose narrative to the film. Two alien youths land in a spaceship outside Preston. Their mission is to re-establish contact with the ‘Glorious 100’ sent to earth millennia ago in human form to study and observe the development of another race.

Shezad Dawood Piercing Brightness

Shezad Dawood Piercing Brightness

After making contact with one of the 100,  they discover that many of their kind have forgotten their original purpose and have slowly become integrated into their adopted home and no longer want to return to their home planet.

Chudamani Clowes White City

Chudamani Clowes White City

Migration and integration both current and historical were addressed by Chudamani Clowes in her solo show at the Griffin Gallery White City.

1510 Franco-British_Exhibition

White City is the area local to the Griffin Gallery and gained its name from the white painted buildings of the Franco-British exhibition of 1908. At the time it was the largest exhibition of its kind in Britain and presented a number of model villages reconstructed to celebrate imperial achievements. This included Ballymaclinton, a ‘genuine’ Irish village. At the French Senegalese village, complete with imported ‘natives’, visitors could watch traditional dance performances. And at the Indian Arena,  Bollywood-style spectaculars were performed.

Chudamani Clowes White City

Chudamani Clowes White City

Chud, moved by news of the current migrant crisis uses the analogy of the jellyfish as migrant without borders caught in the ebb and flow of life to offer us the chance to rethink what it means to be other.

Chudamina Clowes Jellyfish dance

Chudamani Clowes Jellyfish Dance

For the opening event the audience took part in a jellyfish procession from Griffin Gallery to White City tube station via the modern monolith of Westfields shopping centre and the current redevelopment of the BBC studios.

1510 Chud White City 4

As colourful and spirited as her work Chud led the procession majestically trailing silver tentacles as we followed wearing Chud’s trademark bonnets creating the sparkling seas from undulating survival blankets in unison.

1510 Chud White City 7

In an Interview. about her work she talks of how she saw desperate migrants on the news having nothing yet looking almost regal wrapped in gold rescue blankets.

Chudamani Clowes White City

Chudamani Clowes White City

Her work aims to highlight perception and distortion and so she used these blankets to make a shelter in which see yourself reflected and distorted, you become other.

Chudamani Clowes White City

Chudamani Clowes White City

Chud talks about how important it is to tell our stories and keep our memories alive. To look at local history and appreciate that the oasis’ of culture we enjoy today are the hubs where migrants settled in the past.

Whenever you go down the roads in Britain, you travel not in three dimensions but in four. The fourth dimension is the past. And as we move to and fro in this fourth dimension, we see not only landscape but the economic, political and social forces at work behind the landscape, shaping it, forever changing it…

Travis Elborough and Bob Stanley

1510 st etienne

My second viewing of the film How We Used to Live was further enhanced by the live accompaniment of Saint Etienne playing the beautifully beguiling soundtrack.

1510 how we used to live

Splicing old BFI colour film footage of a lost London we are transported back to a pre digital world to witness the change from capital of industry to financial hub.

1510 light

I am interested in the aura of place and how this is defined.  I joined The London Occult Walk led by practising witch Delianne Forget who promised to point out the haunts and meeting places of magicians, witches and secret societies. Following a route from Embankment to Covent Garden we were encouraged to speculate on what might have occurred at certain sites along the way. We were asked to imagine the grand houses that once lined the embankment where nobility of the 16th and 17th centuries lived and the beliefs they held regarding the supernatural.

We began the walk on Villiers Road. I have had lots to research from this walk as many historical names and events were mentioned along the way.

There were stories of George Villiers  (1592-1628) who became the favourite of James I and then Charles I and who was a big influence on the royals but not popular with the government due to some of the other company he kept such as John Lamb who was accused of performing black magic. Both George Villiers who became The Duke of Buckingham and John Lamb were murdered, the first ambushed by a peeved army officer and the second stoned to death by a mob angry that due to his noble friends influence he had escaped justice for the violent rape of a young girl.

1510 Occult Walk RSA

We stopped at the grand Royal Society of Artists building.  Founded in a Covent Garden coffee house in 1755 the RSA moved in 1774 to this purpose built home set on the ancient site where the episcopal palace of Durham House once stood.  Durham House dated from 1345 and was home to Sir Walter Raleigh while he was a favourite of Elizabeth I.

Around 1592 Sir Walter Raleigh led the esoteric group The School of Atheism later nicknamed The School of Night  where alchemists, astronomers, astrologers, mathematicians and poets met and mingled their philosophies. This sort of debate was disapproved of by the church who wished to stamp out any interest in the sciences and preserve a geocentric view of the world.

1510 Dee wax disc

This trace from the past led us from Sir Walter Raleigh and Elizabeth I to the famed astrologer and occult philosopher John Dee who was the Queen’s trusted advisor and interpreter of the heavenly auspices. He would be summoned to Windsor for his opinion at the sudden appearance of a comet. There was no delineation between science and magic at the time. John Dee believed contact could be made with the spirit world via his crystal ball and obsidian scrying mirror.

John Dee's magical artefatcs held at The British Museum

John Dee’s magical items held at The British Museum

He was keen to work alongside other mediums who could contact the dead and thought he had found the ideal partner in Edward Kelly. There is a tale of the pair visiting Preston to raise a body dug up in St. Leonards graveyard from the dead with incantations. Relations with Kelly didn’t go so well after he forced Dee into a wife sharing co-op and the once famed alchemist pair split. Kelly ended up falling to his death from a window in an attempt to escape prison and Dee returned to his home at Mortlake out of favour now the Queen was dead, never quite having made his fortune and dying penniless in 1608.

1510 Dee disc

Stopping to look at the 1512 building of Queens Chapel of the Savoy, a tiny church owned by the crown we were told this was the ideal place for an Elizabethan grave robber’s work. What went on and who visited where was much speculated upon and the stories encompassed the past and spread to other figures who are remembered in history for their occultist interests.

Simon Forman was another Elizabethan astrologer who gained fame and notoriety studying the occult arts and practising as a physician until he was banned for not having a license. Despite his creepy and lecherous reputation he was able to get a license from Cambridge university and continue his practise and many of his fascinating case studies are held at the Bodlein Library on Oxford. William Lilly followed in this line of astrology publishing the Christian Astrology in 1647 and even gaining the approval of Oliver Cromwell.

1510 Thames high tide

We walked along the Thames to the incongruously sited ancient Egyptian obelisk known as Cleopatra’s Needle.

1510 obelisk

Here early on a December morning in 1937 as the sun entered Capricorn  Aleister Crowley gathered a small crowd representative of each race of mankind and gave each one a copy of his book The Equinox of the Gods. He gave a short speech including his mantra – Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.  The book contains an image of the Stele of Revealing held in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo whose significance for Crowley is the depiction of the three chief deities of Thelema.

1510 stele of revealing

The origins of the Lyceum Theatre date to 1765 and we stopped to gaze up at a window where Bram Stoker worked as assistant to actor manager Henry Irving at the end of the 1800’s. Dracula was published in 1897. Stoker had an interest in the study of the occult and knew members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn but there is some dispute as to whether he was a member himself.

Our walk ended in Covent Garden where the original Hell Fire Club was founded by the Duke of Wharton to engage in the popular new pastimes of satire and blasphemy. These clubs were banned in 1721 by George I in a  Bill “against ‘horrid impieties”.  The most notorious Hell Fire Club set up by Sir Francis Dashwood in 1746 was known at the time as The Order of the Friars of St. Francis of Wycombe. I am reading a history of this club written by Donald McCormick published in 1958 which seems to seek to defend the ‘amorous knights of Wycombe’ as mere sensualists perfectly able to hold respected public office despite their recourse to excessive drinking and ‘wenching’. The sexist and homophobic 1950’s views in this book are just as repugnant as the 1750’s behaviour they defend.

Rich and powerful these men created their own playground and their own rules. The striking golden globe on top of the tower of St. Lawrence’s Church built by Dashwood in 1761 can comfortably seat 4 men and was according to John Wilkes ‘the best Globe Tavern I was ever in.”

St. Lawrence's Church West Wycombe

St. Lawrence’s Church West Wycombe

Recently passing West Wycombe I stopped off to have a look at the Church.

St. Lawrence's Church West Wycombe

St. Lawrence’s Church West Wycombe

The Dashwood family mausoleum also on the hill overlooking West Wycombe Park is another flamboyant statement.

Dashwood Mausoleum

Dashwood Mausoleum

A visit to the caves where the brotherhood met will have to wait for another day.

Medmenham Abbey was the headquarters for the Knights of Saint Francis of Wycombe before the caves which became their home were dug out and Dashwood based its refurbishment to his purposes on the Abbey of Thélème inspired by his love of the works of Rabelais and embracing the Thélème motto “FAY CE QUE VOUDRAS” (Do as you please)

Medmenham Abbey

Medmenham Abbey

I was interested to note that the Abbey of Thélème has no clocks as Gargantua believed  ” the greatest loss of time that I know is to count the hours.”

Going through my old sketchbooks I came across a cutting from the Sunday Times Culture Section dated 22/10/2006 written by Bryan Appleyard who quotes royal astronomer Martin Rees as predicting that we have no better than a 50/50 chance of surviving the 21st century.

1510 Archipov

It has always been the case that every culture and age sees the End of the World as imminent as though it were hard wired into our species to live in anticipation of destruction. The article Headlong into the Flames is actually a scathing book review of James Martin’s The Meaning of the 21st Century. Appleyard’s own analysis is that there is absolutely no prospect of people ever overcoming enough of their differences even to start to save the planet.

1510 mars to the multiverse

Hearing Lord Martin Rees recently speak at Second Home his analysis of our odds to survive might not have changed but if we do survive he thinks “Evolution will not follow the Darwinian timeline, but instead a new, technological trajectory…..Those who witness the explosion of the sun in four billion years time will be as different to us now as we are to insects”

I have had to say goodbye to my studio space and all the other wonderful facilities and people at the RCA.

1507 studio

Lots of ideas were formulated in this little corner and I will miss it very much.

1507 studio2

I spent the last six months pretty much in the screenprinting room

1507 screenprinting

working on the mirror circles for my final show.

1507 circle

There wasn’t much time out but I did try to see some exhibitions that felt were relevant to my own concerns.

I hadn’t come across the work of Michelle Stuart before and I found her exhibition at Parafin Gallery very inspiring.

Michelle Stuart Night Over Alice Springs

Michelle Stuart Night Over Alice Springs

I was drawn to her spiritual aesthetic. The subtle use of colour and juxtaposition of images set within a grid structure bind themes together to create a whole from fragments. I like the way she uses objects, incorporating natural materials and sacred symbolism, referencing alters and rituals.

Michelle Stuart Ring of Fire

Michelle Stuart Ring of Fire

I was excited to see Diana Thater at Hauser and Wirth mostly because of the promise of seven holy ‘kunds’ – or water tanks- and waterfalls that create two tiered pools within her projected installations. I thought this might relate to my own ideas using water in my work giving some insight into water as a sacred medium.

I was disappointed. Due to poor light levels and projected image quality what should have been an immersive experience was frustrated by an awareness of ineffectual technology exacerbated by the front door repeatedly opening and  flooding the space with even more light. There were no ‘kunds’ visible. The gallery assistant thought the pools may be projected onto the floor but with the light levels too high it was not so much that ‘…the pools of water occupy a liminal state between reality and imagination’ but must be totally conjured by the imagination.

Diana Thater Life is a Time-Based Medium

Diana Thater Life is a Time-Based Medium

Online you can find an image more akin to the promises of the press release.

Galtaji Temple near Jaipur

Galtaji Temple near Jaipu

For my second year at the RCA I had David Blandy as my tutor. I think we have quite a few crossover interests in our investigation of contemporary society which manifest themselves in very different ways. He works with video and references music trends and gaming aesthetics and is quite performative. It’s very engaging and has a fine humour.

1507 David Blandy

He screened his video How To Make A Short Video About Extinction for us in the lecture theatre, it was good to see it on a big screen and appreciate the disaster movie genre it plays off though the DIY amateurism invoked does perhaps mean the small screen is its home. Eitherway it’s very funny (while obviously trying to make some serious points too). He put me onto Miranda July, also funny while highlighting some cultural idiosyncrasies , whose book of short stories No-one Deserves To Be Here More Than You I am enjoying at the moment.

I have visited his exhibition showing the video hercules-rough-cut at the Bloomberg Space.

David Blandy

David Blandy

It has huge presence. Ominous and mesmerizing it engulfs you in a kaleidoscopic bombardment of image and dialogue tracing the history of civilisation on its frenzied trajectory to what must be an inevitable implosion. Surrounded by rotating images and screens and immersed in continuous rap-speak that fills your head there is no space to escape.

David Blandy Hercules:Rough Cut

David Blandy Hercules:Rough Cut

It captures the obsessions that are driving our civilisation over the edge into oblivion employing the same seductions that hypnotise us as we are carried along unable to resist.

I have long been a fan of Gordon Cheung’s work so was excited to be able to chat with him about my work when he visited the RCA on what was described as an artists promenade. His interest in relating ancient mythologies to present day financial trading and historical markets such as tulip mania to current boom and bust economics are fascinating subjects.

Gordon Cheung island

Gordon Cheung Island

We also attempted to discuss quantum and particle physics. He had been key in selecting my etching Forest of Eden for the neo:print prize award that I received last year so I was able to go into more detail about what had inspired me to make this work. Originally it was Giambattista Vico’s story of wild men inventing the gods as they cowered in the forest under thunderous skies that led to my research into the myth of the wild man. This myth stretches back to the tale of Gilgamesh’s quest for immortality. In history the wild man’s characteristics reflect topical fears and aspirations, violating the taboos of civilization and symbolizing the repressed desires of society. They oscillate between horror and fantasy.

Susan Eyre Forest of Eden

Susan Eyre Forest of Eden

I wondered who a contemporary wild man might be. Someone on the edges of society, both fascinating and repulsive. I had come across images on the internet of this person who posts photos of himself posing almost naked with guns strapped to his body. He had become an internet meme, shared with equal disgust and fascination. In this etching I placed him back in the ancient forest of all our origins.

The most recent of work I made while at the RCA was Sun Factor. This work allows an alternative access point to my ideas about escape from reality and the search for something outside the ordinary. It explores ancient and modern ideas on sun worship and the rituals that are part of these cultures.

Susan Eyre Sun Factor

Susan Eyre Sun Factor

I used etching for the ancient cliffs and gold pigments on chine colle for the obelisk. The figures are screen printed in high saturation, a reminder of the early days of package holidays and glossy postcards and also of skin damage and loss of connection to the powers of nature. The sun as apocalyptic fireball is a reminder of its true nature which we often forget to acknowledge.

Sun Factor has been selected as a finalist for the HIX award.

I had been experimenting with images printed on translucent fabric submerged in water with a view to using this in my final show.

Susan Eyre submīrārī

Susan Eyre submīrārī

This came from the idea of looking through a surface to consider what is there but unseen by our limited senses   Sometimes the images in the water float and sometimes they sink or fold according to the otherwise unseen movement within the water. The activity in the matter of the universe is going on around us unseen – other intangible things like the aura of place and the dream of paradise cannot be pinned down or explained in terms of materiality.

Susan Eyre submīrārī

Susan Eyre submīrārī

I spent a long time searching for the right bowls for the images floating in water. I had in mind something you might find in the world of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell but ended up using the same simple very shiny ones as I had originally found for Café Gallery – Objects Of.

1507 dry clay bowl

I tried giving them a clay outer shell – it didn’t work but the cracked result was inspiring for future work.

I chose to exhibit the water pieces in a cluster for the RCA MA Show rather than each one placed at the base of the individual sculptures as I had previously.

1507 veiwing submirari

submīrārī installation

mīrārī  comes from the latin miror whose etymology is to gaze in wonder.

Now that I had 7 sculptures (one for every day of the week) I felt each work had more weight holding their own space.

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

There is a similarity in the way an image is experienced as a surface to look through and be absorbed into connecting the pieces in the installation.

The images in the bowls are more dreamlike, idealised landscapes whereas the images on the mirrors come from the everyday locations that happen to be called paradise.

Susan Eyre everydaymatters (6/7 escapism  - the life)

Susan Eyre everydaymatters (6/7 escapism – the life)

In conjunction with the MA degree show I led the organisation of our event WHAT WAS I THINKING. This was a chance to look back at the thinking behind our degree show and the ways in which decisions get made and also the alarm we sometimes feel at what we have embarked upon.

1507 what-was-i-thinking

We invited David Cross as our guest speaker. David Cross has an international reputation as a lecturer and academic. As an artist, he began collaborating with Matthew Cornford, in the partnership Cornford and Cross, while studying at St Martin’s School of Art in 1987, and graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1991. In addition to producing aesthetic experiences, he maintains that a key function of contemporary art is to test concepts, assumptions and boundaries.

David Cross

David Cross

Looking at global economics and systems of value which govern the art world as well as wider issues of capitalism and our blind commitment to material consumption fuelling economic growth he poses the question  – can we reclaim the vanishing point and reconnect our individual perspective with our collective capacity to envision and plan for a more ecologically stable future?

Early in our first year at RCA we had a seminar with the provocative title Why Print? This caused a lot of argument at the time as we found there were very many opinions on what was and what was not considered print, the value of craft and the place of the multiple or cheap reproduction. As we progressed we learnt to respect each others approaches and realised that the diversity of our group was a strength from which we could all learn.

Rob Miles Cmd shift 3

Rob Miles Cmd shift 3

Rob Miles was our MC for the event and gave an introduction which set out the challenges we faced during our MA and will continue to tackle as artists.  He explained that in such a programme as printmaking there are many processes we could choose from to express our ideas and it was through this exposure and interrogation that we found our own individual affinities from digital media to etching and many combinations in between. New reproduction technologies offer opportunities for exploration,  the old techniques feed into the new, and the new reinvigorates the old. To study Fine Art today is to navigate a plethora of possibilities across an ever widening field of possibilities, often dauntingly so but this also offers us a new representational freedom as artists.

Navigating these new possibilities is something we had discussed in seminars which led us to authors who write about the impact of the web, image saturation/appropriation, and new ways in which we view the world that lead on to questions of reality and representation.

As a point of focus for our event we referred to the politics of the image theories of Hito Steryl in the e-flux journal The Wretched of the Screen.
Her comments on the condition of groundlessness in her essay free fall a thought experiment on vertical perspective seemed particularly relevant.
          ‘Imagine you are falling. But there is no ground.
          Many contemporary philosophers have pointed out that the present moment is distinguished by a prevailing condition of groundlessness.
          We cannot assume any stable ground on which to base metaphysical claims or foundational political myths.
          At best, we are faced with temporary, contingent, and partial attempts at grounding.’
Peter Glasgow spoke about ways that material might be gathered, piled up, held onto and left over to form a body of work.
Peter Glasgow

Peter Glasgow

Using American TV series as his research material he used this analogy to look at work in the degree show as a gathering of material.
Peter Glasgow I'm dead in the water here

Peter Glasgow I’m dead in the water here

 Jilly Roberts narrated The Case Study, a story which explores her ideas of how perspectives can get influenced and altered depending on their content and origin.
Jilly Roberts

Jilly Roberts

Mixing factual accounts with her own experiences out in the field researching architectural landscapes and the invention of the Wardian Case.
Jilly Roberts

Jilly Roberts

 Daniel Clark discussed his research into the cross section between sound and printmaking
Daniel Clark

Daniel Clark

 covering the strange sensations we experience when exposed to very low frequency vibrations  the mysteries of the aquatint box and the sensory drama of the eruption of Krakatoa.
Daniel Clark Volcano

Daniel Clark Volcano

 Amy Gear brought our attention to the link between landscape, language and the shape of words, focusing on the rich history of her native Shetland
Amy Gear

Amy Gear

and how we mimic through language and also through our work.
Amy Gear Stack

Amy Gear Stack

 Meg Ferguson and Maito Jobbe Duval who both work with text and moving image discussed the ideas of French Philosopher Maurice Blanchot to explore their experience of uncertainty in the creative process.
Meg Ferguson

Meg Ferguson

Meg spoke about the ‘leap’ of faith necessary to make work and its value as a catalyst to move forward, letting go of control and falling into the unknown of the unconscious mind.
Maito Jobbe Duval can you see it

Maito Jobbe Duval can you see it

Maito read from Blanchot’s Thomas the Obscure while screening her video work Can You See It encouraging us to think the image of the thought.
Sarah Gillett read a story from her book which accompanied her work in the degree show.
Sarah Gillett

Sarah Gillett

We were transported to a suburban Mum’s night in which was suddenly impacted by the enormity and chaos of the universe both physically as a meteorite hits the conservatory and poetically as we contemplate the points in our lives when new perspectives open up to us.