Archives for posts with tag: platonic solids

It has been an RCA MA printmaking department tradition for each graduating year to produce a box set. In our year we questioned the purpose of a set which was inevitably split. The cost of the whole set being prohibitive to most people. We wondered how we could reinvent this idea to make it exciting and relevant. It was an exercise sometimes lacking in diplomacy but eventually it was decided that collaboration and a theme would help to create a more cohesive edition.

The result was Lean to, an interpretation of the traditional printmaking box set, it acts as a site of investigation that questions what a box set can be.

RCA Printmaking MA 2015 collaboration Lean To

RCA Printmaking MA 2015 collaboration Lean to

We chose to respond to a ‘house’ of print matter. Interested in the house as a fluid concept, we expanded it to mean anything alluding to a habitat: a home, shelter, bunker, shed, commune, boundary…

This structure allowed us to make collaboration a defining feature – people worked together on areas or ‘rooms’, responding thematically, materially and conceptually. One group worked with text to create a written 3D structure, another explored the construction of space through sound. The defining of outside space was considered through a collaboration that explored the garden, and another investigated the overlooked details via the life of dust. There were also individual responses: a digital scanning room where walls threaten to melt into the night sky, contorted vessels that appear at once frozen and shifting, a sweeping gesture of an arch promising (or threatening) an arrival.

I worked with Amanda Wieczorek, Jilly Roberts and Gloria Ceballos.

1508 Battersea Park 3

We looked at structures found on the allotment or in a garden.

1508 Battersea Park 2

We went to Battersea Park for inspiration.

1508 Battersea Park

The symbiosis of the synthetic and the organic became key to our thinking and resulted in transfer printed handmade paper embedded with seeds contained in a protective screenprinted plastic sleeve.

1508 shed

For a box set that responds to the notion of being housed, it is necessary that the skin, the home stake its place.

design by Meg Ferguson

design by Meg Ferguson

 

It does this by being both a folder of precious deeds, and a site of shelter and display.

RCA Printmaking MA 2015 collaboration Lean To

RCA Printmaking 2015 collaboration lean-to

The cover, complete with guy ropes and support poles, unfurls into a simple structure that acts as both site to view and shelter for its contents.

RCA Printmaking MA 2015 collaboration Lean To

RCA Printmaking 2015 collaboration lean- to

The team that installed the work for the launch night did an excellent job and we all ended up very proud.

lean to 11

The volume was launched at Tenderbooks with an evening of performance and readings.

Launch of Lean-To at Tender Books

Launch of lean-to at Tender Books

While learning about geometry and the platonic solids at The Princes School of Traditional Arts I was intrigued by Plato’s description of the fifth platonic solid – the dodecahedron – as ‘a fifth construction which God used for embroidering the constellations on the whole heaven’.

Susan Eyre Pairi Daêza

Susan Eyre Pairi Daêza

In this work I have taken the net which is used as the pattern to make a 3D dodecahedron when cut and folded into shape and used this as a structure meshing together images of constellations, an abandoned walled garden and a roundabout. I wanted to make connections between origins, structure, and belief systems. My original plan for this idea was to screenprint the images on individual segments of laser cut mdf – each piece would then be pulled slightly apart – the expanding universe. In the end it was a combination of time and feasibility that meant this idea was realised as a c-type print on metallic paper mounted on aluminium.

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

It became an integral part and focal point of my MA degree show installation.

I was invited to The Collective at The House of St. Barnabas in Soho. Dark Matter Studio were hosting Matt Collishaw’s Last Supper prints in the Bazalgette Room. These images transferred onto goatskin parchment recreate the final meals requested by men condemned on death row in the style of 17th century vanitas paintings.

Matt Collishaw Last Meal on Death Row, Velma Barfield, 2012

Matt Collishaw Last Meal on Death Row, Velma Barfield, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Güler Ates had work appropriately showing in the Silk Room. Taken just before the club at  opened in 2013, her photographs confront the intense dialogue between the past and present that is unescapable in such a space. Güler comments on the presence of the past; ‘They were absent; however, through the objects in the rooms, the interiors and the exterior of the building, I wanted to trace the “present” of some of the previous occupiers.’

Guler Ates Departure into darkness

Guler Ates Departure into darkness

I had a tutorial with her while at the RCA  when she had suggested I should scale up my fabric pieces and take then to the sea – I think this is something I could try  when I visit a clear  sea but also I would like to try under a waterfall or in a brook.  She also talked about the importance of the structure for the display of the circles which I was still struggling with.

The House of St Barnabas is an impressive building it even has its own chapel where ARTinTRA  presented PARAMENTRONOMICON  a site-specific, computer animated video and sound installation by the Finnish duo Pink Twins (Juha and Vesa Vehvilainen) , curated by Vassiliki Tzanakou.

1508 Pink Twins

Pink Twins PARAMENTRONOMICON

Within the dark space of the chapel lit by a faint glow from narrow stained glass windows a large screen takes the place of the altar. The sci-fi imagery in high saturation colour is dazzling in a perpetual cycle of abstracted motion, forming and reforming. There is a nice play between the deconstructed images of the stained glass – once this technology was awe inspiring in itself – and the similar breakdown of form in the swirling images on the screen. We are similarly held enthralled by this mesmerizing experience as were the first visitors to encounter the delights of light through coloured glass.

In retrospect I can see that Pairi Daêza has a structure similar to that of a stained glass window.

Susan Eyre Pairi Daêza

Susan Eyre everydaymatters / Pairi Daêza

Looking for structures and patterns in the matter of landscape and breaking those down is something I am interested in. When installing the circle sculptures I learnt how hard it is to be consciously random. I wanted to place the pieces randomly with the idea that these were slices of space that could appear anywhere but my instincts kept drawing me to balance and pattern.

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

Susan Eyre everydaymatters

After the show when trying to clear space in my studio at home I came across some very old samples I had forgotten about. It’s fascinating the way ideas form over time with threads emerging and submerging.  When I made these I was thinking about geology  and the human effect on the formation of rock strata, how all our rubbish in landfill would create the gemstones of the future.

1508 earth crystal

Here on these layered plastic carrier bags was the universe with digitally embroidered geometrical patterns of crystal structures.

1508 earth structure

Another sample of layered plastic with machine free stitched geometrical patterns, melted to reveal images of human life. These pieces were a bit clunky but it feels there is a connection in my thinking here that has carried through. I have been thinking about black holes and disruptions in space and this old work has given me some new ideas to carry forward.

I went to see Dark Universe at Greenwich Planetarium. As I had previously learnt on the CERN website the planets, stars and everything you can see make up less than 5% of the Universe. Dark Universe is a new planetarium show exploring what we know – and what we don’t know – about the structure and history of the Universe.

1508 dark universe

I don’t think I learnt anything new from this show but the visual experience of being blasted through space was worth the trip.

The space theme continued with a trip to Breese Little Gallery  to see the exhibition dark frame / deep field  and a collection of Vintage NASA Photographs.

The most arresting piece was Dan Holdworth’s giant c-type of a mountain range inverted into an ethereal alien scape.

Dan Holdsworth, Blackout 13

Dan Holdsworth, Blackout 13

The NASA photos were also fascinating. The strange light, the staged self-consciousness.  These images share the style of the cinema flyer from the same era and so the amazing achievement and experience of these men standing on alien soil seems to get diluted by the association with fantasy making it even harder to comprehend what we are looking at.

Alan Shepard and the U.S. flag, Apollo 14, February 1971

Alan Shepard and the U.S. flag,  Apollo 14                February 1971

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoy visiting artists studios, seeing the debris from the workings of the mind. I am envious of these spaces. I went to see what Elizabeth Murton and Lizzie Cannon have been working on at Bow Arts Open Studios Event. Elizabeth is also interested in structures and was showing her experiments with nets and the malleable nature of space.

Elizabeth Murton worked net

Elizabeth Murton worked net

Lizzie has hauled a giant portion of rusting pipe from a Suffolk beach into her studio. She had already started to discreetly embellish the rust encrusted surface with tiny stitches and glass beads. She is interested in accretion of matter and repair. Repair can also contribute to the deterioration as the tiny perforations from the stitching break down the surface. In the case of her mended leaves the repairs appear as scars.  Both artists had work in the Structure, Texture, Future exhibition, an investigation into ruin and repair the substance of matter and our relationship to it,  curated by Shahida Bari and Rosamond Murdoch.

Lizzie Cannon Mended Leaf (Hosta)

Lizzie Cannon Mended Leaf (Hosta)

 

 

Thinking in shapes.

Across RCA is a great scheme where students get to do something completely different for a week.

I went to the Princes School of Traditional Arts and joined the current talented MA students for lessons in geometry and biomorphic patterns.

1411 geometry class 2

We made platonic solids from sticks and thin card.

1411 Geometry class

Geo = earth, metry = measure.

Having recently read Raymond Williams ‘People of the Black Mountains’ which tells stories of a burgeoning civilization spanning thousands of years it was interesting to connect the theories of the early measurers in his book with what I was learning, to think about this knowledge in terms of history.

The teaching was very much from a spiritual perspective, highlighting the balance and harmony in the universe present in mathematical relationships.

I found these ideas quite relevant to the ways I have been thinking about my work. I am thinking of introducing pattern into my work and I want the shapes to have meaning, to be from the very structures that the world is built from. If I am searching for paradise in the everyday then looking at the construction of the universe seems a good place to start.

Heaven and earth linked by consciousness.

1411 gallerie Nadine Feront (1)

This painting, done using a brush with just a single hair, makes me think of stone circles.

Writing this blog helps me pin my thoughts down. To pause and consider what I have recently seen or read or discovered feeds my practice.

Coming back to think about the history of clearing our space in the forest.

Building – burial – marriage – ancestors – (wild men)

The forest as dark, dangerous and profane as opposed to enchanted, sacred, shelter.

I haven’t made this work yet.

This year the RCA Printmaking study trip was to Belgium.

We visited Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven at her studio in Antwerp.

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven

Her interests are in the intertwining of the female body, mysticism and technology.

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven

She believes she could almost be a reincarnation of the mystic Marguerite Porete in that she shares so many mutual concerns.

Porete was executed for heresy as a result of her poetic mysticism in  Le Miroir des âmes simples anéanties (The Mirror of the Simple Souls Who Are Annihilated and Remain Only in Will and Desire of Love) which lists seven stages of annihilation of the soul necessary to become one with God which fell foul of current Christian thinking.

Again the mirror.

We visited Museum Plantin Moretus home of the oldest printing presses in the world.

1411 Museum Plantin Moretus (1)

The current exhibition was Dissected Anatomy

1411 Museum Plantin Moretus 3

The sphere is a symbol of unity and completeness

1411 Museum Plantin Moretus 2

I have asked my optician for the scan images of my eye to use in my work

1411 eye

Always searching.

We visited M HKA Museum of Modern Art Antwerp

There were beautiful evocative photographs taken in Moscow’s Museum of Natural History by Russian artist Olga Chernysheva. The illumination of the light boxes emphasized the illumination of the museum display cases within, making the images ethereal and other worldly.

Olga Chernysheva Cactus Seller 2009

Olga Chernysheva Cactus Seller 2009

Social realism. Hans Eijkelboom set himself very clear rules about what he would photograph each day.

Hans Eijkelboom Fotonotities  (1992 - 2007)

Hans Eijkelboom Fotonotities (1992 – 2007)

From the swarming figures on the streets he picks out the individual and then places them back in the group setting up taxonomies and cultural relationships

Hans Eijkelboom Fotonotities

Hans Eijkelboom Fotonotities

Faith and hope – the fulfilment of desire must never happen – it must always be in the future

Francis Alys When Faith Moves Mountains: Lima, Peru

Francis Alys When Faith Moves Mountains: Lima, Peru

We had a trip to La Centre de la Gravure et de l’Image Imprimee in Louviere. A soulless print archive in a soulless place.

Like a crematorium built for function on the outskirts of town, it seemed displaced from locality and devoid of the spirituality of the temple or shrine. An archive seems a sad place somehow.

The theory is, it’s only a resting place.

1411 first proof chapel

First proof of soft ground etching – Chapel of Rest

Wiels Contemporary Art Centre had a big retrospective of Mark Leckey with the wonderful title –  Lending Enchantment to Vulgar Materials

There was a new interpretation of the Universal Addressability of Dumb Things. This time the material icons had been 3D printed. The status of the object has been questioned throughout the various incarnations of this exhibition. Where does the aura lie?

Mark Leckey Lending Enchantment to Vulgar Materials

Mark Leckey

Ana Torfs ‘Echolalia’ exhibition also at Wiels Contemporary Art Centre was tantalising for me. It contained research and imagery that I am drawn to yet the presentation of so much factual text alongside turned it into something a bit dry.

Ana Torfs

Ana Torfs

The installation piece ‘The Parrot and the Nightingale, a Phantasmagoria’ worked well

and I liked the vignette images of islands like the view through a telescope but the text was intrusive

Ana Torfs

Ana Torfs

I can understand why you might want to include all your research, she talks about an archaeology of knowledge

Ana Torfs

Ana Torfs

I have a similar problem, I am grappling with how to make known my research and narrative in my own work

It’s hard to make it evident in the image but I don’t think it matters that everything should be disclosed, ideas should be sparked and then threads can be followed that may lead elsewhere even.

French artist Emmanuelle Laine at c-o-m-p-o-s-i-t-e gallery in Brussels had made a colourful intervention creating a sculpture on site that she then photographed and repeated around the gallery walls. She has found a way to include her research and incidental thoughts in her work, her tools both for process and inspiration are left scattered around the space in evidence

Emmanuelle Laine

Emmanuelle Laine

The traces of construction and thought processes are not discarded or hidden – the sculpture becomes an exploded view of the artists brain during the creative process

Emmanuelle Laine

Emmanuelle Laine

Great to see some more video work of Philippa Kuligowski at New Sensations.

She has a wonderful way of collaging imagery and media in original ways to create engaging magical narratives.

Philippa Kuligowski The Plover and the Crocodile

Philippa Kuligowski The Plover and the Crocodile

The Plover and the Crocodile link to film

Other work I liked also at New Sensations –

Vivien Zhang Porcupine Hair

Vivien Zhang Porcupine Hair

Nicholas Johnson Mildew Swoosh

Nicholas Johnson Mildew Swoosh

Felicity Hammond Restore to Factory Settings

Felicity Hammond Restore to Factory Settings

 

Ben Woodeson  That Bit From the Omen, Yes That Bit

Ben Woodeson That Bit From The Omen, Yes That Bit

I haven’t seen The Omen so I don’t know that bit.

I am looking at invisible planes made visible, the threat of collapse and the possibility of violence.

The new media animation by Charles Richardson was intriguing. It was not a hologram. The figure turned and writhed out of the screen in 3D but no glasses were  involved –  it was like a ghost had entered the room  – it was uncanny

Charles Richardson Rehearsal

Charles Richardson Rehearsal

In an inspiring lecture Esther Teichmann made suggestions of work to check out including Marie Darrieussecq ‘My Phantom Husband’, Claire Denis ‘Beau Travail’ and Janet Cardiff and George Bures Millar ‘Blue Hawaii Bar’ link here – Searching for the light in an evocative installation in a Victorian water reservoir.

All the time I thought I was looking at landscape but maybe I was looking for what was held within the landscape. The nooks and crannies where the myths hide.