Archives for posts with tag: Phyllida Barlow

I have been considering the impact and use of different materials in some of the shows I have seen lately.

The weight of Phyllida Barlow’s sculptures

Phyllida Barlow

Phyllida Barlow

Because of their displacive presence and the stillness, they look heavy, immovable;but maybe they are not and if you pushed against them they would swing lightly away.

Phylida Barlow

Phylida Barlow

The frozen painting of Lawrence Carroll.

Lawrence Carroll

Lawrence Carroll

In the Holy See Pavilion at the Venice Biennale tasked with the theme of re-creation after the cleansing of the great flood Carroll (click for interview) chose to use ice as the medium of a new beginning.

Noemi Niederhauser, winner of the ArtLacuna Prize created an installation during her residency at the gallery – Vista Follies explored themes of artifice and a fetishized view of nature.

Noemi Niederhauser

Noemi Niederhauser

Her chosen materials are at odds with the objects they form.

Noemi Niederhauser

Noemi Niederhauser

Out of the mud. Like ice, mud talks of beginnings.

In the exhibition Delve at Leyden Gallery Atsuko Nakamura uses salt crystals as metaphors for natural evolution and time passing.

Atsuko Nakamura

Atsuko Nakamura

The land has all been cut from this atlas encrusted with salt crystals leaving only the oceans

Atsuko Nakamura

Atsuko Nakamura

after the tsunami the sea has grasped attention away from the land where power is usually described.

Glass Cat at Danielle Arnaud Gallery modest and even abject objects are hieroglyphs in whose dark prism social relations lay congealed and in fragments..In this perspective, a thing is never just an object, but a fossil in which a constellation of forces are petrified. Things are never just inert objects, passive items or lifeless shucks, but consist of tensions, forces, hidden powers, all being constantly exchanged.’ Hito Steyerl
William Waterhouse uses glycerine to repeatedly form a bubble – surface tension plus emotional tension.

William Waterhouse

William Waterhouse

Sophie Lascelles uses an unfolded cardboard box as low key screen for her projection ‘In the grasslands’

Sophie Lascelles

Sophie Lascelles

Sarah Woodfine’s sculptures are so smooth and solid. The pencil drawings on paper are immaculately pressed to a curved block of mdf – mdf made sexy

Sarah Woodfine

Sarah Woodfine

Helen Maurer uses light through cut glass and shadows to create mini animations in space

Helen Maurer

Helen Maurer

James Ireland uses materials found at the local diy centre, mock mini waterfalls in lumpy resin on garage shelving

James Ireland

James Ireland

There is a certain beauty through lighting and repetition and exposure, this can be the new sublime. The work is called ‘Epic’

Is a symbol now enough. This idea of the authenticity of the fake is something I will be tussling with in my dissertation. I have had a look at Jean Baudrillard on simulation but am not quite grasping his language yet.  So, first order simulation is an artificial copy of an original. Second order simulation blurs the boundaries between the authentic and the fake so they are hard to tell apart. Third order simulation is hyperreality which is artifice with no original. But wouldn’t that mean that the first of anything man made was an example of hyperreality. What about the first garden centre, the first cathedral. I got on better with Umberto Eco, Travels in Hyperreality.

Barton Hargreave gave an interesting talk at Ochre Print Studio about his work. Combining print with photography and sculpture to create simple silhouettes of figures in frozen movement.

Barton Hargreaves

Barton Hargreaves

The figures have a lightness about them which comes from the photographic origin and staging of his models who are captured climbing, suspended, or mid jump. Much of his work is installed in site specific locations and so he uses locally photographed images randomly collaged to inhabit the silhouettes.

Barton Hargreaves 'Promised Land'

Barton Hargreaves ‘Promised Land’

He also deals with images of the crowd, multiplying the figure. He has a wealth of knowledge about print surfaces and new technologies that are available. Wallwrap sounds an interesting material for outside installations and dibond was not something I was familiar with.

It’s been a crazy busy few weeks at the RCA making new work for the show at Café Gallery Projects so my blogs have got rather behind yet again.


Etching – work in progress

I have been working on the Paradise Forum piece as an etching. Etching is good for getting a really velvety black for the universe. It has been a real struggle to get the blend right between the photo etch and the aquatint. The problem of a dark or a light circle as one surface changes to another. I have learnt a lot about etching along the way.

Also had Paradise Walk SW3 piece on the go as well. From the photos I took on location I liked the scaffolding at one house – a Jacobs ladder.

Screenprint on Perspex

Screen print on Perspex – work in progress

Binformation and Collected Thoughts have been selected for the Surrey Contemporary 2013 which will be at River House Arts Centre in Walton on Thames from 29th May until 30th June.

1304 Binformation

‘Binformation’ considers what new geology might be formed from the cocktail of ingredients disposed of in our landfill sites.

This work was originally completed for an exhibition about pattern. I was thinking about patterns of behaviour as well as creating a pattern from the imagery.

I cycled round to all my friends and neighbours knocking on their doors and asking to photograph their kitchen bin.

I hadn’t realised beforehand how personal a request this was. There was a lot of offers to see the recycling instead and excuses for what was in the bin at the time.

Things have moved on a bit since those days – not so long ago really but the amount of recycling we do now has increased dramatically since 2008.

There will still be that  layer of plastic under the earth for future generations to mine. I used the photographs to create an idea of rock crystals forming from our waste.

We have all participated in a global experiment with unknown consequences.

1304 Binformation detail

The kitchen bin is a surprisingly private space often laden with guilt and there is a certain amount of voyeurism in seeing what other people have put in their bin.

‘Collected Thoughts’ draws on ideas of preservation and references the Victorian enthusiasm for creating romantic tableaux of the natural world held in glass domes.

1304 Collected Thoughts

A contemporary plastic food packaging tray replaces the glass dome distorting the view of an apparently idyllic scene caught against a grey urban backdrop as in a moment’s hazy daydream.

Something else fast becoming history as plastic trays are used less and less.

I went to hear Anya Gallacio talk at Whitechapel Gallery as part of the To Make a Tree series.

Anya Gallacio

Anya Gallacio

She was in conversation with Jon Thompson an ex Goldsmiths tutor and Phyllida Barlow.

The most memorable thing about the talk for me was the number of times she started her reply to a question with ‘I don’t know…’

There was little discussion about trees which I didn’t mind as I found the topic which the conversation  kept returning to of teaching methods at Goldsmiths and other art colleges to be interesting.

It seems even back in the YBA days things were harsh at Goldsmiths – Richard Wentworth told Anya to throw her work out of the window as it was rubbish.

Phyllida reminisced about having to pick up the pieces of emotionally destroyed students who had been locked in the notorious Room B at St Martins but escaped to Chelsea. I wish she had been my tutor as she sounded keen to develop a student not crush them.

Maybe it was all for the good and in Anya’s case gave her good grounding to stand up for herself at Damien’s Frieze when feeling sidelined with limited space to exhibit she poured lead directly on the floor. Since then she has enjoyed making work that lets the material speak for itself. Flowers that dry up, fruit that rots. She has recently completed a new work in Edinburgh ‘The Light Pours Out of Me’. An amethyst lined grotto cut into the earth and surrounded with black stone and the green of the woodland, she wanted it to be something people would stumble across and wonder whether they should enter. Enticed by the beauty but fearful of the jagged edges.

'The light pours out of me' Anya Gallacio

‘The light pours out of me’ Anya Gallacio

Laure Provost won the Max Mara art prize for women and has her work showing at Whitechapel Gallery.

Laure Provost

Laure Provost

It is an incredible sensual piece of work made during her residence in Italy and inspired by the rich history of the female bather.

The centre piece is a pink mouth opening repetitively to a soundtrack which suggests both orgasm and the gasp of entering cold water.

There are circling motions, direct eye contact, demure slipping into water, fresh raspberries proffered from large sculptural spoons, bounty and pleasure.

Laure Provost Swallow

Laure Provost Swallow

Back in the studio I have been continuing work on ‘Return of the Forests’.

I made relief plates for the iceberg collagraph and made new carborundum collagraph plates of the forest.

1304 forest collagraph
This time I sprayed the carborundum with Polyurethane varnish before coating with Shellac.

1304 iceberg
I made some prints with the iceberg collagraph and relief plates – the main problem was getting the inks pale enough. You only need a tiny bit of ink to extender.

1304 trees on iceberg

I test printed tree collagraphs, the detail wasn’t as fine as I had hoped but the murky atmosphere was quite effective.

1304 return of the forest

I also continued work on another collagraph – collaging two images together. The same background as I used in Graft i & ii of a gated car park entrance.

I spent some time drawing a shadow for the fantasy tree which I wanted to take root here. I wanted the shadow to be menacing and in the end went for it outright.

I drew the outline of a devil beast into the shadow and made a relief plate out of thin card.

1304 Shadow

I printed this over the collagraph and mounted it onto aluminium.

1304 mounting on aluminium

I kept looking at ‘Yellow Sky’ in different lights and decided that it really did need lighting from inside.

Yellow Sky

I tried testing the LED strip lights I have to see if they would light from a battery and found they did using a 9v
I trawled eBay for a switch for this and amazingly found someone who wires up LED strip lights to a 9v battery with a switch to a specified length of wire and all for £6.60 battery included!

1304 Yellow sky battery

The LED strip was only 20cm in length but this was perfect for the inset piece.

1304 yellow filter

Felt very clever when I fitted this. I had to cut a hole through the frame for the switch which took me all day with a small chisel and various dremel attachments.

I cut a small plate out of rigid plastic for the switch to sit on and so it is all very neat and no wires and plugs to deal with.

1304 switch

I gave the LED’s a yellow filter with film over acetate to match the yellow sky.

1304 Yellow sky back

I am excited by this whole process and what possibilities it offers. I need to find out how long a length of LED’s can be lit with a battery.

1304 Yellow Sky inset

I feel the work is more balanced now the inset piece is lit.

1304 Yellow sky lit

Had a super evening at Great Western Studios Private View.

An exhibition focusing on prints based on photographic imagery curated by Sumi Pereira and presented by Printmakers Council.

The exhibition aimed to show both traditional skills and innovatory printmaking techniques.

Lidija Antanasijevic

Lidija Antanasijevic

Lidija Antanasijevic explores raw emotion and inner energy seeking to give form to senses and experiences.

In this instance the wires add to the work.

Looked a vibrant place to work and show work.

Particularly enjoyed Chris Mercier’s work here.

Chris Mercier 'The Unraveler'

Chris Mercier ‘The Unraveler’