art

Sleepers.

A lot like Aida Silvestri, Yto Barrada explores similar concepts of refugees fleeing their homeland via a visual exploration being photography.

During 2013 I saw Barradas work in a exhibition called ‘No Borders’ at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

The displayed work by Barradas shows individuals known as the ‘burnt ones’ sleeping in parks. The burnt ones are refugees who have illegally fled across the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco to Europe. These people are known as the burnt ones as they are notorious for burning their passports to maintain anonymous in an attempt to help them illegally escape their country. The images show an exhausted and vulnerable faceless escapee sleeping helplessly on the ground with their heads covered in order to remain hidden from authorities. Similar to Silvestri the hidden faces create a sense of mystery and ambiguity, the vulnerable state in which they lay suggests hopelessness and exhaustion, physically and mentally.

Barrada

Photographs from the series ‘Sleepers’ by Yto Barrada, 2006. 

More information at: http://www.artfund.org/what-we-do/art-weve-helped-buy/artwork/10550/photographs-from-the-series-yto-barrada

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The Walk… in green.

Becky Beasley, The Walk… in green.

The Laura Bartlett Gallery, 4 Herald Street, London. 

22/02/14 – 06/04/14

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Becky Beasley The Walk…in green. Installation View, Laura Bartlett Gallery, London, 2014.

Finding such spacious available gallery space in London is no short of a battlefield for artists and photographers.

The Laura Bartlett Gallery consists of a stunning rooftop open white space with an abundance of natural light and quality lighting surrounding throughout. For a minimalist this show is aesthetically stimulating, the spaciousness to conclude your own interpretations without being harassed by the artists preconceptions is a valuable experience. The space and light opens your mind to embrace the selected pieces of work within the room.

The work tackles the immensity of nature and how a human interacts with it. The show suggests the images are a reflection on Beasley’s childhood memories and a psychological analysis on the origin of nature and human relationship.

Although not disappointed by the show I feel there is room for much more potential within such a stunning gallery. Personally the most visually appealing image was one hung in the corridor which seemed like no part of the show at all. It seems a shame and waste to have almost bland looking pieces of work hanging in the main space. For example the rotating twig, aside that within the press release for the show it explains the intention and meaning behind the brass cast, to most people it seems like abstract contemporary art has gone completely insane. Are we now just hanging twigs up in a white room and calling it art? It’s laughable to some but clear that this show appeals to a minority of people who indulge within the creative world, minimalists and those who over think a philosophical meaning within abstraction.

More information about the exhibition at: http://www.laurabartlettgallery.com/exhibitions/the-walk-in-green/

On Landscape Project.

On Landscape Project. 

Guest Projects, 1 Andrews Road, London. 

7th/03/14 – 30/03/14 

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Urban Vistas by Minna Kantonen. Distanced from nature, our experiences in large cities such as London are largely based on the landscaped, constructed environment. 

On Landscape Project is a landscape exhibition by a group of female artist who aim to challenge traditional representations of landscape.

Minna Kantonen, Dafna Talmor, Emma Wieslander and Minna Pöllänen exhibit a variety of work challenging what we believe to define landscape within the creative world specifically within photography.

The project addresses the idea within various mediums of photography including a self published book call. Some of which include abstract and unheard of ideas regarding landscape. The central platform holding the books aims to provide further debates around landscape as well as bringing more people to the show. The show as a whole really climbs in to your mind. The whole time spent in the space I found myself having internal debates of what I already preconceived landscape to be, the show expands and opens new ideas around the subject.

It’s unusual for the show to be fully curated by female artists, this however creates an atmosphere of fragility and sensitivity, each piece of work seems tangible to they eye and once your vision is touching the selected piece and it’s accompanied ideas you feel a sense of calm and wonder. Even within Emma Wieslander’s ‘Burnt’ series there is a sense of precision and lightheartedness by the small delicately burnt pieces.

Emma Wieslander’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ exhibits two romantic warm yet generic looking sunsets out at sea, however the closer you get you notice that they aren’t what they appear to be at all. The images are in fact lightbulbs hung in an empty room at different light temperatures. The pieces play with the idea of what we initially see, what we want to see, what we should see and what we really see.

The show perceives one of the most explored and interesting up to date debates on landscape as a medium and the conceptual approach to the representation of landscape as a whole.

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Constructed Landscapes by Dafna Talmor. C-type prints made of collaged and montaged colour negatives. 

More information about the exhibition at: http://www.onlandscapeproject.co.uk/

Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.

Van Gogh’s, Sunflowers. 

The National Gallery, London. 

25/01/14 – 27/04/14 

The Sunflowers.

Hustle and bustle, pushing and shoving, is this absolutely necessary for something we’ve all seen a million times before? For these famously known and immensely reproduced images.

As an avid fan of Van Gogh too see his Sunflower paintings in their almighty glory and for free? I do believe it was worth the tourists filled queues to feast my eyes upon the beauty which surrounds the viewers presence.

For the first time in 65 years two of Van Gogh’s Sunflower paintings are being shown side by side in the National Gallery for spectators to compare and contrast before their very eyes. Alongside these are accompany scientific research x-ray scans which enables us to see exactly how Van Gogh painted them. Giving much more understanding to his practice and the ability to understand in more depth the meaning behind the works.

The exhibition displays the images painted from 1888 – 1889 during the rare time Van Gogh’s experienced excitement and optimistic feelings before famously cutting part of his ear off and being admitted to an asylum after a nervous breakdown.

The paintings were intended to decorate a friends bedroom and so they symbolise friendship, welcome and happiness.

Many people have their own reasons for admiration of the paintings but the most well known appreciation is  of the their overwhelming sense of a life cycle from the buds of new flowers, the very much alive and blossoming sunflowers to the slowly decaying and dying flowers. The show is a once in a lifetime opportunity to whitens 2 of the paintings side by side which create a much more overwhelming sense of awe than I ever imagined.

Sunflowers

Two of Van Gogh Sunflowers shown together at The National Gallery, London  for first time in 65 years. 

 

My photographic response to visiting Van Gogh’s Sunflowers:Flower's.  Flower's. Daffodils.

My intention when photographing these flowers was to somehow represent my emotive state and express feelings within the flowers.

The colours specifically respond to the likes of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers but also our semiotic colour association. The bright yellow’s represent positive current feelings of joy, confidence, strength, creativity and happiness. The depth of field as well as the composition is for aesthetic purpose but also represents direction and motivation within a specific point of the image, with a particular individual flower as the focus. Blurring the rest and focusing on mainly one flower is a conscious decision of my focus at the moment towards particular persons who help to guide and motivate me throughout life.

The daffodils specifically represent my long to go home, a sense of missing Wales as our traditional Welsh symbol looks longingly down and sombre towards the bottom of the frame which is why I chose to photograph them later in the day as the sun was slowly sinking before a new chapter in my life arises in my current home. I am grateful for such opportunity and do not take for granted those who have helped me along the way, specifically those back home.

Instagram.

Discussion Forum: 

‘Instagram has ruined photography as an art form.’

‘The app Instagram which allows everyone to post photographs on the internet for the world to see has ruined the art of photography. Now, everyone is a photographer. There are filters that allow the photograph to be transformed from not very good to mediocre imagery that is now celebrated worldwide.’ 

by Kristianne Drake. 
Thursday, 13 February 2014, 12:33 PM.
 
My response:
 
Art can be appreciated primarily for it’s emotional power and beauty. If photography is simply freezing a moment in time or creating an image using light then there is no limit to how we produce images or where they are posted. Either way there will be an audience for them somewhere along the line.

Just because a photograph has been taken on a mobile phone, it is of poor quality or simply posted to instagram does not mean if can’t be appreciated by someone else.

Some of the most iconic moments of history last year were captured on mobile phone’s, these images have gone on to become widely circulated around the globe and continue to overwhelm nations.

Tim Holmes (not pictured) and his wife Tammy (second from left) huddled under a jetty for three hours with their grandchildren while their hometown in Tasmania was destroyed by wildfires.

Tim Holmes (not pictured) and his wife Tammy (second from left) huddled under a jetty for three hours with their grandchildren while their hometown in Tasmania was destroyed by wildfires.

A mobile phone is ideal for someone who is in the right place at the right time, whether they are a photographer or not. The image they create whether it be iconic or not can still be considered art to some people, even if it is just for themselves.

At David Bailey’s ‘Stardust’ exhibition in London, there is a whole section of mobile phone images. Maybe it’s all he had at the time but he still considered them to be worthy for his show as every image was hand picked by himself…

If life is only so short then who are we working to please? surely it’s ourselves…

Instagram gives anybody with access to a smartphone and internet the ability to create images to share with their family and friends, it allows people who enjoy photography as a hobby to create and share images they are proud of. What right does anyone have to deprive someone of that thrill just for the sake of saving ‘art’. Art will always exist, it’s just forever changing and we should embrace that instead of chasing old ways.

 

Ship to Shore.

Ship to Shore: Art and the Lure of the Sea. 

John Hansard Gallery/Sea City Museum, Southampton.

08/02/14 – 04/05/14 

Catherine Yass, Lighthouse (North), 2011.

Catherine Yass, Lighthouse (North), 2011.

Perhaps the most underrated show of the year, contemporary gallery John Hansard and the Sea City Museum present Ship to Shore an exhibition across two venues exploring the lure of the endless sea via various mediums of art. Expect to be astonished by artists who have vividly expressed their engagement with the sea and ocean within the most extraordinary and breath taking way possible using film, photography, sculpture, and more. Ship to Shore allows the contemporary artists such as Isaac Julien, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Tracey Emin and Catherine Yass to blow the classical preconceptions of art out of your mind. The work shown is to the most stunning quality and presented to such high standard every fine detail is to be appreciated within the exhibition. The thoughts provoked regards to the show are a valuable and thrilling experience. Your senses will be stimulated and enhanced as there is no room for disappointment, a show which reaches its maximum potential and finest quality.

Thomas Joshua Cooper

Thomas Joshua Cooper

Moonrise Over the End of the World, Furthest West, The Mid North Atlantic Ocean, 2002. 

What sparked most interest for me within the exhibition were the seascape photographs by Thomas Joshua Cooper. Cooper travelled as far north, south, east and west as he could to photograph the furthest points on the globe, these images took an incredible amount of time and effort to produce. However standing in a room viewing all four images on four different walls has an enclosed affect and as each image is aesthetically different due to the immense distance between where they were taken provokes a variety of feelings certain individuals relate to in various ways. During my second visit to the gallery with young people studying for their arts award  we spoke together about how the images made each of us feel. The variety of responses was not what I expected but it made me realise how aspects of these images have powerful emotional effects on an individual wether it be positive or negative is irrelevant as we still all appreciated how stunning the monochrome, philosophical images are. Personally I have a fear of open water out at sea, a fear of being abandoned and left in the open space terrifies me so a few of the images were quite comforting as I could see the edge of the land on them. Although the sea seemed rough it was reassuring that they were in fact taken on land. However one of the images does show open space so there is no comparable emotions about these images being shown together, the narrative is left wide open.

More information about the exhibition at: http://www.hansardgallery.org.uk/ 

Au Naturel.

In today’s lecture we deconstructed images using metaphors and allegories.

Metaphor: A figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.

Allegory: A story, poem, or picture, which can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning other than a literal one, typically a moral or political one.

My allegorical deconstruction of Sarah Lucas’, Au Naturel, 1994.

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Behind the artistic interpretation of adult humour within this piece lies a tender, vulnerable, narrative of a suffering relationship due to natural changes the female body faces over time. The objects represent human genitalia and lying in these particular places on the mattress implies the representation of a relationship. The relationship appears to be worn out suggests the old dirty mattress. Which lies upright and closing in on a fold which could be an indication of the relationship beginning to expire and close down towards an end. The bucket and melons represent the effects a woman’s body faces after childbirth, it suggest the question of weather the change of an appearance will affect a relationship.

Although the work appears to be quite humorous it’s only till you take a step back and think that you realise it’s quite a fragile story of a common factor which affects relationships. This piece can and has been interpreted in many ways but the way in which I’ve explained the hidden meaning seems to be the most popular deconstruction within our culture.