Walking in circles

It’s a good thing I have this blog to remind me of where I’ve been. Today’s path: have just re-started reading of Part Object Part Sculpture by Helen Molesworth (recommended by Ruth Hadlow, and which I had been reading back on 27-Mar-2016); have read and re-read a page about Alberto Burri (more on that later); which reminded me of Elwyn Lynn’s work (2-Oct-2016); in a post which expressed a theme of interest to me – “Expressing a sense of place (and time). Catching a moment”; which circles back to Confluence and my goal to “Capture that moment of coherence and balance…” (14-Apr-2018).

Back to Part Object Part Sculpture and Burri.
Texture of torn fabrics – cut, torn, stitched, sutured. Craters and holes, glimpses of layers. Encrusted, congealing, punctured. Colour – “Burri works with color as if it were a collage material like hessian, which he can cut up into pieces and stitch together again… Burri explores the color of touch in the thick, haptic surface of collage.” Palpable materiality.

Thrilling stuff, and a quick duckduckgo search provided mouthwatering images.

Then a bit of sobering up. From a wealth of material relating to Alberto Burri: The trauma of painting at the Guggenheim in 2015/2016 https://www.guggenheim.org/exhibition/alberto-burri-the-trauma-of-painting I learnt of Burri’s experiences as a doctor and then prisoner of war in WWII. Those sutures and slashes in his works seem less benign. (Yet another aside – the horrors of all wars. Burri; ANZAC day; at the MCA Chia-Wei Hsu in a deeply saddening video artwork telling the forgotten story of Chinese nationalist fighters become Cold War confidential informants for the CIA, trapped in space and time in Thailand).

A level of dissonance, looking at objects linked to violence and damage, then responding to the beauty. I found an exhibition review by Chloe Nelkin who describes Burri’s works as “aggressive but romantic and protective”, and also writes “Burri dismissed analysis that gave the works symbolic value. For him, it was about the simple integrity of material and the work’s formal quality; he said its meaning was to be found within the composition and nowhere else.” It goes back to the dangers and sometimes laziness of interpreting an artist’s work based on their biography.

I don’t know where this is going, but felt the need to mark the place so I can recognise it next time around.

Some more links
http://www.fondazioneburri.org/en/
https://chloenelkin.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/worth-the-walk-down-upper-street-burri-at-the-estorick/

3 Responses to “Walking in circles”


  1. 1 Nicole de Mestre April 29, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    Hi, You saw and commented on my small boat assemblages at Artisans in the Gardens a couple of years ago. I currently have an exhibition at Chrissie Cotter Gallery and was wondering if you would like to drop by. The exhibition is call Vessels of Mass Consumption and consists of boat assemblages, wire and stitched baskets all created from urban discards and ocean detritus. It runs next Thursday to Sunday 11-4 and I will be there the whole time. I would love to meet you as I find your commentrary and thoughts both inspiring and thought provoking! Cheers, Nicole de Mestre

    • 2 fibresofbeing April 30, 2018 at 8:59 pm

      Thanks for the kind words and the invite Nicole. The photos on the gallery website look enticing. Hope to see you there on Friday.


  1. 1 Nicole de Mestre: Vessels of Mass Consumption | Fibres of Being Trackback on May 13, 2018 at 8:32 pm

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