Posts Tagged 'CA1-P2-Other'



Blog reading

I’ve had a lovely morning catching up on various blogs. A very quick sampling (apologies to the many others I read but not, as it happened, this morning) and no photos – you’ll have to click on the links:

Sue Lawty’s weaving/twining/knotting/wrapping in lead I find really exciting. The play of light over hammered and unhammered areas … I can’t articulate my reaction clearly (bad sign for a tertiary student). If you click the link, make sure to watch the videos in the last couple of posts.

Beryl Moody at Banner Mountain Textiles. In the colour vs structure divide I’m definitely colour. I hadn’t even noticed the magazine piece that inspired her. (I hasten to add that The Divide is one of those easy categorisations that sound plausible and have a sort of broad usefulness but don’t hold up to scrutiny.)

I like the little woven christmas trees at Marlborough Weavers. I am now a committed Bah-Humbug about Christmas (I won’t say scrooge because it’s not money, it’s the commercialism and the consumption of excessive amounts of rich food and the forced jollity and the social expectations and … settle petal). Anyway, the little trees are sweet, even if I don’t do that sort of thing.

Some very clever stamps created with tudor embroidery stitches on plastic fruit box and canvas by the enormously talented Helen at fibrenell.

Helen is a member of ATASDA, and I’m going to little cheat here, since I caught up on these other ATASDA friends yesterday. It’s always good to read Claire at Tactual Textiles – so talented, plus very interesting to see and read her interpretations to the OCA exercises. We have long phone conversations, sharing ideas and supporting each other in our distance learning. Claire pointed me to the fairly new blog of Jane – love the effects she got on her proteas.

Sampling is lucky enough to be at the 8th International Shibori Symposium in Hong Kong and already has some beautiful photos on her blog.

Finally, not a blog but a whole lot of interest – www.themaking.org.uk/content/makers/textiles/ (another link from Claire). Make sure you click on “read comments” there for the interviews.

Picasso exhibition

Yesterday I went to the Picasso: masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris exhibition for the first (and second!) time. It’s on at the Art Gallery NSW to March next year and given I have a gallery membership that allows me to go as many times as I want, no cost, no worries about queues or timed tickets, I plan to take full advantage of the opportunity.

There is so much known and seen and written about Picasso. I have nothing to add. However this blog is now my learning log and however trivial, shallow, misled, banal my comments and experience may appear to others, it’s important to me to capture them.

So with notebook remaining in my bag, no particular plan, no pressure to “take it all in” in one great gulp, I wandered through, going where my gaze took me. With current OCA course preoccupations the gaze tended to focus on colour and marks.

Faun uncovering a sleeping woman (1936) is an acquatint and I found multiple images on the net including this one (the British Museum announcing an acquisition) although some of the shadowing on the faun’s torso and front arm looks a bit different. Amazing contrasts of light and shadow, and the ray of sunlight illuminating the scene. The practised voluptuous clean curves of the woman’s body, especially a line which is the calf of one leg and the buttock of the other side, contrasting with the detail and scribble and angular hard muscular faun.

The reader (1932) – click here for an image. Fascinating lines and connections – a horizontal discontinuity across the belt buckle was jarring. I found myself trying to remember and identify bits of colour theory. How conscious would he be of this as he painted, how much would be instinct or ingrained learning and practise and experience?

I went in wondering if there was an element of emperor’s new clothes – everyone “knows” Picasso is a mighty force in art and doesn’t want to be the ignorant philestine who questions. There were a couple of individual pieces  such as Bather opening a beach hut (1928) which left me wondering – but I just found an article here discussing it at length. Even without that, the thundering overwhelming wave of talent plus pracise and exploration over such a long period can’t be denied. It’s a strong childhood memory – playing in the surf at harbord beach, every once in a while there would be a “dumper”, a wave that picked you up and swallowed you and threw you down so you didn’t know which way was up and there was sand in your swimmers and water up your nose and the salt taste. Well, when I write it all down it doesn’t seem so appropriate, but it was exciting and overwhelming and after catching your breath you couldn’t wait to go and jump in the waves again. That’s the exhibition.

Exhibitions – the bad and the good

Driving home from the Sensorial Loop exhibition we diverted to Newcastle to see TOUCH The Portraiture of Dani Marti. It was a calculated risk given it was the last few hours of the exhibition, but leaving it so late was in large part because the gallery wasn’t accessible for weeks due to a long-running local dispute around removal of fig trees.

Unfortunately the risk didn’t pay off. I arrived to find the gallery in semi-darkness, large parts of the exhibition already removed and other sections roped off, apparently due to the de-installation work (although no activity was apparent – this was a sunday afternoon, and I wonder when they started dismantling things). The woman at the entrance desk gave a brief, formulaic apology as people arrived (not many of us!), but was more interested in promoting the upcoming exhibition. Well, she’d had a pretty nasty few weeks or months – police and protesters at the door, unable to get to work…

There were no catalogues, fliers, postcards, or any other information from the desk and frustratingly little in the signage still accessible. I gather (more from his website than the sad remains of the exhibition) that Marti creates portraits using weaving (he refers to them as “paintings”), with video an equally important part of his work and exhibited with it – or not, in this instance. The weavings were large scale, varied in materials, colour, form, texture and structure. Unfortunately without help I couldn’t get beyond the trivial in interpreting the pieces – a teenage girl likes pink, a woman glitters in a controlled, minimalist black dress, is a man portrayed in a cube of lively yellows a “colourful identity”? The disappointment was topped off by a truely frightening drive back to Sydney – light rain causing slippery conditions, heavy fast traffic, and some “eager”? “creative”? “deathwish”? drivers.

Yesterday was a much happier experience – Elemental Reckoning: The art of Tim Storrier 1981-2011 at the S.H. Ervin Gallery on Sydney’s Observatory Hill. The volunteer staff (this is a National Trust venue) were friendly and happy to be there. The gallery is spacious and light with white painted walls. The intended exhibition was all there!! We had a lovely lunch at the attached cafe (important point to refuel me for a second round of the exhibition) and I enjoyed reading the curator’s (Gavin Wilson) essay in the catalogue last night. All of which has little to do with the paintings, except for helping me to focus on them. The one negative was that with such large canvases the lighting tended to be uneven over the work. Storrier is a master of light and shadow and the additional venue lighting could be confusing and contradictory.

It’s wonderful to see a collection of an artist’s work covering such a long period. On our first round we were fairly orderly, proceeding through the works. Energised by lunch we buzzed around finding links, themes and developments. This link goes to some images – I can’t describe them. They are variously theatrical, staged, melancholy, beautiful, menacing, self-obsessed… With current preoccupations from the OCA assignment I was very aware of Storrier’s use of colour. Normally I would find The carcass (1993) challenging – in fact impossible – but supported by the quote “Some people find it odd that one is interested in painting meat. I like it because it contains the whole spectrum of red. Red is a very emotive colour.”* I could look closely and appreciate at least elements of it. The flickers of colour in sky and fires in many of the paintings were amazing. The back corridor has some studies and pages from notebooks – very interesting insights to methods and a reminder that what OCA is teaching is real – not just learning about stuff but learning processes and habits that can support ongoing work.

* Tim Storrier interviewed by William Wright, 2004, quoted in the exhibition catalogue, Wilson, G. (2011) Elemental Reckoning: the art of Tim Sotrrier 1981 – 2011, Jam Press (p.34).


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