Posts Tagged 'UWA-P1-other'

Anish Kapoor exhibition

anish_kapoor_12Today I visited the Anish Kapoor exhibition at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA). This photo is just to give some context and local colour for those who don’t know Sydney. The MCA is right by Sydney Harbour. This is the old part, originally the Maritime Services Board building and opened in 1952. There’s a new part to the right, opened in 2012. Shown on the lawn is Sky Mirror (2006).

anish_kapoor_01I found it hard to get involved in the works. In the exhibition catalogue Elizabeth Macgregor, Director of MCA, writes that Kapoor “raises questions about our place in the world with work that can provoke an emotional or even a spiritual response.” For me at first it just brought back memories of visiting the Luna Park mirror maze as a child. I found all the reflections cold, impersonal and rather tricksey – all very clever perhaps, but clever physics and manufacturing.

anish_kapoor_02anish_kapoor_03anish_kapoor_04I tried spending longer with a piece, looking at different angles, up close and at a distance, trying to get under the surface. I became aware of sound as well as light. This dish has a whispering gallery effect, and as people moved around me I could hear snatches of conversations. A school group surrounded me and it got very noisy! Stepping back I started watching the students, their fascination, their experiments with the reflections.

anish_kapoor_09Watching people interact with the work was really interesting. They went into all sorts of postures, made faces, lay on the ground, pointed and laughed at each other. The school groups were the most exuberant, as you’d expect, but people young and old were really getting into it and enjoying themselves. Which rather brings me back to the amusement park – but why should that bother me?

anish_kapoor_06As well as the polished steel there were quite a few pieces that used pigment to create luscious, featureless, hard-to-read surfaces. This is a detail of Oracle (1990-2002), a large sandstone boulder with a precise rectangle cut in and coated with pigment. It is penetrable, unending. The catalogue entry references duality – “… place, nothingness, presence, absence, being and transcendence… an abyss within a solid form…”. Perhaps with some distance of time and reflection consideration I will feel some connection – or some anything – but today it felt like an extremely well-executed magic trick – smoke and mirrors (!), with no true depth or meaning.

anish_kapoor_08Here’s some more of that luscious pigment in Void (1989). Lots of carefully calculated optical illusions.
Another form of optical play used scale. One large gallery was filled by Memory (2008), made of Cor-Ten steel. Approached from a different direction there was a window to the inside, pitch black and a wonderful echo chamber.

anish_kapoor_13My Red Homeland (2003) uses 25 tons of paraffin wax which contains a red pigment. I wanted to be drawn in, to think through metaphors of carving, dividing, reforming, blood, the motorised blade and the finger marks in the piled wax – but I got caught up in mechanics and logistics.

A final photo is below – S-Curve (2006). It’s kind of cool that I can be seen twice taking the photo, one side on my feet, the other on my head. “Kind of cool” – not what I expected or hoped for from this exhibition.

Anish Kapoor is part of the Sydney International Art Series 2012-13.

Macgregor, E. (2012) Introduction. Anish Kapoor. Sydney: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

[Note: I want to reference the exhibition catalogue, and thought it would be [anon.] as author as it seems to me unlikely that the artist wrote the text, but from the information on referencing in the OCA student resources I gather the following is correct.]

Kapoor, A. (2012) Anish Kapoor. Sydney: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

OCA gathering in Sydney

Today we had the third Sydney gathering of OCA textile students.

In May last year (see 20-May-2012) Claire and I had a very formal Textile Study Visit to the Regeneration exhibition at the Manly Art Gallery and Museum.

In October we returned to Manly to QUARANTA AUSTRALIS (see 7-Oct-2012), this time joined by Jacky who was visiting from England at the time.

oca_sydney_01Today the group grew to four – from left to right are Kath, Eva, Claire and me. Kath and Eva are just beginning their OCA experience while Claire has completed A Creative Approach and continued on to Exploring Ideas.

We didn’t have a specific exhibition to visit or activity planned. Instead we spent some time over tea and coffee getting to know each other and sharing stories about textiles, architecture, travel, OCA, the postal service… We each have different backgrounds and it was great to share such a pleasant and relaxed time together.

oca_sydney_02Kath had to leave to catch a flight to Melbourne, but Claire, Eva and I were able to head across the road to the Art Gallery of NSW. Claire has been working on a theme of Totems, and here is photographing a group of works in the Entrance court (for more information on the individual works see [Accessed 16-Mar-2013], which covers all the works currently on display in the court). [An aside: in the past Gallery policy has had restrictions on which works can be photographed. The policy has very recently been revised and most restrictions lifted.]

Distance learning can be a lonely thing at times, so it is great to have a growing local contingent. More gatherings, with both social and formal Study Visit components, are definitely on the To Do list.

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July 2020

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