Category Archives: Gallery visits

Sheffield Hallam Uni’ Fine Art Degree show, Sheffield. June 2015

I wanted to visit this years show to see what standard was expected at BA (Hon) level and also at MA level. The exhibition was based in one building, which incidentally was where I met my husband. It was over two floors the MA being on the first floor level. The exhibits were quite varied with installations rubbing shoulders with filmed pieces. Each artist had beside their work their artists statement, some where quite descriptive of their work and intentions with their pieces, others were more obscure. One installation I particularly liked was using bricks by Guy Curtis called Untitled Mk2. I was captivated by it. The bricks formation was quite appealing to the eye,and In viewing I found that I felt quite comforted by it, though unsure why? I do remember thinking that it allowed me to feel rooted, firm in my foundations, and I also was left wondering about the gold brick that was placed on one section. I wasn’t aware of why it was there but it to me added humour but also was aware of its difference and whilst I applaud support difference, I did feel a hint of aggression from it. It was bold in its difference almost provocative  and challenging?

the gold brick was resting on this formation

the gold brick was resting on this formation

The following image shows the second section of this work which faced the above piece.

 

Priya Patel had in her exhibition space sheets of patterns she had designed. The patterns where bright, almost psychedelic. Hers was 2 dimensional, where others had elements of three dimensions in theirs.

left hand side of the exhibition space

left hand side of the exhibition space

 

centre wall

centre wall

right side

right side

Patel draws from her Indian heritage but puts a modern twist on traditional themes from Indian pattern. She notes in her statement that ‘…using geometric patterns in an abstract and bold manner to create overwhelming artworks. They are designed to be elaborate and brave to create  a façade contradictory to my personal attributes’. I see the expanse she has created and admire the bravery of its size. It is obvious that this would’ve been quite a challenge for her. I did however want her to have filled the room with it, to make a more bold statement, a celebration of her endeavours. I also think that she could’ve added a three dimensional element to play on the patterns ability to distort perspective. To challenge the pattern and the viewer.

Max Whiteleg had produced an Heath Robinson type of machine  which was attached to his bicycle. It was in fact a drawing machine with a pinhole camera. He records his journey and resting place using this device, which needs water to develop the images. In effect he can document his journey, each one produces one piece of work. Ingenious. Not only was I impressed at the ingenuity of thinking up the idea of recording his journey in this way, creating such a machine and also being able to produce a model that worked, it was also a beautiful exhibit to view.

 

 

 

 

 

One other exhibition I liked because of how the artist had interpreted her subject was by Kaya Bradshaw. She documented the progression of illness and health within her family. She created using a variety of materials models of the organs that had been affected in her relatives, documenting the damage the condition has on those organs.

wide view of the exhibits

wide view of the exhibits

The image above shows illustrations of the every day words spoken by her relatives. Not detailing their conditions but just the normal narrative that goes on between life’s circumstances. I found this particularly moving.

 

 

heart

heart

 

lung

lung

 

 

 

 

Overall I was impressed by the subjects the artists had chosen to work with. By this I mean they must have followed some process in order to come to the subject and then to develop a body of work. I find this to be the thought that occupies my mind when looking at any exhibit, since I can remember. How does an artist produce the thoughts that then germinate into a finished piece? I am finding that fascinating in observing my own developing processes. I am guessing that that will be consistently in my mind however long I work.

Advertisements

Lynda Benglis, Hepworth gallery. 21.03.2015

To say I was inspired would be an understatement. I adored her work and her imagination. Most of the exhibits brought about an emotion or feeling which captured an essence of what was in effect her reaction to the places visited.

I will need a couple of days to let the excitement settle in order to write a review. The images below is in the order of which I saw them, the description appearing first before an image of the piece. Any comments of mine about the exhibit is below the photograph of the piece.

 

 

 

 

I started viewing the exhibition by standing before this piece. I liked its size and how the light played upon it, but it didn’t elicit much of a reaction from me as I didn’t truly understand it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The three pieces above I found exciting, I was inspired by their size and the method in production. Even though I didn’t Understand them – similar to the first piece – these brought about a realisation that the methods open to me as a textile artist had no limits.

 

 

 

The three graces were magnificent. The light played though them and upon them. The textures begged to be touched. I had to restrain myself. Again, I felt inspired by these pieces. I am constantly drawn to up scale my work. I enjoy the physicality of producing large pieces, the dance that takes part with my body and the production of a piece, whatever the medium. I feel excited by large-scale works.

 

 

close up

close up

These were produced by using a wire armature as the base, again I can see me using such techniques. I know not how but again I can see there are no limits to what materials I use in the future.

 

 

 

 

close up

close up

I pondered how time would have been taken to produce the endless layers that went into composing this piece. Again the use of ones body in the slow meditation and ritual in producing a work using wax was inspiring.

 

 

 

 

The three exhibits above took me to the first piece that I enjoyed looking at how it could have been composed yet they solicited an indifference to me. I wasn’t captivated or excited by them. I didn’t want to spend time with them, I only wished to move on to the next piece.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Peacock was a blaze with colour and detail it made me think of Joana Vasconcelos whose work is in crochet. The addition of many small found parts does hold your attention as it gives the eye a feast to explore.

 

 

The two pieces above whilst magnificent in their size, looked initially rather like a couple of floor standing lamps from ikea. I did quite like them and again their size made me feel sensations of the physical movement needed to produce them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was left rather cold by the three exhibits above. they looked clumsy and solicited little emotion from me.

 

 

It was the texture produced on this large gold exhibit that intrigued me. it looked fossil like, like the fool’s gold you can find in children’s mineral kits. It was a piece that again looked incredible tactile and I could envisage me exploring its landscape with eyes closed. Unfortunately I was unable to do so, but it was as if the folds and crevices held a text or narrative within them. I would have enjoyed finding out what my reaction would have been if able to explore it in this way.

 

 

 

 

The two pieces above where by far my favourite.  The textures were mesmerising in their abundance and composition. They looked as though they could have been made of molten coal, if there is such a thing? Again I felt that in production the movement and repetition physically would attract me to creating such a work. The way the light played though them and cast shadows was as beautiful as the works themselves. This was  the third time in viewing the exhibition that I was brought to see how the piece reacted and sat within the exhibition space. Firstly with the large molten piece which was the introduction to the exhibition, and the light and shade that was cast from its position and secondly when entering room India, of which the vista before me was startlingly beautiful in its positioning of the exhibition pieces and in the richness of the pieces themselves. Overall I found the exhibition inspiring both in allowing me to look at the prospect of being able to use any material I found appropriate for any future work I produce and, to be confident in producing larger pieces of work. This also was an exhibition that brought about an awareness of the physical effort and movements made when producing art. I still do not understand the personal significance of this but it reinforces its important in how I interact with the work I produce and, is vital aspect of why I produce them.