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Saturdays & Sundays 31st May – 8th June. 11am-6pm
Steven Smith – A selection of new and old ceramic sculpture on display alongside popular range of glass bowls, porcelain dishes and some domestic pottery.
Joanna Thornhill – Home for Now: Making your Rented Space or First House Beautiful. Meet Walthamstow-based author Joanna, purchase signed copies at a special reduced show price and ask her advice on your burning interiors questions.
Sonia Hunt Photography – Space unburdened. Coastal images taken over a two year period paired with work from ongoing project celebrating the stripped back geometries found within the A12 corridor.
A great range of media and techniques on dispay here from talented artist Julie Caves. From tiny egg tempera portraits painted from life in a single sitting, to the huge, intensly colourful abstract ‘monolith’ series, there is something here for everyone. Around every corner in the surprisingly large (and very atmospheric) crypt gallery, lurks another surprise. As well the varied series’ of paintings exploring the use of colour, there is site-specific installation work, drawing on the inspiration the space itself provided. At times I felt (wonderfully) lost in the space, as well as the work itself. Arcrylics in the ‘Spring’ series had so much depth to the that viewing was like staring into an infinitely deep pool.
In sharp contrast (but great compliment) to Caves’ colour-saturated work, guest artist H Locke has taken over one of the crypt’s vaults with an impressive 9-metre long fantastical monochrome drawing, depicting the growth of a city and the activities of its many inhabitants, both above and below ground. Shown in this labyrinthine gallery space it was easy to imagine that you might take a turn and stumble upon one of these subterranean workers going about their bizarre business.
Overall I really enjoyed this show, and it was a joy to be able to talk to the artists (who I am told who can be found at the exhibition most days) about their work, which adds another dimension. I highly recommend a visit.
I was almost instantly mesmerised on seeing the first piece of work in Bill Viola’s exhibition; Walking on the Edge. In this beautifully shot film two men, father and son, gradually approach the viewer, and each other, from through the heat haze of a vast desert scene. Shown in slow motion they move almost imperceptibly closer before eventually meeting fleetingly and continuing on their separate journeys, with the briefest of glances in each-others direction.
The title piece of the exhibition, Chapel of Frustrated Actions and Futile Gestures, is a grid of nine screens each showing repetitive, futile actions. One man digs a hole and promptly refills it; another drags a cart to the top of a hill only to let it roll back down the the bottom again. A third scene depicts two men in a boat, one bailing it out whilst the other slowly undertakes the opposite action, scooping water from the lake to replace what has been removed. Each of the nine actions is repeated seemingly without end, prompting the viewer to consider possibly some of the elements of futility within their own existence.
The final work of the exhibition; the dreamers, was particularly haunting. Seven people are depicted, almost at life-size, sleeping (or are they on the verge of drowning?) under water, at the bottom of a stream, the ripples slowly distorting their images. The room is darkened and filled with the gentle sound of running water, drawing the viewer in to become a part of the work themselves.
Overall, I found this show was a delight. Exquisite HD films with very little action, yet each telling engaging stories and holding the viewers’ attention for an extended period.
As I had some time off work with no plans, I decided to go to Barcelona for a while at a couple of day’s notice. I had a great time exploring many of the tourist sights and galleries of the area. I saw lots of marvellous Gaudi architecture, ate good food, wandered the streets soaking up the atmosphere and visited numerous galleries. I’ll not even attempt to write about everything I saw or did, but will mention some of the gallery highlights.
Museu Nacional d’Art D Catalunya
This gallery tells the story of Catalan art from the Romanesque period up until the 20th Century, and it does this very well. The setting and building, the Palau Nacional is stunning. Well worth a visit.
I was a little disappointed with this museum. The exhibition starts very well and gives a fascinating chronology of the development of Picasso’s work in the early part of his career up until 1905, when he was working in quite a ‘conventional’ style. However the chronology then stops, and there is no explanation of how he got from this point to the distinctive style he is most famed for. The remaining pieces mainly coming from a big series based on Las Meninas by Velázquez. There was however an interesting section where they document the process of restoration of a couple of pieces.
From Here On: Post Photography in the Age of the Internet and the Mobile Phone – Arts Santa Monica
This great exhibition examined some of the ways that artists are using Internet-sourced images in their work, reproducing, repurposing and recirculating them in ways not intended by the original posters. Works ranged from those using Google Street View screen grabs for social commentary, through repurposing images from Ebay, to creating crowd-sourced pictures of tourist sites by combining hundreds of holiday snaps found online.
What to Think. What to Desire. What to Do – CaixaForum
Barcelona’s Caixa Forum is, like so many of the places I visits, in a fascinating old building, in this case an art-nouveau former factory, which makes it worth a visit on its own. However, there were also some great temporary exhibitions. The one particularly that I enjoyed was ‘What to Think, What to Desire, What to Do’. As well as featuring one of my favourite Anish Kapoor wall pieces, ‘When I am Pregnant’, it included Rivane Neuenschwander’s installation ‘I Wish your Wish’. This consists of a wall covered in thousands of coloured ribbons with various wishes printed on them. The view is invited first to explore the various statements, thinking about their own desires, before choosing one for themselves to remove from the display, tying the ribbon around their wrist to take with them.
I had been meaning to see this since it opened last summer and finally got around to it on Friday, just a few weeks before it closes. I was initially reluctant to go on a dull, cold day, but was very glad that I did. Nash’s works are to be found at various exterior locations around Kew, as well as within glasshouses and interior gallery spaces. The exterior work is mainly large-scale bronze casts of wooden originals, as well as some pieces that had been carved onsite last summer during the course of the exhibition. One piece, intended to be on permanent display, is created from an oak tree that still stands where it died and remains rooted into the ground.
Inside the Temperate House Nash’s wooden works, and bronzes nestle within the foliage and look completely at home within this setting. Some are more obvious than others and it is easy to miss some on the first circuit of the space.
The Shirley Sherwood Gallery space is home to a range of Nash’s smaller wood and bronze sculptures as well as works on paper. These include details of some of his earlier land art projects, such as the Wooden Boulder, which was launched into a stream where it was created in 1978 and spent the next 24 years making its way slowly down towards the sea. Also fascinating was ‘Family Tree’ as series of drawings showing the evolution of his work and development of his practice over the course of his career.
I’m glad I finally made the effort to go and see this show and would highly recommend a visit if you can do so before it closes in April.
I’d seen part one of this exhibition a couple if weeks previously and been impressed. Cities: All Dimensions Part 2 was again a busy show for a small space, which came together well, without feeling overcrowded. Though for me this didn’t quite live up to the overall standard of the previous show.
There were a number of pieces in the exhibition that stood out for me; Caroline Harris‘s detailed pencil cityscapes centred around the Gherkin and Big Ben particularly so. The detailed draftsmanship was impressive enough, but selective splashes of colour brought them to life and added an extra dimension that an neither entirely monochrome nor full-colour illustrations would have had.
Lyra Morgan‘s large-scale acrylics from the ‘Coexist’ series were moody and imposing, deservedly taking up
a significant proportion of the wall-space in the main gallery. Imogen Perkin‘s oil painting ‘Taxi Queue’ also caught my eye, with the lines within the composition leading the viewer particularly effectively around the scene. As well as painting and drawing there were a number of three-dimensional works in the exhibition, the paper and card constructions of Gillian Swan being my favourite of these; beautifully observed and executed, with just the right level of city grubbiness.
Cityscapes: All Dimensions – Part 2 runs Thursday – Saturday, 7th – 17th March 2013.