Catching up

It’s been a while my pretties, I’ve been extremely busy with all sorts of projects. I’ve moved into doing a lot of creative writing, so if you can bear it, I’ll probably be posting up snippets of that soon.

I exhibited at a delightful little show called Lumière last week on Rivington Street (near Old Street), it was only a short show of 2 days but for the first time I exhibited the piece of work; Shatter. I had lots of excellent feedback as it is so different when showing it on the wall rather than on a website or in a book.

Almost every day of the past 2 weeks has been solidly full from dawn until midnight! There was Ben Roberts’ book launch on Monday, last night was the intelligence2 discussion on Art Photography at the Saatchi gallery and all sorts more! I’m guessing this surge of activity is due to the nights getting lighter. There is an overwhelming amount of excellent photography shows on at the moment, from the Saatchi Gallery, Michael Hoppen Gallery and the Tate Britain.

So much to see, so little time!

Advertisements

David Hockney RA Exhibition

I had the delightful opportunity to see Hockney’s new exhibition at the Royal Academy. I’m a big fan of Hockney, not all of his work but I feel he has something like no one else especially in regards to the photographic. His portraits are my favourites so as you can imagine I was slightly worried going to an exhibition of his made up solely of landscapes. However, I should never have worried as there were so many surprises.

I’d studied Hockney’s early work at school, especially being fascinated by a book in our library of his photo collages which after seeing a few times became a gimmick. Yet to be confronted with an image I had picked apart so much let me relive that first discovery. That first moment where you realise what he has done. It was wonderful.

I realise the exhibition has been blogged and spoken about by anyone and everyone but I’d like to use this opportunity just to say what jumped out to me the most. In this piece above his use of colour to push you away from others yet keep to the naturalness of the scene is genius. The delicate pink of the flowers in the shadows of the trees and the red orange of the leaves and earth in the light work beautifully together for example. I’m intrigued by his use of 6 canvases in one, when in the exhibition for me they just worked so well. Splitting up the painting like his previous photo collages yet never disturbing the eye. Amongst seemingly natural paintings were ones like the first I have listed on this blog where he moves between fantasy and the real, almost Van Gogh, back to the psychadelic sixties… it was something refreshing.

Walking into the Spring Room you are confronted with two large walls covered in beautiful prints of Hockney’s iPad drawings/paintings, I was spellbound by these. Walking up and down, walking closer and further away. They are at once completely and totally Hockney and yet you are still drawn back to the tool itself. Muchlike all hockney’s work, I like looking at them at a distance. I’m more concerned with the composition, use of colour and form in the paintings as opposed to the brushstrokes and the actual creation of the paintings.

The biggest surprise and probably my favourite element of the exhibition was Hockney’s use of moving image. You walked into a large dark room with 3×6 screens, where hockney had attached 9 cameras to his assistant’s car and had moved through the landscape slowly at different times of year. The cameras aren’t completely ligned up like his collages and so there is a disjointed relationship with the tracking of the movement and yet it is the best sense of 3D I’ve ever come across. It works a lot more like our eyes in that our eyes are not like cameras who can only focus on one view but have peripheral vision and can see much further. The silence of the video is haunting but works beautifully as the snow falls or the wind blows. He also had another surprise as with these landscapes he made some films in his studio with the same technique. I’m a big fan of dance, especially tap dancing and there was a fantastic tap dance routine with dancers in his studio where the bodies of the dancers were pulled and pushed together with the different viewpoints. It was like watching paint come together on a canvas before your eyes.

So there you have it, one of the best exhibitions I’ve seen in a while. Definitely worth negotiating the crowds.

Sample 12 Exhibition (Reminder)

As many of you are aware from my previous post, I’m exhibiting at theprintspace tomorrow evening (2nd February) until 28th February in a group show! I invite you all if it’s possible to come to the private view tomorrow from 7 until 9:30pm where free refreshments are provided, otherwise the exhibition is on Mon-Fri for the next month! Do tell if you see the exhibition, I’d love to hear what you think!

Cat’s False Alarm – Sample12 Exhibition

Cat’s False Alarm – Jasmine Gauthier (2010)

I’ll be exhibiting in a group show called Sample 12 at ThePrintSpace in London (see address above), from 3rd – 28th Feb 2012 (Mon-Fri). The Private View is on the 2nd February, 7pm until 9:30pm. I’d love to see some of you guys there or perhaps drop me a line if you do visit another time during the week and tell me what you thought!

Thanks!

Annabel Elgar

Annabel’s work was a fascinating find at the recent exhibition at the Wapping Project: Bankside (http://www.thewappingprojectbankside.com/exhibitions/index.shtml). I kept returning to her work more than any of the others as they were dark and beautiful, reminiscent of fairytales and full of strange narratives.

The exhibition had this to say about her work:

Annabel Elgar stages her work in imagined places that might initially appear idyllic, but contain unsettling details that suggest otherwise. Her photographs recall strange fairy tales and cultish activity, but their subject matter is real life torments: relentless s truggle between the rich and the poor, the home as a site of poverty and ruin; the family a source of treachery and despair.

http://www.annabelelgar.com/

Made Up Love Song – Bettina von Zwehl


http://www.bettinavonzwehl.com/main.html

I had a rather productive week in my research, I got the first piece of feedback on the work from Mauritius, so who knows when you’ll get some sort of finished edit. It’s still very rough so I might give a peek on here at what I was trying to achieve. Anyway, back to the original content of this blog.

Yesterday afternoon after a lecture, I decided to go see some exhibitions to get my creative juices flowing and visited three, which I will talk about individually. Today I will talk about Bettina von Zwehl’s piece Made Up Love Song, which is currently showing at the Purdy Hicks Gallery, Southwark.

I had had the pleasure of visiting Bettina whilst she was on a residency at the V&A earlier this year, where she was beginning to create this work. As 15 of us (being students) crowded around Bettina, she told us about her previous work such as her series shown at the Museum of Childhood and how she had come to start this piece of work.

Made Up Love Song is a series of portraits of an employee of the V&A, stood infront of a large window which inspired Bettina to return to continuously. This returning to the same place, the same pose, is a trait or at least a theme that runs through a lot of her work. As is her use of profiles. Her images have a delicasy to them which lends beautifully to the concept and execution of miniatures, it was no surprise that she was inspired by the miniatures collection at the V&A.

In miniaturising the portraits, I felt closer to these people, even though I felt like I was looking through a window myself into a world of miniature people. It felt like they were approachable, that you could let yourself read their emotions. Among the photographs of this beautiful woman, she had other portraits created in the same style.

What surprised me about these portraits is that my favourite photographs out of the selection shown at Purdy Hicks were when the subject is slightly turned towards the viewer. For me it was the same feeling as when you think something is a statue and then they suddenly move and you get the shock of your life, it’s that shock and drama in just including them that got me very excited.

Studying at London College of Communication, I get the priviledge of hearing her speak in a few weeks, so it will be interesting to see what she’ll say about how the work rounded off, whether it is in fact rounded off. To have seen the start of something and then the finished product is a wonderfully rare thing and I’ll be looking out at what Bettina gets up to next.

I would definitely recommend visiting Purdy Hicks (7th October-7th November 2011) and experience these photographs for yourself. Due to the nature of them, experiencing the prints in front of you is the only way you can really appreciate the depth and intimacy of them.

There is one quote I want to post from the press release which I thought was beautiful and really summed up the nature of the portraits and the relationship between photographer and subject.

When the Residency was all over, and I’d packed up all my things, I went back one last time to see if there were any traces from the broken glass, scratches in the stone floor. All I found were the scuffed out chalk marks left by Sophia and me. Two separate marks; Sophia’s position and mine.

 

Related Links

http://www.purdyhicks.com/bettina-von-zwehl_2011.php

http://www.purdyhicks.com/exhibitions/pressrelease/bettina-von-zwehl-press-release-2011.pdf

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/made-up-love-song-by-bettina-von-zwehl–picture-prevew-2365901.html

http://www.lcc.arts.ac.uk/research/research-staff-profiles/bettina-von-zwehl/

http://www.artnet.com/artists/bettina+von-zwehl/

PhotoBook London

http://www.photobookfair.co.uk/

I visited Photobook London on Saturday 3rd September, expecting to be wow’d away by some photography books and to get some great advice on my work in the form of a portfolio review.

The Portfolio review took most of the day and I squeezed all I could out of the experience and was blessed with a range of people looking at the work with many different views. It’s confusing and makes you worry at first when every person tells you a different thing. But after contemplation you realise that it really is THAT subjective, that the only thing you can do in that situation is take all their advice, line it up against what you think and make a now educated decision. That is all one can do, you can’t impress everyone, the only person that you can really try to impress is yourself.

I went to the reviews with strange ideas of who the people I was going to see were (having researched a bit) and came away, impressed, surprised and with deeper insight into them as individuals, as well as professionals. I love photography, talking about it all day is wonderful but it’s exhausting. Doing something you love to the point of exhaustion is strange but brilliant thing. It’s the only way I can really push myself to that limit, doing the things I love.

The Book fair itself, was wonderfully laid back with enough space to walk around and observe what you wanted to observe. Then you had a lot of professionals hanging around, giving the fair support which was wonderful to see. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend any of the other events like book launches, talks, raffles etc but in just what I experienced it was fantastic.

If any of you visited it, don’t hesitate to tell me what you thought! I’ve got a blog coming up about the book I bought there which I have fallen in love with.