Here we have a selection of some of my experiments so far this term from looking at the kitchen and especially baking as a way of conceptualising the creation of a child. Let me know what you think, I’d love some feedback. 🙂
I’m not quite sure why I’ve only just come across George Dunlop Leslie but his paintings are incredible, and I feel like I recognise something of my work in it so deeply that I can hardly keep my eyes away from them. I love the boredom, the mundane-ness and just the sheer beauty of his use of colour and light. So here are my three favourite images that make my heart pound that little bit faster.
Exaggerated whispers keep me
Running, I want to
grow, I want to
entwine with your wooded arms.
My eyes fail and that doesn’t
worry me a second.
Music plays, my ears burn.
Every few miles there is
a shelter built from wood.
Your flesh so starlight,
It’s worth every try.
I always thought that someone would make
you happier. I was wrong.
Fuse me with the trees:
you blew me away with gusts.
My fingers become bark,
seized completely; you seize the night.
Let me drown in night,
it’s the only way I can feel you.
Silky jaws of beasts,
slicing my mind to tatters.
I’ll follow you forever.
The trees glow when I cry,
Illuminated in the moonlight.
The leaves turn red and
the forest begins to take me.
Cooing me, lulling me
into your web.
I’m not the man I used to
be, but I’m not the
man I want to be yet.
Bury my body and never tell a soul,
I’m alone in the ice. Come find me,
Rain on me.
Your nails run down my legs,
Digging deeper with every stroke.
Bones push up the ground.
Fingers clasp my tendons.
I want to lie in your bed
of leaves, let me
be immersed in your
world, let me become
one with you, my love.
It’s been a while since I felt,
Water seep into my feet.
The rage of the wind in
the trees hits my
chest and darling I’m
short of breath. I’ve been
walking to find your heart.
I’ll follow you all my life.
Flesh and bone,
Witnessing your Spring
Suffering the chill air.
Let me open the door again.
Heavy footing on soft soil.
Your darling face is my obituary.
Dripping leaves, Soaking floor,
Slithering down my mind.
Rabbits run, Badgers fall,
Sweet and wild, untamed
Your hair is caught
It whispers words,
Echoed memories, laughs from birds,
Willow, birch, beach and silver,
The friction burn inside my chest.
The ground calls for me
I lay down and sink.
I become the leaves of my bed.
I wrote this last term as part of an experimental web project which isn’t quite complete. I thought I should probably start posting my creative writing on here as well as it’s a big part of my experiments/practice now. My favourite part is the last stanza, everytime I read it I love it more and more. 🙂
Let me know what you think!
I saw Åsa talk about her work recently and I couldn’t wait to share it on here. The Boy & The Twins is an absolutely fabulous piece of work and her work in progress series Aryan looks absolutely superb also.
The way she interweaves the staged posed images of the boy against her own autobiographical images of her and her sister in their tomboy childhood is so beautiful and works so well. Coming from knowing quite a lot about and having experienced from others the issues and feelings around being transgender, I’ve felt in my own experiments how difficult a subject it is to tackle as an artist, as we are surrounded by imagery and projects on gender that I feel sometimes almost work against the feelings and reality of being transgender.
As far as I can see; to be trans is not necessarily to be flamboyant or loudly self-expressive, nor is it to comply to strict social rules on gender purely to blend in. It’s the ability to be yourself and be happy with that, much like everyone else. It’s not ABOUT becoming something else, it’s purely about being (and sometimes, becoming) yourself and being true to that. Anyway to move on, I love how she gently juxtaposes the two halves of boyhood. There’s a time in some trans individuals’ lives where they almost return to this boyhood or girlhood they perceive to have ‘missed’ and follow an accelerated version, returning back to secret dreams and desires they may have repressed (either consciously or subconsciously) from their childhood and perhaps adolescence. This idea is what comes across so strongly to me in the juxtaposing of the two images.
There’s an awkward sense of reflection on the part of Jacob, the boy; where it’s almost like the images of Johannesson and her sister become projections of his own subconscious past as perhaps two halves. Some might feel this split is about gender directly but others feel this split is between the physical body and the inner identity.
The Johannesson sisters are almost stalked by Jacob across the images, like he is observing them; perhaps their behaviour, perhaps just their twin-ness; much like one would observe animals on safari or in a zoo. Jacob’s poses suggest a sense of frustration and boredom which I feel is very telling of his own life story; there is always a lot of waiting and seeing involved.
Jacob holds a banana skin with a semi-clenched fist, his eyebrows sense a certain agitation, whether it’s because he is being photographed in the first place, play acting for the camera or if the image touches in on a subconscious frustration at the time. The banana’s reference to absence of full male genitalia is interesting especially as it appears like knuckle dusters, another subtle reference to masculinity.
Jacob and his partner stand on the path together; their clothes echo one another and they stand together staring out at us. The path looks fairly derelict and just behind them lies the remains of a broken children’s treehouse, once again whispering suggestions of boyhood. The image is named The Path, naturally echoing Jacob and many others’ journey ahead.
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.
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!
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!
Olaf is well known for his photography but I was not aware of his film-making so much until last year when I stumbled upon his book in a library, it came with a CD of his films and it was fascinating. I hope you enjoy a few of these trailers for his films, you definitely get the feel of them. Perhaps I love them so much as they are all about a strange suburban american dream that gets twisted in different light, a bit like gregory crewdson’s series.
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.
Here is at last a final edit of a piece called Fleeting Other; looking at pregnancy, the female form and the experiences of pregnant women in their lead up to motherhood. I wanted to explore how women see one another as well as how they see themselves; the forms suggest growth, proportions and perspectives. The work also touches on the isolation of experience of each of the women despite the solidarity as mothers.
Do let me know of your thoughts on the work. 🙂