Tuesday, 26 August 2008

The Future?

Possibly too much information for a tuesday morning?

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Miniature Carvings

Spotted this book - The Art of Small Things by John Mack whilst browsing round the British Museum bookshop - love it in there! and reading it today reminded me of the wonderful carved scene carved inside an apple I saw at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. Absolutely exquisite - these were the closest pictures I could find online but this one isn't nearly as detailed as the one I saw.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

The Mill by Petra Freeman

Watch this! Its enchanting....

(Youtube version - quality not great)

Jumping Joan (1994) and new commission (available in 2009) from Animate Projects.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Quotes from 1964 book

Excerpts from sources relevant to my ideas:

Imaginative and Fantastic Art from The Observer's Book of Modern Art by William Gaunt 1964

The first Surrealist Manifesto in which this definition -

"Thought's dictation, free from any control by the reason, independent of any aesthetic or moral preoccuptaion."

appeared was issued in 1924.

[...] an active attempt to explore the workings of instinct and intuition and of states of being, as in dreams, when the concious reason is temporarily suspended. The Surrealists were much inspired by the researches of Freud into the psychology of dreams and by the idea of creating a semblance or illustraion of the dream state by placing in relation incongrous and unexpected images and inducing a like feeling of suspense and tension.

"All human action is expressive, a gesture is an intentionally expressive action. All art is expressive - of its author and of the situation in which the works - but some art is intended to move us through visual gestures that transmit, and perhaps give release to, emotions and emotionally charged messages. Such art is expressionist"

Art Historian Norbert Lynton describing Expressionist Art. Read the full article about German Expressionist films here.

Why am I studying German Expressionist films? You might ask. Well, whilst reading Dreamtelling by Piere Sorlin - which I got at the Psycho Buildings exhibition bookshop - see its all related, it mentions films from this period depicting dream sequences so I was interested to see how they interpreted dreams on screen. So far I've watched The Last Laugh (1924, Dir Murnau) and although the dream sequence was interesting; the bit I found fascinating was the documentary on how they achieved the special effects in the film (I'm such a geek!)
In that in the scenes in front of the hotel (where the lead character was a porter) the whole set was constructed as an optical illusion and in the frame some buildings are in the distance and the scene is made to look like a street in a big city but in fact, the cars in the background were miniature and driven by children! and the buildings tapered down to the size of models - incredible! Other scenes were also planned and constructed in this manner - amazing lengths to go to, to create the right atmosphere for the film obviously on a budget and before so many of the special effects available today were invented.

Recent Exhibitions Seen (Aug 08)

Psycho Buildings at the Hayward
very impressive, probably the most inspiring exhibition I've seen at least for a few years.

Loving Mike Nelson (as always) - walking through his installation was eerie, like a band of rabid rabbits with chainsaws could rush round the corner at any moment.

Also was enchanted by Rachel Whiteread's installation 'Place'. As it relates to the kind of atmosphere I want to create with my work - almost magicial.

Victor & Rolf at the Barbican

Amazing craftsmanship. Weird. Very weird.

Skin & Bones at Somerset House

They don't appear to have an online archive so I can't put a link in! Again a fashion exhibition but still interesting to see.

British Orientalist Painting at Tate Britain

Now althought this was £10 to get in it was really impressive. Made me just want to go home and start drawing immediately! The quality of the work was marvelous and imagine that they were completing these studies and works in watercolour or oil in a time before photographs - just taking sketches from the street. Took me back to my trip to Morocco - I need to go there again! Also a very good projection showing the travel routes of the most prominent artists which was very informative so you can visualise where they went and really how far they travelled in a relatively short space of time - usually no more than one or two years. Highly recommended.

(Also want to go back to see the 100 years of drawing exhibition in the main galleries)

Over the summer also saw China Now at the V&A and had a browse round the National (& Portrait) Galleries.

Dan Rees

Came across the work of Dan Rees recently - think if was from an Open Frequency newsletter from Axis?

For some reason - just LOVE this image - so peaceful.

Future Perfect

I saw this exhibition when I lived in Manchester during the first year of my degree course (2000/2001). It was my first encounter with the work of Buckminster Fuller and I fell in love with the genuis invention that is the Geodesic dome.

I also was inspired by images of the Futuro House designed by Matti Suuronen in the 60's. There is something very appealing about living in a giant yellow blob on a hillside!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

The Globe Museum

Whilst all the Americans are traipsing round the Globe itself, Mum and I explored the Museum underneath which actually was really interesting (I was a bit skeptical) there were these beautifully made miniature stage sets - each one not more than 40cm across - look real don't they!