With just over a month to go until the Wobudong exhibition in Manchester, I now need to start taking some decisions about how to install my work. Fortunately I am able to use the space above my studio and yesterday afternoon I got some really useful feedback as part of a Whistable Satellite crit. Now that the work has come away from the wall, so many possibilities have opened up as to where it can go. I am very excited.
In the evening went to the opening at Turner Contemporary of the new Helen Frankenthaler exhibition and had a brilliant time. The paintings were amazing. I loved the non-drippy, flowing thin paint on raw canvas, the way the oil seeped out through the canvas, the gorgeous colours and the empty spaces.
I managed to catch the Masterpieces of Chinese Painting show at the V&A just before it closed. The image shows Xu Bing’s Travelling to the Wonderland in the John Madejski garden which kind of brings the show up to the contemporary era, missing out everything between 1900 and 2014!
Extract from the post on my a-n blog:
Having seen the Mira Schendel show at Tate earlier in the month and her use of transparent rice paper, in particular, I got very excited at this show by the Bodhisattva in Monastic Dress Standing at Prayer (c.950), painted on both sides and using to the full the transparency of the silk on which it is painted in gold and red hues. I love it when these connections accross cultures and art forms present themselves to the eye, mind and heart.
Afterwards I had lunch in China Town with my parents and bought some supplies from the Chinese bookshop in Shaftesbury avenue.
I was in Lille with Joanna Jones last week to visiting Nicolette Picheral in Lille Sud, where I used to go when I was project co-ordinator of Mode Future for UCA.
We also visited Tourcoing on the border with Belgium where we went to a lunchtime presentation of an urban regeneration/town planning project which is renovating houses in a district of the town initially due to be demolished. We had time to visit one of the houses before going to see Pierre-Yves Brest’s exhibition in Tourcoing library made during a residency in the districts known as La Bourgogne and La Marlière from June to September 2013. The exhibition is entitled Opus Incertum, a term still used by architects today which refers to the ancient Roman construction technique of using irregular shaped and randomly placed stones. The exhibition which includes photographs and a film examines the theme of the ‘border’, ‘wall’, ‘frontier’ or ‘barrier’: The film is a fascinting and disturbing exposé of a community that has literally been marginalised, placed within a fortress, on the edge, on the border, out of the way; at the same time, the community, living by means of a parallel economy now wards off mainstream society and is wary of prying eyes or interference.
Both Nicolette and Pierre-Yves have worked with DAD.
On 17 October I went to a fascinating talk by Piero Zanini on the geographical/cultural/anthropological meaning of the Strait at the Musee Portuaire in Dunkerque. I’ve written it up in my a-n blog here. Interesting that to create Utopia, a strait had to be dug to create an island, so that getting there would require an act of crossing over, engaging with the potential and possibilities between the here and the over there.
11 October was one of the most amazing evenings in my life consisting of the Grand Finale of DAD’s War & Peace programme.
Joanna Jones’ work, Re-veil-le, with music by Mihailo Trandafilovski was stunning. There was such a close rapport between the music and the slowly developing image, wonderfully put together by Dominic de Vere, that it is hard to imagine the work not being shown with the music, though I think it would work well too. It is not often that music and image work like this: neither form dominated – the music was not accompaniment and the filmic painting was not backdrop. (photo:Miles Umney)
Nigel Clarke’s Dogger Fisher German Bight Humber Thames Dover Wight was incredibly emotional, bringing tears to my eyes for no other reason than the piece being itself.
Nicolette Picheral’s performance on 28 and 29 September of Between Beacon and Shaft in Dover’s Drop Redoubt, built to repel Napoleon and from where you can see France, was full of rich metaphorical references to borders – divisions between peoples and lands. And the soundscape created by Colin Hinds was exceptional.
Borders are there to divide but also, necessarily, to define, as Nanne Meyer pointed out in her excellent start to a discussion with cultural actors from France and the UK, organised by DAD, around a table at the White Cliffs Visitor Centre in the evening on 28th.
I was back in Dunkerque on Monday, taking part in the Dunkerque 2013 Culture Forum and talking about how the organisations within the trans-maritime area that includes the Nord pas de Calais and Kent can understand the sea as a connector rather than a divider. Discussions ranged from the philosophical – touching the “other” to better know the “self” – to the practical – what can we actually do together.
Dunkerque at night from the Lighthouse where I went to a performance of Entre Phare et Shaft/Between Beacon and Shaft. Nicolette Picheral tells a fable about a mysterious beacon: beacons because they mark the point at which the land becomes liquid and the water becomes land. Colin Hinds on electric guitar created some very subtle sounds – quite unusual. The performance is also coming to Dover and will be in English.
Collapsed Grids was selected by Áine Belton for “Come As You Go” at Crate, Margate. (Photo: Áine Belton)
“A show consisting of transitory works, using the site as a precursor to a series of events and publications to come. Site, relation, materials, displacement, these are some avenues explored whilst trying to unveil a common thread in the approach of practices.
The aim of the exhibition is to temporarily establish a common ground, uniting sites using materials and artists that are not present. Common ground is established over the duration of the show. From start to finish, the exhibition is itself a work in progress. Works in progress, happening and developing in the space. The ‘link’, although temporary, will be recorded and examined as the output of an exhibition. Exhibition will serve as a temporal document.” (Áine Belton)
Preview: 26 April, 6-8pm. 26 April, Open: 27 April 12-5pm.
Crate Studio and Project Space, 1 Bilton Square Margate CT9 1EE
“…really interesting for someone like me; who has seen your work and enjoys it, but doesn’t necessarily know what your specific concerns are. A real insight and clearly and simply expressed, which is helpful for dyslexics like me!”
“Thanks so much for sending me the interview with the illustrations – I think it’s fabulous! Wonderfully interesting although I confess a fair bit of it is over my head”
“A great article …. I find a real connection with what you say about celebrating the error, and not starting something if you know exactly how it’s going to look when it’s finished. …. Your pictures look really beautiful by the way.”
“I was genuinely moved by a lot of what you said. The bit about getting to a point of pain really made sense to me. I love what you say about memory, I feel it that way too. It is very visceral and we are carrying it around with us, constantly transforming somehow while staying intact. The work becomes even more beautiful when you know the background and the journey. You put it brilliantly. Really great interview. Thanks for sharing.”
“Have just found the time to read your interview in ‘script’ and look at the new work. Its coming on fabulously, I really like the broken grid pieces and the ‘sieve’ works, extremely evocative, confident and very beautiful. I particularly like the calligraphy accompanying the lattice works.”