Preview at Clare Hall College 20th October 2016
Jan's images were all untitled B&W charcoal and ink drawings. The ones I found most interesting were those which seemed to juxtapose organic shapes with manmade construction lines. Some reminded me of fractured escarpment in the north of Australia with white trunked trees clinging to the edges of the cliffs. The ones with mainly straight lines didn't really fire my imagination.
I like the additional texture and pattern created in the way in which Ed puts the faces onto the maps - both contour maps and urban maps. Interesting use of the topographical features.
22nd October : Wallking tour around Cambridge with Robert Good - Director of ALL.
Dawn Cole - Embroider the Truth (Textiles and Print) at Museum of Cambridge. Lace patterns taken directly from the hand written diaries of Nurse Clarice Spratling, written in France during WW1. Patterns very delicate and intricate but also slightly spidery and sinister. Dawn was exploring some ideas around coding, propaganda and deception.
Catherine Cleary and Rebecca Ilett - After Dark in the Playing Fields (video). Intriguing, slightly spooky black and white images played on a window in an unused staircase at the Museum of Cambridge. Not clear what was going on - so the sinister atmosphere created by implication and my own imagination.
Paul Michael Browne - One Way Converstion (publication) left in waiting area of Scruffs Hairdressing. Quite intriguing record of all the texts the artist had received in the past year. Some quite banal - some quite revealing and racey! Posed the question to me about who owns the words?
Sarah Coggrave : Letters from Astra (performance, exhibition, trail of clues)
Zata Banks and Joe Banks : The Act of Creation (Neon) Ruskin Gallery. Neon sign which says "Let there be language" - bringing together one of the things God says in the Genesis creation story "Let there be light" and a New Testament saying which says "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God". I thought this was very eye catching and clever.
Visit to White Chapel Gallery 20th September 2016
John McCarthy : You Cant Hide the Sun - A journey through Israel and Palestine (read in Nov 2015) - this book gave me a context in which to interpret Sadik Alfraji' s video.
Sadik Alfraji - The House That My Father Built (Once Upon a Time)
A 6 minute multi media installation which I found very moving. It seemed to illustrate the story of family, meals, home life, being trapped or forced to move, exile, loss. Beautiful B&W drawings used for animation. It was accompanied by music - which enhanced the poignancy of the images.
Born in 1960 in Bagdad, now lives in Netherlands.
Shubbak: A Window on Contemporary Arab Culture (July 2015)
Issam Kourbaj is based in Cambridge and grew up in southern Syria. He has made a series of installations in response to the crisis in Syria, responding most recently to the situation of the many refugees. "Another Day Lost" re-uses discarded books, medicine packaging and matches, to make tiny fragile tents, some of which are marked with Issam's distinctive black lines (based on Arabic calligraphy and representing traditional mourning ribbons). The camp is enclosed with a fence of burned matches - one match struck for each day of the Syrian conflict (since March 15th 2011).
I find Issam's work very thought provoking and moving, especially after learning about the symbolism behind various aspects of his work. For example, Another Day Lost was first shown in 3 or 4 sites across London, physically spread out in a similar pattern to refugee camps around Syria; in different venues (church, warehouse, disused pub) reminding us that people in flight have to adapt to where ever they can find shelter.
See post on Sadik Al Fraji, whose work I saw at White Chapel Gallery as part of the Barjeel Art Foundation Collection.
Textile artist based in UK. Using felting and other materials to look at the nomad and movement across the land.
Some interesting pieces which are quite light and floaty with stronger contrasting lines/contours. Some pieces looking like abstract landscapes. Looks like a lot of work to paint with felting and stitch.
Wondering what aerial views of outback Australia would look like with tracks of Aboriginal groups moving across the landscape. It would be interesting to document the "sacred sights", which are significant land marks used to navigate. How would this relate to the dot paintings made by Aboriginal people.
The farm I grew up on (central Tasmania, Australia) is called "Stockwell". There was a large, yellowing map of the central highlands with our properties marked in Dad's careful pencil. It covered most of the kitchen wall. I love this map and we all loved this land where we grew up.
I went on to rely on maps to navigate bush walks in Tasmania, Victoria, NSW, and the Northern Territory. I have travelled in several countries, using road maps, train and tube maps to drive, ride and train/tube around. I do use sat navs which are great when driving, but there is something lovely about the tactile nature of actual maps. It is a more permanent record than the virtual maps of google etc.
I love Susan Stockwell's use of maps, paper, other up-cycled products to create her pieces. The pieces look very tactile. I like the idea of re-using things and also that they can be dismantled and recycled later e.g. early Paper Works (1997). World (2011) is visually appealing using old motherboards/computer components which are beautiful and map like in their out right. The idea of mapping movement of information is interesting. Sail Away is impressive in it's scale: beautiful and fragile boats on a vast sea of unforgiving concrete.
LUCY ORTA works as part of Lucy and Jorge Orta. Visual artist.
Looked at Amazonia, 70 by 7 The Meal, Food, Water.
Amazonia - I like the bright images and sculptures celebrating the amazing diversity of natural forms. Some of the photos are similar to my photos of flowers/seeds/foliage from Australia. I appreciate her interest in preserving the natural environment. Amazonia - Window on the World.
70 by 7 The Meal - fabulous use of everyday necessity to build community and celebrate diversity. I like the long term nature of this project and the fact that it involves local communities to make it happen. Also like the creation of plates which act as a longer term record of the event.
Street Artists seen in East London: Banksy, Stik, Ben Eine, ROA, Bom.K and Lilwen, Oar Hassan, Milo Thais, Otto Schade, D*Face
Wikipedia - Banksy
121 Amazing Banksy Graffiti Artworks With Locations - They'll Love Wall Art
Belgium artist: Wikipedia -
Youtube Roa paints the big bird on Hanbury Street, Brick Lane
Spitalfields Life April 28, 2010 The return of Roa, street artist
ROA generally paints wild/urban animals and birds that are native to the area being painted
ROA uses a minimal color pallet, such as black, white.
The very striking crane in Hanbury Street - very impressive especially when I found out that originally ROA planned to paint a heron (local to UK). People from the Bangladeshi community kept asking if it was a crane (which is important to them) and so he changed his plan and it became the "sacred crane".
ROA was commissioned by the City of Fremantle to leave his mark on Fremantle, in about 12 hours ROA created a 25-metre (82 ft) mural of a Numbat which he chose because it is a local endangered species.
Wikipedia - Stik
Stik Pride Banner 20th June,2016
London based graffiti artist, especially in Shoreditch. Paints large stick figures. Despite being very simple, he manages to convey emotion. I especially like the one with a burka clad figure holding hands with a non burka wearing figure.
London based - large graphic alphabet letters on shop shutters.
Attractive, easy to take, fresh - have become commercial.