Looking

bill viola, Body, Exhibition, history, Installation, Uncategorized

It’s a complex issue about how much quantity of art to look at before it becomes overwhelming, whether it’s a better use of time to spend looking at one or 2 pieces of work in detail, or to go around one or 2 exhibitions to get an overall impression, but is guess it’s how it takes you.

I’ve just spent 2 days in London part with a group from university and part of the time on my own. Usually when I’m with others I go round exhibition more speedily. This time it was reversed. Maybe it was the character of the exhibitions we visited together influenced how the viewing was done. First starting at Tate Modern artist rooms of Bruce Newman and the monumental Joseph Beys. Then the exhibition at Tate Britain All Too Human so much Lucien Freud, then also part of the London Group of the 60s Micheal Andrews gentle painting, teaching his daughter to swim, Kossoff’s the swimming pool and the huge to my suprise Paula Rego. The luminosity of paint in Rego’s work which I had not seen before drew me in to just stand and stare, perhaps I’m answering my own question.

Then Wednesday starting the day in St. Paul’s cathedral communion,  under the eye of Bill Viola’s martyrs. Looking and experiencing both physically and visually. It was apparently the feast day of St Perpetua a female martyr featured on Thought for the Day yesterday. what more could I  do than look at Viola’s visceral images and participate.

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New York

art, Exhibition, feminism, history, Installation, Louise Bourgeois, Maria Lassnig, New York, sculpture, Uncategorized

It’s  nearly 2 weeks since we returned from an amazing visit, that came out of the Blue. Friend Liz Smith had opportunity to sing as part of an international choir in Carnegie Hall, and her kind friends Revd’s Brenda Husson and Tom Faulkner offered accommodation to her and this unknown woman.

What an opportunity for me to see art! and the rest of New York.  Tom as a sculptor offered daily advice on planning what to see which was appreciated greatly. My own photos seem to be very much the outside of buildings. Sometimes I was so overcome by the site of a work that I recognised. This particularly included the Whitney where a compilation of American art gave me a context, and there was Alice Neel’s Pat Wheelan   union official and activist.

Pat Wheelan

Look at his hands. You know how it is when you see  something that is so real? so much to see in that exhibition and then also in the Whitney, ‘an incomplete history of protest 1940 to 2017, everything possible from Vietnam war protests, to Guerrilla girls, feminist action,  Aids epidemic, black rights.
All so individually important in the history of civil rights.

 

 

 

Then to Moma with my niece Amy Scragg who just happened to be in New York at the same time, obviously Van Gogh’s Starry, Starry Night, rediscovery of Louise Bourgeois for textile artist Amy, and discovery for me of photographer Stephen Shore     , this is beginning to sound like a travelog!

Then to PSI an addition to Moma, P1000076.jpgthe retrospective on Carolee Schneemann, ‘Kinetic Painting‘,  this extraordinary performance artist who used her own body to becoming the ‘image and image maker’10_Carolee Schneemann Eye Bodyand avant guard of the 60s 70 and 80s. Her film on making apple pie in the American meaning was quite  hilarious,with all its connotations /America.

A trip with so many more discoveries that are impossible and too long to list, lots about American history, conflict, emergence of civil rights so much more, and in the present situation wow!

and then music Carnegie Hall, wonderful concert, and a play with history comedy and music, Farinelli and the King- Philip 111 of Spain  madness eased by music, an actor and musician playing the part of the counter tenor by pairing and working symbiotically together.

 

Honouring Ester-forced walks

bathspa university, belsen, Geography, history, landscape, memorial, somerset, Uncategorized, walking, walknow

I have spend much of today at the main site of Bathspa university at an enormous video screen. This is where there is a live link up with a memorial walk that is taking place between Belsen and the work camp which Ester Bruenstein survived. Her daughter Lorna is taking part in the walk. A replication of the walk has already taken place in Somerset last year led by Lorna and Richard White who makes walking his art practice #forced walks #walknow.

This walk is taking on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Belsen concentration camp

forced walks website

How did I come to be here, well interest and concern is one reason, I came cross Richard’s practice through the Richard Long masterclass in November,  work building on IT skills is another, and hoping to be able to add whatever’s possible from my experience of engaging with the public and the sound clips we got to work through my phone do seem to make it less likely for people to walk past without engaging

Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Bill Viola

bill viola, Body, history, life drawing, Uncategorized, Yorkshire sculpture park

These wonderful very moving video installations were the definite highlight of a winter visit. All you could do was stand watch and absorb!

web link YSP Bill Viola         video link

In many videos as ever with Viola water poured, fire and light, the essence of life, words of a Sufi poet, Buddhism, Christian mysticism all play a part and it seems to move and speak for me to the inner woman. Notably much of the technical innovation comes from Viola’s partner Kira Perov

Viola’s slowly moving figures showed paths between life and death, mothers and daughters, youngsters approaching adulthood, facing all that life brings, all stages of life are here, aging and the search for eternity among other things.

viola2

For me the man searching for immortality , woman searching for eternity were the highlight, these 2 aging naked figures scrutinized their skin for blemishes and any signs of aging, as I look at the aging process for my work,  including my own, the acceptance, appreciation  apparent in this video speaks as many have found deep to the soul.