Thursday, 1 January 2015

thou shalt not doubt

Do you ever find that you are minding your way in this world in peace, and then quite suddenly and commitedly, you cannot walk a step further? Your limbs cannot perceive the next step, and you start to question whether you should start turning back?

Don't. Turn. Back!

An invisible arrow got thrown at your heart, poisoned with fear and self-doubt. It is likely the arrow was thrown by your own hand.

But...why would I do that to myself?

Some sort of fear, probably. Fear of failure, fear of success. Fear of the unknown.

This year, I would like to put all those poisoned arrows away. Maybe start throwing around some fairy dust...
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”
Let us only take steps forward confidently, and commit our hearts to that which we do and believe in. Let the new year be wholeheartedly doubtless.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Thursday, 18 December 2014

live project: fish island, hackney wick

As part of a live project to regenerate a terraced house in the cultural area of Hackney Wick, London,  thirty students from Oxford Brookes University spent four weeks designing, fabricating and building installations to accommodate a group of artists into the space.

My group focussed on designing the roof terrace, seating and transforming the adjacent interior space into a cafe area. We based our concept on the tea-making process; the ritual of picking ingredients, brewing, conversation, and story-telling.

The step in the process, of feeding out information, or exhaling, responded to the conditions on our site. A number of air conditioning units surrounded the perimeter of the terrace, which fed out waste energy from the building. We wanted to use this link between inside and outside, to form a spacial relationship between the spaces.

The solution we came up with was 'bubble' inflated by the waste heat coming through the air conditioning units, which houses the storytelling part of the ritual. Working backwards, mint plants and a steaming urn are placed outside the bubble, timber seating and a shoe rack are provided around the perimeter and inside, we hung a sea of space blankets to direct and feed people outside, or seat people in the landscape below, where we fed back the stories that were voiced within the bubble. A mural painted on the exterior wall accentuated the 'exhaling' and 'feeding' nature of our intervention.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

post-pop: saatchi

Pop-art's one of those things that divides people's opinions; it was either an Art Revolution or Not Art At All. I choose to take the opinion that it's art if it moves me to react, physically closer to examine it, or emotionally engage. 

This weekend I popped into the Post-Pop exhibition, East Meets West, that is currently housed in the Saatchi Gallery. There were pieces which responded to the movement in humorous, imitative and elaborative ways, often taking the well-known art pieces of the Pop Art movement as the subject, and making a point about them.

There were some however, which stood out for being less obviously neo-pop.

Above, is the beautiful sepia-toned installation located in the centre of the exhibition spaces. Flags from countries around the world hang, creating hovering columns and an undulating ceilingscape. The beauty of the installation is the delicate way in which it is lit and hung, and moving closer, how it is put together. When a piece of art changes your understanding of your surroundings and makes you question your reality, it has made its impact. The artist, Wenda Gu, has used hair - human hair - bound with glue and burlap to create the fabric of each flag. An unusual and relatively gross medium, has been used to create something quite grand! There are many examples in nature where gross turns into glorious; that is what this installation made me contemplate.

East Meets West aims to communicate how Pop-Art developed so similarly in polar regions of the globe; most of the art on display was produced between Russia, China and the US. However, the point of an exhibition has never really mattered to anyone, it is what point you take home at the end of the day that does. To broaden your scope, to contemplate ideas, and develop thoughts is what culture does, and it affects each individual differently.

It was refreshing to visit, go and let me know what you thought!