exploring

A certain kind of light

I am blessed here with a manageble number of good galleries and am making a renewed effort to get to each at least once a quarter to see whatever they are showing as a way of expanding my horizons. This weekend it was the turn of the Towner in Eastbourne. I knew that I had read the programme and thought it might be interesting but by the time a free afternoon became available I had no reccollection of what was on so it was a total suprise! The one that resonated most for me was 'A certain kind of light'.

The piece that has stayed with me most strongly is the Colour construction, 1960, by Peter Lanyon (the blue glass form in the first gallery installation view). I loved the layering and the shapes and the way he had used the qualities of the glass to do something new.

Raphael Hefti's work also had an intrguing process, using the chemicals within the plant to 'burn' an image directly onto the photographic paper, with intriguing results.

It was interesting to see the two larger installation pieces by Katie Peterson and Mark Garry, one so fun and un-gallery-like it made me laugh and then almost fall over with the way it disrupted my sense of balance (according to the lable it had something pretty clever to say about the cosmos but I didn't get my head around that side of it), whilst the latter was quiet, subtle and almost invisible from some angles but very pleasing for the way the tiny threads bounced and twisted around the space to make something more than the sum of its parts.

David Batchelor's piece had a Mexican approach to colour that also speaks of fun, and was certainly cheering in it's effect, but his use of waste plastic bottles in many colours and forms gave it significance.

Light is super-important to me, so such so that I hardly even think about it, so it was useful to see so many different approaches to it and think again about what it is, how it behaves, the impact it has on materials and on the viewer.

The show is on until May 7th 2017 if you want to catch it yourself.

Art with a bang

My newest art discovery is the work of Cai Guo-Quiang. He's a pretty well established already but somehow I'd missed hearing about him until now.

I was particularly struck by his comments on his early career when he was doing quite conventional paintings and feeling overly influenced by his father, a traditional calligrapher. He grew up in the city which is the centre of the Chinewe fireworks industry and at some point had the inspiration to use gunpowder in his art. As he said "gunpowder set me free"! Sadly for me, how that inspiration came about was not recorded, so the rest of us will have to find our own way to whatever could correspondingly set us free...

As a big fan of fireworks the pyrotechnic side of his work has an obvious draw for me, using gunpowder in controlled explosions directly onto the canvas:

 image: feedly.com

image: feedly.com

 image by artnet.com

image by artnet.com

But also working with people in the fireworks industry to make them more ecologically sound and do new things:

 image by upperplayground.com

image by upperplayground.com

And on a huge scale, this ladder is 500m high! Designed to connect the earth with outer space

 thisiscolossal.com

thisiscolossal.com