Time and Tide

Final piece presented for Graded Unit. The balance between the photos and the cine image varies according to the time of day and the amount of light in the studio.  The loop set up is shown below:

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El Anatsui

I first came across El Anatsui last year when I found he had represented Africa at the last Venice Biennale, and immediately loved his work, for the colours, texture, structure and messages. Below is his sculpture Crumbling Wall and the text is copied from the explanation and descriptions at his exhibition at the Fowler Gallery:

ElAnatsuiCrumblingWall

The pieces in ‘El Anatsui: Gawu’ make use of large quantities of discarded everyday materials, such as metal liquor bottle wrappers and tops and flattened food tins, stitched together and transformed to create new works of stunning originality. These huge, undulating metallic tapestries also recall the Ghanaian tradition of weaving and assembling kente cloth. Explains Anatsui, “Art grows out of each particular situation and I believe that artists are better off working with whatever their environment throws up.”

In each place they are installed, Anatsui’s works take on subtly different forms, as the pieces are draped or situated anew. Included in this exhibition are several examples of his monumental textile-like wall pieces, including two new works. Also on display are two installations: Crumbling Wall, 2000, a massive sculpture comprised of stacked rusted cassava graters, and Peak Project, 1999, a series of free-standing, abstract sculptures made of tin can tops connected with copper wire.

Beyond the powerful visual impact of the works, Anatsui’s sculptures open myriad possibilities for interpretation. Referencing diverse relationships of trade, materiality, tradition, and modernity between West Africa, Europe, and the Americas, Anatsui draws our attention to the life histories of the materials that surround him. Bottles of liquor, for example, were the units of currency preferred by European traders seeking to acquire slaves and ivory on the West African coast. Liquor and rum (a by-product of the Caribbean sugar plantations for which Africa had supplied the labor) were exchanged at great advantage to the European traders. Anatsui’s work gently alerts us to these histories, interlacing their material evidence and metaphors like elements within a cloth.

Peter Bell

Peter Bell used to do many serigraphs (seem to me to be the same as screen prints) in earlier years but his use of brilliant colours, joy in nature and in particular horticultural images exist throughout his work. This serigraph called Orb II from 1974 is in the collection of the National Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador, where Peter lived for many years prior to moving to the Scottish Highlands for the better weather.

peter bell orb

Vija Celmins

I saw several of Vija Celmins works at the Gallery of Modern Art and was amazed by them.  First reaction was how beautiful, second reaction.. what is this, how did she do it?  The night skies are very striking for me as I have spent a lot of time looking at the night sky and yet her paintings of it look familiar and strange at the same time.  Apparently she used photos from the Hubble Telescope, maybe several taken of the same part of the sky, from which to work.

night sky #2

This is called Night Sky #2 and is described as Alkyd on Canvas.  But below is artist_rooms__web1_by_vija_celmins

Web #1 which is graphite on paper.  In the various interviews I have read she describes herself working over and over at an image, putting it on, sanding it down, adding another layer, so that some of her night skies took years.  And some of her work is just graphite, but then there are also paintings and screen prints.CelminsBigSea

Katie Clemson

I heard about this artist when there was an obituary for her in the Guardian, and looked her up.  I have just revisited her website for this research and it is just sitting there, still in limbo. 

Most of her work is linocuts and mainly inspired by the sea and water.. I think many of her images are beautiful:

This first one is called the Thames at 10pm, Bankside

10pm

The one below was inspired by a series of journeys she did across the Australian desert interior, and the ghosts of seas that never were..  It is very large for a lino cut at 1.2m x 2m and is titled All at Sea.

all at sea

Katie Clemson co wrote a book with Rosemary Sissons called the Complete Manual of Relief Printmaking.

Recycling.

Research into recycled materials for Granton Pier project:

Bottles

Thai Monks from Sisakaset province built their Buddhist Temple entirely from recyled bottles:

1-recycled-glass-bottle-buddhist-monastery1

and in fact now a brief search on the web has turned up dozens of people who have built buildings from bottles dating back to early 20th Century.  This link takes you to just one example, but there are lots and also varied levels of sophistication.:

 http://www.narrowlarry.com/nlstagg.html

Nearly all builders seem to be using cement of some kind between the bottles, exept for those using the Heineken WOBO bottle which had flat sides and was therefore more suited to being directly piled up.

Cans:

I like the work of this man who decided to cover the wall of his house with flattened drinks cans as it was so much cheaper than brickwork:

..”Van Os Keuls prepares the cans in small batches — three to twelve at a time. Each can is washed to avoid attracting ants; then it is smashed, twice. Wearing heavy-soled construction boots, he first stomps each one with his feet and then further flattens it with a sledge hammer. Hammering rounds the corners so the cans can’t cut anybody who leans up against the wall. Each can, secured with a long aluminum nail, overlaps the previous one.”

0504tincans

The above was found at www.eco-artware.com

Also Val Hunt has done some brilliant but totally different stuff with recycled rubbish, mainly drinks cans and she is found on www.arthunt.co.uk where I found this picture of hers:

Reincarnated_Rubbish

Not sure this is helpful for building.

Plastic Bottles:

Artist Jasmine Zimmerman has built this igloo and other shelters and structures to bring attention to the lack of recycling provision.. I found her also on www.weburbanist.com a site for urban architecture and art:

19-recycled-plastic-bottle-igloo-structure1