Throughout 2017, I have continued with the responses form of article to works of art and other miscellanea. Like last year, I found that a more interesting way to assess a piece of work was to not simply write an essay but to pair it with a poem; condensing the essence of the reading down into a basic selection of key notes, reactions and atmospheres. … Continue reading Responses: Poems On Landscape And Melancholy (Volume 2)
“Once upon a time, I, Zhuangzi, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Zhuangzi.” Looking at Eileen Agar’s Butterfly Bride (1938) is to look into the dreams of insects. Or perhaps these are our dreams of insects, where our waking moments are … Continue reading Responses: Eileen Agar’s Butterfly Bride (1938)
I have never seen Barry Flanagan’s short video piece, Hole In the Sea (1969), yet I’m not quite sure if I ever quite want to. The short piece, filmed by Flanagan with Gerry Schum in Holland for a Land Art TV exhibition, currently exists in colour and in black & white, contained variously in the Pompidou archive in Paris and the Stedelick Museum in Amsterdam. … Continue reading Responses: Hole In The Sea (1969, 1970), Barry Flanagan
When Jeremy Deller took control of the UK’s pavilion in the 2013 Venice Biennale, the press coverage caught hold of one specific aspect that the artist discussed; its “aggressiveness”. With environmental concern sat at the heart of the exhibition, alongside the general political upheaval caused by the coalition government during its third year of power, it’s unsurprising to find Deller’s work channelling some form of … Continue reading Responses: Jeremy Deller’s A Good Day For Cyclists (2013)
The photography series, Areas Of Outstanding Natural Beauty (1982-1984), was the first work I came across by Keith Arnatt. This was some time before he would eventually be back in vogue thanks to Tate Britain’s well received conceptual exhibition, of which his most famous work, Self Burial (1969), was the publicity image for. Very much like the landscapes that so much of Arnatt’s work captures, … Continue reading Responses: Keith Arnatt’s A.O.N.B (1982-1984).
The sculptor Henry Moore saw a stark link between the rock that was both his material and inspiration, and the grazing calmness of sheep. The animals stand out in the landscape in the same, oblique way, providing an aesthetic of both fitting in and being anomalous; they litter the vista in a way that is puzzling and warmly mysterious. Roger Deakin saw this relationship himself … Continue reading Responses: Henry Moore’s Sheep Sketchbook (1980).
The landscape painter and augmenter, Paul Nash, had a momentary, glimpsed relationship with the Wiltshire town of Avebury. The landscape, which brims with a sense of ancientness and magic, evidently enraptured the painter for a brief spell of creative yield not simply in painting but in photography as a sideline as well. Caught in the trace images and memories of its Neolithic stone circles, its … Continue reading Responses: Avebury Photos (1933 + 1942) – Paul Nash.
Debris degrades and degradation can be measured but can art be this measurement? Orford Ness in Suffolk, a former atomic weapons mechanism research and testing facility, doesn’t ask these questions but the place has attracted such a huge number of artists to its shores that the question of creativity and its role as a reaction to such politically doused spaces cannot help but be evoked. … Continue reading Responses: Blind Landings (2013) – Jane And Louise Wilson.
If ever there was an artist for the globalized age of mass media, technology and excess, it would be Andy Warhol. With a new exhibition at Tate Liverpool of his work (the first of its kind in the north of England), it becomes clear that the artist was so unprecedentedly ahead of the times and the fashions, that his work seems born of ironic pathos. … Continue reading Transmitting Andy Warhol – Tate Liverpool.
For some time now I have been involved in a collaborative arts project with local illustrator and artist Katie Craven. Before the first stage of the project could be unleashed onto the unsuspecting public, the project collapsed in on itself thanks to a Belgian art gallery among other things. To show just how close it got to being finished, there’s even a stop press advert … Continue reading Forest (Short Film) and A Screaming Breeze (Book).