LONDON: Pipilotti Rist and Belinda De Bruyckere

On Wednesday, I went to London and had a browse around various galleries and saw numerous artworks but the two shows that stood out to me were both at the Hauser and Worth Gallery on Saville Row, Pipilotti Rists Video installation exhibition and an exhibition by Belinda de Bruckyere. Both artists work  had a connection to nature and so linked in with my Subject work.

PIPILOTTI RIST – Worry Will Vanish Exhibition

“For her London exhibition, ‘Worry Will Vanish’, Rist has transformed the gallery into a fully immersive, sensory environment. Projected against two walls, ‘Worry Will Vanish Horizon’ (2014) is a journey inside the human body, based on a three-dimensional animation. Rist delights in patterns created by manipulating creases of skin, caressing, pushing and pulling to depict the varied textures of human flesh. These corporeal images periodically overlap with close-up fragments from nature as Rist blurs the boundaries between the self and organic structures. She explores the relationship between internal and external, how individuals are linked to the tissues and blood vessels of other organisms, and in so doing, she suggests relationships with the universe at large.”

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‘Worry Will Vanish’ is a participatory experience; I had to remove my shoes before entering the main installation, In the gallery write up it stated that this was to “release some of the social inhibitions that exist in the world outside”.  When viewing the piece, I was invited to lie on plush carpet and to get comfy laying on a duvet,”to lie down and experience the work from a new perspective, in which the universe appears enlarged. The viewer moving through the image and the projection of their own shadow onto the gallery wall serves to enhance the interaction between the body and its environment.”

I was completely captured by this video piece and became immersed in the work. I think being comfortable and cuddled up in a duvet makes you want to stay there longer and so you consider the work a lot deeper. In fact, I watched the piece 3 times. There was definitely a relationship between the body and nature and it was filmed and manipulated beautifully. It made me think about a connection with body and place in my work and pushed my ideas further about creating abstract landscapes outside in the environment.

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There was a piece as you walked into the video installation that really caught my eye. It was a log with a video playing within it, such a simply idea but it worked really well both visually and conceptually. Creating a link between the organic and the body by placing a video containing people inside nature. I would definitely recommend going to see this exhibition.

BELINDA DE BRUYCKERE – Met tere Huid/Of tender Skin

“For ‘Met tere huid / Of tender skin’, De Bruyckere develops recurring themes within her oeuvre, including the monumental ‘Kreupelhout – Cripplewood’ project that she created for the Belgian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.”

The Met tere huid series was a group of textural hanging wall sculptures figured in wax, leather, cloth, rope, iron and epoxy resin. the bulbous sculptures hang slack from iron hooks in a state of collapse, with innards spilling from cavities within the overstuffed abstract forms. I thought these were interesting but I didn’t really understand them and not really being interested in “equine subject matter”, I much preferred the cripplewood works with Pieces of tree at heart.

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After Cripplewood I is a large-scale encaustic sculpture is an abstraction of fallen tree trunks, bound together with tattered fabric and subtly pigmented using a palette that closely resembles human flesh. The anthropomorphic waxy forms appear as rheumatoid joints and bone, bandaged as if undergoing a prolonged healing process. I was really interested in these pieces, there was a relationship going on between bark and human flesh and therefore a connection between the body and nature, as in pipilotti’s work.

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This exhibition made me think of ways that you can manipulate existing objects to portray ideas. I guess it links to my work in that I am painting onto nature and mixing it into paint and so using it for textural purposes as well as conceptual ones. It was interesting to see Belinda’s drawings and collages also which I thought were particularly beautiful.

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Trip to London: Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, Tracey Emin, Tate Britain and The Turner Prize

Whilst in London, I went to quite a few art venues and saw really great art and some not so great.

Anselm Kiefer – The Royal Academy

Anselm Kiefer’s exhibition at the Royal Academy was definitely the highlight of my visit. Not only was it visually incredible but it was relevant to the work that I have been producing too. The sheer scale of the pieces that I viewed in this exhibition was highly impressive. I have always been a fan of Kiefers work and I have never managed to see an exhibition of his until now. What I find most interesting about his w0rk is the wide range of media he uses and the unconventional mixed media that he mixed into the paint or adds to the surface of the work.

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There are so many different textures and surfaces within his work and seeing it in person has really inspired me to be more experimental with mixed media and to maybe play with mixing unconventional materials into my work. I am highly inspired by the confidence of his work and I am hopeful that one day people could view my work and think it was bold and confident. Also, I am looking at nature and a connection to place and landscape surroundings and nature is a recurring theme in Kiefer’s work. I will definitely be revisiting Kiefer’s work in relation to my own.

Gerhard Richter Exhibition – The Marian Goodman Gallery

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I went to view Richter’s work because of how much I am interested in it, more than for my project work. However, upon visiting the gallery I came across some photographs that Richter had taken and had painted on top off. This strongly links to the pieces that I have made where I have added abstract shapes on top of my own photos. I had no Idea that Gerhard Richter was interested in Photo Manipulation and so this was a valuable reference to my work.

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Richter’s abstracts as always were visually interesting but I was very disappointed that there were no large works where he had dragged the paint across the canvas with a squeegee. I thought the glass effect with the paint behind definitely brought his work up to date and gave me a modernist feel.

Tracey Emin – The White Cube Gallery

I must admit that everytime I have been to see Tracey Emin’s work in the past, I haven’t been that impressed but this exhibition was completely different, I felt like she showed her true self, her experimentation and the things that she really enjoys doing and making. It was like looking into her artistic life and her drawings were incredibly gestural and influential.

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What impressed me the most were her large scale nude embroideries. Mostly because I don’t really enjoy textile work or sewing, nor do I consider myself to be very good at it. However, Tracey Emin had used the thread to make marks to make up the body like a fine art ink drawing.

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The Turner Prize 2014

In my honest opinion, considering that the turner prize is one of the most prestigious art awards around at the moment, it didn’t do the art world justice at all. If I was not a creative individual or studying art at all, I would have walked in there and thought the current art climate was very pretencious and have maybe considered the fact that art is no longer a skill that not everyone could do. I thought the variety of work was incredibly disappointing and definitely not explained well enough. After walking around the exhibit, I looked at the comments board regarding the turner prize and it was very difficult to find positive feedback which makes it clear to me that I am not the only one highly disappointed by the prize.

Visiting London was definitely incredibly worthwhile, I have never felt so inspired as I did walking out of Anselm Kiefer’s exhibition in the Royal Academy and linking Richter’s work to my ideas is incredibly encouraging. Undoubtedly, This trip will have an impact on my work.