One of my favourite things to do at Dumbo Feather is flick through the beautiful issues. Smelling the paper, feeling the stock between my fingers...and sometimes, I get to take photographs of it. Here are a couple of pics I took of issue 50 for the website.
A couple of photographs I took for Delta in January.
For the next four weeks as part of our Developing Communication Expertise studio, we are concentrating on Illustration. Illustration scares me because it is not something that I have given a lot of time to in the last few years and when I am asked to do it, I feel this panic grow inside of me when really it should be something to look forward to. I find most illustrators fascinating, the way they can envision something and it turns out exactly how they want on paper. So this is something I am trying NOT to do.
At this stage, I am taking cues from some of my favourite artists and illustrators to help me form my own personal style. Anyone that knows me knows that I naturally gravitate towards minimalism, and so I wanted to share a few of the artists I love here as well as some of my own work which is clearly influenced by these artists.
Ellsworth Kelly has been a widely influential force in the post-war art world. maintaining a persistent focus on the dynamic relationships between shape, form and colour, Ellsworth Kelly was one of the first to create irregularly shaped canvasses. His subsequent layered reliefs, flat sculptures, and line drawings further challenged viewers conceptions of space. While not adhering to any one artistic movement, Kelly vitally influenced the development of Minimalism, Hard-edged painting, Colour Field and Pop Art.
Kelly intends for viewers to experience his artwork with instinctive, physical responses to the works structure, colour, and surrounding space rather than with contextual or interpretative analysis. He encourages a kind of silent encounter, or bodily participation by the viewer with the artwork, chiefly by presenting bold and contrasting colours free of gestural brushstrokes or recognisable imagery, panels protruding gracefully from the wall, and irregular forms inhabiting space as confidently as the viewer before them.
Christiane Spangsberg is an artist that I originally found on instagram. In truth, I've not been as excited about an artist or their artwork in a very long time. There is something so evocative about Christiane's portraiture work, just that one line moving so effortlessly around the page. Every curve, every corner presents an emotional response, each line playfully interacting with one another, bouncing back and forth to create one artist's interpretation of a face. Individually imperfect. Even beautiful - just as we all are, in our own right.For me, it was foremost Christiane's work that did the talking, though in addition to this, her creative thinking and personal response to every comment below each image made me not only want to invest in the work, but in the person behind it. That's one of the advantages of a platform like instagram, when used correctly you can draw a relationship between the work and the artist, each enriched by the other.
While these examples are not illustrations, Anish Kapoor is one of my favourite artists. He is one of a generation of British based sculptors who became established during the 1980s and is prominent in the contemporary art field for the quality of hermetic lyricism that permeates his work. he is acknowledged a bearing on his art of both Western and eastern culture. The powerful spiritual and mythological resonances of his sculptures arise in part from frequent trips home to India. natural materials such as sandstone, marble and slate are used with raw powdered pigments of vivid hues.
In the late 1980s and 1990s, he was acclaimed for his explorations of matter and non-matter, specifically evoking the void in both free-standing sculptural works and ambitious installations. Many of his sculptures seem to recede into the distance, disappear into the ground or distort the space around them. In 1987, he began working in stone. His later stone works are made of solid, quarried stone, many of which have carved apertures and cavities, often alluding to, and playing with dualities (earth-sky, matter-spirit, lightness-darkness, visible-invisible, conscious-unconscious, male-female, and body-mind). "In the end, I’m talking about myself. And thinking about making nothing, which I see as a void. But then that’s something, even though it really is nothing."
Since 1995, he has worked with the highly reflective surface of polished stainless steel. These works are mirror-like, reflecting or distorting the viewer and surroundings. Over the course of the following decade Kapoor's sculptures ventured into more ambitious manipulations of form and space. He produced a number of large works, including Taratantara (1999),a 35-metre-high piece installed in the Baltic Flour Mills in Gateshead, England, before renovation began there; and Marsyas (2002), a large work consisting of three steel rings joined by a single span of PVC membrane that reached end to end of the 3,400-square-foot (320 m2) Turbine Hall of Tate Modern. Kapoor's Eye in Stone (Norwegian: Øye i stein) is permanently placed at the shore of the fjord in Lødingen in northern Norway as part of Artscape Nordland. In 2000, one of Kapoor's works, Parabolic Waters, consisting of rapidly rotating coloured water, was shown outside the Millennium Dome in London.
The use of red wax is also part of his repertoire, evocative of flesh, blood, and transfiguration. In 2007, he showed Svayambh (which translated from Sanskrit means "self-generated"), a 1.5-metre block of red wax that moved on rails through the Nantes Musée des Beaux-Arts as part of the Biennale estuaire; this piece was shown again in a major show at the Haus Der Kunst in Munich and in 2009 at the Royal Academy in London. Some his work blurs the boundaries between architecture and art. In 2008, Kapoor created Memory in Berlin and New York for the Guggenheim Foundation, his first piece in Cor-Ten, which is formulated to produce a protective coating of rust. Weighing 24 tons and made up of 156 parts, it calls to mind Richard Serra’s huge, rusty steel works, which also invite viewers into perceptually confounding interiors.
Our evening lecture series this week was presented by Zoran and Danielle from Aesop discussing the process and packaging of their new fragrance, Tacit.
Tacit, was formulated in collaboration with perfumer Céline Barel. It was born of two key inspirations: the fresh notes found in traditional colognes; and the Mediterranean coast, for its culture, topography, and fragile, perfumed vegetation. Remarkable for its innovative construction, the formula blends refined ingredients sourced from around the globe. It is familiar in its Yuzu-inspired citrus notes, yet distinctly contemporary in liberal use of Basil Grand Vert, which lends subtle warmth with delicately spiced undertones of Clove. The title refers to knowledge that is implicitly understood rather than communicated directly, and alludes to an elusive, almost indefinable quality that is more readily experienced than articulated.
Tacit is given visual expression through the short video featured here, by Australian generative artist and designer Jonathan McCabe, who converts information inputs into algorithms that direct movement of colour and pattern. His inputs for this work were a musical piece that was one of our original inspirations for the fragrance, and audio of Céline Barel speaking about the development process. American composer and musician Jesse Paris Smith created the haunting soundtrack. Stills from the video furnished 61 unique iterations for Tacit’s packaging, making it distinctively yet subtly diverse, and hinting at the olfactory pleasure to come.
Last weekend I was lucky enough to Travel to Canberra with H to catch the James Turrell exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. Having recently been introduced to his work through H, I was more than excited to immerse myself in this retrospective collection.
The collection itself, featured work that spanned over almost 5 decades of Turrell's career, from early light projections and holograms to immersive light installations. It would take me nearly all day to talk about each piece on it's own, so I am just going to mention a couple of the works that really moved me, played on my perception and emotion, and made me question the nature of light itself.
The first works on display as you walk into the exhibition was the Mendota Stoppages. These works were created between 1969-74. In November 1966 Turrell rented a studio in the Mendota Hotel, Santa Monica. The Mendota Stoppages were created by cutting holes into walls and re-opening some of the sealed windows. Turrell controlled the incidental light - from neon signs, street lights, passing cars - via a series of openings and apertures into the space inside. He went on to change the layout of the dividing walls so that 12 rooms were created. Visitors were invited to move through the spaces to experience the different light effects as Turrell adjusted the apertures. On display were photographs, technical drawings and plans for the Mendota Stoppages, as well as some graphite and ink drawings to show the atmospheric qualities of the final space.
After Green, 1993 is a Wedgework, and one of James Turrell's most complex and intriguing group of works that brings together fluorescent, LED and fibre optics. Multiple light sources and different types of light combine to produce an immersive environment. After Green was a work that I spent a lot of time with, letting myself go to the adaptation phenomena that happens with Turrell's Wedgeworks, in which the human eye makes assumptions to cope with the lack of discernible information.
The title itself refers to the retinal effect of looking at concentrated green, when photoreceptors lose sensitivity and retain the 'memory' of the opposite colour, red.
This was a disorientating and exquisitely beautiful installation.
It is hard to explain the feeling after moving through the entire retrospective, especially when all the works were so immersive. Leaving the exhibition and going outside took a while for my eyes and brain to adjust to the natural light again. We took a break by the water before heading over to Within Without.
Within Without, 2010, was purchased by the NGA in 2014. It sits in the newer section of the of the wider Sculpture Garden that wraps around the building. Entering Within Without along a downward sloping walkway, you are surrounded on either side by a pond that circles around the back of the skyspace's exterior. A square based pyramid is hidden under a mound planted with tufts of local grass. The stupa, constructed from Victorian basalt, is just visible from the outside of the skyspace, but inside dominates the centre of the pyramid. Turrell incorporates the element of water - a recurring feature used for it's light reflecting and light absorbing qualities, with a bright turquoise pool which you cross to enter the inner sanctum of the stupa. Although the space itself feels quite large, the viewing chamber itself is relatively small, a circular room with high walls directing the eye to the opening of the roof, and in turn, to the sky. The moonstone, set into the centre of the floor, mirrors the oculus and the universe above.
I feel really very lucky to have been able to see these works before the exhibition ended. I am excited too see what is next for this artist and hope that one day, I will have the chance to see the biggest Turrell work to date, Roden Crater.