Saturday, 7 May 2011
Celia Lendis Contemporary
"For me, to produce an oil painting I must actually set up my easel in the physical location of the object of interest rather than bringing the object into the studio. I wish to communicate the idea of the bigger picture. I achieve this through the relationship of body and space. It is essential for me to place my body directly in the space I am painting in order to feel the "existence of air" at the site. I need to create a relationship between my own, actual, independent feelings and the object found at the site."
“Bark Boat” is the latest in a series of performances where Antti Laitinen embarks on a personal journey, pushing the boundaries of his physical endurance and braving the natural elements, to engage with the world in a collective mission to stage mythologies and erase the boundary between success and failure. As in most of his previous projects, “Bark Boat” originates from classical Finnish tales and cultural imagery - in this instance, the title is taken from a Finnish childhood game whereby pieces of tree bark are used as rafts and are set sailing onto the vast sea until they disappear out of sight. The children would imagine their miniature boats sailing all the way to faraway lands.
Austrian Cultural Forum London
Personal Tempest explores how our inner state of mind can be affected by natural phenomena, and how at times these effects can develop into a ‘personal tempest’ – a ‘storm’ of confused, eerie and uncomfortable feelings. Mirrored in imaginary accounts and personal testimony, the exhibition explores this romantic motif through paintings, drawings, video installations, and photographs. Based on Thomas Bernhard’s book Amras and Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights, Personal Tempest combines historical and contemporary approaches with poetic storytelling and conceptual presentations and is accompanied by solo exhibitions by artists Catherine Bertola and Conrad Atkinson in Yorkshire.
Frank lives and works in Rugby. He has exhibited widely and was awarded an arts development grant by Rugby Borough Council in 2008. As winner of the Rugby Open in the same year, he secured a solo exhibition at The Floor One Gallery. His work features in a number of private collections. Current preoccupations in Frank’s work include the themes of winter, signs and symbols. His images are diverse, relating to landscape, townscape or natural forms. Inventive development is sustained by using bleach, pencil and watercolour. Frank’s work deals with the effects of atmospheric light and the juxtaposition of different visual elements. Colour tends to be muted. Frank strives for active engagement from the viewer and hopes to encourage them to look beyond the obvious and to seek out and explore their own interpretations.
Lee Edwards: How to disappear completely07.05.11 – 11.06.11
Preview: Saturday 7 May 6–8 pm
Toy soldiers and worry dolls, runes and chess sets, amulets, talismans, good luck charms and voudou dolls; obsolete objects transformed into harbingers of fate. Trinkets, momentos and keepsakes: pieces of loved ones to carry during long absences.
The art of the miniature inspires nostalgia as much for childhood as it does for the Long Lost Age of Romance. When the only way to fall in love was through chance meetings followed up by the writing of poems attempting to intellectualise nature.
If unrequited love is a childish sentiment – belonging to that same part of the imagination that delights in finding faces in the knots and scars of tree trunks where branches have snapped off – then Lee Edwards' work can be said to herald the next phase, where we take the chaotic emotion of childhood and shape it into something tangible.
A tactile set of satisfyingly thick sections of tree branches, knobbly like extracted vertebrae and a pair of nicely shiny conkers are the canvas, imitating reality with their boundaries and limitations. Onto these once discarded objects, Edwards projects his wonts and losses. The faces of past obsessions, lost loves and departed sweethearts, frozen in time.
Miniature portraits were originally designed as a gift for dignitaries and the Royal Court's immediate circle; paintings of wives, Christ and Princes offered up as status symbols. It was during the Elizabethan era that the idea of the hidden painting in the locket of an admirer came into fruition, often referred to as a 'jewel'.
Echoing the sensibilities of miniature painting popularised during the Renaissance by Hans Holbein, Francois Clouet and Nicholas Hilliard, Edwards' work also harks back to a more recent past. His paintings are infused with a haunting melancholia for opportunities lost. There is no concealment of secret admiration, but it is in their creation that love's demons are extorted. Edwards marks every detail. Tight little expressions set hard against the grain, and in doing so begins a quiet exorcism of the past.
The objects bristle with intent. It is almost impossible to resist picking one up and turning it over in your palm, then begin twinning one with another, then rearranging the whole set to stand in groups of threes. And as you add meaning to each, you begin to add a little life, add a little personality, find a little soul.