Friday, May 24, 2013

Ben Rivers

Still from Ah! Liberty

Last week the girls and I went up to Dublin to see a few exhibitions. The best of them was the Ben Rivers exhibition in the Douglas Hyde. Simone Kappler was also showing.
Using old 16mm cameras, Ben Rivers creates work from stories of real people, often those who have disconnected from the normal world and taken themselves into wilderness territories
Ben Rivers built a large tin shack, in which he showed his film Ah! Liberty. A twenty minute film shot on 16mm black and white film. (see below)

“To name an attitude black and white suggests reduction, but in this rural, ethnographic portrait the artist unravels a thousand tones of each. How long does it take until this overflowing bath becomes a lake, until the simple forest drive (there is nothing simple here) transforms these children into airborne angels of light? There is a tender brutality at work here, nothing is polished or smooth or well rounded, instead the adventure of seeing is undertaken ready to fall and bruise, to be wounded by its search. And it is from this necessary wound that the artist joins in with the life of a family grown wild out of doors with the horses and chickens. For its compassion, its refusal of the sentimental, its quick witted montage and dramaturgy of the everyday, the Tiger Award goes to Ah, Liberty!” (Jury Statement, Rotterdam International Film Festival 2008)
A family’s place in the wilderness, outside of time; free-range animals and children, junk and nature, all within the most sublime landscape. The work aims at an idea of freedom, which is reflected in the hand-processed Scope format, but is undercut with a sense of foreboding. There’s no particular story; beginning, middle or end, just fragments of lives lived, rituals performed. "

Ah, Liberty! Ben Rivers from Kate MacGarry on Vimeo.

I first discovered Ben Rivers work when we were shown his film Two Years at Sea.An 88 minute film shot on 16mm black and white anamorphic film shot up to 35mm.
The film is silent except for the occasional music played by the main character Jake and the gentle rustling and scuffling of him going about his daily activities.
Jake is a hermit who lives alone with his cat in the Scottish Highlands. Its a film that's well worth looking out for, something to be watched on a dark winters evening in front of the fire.

"A man called Jake lives in the middle of the forest. He goes for walks in whatever the weather, and takes naps in the misty fields and woods. He builds a raft to spend time sitting in a loch. Drives a beat-up jeep to pick up wood supplies. He is seen in all seasons, surviving frugally, passing the time with strange projects, living the radical dream he had as a younger man, a dream he spent two years working at sea to realise. "

TWO YEARS AT SEA - TRAILER from Ben Rivers on Vimeo.

Simone Kappler
Simone Kappler was also showing in the Douglas Hyde that day. She had a series of photographs taken around Dublin using a Diana camera. The above image was my favourite taken in the botanic gardens.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tacita Dean

Tacita Dean's work, especially her video work has popped up a good bit through out my college education. I have never truly switched on to her until I saw a documentary on her via Lily Cole's tv series  Art Matters, on sky arts. I cant say Lily Cole is the best interviewer but if you can look past her, watching the artists talk about their work and show the public what they love is a most enjoyable experience. There is  nothing better than learning about the artists work in their own words than through a critic or third party publication.
 'Best known for her work in 16mm film, Dean laments the obsolescence of her medium in the digital age and speaks about her campaign, backed by Martin Scorsese and Jean-Luc Godard, to encourage film directors to continue to use film today.'
Her films are beautiful and poetic. A lot of Deans work is a creation of chance. For example her film 'Green Ray' The last ray of the dying sun.. Something that could not be captured digitally but Tacita Dean managed to capture it on film

green ray by tacita dean from veronika fee on Vimeo.

Tacita Dean: In America they call it the green flash. When the sun sets, in a very clear horizon, with no land mass for many hundreds of miles, and no moisture or atmospheric pressure, you have a good chance of seeing it. The slowest ray is the blue ray, which comes across as green when the sun sets in perfect atmospheric conditions. It’s the last ray as the sun recedes with the curvature of the earth. Like a pulse on the horizon. It’s totally fractional, though it can last longer.
The bizarre thing is that I filmed The Green Ray in Madagascar, and then in the same month, I had to fly back from Washington for an exhibition. On my Lufthansa airplane back, while we were nearing the coast of Ireland, everyone else was asleep and I got up and looked out the window across three sleeping bodies, and just at that moment the sun rose above a very sharply defined cloud, and it was the most extraordinary green ray. I mean, not like the one I have on my film, I mean a real . . . and it lingered . . . a second of emerald before the sun rose. I was so shocked, having this whole wait for it in Madagascar and then actually getting to see it so vividly. To see such a full-blooded green ray—

I am a particular fan of her chalkboard drawings especially her series 'Fatigues.'

'Fatigues' Installation view
'Fatigues, 2012 are a series of dramatic, large-scale chalk on blackboard drawings, made by Dean over many weeks on the site of a former tax office in Kassel. Dean used the two-story space to create a natural sequence of events within the narrative of the drawings. Beginning on the upper-story with the soaring and infamous mountain peaks of the Hindu Kush and the glacial source of the Kabul River, she used the gravity of the space to show the river descending towards Kabul as the snows melt and the rising water bring the annual floods that are both welcomed and feared.
The drawings mark a return to blackboards after a ten year gap, which, Dean explains, came about when her attempt to make a ‘blind film’ in Afghanistan, directing a local cameraman from afar, came to nothing. It was her chance discovery of the jingoistic poem, ‘Ford o’ Kabul River’ by Rudyard Kipling, about the drowning of British hussars in the Second Anglo-Afghan War, combined with footage of a flash flood in Kabul (from the damaged Afghan film) which led Dean to think about the passage and power of the Kabul River. The title, ‘Fatigues’ is both reference to army uniform and Dean’s state post-Turbine Hall.' -Marian Goodman Gallery

 'Fatigues' detail
The above image is from her series 'the Roaring Fortise'

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Etsy Store

Its official I have opened an Etsy store for the blackout poetry I have been doing. There are a few for sale in the store but I have a lot more to add.
Each 6x4 original collage comes in a simple wooden frame, which you can either hang or comes with an optional wire stand. Hopefully this will be a positive experience and will be a way to make a bit of money and create some good exposure! I'd appreciate it if you could share the shop around in case someone is looking to buy a prezzie for someone and is stuck for ideas!
Here is a link to my store
Some samples of the work below.

The Morran Book Project

A little while ago I found this wonderful book called 'The Morran Book Project.' The project was created by artist Camilla Engman and inspired by her little dog Morran. The project brought together 236 illustrators of all types to create an image inspired by Camilla's little dog Morran, who unfortunately passed away.
The work form what I have seen is really wonderful and lovingly done. I will definitely be adding this book to my list of must buys!
Below is some pictures of the work and the book, its says on the cover 75 illustrators but that was before it was updated.
A link to the blog is here
And a link to the store is here

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

I am jealous of my little sensations

‘I need my memories. They are my documents. I keep watch over them. They are my privacy and I am intensely jealous of them. Cezanne once said, I am jealous of my little sensations.

His Wife

'His Wife' by Emily Robards
A photo I took in the Adare graveyard with my Olympus-Om1 camera. I was always fascinated growing up by these little relics left on the grave sites.
In case you haven't noticed I have managed to put links in the right hand column to my other tumblr blogs. I created a new blog on tumblr which is for just my work, no contextual est.. and in no particular order. Hopefully it will allow for a wider audience and a bit of exposure.Its mostly photography at the moment but in time the work will differ. I have so much I can put up there so hopefully it will keep me going over the summer.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Austin Kleon

I found this artist called Austin Kleon. He does Blackout Poetry. I don't know if you remember some of the previous text works I did or if you have seen my other blog which needs updating, , well its basically along the same lines. I never realized that this method of creating poems was called 'blackout poetry.' Its been a good discovery. He has also made a book 'Newspaper Blackout' which I have added to my long list of books to obtain.
Check out his tumblr site, which allows you to submit your own blackout poetry work!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

110 Film

A while ago I found an old Kodak Instamatic camera belonging to my mother. It still had a film in it so I finished off the film and had it developed. To my disappointment, the majority of it came out blank. The problem with colour film is that over time the chemicals become unbalanced making the film in-usable. Lucky for me the shop didn't charge me for the developing as there was nothing to print from, but I scanned the negatives in at college anyway and managed to save these three prints that I believe I took of the Kerry mountains. I scanned them in under two different types of film, that is why some are blue and some are purple. The above image is my favorite.

Wile E. Coyote

Friday, May 3, 2013

Every Artist needs a cat to be Famous

I was sent this wonderful link of photos of Famous artist with their cats. Just goes to show you need a cat to make it in the art world. I have five so fingers crossed!
Frida Kahlo and friend, snubbed cat in background, Salvador Dali with his pet ocelot, Babou

Gustav Klimt with Katze, and Ai Wei Wei  with Lai Lai – one of his 40 cats!

Matisse with either Minouche or Coussi

Pablo Picasso with Minou

Andy Warhol, who once owned 25 cats, all called Sam

Tracey Emin and Docket

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cody Rocko

Another really good artist find. Cody Rocko is an American artist who does etchings, collage, photography, drawing est. Its so hard to choose which I like the best. Below are some of my favorite images.
Some major and minor influences include:
• Mundane Archiving
• Prose
• Astronomy, astrology, lunar cycles
• History of western North America, and other places, too.
• Joseph Beuys, shamanism and raw material
• Ghosts; traces; inhabitance of other dimensions

Sketches: Journals, ongoing


Matchbook Portrait of Deceased Woman

The No Legs series
hard ground and aquatint etching
5"x6" each

Pentti Sammallahti

I came across Pentti Sammallahti by chance while looking at another blog, lucky me! I hope this will help me next year. Really beautiful work. Its like the animals are in a world of their own unaware that the photographer is present.I wonder how many of these came to be by chance? A case of being in the right place at the right time. I hope to make work like this someday.
'For all that, Sammallahti's vision is also a lyrical one. He often captures humans and animals in worlds of their own, lost in reverie: dogs chase birds, birds cautiously approach humans or circle above them. Often, his camera captures a single figure in a dreamlike landscape: a man walking down a road in a silent, snow-covered world at dusk, his dog waiting, patient but alert, ahead of him. You can almost hear the crunch of snow underfoot. But what is most palpable is the silence of the surroundings. Looking at the photograph, you feel on the threshold of another, more mysterious world that is indeed here and far away.'
Lonely Horse, England, 1998
Solovki, White Sea, Russia 1992

 Iceland, 1980
Solovki, White Sea, Russia, 1992

1999 Cilento, Italy (Dog and Tire Pile)

Varanasi, India, 1999
'In Sammallahti’s world, humanity is not the center of the universe. His images are fable-like, where animals act as guides. They enable us to pass into another dimension that our usual haste often leads us to ignore. Dogs are among his favorite subjects, and he often carries dried sardines in his pockets as a treat.
The tableaux are striking. A horse stands on a snowy, plowed field near a windmill under a white sky. Two pigeons seem to play seesaw on a tree branch lodged cross-wise on the trunk. Like a mysterious creature of the night, a frog emerges from a pond. Flamingos with twisted necks nest in Namibia’s high grasses. In a forest’s clearing, a white rabbit sits, as if ready to meet Alice. Under a tree’s horizontal branch, a dog stretches in a yoga-like pose, a perfect parallel to the branch. Another dog walks on a village’s snow-covered path, holding a purse in his mouth.
Sometimes the images are free of animal or human presence. In large panoramic pictures, branches of trees snake and swirl. Square seascapes confront water and horizon in different shades of grey. The sea stretches like a wrinkled elephant skin, or high waves break into a wall of milk-white foam.'

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