While setting up my work at Burghley House in Stamford I stayed at the Dolphin Guest House (http://www.thedolphinguesthouse.co.uk/). I would definitely recommend it as I truly enjoyed my cosy and clean room, the warm welcoming of the landlady and her very friendly and pleasant energy.
I ‘ve also enjoyed my breakfast even if I did not go for the english one I had delicious fresh fruit with yogurt and her very special home made Granola. Also look out for another treat: home baked lemon biscuits.
Plus Stamford is a stunning little town well worth visiting. Another real highlight is Burghley and not just the house but it’s sculpture garden curated by artist Michael Shaw. The exhibition takes place every year from April until November. It’s definitely a great opportunity to see good art surrounded by nature or the other way around: see nature surrounded by art! (http://www.burghley.co.uk/)
I would like to publicly thank artist Mike Shaw (http://www.michaelshaw.org/) who for several years has been curating the yearly Sculpture Garden exhibition at Burghley House in Stamford. Not only has been doing a great job so far as well as making his own amazing art, but he has been a great help hands on in installing my work and welcoming me to site.
While I was assembling my bags he has been digging holes to cement the work, it took almost 2 days to set everything up.
Unfortunately 4 days later wind and rain worked on bending my trees that soon were all reclining down touching the ground. That made me realize that a 12mm rebar is not strong enough for my bags. I think that we needed 16mm ones to prevent the disaster and another hard day of work for Mike and his assistant Anthony. As much as I am all for change and all my work leaves intentionally and unconsciously plenty of room for disasters to happen, it is difficult to be brave enough to courageously share disaster with an audience. At the moment I still fear that it would be perceived as failure from my part to deliver a proper artwork. Personally I see lots of beauty in the bended trees and feel strangely drawn towards those awquard deformed creatures, that inspire more thoughts than possibly the original intended one could.
So while I am still working at my confidence to resolve the future of my art making, Mike and Anthony will try to resuscitate the work by planting another rebar right next to each tree to strengthen their trunks and reinforce them back up straight.
This is the first time that I have experienced rebar behaving this way. In the past I have been using it quite a bit, although it always was covered by a copper or plastic pipe.
The function of the rebar is not only to hold in place and give shape to bags, but also to be flexible enough so that together with the rest of all the other components of the sculpture will animate the work inducing a natural kinetic action that needs no electricity and no power but is sensitive to the outdoor natural elements instead and inn the end behaves like a real tree would.
A DIRTY DOZEN IS OUT AGAIN!
This year Burghley Sculpture garden will host 2 of my works, I hope!
The pics you see here are of ‘A dirty Dozen’ an artwork that was on display at Burghley House two years ago. Now the roses like flowers are out there again, only this time in a much more fragile fashion and I explain how: although it’s the same exact work of 2010 that had been stored for 2 years the bags that form the flowers are part of my ealry collection and are much older and well into their decomposition process and about to pulverize into small flakes of white plastic. All the original thorns have already fallen and the corollas are just about keeping their shapes.
To make sure that the plastic dust is not spreading out in the environment I have change the the cellophane wrap, that initially was intended to protect the flowers, with a fresh one that now has acquired a new function: to contain them as well as to shield us from them.
Working with plastic bags for so many years I have become familiar with all their forms of decay but this time it is very exciting to share with the viewers the process of the whole artwork slowly disintegrating before they very eyes and experience the vulnerable fragility of our constructions, at last confirming my predicaments reenforcing my initial artist statement.
Here it is once again:
My work entails the investigation of what I call the “evolution of landscape”, a process started and affected by modern life-styles and consumerism.
These six hundred recycled plastic bags are part of my same collection of many other thousands that I mould over and over into new ephemeral installations. These portray artificial landscapes and mimic the cyclic action of nature in its infinite sculptural forms.
Despite my continuous efforts and great concerns to protect and preserve the original pristine look of the work, this time I have decided to expose it to the transformational agents of time and nature. Could I ever prevent a flower from its wonderful decay?
It is for us to admire all its transitional phases and observe how the “plastic” and natural realms interact with one another. These six hundred recycled plastic bags are part of my collection of other thousands that I continuously mould into new ephemeral artificial landscapes.
I cannot help but mimic the cyclic action of nature in its infinite sculptural forms to explore the tensions between the contradictions of our neurotic but beautiful world, where the desire for creation and destruction coexist side by side.Despite my great concerns to preserve the work could I ever prevent a flower from its inevitable wonderful decay?
The Opening of the Show Curated by Michael Shaw is on 24th April. The show will run well into the autumn season that will see the landscape and the setting of the art pieces and therefore the artworks themselves change hand in hand with the seasonal flow.
‘A Dirty Dozen’ will not only decay but also quickly be covered up by the all surrounding vegetation.
I’ve just returned from Manchester were I installed my ‘Bed of Breasts’, an installation part of the very exciting group show: ‘Inside’ at Blankspace, another really interesting event organized and curated by Blank Media Collective. I have really enjoyed the whole experience. Working with Blanckspace has been a delight and the opening was packed with lovely people! Do check the space out: BLANKSPACE | 43 Hulme Street | Manchester | M15 6AW | 0161 222 6164.
I would like to warmly thank Mark, Kate, Liz and Jonathan for all they wonderful help and support.
Friday 30 March – Sunday 29 April 2012, BLANKSPACE, Manchester
INSIDE: 30 March – 29 April 2012
EXHIBITION LAUNCH: Thursday 29 March (6-9pm)
Creative Writing & Visual Arts workshop: Thursday 26 April (2-5pm)
BLANKSPACE, Manchester Free Entry
Participating artists: Claudia Borgna, Philip Cheater, Drop Collective, Gill Greenhough, Rosie Leventon, David Ogle, Emily Rubner, Liz West and Chris Wrigh
Within the insular and atmospheric setting of BLANKSPACE gallery, Inside explores the psychological connections we form with our environment, placing the participant within a collection of works that disturb, envelop, and engage. All the works featured in this exhibition are united by themes of absence, loss, memory, fantasy and nostalgia, sparking the imagination and placing the participant both physically and mentally within the viewing space.
Kate Charlton, Blank Media Collective’s Lead Curator states; “Inside gives us the opportunity to bring together a collection of artworks which are going to encourage the audience to interact with pieces in a new and different way. This is an ambitious exhibition, bringing together an eclectic range of artists helping them to showcase works that may not have otherwise have been realised. Inside will set a precedent to what will be another exciting year for the organisation.”
To accompany the exhibition, there will be a hand-made publication featuring short prose and poetry inspired by the exhibition themes. Collating the work of twelve emerging writers, each of the pieces creates a perfect accompaniment to the exhibition experience.
The work for this show is a further exploration and development of the first ‘Bed of breast’ made at the Los Gatos Art Museum last Autumn.