What the summer saw – June 2019

What the summer saw – June 2019

As the saying goes, energy never gets lost just redirected. During the roller-coaster of assessment deadline and results I distracted myself looking at art.

Bernard Gaul is a friend and fellow artist. His show ‘Stocktake’ was a synopsis of work over a 10 year period. Documenting his transition from large scale painting to printing . When we met we spoke about curating a show and how any physical space can affect the narrative of work. He considered the show as an strict exercise in the installation of work as opposed to his usual practice which creates work site specifically in interactive performance installed temporarily.

While thinking about the stage my own practice is at, I see that I need to move work out from the studio to see it exist in another space and realise the challenges that arise. When the box arrived for assessment its narrative was lost, the connections were not apparent enough. One piece, a fabric form filled with salt had melded to the packing material and was destroyed. I had sent a box of samples, not a self contained piece of work.

Whilst on a long weekend with my childhood girlfriends In Bratislava, I lured them onto a river boat to Vienna for a dose of art. In the Museum quarter I spent the day in Leopold Museum overdosing on modernism – Klimt, Schiele, Moser, Wagner. The drawings of Edmund Kalb and a vast retrospective of Oskar Kokoschka. Sadly the woman artists in the printed Museum guide are poorly represented, only featuring Vally Wieselthier as a token entry. I was particularly taken by a sculpture by expressionist Kathy Kollwitz, The Mothers. On further investigation of her work, her use of hands dramatically posed, extend the portraits expressive nature and communicate tenderly the compassion and fervor by which she represents social criticism. To me, Schiele’s hands speak of ego, as observed and reinvented by David Bowie in contrast to Kollwitz – hands are the mouth of performance, tools in the ritual of making.

Oscar Kokoschkas Artifical Woman was very intriguing. A bespoke designed fetish doll, Reminded me of poppets, ” a doll made to represent a person, for casting spells on that person or to aid that person through magic. They are occasionally found lodged in chimneys”

In the outdoor space of the museum quarter I came across an large glass box, the MQ Art Box. It’s an exhibition space for contemporary art exhibitions. Each year 6 artists work with a curator and present work. I was very excited by this space! Art beyond the gallery.

So, all rambles aside. here’s where the head is at. Work travelling beyond the studio space, documenting it, expansion of ideas around ritual, making connections more apparent for audience.