Thursday, 31 July 2014

The Dump as art

Sometimes things just happen, so today the Dump came to me instead of me going to my dump. But this time as an art exhibition at Göteborgs Konsthall – Naturum - 2014.06.13-2014.09.21

But how?

Can this be art? Maybe not if art only is there to please the eye. But if art is there to ask questions it definitely can.

This huge pile (3 meters high) consist of leftovers from sales of ornamental flowers that wasn’t sold. The question the artist states is the sense of repeatedly buying new flowers and discard the old one, our planet is not an endless resource. 

My own immediately response to these and other questions is going back in my memory to when I moved in to my recent flat. In the garbage rooms I found a Ficus which had a severe outbreak of lice, and the owner had simply thrown it away. 
I took it up and placed it in the tub and gave it a good shower and an even better cut – both to the foliage and to the roots. This spring, 17 years later, I had to cut it back again since it thrives way to good J

But even if it is a rotting pile of dead flowers, nature is unstoppable. When I looked closed I found these small sprouts.

I’m not saying that we should stop buying flowers. But we can consider our choices and choose the ones we know we most likely will try to keep alive as long as possible. During the SBA diploma course I bought lots of flowers – and two of them are still here and are not going away soon.

Another part of the exhibition looked almost like a laboratory of some crazy scientist.

This artist had started to collect acorns and chestnuts, and then out of a whim she started to put them in water in various glass containers. All of the small plants are also hanging in threads (which is not visible in my pictures) and are in that way all connected to each other. 
There are also coloured glass in between and the artist is going to observe how the different light affects them. The questions this artist ask is for instance the ethics and morality in scientific research. For me this installation mostly brought a desire to sample some acorns myself …!

I also now must by a flower press!

One wall was devoted to pressed flowers, and of course it was again the ornamental flowers we buy for our own pleasure that was is focus.
The descriptive text under the specimen don’t state where the flower was gathered, but instead from which producer it originate, and then which importer and last which supermarket who sold it.

But, they are beautiful. So I am a little confused at this point in the exhibition. What do I really think and feel about this commerce?

There were also some sculptures and other installations that were harder for me to comprehend. 
But the video installation that showed six laptops by a lake that randomly surfed the internet until their battery died - but the nature around them still remained unchanged – made sense to me.

In one room there where a video of one single Streptocarpus going around on a conveyor belt in an otherwise empty greenhouse. It looked like it was searching for friends or relatives, reminded me of the initial scene of the movie Wall-E. One lonely sad flower … 

On the wall there was this collection of family photographs.

One can at least say that we have a complex attitude towards nature. We want to preserve it. To keep it as it is, so we can travel there when we need it. But in the same time we do our best to destroy it, often in the sake of making money.

I really liked being in the exhibition, I felt calm and relaxed. I wanted to go back.
But now I mostly feel sad – why are the human race so eager to make profit out of everything?

Sunday, 13 July 2014

An artist block, or am I just lazy

The greatest block for me is my day-work. I am not that fortunate that I can make a living of my art so I have to go to work. I like my job, it is creative in a matter of speaking. But most of the time I’m to tired to do any art-work when I’m home at the evenings. And of course, I need to do some physical exercises to stay satisfied with myself – and that also take time ….

I know, just bad excuses.

So when the weekend comes everything needs to be planned, the grocery shopping is done and all plans are drawn and there should be plenty of time for me to sit down and paint. But first, oh this Saturday is so sunny and nice so we just have to take our bikes and go for a ride. Since they are road bikes the ride tends to span over many kilometers.  We settled for a route about 60 km long, but - that road looks nice, let’s see where it goes. And then we stopped for coffee and cake, and then a bath and an ice cream. We arrived home rather late and the sun had been shining all day so now my head was beating of headache. So for one beautiful day on the road I had to pay with one day of migraine – and of course no painting.

I am a bad planner.

So where did the dump go? Oh, it got to be where I left it. But all the sketching and studying I planned to do this spring and summer has not happened yet. Lucky for me it will stay where it is, and I’m sure that late summer and autumn also are going to be interesting to watch.

I just have to find time to get there.

But am I not doing anything? Yes, a little.

I’m working on a bigger piece where this dried Astrantia is one part. For the moment there are three participants on the paper, but it can most likely change when the Astrantia is done. A painting that is evolving for each part I put on it.

Yesterday I picked these Samaras (Maple fruit) – and I really need to find time to paint them before the colour is gone… They are great for small graphite studies as well.

And after all I manage to do a leaf study today, it’s from a Hibiscus. It was a huge effort, the Tour de France is on TV ….

“If you can paint a leaf, you can paint the world” John Ruskin