london

Exhibition Suggestions

Hello everyone,

My university’s second term has come to its end, and I will be going back to Greece to spent the easter holidays with my family and friends. The good news is that I will try and keep up with my blog, focusing on the many interesting art events currently happening in Athens. The bad news is that because I don’t know the exact date that I will be coming back to London,  I will probably have to miss some great art exhibitions happening here at the moment. As a result of that, I have selected my top three exhibitions that I really wanted to visit but did not have the chance. I am hoping to be able to visit them when I come back, but in case I don’t, here they are; make sure that you take a look , be inspired and if you decide to visit them, let me know what you thought!

Momentum, at the Barbican Centre (Images courtesy of Barbican Centre)
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“Momentum consists of twelve pendulums that activate light and sound as they swing, drawing attention to the Curve’s vast arc, inviting you to journey through the space guided by your heightened senses. Each pendulum has been meticulously designed and built using steel, aluminium, and custom electronics. The sound is individual to each pendulum, prepared and tuned to seamlessly resonate as they move within the Curve”. Momentum creates an unique environment that has its foundations in detailed research, sophisticated computer technology and mechanical expertise. Yet, the effect is to create a space that feels wondrously transformed, one which you are invited to experience and explore.” (information taken from: barbican.org.uk)

Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined at the Royal Academy of Arts

“Some of the most creative architectural minds from around the world have come to the RA, and we’ve set them a challenge: to give you a new perspective on architecture. ‘Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined’ sees our Main Galleries transformed by a series of large scale installations. As you respond to different structures, textures, lighting, scents and colours, we invite you to consider some of the big questions about the nature of architecture. How do spaces make us feel? What does architecture do for our lives?” (royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/4)

Martin Creed ‘Whats the point of it”  Hayward Gallery (Images courtesy of Hayward Gallery)
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A survey of Martin Creed’s playful, thought-provoking art.Over the past two and a half decades British artist Martin Creed has pursued an extraordinary path by confounding the traditional categories of art.Winner of the 2001 Turner Prize, Creed is recognised around the world for his minimalistic approach that strips away the unnecessary, but preserves an abundance of wit, humour and surprise.Crossing all artistic media and including music, his art transforms everyday materials and actions into surprising meditations on existence and the invisible structures that shape our lives. This exhibition includes work containing nudity, bodily functions and some adult content and will be the first major survey of Martin Creed’s work, spanning its most minimal moments and extravagant room-sized installations.”
(Information from: southbankcentre.co.uk)

I really hope that this post will motivate you to go and visit these three wonderful exhibitions. If you do, please comment below and tell me what you thought of them, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks for reading,
Elli

Vandal Lust

A few weeks ago, I created a post, asking viewers to answer ‘what is your favourite art form’. After looking at the results and comments, I personally found it hard to give just one answer. I really like to create paintings and mixed media art, take photographs and also create short films. At the same time, what I really love in exhibitions I visit are large scale installations. One of the reasons why I enjoy large scale installations is because I like  to take my time to view them, walk around them and try to the find small and beautiful details that are not that obvious at first sight.

A week ago, I visited Saatchi Gallery and viewed a work created by Andra Ursuta; Vandal Lust. Andra Ursuta was born in Romania in 1979 and has lived and worked in New York since 2000.

There is a thrilling and unnerving sense of destruction and metonymy in Ursuta’s works (sculptures/installations). Most importantly, the artist doesn’t steer away from using her personal memories and experiences, whether the damaged psychology of her country or her own body, which is often the inspiration of casts, to ignite her mixed-media creations. Ursuta’s narratives are convincingly bodied forth by a distinctively fractured, somewhat deprived sense of craft.

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What I understand from observing and researching Vandal Lust is that self-invention and self-destruction are endlessly interchanged. It is not very clear whether Longing and failure that fill the work are real or artificial. “By resurrecting an obsolete piece of battlefield technology generally reduced to recreational use by living history enthusiasts, Ursuta blurs the distinction between authentic private feelings and their reenacted, staged version.” (Source: zoominfo.com)

Vandal Lust is a life size tableau that was inspired by “The man who flew into space from his appartment’ and it centres on a crudely made catapult that seems to have been used attempting to launch the artist into space using a large medieval siege engine, built to the limits of space capacity and  based on reconstructions found online. The basic part of the installation, which is the catapult is not a solid monolithic structure but it includes a variety of materials ranging from cardboard, plaster, scraps of lumber, resin and remnants of destroyed or abandoned objects.

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The following section is a part of Ursuta’s interview with Christopher Bollen from interview magazine, focusing on her inspiration and what she tried to say through her installation.

Vandal Lust borrows from  Ilya Kabakov’s famous piece The Man Who Flew Into Space From His Apartment ? where the man is presumed to have successfully launched himself into space. In yours, there’s a dent near the ceiling and the figure curled on the floor. Is that about failure?

Launching and failing. I guess it could be seen as being about the art world, that trajectory. But it was more about knowing you will fail but going for it anyway

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What I really enjoyed about this work of art is trying to find hidden details, walk around the art piece and try to imagine the story behind it. Moreover, I liked how the installation had many different elements, the larger part which was the catapult, but also a human cast which was on the floor, as well as the bodies ‘effect‘ on the wall of the gallery. All these small details were there to help and lead the viewer towards understanding what the catapult was and what was the story behind the work of art. If one of the three elements were not there, the work would not make sense. After leaving the exhibition, I was very excited to go back home and research the artist and the messages behind her work and personally, I enjoy viewing works of art that are that effective and make want to think and research about them even after leaving the exhibition.

Do you think vandal Lust is an effective installation?

Thank you for reading,

Elli

Mary Katrantzou LFW

I am very interested in fashion and the reason why I haven’t posted anything related to fashion so far is because I was waiting for the right moment, and here it is, London Fashion Week. Organised by the British Fashion Council, LFW ranks alongside New York, Paris and Milan as one of the ‘Big Four’ fashion weeks, and its considered a big deal for fashion lovers worldwide.

Every year, I enjoy watching all four different fashion weeks, from online live streaming and youtube as well as reading different articles and interviews of the designers. This year, I got the chance to attend a fashion  show, and more specifically, Mary Katrantzou’s  runway collection.

Mary Katrantzou was born in Athens, Greece. She studied at Rhode Island School of Design and completed both her BA and MA at Central Saint Martins in London. She has previously worked for Sophia Kokosalaki and freelanced for Bill Blass. Mary received the prestigious Swiss Textiles Award in 2010, and in November 2011 she was awarded the British Fashion Award for Emerging Talent in Womenswear. In February 2012, Mary was awarded Young Designer of the Year at the Elle Style Awards, and was also awarded Designer of the Year at the British Fashion awards 2013. At this year’s British Fashion Awards, Katrantzou is nominated for the New Establishment Award.

Mary Katrantzou is well known for her famous complex prints. Her architectural,background is apparent in the shapes of her designs.   ‘Her thematic collections revolved around an icon of luxury, looking for the filtered beauty within it; an object from art of design that a woman would not be able to wear if it were real”. In that way, she has created her own, signature style; something that is new and innovative and people like and appreciate for its unique and intelligent style. “Each print is designed around the garment, and the garment  around the print”

Even though the designer has become synonymous with her signature digital prints, for her fall-winter collection 2014, in my opinion, she took her designs to the next level. Her collection included super sleek silhouettes, pleated maxi dresses and metallic suits. Her inspiration came from the idea of uniforms and the symbols used on them from her designs decorations. 

She was also inspired by everyday wardrobes, from boy scouts to bakers and bankers. Texture was a main component of her collection, with symbol-shaped brocades, chain mail, and pleating. Monochrome landscapes were inspired by turn-of-the-century black/white photography.

What I specifically loved about her collection, was some of the fabrics she used that were so beautiful and complex in their construction, over printings, bondings and embossings. She applied graphically urban scenes to soft knitwear creating beautiful and dreamy garments.

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After her work was showcased in London’s fashion week, some people commented that her collection was hard to ‘love’, because of the flat angular shapes that looked very difficult to wear, and also because of the lack of her signature designs and colours, In my opinion, her collection was the exact opposite. In comparison to her previous collections, this one is definitely easier to wear, as she uses many different materials, and includes many pieces with simple shapes and less colours. Moreover, in her collection you can see a big variety of, prints, shapes, textures and colours, which makes it easier to wear and also more likely to appeal to a larger audience.

I simply loved her collection, her colours, textures and innovative prints and materials. I don’t know whether I left the show feeling that enthusiastic because it was my first experience in fashion week, or because I was feeling proud since Mary is Greek like me. But either way, it was a perfect evening and her collection just makes me excited to see what she’s going to present next.

Thank you for reading,
Elli

Lost Worlds Reclaimed by nature

I really enjoy capturing special moments with my camera, either for art projects or in everyday life, but I am not a huge fan of going to photography exhibitions. I tend to find them boring and less interesting than painting exhibitions for example where I find it easier to understand the artists intentions and messages, connect with his and thus with his artworks. But I recently visited ‘The Photographers’ Gallery” an exhibition that I genuinely enjoyed and recommend.

The Factory Photographs, exhibition by David Lynch:

I Love Industry pipes, I love fluid and smoke. I love man-made things. I like to se people hard at work, and I like to see sludge and man-made waste. David Lynch

This quote by the artist of the exhibition, David Lynch, gives a short definition of what is expected to be seen in his photography. His exhibition features 90 black an white images in England, Berlin. Poland, New York, and New Jersey between 1980 and 2000. Focusing on obsolete but richly atmospheric, post-industrial architecture spaces, this series depicts relics of a lost world, factories once proud emblems of progress, now deserted and being reclaimed by nature.

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Lynch’s passion for the dark, the apical and the mysterious themes, emanates from this body of work that captures uninhabited locations with a poetic and even romantic aura. Highly subjective, the imagery resembles dream-like sequences that have both enigmatic and ominous qualities.

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Maybe one of the reasons why I haven’t been the biggest fan of photography exhibitions is because I sometimes find it hard to connect with the photographs and more importantly, connect each photograph to the other. I like works of art to have a sequence and one to follow the other. In that way, I have the opportunity to create a narrative in my mind, and become a part of it. This exhibition allowed me to do exactly that, even though I did not actually connect with the ‘broken glasses’ and the ‘old walls’ that were featured in the photographs, I understood the angle of the artist, his purpose and the messages he meant to convey, and connected the photos together.

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What is of great importance in my opinion, is the way the exhibition has been put together and presented. I am very organised myself, and I like everything to be presented in a simple and ‘clean’ way. For that reason, I really like the fact that the artist has used black  frames for his o pictures, that all have the approximate size. Also, black and white is used throughout the exhibition, making the photographs clear, the details more dramatic and the exhibition coherent.

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One can ask: What is so important about old pipes, destroyed walls, broken glasses and abandoned spaces? Well, many people will say that nothing is interesting about that. And others, that might disagree may have a number of different answers. But in my opinion, what makes a great artist is discovering art in everyday objects. David Lynch has managed to capture the beauty of these everyday objects. Shooting in old industrial spaces, he manages to find what is unique and present it as art. He takes the unimportant elements and gives them power, significance and meaning. In that way, his work exudes a unique, cinematic style through dark, brooding images.

If you are a big fan of photography (or not) you should definitely try and make some time to visit this exhibition by David Lynch, at the Photographers’ Gallery. Its not only amazing, it is free as well. If you are interested in more information about The Photographers’ Gallery, visit their website: http://thephotographersgallery.org.uk/home

Antony Gormley

Do you have a favourite artist? That question may be very hard to answer. Not only because there are countless artists around the world, also because art can take countless forms. But different artists create different artworks, different artworks create different feelings, and feelings are experienced differently by everyone. So, can this question be answered? Personally, I can’t.

Sculpture was never a form of art that I had a great passion for. I didn’t know how to create unique sculptures, so I was never that interested in learning more about them. That was, until I came across the work of Antony Gormley. His works of art inspired me from a young age, made me experiment with different materials, create my own sculptures and appreciate that form of art.

http://www.antonygormley.com/sculpture/series12345678934                                                                                                                              http://www.antonygormley.com/sculpture/series

Gormley mostly works with human figures. Probably that is what immediately grabbed my attention, since bodies and human figures are what I enjoy experimenting with the most when I create art. What is the most significant thing about Gormley, is the unique ways in which he uses  materials such as wire, wood, plastic, concrete, iron and more, making his works extraordinary.

Gormley works with the human figure since he believes that the body always holds the most exceptional part of our soul. Inspired from the Ancient Greece, he is attempting to configure a representation of the gods in their human form. Even though his inspiration comes from Greek sculptures which are thought to be representing a ‘perfect image’, his works look nothing like them. He is giving human forms unique weaknesses and flaws, just like every human body has.

What I really enjoy with his sculptures is how different they might look based on their different angles. Because of the fact that the human figures he creates are not realistic but free of interpretation, everyone can view them and perceive them in a different way. You might not recognise their human form when looking from very close. Some large body figure installations, may be understood as human figures only if they are being watched from miles away.

And when I thought that Gormley’s art works could not get any better, I came across his permanent works of art. A series of sculptures, created not for exhibitions or shows, but for specific locations all around the world. All series are different, but my favourite is ‘Another place’ (1997).  Spread in an area of 2.5 kilometres down the coast, 1 kilometre out to the sea on Crosby Beach UK,  this work of art is created by iron sculptures, all made by Gormley’s self made casts.

As every artist tries to challenge him self, this work was made to test time and tide, stillness and movement. At the same time, it was a work of art that was aiming to somehow engage and connect with the daily life of the specific area. Interaction is one of the most significant things a work of art can achieve. Being able to walk by the sculptures, view them closely and touch them is very important. I love how these works of art have come to be a permanent part of that location.

Want to see Gormley’s works of Art Live? Here is a list of all of his permanent works around UK:

  • Witness               (2011)     British Library, London, UK
  • Transport            (2011)     Canterbury Cathedral, UK
  • Another time       (2009)   Exeter College, Oxford, UK
  • You                     (2005)    Roundhouse, London, UK
  • Another Place      (2005)    Crosby Beach, Merseyside,UK
  • Resolution           (2005)   Shoe Lane, London, UK.
  • Planets                (2002)    British Library, UK.
  • Reflection            (2001)    Euston Road, London, UK.
  • Quantum Cloud   (2000)   Greenwich Penisula, London, UK
  • Angel of North     (1995)    Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council, UK
  • Iron Man              (1993)   Victoria Square, Birmingham, UK
  • Sound II               (1986)    Winchester Cathedral, Winchester, UK