Lost in a sea of images

We swim in a sea of images. The water reflects the sky. The water is crystal making the reflection perfect, and the sun glimmers on its surface. Just as fireworks are stimulating to the eye, so is the glittering light on the water. We see the reflection, then look up at the sky: the water and the sky meet at the horizon. We look back down at the rippling water. The sky ripples. The sea ripples. The reflection ripples, and glimmers and dances. We notice our own reflection in the water. We pear at it, we play around with it, we pose, we make waves in the water. Soon everything we do we are now also watching ourselves as we do it in the rippling water. The ripples in the water reflect squirming shapes of light onto your skin until your skin begins to squirm and your body begins to mimic the ripples, eventually appearing to adopt a liquid like consistency.

A mist has formed where the sky meets the sea, making the horizon fuzzy and blurred, but we don’t look there, we look at our reflection. We have forgotten about the sky. The water ripples, the sky ripples, we ripple.

Hypnotised, we move closer to the water. The sea of images consumes us as we submerge ourselves. Our liquified bodies move with the water, and quite naturally we start to flow in time with the waves. We leave the sky behind on the other side of the water’s surface: faint, blurry and rippling.

 

By Calypso Keane

 

The Parasite Plant

The leaf poses as the host’s leaf, however it is smaller. Because it is smaller we can identify it as the parasite leaf. To overcome this and to deceive, the parasite leaf mimics the exact markings, veins and colours of the host leaf. If the host plant has blossomed, the parasite will also imitate its flowers, copying the colours, the shape and the way they hang, but smaller. Over time the parasite becomes more intricate in design than the host. The leaf’s veins multiply, the plants’ grooves grow deeper, and the colours intensify. This gives the impression that the host is posing badly as the parasite. Hidden behind the leaves, the parasite is growing around and up the body of the host towards the light. The parasite grows in size and covers the host: the host decreases in size as the parasite absorbs all its nutrients. The leaves of the host disappear from nutrients deprivation and the parasite no longer needs to mimic them. Instead the parasite uses the absorbed nutrients to become more complex in design and increasingly colourful.

The parasite has made its way into the roots of the original seed of the plant, taking its shape and form and eating away at it until there is nothing left of the host. The parasite now poses in place of the host, and lives on as if it has always been there: its new roots as the roots once were, standing as the host once did.

No longer a parasite, but a plant of its own, it will live on until a new parasite comes and mimics its own leaves. Only the new parasite must mimic the more complicated leaves of the original parasite, and eventually the parasite becomes a new, more elaborate plant than the previous.

This process continued and gradually all the plants in the world were taken over by this species of parasite. The parasite continuously consumed the new parasite plants – becoming increasingly complex in design each time – until the only thing that existed in the world were exceptionally complex plants. Plants with so many veins that ran so deep that they carved rivers. Plants with vines that climbed so well that they became centipedes and snakes. Plants with flowers that grew so intricate that they became complex ecosystems that then became sophisticated civilisations. A plant that developed so many colours that it eventually created new colours that were blinding to the human eye. A plant that surpassed itself so much it was no longer a plant.

It covered the entire earth and everything else died out. The different parts of the plant became so sophisticated that the plant’s snakes, rivers and civilisations were vast in variety, until the process continued and they became homogenous. The ever growing and improving civilisations worked out how to kill off the parasite, and the last version of the parasite lived on forever.

 

By Calypso Keane

Old Weathered Photographs – how they were made…

I constructed the contents of the images on photoshop and then transferred them onto pieces of metal which I’d bent and warped to look like old folded pieces of paper, and then rusted them using chemicals to make them look old.

For the show translations, I presented them on a thin shelf on a white wall. This is not necessarily how I would have liked to show them because you could only see the ‘front’ of them, while the back was leaning agains the wall. They are sculptures and therefore don’t just have a ‘front’ but a ‘back’ too. Putting up the exhibition was a bit last minute, but I was thinking that they might be nice to show in a box, or stacked…. But I’m not sure…

When I look at them, there are two words that come into mind for me; authentic and nostalgic. They are both words that refer back to something, and create an ‘aura’, which what I wanted because, photographs document (/refer back to) an event, however these photographs refer to nothing; they only exist as themselves.

NOSTALGIC: -of a memory/ time in your life, however you always remember things inaccurately. Photographs create a vision of once was, and often jolt a memory but can also create a false memory. We often feel nostalgic towards memories and photographs, and that’s why it is interesting that these photographs create a sense of nostalgia, because the nostalgia is existing on its own, making you question the reality of the word and the feeling of it.

AUTHENTIC: -a very overused word, especially within capitalism/advertising/selling, which has been so repeated that it has morphed its meaning into something slightly different (but I think still disguises itself as the word its used to mean). Authentic is original, however I think now it can also be cheekily used as ‘like the original’ or ‘very similar to’. The rust on the photographs creates an exaggerated sepia effect which makes them seem ‘authentic’; old. Again, this is interesting because they appear to be referring back to a memory/time in my life, and they appear, at first glance, to be photographs, but they are forged, and the metal poses as a photograph, and the original that it appears to refer to doesn’t exist. Therefore they are not authentic photographs, they just pretend to be, but in an exaggerated way. But exaggeration is also a theme in constructed authenticity, for example in highly touristic areas where a place is made to look ‘extra Greek’ or ‘very London’ in order to please the tourist’s expectations.

However, the sculptures are authentic in themselves because they are the originals, and do not refer back to any memory or time in my life. They exist on their own. There is nothing more real than them.

My photoshop skills are a bit touch and go – but luckily I think the rust and the chemicals covers up that weakness nicely. Some of the photographs definitely came out better than the other ones – I had to experiment with the process to see what worked best.

I was happy with the shapes I managed to create with the metal and think that they mimic folded, old paper relatively well. I also really like the textures and colours created on the surface of the photographs and am interested in how that contributed to how one perceives and believes (or doesn’t) what they are looking at.

Old Weathered Photographs

I found some photographs over summer in my grandad’s shed on his allotment of me and my bro performing circus tricks. They were in a soggy box with a load of other stuff that had been kept there for years soaking up damp. All the stuff had sort of merged together to create one soggy clump of my grandads or random memories.

I’d never seen these photos before and it was quite nice to find them because they reminded me of a forgotten part of my childhood.

The one inside the circus tent where I am walking the tight rope I’m probably around the age of 8 or 9. During the Easter of 2005 (or 2006) I attended a kids circus course for a week in the South East of England. I remember that they were also a performing circus, and I think we went to see them.

The second photo is of me and my brother unicycling in the Isle of White. My mums best friend from Scotland – where she grew up – lives there with her family. We would occasionally go visit them and I think they had a couple unicycles in their house, and whenever we were there we’d ride them outside and up and down the corridor.

Offsite Show; SurFace. ft Bertie Dean, Elana Barber, Emmy Yoneda, Zuza Mitobędzka, Calypso Keane.

I have an increasing frustration with myself and my generation. People are completely obsessed, and ultimately absorbed by, the digitally simulated world that exists behind the glass screen on our phones. I understand that this is the direction our society is moving, however I think it is important to occasionally remove oneself from the digital world in order to appreciate one’s situation and place in the physical world.

This year I moved to Berlin and I wanted to explore the city.

It is now commonplace for a person to follow a small moving dot on their phone, with an expressionless mask of light over their face, when navigating physical space (particularly when exploring a new city). In doing so, you miss out on many beautiful things.

In an attempt to avoid this, I’d go on walks in Berlin with only a vague destination, and if something caught my eye then I’d allow my route to change. This encouraged me to be aware of my surroundings, which has been something I have found calming and has given me a mindful sense of being. I found myself acutely sensitised to colour, light and shape. And also my relationship to the physical space around me has become intensified. Climbing onto things, walking along walls or tree trunks, touching surfaces or stopping to watch and appreciate has all become integral to daily activity. It does require not having too many responsibilities for the rest of the day, but I think it is important to give yourself this time to be aware of yourself in the space you inhabit.

When I arrived in Berlin it was autumn, and I was living next to the public wood, Tiergarten, where many of my walks began. I was in awe of the natural beauty of the trees, and the colour of the leaves. I felt stunned that this natural colour change is something that occurs every year, and how lucky I am to have two retinas that can perceive this. I had this feeling of absolute satisfaction derived from what exists around me and my experience of it.

My artwork is a reflection of that feeling, using saturated colours to describe these glittering moments of intensity. The colours are carefully thought through and mixed so that they lie together harmoniously, yet also excite the eye so that it resonates in a pool of vibrant colour. The physical activity required by these materials is an important part of the process. They include collecting and lifting wood and rusty metal objects (related to my work from last year), pulling out nails, lots of loud hammering, sculpting paint with a knife, and mixing bowls of thick colour. Also walking through the Tiergarten, running back and forth from the skip collecting objects (rubbish), and even intervals of dancing in the studio are activities I consider part of this process.DSCF2347DSCF2341

Emmy Yoneda (below to the right)DSCF2339DSCF2335DSCF2331

Brought some metal frames that I ended up not using because I put my work in the middle of the room. We collectively decided to leave them where they’d been randomly placed to be an artwork of its own. (Painters leaving their frames behind…)DSCF2328Berty Dean (below)DSCF2333

Elana Barber (below)unnamed

Zuza MitobędzkaDSCF2330

Overall I think the show went well (people got drunk and enjoyed some art).

We worked very well together setting up the show, and helping one another. Everyone was happy with where their work was displayed etc..

I think the white blocks were distracting from my work and I could have arranged them more thoughtfully. However they were already in the space so I just used them. The work is meant to be rearranged for different spaces so I guess this is just how it worked out in this space. Also because drunk people at a private view aren’t always that careful about where they are stepping I didn’t want to have the works on the floor as some of them are rather fragile.