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.
Emmy Yoneda (below to the right)
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…)Berty Dean (below)
Elana Barber (below)
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.