Sunday, November 22, 2015

Venice Agendas and the Breadman at Turner Contemporary.

Tatsumi Orimoto
Not being able to get to Venice for the Biennale, I was intrigued to see that Turner Contemporary were advertising, the Venice Biennale comes to Margate. with a day called  Venice Agendas.   Crossing Borders The Right to Fail.

The day featured talks, performances, discussions and films. with a whole series of events streamed live through the Periscope App.  This is an app that works on phone and tablet primarily, so I could set it up on my pad.  Turner Contemporary were streaming a lot of events in their gallery on the day too.
This meant I could  watch Jon Adams's performance in Games with the Waterhorse, at home before I went down to the gallery in the afternoon.

 I was interested in seeing the artist Tatsumi Orimoto, who has performed all over the world, especially as 'Breadman' Strapping loaves and baguettes of bread on his face, Orimoto travels by train and bus and walks in public performing his communication art. Bread has many associations, with the body, as food, currency and with poverty, but for Orimoto its also about investigating how people respond to him.

Yesterday Orimoto took the Loop bus from Broadstairs to Margate as Bread Man, he is filmed on these performances, and at Turner Contemporary, I watched his travels on the bus before he arrived, smiling at the other passengers expressions to this strange sight.

The weather was terrible, really strong winds, so it was a struggle for Orimoto to walk to the gallery, where he also held a drawing performance, Breadman Performs Lies and signed pieces of bread for visitors.
Breadman Paints Lies

I enjoyed seeing him and watching the performances, Orimoto intrigued me, an elderly Japanese artist, who has been performing Breadman for 30 years or more across the world, he was engaging with a sense of humour and obvious love for his mother, who is also a part of his life and art.

In the downstairs gallery there were a series of lovely photographs showing Tatsumi Orimoto's performances and his mother often with bread too. I asked Orimoto if his mother knew much about his art, (she has Alzheimer's) he said not, which I thought was sad, she is in hospital while he travelled to do his performance this time. Orimoto said he is the sole carer for his mother, Art Mama, they share a traditional house in Kawasaki.

Artist Ruth Proctor also performed OK, Set, Drop at one of the exhibits in the Risk exhibition. I watched and filmed as Proctor climbed the 4metre scaffolding and dropped backwards onto a stack of cardboard boxes, with a loud bang.

Disarm (Mechanized) Pedro Reyes
I watched the Disarm(Mechanized) performance by Pedro Reyes, Reyes has for some years been transforming weapons, seized by the Mexican army from drug cartels and turning them into musical instruments. They are controlled by computers and perform in the gallery regularly.

So good to see these events, which left me with a desire to find out more about the artists, especially
 why they were doing the things they were doing.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Wateland and Altered images

We are working on a project looking at TS Eliot's The Wasteland in Blank Canvas.  A poem, part of which was written in Margate, with Eliot sitting in the shelter at Nayland Rock, near the station.

The poem is rich in symbols, imagery and references, as far as I can tell, to much classical, literary, religious and secular thought.

The Wasteland would not be a choice of reading for me, but as an exploration in visual terms, I do find it interesting.

I've not tried to make any art using poems as inspiration before, so this is a new way of working.

Here are some altered images, working with ink on found images of land and seascapes and on paper.
I will continue altering some of my own images next time.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Autumn Themes

With the Autumn season moving on into Winter, I have been working on some of my prints and photographs with an Autumn theme.

My Acer tree's leaves turned red this year, after a couple of years of staying mostly green in the Autumn. I particularly love the vibrant reds, yellows and oranges of  the trees and shrubs, helped by the sun shining at the right time.

I often collect a few leaves on my walks, just to admire them for a few days, along with conkers, with their tactile shape and size.

Seeing trees bare branched with their leaves on the ground around them, I am struck by sense that they have shook off a set of clothes.