Monday, 31 October 2011

Henri Matisse and the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence...

To quote: "The studied simplicity, aiming "to express the idea of immensity, over a very limited surface", gives a response to religious feeling and brings about "the lightening of the spirit" which Matisse wanted to prompt in visitors to the chapel." 

I chose to write about this piece of architecture by Henri Matisse because I think that it shows Modernism in its most simplistic and beautiful form. I have a lot more to learn about Modernism as a movement and, like everyone, I have a lot more to learn about Art. But I feel that this Chapel designed by Matisse (c. 1941) is a perfect example of the colours and simple shapes that artists in the Modern movement dared to experiment with. The Chapel is like a blank canvas. Clean and white so that when the Sun shines through the bright, multi-coloured shapes of the stained glass windows, the same colours are reflected onto the floor and the wall tiles that depict a simple, yet representative image of Mary cradling baby Jesus. This rather child-like drawing reminds me of the innocence in the hope that is brought by religion daily.  

A Chapel, to me, is a place that should be quiet, serene, uncluttered and somewhere that you can relax and gather your thoughts. A place where you cannot be disturbed. I can imagine, that sat in this place, one is met with the feeling of awe similar to that which you would have sat in the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, Rome or perhaps St. Paul's Cathedral in London. I am not religious, but I do believe in Art and the power of Art. Although Modernism was supposed to defy and frustrate the "normal" art processes (e.g vast, realistic paintings and life-like sculptures that were created to represent the visual obvious) I believe that it developed art in a way which makes/forces the viewer to think and interpret in their own, personal way. Although only a small room, I can imagine that this has an immense effect on whoever enters it's walls.

After researching Modernism further, I found this quote from Clement Greenberg which had been used in an essay written by John O'brian in 1988, titled 'Greenberg's Matisse and the Problem of Avante-Garde Hedonism'.  
"Now the pastoral, in modern painting and elsewhere, depends on two interdependent attitudes: the first, a dissatisfaction with the moods prevailing in society's centers of activity; the second, a conviction of the stability of society in one's own time." [extract from a passage in 'The Nation' by Clement Greenberg, Jan. 1946, in CG, 2, pp.51-52]
After reading more of O'brian's essay, it is suggested that this article by Greenberg is directly aimed towards the art of Matisse although he is not named at any point. What I understand from the quote is that Modernism was and still is very critical of Art and the world around us. The 'pastoral' is supposed to be fresh, natural etc. although I feel that when I look at the work of Matisse and other Modernist painters, they almost have an industrial and machenical feel to them in terms of production. I feel that Greenberg is also saying that through Modernism, we are seeing a glimpse into the effects of the growth and changes of society (e.g. the development of the factory and mass production) during the Modernist years. Gone are the lush, life-like paintings of John Constable and enter the liner, shapely and vibrant depictions of the Modernist era.
I feel that this links to Matisse's Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence because at the time of its design and contruction, the world was at war. The fact that Matisse was concentrated on the design process of a Chapel (a place for peace, rest and communion) shows for me a desire for simplicity and serenity in a society that was destrucitve and full of tension.

Saturday, 29 October 2011


In 1917 the term 'surrealism' was coined by French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, and was solidified as a movement with the 1924 publication of André Breton's Manifesto of Surrealism.
Concerned with thought and expression of thought, the surrealists were primarily active as both an artistic and intellectual movement during the first half of the 20th century in Paris. They drew on the advancements in psychoanalysis brought on by Freud and the practice of 'spirit mediums' trance-like displays and acted as a reaction to the hard rationalism of the Marxists.

They explored the subconscious, developing automatic art-making techniques that were both literary and visual - taking lead from Freud's theories about free-association - and an 'oneiric' or dream-like style eschewing the traditions of narrative flow and urging a more instinctive and interpretive reaction to their work. The believed that as much wonder was to be found in reality as in the dream world.

The most celebrated surrealist artists were Dali, Magritte and Ernst - creating in a more oneric way - and Miro for his automatism.

Salvador Dali, The Temptation of St. Anthony.

Joan Miro, The Escape Ladder.

Both show reference to organic, recognisable forms but warped and transformed to represent an entirely new entity. The two styles, oneric and automatism, are clearly distinct from each other (despite these being limited examples) but both are also visibly 'surreal' (24/10/11) (24/10/11) (28/10/11)

Piet Mondrian


Modernism an art movement during the 20th century which was a movement that rejected the previous conformity of the art styles of naturalism and academicism. It embraced the” experimental, radical, ready made, primitive, the unconscious, spiritual order, expressive truth, art and industry and internationalism.”(Little p 98)

Piet Mondrian a Dutch painter of the time, who is well known for his geometric abstract paintings which are still popular today and have been iconic in there revival; as a dress designed by Yves St Laurent in 1967 and more recently hand bags by Kara Ross, Nike trainers and an Oreca racing car.


Little, s., Isms. Understanding Art. London :Herbert press.

Alley, R.,(1981). Alley’s Notes: Piet Mondrian. (online). Tate Modern available from (accessed on 19th October 2011 at 14.50).

Pictures from Google images

Friday, 28 October 2011

Henri Matisse - White and Rose Head

Henri Matisse was known as a leading figure in modern art. In many of his paintings he would use bold and bright colours however in this painting of his daughter he used dull colours and harsh thick black lines to separate each section of the face.

The White Stripes - "Fell in Love with a Girl" Sympathy for the Record I...

modernism in one video, pop art you can sing along with. The bright colours of the lego bricks combined with the quick cuts in the video make for a great abstract video that hits you in the face with fun.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Bigger Message

The Bigger Message Conversations with David Hockney
by Martin Gayford
Thames and Hudson 2011 Published at £18.95

Well worth reading these conversations with our best known living artist. You can read my review of this book on xomba

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Odilon Redon, The Guardian Spirit of the Waters, 1878, Charcoal on Paper

"There was a time when designers were cultural visionaries leading society. They spoke of a visual landscape enhanced by artistic quality, inspired by new techniques and concepts, and created to promote a sense of liberation and enrichment. In its infancy, design was tied to the ambitious aspirations of art, architecture and technology. Many modern designers extended this ambition by seeing design as part of a mission that embraced considerably more than isolated issues of technique and style." (P23, Dan Friedman: Radical Modernism)

Here, Friedman describes the change of perception and motive for artists at the beginning of the Modernist movement, particularly the transition from artworks that emphasised the skills and techniques of the maker to conceptual pieces where the art lies beneath the surface, in the ideas and dreams that first inspired the work. Artists began to distance themselves from skilfully representational and decorative art and began to create works that stimulated the mind and imagination of the viewer.

‘The Guardian Spirit of the Waters’ is an eerie and haunting piece that represents dreams, the subconscious mind and emotional states rather than the surface realities of everyday life. Odilon Redon described his work as “indefinable”, but it was seen as controversial and rejected by many for being so far away from the academic standards of art people had grown so used to.

When I look at this piece, I see the head of a man floating above a boat at sea. The representation is clear, but the narrative of this image has become surreal by the enlargement of the head and its situation on the page above the boat. The facial features are distorted. The whole head looks more round than it should be, the eyes huge and the ears tiny. The boat and gulls seem in proportion with each other, but the head adds another aspect to the piece which makes it difficult to read in a casual way and opposes highly representational and narrative pieces that were the norm before the modern period.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Piet Mondrian

Piet Mondrian was known as “the father of geometric abstraction” an important figure in Modernism around the time of Cubism in the early 20th century and a main contributor to the De Stijl movement in 1917.

Born in Holland in 1872, Mondrian was a self-taught painter and was highly educated from a young age in drawing. After becoming a full –time artist, he began travelling back and forth between Amsterdam and various parts of rural Holland where during his travelling he would devote his time to painting landscapes. Over time his works gradually became more and more abstract where he would exclude details he felt were irrelevant to express movement or the image of what he was trying to represent. The more abstract his work became the more appreciation and recognition he seemed to gain from existing artists, however he gained more criticism from the Dutch art critics.He wished to emphasize the flatness of the surface of a painting rather than create depth.

After returning to Holland in 1914 around the time of World War 1, Mondrian’s works slowly became more and more abstract as curved lines began to disappear in his paintings altogether as well as the identity of objects or nature.The influence of Cubism marked a distinct turning point in Mondrian’s work as he became more familiar with the artists works of Picasso, Braque and other popular artists involved in the movement of cubism. Mondrian moved to Paris in 1912 where avant-garde art thrived at the time. He began to refine his landscapes by using the cubism structure to create frameworks in his paintings.

In 1919, Mondrian moved back to Paris where he began painting his most famous abstract works where he only used a few horizontal and vertical black lines with certain blocks of primary colours where representation in his works were completely eliminated. After moving to London in the 1940’s his more recent works became more vibrant with coloured lines instead of block grids. His paintings showed more energy and rhythm to the composition of his work. His work created a new insight into how architecture was formed, molding a new image to the society after the damaging effects of the Wars.


Fb Random Art

Dear Fellow Artist , after a chat around thought that perhaps everyone will benefit from sharing random findings..of blogs..artist... whatever in Inspiring , would be so cool if everyone takes part :-) , at the moment is all doggie related , just change it! so to become FB space for all of us , please don't feel is about stealing you ideas..and this is not possible..we all different so embrace it! , don't freak out! just share and let's make the next 3 years a Awesome time!

Thursday, 20 October 2011


'Modernisation, modernity and modernism - three concepts around which though about the modern world and its culture has tended to revolve. In the definition of the first two there is rarely much disagreement. Modernisation refers to a range of technological, economic and political processes associated with the Industrial Revolution and its aftermath; modernity to the social conditions and modes of experience that are seen as the effects of these processes. On the meaning of modernism, however, agreement is less easily secured. In general usage it means the property or quality of being modern or up-to-date. Yet it also tends to imply a type of position or attitude - one characterised by specific forms of response towards both modernisation and modernity.'

Movements in Modern Art, Harrison, Charles, 1997, Page 6

I interpret this to mean that the term modernism has a very broad definition. It encompasses thoughts of modernisation, which relates to the Industrial Revolution, and modernity, referring to the social aspects experienced in relation to this revolution. I feel that modernism describes art which responds to what was up-to-date at that time, whether it be the presence of something or the absence of something else. From this piece of writing alone, I understand that there is a lot of debate with the definition of modernism. One reason for this may be because the term modern surely can be used at any time, not only between the late eighteenth century and the early twentieth century. During modernism, there were many different art movements, spatialism being quite a remote example.

'Spatialism combines ideas from the Dada movement, Tachism and Concrete art.[1] Fontana wanted to create art for "a new age" that would show the "real space of the world." What separated the movement from Abstract Expressionism was the concept of eradicating the art of the easel and paint, and try to capture movement and time as the main tenets in the work.' - Online, 02.11.2011

Lucio Fontana is an example of a modernist artist. He was an Italian painter, sculptor and theorist. During the 1940's and 50's he pioneered the Italian art movement, Spatialism. 

Fontana founded the Movimento Spaziale (Spatial Movement) and worked alongside other artists to produce the Primo Manifesto dello Spazialismo (First Manifesto of Spatialism), which was followed by a second and third. He rejected the ideas that we should perceive an illusion of space on a canvas, and wanted to create a literal space. He believed that traditional, conventional Western art used the painted canvas as a window to look 'into' another world. He criticized this by exposing canvas's where the viewer literally looked into the canvas.

'Ideas are not scorned, they germinate in society and are then expressed by philosophers and artists
(from the Manifesto Blanco, Buenos Aires, 1946)'*

Fontanas' slashed canvas's became strong statements to transform society's view on art at that time. They directed the viewer to appreciate the importance of 'art making' and not just the final piece. He made a series of works in Terracotta, where he would try to leave the clay as unshaped as possible, capturing the purity of natures 'stuff'. After slashing the clay, the finished piece was to reveal nature effectively as it is, rather than imitating it's appearance.

Fontana is also known for being one of the first artists to use neon light within his art work. He had an interest in television and comprised pieces of art with sight, sound, lighting and movement. His works adapted the way the gallery space was used and had a great deal of importance in the later movement of performance art. I have a huge interest in environmental art, and I know it encompasses substantial influence from Spatialism. - Online

LITTLE, Stephen, 4.10.2004 ,Isms, Understanding Art - Book

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

British Art Show 7

British Art Show 7


                 The Folding House ( 2010)

                                                                  Artist: Spartacus Chetwynd
                                                                  DOB  : 1973  London- England-

  • Made of wood
  • Steel
  • Aluminium 
  • Glass ( Courtesy of Sadie Coles Hq -London-)

this piece can be found at:

Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery

Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8

Phone: 01752 304774

During the second visit to the show this is the piece which i shall talk about , the work is of simplicity at is best representing a folding house raise up from the ground on a metal  structure of scaffolding supporting the floor of this house which is  made of wooden panels , a sculpture of large scale made of recycled  materials , the windows has a old feel to it , it has hinges on each panel which can easily be folded into each other in few easy steeps and taken away , some of this windows are covered with various colourful garments of different shapes  as if to keep the weather elements away while still has a open feel to it.
two of this panels were open  as to be invited inside ,which can also be closed if wished , some finnishing situated at one end for extra confort , a very organic feel it has.

Due to touching this piece (  glue on the sides of panels , wood floor untreated ) and got told off by doing so i was given further information regarding the piece , apparently the artist name was acquired not long a go  and that the items under the house  can be actually used as a table , which the artist has demonstrated in different occasions around the country by eating on top of one of the windows, found this interesting that is so versatile , it remind me a tree house with a Japanese feel to it  the only difference is that can be folded and taken away.

On the negative side is that you not allowed to go inside as is raise up and there is no steeps to climb to do so ,cannot be  touch , is inviting to enter but in the same time is not , as the viewer is not allowed to do so , the message which it comes across personally is that means of recycles sources can be used and made beautiful once again , is back to basics  a structure with a touch of elegance due to the garments on the windows and furnishings inside a very organic piece which i enjoyed to visit , would highly recommend to come and see.

Silvia Palazon Lopez
Yr 1 BA  fine Arts Practices

The faces of the Modernism Movement

The faces of the Modernism Movement in different Arts is rather extensive.  From architecture, fine arts , authors, music, each one expressing the movement in the own way, even today Modernism lives on.

Post Modernism Movement

"Post Modernism defects attention away from the singular scrutinizing gaze of the semiologist, and asks that this be replaced by a multiplicity of fragment and frequently interrupted 'looks'." 
postModerism and popular cuLture by Angela Mcrobbie 1994 by Routledge, London

This means that post modernism is far away from the semiologist. Semiotics  is the science of understanding language by means of words, images and symbolism, which is represented in different mediums/ forms. Post modernism is more interested in playing with anything and everything to make art, often to shock. Post modernists show other ways of representing and interpreting life. 

Tracey Emin


Tracey Emin seems to have taken many of the movements seen throughout post modernism. Using shock to show a more detailed sexual content of her person life. She also fits into feminism as she talks lots about the female body as a woman's perspective. She uses intertextuality in many of her works. She uses text, not only to bring words, to us in  colour, humour, revealing of a woman's thoughts, often of intimate times. She is also included in the narcissistic movement due to the majority of her work being personal. Has shown that when she feels attacked/ criticised she retaliates and attacks back. 

After the research of many of the movements described above, the following piece is rather suited, named 'Love Poem 1996'. The piece is made using embroidery of many coloured letters with a contrast between them, describing an intimate moment.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is a post- modernist artist in the musical form due to her using elements of shock, feminism and pastiche. The idea of pastiche can be seen as she is manipulating and imitating something that has already been produced. She is seen to be using elements of Madonna's music as well as the way she changes her fashion and look. She uses already made factors for this reason she is today's post- Modernist in a musical context, touching many areas of the early modernists due  to already made art included in the way she uses role play. Overall she is an artist that has managed, after everything mention, to remain somehow original. 


"Modernism was a broad movement encompassing all the avant-garde isms of the first half of the 20th century. Although different modern-isms were often incompatible (and occasionally antagonistic) they all rejected the dominance of Naturalism and Academicism in favour of experimental art.

The common trend was to seek answers to fundamental questions about the nature of art and human experience."
...Isms : Understanding Art - S. Little -,p.98 (Herbert Press .London 2004)

Mecano ( Spanish Pop Group)  -  Eugenio Salvador Dali

Cubism ,Dada,Surrealism
"Cubism was perhaps the most important  and certainly the most complete and radical artistic revolution since the Renaissance."

Cubism: A history & an analysis 1907- 1914 -John Golding- (J. Golding ) ( faber and Faber Limited 24 Russel Square -London) 

*  During the Art history, before Cubism, there was a progressive change on way the world was seen by society and so is the art. Cubism on the other hand was completely different to what was known before , the art world was completely transformed .

La Sagrada Familia

The Spanish (Catalan)named Antoni Gaudí i Cornet  is a example of Modernism. A man well ahead of his time, with a vivid imagination he was creating architecture that was different to that of the time, with shapes, decorations which never seen before , only he dreamed off .   

A city which dreams are seen with your eyes due to his creations which left us captivated even today , La Sagrada Familia  couldn't be completed due to the flamboyant Architect ... changing his mind and of his construction and more and more got added. A big scale work which I hope to see completed in my life time. 


The list go on...  the all have something in common which is a Vivid Imagination.

Pablo Picasso was just this, his creativity gave us    the blue period, the rose period, Cubism, a painter/sculptor (using mix media) with another way of seeing the world .

Hello everyone.  Thanks for all the responses to the workshop tasks you have posted.  These blog posts are looking really good, some insightful pieces of writing evidenced here.  Sarah recommended a blog she found in her research and I have posted it into the blog list which is to the right of your blog posts.  If you find a blog or link in your research that you consider worth sharing, you can email me the link and I will post for you :)
Kandinsky's work,his achievements in search of a new form of expression in painting,indeed a new conception of art in general,may still dtrike us as enigmatic and volatile,as if based on no recognizable premise.yet in his case ,as with all other artists,other were formative influences in kandinsky,s childhood and youth.Along with the talent he was born with,he plainly also acquired an inner motivation,a real urge to create.

Add caption Beach baskets in holland,1904   strandkorbe in holland oil on canvas 24x32.6 cm munich, 
But first of all kandinsky underwent the strict discipline of drawing undes at Anton Azb's Art School,which he attended for two years without producing any work of note. Although he hated anatomical drawing, he tried to pick up the basic within a short time.azbe's painting lessons were,however,for more important to him.azbe painted in an impressionist style and so stimulated Kandinsky to use a divisionist technique,using unmixed colours in juxtaposition,a style he later used in his small impressive land-scape studies,for example "Beach Baskets in holland "which is painted in thick patches of paint casually applied next to each other.One already notices the desire to desire to be in sole command of visual elements,but they are strictly systematic (as in post impressionist painting)and they are still far removed far removed from kandinsky's own abstract visual expression.

 Kandinsky was convinced that there was an inner correspondence between a work of art and the viewer.He called this correspondence "Klang"(sound or resonance).The singer could be an early expression of this belief, which kandinsky later illustrated with a similar image in his theoretical work"concerning the Spiritual in art":"Generally speaking,colour is a power which directly influences the soul.colour is the keyboard,the eyes are the hammers,the sou is the piano with the strings.the artist is the hand which plays,touching one key or another,to cause vibrations in the soul.

"The world is your lobster!?!"

Surrealism was born in the 1920s as a reaction against Futurism. It promoted irrational ideas - a dreamlike combination of reality, fantasy and the subconscious.

Salavador Dali became a spokesman for the Surrealist art movement, and he, like his work, was original, daring and bizarre.

One classic, standout Dali piece is Lobster Telephone, 1936. He was interested in the Surrealist object and felt he could express his subconscious desires through these oddly juxtaposed objects - to Dali, lobsters and telephones had implications of a sexual nature.

Furthermore, he was influenced and involved in fashion and design - collaborating with Elsa Schiaparelli, an Italian fashion designer. Again, the lobster makes an appearance in one of their well known collaborative pieces Lobster Dress, 1937 - a white silk dress emblazoned with an image of a lobster, painted by Dali. Again, the lobster had erotic connotations for Dali and Schiaparelli, and ironically, the dress was once worn by Wallis Simpson in some official photographs, prior to her marriage to the Duke of Windsor. The photographs tried to portray Simpson in a more flattering and romantic light to the general public, but unfortunately this was at complete odds with the sexual tension suggested by Dali and Schiaparelli through the lobster print. (Blum, p135)

Although, the dress may seem quite tame in comparison to today's fashion - it was fresh, new, quirky and exciting in it's day - perhaps the antithesis of Coco Chanel's classic style. Dali and Schiaparelli's pieces were extremely forward thinking and contemporary and would certainly not be out of place in the present day. Their pieces hold some bizarre familiarity and perhaps, this is because their influence can be seen through modern day fashion, including Philip Treacy's Telephone and Lobster hats, worn by the somewhat "surreal" icon, that is Lady Gaga... Surrealism lives on!

The Tate (2008) Salvador Dali, Lobster Telephone London: The Tate
(Available from: (accessed on 19/10/2011)

Blum, D. (2003) Shocking! The Art and Fashion of Elsa Schiaparelli. London: Yale University Press
             (hunter)2008_ 2009
from the island 2004_ongoing original frame was seen in plymouth musum bas7,work is done using pencil and ink on tracing paper.i did quick sketch using pencil and for the dark tone i use black pen ,what  really liked about this frame is that lady hunter looking up at something and the way she is standing,

i really like this work by the artist and capturing humans figure this kind of practice using pencil to do quick sketch of person and using the messurment to capture the size of human body ,i like to do more of this kind of drawing .and for that i take good example of italian artist such as "Michelangelo"Leonardo davinci"Francesco Granacci"Aristotile da sangello"and so on , i use the lrcto reserch of this artist books and fine the imege than i work on it using pencil in my skitch book. for example the image above its
Michaelangelos pieta is the artists most 'finished work and the only one to be signed'Michaelangelus bonarottus Florentin(us).Faciebat'(on the band the Virgin wears diagonally acoss her breast).The gentleness and refinement of the faces bring to mind the art of leonardo,an undoubted influence on Michelangelo at this stage.the pyramidal composition,with the elegant arrangement of the drapery,achieves an expression of deep harmony between the figures.

BAS7 Penninsula Arts

During my visit to the gallery at Plymouth University, I looked at a piece of work by David Noonan.
untitled 2010
This was a large, untitled tapestry completed in 2010 at the Foundation of Victoria Weavers and was hand woven by Sue Batten, Amy Cornall and Cheryl Thornton.

This tapestry is displayed on the left hand wall of the gallery entrance.
 I was intrigued by the work initially by the amount of layering there was, and also by the fact that it was a tapestry and not a traditional painting.

At first glance I thought it was a digital image simply transferred onto a large rug in some way, but upon further investigation I found that it was actually a hand woven piece completed by three practitioners from Melbourne Australia.

I liked the way that the piece was 'untitled' because it allows you to think about the work without being influenced by any title given by the artist or curator.
The tapestry was completed in monochrome with many of the figures in the image overlapping each other which gives depth and transparency to the work. For me the piece has an oriental theme, with the central figure sat in an almost religious  Buddhist pose. The arm in the bottom right hand corner seems to lead you into another narrative, leaving you wondering what's happening in the space not portrayed, also the giving of flowers provides an idea that the central figure is someone to be worshiped.
Peacocks also feature heavily in oriental art and by surrounding the 'monk like' figure, I think the artist provides another indication that the figure is important or even regal.

The figure on the left is pushing a cart carrying a young boy, who has a saw in his hand. This made me think of labourers which I found odd as, for me, they have no place in the piece other than to perhaps re-enforce the importance of the central figure.

About the artist.
David Noonan was born in Australia in 1968 but now lives and works in the UK.
Explaining that that idea of collage is central to his work, Noonan says; 'I take images from different origins and time periods and bring them together to create new narratives.'

Curator notes on the artist's work (Peninsula Arts Gallery)
Using a palette of black, white and grey, his spectral figures populate a theatrical landscape somewhere between reality and illusion. the superimposed peacocks with their defiant stares challenge the gaze of the spectator.

The Married Couple by Maaike Schoorel...


When I first saw Maaike Schoorel's artwork at the Saatchi earlier on this year, I remember at first glance that I thought it was just a series of canvases with a few dirty marks scrubbed onto them. However, when I took a closer look I began to discover outlines of a little town, people's faces etc. So when I saw her work in the British Art Show 7 in Plymouth Museum and Art Gallery I was quite excited. I chose this image, 'The Married Couple', to share because, for me, there is a hidden message behind the subtle painting. A life of someone is very private, we only see what they allow us to see. The same with a couple, their relationship is private - we are not always shown the true state that they are in. Are they happy? Or are they having troubles? etc. So what I get from this faded image of a Married Couple is a metaphor for the secrecy of a life or in this case, a relationship. The faded oil brush strokes symbolise the brief glance that we get into the lives of others but I think that they also represent the fragility of a life and a relationship. The artwork is predominantly black which is such a dense colour, and so I feel that it represents the blanket between what we are shown of and what is hidden by the people that we meet everyday. 

Phoebe Unwin - Silver Shower (2008)

Acrylic and aluminium leaf on linen.

Even when hidden away in the corner of the overcrowded gallery, the simple dark, thick lines layered over the shiny, partly reflective background of this painting caught my eye almost immediately. The painting uses abstract, expressive brush strokes but clearly portrays a shower head precariously leaning out of the wall. The silver and blue colours used give the painting a very cold feeling.

The fact the water coming out of the shower is a lot bigger than the actual shower has a dream like effect on the painting. This combined with the reflectiveness of the background, showing some movement in the painting from people in the gallery, is what I like about it. However, I find that the simplicity of this painting and the subject she has chosen doesn't give much away about what the artist is trying to portray or express. It seems more of an experimentation with materials and colours as opposed to a finished piece.

George Shaw - Blocked Drain 2010

Walking into the room, I first thought that George Shaws paintings were photographs but as I went closer I noticed that they were actually paintings. This painting shows how the area has changed from the time he used to live there. It looks deserted and abandoned as George Shaw decided to eliminate any human activities. I like that there is a contrast between the red garage door and the red letter box and the rest of the surrounding area.


Supplicant 13

Milena Dragicevic

“I see a lot of my work as a resurrection of sorts, not for sentimental or nostalgic reasons, but for survival reasons.”

Initially the Supplicant series, like much of the BAS7, was to me – while certainly pretty to look at - somewhat lacking in the emotive ‘wham’ and connection that usually comes as a part of finding a significant piece of artistry. The portraits certainly seemed like they should have some meaning with their creepy distortions and cryptic hands (and hands always deserve discussion). But something fell flat, clearly, whether it was curatorial or intrinsic to the work, that made the whole feel flat.

Naturally, I turned to the guidebook. Fortunately, the guidebook was no good.

Reading the little paragraph left something to be desired, and rather than give up on what was none-the-less and interesting set to look at I took to thinking and talking it over with whoever would talk and looking up what the lady herself had to say about them. Calling them not psychological studies but “something for the future” the Supplicants, I realised, should probably be considered in the context of the entire show as, rather than the deep and perceptive ‘inner’ portraits of the models, prophetic things that act as both mask and guardian; they are ‘stand-ins’, but hideous ones that maybe reflect something beyond quite what we see, or what exists in the present. Perhaps there is a wryness too in the title; Supplicant - a person who ‘supplicates’ or prays, entreats or petitions humbly.

Who would answer the prayers of something so monstrous?