Wednesday, 19 October 2011

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.

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