Visit to Manchester Art Gallery 26.02.20

I visited to see what was on at the moment. I saw the Jerwood Makers Open.

Thought this body of work was interesting because it is based on forests! The work is by two artists who call themselves ‘Forest + Found’. From what I can remember the work was about expressing the experience of a forest in tactile ways. This is what it says on their website:

Working in both the visual arts and contemporary craft, artists Max Bainbridge and Abigail Booth draw upon a background in painting and sculpture, whilst looking towards a newly developed language of craft. They work on objects independently, to produce installations and displays that form dialogues between landscape, material and process as they navigate the changing context of the maker. Driven by a deep relationship to the land they work with raw materials sourced directly from landscapes in and around the UK.

Considering how tactile the material is is something I have not ever considered in my work and I find this interesting. The material that makes my painting is very independent from the landscape I paint in and am describing the experience of. The idea that the material can carry a message is a new concept to me.
I can’t say the idea of a forest conveyed itself to me through the artwork. The wooden bowls etc do much more so than the fabric paintings. The wooden works carry a sense of location and time with them, since the wood reflects its time of growth, its time of transformation into an object, and its time being the object.
The fabric paintings seem meditative to me, which is intentional according to the website.
Having the two pieces: the wooden objects and the abstract fabric ‘paintings’ next to each other produces an interesting dialogue between the two. Placing a craft object next to a high fine art object is interesting!

In the family play room (which I love) there was this video set up with a bench in front of it:

It was eye-catching. The big projection screen was playing time-lapses of Manchester from lots of different angles and times of day. I wondered if the videos were shot looking out from inside the museum. The angles all differed a lot. Some of big zoomed-out landscapes, some really zoomed in on sidewalks, or of people or looking into windows of buildings.
The TV screen on the left was also of time-lapses, but a grid of ones this time, I was less attracted to this screen.
I don’t know why this instillation was in there, but I think it worked extremely well. All of the other parts of the big family room were playful, childish things like big foam building blocks and tables for colouring (other than the big white amazing dress of display amongst the toys, that was also fab). So in a place for kids and families, having these screens feels different and it seems like a wonderful place for it. Perhaps whilst the children are playing, the adults can sit and watch the videos. In the back drop of childish play people can contemplate the city they are in and the goings-ons in it. I love this. Because that’s certainly what I did! I sat on the bench and watched the time-lapse. The big room filled with a contemplative, playful, collaborative space. Much inspo for curating / making art spaces!

Interesting text from Giovanelli room (photo on phone).

Out of the Crate exhibition

This artwork is constructed really interestingly!:

The way the card is bound together with hole punches and wire tying the paper together. This is really cool! Making this intense, wrapping, moving, coiling, stretching, contracting, swirling sculpture. Both playful and deadly serious.

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