Thursday, 17 March 2011

A secret room behind the wardbrobe, what lies there?

If you peep through you see a hidden land, where in the distance a light flickers over a mysterious motel. I'm not sure if I'd like to go there or not, it's starting to remind me of The Shining a little too much!

It's supposed to be a small room behind the tiny wardrobe that might look like it was inconspicuously built inbetween the rooms either side of it. This room then leads to a secret world - I really like this surreal aspect of playing around with space and perception. I also love the idea of putting the secret spaces in lovely looking, quaint rooms because it seems so sinister. The image of the motel is a photo I took at a model village in Torquay years ago on a lovely disposable camera which gave some dreamy effects - I've got more images like these to use.

Gregor Schneider & Olafur Eliasson

I came across the artist Gregor Schneider who creates disturbing and chilling environments for the viewer to experience. He has turned his old family home (in which he still lives) into a maze of soundproofed spaces - he builds rooms inside of rooms so that tiny passageways connect them, the walls shift and windows open onto blank walls.

He had a piece at the Whitworth Gallery in 2009 called 'Kinderzimmer' which was part of the show 'Subversive Spaces'. It is a reconstruction of an abandoned nursery from a derelict village and the viewer walks through a series of dark rooms - through to nowhere.

This is exactly the kind of artwork I love to experience, something that involves you. It all seems very dark and grisly, but I'm fascinated by the environments he manages to create and the atmosphere he is able to cast over the people walking through them. He says the work is not about making you fearful, but about helping you to reflect upon and overcome fear.

There is a piece at the Whitworth Gallery currently by Olafur Eliasson that I walked through the other day. It's another brilliant environment - you make your way along a path through a forest, like little red riding hood. The light, shadows and texture of the branches make it feel quite real and very enchanting.

A lovely garden for my house!

This is a crystal garden! I've been trying to grow some crystals of my own but its tricky getting the ingredients. This was my best shot using bicarbonate of soda and a piece of string - it would be great if I could find a way to grow them over bigger things.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Anish Kapoor

Yesterday I went to see the Anish Kapoor exhibition on at Manchester Art Gallery, and it is excellent. His sculptures feel completely fresh, like ways of viewing new landscapes. The pieces in which he focuses on void spaces mess with your eyes, and they really give a sense of some unknown type of emptiness. One of the things I like is that he aims to get rid of the 'artist's hand' so that there is no evidence that he has made the work, therefore appearing perfect and self-created.
Having never seen any of his work before, i'm very glad I went to see this.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Places for Hiding

I have been spending my time making these little collages that show places for hiding. There are 7 of them (these 3 are the best) and they were supposed to make up a small book, which didn't work out. It really frustrated me trying to make this book! So I'm moving on.
The hiding places are the classics - behind the painting, through the fireplace and beneath the trunk etc. I like the classics because they remind me of old spoof horror movies. They also remind me of Twin Peaks - which I think I might have become fanatical about - where at first everything seems idyllic and quaint, but under the surface lurks menace. There definitely can be something sinister about a quaint or twee place.

There are so many instances of hiding places in Twin Peaks including: Audrey's secret door in the wainscotting, Catherine's box with the fake bottom and Harold's bookcase with a hidden rotating shelf. I just really love how it's all so strange.