Friday, January 19, 2007

Exhibition in Oxford

After seeing something about the artist Daniel Buren's exhibition at Modern Art Oxford on TV, I decided to go up to see it. Buren responded to the site, using the windows in the gallery and their proportions and siting as the basis for his work.
You walk into a space filled with 18 aluminium frames, divided into panels of alternative colours, blue, orange,pink, red and yellow. There are also panels of Buren's typical stripes, here in white. The weather was quite cloudy, but a little bit of sun did come out at one point and the gallery was full of reflected colours on the walls and floor. Some pics here

Walking round the space brought changing views of the coloured frames, reflections within reflections, like Mondrians on the walls. A spiritual feeling pervaded the gallery, which might have been heightened by it being entirely empty most of the time I was there. Lovely work, I really enjoyed the silence in the gallery and dynamic nature of the colours.
In the room next door there were aluminium frames, containing coloured panels that were set into sliding mechanisms over walls also painted with panels of colours. You were able to slide the frames along the walls to create changing compositions. Guaranteed to bring the child out in everyone.
Well it certainly brightened up a cold January day for me.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Buddhism and Art

I have been lucky enough to have been bought a copy of Smile of the Buddha. Eastern philosophy and Western Art From Monet To Today by Jacquelynn Baas. I’ve only just started reading it, but am very excited about what is being said.

I have always wondered about the possible spiritual dimensions in Monet’s Water lilies, and so it is great to find from Jacquelynn’s research that Monet was indeed interested in Buddhism. His friend and collector, Tadamasa Hayashi was knowledgeable about Japanese art and the Buddhist philosophy behind it. Monets friend and biographer Georges Clemenceau was also apparently attracted to Buddhism. And The Art historian Louis Gillet wrote that Monet’s art was truly related to Chinese thought, on detachment, on nirvana, on the religion of the Lotus. Jaquelynne talks about Monet’s work and life, giving more examples on where information about Buddhism came from at the time.

There are chapters on Van Gogh, Gauguin, Redon, Kandinsky, Brancusi and a host of other artists. I shall enjoy reading the book.

I have been painting a few watercolours over the Christmas period, One arrived as the Angel of the wheels of time, on New years Eve, which I’ve only just realised was probably very appropriate.

New Years Greetings

Wishing you all a very happy and creative New Year.

I’m a bit behind with my blog entries, something I’m hoping to change this year.
December saw mine and Amitajyoti’s workshop, Breaking through the walls of perception, in Bethnal Green. It went really well, we always seem to have a lovely bunch of people who quickly engage with the material and bring so much to the event

I’ve always been interested in perception, the way I and others see the world, having some form of creative practise probably leads to a natural interest, but then engaging with Buddhism, the Dharma, has brought the very nature of reality and how we see that, very much to the forefront of my mind. It is amazing how differently you see the world around you if you just slow down the whole process of looking. Taking account of the mood we’re in also shows just how coloured our perception is by our emotional states. All fascinating stuff and very insightful

In the workshop,

we looked at some texts and used methods to work creatively with objects in the room and our response to them. We also meditated and reflected on the process and our work.

Some more info, talks from the weekend etc will be on the main site soon.
I’m back into planning mode for the next series of workshops, the first will be on colour in March. More details later.