Dear Cleo 17 11 09

Dearest Cleo

Hope you got my letter, it makes a change from an email, seems so much more personal and a little bit over whelming and a stronger connection when we are touching things that each other has touched.

Today I am looking at Spider by Louise Bourgeoise and considering how much I consider it to be a drawing.

I had a similar problem in project 2 of this part of the course when I became inclined to call my drawings on the forest floor sculptures, they remained drawings on the canvas of the forest floor but because they had volume I started to think of them as sculptures when really they are just drawings you can walk around.

Some drawings are very sculptural, I am thinking now of Michelangelo’s figures that have solidity and weight and dimensionality, Henry Moore’s reductive drawings that have the same quality, Auerbach accentuates the sculptural quality of his drawings using texture.

Sculpture tends more to the drawing with the linear aspect of the sculpt, so my drawings on the forest floor remained drawings without true volume, I would consider the Ecstasy of St Teresa by Bernini primarily a drawing because of its linear qualities.

The linear qualities of Bourgeoisies’ spider would put it in the class of drawing for me, note how well the photograph works as a two dimensional image and compare this to a photograph of the David or the Venus di Milo.

Don’t forget and send your letter back, see you at the weekend.

Love as always

Mickos xx

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Dear Cleo 17 11 06

Dearest Cleo

I hope you are well, another Monday over, it all gets easier from here on, and I am looking forward to catching up with you at the weekend. Today I have a little lesson in someone you may not have heard of, but google her work for a pleasant surprise.

Contextual Focus Point

Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Emily Kame Kngwarreye, although she was probably well versed in traditional aboriginal art such as sand and body painting did not come to fame until the late nineteen seventies when a philanthropist introduced her community to the Indonesian art of Batik. Ten years later her community was introduced by CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association) to acrylic paints, Emily’s star blossomed and from 1988 until her death in 1996 in a burst of creativity comparable to that of Van Gogh she completed more than 3000 paintings.

Emily’s paintings were inspired by her dreams and her local area of Utopia in Central Australia not far from Alice Springs where she lived for her whole life. That her paintings were inspired by a particular locale is not unusual in art history, I have already written in project 1 of this part of the course about what it is in a landscape painting that an artist chooses to make special and how that works. Examples abound of landscape artists fascinated by their locale, from Vincent and Gauguin being fascinated by wherever they happened to be at the time, to Constable and his constant depictions of East Sussex, on to Lowry’s paintings of the north of England and of course the impressionist’s works idealise the Parisian suburbs, Monet’s back garden not forgetting Cezanne’s Mountain, that was worth a pastiche in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

The aboriginal culture went from the magical age to the scientific age missing out religion age and dreams have retained their magical significance to aborigines, it is probably no worries that Emily was inspired by her dreams. This dream is also fertile territory for European artists, though the significance of dreams was popularised in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century by Freud and other Psychoanalysts.

There are such quotes as “I dream of painting and then I paint my dream” Vincent Van Gogh and “What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter – a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.” Henri Matisse, and even “Colour what a deep and mysterious language, the language of dreams” Paul Gauguin.

It is perhaps with the surrealists that crediting dreams with inspiration reached its zenith in European art, with artists striving for that time between waking and sleeping with alcohol and drugs. It may not have been the influence of either that caused Dali to remark “One day it will have to be officially admitted that what we have christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams” or Magritte’s “What really is inside, and what is outside? What do we have here: reality, or a dream? If a dream is a revelation of waking life, waking life is also a revelation of a dream.” Dreams have a very special place in art and aboriginal culture.

Emily had three phases of painting during her brief career, and although Emily, we are led to believe had no knowledge of worldwide art, the lines call to mind Bridget Riley, the dots call to mind  Van Gogh, Kusama and Seurat and the patches evoke Manet and the colour field expressionists. There is also a correlation to be drawn between Emily’s work and Kandinsky’s book “Point and line and plane”

Either everything is starting to join up for me or someone with more knowledge of psychoanalysis and indigenous Australian people could write a book on these connections.

Dream on Bruce.

Bibliography

The research for this essay was carried out entirely on the internet but as I am no specialist on either aboriginal culture or Emily Kame Kngwarreye I would suggest that you do your own research to affirm the impressions I have garnered in my own research, so that my impressions do not colour your thinking. I imagine if I was living in Australia I would have a better understanding of both Emily and aboriginal culture and it would be possible to further research my theories. I would welcome any comments from readers “down under” in this regard.

Well there you go darling, something new is always worth learning.

My love as always

Mickos xx

Dear Cleo 17 10 29

Dearest Cleo

How are you? Well I hope, after putting the clocks back, we have a bright shiny day so I went back up to Whitewebbs to check on my artwork, It was OK, the wind and rain had hardly moved it.

It’s a bit like owning a masterpiece you have to keep restoring it, to keep it at its best.

Today in my collaboration with the woods I drew a tree it was about six meters tall or long made out of the branches of dead trees, there are lots of real dead trees lying on the floor at Whitewebbs but I wanted my drawing to look alive so I based it in a live tree. Here it is;

Figure 1 (17 10 29 01) Forest collaboration 2 Sculpted tree from the side digital photograph

Figure 2 (17 10 29 02) Forest collaboration 2 Sculpted tree from below digital photograph

Whitewebbs is a good location for doing this, land artists seem to seek out remote locations like moors and things where there is no sign of anyone interacting with the landscape previously, Whitewebbs is pretty remote.

Looking at the pictures now I think i need to go back and give my drawing a bit more volume maybe it will become a sculpture.

As well as a drawing it is the trace of a piece of performance art, I didn’t have much of an audience but I was performing albeit only tidying up the forest.

I am more pleased than yesterday because my drawing blends in with its surroundings and if anyone should stumble across it, it is unmistakable a work of art

 

My love as always

Mickos xx

Dear Cleo 17 10 28

Dearest Cleo

Well my dear, it is back to school for you on Monday, and half term is over. Before I had all the shenanigans with Damien’s dog yesterday I did manage to go to Whitewebbs and collaborate with the woods.

It reminded me a lot of when I was about eight or nine and we made dens with old house bricks and bits of wood. Walking in Whitewebbs is such a pleasure, you see more squirrels than people, so I am not expecting imminent discovery as a land artist except maybe by the odd squirrel.

One positive is that I an getting to know Whitewebbs fairly well and I can now do a quick drawing that represents a woodland here at home, and I am getting used to the tones and colours of the forest. You can’t see the ground for the carpet of leaves, it seems like something to do with magic or the forest people, I wonder if the wind and rain changed it in the night, I think I will go back and have a look today

Figure 1 (17 10 28) Forest collaboration 1 Digital photograph

My love as always

Mickos xx

Dear Cleo 17 10 27

Dear Cleo

It was good to catch up this morning don’t worry that you haven’t got your letter yet it will probably come on Monday.

These are the pictures that nearly didn’t make it into project one but were too good not to include.

Figure 01(17 10 28 01)  A picture that is worth 25 words Digital photograph

Figure 02 (17 10 28 02) The snail, after Matisse at the Courtauld  Digital photograph

Figure 03(17 10 28 03) Costa Bananas Digital photograph

Figure 04 (17 10 28 04) Eclipse the Courtauld Digital photograph

Figure 05 (17 10 28 05) Stairways to heaven flights 1, 2 and3 Digital photograph

Figure 06 (17 10 28 06) Remembrance weak dawn Digital photograph

Figure 07 (17 10 28 07) Not one of Cornelias arsonist unknown Digital photograph

Since we met earlier, my right arm has been savaged by the dog from the Omen no treat, big trick the police and A&E had starring roles but I can still draw and the antibiotics accentuate my synthesesia

 

Love as always

Mickos xx

Dear Cleo 17 10 26

Dearest Cleo

I hope you are enjoying your half term, I will catch up with you on Saturday when you can tell me all about it.

I was going to go the woods on Sunday fully prepared to make an intervention, but the weather wasn’t that good, so I stayed home and drew this instead.

Figure 1 (17 10 26) Torso ink and chalk highlights on A2 grey sugar paper

I am particularly pleased with it as it is derived from my study of Raphael and the shadows are not too dark and even in the shadows you can see the form.

I know it isn’t an intervention with the landscape but time and the weather wait for no man.

I have written you a real live letter in the post, can’t wait for you to reply.

Love as always

Mickos xx

Dear Cleo 17 10 17

Dearest Cleo

I hope your Monday went well

While I was in the woods yesterday I created this;

Figure 1 (17 10 17) Peace and relaxation, Charcoal and white chalk on A2 white sugar paper

I think it needs figures, I ignored the wood nymphs as they were moving a bit quick, but maybe with a few of them in there, it would make a better picture I will make a few A3 copies tomorrow so I can experiment with it a bit.

The date is nearly a palimdrone we will have to wait until the seventeenth of November until it actually is.

My love as always

Mickos