Posts Tagged ‘Art’

Though recently the landscaping arts have gained respect and popularity, the British artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey’s work definitely puts a new twist to the term when they use grass as their medium in numerous works.

In Ackroyd and Harvey’s site they describe their work as a culmination of architecture, biology, photography, and sculpture to create works that have “an intrinsic bias towards process and event and often reflecting urban political ecologies by highlighting the temporal nature of processes of growth and decay.” Their earlier works used architecture as their canvas on a grand scale with such pieces as shown below.

Dilston Grove (2003)

Theaterhaus Gessnerallee (1993)

The Undertaking (L’Antre-Prise) 1992

Now, their newest work is an ingenious use of natural process and creativity. Ackroyd and Harvey have been using the natural production of chlorophyll through photosynthesis as a photographic process of developing portraits “printed” on grass. They manipulated the light the grass received by projecting the negative image onto it which produces shades of rich greens and yellows to bring the composition out.

Testament (2011-1998)

Park Ave + Resident (2011)

Presence (1992)

Up close the photos simple look like a patch of grass, but as the observer moves further away, the portraits grow clearer, crisper and into focus. The greatest part of this process for me, as a fan of ephemeral art, is the fact that though the image can last for quite a long time as the grass grows the image out, it will fade, change color, and age like a vintage photograph as depicted clearly in the picture below off of the Domaine de Chamarande site where their work is currently on view until September 30th, 2012 in France.


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100,000 Years of Art

Just stumbled across this article on the Discovery.News website entailing the discovery of an “ancient art studio” in a cave in South Africa. Inside the cave (Blombos Cave) were two abalone shells holding an ochre mixture (red pigment) with an array of tools around it.

Photo of one of the abalone shells from the article:


Though I find it interesting and quite fascinating, I do not find it all that surprising (cave art anyone?). I suppose the real intrigue behind it all is the sophisticated processes (chemistry involved) in the actually creation of the ochre pigment and such. What I find to be even more intriguing is the phrases used in this article in reference to creating art itself. Some of my favorite exerts were as follows:

~…”humans had the conceptual ability to source, combine and store substances that were then possibly used to enhance their social practices” – wrote the researchers in the journal Science‘s Friday edition.

~ Other findings “suggesting the emergence of abstract thinking and modern human behaviour much earlier than previously thought.”

~”The findings represents an important benchmark in the evolution of complex human mental processes.”

As I read the article I thought: wow, it is refreshing to read about the importance of art in human society as well as its history, and how it actually benchmarks advances in human evolution and intelligence.  Usually, articles are spelling out all the reasons why art needs to be put to the way-side, and have our children’s education focused on Math & Sciences, so it was quite pleasing to read on about arts place in advanced thought and processes. The article began stating that the findings of art supplies, materials, storage were a sure sign of our conceptual ability to use enhancements for our social practices, “it also demonstrates that humans had an elementary knowledge of chemistry and the ability for long-term planning 100,000 years ago,” which was the statement that concluded the article.

So with such statements praising art as an enhancement to social practices, abstract thinking, and part of the evolution of complex human mental processes… I once again find myself wondering why art is thought to be the lesser of skills to be taught to our future generations. We’re even completely tying chemistry into the equation! Can’t we all just get along? Abalones and ochre for everyone!!! I must say, that the “chemistry” (it seems more like it was just common sense to create a better pigment to me) used 100,000 years again to create the ochre paint is pretty advanced. Using marrow fat instead of plant resin which created more of a paint like substance seems much more logical than adding egg whites like those in the Renaissance.

Props to chemistry for being able to break down the ingredients of the ochre pigment and recreating it… that, like art, is pretty damn awesome.

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This is How I See It

As I begin my venture as an art blogger,  I find it more than necessary to list some of my favorite artists.

Artist I’d Most Like to Be:

Ephemeral Artist Andy Goldsworthy whose work not only inspires me, but literally puts me in awe. What he is capable of not only imagining, but executing is something I will strive for my entire life. Though most of his work is temporary, the life it is given in his documentary films and prints is still quite moving, and the pieces made of stone and are permanent editions to museums and the like are ever changing. Though I’m a sucker for a great accent, his use of found objects in nature, color, natural decomposition, and negative space is ingenious, and the real reason I hold him on a pedestal.

Artist Whose Painting Styles I Love:

Georges-Pierre Seurat & Vincent VanGogh are the Kings of Tedium & Technique. I must say my appreciation for them goes further than their wondrous beards. Seurat’s use of stippling and VanGogh’s brush strokes create both movement and a softness that elevates their pieces to infamy.

Greatest Use of Pattern/Stylization:

Gustav Klimt’s use of patterned textiles with realistic renderings of his human subjects creates a seduction that is hard to ignore especially in The Kiss and Tree of Life. Beyond us both being obvious cat lovers, his use of color, pattern and design will always put him on the top of many of my lists when it comes to painters.

Greatest Use of Color:

Wassily Kandinsky, beyond his Blue Rider, his color usage was bold, fully saturated, and beyond the abstraction of his peers.

I could go on forever categorizing and listing artists of the ages, but I don’t want to bore you, especially with my first post. Hopefully, you were able to figure me out a bit as well as get a handle on my writing style.

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