Thursday, August 30, 2007
Blown and Solid Glass and Steel
Graham Caldwell is an artist whose vision of the world can be seen throught the lense of his recent work. Now living in Brooklyn New York, Graham recently visited the VCU campus to share thoughts on his work as art. "I am interested in the baroque diverstiy of organisms, the intersection of the organic and the mechanical, the body as architecture, as factory and as museaum."
Graham recieved his BFA in glass from Rhode Island School of Design and then went on to pursue his career in art. Today his practice has landed him several solo exhibitions in Washington DC. He has also participated in several group exhibitions, some of which extend overseas including the US Embassy in Prague. His focus on glass has provided him with a unique way of sharing his vision. Its inherent qualities have captured his attention and the relationship between he and his material can be seen in works that reflect the world around him and channel the eye of the viewer into the mulitiplicities of reocurring pattern, naturally found among the gentle teardops of glass carefully upheld by caressing curves of steel. His work permits the audience to experince the nature of realty as simple and cyclical; and yet complex in its diversity of scale and manifestation.
During his lecture it was easy to become aware of the enjoyment found through his work, his understanding of concept was dense and his way of seeing was well revealed through the images he cast upon the critique room wall; teams of teardrops, constructed of glass that captured the image of a passing day nearby. This is not the only form found among the images, however it is a dominant one. He also includes trumpet like manifolds nested within each other, undulating within space and protruding from walls. These forms become the central method of transmission, yet it is the conceptual content which drives thier creation. It is the idea and the pursuit of learning through his material that empowers the work. Accessing this conceptual information is left up to the subjective nature of the viewer and yet most would find in this work, a gentle pull towards seeing, to experiencing the nature of the lense and the oculus through which one is exposed to a condensed reality, multiplied by the scores of individual objects together communicated as a whole.
Blown Glass & Steel
60" x 84" x 24"
For more information on Graham and his work please visit:
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
One day he passed a wealthy merchant's house. Through the open gateway, he saw many fine possessions and important visitors. "How powerful that merchant must be!" thought the stone cutter. He became very envious and wished that he could be like the merchant.
To his great surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever imagined, but envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. Soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. "How powerful that official is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a high official!"
Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around. It was a hot summer day, so the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. "How powerful the sun is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be the sun!"
Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and laborers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. "How powerful that storm cloud is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a cloud!"
Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that it was the wind. "How powerful it is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be the wind!"
Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, feared and hated by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it - a huge, towering rock. "How powerful that rock is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a rock!"
Then he became the rock, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the hard surface, and felt himself being changed. "What could be more powerful than I, the rock?" he thought.
He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stone cutter.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
There is only one thing that this could really mean. My brain is working, and ultimately VCU has got me again. A fourth session that will bring my education here most likely to a close. On to new places and new people but charged and fully present here and now. It is as if in this moment i can see the all of the sky and among the billion year old stars, just in front of me and taking up a mass within my field of vision, stands the moon; VCU, pulling at the ocean in my belly once again. The speed of light, what an mazing thing, it is that which allows for me to see millions of years into the past, presented for me in the vision of a moment as i ponder the realtionship between space and light, me and the atmosphere...
Perhaps this session, i will take those new steps towards my nearest star. For in this moment i see all the more clearly.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Merwelanden nature reserve in Dordrecht
In an environment, among a city and a tide. Can art function, can the artist weild his creativity, regenerating his material, and in his action create a work of art? Here at Merwelanden nature reserve in Dordrecht, Netherlands, Lucien den Arend finds a channel to ask this very question. And in its making a statement is formed. For Lucien, yes is the answer found among the willow branches, freshly harvested from this public work created in 1990. These placed willows regenerate their branches to a desirable size on a 3 - 4 year cycle. They are then harvested and used for various projects.
I became concerned with this projects functions. It seeks to assert validity by emphasising the utility of natural processes inherent to the landscape and existing environment; perhaps a raw exposure of some post-modern naturalism (< words). The full value of this work therefore cannot be readily accessed by the lense of aestetics alone. Seen here it exsits seprately from its atmosphere captured by photographic image, and at its near best it exists as a series of punctuated moments in the memory of regularly passing viewers drawn to its transfomative nature. This work seems to validate its being through a sense of awareness, a glimpse of humanity found in the action of a maker aware of his connections to the cycles of the land. Does it fail as art and if so where? Implied here is another question. Since the acceptance of modern and conceptural art, has the art audience developed a sense of recognition which values conceptual content over other forms of artistic content? Does the experience of art today place emphasis on an aestetic system of valuation or is there a growing trend supporting the development of conceptual content in contemporary work?
Worth noting are the questions brought about by works of this nature. The extent to which this work integrates into the needs of the surrounding landscape is unknown, however it is likely that this work provides valuable flood protection and erosion control to the surrounding wetlands. What happens when a work evolves into a functioning element of its environement? Does this function recontextualize the work. Does it exist as art once seperated from the intentions of its maker? And in closing is there a balance between the inevitable modernist question "form v. function"? Does that balance point shift as one alters the environment into which the work is integrated?
above artist and image.
Lucien den Arend
tribute to Cor Noltée
pollard willow project
For more on this work visit source page directly: http://www.denarend.com/works/site_specific_and_public_sculpture/cities/dordrecht/merwelanden/index.htm
Two weeks ago i spent some time in New River Gourge. The climbing here and the adventure of a weekend away from the city keeps me mindful... back into the forest, back among the cliffs and the lingering smell of a morning, vanishing into a crevice near by. There is a calming note in the atmosphere. i am simply myself, being, making, and carefull to give as i learn more about a way that has become my own. It is to experience that i turn when the weeks wash over and i rarely get back to moments like these.
When i walk through these days, away from the forest, among the city's roots and branches, i am drawn to the ways that lead me through the bramble and briar of an organism changing. Placed there by the labor of many men before me; i smile when i find those "places", small spaces that lend themselves to moments. Places where humanity is reflected in the element of our making. It is the memory, the meeting of the moment with the memory that seems to bring about the smile. And i capture this image, this resonance somewhere within my person. Finding that the taste of this image is what may challenge me to respond. To act. To create. And to give.
i remind i, of the moments in life that make the path beneath my feet.
and i gain experience for the moments to come.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Opening Reception : Friday : August 24 : 6pm - 10pm
Exhibition dates : August 24 - September 30
The RED DOOR GALLERY was founded in 2006 and shows original works of established and emerging artists. They concentrate on large format contemporary paintings as well as indoor and outdoor sculpture.
Gallery Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 12 to 6 pm, Friday 12 to 9 pmRED DOOR GALLERY
1607 West Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23220
804 358 0211
Visit http://www.reddoorgalleryva.com/ for more information.
Friday, August 17, 2007
I have decided to share the videos that I randomly enjoy throughout my days as I work on new projects. They provide me with useful inspiration. Most of these videos are found on YouTube. Not that I am YouTube savvy or anything, but recently with my increase in time spent on the web as i update and create new work, I take a few moments out of my day to explore evolving platforms for free expression. YouTube is providing a mainstream method for sharing your creative endeavors through video and film practice. Today, i came upon this stop motion video created by Jordan C. Greenhalgh. For more information on this work you can visit the following site.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Fourth Friday of this month INK TANK will be having a show featuring Kristin Polich and David Culpepper.There will be an installation on the walls and t-shirts for sale.
Below is a preview of the upcoming Fourth Friday shirts. The top three are by Kristin Polich and the bottom three are by David Culpepper.
Check out the INKTANK blog for more information.
While developing the new blog sites I ran across this video on youtube...
Perhaps we forget sometimes... the power of imagination and the child we once were.
Big thanks to Ben Arthur for a moment of inspiration.
if you dig... check out his site... http://www.vocaleyes.com/benarthur
Monday, August 13, 2007
a gap thinned by presence.
a note tempered by awarness of the breath
and a happy belly fish.
From my wanderings I find again the center of my being...
balanced carefully upon the way.
the wake of my path... a ripple among the moment.
careful waves remembering the strength of a quiet repose.
i return i.
Friday, August 10, 2007
This is my concept for the weekend... Rest.
I had a silent conversation with this teacher in Greece... he said to me.. rest.
And then I thought of jazz... and the beat unheard....
And the real concept here; balance.
It is needed in everything i do.
Today i watch as a bead of glass becomes a flower.
Tomorrow i act as a raindrop retracing my steps up a seam in the stone.
There is a moment, wherein i find the breath typical...
of a path followed without footsteps.
and a burdon held without anger.
There is a place, wherein i find the light typical...
of a moring after the rainy night
and a sky just high enough to touch.
I find this way... to be my own... and then I find, among the rest... the strength to balance... in my own way.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
We are an art collective with the expressed purpose of inventing new creative ideas in all media.
Support your Richmond artist, and the local scene by getting into one of these super comfortable t-shirts.
INK TANK is a collective helping artists by printing high quality apparel; geared to the local scene.
Check out thier products Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 5:00 @ Plant Zero Studios.
Remember these shirts are a direct way to support the richmond art scene, its artists, and those who help to bring a creative edge to the City.
4 E. 4th St.
Richmond Va. 23224