Friday, October 17, 2008

Reverence: Review by Portfolio Weekly

"The Smallest Footprint: Ecologically Sustainable Art" was recently reviewed by Betsy DiJulio, critic for Portfolio Weekly.

I am grateful for such coverage and would like to take a moment to thank Betsy for her time.

I became aware of exactly how much influence my previous work had while installing this piece, but it truly hit me while reading this review. Betsy takes time to show her appreciation for this work within the paragraphs of her article. She also tossed in a small jab from the curator in the first line of my portion of the review. But I must say, if the only thing missing in this exhibition was more of my work, then i am happy. This was a welcome way of expressing the curators frustration. It appears that i was contracted to do something other than i thought was clear; maintain artistic freedom, respond openly to the theme of the exhibition and do what it is that i do. The curator was apparently expecting my "stones". She certainly expressed her appreciation for this work but remained open to new work and produced no contract agreement when asked. But, I am pleased that she enjoyed my previous work enough to be frustrated that i did not re-create it for this exhibition. So, I apologised for not supply what was desired. Though this should have been more thoroughly communicated in a contract agreement.

My intention with this exhibition however was to investigate the theme of this show: Ecologically Responsible Art. What is it that makes my previous work responsible to the environment? What is it that characterizes Eco-Art and its many examples in contemporary art? Certainly I consider my work to exist within the domain of an environment. I also consider carefully the material decisions that i make when setting out to create work. That being so, it is rare, if ever, that I re-create work. This would be difficult lest my intention was to directly continue a particular method of expression and even then the work would most certainly take on a different appearance; a different morph. This exhibition however, presented clear path; investigating the principle of being responsible to an ecology, and therefore required a completely different approach. Thus new work, specific to the concept; an honest and unique response that expressed, as an object, my aesthetic. That is not to say that this is what ecologically responsible work is. Reverence is not meant to epitomize my thougths regarding ecologically responsible art. It is simply work that extended from the motivation provided by the exhibit.

Moving on, what should I express, what did I learn form all this:

Always get a contact and always keep the communication flowing to ensure that there is a genuine understanding of what is desired by the gallery.

Also... Make what is true to you and your work; and be prepared to take a a sugar coated punch.

Thanks for the sugar Betsy.

-Bob and Weave.

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