Temple of Time

University for the Creative Arts, Farnham

Wai Yi is in the Fine Art MA program and was on an presentation team with me back in the Fall. Her Temple of Time was an intense experience at the UCA Grad Show in late August. Check her Instagram (@waiyi.chung.art/) to see some reels on the effort that went it to making it that I’ve been following for the last little while.

Wai Yi Chung, Temple of Time (2023)

Immersive installation space.
3.5 × 3.8 × 2.4 m.
Acrylic, enamel, emulsion paint,
MDF board, timber, muslin, one-way mirror film.

Sydenham Artists Trail

If you’re in London either of the next 2 weekends you can come see some of my new works as part of Sydenham Arts’ Artists Trail 2023. Here’s a link to their artists page (I appear in alphabetical order by my first name with full details of times and venue) and the event main page. Below are images from the series that will be presented at the show. (Unfortunately, I’ll be in the US over both weekends so I won’t be there myself.) Click on any of the pictures below to see them full-screen (you may need to click through via the post-title, above, if you’re reading this in an email or on social media).

Modern Romance

I had an idea for a series of photos on insomnia. I thought of images of a woman lying in bed, in the dark, unable to sleep, eyes wide open, staring straight up. And I imagined another with a couple lying in bed, each on their own with no connection, both stuck in their own insomniac mental wanderings. Setting it up I would ideally have liked the camera looking straight down at the bed. The best I could manage was an awkwardly contrived tripod with one leg up at about an 80° angle, propped on a suitcase, with the other 2 legs pushed up against the bed. I left the room lights off but allowed street light in through the window behind the camera and room light through the door at the opposite side of the room. I used the Fuji’s base ISO of 160, resulting in exposures ranging between 2½ and 4 seconds, using a remote. Here are a couple more from the shoot, which in the end I decided was more about anomie than insomnia.

Margaret Enters the Picture

Click any of the pictures below to see them enlarged (if this isn’t working you’re probably viewing this in an email or social media – try clicking the post title first).

Some Texts

“J’Existe,” which I originally imagined to be a plaint of unseen minority or immigrant populations, turns out to be a fashion brand of the artist Thierry Jaspart. We’ll be seeing that name again before we leave Belgium. I’m not sure why some names on the kiosk of artist names have been whited out. Are these the ones who have been ‘canceled’ of late?

Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent

SMAK – Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst

We visited the Museum of Contemporary Art. I photographed some items I found particularly compelling, particularly if I could find an artistic shot to take, rather than a simple deadpan documentation, continued my series on the geometric spaces in museums, found mirrors in which to photograph myself, and was introduced to Grace Ndiritu, who we would see again in Antwerp.

Click on any of the images to see them all full-sized and with captions (if you’re seeing this in an email you may have to click the post title, above, first to view on the website).

Manneken Pis

Mannekin Pis, Brussels

This one eludes me. Both the allure of the Manneken Pis statue itself and, more bizarrely, the behaviour of global tourists for whom nothing is real that isn’t on their phones. That inspired me to break my usual stance of not doing selective colourisation.

Wearing a Mask Mask

National Portrait Gallery, London

The mask is by Gillian Wearing (you see what I did there?). You can see the mask on the mask face, the shadow of the mask behind, and the image of the sculpture on the phone of the viewer in front. It’s all very meta.

Kennards

Our first London stop last Wednesday was at a/political (The Bacon Factory in Stannary Street) to see the new show from one of my current strongest influences, Peter Kennard. The exhibit is based on a book by his son Matt Kennard and Claire Provost, Silent Coup: How Corporations Overthrew Democracy, which I purchased and read the week before, and I heartily recommend.

Click any of the images below to see them enlarged (if you’re seeing this in email you may need to click through to the web site by clicking on the post title, above).

Plymouth

We arrived in Plymouth and before even leaving the car park I tried one more time to rephotograph my text images on location. Still not doing anything for me. If viewing in email, click the post title to click into the images and see them larger.

Then, when we left the car park, we realised we were not in the most salubrious part of town.

Text Project, continued

While we were in Exeter I tried rephotographing my text images again. I’m not sure this worked any better than at Golden Cap. (Click on any of the pictures to see them all bigger.)

Golden Cap, continued

This past semester my photographic practice has been exploring the subject of inequality: wealth and income inequality as well as gender and ethnic disparities. I have been incorporating text from signs into scenes using Photoshop. For the summer, my tutor suggested placing text-based images I create into the landscape and rephotographing them. So before departing on this trip I prepared 3 images. One simply says “Broken Promises,” a famous graffito from the Bronx, another shows mathematical symbols for inequality, “<>” and “≠,” and I also abstracted a sign I saw in the car park of the Palm Springs Art Museum on a trip several years ago that simply says, “Imagine Art Here.” Then I asked Margaret to hold them for me while we were near Golden Cap. I also found places along our walks to place them in the scene. I’m not sure they’re really doing that much for me. Click any image to see them enlarged.

Grayson Perry at Victoria Milo

These large tapestries, Posh Cloths, by Grayson Perry at Victoria Milo, in London were eye-opening. I think the designs are made on a computer using graphics software, then translated to looms that weave the actual tapestry. Note the way text is woven into the images, especially in the map-like tapestries below. A definite inspiration for the text-based work I want to do on inequality. Click into any of the groups of images to see all the pictures in that group enlarged.