Monday, 25 April 2011

Sea Monsters in motion- My first attempt at an art installation

 Wassily Kandinksy was actually able to “hear” colours. His abstractions were also inspired by music’s “condition”and its independent existence (which is free of having to imitate anything outside of music itself). I wish I had the same gift as Kandinsky, sadly it is not the case. However, I do have to admit to a strong connection existing between music and my art (perhaps due to five years of daily piano playing).Often I am not able to paint unless I am listening to music, and the rhythm as well as melody dictate my brushstrokes. Music always helps me in getting visuals for projects, and this relationship is rather reciprocal, as I often imagine sounds to go with my images. This was the case with my Sea Monsters project. After putting my paintings together with some photos taken by the Detroit river, I also decided to include sound in my installation.  Luckly, I live in the age when even someone like myself is able to create “songs”. Thank you Garage Band!  I have received some valid criticism that my installation should have focused more on mutation of the art work itself, and that the photos did not flow very well with the paintings. This criticism has been noted and I have to say I do agree with it. This is my first installation, so I know it is very far from great, however I really enjoyed putting it together, and in the end this is all that actually counts.
Please click on the link below to view and keep in mind it might take a little to load up.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

My visit to Amsterdam's Van Gogh museum- aka my favourite museum trip

       I was  spending my 2011 New Years eve in Amsterdam. I did not have too much time to spend in the city, but I made sure to visit the Vincent Van Gogh museum. What a great decision this was! After walking all over Amsterdam and admiring its mostly renaissance and neo-classical architecture, we finally made it to the museum. The Van Gogh Museum consists of two buildings: the main structure designed by Gerrit Rietveld and opened in 1973, and the Exhibition Wing by Kisho Kurokawa completed in 1999. The serpentine line up seemed to wrap around the whole  building, yet moved quickly and we made it inside in about twenty minutes. The museum contains the largest collection of paintings by Vincent van Gogh in the world, with over 200 of his works in their permanent collection. The works are displayed in a chronological order, which enables the viewer to witness the creative development of the artist. It was amazing to see masterpieces which I have been looking at for years in art history books. Van Gogh’s work is characterized by very thick impasto, use of complementary colours and by rapid brush strokes which express his feelings about the subject. Van Gogh’s paintings  need to be seen in real life in order to really appreciate his genius. We got really lucky visiting the museum on new years eve night and avoiding the huge crowds. It was great to be able to get very close to the paintings and to examine and appreciate every brush stroke. It was nice for me to discover some paintings strongly influenced by Japanese  ukijo-e prints, as well as some very well known classics such as the Potato eaters. What were my favourite paintings? I will always have a soft spot for The Sunflowers, as a reproduction of this painting hung in the living room of my beloved grandmother’s house. I also can’t seem to shake off the image of the  Wheatfield with Crows. Something about the feeling of imposing doom in the painting engraved in my mind. Our visit to the museum was cut a little short by the closing time, so I never got to buy a souvenir at the gift shop. However, no big deal! I will be back again next time I am in Amsterdam. In fact I recommend to visit this museum for anyone planning on travelling to Amsterdam. Just make sure you give yourself at least 3 hours(or 5 if you are like  me and read everything), and try to go on a day with less traffic. You will love it!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Sea Monsters

The “Sea Monsters” was  the  last project of the year in my painting class. We had a  complete freedom to do what we liked, which is always something I like to hear. The idea for Sea Monsters evolved rather organically for me. First of all I decided to take myself back to the time of my childhood. Even though I am a firm believer in “living in the moment”, I also think that re-visiting your early days helps in nourishing your inner child (very important for all artist!). While looking back to my childhood I tried to remember what  intrigued  me,  and  also  ignited my imagination back then. I thought back to spending my vacations by the murky waters of the Baltic Sea and how the water evoked feelings of fear and excitement. I remembered myself looking at the water  and wondering what mysteries  and of course  unimaginable creatures  laid underneath. The creatures were  what I decided to focus on in my project. I felt that the idea of sea  monsters is something I still believe in till this day, as deeply as I did years ago.  The sea monsters not only  personified an aspect of my inner child, but also a variety of great feelings such as  mystery, awe, fear and excitement. I  liked the idea of having to deal with  recollection of memories and changed perceptions of things and events which were imaginary to begin with.  I used acrylic transfers for my canvases as well as experimenting with gelatine printing (which is  something I will be doing again).  This is the first time I have explored the “sea monsters “theme, but it will not be the last!