The point of Biophilic design is not the negative impact we as a society have on the environment and nature but the positive impact the environment and nature has on us. Biophilic architects main concerns are for beauty and perfection; tackling the sensory deprivation we encounter on a daily basis. If we spend time in environments where there is no natural light or connection with the 'real' and organic world we become deprived of that connection and become 'disconnected' We need that connection with the texture of surfaces; the transient and ever changing elements otherwise we become deprived of our natural affinity to sensory awareness and changes.
Imagine a life with no relation to the contrasting cycles of life day/night, life/death, summer/winter?????
Imagine a landscape, a city with no brief interruptions of green vegetation or plant life?????
It is always said that January & February are the worst months of the year; they certainly feel like it at the moment. Lack of light is hindering the development of experimentation with freezing processes. The days are short and the never-ending overcast days do not give rise to the opportunity of working with the daylight. Paid employment restricts the times I am able to work with pure daylight; going out in the dark and returning as its getting dark limits the documentation of processes through photography.
While I wait for the days to get longer I continue to develop a series of Intaglio prints into hand made paper using dried grasses from the summer; collected from the surrounding countryside and dead grasses that still linger in the garden. This process sustains a continued thread of 'making' and 'experimentation' generating work that could potentially be used as part of an exhibition in the future.
This ice crack on the Brunt Ice Shelf is visually beautiful. It however generates an alarming reminder of global warming and the pressures we as a society are putting on the earths environment. The materiality of frozen liquids and substances are a preoccupation with me at the moment. It is the fragility and beautiful aesthetic of these materials in their frozen state that encourage me to work with matter in this form.
By using organic materials within my practice the process of decay is a constant and present process within my work. It exists as a reminder of the fragile and transient nature of organic matter and life itself. The above work by Anya Gallaccio demostrates this decaying process by using flowers (Gerberas to be exact) left overtime these flowers become something quite different from the perfect structured flower head and stem. Turning into a panel of mould and slimey substance.
Having worked with flowers for 17 years as a proffession this moulding process is something i have experienced first hand. Gerberas especially take to the 'decaying' process quickly; their thin flower head and spongy hollow stem make for a quick deterioration into a decayed state. This break down of elemental materials is something i wish to focus on. It is the delicate and precarious state of not only the natural world around us but our ever increasing reliance on hyper/digital technology; the control this has within our lives and the consequences of a sudden need to have to survive without it that i wish to highlight!!!!
'Intensities & Surfaces' 1996
This work by Anya Gallacio consists of a solid block of ice bricks with a block of rock salt within it. Lit from within it was placed in a large industrial space and left to melt. Because the space was colder than expected the work remained longer than intended. The salt placed within it meant that the 'melting' was unpredictable and the ice degenorated in different areas. The fact that the piece was placed within an industrial space meant that the viewer made the viewing of the work consiously; they expected, to see a block of ice within the space. This takes away the element of surprise. (Thoughts of Andy Goldsworthy's Snowball's placed within the streets of London on Midsummers day generate a real sense of surprise!!)
These points are things to take into consideration when working with materials in a frozen state:
http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/anya-gallaccio-2658 (accessed 12/1/17)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/3617902/A-dying-art.html (accessed 12/1/17)
As I embark on the second and final year of my MA I am beginning to explore the process of freezing combined with the producion of natural plant pigment. The recent cold weather has generated some beautiful ice patterns and highly visual textural surfaces. Water as a frozen medium can produce solid forms but remains a fragile and unstable material due to its reliance on a constant freezing temperature.
The frigility and uncertainty of liquid when frozen presents me with the opportunity to engage with a material that ultimately changes when thawed. The unpredictability and tension arrising from working with permantly changing material presents me with challenges but also some exciting possibilities!
My visit to the RA Summer Exhibition last year has inspired me to enter one of my pieces. For practicle reasons i have been developing a small piece. Skeletal leaves, their fragility and visual aesthetical contrasts have been a source of inspiration for me for while. For me they reveal the precarious and unpredictability of materiality and our relationship with the world around us.
The excersise in the making of these works is keeping me focused in ready for the next chapter of my MA.The thought of having a piece of my 'organic' work hung in the middle of a cosmoplitan and 21st century driven city such as London in itself is an exciting prospect! Thousands apply to the Summer Exhibition........but you never know???!!
MA Creative Practice