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Archive for the ‘beauty’ Category

170103-09

Finally, we did it!

Playing with light and shadow has been a theme in my work since many years now… and while I was doing the Passage Room at Satan’s Democracy, long-time friend and colleague Lena Strand came up with the idea to bring our knowledge and spirits together in a jam session on light… Wow!

We both knew we just had to do it… only, it took a while until it actually happened. But finally, on the 3rd of January 2017, we met in Lokstallet, Gnesta – a 19th century railway engine house, now hosting a local theatre. I brought my 2 x 1,5 metres connectable wooden frames, together with some twelve meters of thin silk fabric. Lena brought an overhead projector, two diapositive slide projectors, a roll of  stage lighting filters… and two of her former students, Maria and Daniella. What a surprise! They, in turn, had rope, glassware, paper, torchlights… and so, our Light Jam could begin.

Through four days, we explored light in various modes, from the first winter morning sunrays penetrating the room horizontally, casting coloured shades to slowly wander over the walls, to patterns of transparent glass objects projected on screens, and our own shadows double-exposed in a maze of framed silk. Here’s the story in photos:

Day 1 and 2.
Lena and I are the first ones to show up. Lena prepares a paper with some lighting filters, and the pale winter sun graciously plays the role of the spotlight, shining in through the glassed entrance windows. Lena catches the coloured dots on a silk banner, I try to grasp them with my hands… When the sun passes around the corner, Maria arrives. For the first day, there’s only the three of us. The next day, Daniella is also with us. Daniella, Maria and I all meet here for the first time – Lena is the only one who knows everybody before. So, it’s a process of getting to know each others, as well as the space and the materials. We interweave the handling of objects with sharing earlier experiences of process work and improvisation, and our proposals for now. Everything is very casual, and very serious. We go out for lunch, then set up the dia projector and arrange a couple of transparent screens to play with shadows.

Day 3.
Clear sky again. In addition to yesterday’s colour dots projected into the theatre space, I want to try a two-direction setup; I cover some of the glass panes with lighting filters. When dusk falls, I will be able to use the theatre’s spotlights to project outwards, where untouched snow provides a large white screen. Glass items on the overhead projector produce stunning patterns. Dark, thinly woven fabric covers the long walls to improve acoustics; they also serve to doubling up and distorting the projections, amazing! Lena uses ropes to visualize a process of divergence and convergence… This is actually what we’re continuously practicing here; defining our starting points, then trying out ideas individually or in flexible constellations, then gathering for sharing and reflecting – and for long lunches! Then redefining, and starting over – converging, diverging, converging… Like breathing.
We start talking about how to present our work – tomorrow, we have announced an Open House event for a couple of hours. After a full day’s work, I’m vivified and content. For tomorrow, I’m packing some tools, a silk painting, and a set of diapositives from the 1970’s for the projector…

Day 4.
During the first hour, I’m alone in the room. The morning sun treats me an exuberant light show… Lena enters to see the finale.
The idea of diverging and converging becomes the organizing concept for our presentation; visitors will be led between the wall and the acoustic curtain to the very back of the room, guided by a light trail; a narrow corridor, but not claustrophobic thanks to the transparency of the fabric. From the end of the tunnel, they will find different paths back to the entrance/exit door, while experiencing and experimenting with the different set-ups: the overhead projector, where objects could be altered, exchanged and moved around to change the projected patterns; a semi-transparent film screen (a large piece of cheap paper, really), showing a video compilation from days 2 and 3; the labyrinth of coloured silk screens for shadowplay, leading up to the red and blue silk painting; the two dia projectors, whimsically showing superimposed pictures of traditional Canarian crafts and paintings by Cézanne and Picasso, mixed with lighting filter monochromes… free to play with. Daniella couldn’t be with us this last day, but we implemented her concept of hanging ropes in the shape of a tree trunk, to cast shadows. Torchlights proved very useful here!
We were happy to have a number of visitors – some of them skilled professionals in colour design and light techniques, others just curious in the most delightful way…

And the day after… Light Jam finished; taking things down, packing, withdrawing. The light will stay, increasing by minutes every day… for a while.

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Bildens yta som kunskapsfält (1)

Today and tomorrow, you can still see the Karl Schultz-Köln memorial exhibition at Art Lab Gnesta. The exhibition will close with an event connecting Karl’s own research theme to contemporary art and research. Die Bildfläche als Erkenntnisfeld (roughly: the Image as a Field of Experience) was the title Karl chose for his collected essays, edited in 1998. To connect and comment on this, I will stage a Lab Talk with artist Jan Rydén, whose project Thinking Through Painting is ongoing since 2009.

http://janryden.wordpress.com/portfolio/2013-2/

The huge differences between these artists are obvious; so, the question is rather, if there exist any common parameters?
What does the image offer as  a field of experience?

For my own part, I’m really looking forward to this… Jan – you are most welcome to Art Lab Gnesta!
And everybody else – you are, too!

K S-K Winter

Karl Schultz-Köln: Winter (oil on canvas); photo HHW.

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Back from Japan

Get up early. Leaving Tokyo from Narita Airport at midday. First passing over red mountain ridges, meandering rivers and roads, then the deep blue for a while. Clear day.

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Another shore. Marshlands. Patterns much like marbled paper in old books; running water under ice and snow – going this way, that way.
Then the highlands, watershed.

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Floating high above Siberia for hours and hours, hooked between the progressing afternoon in Tokyo and Scandinavian morning. An outstretched present, clock jumps back and forth. North of the polar circle; night at noon.

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Rivers running north. The surface bears witness of forces working from below, exposed to those working from above. Geology, meteorology. Interface like a text which I can only vaguely guess the meaning of. Sometimes – but rarely – tracks of human activities. A broad, straight road. A military base? A single light shining from the shore of the Kara Sea.
Light, temperature, time; basics.

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Cecilia’s adapter doesn’t work.
No cellphone, no laptop, no Internet. Just eyes and ears and presence. Pencil and paper, too.

Take the local bus to next village. There’s a temple, with a steep hillside garden behind. There’s a mountain brook, running quietly,  and a stone reservoir offering its clear cold water to visitors. Bright sunlight sieves through the deep red foliage of maple trees, reaching down into the water. Delicately indented leaves scattered on threadstones and thick green moss. In the garden, two hundred and fifty Buddha’s disciples carved out of rock; each human figure caught in movement, in meditation, in anger, in story-telling, in rest, in laughter…

I like it here.

Three stone sculptures in Choanji Temple garden, Sengokuhara;
graphite pencil on paper.

Bonus: In the Garden by Van Morrison (from the album No Guru, No Method, No Teacher 1986; this version played live in Norway 1988. Sweet intro!)

“…

No guru, no method, no teacher
Just you and I and nature
And the Father in the garden

Listen

…”

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This is Gnesta Konstrunda 2012, a local ‘Meet the artist’-event. Just like a year ago, I’m invited to exhibit some works at Åmells Möbler – a company showroom for skilfully handcrafted furniture. I mount the recent #I triptych and place it between two cabinets… Right.

#I (work in progress) displayed at Åmells Möbler;
oil on canvas, app. 200 x 200 cms

And next, 14 prints representing the Zurbaran Santa Casilda are hung at the approximate eye-level of a young girl.

 


Santa Casilda reproduction;
risograph print on recycled paper, 42 x 29 cms each

The legend of princess Casilda, discovered when carrying bread to the imprisoned martyrs held by her father, echoes in black and white images against the backdrop of stylish furnishing. Or, from another viewpoint, the prints provide a modest background for the items on display.
Ok, this is it. Now for two days of meeting the public…

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From Kiev and Lviv back to Swedish countryside; last week was the opening week for ART LAB gnesta. Recently being appointed a board member of this artist-run space, I plunged head-on into five intense days of preparations, press meetings, art management conference, opening party and network meetings.
Here’s one of the absolute highlights – Nils Völker’s sculpture Thirty Six… air, light, technique and peace.

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@ Åmells Möbler II

“…and all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain…”

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