Tuesday, January 01, 2008

This is Lagos

This is Lagos (2002) by Olu Amoda - welded scrap steel.

One of my New Year's resolutions is to include a few more images in 'Some Landscapes'. The one above is, I have to admit, a rather inauspicious start: a murky snapshot of some metal on a table, framed by lumps of coal. It was taken at the V&A's 'Out of the Ordinary: Spectacular Craft' exhibition yesterday. Normally I don't have images of contemporary art works for copyright reasons but nobody seemed to mind photographs being taken at the V&A. This is Lagos is a metal cityscape seen from above, where it is impossible to discern what is signified by each of the individual scraps of metal, or what they originally were before the artist found them. I thought the way Amoda creates a semi-abstract topography was reminiscent of Anne Wilson's piece earlier in the exhibition, which can be seen in another poor quality photo below. Some of her arrangements of lace and pins look like winter trees in a snowy landscape, whilst other features are more mysterious. There is a better photograph of a 2002 version of Topologies here.

Topologies (2007) by Anne Wilson - lace, thread, cloth, pins, painted wood support.

Of course craft is by definition skillful, but it can still be surprising to encounter really intricate beauty or objects you would not have thought possible. Annie Cattrell's Conditions for example, (see third and least-bad photo below) seem to imprison real clouds in blocks of glass. I wonder what John Constable, some of whose cloud studies are owned by the V&A, would have made of them? I suppose one difference is that he wanted to capture the whole sky rather than an individual cloud, as in a 5 September 1822 sketch: "looking S.E. noon. Wind very brisk. & effect bright & fresh. Clouds. moving very fast. With occasional very bright openings to the blue."

Conditions (2006) by Annie Cattrell - subsurface etching in glass

So, as I said, I will try to put some more images into this blog in 2008, and maybe add a few retrospectively to earlier postings. I'll also try to provide more labels to help navigate certain themes and find quickly the entries on some key figures (like Constable - see label below). And at some point I'll get round to adding links and a decent blog roll...

1 comment:

snarlerson said...

One again your blog triggers my memory bank. I did admire the photograph of Amoda’s “This is Lagos”. It reminded me of Antony Gormley’s Allotment which was on show at The Baltic in 2003. Described as rectilinear concrete forms, to me it was an echo of Paul klee’s Tunisian period with the shapes representing a close-knit Moorish town. It some ways this also has parallels with the Holocaust Monument in Berlin. With both of these works, you could walk through them and perhaps this is more inspiring than looking at a model in a glass case.