Inspiration; ‘A Bigger Splash’ and the oh-so-wonderful Ms Abramovic

It is cold and snowy and we keep getting power cuts. I am attempting to sew, but my fingertips are going numb. Work in progress:

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We took a trip to the Tate Modern at the weekend to see ‘A Bigger Splash‘, which explores the relationship between painting and performance art. It was really inspiring and thought provoking, and I want to make art! I admire performance work, but it is something that I have never done myself (though I have often thought of it. But I’m sure every art student has their OH-MY-GOD!-naked-performance-art-epiphany moment.)

The show started out with a Pollock painting on the floor, underneath a film of him creating it. Excellent. Highlights were a beautifully messy Bruce Nauman video, a Yves Klein naked-women-painting video, and Eleanor Antin’s utterly captivating video of her putting on make-up. It struck a chord with me. Make-up is a peculiar thing. Slightly creeped out/morbidly fascinated by the work of the Vienna Actionists and all the documentation of painty, bloody orgies….

Anyway, it’s a really good exhibition- any exhibition that makes you WANT to get home and work has to be good- go see it! It’s on til April- you have time.

Sticking with performance art, I am reading a wonderful Marina Abramovic book. I love her. How she thinks about things, writes about things, and the themes and concepts she explores… I don’t like all of her work, but as an artist, she is truly admirable. Formidable. Compelling. Human. Honest.

An extract from the book;

“Attempting to escape the body is a dissociative response that produces a mental effect similar to that of self-inflicted pain, since the body in pain is a body without verbal language even though pain’s language is visually expressive. For Abramovic, performance itself provided a means of escape. In response to the question, ‘Who are you?’ Abramovic answered, ‘I don’t know; I learn about myself through work, not through life’.

 

 

Tell Me About Virginia Woolf

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Embroidery on vintage doily, 2012 (E. Tann)

New work. Found this doily in a wonderful antique shop in wonderful Rochester, which is just down the road, and full of antique and vintage shops, and OH England’s largest second-hand bookshop! Excellent.