Friday, 27 September 2013

Research artist : Giuseppe Penone

Giuseppe Penone (born April 3, 1947) is an Italian artist. Penone started working professionally in 1968 in the Garessio forest, near where he was born. He is the younger member of the Italian movement named "Arte Povera", this term has been coined by Germano Celant. Penone's work is concerned with establishing a contact between man and nature. He still actively produces new work.
His sculptures, installations and drawings have always been distinguished by his radical choice of unconventional materials and use of processes that are an integral part of his work. Each work reaches completion through the assimilation of its actions to those of the natural elements and grows out of reflection that adhere closely to the concrete, visual, tactile and olfactory qualities of the materials, explored by the artistic ways that bring out their magical and fantastic groundwork.

Examples of his Work:
Proiezione, 2000

Tree of 12 Metres
The tree, a living organism, in appearance so closely resembling the human figure, is a central element in Penone's work. Many of the procedures he adopts in the creation of his works are based on the act of relating different entities and forces, hence on traces or memories of the contacts between them.

In Penone's work, above all its more recent developments, the opposed concepts of identità ("identity") and identicità ("analogy") are assimilated according to a logic that is not extraneous to the Italian language, as in other European languages in which the two cognate words share the same etymon. The assimilation is shown in the process by which the artist emphasizes similar behaviors that belong to different entities by fossilizing them in a form. As a result, images are created that are capable of making the thoughts and imagination of those who observe them flow from one material to another, from one subject to another, from an animal body to a vegetable or mineral body.
'Spazio di Luce' (Space of Light) at the Whitechapel Gallery 2012-13

'The Hidden Life Within' 

In December 1968 he performed a series of acts in a wood near his home, the region of the Maritime Alps. In this work, titled Alpi Marittime, Penone intervened in the growth processes of a tree, whose form retained the memory of his gesture over time. One of his acts involved the flow of the waters in a stream, the vital sap which gives strength to the tree and on which the artist draws constantly in his work, a vehicle of growth and proliferation. He interlaced the stems of three saplings in Ho intrecciato tre alberi ("I Have Interwoven Three Trees") and uses nails to leave the imprint of his hand on the trunk of a tree and then affixed twenty-two pieces of lead to it, the number of his years, joining them up with zinc and copper wire: Albero/filo di zinco/rame ("Tree/Wire of Zinc/Copper). He enclosed the top of a tree in a net burdened by the weight of plants: Crescendo innalzerà la rete ("Growing It Will Raise The Net). He pressed his body to a tree and marked on the trunk the points of contact with barbed wire: L'albero ricorderà il contatto ("The Tree Will Remember the Contact").

Gli anni dell'albero più uno ("The Years of the Tree Plus One"); a bough covered with wax with, imprinted on it, the bark of the tree on one side and on the other the gestures of the artist; Alberi e pietre, I rami dell'albero più uno, Zona d'ombra ("Trees and Stones, The Boughs of the Tree Plus One, Shadow Zone") were all created between 1969 and 1971 in the forest of Garessio, where the artist assimilated his work to the behavior of other living things, for the most part, trees.
Penone has made bronze trees which have been erected in various public spaces. One example is the Pozzo di Münster ("Well of Münster") created for the 1987 edition Skulpture Projects; on its trunk was the imprint of a hand which gushed water. Others were the Faggio di Otterloo ("Beech of Otterloo") conceived for the outdoor sculptures park, the Rijksmuseum Kroller-Müller in 1988, the Albero delle vocali ("Vowel Tree"), a sculpture thirty meters long placed horizontally in the Tuileries in Paris, where it has been installed since 2000, or Elevazione ("Elevation") 01 2000-2001, a large tree raised off the ground in Rotterdam.

Penone in Arte Povera
Since 1969 Giuseppe Penone has been one of the leading representatives of Arte Povera, the critical theory elaborated by Germano Celant starting from 1967 and based on the work of a number of Italian artists, principally Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero BoettiLuciano FabroJannis KounellisMario Merz, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Gilberto Zorio. These artists have numerous points in common, above all the rejection of traditional artistic languages, the empirical and non-speculative character of their works, and the value they place on the anthropological dimension. The appearance of Penone in this group of artists coincided with the emergence in the critical elaborations of the "magical and wonder-arousing value of the natural elements". This was at a time when dialogue and debate with the coeval international avantgardes was becoming most intense, conducted through a series of group surveys in which Penone took part. These events included Konzeption-Conception at the Schloss Morsbroich in Leverkusen in 1969, conceptual art arte povera land art at the Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna in Turin andInformation at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1970.

Penone's work mainly consists of using the actual form of tree's as his subject matter and his sculptures. He finds creative and skilled ways to use the whole of the tree to make symbolic statements will keeping them to their true forms. He uses the message of memory to make statements about his interactions with the natural forms and uses this theme to complete his sculptures. He usually makes imprints of his body/finger prints/hands and even his breath to leave his marks that he has been part of the process of each piece. I feel his work is very important in tradition of the human conscious of making marks in something as ancient as a tree. That making messages in trees shows the relationship humans have we the earth and how we leave our marks in rural environments. How we form relationships and leave our 'imprints' on people and places and how it can form and show our growth like trees.

Research artist : Aron Demetz

Born in 1972 in Vipiteno, Demetz lives and works in Selva di Val Gardena
1986-93 Instituti d’arte di Selva Val Gardena
1997-98 Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg, under Professor Christian Höpfner
Italian sculptor Aron Demetz (cousin of Gehard Demetz, whose work we featured in Hi-Fructose Vol. 22) creates wood sculptures that appear distressed, burnt and scarred. The process of working with wood is a fundamental part of Demetz’s aesthetic — instead of presenting polished and perfected works, Demetz celebrates the wood’s textures and its transformation through various natural processes. The simplified, abstracted human figures can seem like personifications of the wood itself.

Aron Demetz uses traditional woodcarving techniques to convey his preoccupation with humanity’s relationship to nature. In his work he eschews the classical opposition of human and nature, and allows the two to become an inseparable whole, evoking the primordial experience.
Born in Val Gardena, in northern Italy, where he continues to live and work, Demetz adopted a traditional South Tyrolean technique of woodcarving that dates back to the 17th century. His sculptures – depicting the human figure in classical postures or unusual awkward positions – explore the possibilities and limitations of wood as a material. The resulting works have a strong physical presence, which deeply engage the viewer on a psychological level, conveying both our oneness with nature and our alienation from it.

In the piece ‘Untitled’, conceived for the Italian Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, Demetz introduced the use of natural resin, meticulously collected from wounds on the trees in the Val Gardena forests. With its smell, colour, and texture, it gives his signature wood sculptures even more corporeal presence and adds a lyrical dimension to his powerful work.

Examples of his work:

The charred remains of the artist's works evoke a new range of sentiments that delve deeper into the vulnerabilities of both the wooden materials they are composed of and the human figures they represent. Demetz's sculptures present mankind and nature as one, reflecting the fragility of both. The burned structures peel back the facade of the figurative forms and expose their susceptibility to hindering elements, both in the literal and metaphoric sense. The wood-turned-charcoal figures present an interpretive look at the outcome of physical and emotional onslaught.

Expanding on his interest in the human figure, Demetz works with wood to evince conflicting notions of temporality and the quest for permanence. By reviving the religious tradition of wood carving that has flourished in the Northern Italian town of Val Gardena since the 17th century, Demetz brings a rich spirituality to his sculptures. Yet he simultaneously imbues his work with an oddly fitting contemporary touch by layering silver or aluminium foils or pouring resin over his figures. The resulting effect is startlingly truthful in capturing the complexity of the ties that bind us to the natural world.

Demetz work has really interested me in the human form and it's relationship with nature his sculptures are beautiful but also have a powerful visual. That looking at them we can relate and see our own form that were comfortable with but as a still material that is expressing strong visual emotion. His works relationship between man and nature felt valuable in my research as it’s a relationship I’ll be exploring in this project. His use of different methods of manipulating the wood to express different moods appealed to my experimentation of natural materials I would like to achieve.

Research artist : Anya Gallaccio

because nothing has changed, 2001
cast bronze, 250 live apples, twine

Anya Gallaccio (born 1963) is a Scottish artist, who often works with organic matter. Born in Paisley, Scotland to TV producer George Gallaccio and actress Maureen Morris, she studied at Kingston Polytechnic and Goldsmiths College. In 1988—the year she graduated from Goldsmiths—she exhibited in theDamien Hirst-curated Freeze exhibition, and in 1990 the Henry Bond and Sarah Lucas organized East Country Yard shows, which brought together many of the Young British Artists. Gallaccio is a Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She was a nominee in the 2003 Turner Prize.
Much of her work uses organic materials, with fruitvegetables and flowers all featuring in her work. Sometimes these materials undergo a change during the course their being exhibited. In Red on Green (1992), ten thousand rose heads placed on a bed of their stalks gradually withered as the exhibition went on.For Intensities and Surfaces (1996) Gallaccio left a thirty two ton block of ice with a salt core in the disused pump station at Wapping and allowed it to melt.

 Examples of Her Work:
reserve 'beauty', 1991/2003
900 red gerbera 'beauty' pressed behind glass

that open space within (2008)

revons d'ôr, 2006
cast bronze, glazed porcelain, polyester rope

As long as there were any roads to amnesia and anaethesia still to be explored, 2002
7 felled Oaks

'Red on Green' 
Other works by Gallaccio include Stroke (1993) in which benches in the gallery and cardboard panels attached to the walls were covered in chocolate and Because Nothing has Changed (2000), a bronze sculpture of a tree adorned with porcelain apples.  Because I Could Not Stop (2002) is a similar bronze tree but with real apples which are left to rot.
At Houghton Hall in Norfolk, the Marquess of Cholmondeley commissioned a folly to the east of the great house. "The Sybil Hedge" is an "artlandish" folly. It is based on the signature of the marquis' grandmother, Sybil Sassoon. Gallaccio has created a sarcophagus-like marble structure which is sited at the end of a path; and nearby is a copper-beech hedge which is planted in lines mirroring Sybil’s signature.
2005 saw the publication of Anya Gallaccio: Silver Seed by Ridinghouse, which accompanied the artist's exhibition commissioned by the Mount Stuart Trust for an installation at Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute, Scotland.

I came across Anya Gallaccio's work recently and can't help but be drawn to it's beauty and use of natural materials. Her work tends to bring natural elements into an unnatural environment to be admired which I find quite interesting as installation work. Her work tends to deal with the theme of life and death in her pieces especially 'Red on Green'  in which the flowers eventually withered and died which concluded the piece as an exhibit. Which gives her work the physical presence of the passage of time in a space for viewers to see. I also liked her range of materials since she has also used trees or parts of them and included other materials with them as part of the pieces.
Her work luckily was showing at the McManus gallery as a surprise to me as well as maily other British artists who have used the natural world in their art. It gave a lot of inspiration to working within this type of theme since I've not worked with the natural world before creatively.

Project ideas and personal reflections

View from my bedroom window back home.

Been thinking a lot about what I what to do for my project this semester and ended up making lists about my interests and themes as a creative person. I've found that I would like to do a project based on the natural world and natural materials.

I've always had a keen interest in the natural world and this comes a lot from childhood nostalgia. Spent a great deal outside in rural environments playing with other kids or usually on my own in woods near my house.
Their would be the usual tree climbing and collecting leaves/twigs/nuts/conkers every year and also sometimes insects and flowers in tubs.

We would also make dens out of old junk and rubbish we found and hang things from trees and play hide and seek and pretend to be various different animals. Me and the other kids would also make little dams out of mud/twigs/leaves and dig little trails for the water to run down into them that we would fill plastic bottles from the garages up at the street near by.

Me and My nieces in the woods I grew up in.

Not to mention the visits we would make to one of my Grans houses which was in a very rural area with a stream nearby. I made a project last semester about her home which is here.

So I seem to associate the natural world with very positive memories and associations of my childhood. I've always wanted to do a project about it or even using natural materials to create something. I'll be doing research into other artists with these themes and how they explore the natural world in their work.

When I went camping in the Lake District one of my most happiest recent experiences.

More recently had a lot of images of trees in my head this all came from the unusual place of prejudice about my body shape. Since I'm quite a thin person I started getting a lot of visual ideas and images about trees and their meanings.Theirs possibility for this project to be partly gender based but I need to do my research first. But I see it moving into the direction of rural materials and the human body represented in this way or a form of belonging and identity.

So in ways I think I associate forests as safe places and that I felt safe there as a child cause there was no prejudice or bullying. Since coming into University and coming into a city and out of a rural environment it's made me value my childhood and what I felt in natural environments a lot more.

I'll be experimenting with this idea and natural materials as a medium will have to see which ones work out best through my research and my work progress.


This blog will be focusing and documenting an Independent creative and professional practice of a Time Based Art student of Duncan and Jordanstone college of Art & Design

The blog will include research into other artists and their work as well as a project brief/plan and research into my chosen themes and media's.

This will be in the forms of sketchbooks and resources as well as documented work progress through photography and video.

It will include this semester's worth of practical and experimental work progress as well as my understanding of the project as a whole.