Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Inspired by Yayoi Kusama to explore infinite possibilties

Making sense of the world ... this is something that occupies my thoughts much of the time.
We take in our surroundings: the space; the walls; the scale of things; the emptiness; or even the overwhelming busyness, and if you allow yourself the chance to absorb these feelings you can think... think about possibilities and about about potential narratives.
I always carry my camera with me wherever I am and take a lot of photographs. These photos are not attempting to be art in themselves but they are such a powerful tool for me as an artist. They are an aide memoir and a reminder of those moments and surroundings that have touched me on a sensory level and which have sparked off a chain of thoughts.
When reviewing photos taken this last year I selected these few. The common thread through these images appears to be possibilities ie. the potential for something to happen, to occur and for a story to take place. 
I am interested that these images are often very empty. We humans only need the bare essentials, pared down to an essence distilled to a concentrate, to evoke a very particular feeling.
This stairwell (see image above) - what is it saying to me?
Timeless, mysterious, almost mirrored sculptural forms. Am I ascending or descending the steps? Am I even in this place? I can’t actually imagine a human body in this space, the composition is completely perfect as it I feel it could actually be 2D rather than 3D. Weird.

A curving corridor with atmospheric lighting. I still dream of a corridor very similar to this. It was a corridor that I first experienced as a child in Scotland. As a little girl my grandmother took me to visit her friends who owned a big (and mysterious) house near Stirling. I was so absolutely fascinated that there could be a curved corridor. The sensory memory of trailing my hand along the cold painted wall is still very very strong.
I suppose one aspect of these first two photographs is that we cannot see what is ahead. If there is light at the end of the tunnel/corridor it will be reflected off a wall before it hits my eyes. 

I imagine how things might change; take a twist. There are almost limitless possibilities...
Here we have a straight-ahead view photographed in the labyrinth that is the Barbican in London. Even though one should be able to see any approaching danger I still find this photograph unsettling; it feels that danger could pounce at any time. 
I feel vulnerable and exposed but maybe in this empty photograph there is potential rather than desertion?
I can’t help myself from completely needing humour in my life. I do wonder what the town planners and architects were thinking when they designed this entrance to a social housing complex which I photographed on my last visit to Edinburgh.  I am Scottish so am happy to laugh at my own nation’s emphasised patriotism manifested here in this this castleated wall. A wheely bin is the ‘perfect’ unexpected addition to this entranceway! 

I do seem to have a collection of photographs of car parks and this is one of my favourites.

 Can you believe the ‘excitement’ of driving round and round in this exposed spiral. I instantly felt as if I was inside the classic Fisher Price toy garage! 

Even when your view is saturated or overloaded this can also strangely give you ‘space’ to imagine and meditate on possibilities. 
I think when I first encountered Yayoi Kusama’s mirrored piece, The Passing Winter, exhibited in Tate Liverpool, I was mostly occupied with taking this photo capturing both mine and my son’s faces. But if I am able to spend time with this piece of art again I will use it to ‘travel’ to a far off place in my mind. The possibilities are infinite here and it is infact one of the works in Kusama’s infinity mirror series.

Just this week I read in the newspaper that many notable writers and thinkers throughout the ages have sworn by the power of walking for its ability to relax us and allow us to enter into a meditative and creative mindset. 
I walk through this meadow 3 or 4 times a week and this photo is one snapshot of my walk that I often return to in my dream time. (My half awake and half asleep state where I like to ponder and explore possibilities.) 

During the summer of 2011 I had a growing feeling that I had to somehow get my largest and latest-to-be-completed Frillip Moolog being (sculpture), Mi Wawa, into this same meadow. 
I felt that this was a place that Mi Wawa herself had to visit. 
I wanted to place her in this ancient location (it hasn’t been ploughed for over 100 years); I wanted the spires of Lichfield Cathedral to be in the background (is Mi Wawa religious?) and lastly, I wanted her to have some of the cows that were grazing there to keep her company.

I saw the potential of the meadow with the cathedral backdrop, I had a strong feeling about this space and wanted to use Mi Wawa  to complete my experience of it. 

People have asked me why I made this image and this post is my first attempt at explaining why I often feel the need to give my beings the opportunity to inhabit certain spaces.

Are these photos part of my practice? I suppose that they are; they evidence how I manifest just a fraction of the possibilities that I see around me.  

Mi Wawa will soon be spending time 'inhabiting' another English cathedral as I am one of the 55 artists selected to exhibit in The Open West.

The Open West, 2nd March- 31st March 2012
Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester UK  


Elena Djelil said...

I would like to find something profound and meaningful to say about this post ,but I can't - only that I loved the photos & the memories, both sensory & otherwise that they evoked in me. The Fisher Price photo instantly transported me to our first house & I could almost feel the fibres of my brother's woollen cardigan as he played with that very garage....the mirror photo also took me back to the Christmas when I took photos of my children looking into a crystal and captured their faces at all different angles inside its facets..I can still hear them laughing, thinking they were caught inside it. I too carry a camera everywhere for no other reason than to capture an image which will hopefully return at some point in the future to help us experience these precious moments once again.
I think Mi Wawa looks really at home in her setting - well done & good luck with the exhibition!

Helen P Butland said...

That photo of West Orchard car park spiral reminds me of when I was pregnant in Coventry - I used to have to brace before driving down there in case I was sick, it was as bad as space mountain for me!

frillip moolog: said...

I don't need profound comments! I suppose I rejoice in the everyday and enjoy the moments when I am able to see the world afresh. When I can (even if just for a moment) view the world with the same excitement as a child.