Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Gallery Visit: National Portrait Gallery

I've talked about my experiences with portraiture before. I'm often (unjustifiably) amazed at the sheer variety and imagination in depicting the human face. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is an astounding ode to this creativity, with several floors, some areas devoted to portraiture through out history while others feature changing exhibitions of both contemporary and historical work.
There is a huge variety of mediums from sculpture to photography and even a library that features the death masks of several eminent figures (like Samuel Beckett and John Keats) as well as those of infamous or "unsavoury" characters (these ideals heavily influenced by physiognomy!)

The BP Portrait Award, showing until the end of February, shows contemporary portrait painting from around the world (I have more to say about this show specifically but I'll save that for a real post). 
The Red Chair. Maria Carbonell

Friday, December 11, 2015

Rivers and Tides

Andy Goldsworthy has long been one of those artists I am continually inspired by. His work is a collaboration with nature, often defying all expectations of what can be accomplished using only raw materials found in their natural environment. As his works are site specific and often sculptural, it is all the more wonderful to me that they are constructed using the natural elements of each site so that the work is integrally linked to the space in which it is assembled. Part of the beauty (or perhaps downfall) in using these materials, however, is the ephemerality of many of these works. Leaves, twigs, ice or water based projects can quickly decay, wash away or fall apart leaving only their memories, or a photographic reference that most of these works are viewed through. Even the more sturdy of his constructs such as his many stone cones and other rock sculptures have the potential to eventually be disassembled by time...