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Here is an early invitation to another show that I will be putting up at the Waterloo Gallery in September. This time the exhibition will be at their Wyndham Arcade venue in the centre of Cardiff, and I am excited to be working in Collaboration with Luis Fernando Noriega. Luis is a gifted fine art photographer based in Antigua Guatemala, and since my visit to the city last year we have been working together to produce something which I hope will present a rather special collaborative insight into life and culture in the city.
The good writer possesses not only his spirit but also the spirit of his friends, much like the photographer has an undeniable connection to his surroundings. For me, that perception-altering connection was made with Antigua Guatemala. A city filled with history and unique colonial architecture, Antigua offers a perfect setting to capture a compelling frame on every single one of its cobblestone streets and avenues. The contrast of the mundane wonders of everyday-life against such a unique dreamscape of a city creates the necessity to frame every shot in a way in which the foreground and the background become a single story to be told. For this exhibit I want to present Antigua in a way that no one else has seen it before. The angles and the light are crucial because Antigua has been photographed so many times and I want to take a fresh look at what my city means to me. Luis Fernando Noriega, 2016
Having spent time in Antigua, Guatemala, I was struck by its cultural richness and by my own responses to the emotional ‘nearness’ of the suffering endured by the Mayan people throughout half a millennium. Peace Accords that finally ended the conflicts of recent history were signed in 1996 but contemporary Guatemala bears the scars of war and the wounds are deep. In my practice I often use portraiture as a conceptual framework for exploring the relationship between culture and contemporary society and this collaboration with Luis Fernando Noriega is a great opportunity to bring together our two different approaches to a subject matter that is deeply meaningful. This exhibition will fully realise the affinity between art and photography, where both are conceived as discrete art forms in themselves, yet at the same time they are interrelated processes of visual exploration. Jac Saorsa, 2016
Contrasts is the title of this post and there are contrasts indeed in the work I am engaged in at the moment! I am busy with different aspects of five separate projects and I am feeling very positive about how things are going with all of them. A huge amount of my time recently has been taken up with completing the second body of work for the Drawing Out Obstetric Fistula exhibition in New York, but it is all now complete and arrangements for the show are in full swing. Just click on the website for more details.
I am looking forward very much of course to the NY show, and also to hopefully raising some money to fund further work on the Obstetric Fistula project. I have two other exhibitions however to work towards this year and the image here is a ‘teaser’ for one that will be launched in September in Cardiff. It will be a show in collaboration with a very gifted fine art photographer, Luis Fernando Noriega, who lives and works in Antigua, Guatemala. My oil paintings and drawings of the Mayan inhabitants of the city that I made during and after my visit there late last year, will respond to and reflect on Luis’s powerfully emotive photographs of the crumbling architecture. https://www.facebook.com/LuisFernandoNoriegaPhotography
Entitled CONTRASTS: two interpretations of Antigua, Guatemala, the intention behind the exhibition is to present both Luis’s local view and that of a visitor to Antigua, which together, simultaneously explore several forms of parallel interrelation: that between art and photography, that between the human inhabitants of the Antigua and its historical, cultural and architectural heritage, and, perhaps most importantly, that which defines the cultural disparity between Mayan tradition and contemporary society. In addition to the conventional exhibition launch event we are planning to organise an evening talk where the audience can engage with the issues that the show will raise, but more details on that nearer the time.
we are launching the Drawing Out Obstetric Fistula project in Cardiff with an exhibition of new work throughout August this year. I hope that those of you who are in the area might get a chance to see it while it is up. On AUGUST 19th, 6.30pm – 8.30pm, myself and Alison Fiander, surgeon and Clinical Lead for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Leading Safe Choices Programme, will be at the Waterloo Gardens Teahouse to give a talk and discuss the ongoing development of the project. All are welcome and refreshments will be available.
Here is a small oil piece (approx.15x10cm) that I have been working on as part of the Drawing Out Obstetric Fistula project. It will form part of an exhibition in Cardiff in August this year…more details to come.
My son lives in Glasgow. His English history has long since been transplanted into Scottish soil and he has set down roots that are strong and spreading. The lilting quality of his acquired accent betrays his allegiances, and he is the reason that the piece of my heart still left in Glasgow still thrives. My son is Finn Le Marinel; musician, songwriter, poet… a tall thin man. He sings about pain and about possibility. His lyrics draw on the raw emotion that resides in the wreckage of broken relationships, and as he sifts through the detritus of these things he raps and taps the belly of his guitar to create percussive undertones that must both haunt and herald a sense of hope.
My son sifts through the archives of my work to find pieces that he can relate to and use on his album and EP covers. We travel an emotional road together. Last night he launched a new EP, Love is Waves at The Centre for Contemporary Art in Glasgow. The event was sold out. Here are the images that this time. for the first time, I made specifically for each of the four tracks.
I have been working steadily since beginning my three-month visit as a visiting researcher at Glasgow University. I am now a little over half way through my time here and I have been reading so much about life lived by William Hunter and his peers in London in the 1700’s that I feel as if I almost live there myself! So much so that it is a jolt to the system to step out at the end of the day from the library or from my borrowed office into the 21st Century milieu of Glasgow’s West End.
I have also been drawing however, from the anatomical specimens in the anatomy museum and also from the original Rymsdyk drawings themselves in the University Library Special Collections department. My aim with the latter is not to make slavish copies, but rather to use my own form of mark making and technique to respond to the work I have before me. The images below are drawings that are still ‘in process’. The adherence to the original is still a major factor in them but I feel that this is bound to change as work progresses. In the first piece I am using a ballpoint pen – an instrument that I believe was not invented until the late 19th century – and I wondered as I worked on this drawing (after Table Vi of The Gravid Uterus) what Rymsdyk himself would have had to say about it. Seems he was never too backward at coming forward with his opinions, as evidenced in the little disguised rant that accompanies his and his son’s beautiful drawings in his Museum Brittanicum, Being an Exhibition of a great Variety of Antiquities and Natural Curiosities belonging to the Noble and Magnificent cabinet, the British Museum, illustrated with Curious Prints, published in 1778.
My eventual aim is to use these drawings as a basis for an exhibition which will focus on the study of anatomy and way is it conceived and exploited.
This is the latest one of my drawings in the Glasgow University Anatomy Museum. It is from a plaster cast William Hunter made of a dissection of a pregnant woman at around the sixth month of pregnancy. My aim was to get a more ‘lifelike’ feel about the drawing – to find the innocence and the warmth of the ‘real’ foetus under the painted plaster.