“I’ve often heard people say: ‘I wonder what it would feel like to be on board a spaceship,’ and the answer is very simple. What does it feel like? That’s all we have ever experienced. We are all astronauts on a little spaceship called Earth.” - R. Buckminster Fuller
I am taking part in an art exhibition in Exeter, entitled From Cowboys to Astronauts. It is a very special exhibition, because all of the work is made from waste materials.
“Much Ado About How to Become a Famous Artist” is my first animation movie. I wrote the whole script and produced the animation in collaboration with Nikolaus Cieslinski. The movie was made in cooperation with the VisionLore Group. They are a Polish animation company who designed the visual characters.
A few months ago Jim enlightened me about TED. Since then I have watched every now and then TED talks – videos about our planet, our lives, our future, our possibilities etc. etc. They are stories from “ordinary” people with passions, vocations and courage to be different, to be unconventional.
A friend of ours is studying art at the Plymouth College of Art. Recently she has been involved in making a film by Erika Tan, “Sensing Obscurity”, which was filmed at the National Trust’s Saltram House near Plymouth. This project is part of the SINOPTICON exhibition, which is in turn part of the “Trust New Art” Programme. The official opening took place yesterday, also at Saltram House. We were invited there to celebrate this event.
The title of the exhibition “Sinopticon” is a compound construction of two words‘ Sino’ meaning China and ‘ optics’, meaning ways of seeing.
Taking chinoiserie as a starting point this exhibition explores the relationship of Western Europe with China both historically and through contemporary eyes.‘Chinoiserie’, a French term meaning ‘Chinese-esque’, derived from the Seventeenth Century as an entirely European style that was influenced wholly from China and the East. The China that was being emulated was in fact fictitious and very few real images of life in China had reached the west. Instead a Utopian land was described and repeated through the use of decorative motifs and styles. The influence and desire for China, it’s trade and culture, ramified in to the 19th century, opium wars, trade and colonialism.
More about the historical background can be found on the Sinopticon website.
The average person visiting contemporary art galleries or modern art centres at the present time doesn’t understand most of the art works presented. She or he wants to understand the “art works”. Because they can’t understand it or explain it, or find any sense in it, they decide they don’t possess the institutionalised knowledge of contemporary art. They decide they just don’t like it! The secret is: nobody understands it; not the art historian, not the art curator, not even the people who are writing the articles in the art magazines or the introductions in the books. Very often even the artist her/himself doesn’t understand it either. And it is OK! Art doesn’t exist anymore. Most of modern day ‘Art’ isn’t art any more. Nothing is art and everything is art. Art is about personal and emotional engagement. You like it or you do not, you feel it or you do not feel it; it makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you angry, it makes you disgusted. It is OK! Art is about feeling….or should I say NON-ART is about sensation. Never think about what an artist is trying to convey, concentrate on the piece and what it does with you, how it makes you feel. After all it is your personal experience!