Art as Transformer by Adam Grose is released today on Amazon and available to purchase as a paperback and Kindle. Here is a link to a preview and some images of the new philosophical work by Grose and some images from the forthcoming Art as Transformer Artist Monograph and the link direct to Amazon here.
The multiple images chosen from my many walks in and around Belalcázar, Córdoba, plays on a variety of levels. One initially being in the amount of images we, or rather our mind takes in during our walk, mostly registered unconsciously. These multi-layered images in the mind are negotiated on our behalf by our mind, shifted and sorted into like-minded events and filed away, either to resurface later through some obscure dream or appear as a mark, colour or form in an image an artist creates. Our mind makes sense of the world around us – seeking the pros and cons of a situation, something evolution has given us as part of our survival strategy. After all, it seems our DNA and the passing on of information to the young seems the goal of organic life. Yet during our living spaces our mind continues to negotiate its way through the myriad of information frequencies to seek understanding in what it sees, is seeing, or has seen. Through selecting key points from the journey, working with or against the biases from our own evolutionary status, existing from the discriminations of what we consider the aesthetic representation of our reality, the collation of years in seeing and educating through our individual research, our mind-image displays for us the journey of life which exists within our mind.
It is in the image above (and others I am working on) where I make sense of past events experienced and form new ways of understanding where I was and what I was experiencing each day. Memory is a dynamic set of repeating patterns of rhythm and rhyme, an ongoing flow of information of the present which seeps back to the past, re-informing the present experience which exist only at this moment of remembering.(1) Through selected imagery of the mind and the re-minding myself of objects seen, exploring the active journey taken as I travelled from the South of Spain towards the North. These elements of my experiences living and working in Spain for a period of six months is played out, exploring the role of the line drawn in the landscape, both physically and mentally. The line of the journey evolving from El Greco and Goya towards the Modernist work of Miro, Zobel, Chillida, Picasso and Tåpies.
Through these artists and my discovery of Zen and the art of meditative walks, my journey carving its line across the land is re-translated into the line of vistas, objects and sights taken in through the passing of my body in time and space. Sean Scully remarked he once saw a piece of graffiti as a student which said ‘Time was invented to stop everything happening at once'(2), but like his work explores, in my current drawings and prints I am also ‘squashing out space [and time]'(3) by placing a whole experience into the same time-frame.
These overlaid images I keep to a minimum, through ‘choosing’ enough to form new ways of revealing where one is in space and time, through mishmashes of constant re-interpretations by the mind, filed and classified for a future recall.
Where I place an image on the plate is decided upon through the particular experience I had – a key moment reminding of an event from a second. Even though I restrict the controlling aspect of where I place a particular object, I can not completely eliminate the particular aesthetics in structure of the composition I am drawn towards. This is key to understanding my artistic endeavours. Like a piece of music or poetry I seek a balance between objects and ‘non’ objects, or so-called positive and negative spaces that relate to form and objective space – yet, I am keenly aware that even ‘no-thing’ is something and itself gives form to ‘things’.
The focus is where attention is drawn and for what purpose ‘some-thing’ is given presence over ‘an-other’ thing.
How these mash-ups of images plays reveals, for me, a general sense of entropy. An entropic state of decay in the mind over which and what images to form a composition, through a saturation of ephemera from the thoughts and experiences I lived during time living and working in Målaga, Granada, Belalcåzar at the residency La Fragua, and subsequent journeys through Spain as I headed to the North of the country. However, there is a realisation that this process in creating these forms of poetical images leads to a renewal; the creation of something more profound. Through the poetics of space and line, in this labyrinth of line-work I am negotiating my way through time, and also for the viewer in its viewing – without the thread of Ariadne to guide us, we become the seeker of the signifier.
There is a sense of the overgrown and overabundance, a reclamation of structures by nature.
Previous experiences seen in the erosion of buildings and art seen in Cyprus and Spain has become, in this image, a signifier for the entropic state of reality, a sign of the times we are contributing to, through the re-evaluation and eventual destruction of one ‘self-image’ towards another more educated and informed image of the self. These confused, mashed-up, interwoven, inter-connecting, saturated world of images and information leading to the break down of previous negotiations, leading to changes that evolve beyond the moment.
Could these changes lead to pulling threads towards one which will lead to an opening away from the labyrinth of information and seek a route map away from the Minotaur of unknown appetites (Ego)?
(N.B: This piece will change as more thoughts and information come to light with references)
Inland is a contemporary art festival, which will animate the town of Redruth from 25th-28th September 2014, bringing diverse communities together. Inland’s ambitious free programme showcases internationally acclaimed and emerging regional art. Delivering screenings, performances, interactive installations in unexpected locations and events from family workshops to talks for practitioners. All festival venues will be open 10.00 – 17.00 from 25 – 28th September.
I will be showing some work from my travels in Cyprus and Spain and will be available to meet and greet for conversation about my experiences and work at the Private View on the 26th Sept at the CMR gallery from 18:30 and I will also be available on Saturday from 10am onwards as invigilator. So please come along for some drinks and to meet the members on Friday evening from 18:30 – 22:30 or Saturday.
The work I will be showing will comprise of these below, although which ones to be picked will be down to Claire English, our curator of the show (although the others will be there to be seen also, so please do not hesitate to ask me if you are interested in viewing). These works represent a small selection of the ideas I have been exploring through the year and are a significant change from what I had previously been producing before leaving for Cyprus. Spending time in another country, meeting other artists and exploring the landscape have opened new paths of discovery for my practice.
Next month I will be moving to a new studio space and will be working on a new range of prints exploring the research I have collated. More on this soon.
During my time travelling in and around Cyprus and Spain I had begun to become increasingly aware of the many synchronisations which seemed to appear in these places. In such circumstances it appeared that whatever I had been thinking about during the week or a couple of days before, the object of these thoughts would materialise in some form, presenting an uncanny reality that either a) I was synced into some process of reality which was presenting something for me to take note, or b) it was all by strange chance.
Now, I know what some might think – however, as a scientifically-minded person I default to the avenue of ‘chance occurrences’ and that the only possible explanation is somehow, unconsciously, my thought process was already aware of something I was seeking, from the peripherals of memory, and over a given period of time it played itself out, until I became conscious of that reality through the presentation of the particular information, image, person or object. I equate this to the phenomenon that sometimes, after not seeing a particular object for a while, for example a type of car; i.e. Morris Minor, suddenly we see one and then we begin to notice more. For me this reveals a power of the mind in which our focus, whatever it be, is determined upon the reality we choose to be part of and incorporate into our day to day moments.
Two situations came to me during my travels through Spain:
1) Fluxus, an art movement which sought to break from the elite control of the art market, presented itself in two instances. Upon reflection I now realise it has followed ever since this art movement was presented to me from the artist and Senior Lecturer at Falmouth University, Gillian Wylde. When visiting the El Greco museum in Toledo, I happened to ‘get lost’ and come across the Synagog. I decided to take a look inside and there before me was the painting Shoah by Wolf Vostell. He is considered a pioneer of ‘Happenings and Fluxus’. Later, upon arriving in Bilbao, unknown to me before arriving, I happen to see a retrospective show was on at the Guggienheim of Yoko Ono’s work, who is also considered a leading member of Fluxus. Coincidence for sure – yet, at this time, I noted the message my mind was deciphering from this experience – ‘take note of Fluxus’.
2) During my time in Cyprus I had happened to come across the British Zen Philosopher Alan Watts on You Tube. Every now and then in the evening I would listen to some of his lectures, as I found these interesting, enlightening and full of humour. Later, during my travels in Spain I found myself being presented to artists, unknowingly, who had been influenced by Japanese Zen art and applying the principles to their practice. I came across Fernando Zobel (a retrospective book I pulled from La Fragua’s Library), Antonio Tápies, at the foundation in Barcelona and Eduardo Chillida, who I came across with Tápies and Zobel again in Bilbao at the exhibition on Japanese Art & Zen at the Museo Bellas de Artes and who also has a wide collection of contemporary art in the last gallery – an amazing space.
I mention these experiences purely because of the coincidence in coming across these artists, and that even though I am aware of their work and seen them over the years, I had not gone out of my way to see them in Spain, consciously. In some way, through subtle resonances to my past, it felt I had begun this pilgrimage through Spain because I needed to ‘see’. In a strange way it is though eventually we become aware of our inner-mind/ self/ being, and what it will make us aware of, once we stop and listen. For me, the multi-layered images I have been producing are symbolic of the multi-layered images of thought, held in the mind for years, and over time, as we allow ourselves to open up to the creative mind, fully, we are drawn on journeys into a multi-layered reality of the mind-set and we unknowingly follow a path we have already mapped out years before. The mass of similar events, together in our mind, overlapping to be played out in some future time.
Through these experiences I am becoming more aware how my mind relates and interprets my reality around me. Creating forms of drawing which explores and resonates the multi-layered reality of our world. Now, through practice-based research and the Art of Zen, I am beginning to see where the application of these ‘events’ I have been creating over the years is leading me. No refinement, no erasing, no habitual changes. Pure flow in the production of a mark on the surface – pure light vibrational energy – from sight to transference into a mark; one sweep of my arm, hand and tool upon a surface – producing an immediate response to a fleeting experience, recorded as a moment in time which has passed as quickly as it had appeared. An ephemeral, transient reality, suspended thought as a mark, a line, a dot, itself affected by the passage of time.