http://www.blogger.com/template-edit.g?blogID=27684744 ARTYFACTS: Open House

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Open House

Trooped round five houses in the Fiveways on Saturday afternoon (in the rain). Got to admire the effort of the hosts and artists - they really do make an effort. People can be a little condescending about the obvious nosing around other people's houses, but that's part of the fun. People voluntarily open up their houses and others come to look - that's fine. It's like little snatches of reality TV - a sort of serial house swap.

Loved Nancy Angus's ceramics at 7 Beaconsfield Villas. Measured understated pots and flasks - too damn cheap if you ask me and as I'm a sucker for a good pot - I bought one , a lovely dark green.

Another surprising find was a fantastic installation (photography seen through mounted lenses) by Shirley Chubb, at 25 Florence Road. These were not for sale and were clearly a cut above most of the work I saw in any of the five houses. Darwin and evolution were the themes, with fractured, cropped, sometimes-out-of focus images of genes, pathogens, algae, people, maps, text from The Origin of the Species and so on. Each had a theme. You really can spend a lot of time with this work - the images show gradual variation, the driver behind natural selection and by having to interrogate the images one by one through the lenses, the idea of discrete genetic changes that manifest in their phenotypes is beautifully shown. Didn't really like the 'quiet walk' installation, 4 video screens showing Darwin's favourite garden walk. Visually dull, unless you know some important biographical detail. Art struggles to cope with the wonder of science, especially in England where the art world is often technophobic, seeing art as a counter-movement to technology and science, rather than an opportunity for reflection. This is a welcome exception.

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