Saturday, 6 September 2014

What are the chances?

Right! Time to roll up the sleeves this Autumn and blog! I've been really neglecting it lately, partly from busyness, then from being on holiday, and then simply from a bit of blogging inertia, but that's all going to change! Oh yes! Really!

Ok, so what have I been up to? Well, loads of stuff. The Geocaching project I mentioned in the last post has finished now, and I think it was pretty successful. As a side shoot from that I have got quite into going Geocaching as a hobby, so maybe more about that another time. As I mentioned, we set up a Geocache to go on the global network as part of the project, but having submitted it I haven't been given the OK by the official Geocaching organisation, so it's not live yet. Chasing that up is one of the things on my "to do" list, so I'll let you know if it does make it. Having found a few official Geocaches myself now, I have a feeling they may ask us to move it, as it's currently pretty easy to find.

Other than that, I've been away in Hungary for three weeks. Hungary is kind of my second home, as it's where my husband's from, and I lived there with him for five years in 2000-2005, and we still go back regularly to see family and friends. 
We were based in Budapest which was a great place to live, and was/is full of young creative people making waves at ground level, not least my friend Peti, aka Petyka, who's a super talented street artist. Check out his website for lots of examples of his work, but here's one of my favourites, featuring lots of Budapest's architectural landmarks both famous and everyday, mixed up and given a cool urban twist. We own this as a large print and it always reminds me of Budapest whenever I glance at it.

Anyway, what I was trying to say was, although there's a good creative energy in the place, one thing it was lacking was a really good art gallery that put on internationally important shows. I've seen lots of interesting smaller exhibitions in various places over the years, but the national collections don't have a lot of great art in them, and the bigger shows have also been a bit lacking in star quality. However, I've been to a couple of art shows in the Hungarian National Gallery in the last year or so that make me think they are really trying to up their game. The first was a show about Post-Impressionism that I saw back in October that was excellent, and on this trip I saw a show about Dada and Surrealism that was awesome. Read more about it at the museum's webpage. It was full of really great work by the big names of the movement(s), and it was particularly resonant for me as I have been reading a book lately about chance in art that talked about a lot of the artwork here, including Marcel's Duchamp's 3 Standard Stoppages
In this work, Duchamp took metre long lengths of thread, and let them fall onto a canvas covered in glue. He then made these wooden measuring tools based on these new "standard" shapes that he had randomly created. This really chimed with a lot of things I have been thinking about in my art lately, where I want to try and actively re-create the chance marks you can see in my photographs. But how to make "random" marks? This is the question I've been trying to solve. I'm not sure I've come up with the answer yet, but here was my first attempt...

Yeah, so it's a random video of me hitting tennis balls covered in paint against some old wallpaper. Pretty surrealist, huh? I actually did this a few months ago. I had the idea and just went for it. This again shows the benefit of having a studio, you can try these crazy things and not worry that you're going to get paint everywhere. I want to try again in a bigger space, and maybe with more people involved instead of just me. But in the meantime, I think it did produce some pretty interesting images. Not sure what I'm going to do with them, but they're interesting.

Ok, as usual, more to tell you about, but let's do it later, OK?

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