Category Archives: Art

This Storm Is What We Call Progress

by Tom Salmon:

London’s Imperial War Museum takes a seemingly paradoxical approach in its mission to explore the impact of modern warfare. Military hardware, tanks and other tools of war are removed from bloody battlefields to become the objects of children’s fascination. Meanwhile, a series of art and photography exhibitions like Don McCullin’s Shaped by War invite visitors to reflect more deeply on the human tragedy of conflict.

Ori Gersht’s exhibition This Storm Is What We Call Progress was one of the museum’s more philosophical exhibits, dealing with conflict, survival, memory, history and geography.

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The art and craft of Jonathan Newdick

The Wylye
Graphite on paper
790 x 1140 mm

We discovered the work of Jonathan Newdick through good friends, and then spent a happy hour or two exploring his website, not only the beautiful drawings and prints (such as the example above) but also the writings collected there. Jonathan kindly agreed to let us re-produce some of his work on Under a Grey Sky, and there are some more drawings below and a biography from his website. I think they are wonderfully atmospheric, and we hope that you enjoy them too. Continue reading

St. Jude’s Fabric and Prints

(above: Doveflight by Mark Hearld, with permission from St. Jude’s)

I discovered St. Jude’s through their lovely blog All Things Considered, and was immediately struck by the designs that come from a wide range of artists and are available as fabrics or as prints. Many of the designs and prints take inspiration from landscape and the natural world, and there is something about them that gives me a feeling of certain places I have known. Maybe it is just the style of some of the artists, and I cannot put my finger on it, but this feeling is certainly there and I have to admit that just flicking through the website left me a little homesick. Continue reading

Under Trees – The Germans and the Forest

I wrote about the connection between the forest and the German imagination in my post on the Grunewald not that long ago, and for those of you in Berlin – or if you will coming here before the end of March – the German Historical Museum has a special exhibition on that very topic. From the website:

In Germany the forest is more than just the sum of the trees. When trees are threatened, Germans go on the warpath. For in our country the forest is not only a cultural landscape formed through forestry and the result of modern recreational activities ranging from GPS-guided hikes to treetop trails. At the same time, the woods and trees possess great symbolic, spiritual and fairytale-like charismatic powers and have always been celebrated in German poetry, art and music. In this way the forest is deeply rooted in the German consciousness – not only when we are meandering under trees.

The exhibition will visualize this special relationship of the Germans to the forest, focusing first on the Romantic Age around 1800, when the forest and the trees first became a matter of scientifically based forest management and at the same time enriched literature, music and the graphic arts as subject and theme. It was above all painting – the core of the exhibition – that shaped patterns of perception that have marked our view of the forest up to the present day.

Under Trees: The Germans and the forest is running until 4th March 2012. Here’s the link.

Clare Woods at the Hepworth, Wakefield


Tom Salmon checks out the exhibition “The Unquiet Head” from Clare Woods, which is at the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield until the 29th January 2012. The film above is an introduction to the artist and her work, and concentrates on the current exhibition:

On a typical wintery day in Yorkshire – grey, bleak, misty and great – we headed out to the Hepworth Wakefield, a new gallery that celebrates the area’s unique artistic legacy and exhibits the work of major contemporary artists. We were looking for a bit of culture, but the trip also gave me pause to reflect on how much I love living here and why Yorkshire is known (at least by us locals) as ‘God’s own county.’ Continue reading

Out from the studio – The art of Helen Mirra

Helen Mirra
Field Recordings, 7 x 5000 Schritte, in Berlin (Steglitz) 31 Juli
Detail / detail
Öl auf Leinwand / Oil on linen, 2010
80 x 170 cm
Courtesy of the artist

An exhibition currently taking place in Berlin is “gehend: Field Recordings 1-3” which is taking place at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art. Helen Mirra made these prints and rubbings on hikes around Berlin, Bonn and Zurich. She explains her philosophy on her website:

“After a number of years making discrete works in various materials, and considering various subjects, Mirra’s present rhythm of working takes the form of a kind of paced printmaking, made through walking. The activities are interdependent; the walking structures the printing, and the printing impels the walking. This rhythm is nestled into a cycle of exhibitions that perpetuates the project.”

For this exhibition she spent a month in each of the three locations, and spent almost every day walking. Every hour she would make a print of the ground before transferring this onto linen, collecting seven such prints a day. The aim of her work, according to the notes that accompany the exhibition, is to “resist idealised notions of nature” as well as to “open up spaces of association, in which the perception of small things is enlivened, and our ethical sense of responsibility regarding our environment and its diversity is addressed.”

Exhibition runs until the 29th January – Homepage