Preparing for ‘A time & a place’, exhibition at New Brewery Arts, Cirencester, PV, 17th January, 11.30am
‘A time& a place’ work by Ann-Margreth Bohl…..
Ann-Margreth a german born artist working predominantly with natural materials stone, beeswax, graphite, string, leather etc.
Through the process of making, utilising inherent qualities of the chosen materials, she explored in both residencies the physical boundaries of a architectural space, resulting in the exhibited graphite wall rubbings ‘Ceasura 1&2’.
With her most recent piece ‘Lichtspielhaus’ (old fashioned german for cinema) she is introducing light and space into her work.
The artist grew up near the border between East and West Germany, the image of ‘die Mauer’ (the Berlin wall) is often revisited in her work, trying to look at the questions why we build walls and what effect walls have on us.
‘Lichtspielhaus’ is going beyond a wall creating a space for us to go.
This work was conceived during her residency in a pillbox in Stanton St Bernard near Marlborough in Whiltshire, a solid concrete structure for english soldiers to observe and anticipate the german enemy from.
The beeswax used in this installation comes from Germany, the artist is mindful of this and of the effort that bees have put into this material that they use to store their food and protect their young.
At times it is difficult to make connections between the different explorations but knowing that life itself moves in anything but a straight line I go along with where my nose takes me….thanks to my colleague and friend Anna Usborne I have been able to explore the first steps of mould making and casting. A totally new process to me and so different from carving in stone, naturally drawn to opposite materials and processes, I am intrigued. Form found in solid cold hard mass verses hot liquid poured into a form to recreate a shape. The first cast in beeswax of a pebble moved me as the pure form of the stone was apparent but the “stone” that I removed from the mould was warm, smells delicious and is light in weigth.
Casting beeswax, April 2013
I quickly moved on to making moulds of random objects and obsessively casting them. I am not sure how relevant they are to me at this moment but I am going to continue getting to know this new technique.
Casting beeswax, detail
- Casting beeswax, detail
reflections on water,drawing
So it is starting to be spring, the workshop is waiting to be covered in dust, I am trying to gather my thoughts and come up with some plans for carvings. I have made inquiries about the cost of portuguese marble which I want to use for the planed sculptures as they will be for outdoors and cotswold stone is to vulnerable to withstand frost over a period of time. Marble is a fluid stone in it’s structure and I am hoping to transfer some of my ideas about material into the forms.
imagine a stone carving surrounded by water,drawing
Stone has a liquid element and I am trying to put this into the quality of form, combined with the aim of lifting the material out of gravity.
a drop of water, drawing
Looking at the formation a drop of water goes through when falling onto a surface, beautiful forms appear, through drawing I pull these shapes into something new, I am not trying to imitate nature, I am aiming to make sense of it by understanding the possibilities and limitations of nature and giving it form as it makes sense to me.
how far can stone be stretched, drawing
And then there is the question of combining materials, bringing beeswax into stone. Would I dare to cast wax into precious marble, what would be the point? With that one I want to wait a bit longer, make more experiments and understand it’s properties more holistically, it is a journey of discovery after all.
would I dare to cast wax into marble, drawing
experiment, cotswold stone and beeswax
Guiseppe Penone’s piece Spazio di Luce (exhibited at Whitechapel Gallery/ London until 11.08.2013) triggered following thoughts..Penone uses beeswax as a memory of action, touch of the workers that apply the wax is remembered in the marks of their fingerprints, he parallels the power of the touch with the power of water that sculpted a boulder (exhibited with mirror boulder sculpted by Penone). He says about touch, “the first experience of a child is tactile, only later does a child interpret reality with sight.” In the exhibition guide mentioned is how Penone rejects the heroic attempt to overcome nature, the artist’s humility in his enthusiastic embrace of the uncertainty, malleability and instability that lies at the heart of the natural world is evident in his work. “Spazio di Luce” for me has many different aspects and I am only beginning to understand this piece of work, no doubt will I go back to visit it.
Guiseppe Penone, Whitechapel Gallery, our relationship with nature and how it can be visually experienced is potent in his work.