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FLOW Light & Air - a natural response

"Monet colours and dancing light...  More than that, there is an almost spiritual dimension in the interplay of shadow and reality, of the fleeting and the enduring, the ethereal and the earthly.”

 

“Magical and mesmerising. I keep coming back to it.”   “Beautiful!”    “ Peaceful in these turbulent times.”

"Mesmerising, beautiful, meditative, striking, spectacular, peaceful ... The visuals in the video moved me, and provoked an experience in me, which I struggle to describe."

 

“I was truly entranced by the beautiful film, with its eclectic cast of natural and man-made actors. The wind, the light and the orchestral riffs of birdsong all played their parts so perfectly. To these cues, the diaphanous sculptures reacted to reveal so much - fleeting, private interactions that were captured perfectly by the magic of the lens and given meaning by the rhythm of your edit. it is a wonderful concept and a superb piece of art.

      “The wind and the dappled light bring the hangings alive.”

It seems there is wide agreement that the FLOW Light & Air installation brought something special to the Cotswold Sculpture Park, in the extraordinary year of 2020.  The translucent hangings defined a space that invited contemplation and calm. They seemed to reflect back some of the energy and inspiration of the surrounding woodland and waterscapes. Many people have said that the flow of light and air through the translucent material carried a considerable emotional impact . 

“Wonderful.” “Mesmerising work. I was transported into a different world.”

“Lovely and serene images.” “A beautiful and well- executed concept. “

“Amazing artwork. So many, many ideas for therapy or for anyone to just stare and stare and have so much revealed to them.” “Beautiful movement in the fabric to match the flow of imagery.”

“Very meditative work. Delightful to see the sheets shimmer.”

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It's a dozen years since I refocussed my attention from making narrative films to making stand-alone artworks. In that time I have discovered the urge to reach beyond the image, to consider the pictures I make (even the moving pictures) as elements integral to an object, or a series of objects, held in space and time - a more physical, material space than the reflective, virtual space of the screen. I now increasingly seek to generate experiences which people can choose to enter into or ignore, as they move through a specific setting in a specific moment, rather as they might choose to look at a tree or a building or a person ... or not. These chance encounters can sometimes be as stimulating and memorable as a formalised engagement with art, on occasion even more so. I certainly do not reject the idea of placing work in galleries or domestic or business settings, but even there I seek to create the possibilities of chance and change when I can.

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In recent years I have been working with suspended prints, produced on acetate and various fabrics so that they can hang more freely than prints on paper, and be less vulnerable to bending, tearing and marking. Thus they can be more autonomous and flexible, opening up the ways I can use them, and the places I can install them. Acetate and fine cotton prints have also given me the advantages of translucency, offering the possibility that these image-objects can alter their appearance considerably, in response to changes in both natural and artificial light. And I have experimented with suspending the acetate prints from a single cord, so that they can respond not only to changes in light but to shifts in the movement of air - for example, by spinning in response to draughts from a nearby opening and closing door, or even the air movement generated by passing people. When more than one print is in motion, it sets up a dialogue with its neighbour. The more prints, the richer the dialogue.

 

Currently most of my hanging prints are on organic cotton poplin, translucent enough to read the image well on both front and back. I see these pieces as a kind of soft sculpture and, in the same moment, a kind of image-as-object.

I have long been interested in the choreography of nature, and these new hangings can contribute to my involvement with that idea. From a breeze through a window or door, to a gust of wind in an open space, to a constant gale that threatens the hanging's removal to some distant location - each occurrence creates a different order of dance. Thus the work's commentary on its surroundings becomes enriched, expressive of the constant mobility of its environment. It is possible that the viewer might even sense a moment of

heightened awareness to events so familiar that they become easy to ignore. Light and air become both medium and message. Our consciousness of vital processes may momentarily slip in to focus.

One thing I have learned from placing soft scuplture in open areas and woodland is that the scale and dramatic effect of the space and the surrounding trees diminishes the scale and effect of the artworks. I have come to realise that the physical presence of the installation has to make a dramatic statement of its own. It has to help activate the space, not simply hang unassumingly within it.bI am now working on

strategically placed pieces that become markers in a landscape. Like the symbolic gateways of China and Japan, they declare that this is an entrance or a new direction or a different zone, sometimes even a sacred zone. But these gateways will be flexible and flowing, not made from solid wood or stone. Below are

some “sketches” of possible layouts, Each piece is conceived as being twenty feet tall and between ten and twenty feet wide.

FLOW Light & Air W Big Print black low r

600cm x 400cm

WGM 10.20 SELECTS PRINT SQUARE low res.j

600cm x 600cm

LARGE TEST PIECE KEW 2 low res.jpg

600cm x 600cm

SYMBIOSIS Dorstone 3x3 hanging update lo

600cm x 400cm

Geoff Dunlop

ARTIST CURATOR