24 February 2019

Rainbows in art, life, etc

You get sent a link to a website, and it takes you in many directions....

Interview: Artist Stretches Delicate Strands of Thread to Produce Awe-Inspiring Rainbows Indoors
Plexus no.24
 "when people encounter my work ... they just go to this childlike wonder space ... 
the other thing is ... how the insulation is going to activate a space"
(see more at mymodernmet.com/gabriel-dawe-thread-art/)

Scrolling through, I found the thoughts coming and going faster than I could catch them. For one thing, this use of thread is like stitching without using fabric: "they dazzle with reflected light". I like that this artist, Gabriel Dawe, is "challenging the constraints of masculinity and the patriarchy" by through "embroidery" and colour; he uses "hues to help subvert the world’s narrow view of gender and identity ".

Here are a few of the thoughts the photos of the work gave rise to, in no particular order. 

1. Thread installations of Chiharu Shiota, filling entire rooms (at Blain/Southern last year, and this one (from a Berlin show) with boats is gorgeous -  
Chiharu Shiota (via)

also Pae White, at South London Gallery 2013 - 
Pae White (via)

 ..........google "thread installation art" to see many images and other artists

2. Large airy outdoor sculptures, such as those by Janet Echelman - some years back there was one at the winter lights event, at Oxford Circus - 
Janet Echelman (via)
A different medium but the same "omg" effect on the viewer, the desire to see "more" of the work, in Dawe's case by walking around, for Echelman just waiting to see the changes

3. Interaction of colours in stitched work of ...?... about 20 years ago (not easy to find, it was the pre-digital era, but I'm sure it will simply appear, soon*)  and more recently Evelin Kasikov - 
Analogue-digital embroidery by Evelin Kasikov (via)

4. Barbara Hepworth's use of string in some sculptures like this one from the late 1930s -
Barbara Hepworth (via)
And Naum Gabo, this "translucent variation on a spheric theme" is from 1937, for instance -

5. Double rainbows and other atmospheric phenomena, which often occur because of factors unknown to the viewer, eg this one -
"Rainbows take many forms" - http://www.atoptics.co.uk/bows.htm 

6. Exhibition that included threads+dark room+lighting - Lygia Pape at Hauser & Wirth, 2016 -

7. The idea of the loom waiting to be woven upon, the warp stretched ... lots of metaphors there!

8. The single stretched thread - It can connect two points, and/or its length determines the frequency of the note sounded when it's plucked, and/or other physical phenomena (https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/stretched-string) - that makes my brain hurt, so let's move on to consider the metaphysical question "how long is a piece of string"...

9. A few more questions ... (a) where are the shadows (b) how is the work best displayed (c) how does the site affect the work - and, a very practical question: what happens when it's taken down, is it binned and remade afresh next time 

10. Moire, and perceptual processes [my psychology degree contained a lot of info about perception, especially visual perception - no doubt research has moved on since the 60s! - something to research on a rainy day....]

11. Songs with rainbows in them ... "somewhere / under the rainbow ..." etc

12. Superstitions and folktales about rainbows - pots of gold, wot? But there's so much more .... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbows_in_mythology

13. Can you see rainbows from space? Would it look like a circle? The conditions have to be just right, and full-circle rainbows are most often seen by pilots. Like this -

*when the name does eventually appear, or a photo of the work shows up, it will suddenly reappear, and probably several times - apparently this is called the Baader-Meinhoff phenomenon: 
"The illusion in which a word, a name, or other thing that has recently come to one's attention suddenly seems to appear with improbable frequency shortly afterwards  ... (not to be confused with the recency illusion or selection bias). This illusion is sometimes referred to as the BaaderMeinhof phenomenon." (from Wikipedia, cognitive biases article)

1 comment:

Charlton Stitcher said...

I've just been catching up with all your recent posts and am particularly fascinated by this one. Using thread in 3D and links to weaving, and then rainbows and the use and effects of light - so much to think about and follow up.

I was especially taken by Barbara Hepworth's beautiful strung form, having seen a small piece in the wonderful Pier Arts Centre Gallery in Stromness, Orkney a few years ago. I loved it at first viewing and it has stayed with me. Her work has such strength and clarity and there is always a rightness and completeness about it.

I was intrigued also by the translucent threaded form by Naum Gabo. On returning to the Piers Art Centre website just now, I notice by chance that there was work there by him too. I don't remember seeing it when we visited but the beauty of this piece might entice me to Orkney again (not that I'd need much persuading!).

Rainbows are always fascinating and these that you show are no different.

Thank you for such a thought-provoking post. It sent me scurrying most productively in all directions!