Category Archives: 20th-21st century art

Contemporary art: mirror based art

Mirror based contemporary art

A study of mirrors and reflections using everyday objects, in this case screws from a hardware shop, to create interesting formations.
The screws are arranged in a quarter circle in the right angle between two mirrors to form a dynamic circular configuration.
Screws lend themselves to this study partly because of their physical qualities – being large at one end and tapering away at the other, with their interesting screw thread along their lengths – and partly because of their intended purpose, which is to hold things firmly in place (which is the exact opposite of the dynamism that they hopefully exhibit in this work.

There is an alternative view of this work on my separate contemporary art web site here.

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Contemporary art: mirrors, reflections, illusions.

One of my contemporary art projects exploring mirrors, reflections and illusions. This experiment incorporates a piece of brightly coloured nylon cord that is reflected several times to give the impression of a closed complete circle.

contemporary art mirrors illusion

This work consists composed of three mirrors facing inwards creating a triangular box. The box is placed over a length of brightly coloured nylon cord. The cord is placed more or less randomly except for the part that lies inside the triangular box which is reflected on the box’s sides to give the illusion of forming a circle. The second photo shows the piece from a different angle to give an idea of the structure.

For more of my contemporary artworks click here: contemporary art

contemporary art mirrors and reflections

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Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall – and plant-based art installations

It’s interesting to see that the forthcoming installation in the Tate Modern Turbine Hall is a plant based work.
The installation, by Abraham Cruzillegas, titled Empty Lot, is composed of ranks of raised beds in which plants of various types are growing (At least I think that plants are growing in them – I saw the beds today and lots of them seemed to be noticeably devoid of life. However, the installation doesn’t officially open until next week, so there’s time yet).
I’ll say a bit more about Abraham Cruzillegas’s installation in a few weeks’ time, when it’s fully functioning.
The reason I’m mentioning it now, a little prematurely, is because the plant based nature of the installation reminds me of a Tate Turbine Hall installation that I devised myself, shown in the photos below. This installation has never actually existed in real life, being a figment of my imagination.

My installation concept is called Crocus Carpet and it consists (as you can hopefully see in the photo below), of the whole floor of the Tate Modern turbine hall being turfed over and planted with crocuses, with pleasant pathways meandering between the flowers.
Art is often concerned with questioning one’s perceptions, and that’s exactly what this work does. The sensation of strolling through what feels like an area of parkland that’s actually inside a huge cathedral-like industrial building is hopefully a little unsettling and disorientating.

Tate Modern Turbine Hall installation - Crocus Carpet

Tate Modern Turbine Hall installation: Crocus Carpet (Artist’s impression)

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However, Crocus Carpet doesn’t only make you question your perceptions solely by virtue of the fact that it’s an outdoor space that’s been transported indoors – it also does so because the crocuses aren’t what they seem. The following photo shows a small scale version of the same idea.
The crocuses are darts.
(This photo is of a real artwork of mine, created in 1995, in which inexpensive darts are positioned in a square of artificial turf with artificial flowers. The cheap and cheerful properties of the piece are part of its appeal.)

A square of artificial turf containing crocuses/darts

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Here’s how the parts of the darts correspond to the different parts of a crocus.

A anatomy of a crocus/dart

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Part of the appeal of Crocus Carpet is (hopefully) the way that it approaches concepts of reality, illusion, perception and deception – by utilising the dissonance arising from the similarity in appearance and the contrast in nature between soft, reassuring and comforting crocus flowers and hard, aggressive and potentially dangerous darts.

Here’s another version of the Crocus Carpet work, this time installed on the lawn outside Tate Britain. Again, this is a visualisation of the piece rather than being an actual artwork itself.

Crocus Carpet installation outside Tate Britain

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Finally, here’s another site specific version of the installation – this time installed in a (real) garden in Cornwall.

Crocus Carpet art installation, St Ives, Cornwall

Darts as crocuses – a site specific installation near St Ives, Cornwall

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See more of my art on my site dedicated to my artwork.
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Pastiche, Parody and Piracy exhibition

Here’s an image of mine that features in an exhibition at the Cob Gallery in Camden, London.
The exhibition, called Pastiche, Parody and Piracy, is about the use of images that allude to images created by other people. It’s on until 5th July 2014.
The exhibition includes the work of some of Britain’s top cartoonists (and me). There’s also art of a non-cartoon nature in the exhibition, so it’s a good mix of the silly and the serious.

This cartoon is about copyright. It’s a stylised version of Mickey Mouse (note the ears), with the nose in the form of a copyright symbol. Walt Disney was famous for stringently enforcing copyright when it came to his cartoon characters. Copyright enforcement is very important, as it’d make life impossible for the creators of images if anyone could simply appropriate them at will, however a total banning of reference to images would make life equally impossible for people who want to make comments to which the images are important (such as in my use of Mickey Mouse here to symbolise copyright enforcement)

a660-copyright-cartoon

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