This is a theme that I find endlessly intriguing. If you make a copy of an object, or have two, three or twenty eight objects their significance begins to change. Individuality is lost in the crowd. Or, the ordinary starts to take on a meaning. The sameness makes the objects a singular mass, yet slight differences within the individuals in the mass are accentuated.
These considerations are worth remembering when setting up a still life. Don’t be bamboozled by beauty – find beauty in the ordinary, in the individual and en masse.
This line-up of spring bramble shoots starts to assume new meanings. Is this a crowd chatting to each other? Some are red, some are green – why? Are they all the right way up – does not matter? Presented like this, without comment or interpretation, the viewer is free to have their own conversation, make their own interpretation.
- collection of stuff from nature, leaves, twigs, flowers, petals
- piece of paper
I went into the garden with no particular plan and returned with sore hands from the brambles. They are everywhere and setting out new spring shoots. All very prickly. The poppy seedheads were in my studio from the autumn.
There is quite a lot of trial and error about this.
- Make a number of objects the same in some way. Mine were all cut to the same length.
- Write down what is the similarity to remind yourself
- Try different lay outs on your piece of paper
- And more.
- Take photographs as you go along. It is easy to get carried away with the pictures but it is worth asking yourself how you have edited (or made your own decisions, used your own voice) from one picture to the next
- For me the photographs are the end result however the repetition element makes printing worth considering
We would love to see your nature tables, repeats. If you use instagram please use the hashtag #hampshireartstudionaturetables
I’m looking forward to seeing what you get up to.
“The butterfly is an impossible thing, a staggering expression of life that flutters through a cosmos full of light and energy. It is one of art’s most worthwhile tasks to make us look at the beauty of our world – and if you open your mind to what’s on these walls, setting aside any prejudices about Hirst and his wealth, you’ll find an artist in awe of life. Exploiting nature? He worships it.”
Jonathan Jones, The Guardian, Thu 19 Sep 2019
What does repetition of an object/image turn it into? Is it more, or less? Is the commercial value more, or less? A conundrum for an economist. And it helps to have Andy Warhol doing the repetition.
Here are three identical, overlapping images of Elvis Presley in cowboy attire, part of ‘Eight Elvises’, silkscreened over a silver background. The painting was originally a portion of a 37-foot long (11 m) piece, containing sixteen copies of Elvis, that was showcased in a 1963 exhibition at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. The exhibition, Warhol’s second at the Ferus, contained several other pieces using the same image of Elvis, as well as a series of head shots of Elizabeth Taylor.
The images of Elvis were taken from a publicity still from the movie Flaming Star. When the gallery was dismantled, the section with eight images of Elvis became a distinct piece, measuring 6 ⁄2 by 12 feet (200 by 370 cm). While Warhol created 22 versions of the painting with two Elvises on it, known as Double Elvis, only one piece titled Eight Elvises was created.
Not Ideas About the Thing But the Thing Itself At the earliest ending of winter, In March, a scrawny cry from outside Seemed like a sound in his mind. He knew that he heard it, A bird's cry at daylight or before, In the early March wind. The sun was rising at six, No longer a battered panache above snow . . . It would have been outside. It was not from the vast ventriloquism Of sleep's faded papier mâché . . . The sun was coming from outside. That scrawny cry—it was A chorister whose c preceded the choir. It was part of the colossal sun, Surrounded by its choral rings, Still far away. It was like A new knowledge of reality. Wallace Stevens - 1879-1955