I’ve recently been to The Tate gallery in London, and I’d thought I’d share with you some of the artwork I found interesting. (See London in Autumn post)
I found this artists work the most interesting, especially as I’ve researched Sarah Lucas before who is very similar. Bourgeois creates a variety of works, but mainly focuses on textiles as her material, my favourite pieces are her hanging installations. She creates forms – from stuffed textiles which is often old garments and reused fabric – that could be interpreted as many things, but often uses the human form in warped and distorted ways. From any other material it could appear macabre, but the softness and kids-toy-appearance of the fabric shapes makes it playful and questioning. She also uses metal structures and real human bones in her work, which many critics have posed ‘adds an element of death’ and an ‘awareness of mortality’. I think I’ve had enough wake-up calls through all the pieces of work that have been interpreted in this way telling me ‘you’re going to die’. I don’t believe this was the intended message from the artist. I think it’s more about the contrast of flesh and fibre, human and manmade, young and old; more of a statement of life, self-reflecting and aging, than the sombre impending death.
This piece of art is by far the stand-alone work, I think the construction of all the different elements and their placement draws your eye, and the choice of materials is pivotal to the meaning. The way the garments and stuffed forms hang make it almost stop in time; a moment captured, perhaps tension, freedom, or ambivalence portrayed. The fragility of the fabrics, and the femininity in the styles and colours add to the analysis of fertility and life. The forms could almost look like organs, and the human bones and the metal structure emphasizes this bodily comparison, as It’s almost as if the metal were the skeleton to the body.
In this piece, the artist again looks at fertility, in representation of a baby in the womb. The lining to the ‘womb’ is acting as a carrier to the felt baby inside, which appears small, clumsy in form, and pink. The transclucensy of the material les you see the form of the child, which immediately illustrates what Bourgeois is trying to show. The metal frame holding the textiles up is interesting, as it not only adds the physical and aesthetic purpose of support and feature, but adds the unsettling feeling that this is not as organic as a natural pregnancy. Perhaps this is a commentary on abortion, as the unnatural killing of live creatures? or the promotion of growing a baby, the softness and organic nature of the fabrics seemingly blooming, bright with colour?
I also found a display of Louise’s sketches interesting, as you could see the development of some of the forms and ideas behind her work. I’m always interested in where ideas come from, and the process of creating art and design, so I like to see artists sketchbooks and preliminary works and prototypes. It also gives me ideas for myself to work on, just as much as the final pieces.
I would encourage you all to go and look into this artist more, as I think she is very influential and thought-provoking.
I’ve been very arty farty in this post, I apologise for appearing pretentious (as per), but I really do enjoy writing about art and what I see in it.