Barbara Cole’s exhibition at the Bau-Xi Gallery is a beautiful, ethereal body of work. The body of work consists of photographs that she took of English gardens approximately twenty years, over which she layers ethereal photos of women taken underwater. The effect is very romantic in tone and very feminine in nature. I was reminded of fairy tales and magical forests when viewing her work. Nowadays most of her images are taken underwater and she places a lot of emphasis on the use and/or appearance of mirrors in her work.
Some of her work is made using a lenticular lens and this has the effect of building a story in a single image. To create a lenticular image one has to create multiple images which are then combined into one image in a process called interlacing, lined up and then this print is then aligned on a special lenticular grid so that the lens which goes over top has the correct amount of focus. When the viewer walks past the image the image changes. Miggs Burroughs has a good explanatory video on this process.
Below is a short video of Cole making this body of work.
Anckner, Tom (2015) Miggs Burroughs – Lenticular Imagery [user-generated content online] Creat. Mystic Vision Productions. 23 April, 2015. 10 mins 27 secs. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvdZhYOvDsw (Accessed 16 April, 2017)
Cole, Barbara (2016) The making of FALLING THROUGH TIME [user-generated content online] Creat. Bob Barrett, Maverick Media. 5 May, 2016. 4 mins 2 secs. Available at: https://vimeo.com/166368824 (Accessed 16 April, 2017)
Rounding off my tour of exhibitions last week was Chris Shepherd’s Constructs which is on show at the Bau-Xi Gallery on Granville Street. It was another set of abstract work.
Shepherd’s images are the result of photographing something, then cutting, tearing, shredding or folding the print, rearranging it in another form and rephotographing it. He explains his methods in his wall text which was so helpful and a great learning tool.
Memory, nostalgia, documentation and other established tropes of the medium become secondary to the form and object, opening a dialogue about what an image is and what it means.
Some of the images that I really was drawn to were his Bowie Sky images. He explains that the day after David Bowie passed away, he was out walking with his camera and he started to talk photos of the sky overhead. Upon returning to the studio he printed the images, arranged them in a sort of shuffled pattern, then photographed it (Bowie Sky Cubed). His other Bowie Sky Stripped image was made by slicing the photograph by hand using a ruler and utility knife – rather like large shreds, the rearranging the order and photographing again. When looking at the image one almost gets the impressing of movement from the way the strips have been arranged. His final image (Bowie Sky Stripped and Formed) was made by taking the strips he had used for the previous photograph, curling them and arranging them into a ball and then photographing the end result. I think this image was my favourite as there seems to be a bit of a mystery to this intricately formed ball of print strips. More of his work can be seen on his website.
This method of deconstructing an existing photograph and constructing a sculpture or another image from the result is incredibly interesting. But the economical me shudders to think of the cost of the prints that get destroyed in order to create another image. Reading Shepherd’s blog is extremely enlightening. His blog reads like a diary, documenting his processes and learning as he creates his images.