Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Prism 2016: Let's get cracking

Nam June Pak, Victrola (detail of installation), 2015, Tate 

Half the joy of having a set theme to work to for the annual Prism textile art exhibition is that it lures your imagination into wandering along paths that you know will ultimately not be taken. Just as I walked through landscapes a year ago looking at vapour trails, ploughed fields, tracks, footsteps in the sand and other “Lines of Communication”, knowing full well that I am not a landscape artist and probably never will be, I am having fun with the concept of “Fracture”.
Fun?, I hear the critics asking. And indeed I have heard several people complain that this is an unnecessarily negative theme. So let’s get this out of the way…

Broken heart light sculpture, Nils Rigbers. Photo: JeLuf/Wikimedia 

Fracture: shattered dreams and broken promises; hearts splintered into a thousand pieces; lives, relationships and families torn apart by domestic, political or armed conflict; fractured bones, broken bodies and disintegrating minds. Some of the most powerful work in this spring’s exhibition looked at the effects of war, illness and old age, and some of them literally moved me to tears. Now take a big breath and see what else can be added to the mix…

Margit Siposne Cseh, 300 Metres,
Modern Movement: Connections, at the Festival of Quilts 2015

Fracture: earthquakes and volcanoes; cliffs and rifts; the Grand Canyon. Fireworks; the top of The Shard; jigsaws; breakfast eggs; splinters of ice; broken mirrors.

Gyongyi Varadi, Icy Moon,
Modern Movement: Connections, at the Festival of Quilts 2015 

Distorted reflections in windows and water; mosaic; sci-fi cracks in the space-time continuum; a break in the weather; a break with the past; breaking the record; light fractured by prisms and into rainbows.

Mosaic by Gaudi

Office block windows, London Bridge 

Greta Fitchett, Telecom Tower Birmingham,
Festival of Quilts 2015 
The Shard

Eroded wooden pier, East Tilbury

So hey, put on your sequinned boob tube, stand underneath a glitter ball with the disco lights strobing and sing along with the Ronettes: “The best part of breaking up, is when you’re making art, whoooo.”

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