On reflection, I now see that the triggered feeling—a feeling that was a bit like Munch must have felt when painting The Scream—was all about the tensions embodied in the tree forms. Moreover, when thinking back to the time when I crafted the sculptures I can recall the level of calculation that I originally engaged with to ensure that the tensions in the trees were “just right.” In fact, the process of transcribing feeling into the sculptured trees was thoroughly predetermined. It involved careful consideration about how the tensions should be encoded in the front/foreground of each piece and how they needed to be adjusted towards the back. Indeed, this thinking process is part in my sketchbook-journal jottings in preparation for making the tree-bookends as shown below.
Detail of plate 15 from Antoinette Bouzonnet Stella’s
Entrance of Emperor Sigismund into Mantua
|Detail from Kathe Kollwitz’s Sitzender Mannlicher Akt [Seated Male Nude]|
(see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandrake_(plant) [viewed 18 August 2014].)
Also freshly listed in the Landscape and Flora Gallery is what may be described as a mini exhibition of the marvellous prints of Adolphe Appian (1818–98). For me there is something eerie about the treatment of his chosen subjects. The way that he portrays trees, for instance, is full of spikes and an odd fusion of tight curves with long verticals and short horizontals. I would like to mention the word “mood” here, as it is perfect for explaining the dark feelings that his work often expresses, but sadly it has faded from the lexicon of phrases that “proper” writers use. Nevertheless, Appian’s images are ideal examples of how images can embody and project an emotional charge.
In the last gallery, I have presented two Art Nouveau jugs that caught my eye some time ago as their design is so strong and captures beautifully the spirit of the period. At the time I thought that I would become a collector of such jugs but my interest shifted to collecting ceramic Saki bottles featuring loosely laid calligraphy instead (see below) … and I do not touch alcohol at all! Fortunately I have run out of library shelf space so expect to see a crate of Saki bottles on offer soon.