Visual-Intelligences: Inspiration To Order

Visual Intelligences Research Project

Exhibitions : Inspiration To Order

installation at CSUS Gallery
2006

installation at CSUS Gallery
2006

installation at CSUS Gallery
2006

WCA Gallery installation
2007

WCA Gallery installation
2007

WCA Gallery installation
2007

WCA Gallery installation
2007

WCA Gallery installation
2007

'Inspiration to Order' (title from an essay by Max Ernst)

"...works of art are physical products made by executants who face real challenges and do not come ready made from the heads of their makers."

[Martin Kemp, The Art Book, volume 10, issue 2 (March 2003): 37]

This exhibition aims to provide the viewer with an understanding of the processes of contemporary art.  It is initiated by the Visual Intelligences Research Project at The Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University.

How do today’s artists experiment and make decisions?   When is an idea acted upon? How do artists’ processes develop their ideas? Many contemporary artists talk about ‘thinking through making’ but how does it happen?   Do artists of different generations have different approaches and ways of going about making?  In the gap between an idea and its materialisation much can, and does, happen.  Artists continually find new ways to engage their visual intelligence, the interconnection of their thinking and making. The aim of this exhibition will be to provide an audience with a sense of the processes of making and thinking involved in the production contemporary art. Notes, drawings, films, commentaries and photographs are used to creatively document the work’s development. These will be shown alongside the final artworks, allowing the audience insight into the artists’ discipline.   The exhibition leads the audience through a range of artists’ decision making processes, allowing them to consider the path the artist has taken and its relation to the success of the art work.  

The artists in this exhibition work in a variety of media and will employ a number of strategies in this documentation of process. Painter Michael Ginsborg (b.1943) records his thoughts on film as he makes his work for the exhibition.  Beth Harland’s (b. 1964) interactive digital work allows the viewer to explore her extensive resources and influences. Vong Phaophanit’s (b.1961) podcast that documents conversations by the artist and writer Claire Obussier that occurred whilst making a film for the Quiet in the Land project in Laos this year. Paula Kane (b.1970) will show her ‘studio wall’ alongside her haunting landscape paintings. Photographer Mary Maclean (b 1962), in a written reflection, elegantly traces her thoughts, problems and references (from Borges and August Sander to Kristeva and Juan Cruz), as she confronts the making of one of her large scale silver gelatin prints on aluminium. Rebecca Fortnum (b.1963) has made a notebook that charts her relationship to her text/portrait painting. Kirk Woolford (b. 1967) will be showing documentation of  the making of Will.0.w1sp a piece that took several years to complete.  Woolford worked with dancers and technology to produce a radical, new interactive work.Emma Rose (b.1962) will show her video and sound installation ‘SkyWriting’ made in collaboration with sound artist Neil Boynton. At the end of the film the audience will be able to view the ‘bonus feature’, a discussion with her collaborator on the making of the work.   Gerry Davies (b. 1958) has recently completed an AHRC small grant looking at the function of artists’ notebooks will provide his own sketchbooks to accompany his small, powerful drawings.  New Zealand artist Amanda Newall (b.1973) reflects on her position as a cultural outsider as a visitor to Tanzania. Her costume and documentation investigates a performative moment.

This exhibition has received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, HEFCE, Californian State University, Stanislas and Lancaster University.