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  • phildunn641

When it all comes together

Updated: Feb 24, 2021

It's now 9 months since I left my life as corporate slave in the word of IT services to "follow my passion" - those were my boss's words, not my own. I would put it slightly differently and I certainly would not use the word passion. It was more along the lines of, "I want to find something I'll still enjoy doing and get energy from when I'm 60 plus". So these last 9 months have been ones of both re-visiting and exploration. Revisiting has been about those things I did when still at school, or early in my career and has largely involved getting back into art. I studied art at school and thought about going to Art College, but ended up following a more traditional and academic route through university and a career in software and IT services. I kept up with drawing and painting in the early years, attending evening classes, but that dwindled as the intensity of work and family life increased. Now I'm enjoying being in classes again both studying art and creating my own work.

On the exploration side, I've been getting to grips with bread making, singing with two choirs, volunteering in an art gallery and trying to see what I can still do in support of businesses.

It's a combination of these things that has led to me suddenly making my first Web appearance. I could probably write at considerable and boring length about the exact chain of events, but I'll mention just two.

1. When discussing recent gallery visits with my art teacher she recommended I write a blog about them - helpful if I decide to study more formally in a Foundation Art course. So hopefully something a bit more expansive than my Instagram posts to come here.

2. I agreed to undertake a bit of software development for a pal. This has suddenly exposed me to modern programming techniques and requirements which make it pretty much essential to have a website (even if just registering for stuff). As my forays back into the world of programming continue, I may well find myself feeling the need to expostulate about that too.

That's the intro... so now just a very few words about last week's art outings. I visited the Pierre Huyghe UUmwelt exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery (The Guardian Pierre Huyghe Interview). In brief the artist has placed five large LED screens around the gallery which rapidly display an evolving series of images altered by measuring the ecosytem in which they are installed - the ecosytem being the human visitors, the dust sanded off the galley walls and the colony of 50,000 bluebottles freely circulating within the space. It's not a comfortable experience... the images on the screen flicker from seemingly abstract to recognisable, yet deformed, and the constant presence of the flies made we think of the decomposition that such images can bring to mind. That said it was compelling to be part of and while most of my group had long since walked out of the gallery, I was still flitting from screen to screen trying to make sense of the images.

Our tutor later asked me for my reaction and as I considered it, my thoughts turned back to the movable (and removable) elements of the exhibition - the dust on the floor could be moved around, the flies moved by themselves, but both dust and flies could be removed from the ecosystem accidentally on the soles of ones shoes or, in the case of the flies, just flying out through a gap in the curtain. This made me think of another exhibition some time ago in the Tate modern where again the exhibition was altered by people's movement (walking on the art work). Here also small parts of that exhibition were removed, most often deliberately (and illicitly), by almost every visitor. So my reaction ended up as a pictorial one.

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