Friday, 17 June 2016

KIELDER ONSITE - Opening event

A wonderful day was had by all on our visit to Kielder Water and Forest Park for the opening event of the KIELDER: ONSITE exhibition.

Our first drop off point was the Lewisburn inlet, the site of Simon Court's floating sculpture, Waveform.

Simon explains, 

"The idea for this floating sculpture began on Waiheke Island off the coast of New Zealand in response to the sea, natural bush and a working boat yard. This has been translated to respond to Kielder water. The form can be seen as a wave, crescent moon, or part of the Yin Yang symbol."

The coach then drove to Kielder Castle where we begun the walk along the Duchess Trail. The majority of the artworks were located on this route.

The first artwork we came across on this meandering circular route through part of the forest was Eve Kossmann's Forest Clock. This collection of handmade clay mushrooms are displayed in an arrangement resembling that of a sundial.

"This installation represents a documentation of time since the artist’s first visit to Kielder as a child. In an ever-changing environment mushrooms have remained a small yet beautiful life form on the forest floor, often overlooked in such a vast site."

Pyramidal Edifice is a copper and steel sculpture by Anthony Hensman. 

Anthony explains that "This sculpture suggests the structural order of the forest. Through use of the golden ratio, the tower mathematically structures the space at the edge of vision. Its exterior mass becomes a paradoxical container for the indeterminacy of the immaterial. "

A Long Wait by Mirela Bistran is an installation of three chairs that have been made from stumps of trees cut to thin the forest. This work contemplates the very slow regenerative power of the forest. 

Stop When Light Shows Red by Oliver Hoffmeister & Harry Pickup consists of a pair of traffic lights facing each other and suspended in the trees.  As night time sets in, motion sensors detect the movement of people which in turn switch the red lights on the traffic lights. 

"In this installation, the dissonance created between the urban traffic lights and the seemingly ‘natural’ landscape helps allude to the forest’s past of villages such as Plashetts."

Mirela Bistran's Tree Shirt  consists of a long piece of fabric, shaped in the form of a half-cylinder, rising from a stump. 

The intention for this piece is to resemble a shirt – a plain tree shirt – which reflects a matrix for all the trees in a monoculture forest.

Leina Taylor's "work reflects the forest’s unusual beginnings as a man-made site. 

 "Sculptures made up of organic matter sandwiched between layers of plaster occupy the forest space and slowly disintegrate, displaying the effects of the environment on its man-made structure."

Nearly back at the start of the Duchess Trail, we found J J Lloyd's artwork, Being Here. Nestled in a patch of land off the beaten track, a vinyl disc marks the spot. 

This is a giant version of the symbol used on the Kielder visitor maps to indicate the location of an artwork. The works explores reality and symbolism.

The group then made our way to the Observatory to see TRIGGER. Pipi and I were gutted to discover that the sound was not playing and the speaker could not be switched on. After all our research, planning and lots of effort, we were disappointed that it was not in the state that we left it. A potential reason why it was not operating is because the solar panel did not have sufficient solar energy to charge the speaker. However, there are many variables and reasons why it was not playing and so we will go up and investigate further. We are thinking of other solutions to enable the audience to hear the sound whilst standing under the structure. One possibility is to install a MP3 player and a set of headphones within the inside of the box.

A little way down the road is James Turrell's Skyspace, the venue for the Sarah Grundy's performance. 

The voice was employed to depict a possible future for the forest. Water was the focus of the performance using actions linked to ritual. 

It was a great day celebrating the completion of a variety of works made by students at different stages of their Fine Art education at Newcastle University.

Thanks to those who came along. I hope that you enjoyed it.

The works will be installed until 30th September 2016, so there is still plenty of time to see them for yourself!

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