Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Visualising the invisible

I enjoyed the exhibition ‘Air: Visualising the invisible in British Art 1768-2017’ at the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol. As the title suggests there were contemporary works and well known historic paintings by artists such as JMW Turner, John Constable, Eric Ravilious, Sir John Everett Millais, Samuel Palmer, and Paul Nash. The exhibition was divided into areas such as air, wind, clouds, breath and flight. The cloud pieces were very evocative and I particularly liked Ian McKeever’s three works entitled ‘… and the sky dreamt it was the sea’ shown in the image above. The historic paintings of clouds by Turner and Constable were also a treat to see close up. The works linked to flight were relevant to my current Battle of Britain commission especially one by Eric Ravilious painted shortly before he was lost flying off Iceland in 1942. However, flight also encompassed hot air balloons, barrage balloons and the movement of birds. Breath was linked to several pieces of glasswork linking the idea of ephemerality, biology, glass blowing and mist. It was a fascinating subject and with the promise of visualising the invisible was one I couldn’t miss. It runs until 3 September and is worth a visit if you’re in Bristol.

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