A hopeful alternative

It was in The White Bird that John Berger wrote “art does not imitate nature, it imitates a creation, sometimes to propose an alternative world, sometimes simply to amplify, to confirm, to make social the brief hope offered by nature”. With this in mind, it was interesting to see different approaches emerging from the architecture workshop at AUB, one of which was to separate the art from the landscape, placing them back to back. The model shown here proposes that you would enter from one bank of the river to experience the artwork (soundscape) inside the small room; from the other bank you could sit looking at nature whilst suspended above the water. I am not sure that this separation is appropriate, as the landscape at Mottisfont, and in particular the river itself, is just as much an art-ificial construction as the artwork I propose making. For ‘nature’ I need, perhaps, to look further afield, to the melting icecaps, the Barrier Reef bleachings or how migrating birds are arriving back at new times each year. In this endeavour I will take Berger as my guide, and search for a hopeful alternative. [Thanks the ‘reeds’ team at AUB who produced this model.]

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The magic of models

Just spent the day at Arts University Bournemouth in architecture reviewing the concept designs for Surface Tension. Both exciting and challenging to see the different interpretations of the brief I gave at the beginning of the week. There were some beautiful drawings, plenty of Sketchup images, but what really got me were the models. Their immediacy, tactility and improvised nature all just add to their power as tools with which to imagine. Space and materiality in miniature. I will blog about them in detail next week. Wonderful. Thanks Simon for making the whole thing possible.

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