IB Art students review exhibition at The North Wall
Upper Sixth pupils studying IB Art were lucky enough to have a guided tour of the exhibition Contemplation: Snow into Water by the curator Jenny Blyth this week at The North Wall. The exhibition is a celebration of the beauty of Nature and its liberating and calming effect on the mind and features two artists: Cassandra Wall and Chloe Fremantle. Two of our IB Art students have reviewed the exhibition for us:
Chloe Fremantle’s work really caught my eye. She is a renowned artist whose work has been displayed in a number of countries, using acrylic paint on canvas to create a symphony of colour and shape. Her work combines components from the natural world and abstract to celebrate the pure essence and beauty of nature. The pieces shown in the exhibition seemed to have a cellular theme to them as many of the shapes and marks she has used are similar to that of a plant cell that you might find familiar if you’ve ever seen a GCSE biology textbook. Even the tiniest of cells have been made beautiful due to Fremantle’s voluminous language of mark-making that emphasises the rhythm and pattern of nature, from tiny seeds or pods to extensive landscapes. As well as nature, her work explores memory and experiences. For example, the most eye-catching pieces in the exhibition titled “Memento Mori in Gold” and “Memento Mori in Blue” have an underlying theme of death and reminiscence. Fremantle is known to spend a lot of time in a graveyard in France, which is reflected in her work by the number of tombstone-like shapes. Other pieces displayed in the exhibition reinforce the theme of memory and nostalgia – two paintings used collage to combine parts of her late mother’s wallpaper with acrylic paint. In my opinion the curator of the exhibition has done very well in pairing their work together to create a jazz fusion of colour and shape.
The other artist included in the exhibition was a talented textile artist, Cassandra Wall, whose work I instantly connected with. Wall’s abilities cannot just be defined as craft yet, more as textile paintings and her technical hand stitched patchwork makes her art come to life. Wall has been stitching all her life, since she was the age of 5, yet her work has never been exhibited before. Her work perfectly comments on the environment, making a statement whilst her tiling, known as tessellation, perpetuates patterns in mathematics such as the Fibonacci sequence which is evident in her piece “Snow into Water”. Wall starts off isolating her ideas by creating delicate, collage studies then emphasises her landscape on a larger scale, to give a sense of space, quieting down the impact of her art. She hand stitches all of her work using vintage materials, softening it with tea. Wall herself focuses her work on geology and the waves on the land, she repeatedly colour matches her materials to the exact landscape giving over the sense of abundance. Blyth depicts Wall’s creativity as a quiet durability saying “from simplicity comes great strength”. She uses repetition and juxtaposition in her patterning, colours and shapes. By doing this, Wall guides her colour field abstraction towards the state of meditation, delighting in the journey that nature presents.
You can find out more about the exhibition here, and see it in person at The North Wall until 10th October.