Friday, 27 July 2012

Michael Garaway 'HOME FRONT' - a review by Barbara Gorska

Michael Garaway’s works seemed very different from each other at first glance but the longer one studied his art, the better one could deduce Garaway’s train of thought. One could sense that the main two elements that seem to be omnipresent in his works are nature and technology. Depending on the work one element was more dominant over the other one.

At first glance the abstract shapes in his paintings seem very random - only after indulging oneself in the shapes, one comes to the conclusion that they are carefully planned. The ochre and blue coloured shapes strangely seem to be both nature and technology inspired; it looks as though Garaway combined leaves and twigs with electronic chips - these works have quiet intriguing compositions.

'Dataclamp 2'
Technological solutions seem to play a big role in Garaway’s process of creating his artistic works. This is especially visible in his two magnificent works displaying miniature stairs. One of the stairs were created from a material that made the stairs seem to ‘ripple’; it looks as though each step was covered with a layer of water reflected by a light source.

My favourite piece though, has to be the other pair of stairs entitled 'Spoken'. The steps were created from a material that reminded me of the Far East, it had an ethnic pattern printed onto its surface. Somewhere at the top of the stairs smoke was escaping from a little hole - the smoke was delicately falling from the top and lingering on each step. In the background, a faint crackling sound was audible which gave the viewer a feeling of serenity and peace. It was the kind of feeling that one experiences when looking at a carefully groomed Bonsai tree or a exotic fountain in a Japanese garden.

This is where the author’s technological knowledge comes in - the smoke was not made with a smoke machine or liquid nitrogen - it was created with ultrasound waves and water. It was very impressive what a beautiful effect this technology could create if one knew how to apply it.

Another set of pieces I was especially impressed by was 'Bio-Viscerals' which were white, delicate shapes on black canvas. Again, one could sense some kind of abstract nature-inspired shapes; fossils but maybe images generated by ultrasound or Xrays featuring semi-transparent, glistering drops and organic shapes. I liked that Garaway’s attention to detail made the shapes very defined. If some of the shapes came into being through coincidence then it must have been a ‘controlled’ coincidence.

I admired the artist’s knowledge of technology and skill to apply it to his artworks in such a unique way. Silence, thoughtfulness, mystery, intelligence are the words I would use to describe this exhibition by Michael Garaway.  

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Our Foreign Correspondent

This blog has gained a temporary 'Foreign Correspondent' Barbara Gorska, she is the foreign part (as a native of Krakow Poland) and she'll be writing about the local artists, art work, and venues around the Thames Valley with fresh, non-local, eyes.  Barbara is being sponsored by ReOrsa in a European Union Internship which allows her to be here as part of her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow.  She seems to be very adept at securing internships in foreign places, having been previously awarded the Mary Baker Emerick scholarship that enabled her to study at the Visual Art Department at the University of Montana Western, in Montana USA.  She is also currently an intern for the Graphic Triennial in Krakow, an international exhibition of fine art printmaking.

I asked her why the Thames Valley, and I think a bit of tongue in cheek she answered our world renown 'splendid' weather.  I'm impressed with her drive and determination to get out in the world using her interest in art as the means, combining art and travel are two of my favourite things! 

work by Barbara Gorska

Friday, 6 July 2012

Bracknell in Bloom - ReOrsa empty shop installation

ReOrsa was asked to sponsor this year's Bracknell in Bloom competition by artistically filling one of the empty shop windows on the High Street, it's on the path the judges will walk down.  For those of you who have visited Bracknell town centre in the summer months you'll know just how much effort goes into the flower baskets and planting around the town, they are amazing!  No wonder the town has been a gold winner in the 'Britain in Bloom' small towns category for the past 2 years.

So I was interested to see what ReOrsa artists Tonia Maddison and Janet Curley Cannon put together in the shop window that could compliment the stunning floral displays around the town.  Their installation is very colourful and playful, must be all the rain we've been having that's helped the flowers and vegetables grow so large!

ReOrsa's Bracknell in Bloom installation