Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Substance - Midweek Features 9/1/11

The features this week have been inspired by the work of Kallena Kucers. Although I am very familiar with Kallena’s art, everytime I come across her work I am have a surge of recognition and understanding of who she is and what she is saying. I always want to rest awhile in the images, where the more you look the more there is to see. Her work is both explosive and enigmatic at the same time.

The image this week that really struck me is “Substance (series 5) where the ephemeral being is suspended between emotional states. It is both moving and shocking, and also so very clever.

So, all the images this week have that same sense of substance – of lack of it. The images are layered with ambiguity and demand that we look closely to understand them.

Substance - Series 5 by © Kallena Kucers (image no longer available on Redbubble)

In “Virtue of Opposites” by Zeb Shaffer, we are invited to explore that knife edge between love and hate. It is strong, powerful and deliberately ambiguous. Zeb writes… There is a razors edge that one walks blindly along with bare feet: between the feeling of pure love and pure hate. The slightest breeze becomes a tempest that can push one to fall on ether side in the blink of an eye and send one tumbling into the chasms of the abyss. This abyss is fertile breeding ground for the creative spirit. It is often the very womb that births the greatest art.

Virtue of Opposites by © Zeb Shaffer

“Tears Of Fire” by Angela Burman, also explores the issues of love and loss, trust and betrayal. It is moving and strong. She connects the image to the poem by Dorothy Walters which finishes with these haunting lines..
The air here holds only emptiness,
a little dust stirring.
I think there will be wind tonight,
and the camels will cry out
in their sleep.

Tears Of Fire by © Angela Burman

Thelma Van Rensburg is an artist whose wry look at ourselves as women, always makes me smile, and yet, with the humour comes a deep poignancy – a theme that runs throughout her work. In “Paper Doll pin-up” we see the streotypical 1950’s woman – obsessed as ever with body size and shape. In this enigmatic and ‘simple’ image, Thelma shows us just how insubstantial is this whole concept.

bows, 2010 by © Thelma Van Rensburg

Geraldine Madrell is one of my favourite artists for her irreverent humour and for the overall power and depth of her work. This one is sheer fun, and in it, she describes so well the feelings we all have about the substance of our lives as women.

Cinder’s Was Feeling Somewhat Unappreciated! by © Geraldine (Gezza) Maddrell

“My patchwork Heart” by Leni Kae is a rich and vibrant image, that shows strength as well as vulnerability. It explores the substance of love and relationships. It ends with the repeated belief that love will mend this broken heart that has been repeatedly damaged by love itself.
In Leni’s own words…
The lady in this artwork cradles her ‘patchwork heart’. It is a heart that has experienced much in terms of love, heartache, pain, joy, sadness, and each patchwork piece tells part of her story. It has been some time since she has felt the pieces together, but she decides that the time has come for her story to be understood, and for her heart itself to feel again.

The background of the artwork is like the patchwork landscape of her past, and represents her thoughts. The length of her flowing red hair shows the strength of her spirit; whilst it touches her past, her cradled focus is the key to her future…Love.

My Patchwork Heart by © Leni Kae

“Bad Day” by Marlana Marry is an emotional and dramatic image combining all the different elements that have led to this feeling of emotional hurt and imprisonment, whilst at the same time not giving over to self-pity.

Bad Day by © Marlana Marry (image no longer available on Redbubble)

“The Little Odd” by Nikki Ella Whitlock, is an intriguing image, full of symbolism. I do not claim to fully understand it, but find myself looking at it again and again. For me, it is a dichotomy of innocence and experience and of pain and pleasure. Again, it makes me question what substance sustains and what destroys. A clever and profound image.

The Little Odd by © Nikki Ella Whitlock

Marlies Odenhal is relatively new to Pink Panther, but already her work is imapacting here. In “Imprisonment” she gives us much food for thought. The image hints at cultural differences in the lives of women, but also begs us to ask the question about the lives of women as a whole.

Imprisonment by © Marlies Odehnal

Cate Legnoverde’s image “Untitled” is a self-protrait. A shimmering, transparent body, which yet has real substance and form. It is so clever, and so very beautiful. I love it.

Untitled by © Cate Legnoverde (artist and image no longer on Redbubble)

“Fate of the two faced” by Margaret Bryant, is part of the wonderful ‘Mandy’ series. Margaret explores the issues of women in a light-hearted and fun way. Although she makes us smile, there is always a message with a punch in each one. Her she explores deception and lies, and what happens to those who practice to deceive. Foe me – it also makes me think of the whole issue of plastic surgery and the ‘deception’ inherent in this form of self-torture.

Fate of the Two-Faced by © Margaret Bryant

Continuing with the theme of deception, I could not resist another image from Thelma Van Rensburg from her paper doll pin-up series. It is strong, ambiguous, both fun and serious at the same time. The woman here has no real substance, her body and face distorted and contorted as she also practices to deceive. But, Thelma has also made her seem very real.

Deception 2008 by © Thelma Van Rensburg

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