THE WORTH OF WORKS OF ART
by Norman Warwick
My friend, Tony Brady, the British writer and novelist, who contributed to our post of 29th September, called Secret Places of Lanzarote, asks less of art than I do. His demand, it seems, is no more than art be aesthetically interesting and / or pleasing. I on the other hand want to know every sidetrack, detour and happy trail art its creator has taken, and from when and why and where to. I want to know all about the landscapes and persons portrayed and who chose the pose, artist or model. In short, I want to know what the art means.
Usually I find that the more answers I can ascertain from either the artist, previous and fellow critics or even the creator of the work, I still find, as Johnny Nash warned me I would, that ´´there are ´more questions than answers and the more that I find out the less I know.´
When Tony and I recently wandered around the exhibition of The Secret Places Of Lanzarote, it was my third tour of the collection of nude photography by Adriyana Hodge that runs until the end of November at Julio´s Tap Room and Bar in Costa Teguise. I had been to the inaugural event a fortnight earlier and also met with Adriyana for a conducted-by-the-artist tour a week later, before arriving returning again a few nights later with Tony.
I was aware, of course, that only two hundred years away from Julio´s was the island´s most prestigious exhibition venue of The Lanzarote Art Gallery. This is a beautifully roomy and well lit bespoke art gallery in a venue that is surrounded by several smaller ad hoc exhibition rooms.
We will be visiting one of those ad hoc rooms during October to see another exhibition that will run for a month from 2nd October to the 1st November.
Amilcar: Pinturas Al Oleo, Abstractas El Lienzo (right)) is showing at the Ermita above the marina Rubicon in Playa Blanca as Claudie; Arte El Artesania, de Madera de Marea with opening hours of 10.30 to 14.00 and 17.00 to 20.00 and has been curated by Marie Christine Carayon, a lady respected by Sidetracks And Detours for her previous work on behalf of artist / scientist sJacques Honvault last January. Our report on that was called Art Captures Moments of Science and was published in both French and English on January 25th and those stories remain available in our easy to negotiate archives of over 725 articles. I am no visual art expert but I absolutely trust the judgement of Marie Christine and I was very much looking forward to the inaugural event.
I am not always a lover of the inaugural nights of art exhibitions. Chattering crowds and credit card waving can be slightly intimidating, and I am arrogant enough to want my own time and space to consider individual and collective art pieces. However, the inaugural nights on Lanzarote are widely varied.
The inauguration here, though, in the glorious Ermita was wonderful. As we walked through the doors of what has for so long served as a church we were stunned by the huge amount of art work on display (left), which spoke of an artist of diversity and sensitivity. There were huge paintings that would adorn the walls of any of the luxurious villas here on the island, but there were also scores of paintings on objets trouve: mostly driftwood to remind us of our wonderful coastline.
Marie Christine is an excellent exhibition host. She is always fully aware of the artist and the work she is representing, and enthuses without gushing. A definition of elegance, she strolled the huge floor space, talking with guests and patrons. She and colleagues had organised a cheese and wine (and beer) area on a patio beside the church where there was also probably the best back-ground busker I´ve ever heard. He was perched on a stool beside his speaker, (right) set at an empathetic volume that discouraged any pops, booms or horrible hisses, He played beautiful acoustic music on his Spanish guitar and absolutely complemented the gentile occasion.
Marie Christine was very busy, so I could only snatch a quick word. She told me the artists is completely dedicated to his work and does not seek the limelight in any way, but she would try to give me any information we might need. So we fixed up an e mail who, what, when, where, why interview and then a follow up conversation to cross i´s and dot the t´s or whatever it is that we journalists are supposed to do.
So, watch this space,, but if you are down near the marina rubicon in Playa Blanca during October, don´t forget to visit this excellent collection of work housed in an atmospheric setting.
Watch this space, too, for an exclusive interview with Marie Christine Carayon about the exhibition and the artst.
I am no visual art expert but I have been drawn again and again, and again, to The Secret Places Of Lanzarfote. Because their owner could look at them and question them forever they would reward any investment, and almost certainly appreciate in value, especially when part of what is already a considerable volume of work that is being built up by Adriyana Hodge.
British writer and novelist Anthony Brady, who has featured in the past on these pages talking about his writing, visited Adriyana´s exhibition weith me whilst here on holiday last month. This morning, I received his considered views and I reproduce that review below, as what seems to me an interesting compare and contrast between his views as an aesthetic and my own views, as I too often ´murder to dissect.´as Wordsworth put it.
THE SECRET PLACES OF LANZAROTE
a photographic exhibition by Adriyana Hodge
until 30th November ar r, Julio´s Tap Room Bar, Costa Teguise
A Review by Tony Brady (left)
I am not an expert on Art in its widest scope. I have no university degree nor am I qualified to ventilate modest opinions on the highly sensitive subject of nudity in any art form. My short essay on a personal insight – gained on looking at Michelangelo’s statue of David – while visiting Florence, attracted the attention of journalist Norman Warwick. This led to his inviting me to dine and visit the exhibition of the naked female form created and curated by the artist Adriyana Hodge, displayed by the owner in Julio´s Tap Room Bar in Costa Teguise.
More by luck than design, Norman gave me time to think on what I was about to view, by taking me on a brief tour of the interior of Julios’ and we were thus less concerned – for the moment – about looking at the pictures displayed, per se. This gave me time to merely glance at various examples he pointed out as he referred to the architectural aspects of the building. We paused briefly while Norman suggested a particular example displayed – Drago Protector – could be complemented by positioning a poem alongside it.
Ending this brief peregrination, I just knew that my considerations about what constitutes pornography and what constitutes eroticism were to be challenged and clarified. I decided there and then that these elements were best left outside, at the threshold of the Exhibition to facilitate an – open mind – on the artist’s work. This decision was not to deny their existence but defer them for later summation in my eventual review. Another advantage was Norman planned to soon interview Adriyana – so his questions and her answers would be valuable material for me to draw on later.
Adriiyana´s latest original work depicts mainly the naked female form but – not exclusively – set in volcanic landscapes, beaches, caves and rock settings. I was soon very aware of the obvious contradictory elements in the photographs: the immutable softness of the female form laid against the hardness of the volcanic rock, provoked not essentially male but humanly tender sensibilities towards the women models. Whatever the angles and positions of the poses, their faces were rarely obscured, so the whole effect that the artist achieves is admirable: all elements are visually complimentary. This is Adriyana’s skill and vision made manifest.
Another distinctive revelation is the blending of the naked forms with the natural curvatures of their backgrounds: no concessions are made in altering them to fit the models. Two examples come to mind. I am recalling – Cocoon – and another – Angel. The model, in the first example, sits in an ovoid cleft so appropriately, that her nakedness seems to be totally absorbed: seemingly insignificant in what is so natural a rock shape, thus defying it being considered a composition. No less striking, is the second example: a back view spine of a naked male, poised between two upright man-height standing stones. One upright stone would have suggested a phallic reaction.Two are perfect for the wings of an angel.
Pornography is indulged in its contemporary context, largely through the filmic moving image medium. Its sexual energy, basic aim, drives it to male orgiastic conclusion. Its power to command and control a stimulated sensual experience speedily wanes. Physical female/male beauty is incidental. Women are commodified.
Eroticism derives its energy from a controlled intensity that feeds the viewer’s imagination. Long after it has stimulated concentration on sensual representations of nakedness – in artistic forms say – it maintains capacity to recall the attractive image continually without experiencing sexual gratification. Physical female/male beauty is its own reward. Though the naked female form is often idealised: eroticism is mutually appreciated by the human female and male inclusively.
The Secret Places of Lanzarote is a work that succeeds in its intent: it satisfies because It has been executed erotically with subtlety and sympathy to natural surroundings. I think Adrianna, together with her participating models, combined to show the naked female and male as a form to be lauded: Something to take pleasure in, to celebrate, to exalt, to glorify.
This is not pornography, it did not in any way appeal exclusively as a sexual stimulant to my senses or provoke carnal appetites. Above all, it invoked my aesthetic appreciation. It confirmed my judgment about how this or that figure illustrates an ideal of human beauty.
Finally, the models portrayed are real, fully compliant.participants What ultimately determines the work’s eroticism is how the artist herself approaches her subject.
I conclude with granting the last words to Norman Warwick:
“Adriyana brings a full skill-set to her work, creating not only photographic images but also even posing questions with their titles.”
Anthony J. M. Brady was born in 1940 in London. He retired in 1994, having completed a career in local government as a Principal Officer Team Leader with the London Borough of Camden, from whose Social Services Department, he had been seconded to the Department of Health & Social Security (Resettlement Centres) for 15 years. In 1997, he moved to Northern Ireland and lives in Brockagh, Tempo, Co. Fermanagh. A Communitarian, he participates in part-time voluntary work involving social reconstruction, advocacy, renewal and reconciliation. His first writing in print was an essay in the London Chest Hospital Staff Magazine: Shakespeare and Medicine (1964). His first letter to a newspaper appeared in the Catholic Herald and this led to a series of polemical exchanges in its letter’s page about the American/Vietnam War with the writer John Braine (1969/70). His first writing fee was for a book review: Caring on Skid Row by Anton Wallich-Clifford – the founder of The Simon Community, commissioned by The Catholic Herald (1974). Subsequently, (1981-1986) he had letters published in The Catholic Universe, Hackney Gazette, The Guardian, The East Ender, The East London Mercury and The Greenwich Mercury on topics such as Apartheid; Drug Addiction; Homelessness and social justice issues. Many of his letters on topical issues have appeared in The Fermanagh Herald and The Impartial Reporter. The Guardian printed four of his letters (1987-1990). One highlighted the threatened closure of a service for adolescent mentally ill people at The Maudsley Hospital; another two were arguments against reduction of hospital provision in London and the fourth objected to the euthanizing of the first person in England to have feeding methods legally withdrawn to assist his death. A Paper entitled: Helping the Resettled Person with a Relapsing Drinking Problem, was published by the Charity, Good Practices in Mental Health. ISBN 0 948445297 Tony began to send out creative work for the first time in 2003. A short story: ‘Sister of Mercy’ was published by the weekly magazine “Ireland’s Own” and in 2004 an historical profile about Angela Burdett-Coutts: Queen of the Poor, was published by the bi-monthly magazine “Ireland’s Eye”. Both publications are popular in Ireland and the United States. Since 2003, he has had published (in anthology) numerous poems in various publications under the aegis of Forward Press: Anchor Books, Triumph House and New Poetry.
Sidetracks And Detours have also regularly run features on exhibitions and artist from The Lanzarote Art Gallery, and today we are happy to point you in the direction of their expert advice. We have read about them extensively at their on-line site and we have looked around their virtual gallery and their reality gallery and have conducted exclusive interviews with a couple of their exhibiting arts in the past.
Now, though, we can share with you The Lanzarote Art Gallery´s own recommendations.
Recommended to Sidetracks And Detours by based on artists their clients already know and love, we are confident that, as an arts loving reader of our not-for-profit daily blog, you will enjoy discovering artists and their works, who may be new to you.
Today we introduce three more artists producing work The Lanzarote Art Gallery curators feel you will enjoy when browsing their web site, or their virtual gallery or whenever you might have the opportunity to visit The Lanzarote Art Gallery in Costa Teguise on Lanzarote.
ANA REYNOLDS. (Madrid)
Ana (below) tells us about her work art in her own words..
From a very young age I have liked the world of Art, and my passion has always been painting.
I was impressed to see the artistic evolution throughout history, and I decided that I should be trained in learning the different pictorial procedures that would allow me to acquire enough skills to develop my own evolution. So from the basic principles of painting and going through different pictorial languages, I have been able to begin to interpret on a canvas a reality that was presented before my eyes, and make it my own, expressing the way I feel it. My goals are still to evolve and continue learning methods and styles, and thus be able to better develop my works and enjoy them; experimenting with several techniques combined
My work reflects a story through large brushstrokes and tertiary colors, but without finishing telling the story to give the viewer the opportunity to imagine how it ends. This is why my works always have a degree of abstraction. I usually start a work with an idea in my head and as I develop the work, the result differs from what I had imagined, even I myself do not know most of the time, how the painting will end.
BEGONA LAFUENTE (Spain 1969)
The Lanzarote Art Gallery would also like to introduce Begoña Lafuente (right), a pictorial, graphic and multimedia artist; at present, he develops his main creations from his studio by the North Sea in the Netherlands.
His career is based on graphic design developed in Madrid in the early 90s, at a key moment for this discipline, when it reaches the range of artistic expression within and outside the field of corporate image in Spain
Begoña intertwines her classical and artistic learning as a graduate in Fine Arts with the latest trends of representation in a constant research work, and expands her experience as a graphic designer, art director and illustrator in different companies in corporate identity and advertising.
Having shown an early vocation for drawing as well as a great sensitivity to painting, Juan Cossío, (left) studied Fine Arts at the Complutense University of Madrid. Actively involved in the fertile cultural panorama that was the 80s in Spain, Juan Cossío develops an incessant search for experimentation that takes him to the limits of pictorial techniques, introducing him to what has been called “New Realism”. Relying on photography as a tool for recording reality and the airbrush as the most suitable work tool for its purposes. The work of Juan Cossío evolves in his constant curiosity to use any medium, whether technical or stylistic, that helps him express his contemporary aesthetic that has the female figure as the main protagonist.
Lanzarote Art Gallery is an international art gallery representing more than 35 established and emerging contemporary artists.
Register now for priority access to leading artists, exhibitions and events. In our permanent collection we have a large collection of work, painting, sculpture, and photography, national and international. Come and see us or visit our art space.
You might purchase art so that you can learn, from fellow artists, skills and techniques with which to enhance your own creations. You may like to consider, then, the latest excellent workshop series available at The Adsubian Gallery on mainland Spain.
The idyllic gallery is delighted to be able to offer a sculpture course with the very talented sculptor Teo San Jose (left) .
It is a wonderful opportunity to learn from Teo who is a sculptor, painter, art therapist and writer.
His works have been exhibited nationally, as well as in France, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Asia
. ´When we open our eyes, our minds and perceptions to a sculpture, we enter an intimate space´says Teo. “We follow a path that takes us to a the emptiness of the mind to touch our deepest being. It is not necessary to understand, rather just feel the life that the work of art has. It´s a deep and person experience.”
You might purchase your art to enjoy its aesthetic, or you might purchase your art to interrogate it for its meaning, or you might purchase your art to serve as a hidden, continually appreciating the asset. For any one, or all, of those reasons we recommend you take a look at artists like Adriyana Hode and Rita Schmid, and curators like Marie Christine Carayon as well artists such as those housed at The Lanzarote Art Gallery or even The Adsubian Gallery on mainland Spain.
Just follow your art down sidetracks & detours and take it all in.