Some notes from Carol Wilkes - who was unable to attend in November:
"I recommend the Tate Britain exhibition, it has examples of Rachel Whiteread's work over the last 25 years and is very interesting and well presented. Many of the pieces are very large (including casts of a room and a full size staircase) so the main exhibition is in one large open gallery which gives you room to step back and see the pieces as a whole.
As well as the paying exhibition there are also smaller (free) displays elsewhere in the museum. In the foyer of the main exhibition is a display of items from Whiteread's work space, notebooks, inspiration items and sample pieces along with a film of the making of 'House'; the cast she made of a terrace house in the 1990s. The casts of the underside of 100 chairs ('100 spaces') is nearby and there was a least one other free display that I didn't have time to visit but hope to get back to before the exhibition closes.
I made copious notes but in the end I decided that, for me, her work was about what was implied rather than present. Hanging on the walls of the main gallery were some recent casts of a shed made of papier mache, a much more accessible (and stitchable) material than concrete!"
Thank you for your thoughts Carol - I am particularly interested in your comment that her work was about 'what was implied rather than present'.
Well, I started by closing my eyes and taking one of the photos of the 4th Plinth pieces when we discussed the Group’s forthcoming exhibition project at the September meeting.
My Pick was A Model for a Hotel 2007 - some details and photos are here https://www.flickr.com/photos/blahflowers/2020255621. I would have included a photo but this is my first Weebly blog post and it proved beyond me to work out how to copy one (where permission was given for this) into this post!!!
From there, and it’s a long story, I began to explore the issues of homelessness in the City. Issues of contrast became important. I gave some thought to the shape of the piece - how it might fit into the box and how it might be hung. I did a very casual inventory of how much time I had to make the piece and a more serious one of the need to keep it simple given my skill level.
To date, I have the start of something pinned to my wall. There’s also a box of bits that might play a part in the making and a dedicated notebook for random thoughts and notes of any playing about with fabric etc. that I do as I’m sure to forget how I got this or that effect.
I’ve done some fabric printing from a photo and, as I’m a writer, mainly of poetry, I’ve drafted some words! I’m thinking about using tea bags and other recycled papers, and how best to incorporate the poems.
And I have a request! Has anyone got an old blanket, in not very good condition that they could donate to my piece? I’m keen not to use anything new for this piece and an old blanket will make an ideal backing fabric. Thank you.
I’ll stop here. Your comments are very welcome. I look forward to reading how other members are progressing with their pieces.
Rachel Whiteread created one of the earlier 4th Plinth commissions. Currently there is a major retrospective of her work at Tate Britain. If you are interested in her work generally it is an excellent exhibition - in a fully opened out gallery space which seems to really suit her work.
The main exhibition is ticketed, but the model for the Fourth Plinth piece is in the public shop area outside the main exhibition - and so can be viewed for free. Alongside some drawings and information about the work.
The effect of the resin material can really only be appreciated in the flesh and does not represent well in photographs. I would like to have seen the full scale piece in situ, but sadly I didn't.
News and progress from the group
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