Skip to main content

Daan van Golden and Andro Wekua

I schlepped up to Camden Arts Centre today where Daan van Golden (Dutch) and Andro Wekua (Georgian) were exhibiting. van Golden's seemed promising, the website blurb stated that he has enjoyed both renown and celebration in the Netherlands since the sixties and that they were proud to host this, his first solo UK exhibition, bringing together over thirty of his paintings from the last forty years. It also included photos of his daughter growing up from 1978 to 1996. The photos were touching, but many photos of kids growing up are, and the only stories they told was that a) his teenage daughter didn't seem to mind being photographed by her father whilst she is in the shower, and b) like most little girls she liked dressing up in an array of costumes. So what? Anyway. His paintings. Hung on the wall were three large paintings of what looked like a canary silouhette, a beautiful pale blue and one striking red. They really stood out, but I could detect no trace of artistic technique, save for the fact that he had obviously created said silhouette and made copies for the other two. The blurb says, anticipating my nonchalance, that 'his art is made up of both his own fascinations and out-of-the-ordinary moments that occur in his life. He finds beauty in the everyday and treats mundane objects with integrity and respect by showing us familiar things in a new way'. OK then. But the bit that gave me a little sigh was the disclosure that, since van Golden found meditation and Zen philosophy, he began to produce his work in a meditative way. I liked the idea but the results didn't say much, and failed to move me, perhaps the result of trying to engage with someone whilst in a meditative state, despite trying to linger in front of the bright red shapes on their white background, or the 'composition with blue square' which was just like theborder pattern on a mass-produced post-war tablecloth.

Andre Wekua was also a bit of disappointment, but in a different way. I entered the room, presented with a bright yellow 'box' inside which sits a motorbike with a dummy sat astride it, and immediately felt like I was in some boy's bedroom circa 1984. Actually, that box with its motorbike reminded me of 1988 when a group of us fourteen year olds would hide in an old cargo carriage thing, inside which sat... yes, a motorbike! And we'd sit on the cold floor of this corrugated iron box and sniff glue, lighter fluid, any other toxin that would bring us into the Fourth Dimension. I digress. On the walls of this box were a not very well presented line of collaged pictures which included pen ink scrawlings. The blurb for Wekua claimes he uses the 'atmosphere of the theatre to create introspective, melancholic installations. Their multiple meanings let the work be read like poems, where truths are shrouded and the mood intense'. Multiple meanings = make of it what you will. Truths are shrouded = you will never grasp any 'truth' because there is none to be had. Mood intense = boys room circa 1984.

By the way, I'm reading Crawling at Night by Nani Power and am enjoying muchly.

Popular posts from this blog

Who was Mary Burns?

On 7th January 1863 Mary Burns was found dead from a suspected heart attack. She was 43 years old. Since her death Mary has received barely any attention despite the fact that she spent over twenty years as the common-law wife of Friedrich Engels, one of the world’s most influential thinkers and the co-founder of Marxism.

Born in 1822, Mary was the oldest surviving child of textile dyer and factory operative, Michael Burns, and Mary Conroy, Irish immigrants from Tipperary. Mary’s parents had married at St. Patrick’s in an area known casually as Irish Town, one of few Catholic churches in Manchester at that time. The year of Mary’s birth and her infancy were significant in that Manchester was still dealing with the aftermath of the event that became known as the 1819 Peterloo Massacre, a peaceful protest of the working-classes on the site of St. Peter’s Fields in which several people were killed and hundreds injured. The Massacre occurred when magistrates, alarmed at the size of t…

Booker Shortlist announced

It's been a while... I know. Dog walking on the Downs, a bit of theatre, a bit of baking, a bit of writing etcetera etcetera. I also managed to read two complete books in the past month, which I was so pleased about. I had not read a whole book for about a year. The first was A Lie About My Father by Scottish poet/writer, John Burnside; a very well written memoir about father and son, but like all memoirs, some unreliability I felt. Poignant and tragic in equal measure. Then my husband returned from Cyprus (too hot for me this time of year, I can barely cope with England!) with Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong. He loved it. And then I read it and also loved it. I had originally picked it up several years ago but didn't get beyond Amiens, where the first section is set, but was really glad I did this time around. Another incredibly well written book in the style of a good Victorian! I felt a bit unsure about bits of Elizabeth, in the later section, but I have never learnt so muc…

Good Canary

Forgot to mention that we went to see Good Canary at Kingston's Rose Theatre last week. Star role played by the brilliantly intense Freya Mavor, who plays a speed addict. It's directed by John Malkovich - his UK's theatre directorial debut. Will try and post more about it later.