Contextual Research CPS 3302

Contextual Post – Along siding Exhibition by Anna Lucas

In November last year, it was recommended by our lens-based lecturer Anna Lucas to go to an exhibition which she put together in a collaboration with the Arts Council Collection. It was based at the WQE sciences building and was a fairly short/small exhibition. The exhibition was mostly lens-based in the form of photos and videos. It had Anna Lucas’s work as well as work by Wolfgang Tillmans – a popular artist in the Lens artist community and another artist Yve Lomax.

There were some drawings presented in clear display cases which worked alongside the themes explored in this exhibition such as nature and our interaction with environments. I wish I would have taken some closer up pictures of these drawings to show the detail combined with the simplicity which is something I found captivating at the time.

Catalogues of the exhibition were also presented in clear display cases with one opened to a collage of photographs. At the small scale of these pieces, there wasn’t much to look at but I like the way that the text in the background is at a large scale and creates an interesting composition.

There were several exhibition catalogues shown in the small exhibition which was interesting, especially since each one was presented in different ways with inclusions of different objects or materials. For instance, in this piece, there were again two exhibition catalogues with information about the work but the opened book was displaying a different page to the image above and there was a metal sheet that was accordion folded and had different shapes such as circles and squares cut out of it which reminded me of keyhole lenses.

In this display cabinet, there was some photography accordion-folded which I felt was interesting, as each compartment that was displayed in the clear cabinets were different and yet related to each other in some form, showing the development of things and how things are always changing to some degree.

Anna Lucas’s part of the exhibition:

As Anna Lucas had been one of the main people involved in the set up of the exhibition, she had multiple of her works in the exhibition, a lot of these looking like a monochrome mash-up of photographs that were created in the darkroom. They were quite abstract which I think is interesting in photography.

Anna Lucas ‘Babadag Tree’ (2020)

My thoughts about the exhibition:

Overall, I really enjoyed this exhibition and found it interesting that one of my lecturers was in it as often when I go to exhibitions, I don’t know anyone in them. I have always enjoyed experiencing the different ways that artists work on different subjects. Although I have dabbled in lens-based work through my art explorations, I am in no way an expert and so seeing the different ways people have used lenses to get their ideas across is always interesting to me and it makes me wonder about the individual process for prints or experiments in the dark rooms. This exhibition, in particular, wasn’t very long but sometimes I prefer that – short and sweet, especially since there was a couple of videos involved which required your attention. I found the location of the exhibition fascinating as it shows with the right permissions you can exhibit almost anywhere.

I wish I would have taken more photographs when I went to the exhibition so that I had more to write about but I was enjoying the work too much. Upon reflection, I should have gone to the exhibition more than once, the first time to experience it and a second time to make sure I gather enough photos of the experience. However, I can’t change things now so I will take this on board the next time I go to an exhibition.

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