27.03.2015 - 13.04.2015
JOHN APPLETON :TRELEX RESIDENCY : A BRIEF CONVERGENCE.
I think to myself before I board the plane to Switzerland how did I manage to come, so close to lunacy, before jetting off.
The Night before I was helping the Host' and other ex residents of Trelex, with their show. Pretty Peeved an excellent high energy show, by very different and dynamic Artists.
Many events of madness , breaks ins to late night drinking with a dash to the airport with one eye closed and coffee consumed, some how in the hazy morning rush, I had landed in Switzerland.
I quick meet and greet at London at city airport I had met my comrade, for the next two weeks Eva. Picked up by our hosts partner we were whisked to the van with an adorable dog, to the charming town in Trelex.
It was like ghetto to heaven, I had dropped into a Valhalla for producing. The studio was brimming with tools for creation. An atmosphere beyond complementing an artist, of hundred years ago. Eva and I were both perplexed and amazed. London harbours an artist that mainly sees such large spaces once a week, in the heart of different gallery districts. Most of the time we spend hours wishing we were elsewhere. Instead we hunch over our desks and computers in shoe boxed studios. We had arrived in a place where cows bells and bird song reigned together, with ice cream conned horizons.
So here we were planning logistical movements for the next few weeks and getting to know each other. Within the space were our separate rooms and small kitchen, which we shared. It was a basic set up, thought out and perfect for artists perusing traditional practice. Eva had trouble with the lack of technical advancement however began use the space in a more guru like way.
I could see this was going to be a place to decompress, so I wasn't worried about creating as such, but giving myself the time to digest the last few years and carefully pull out some of the more, estranged ideas.
For me at least I started to connect with older thought's. I guess the landscape directed me there. Atmosphere, environment clearly are important to my work. I have always relied on them for subject matter. Even now as I gear up for another show, I connect with my time at Trelex. I chose now to examine, prepare and test. I limited my palette to Black and White and graphite, taking away any attachments to painting.
I should have given more time to experiment, in retrospect. However the value I have from this experience now is coming to fruition. The paintings are more structured and detailed. Collage has become a new way to process and examine.
Eva's work was channelling the semiology of digital spaces. Using google maps to navigate and find where memorable events had happened in in her life. Combining this with the frustration of not being able to access them, due to being 'off the grid'. I liked this, as memory is selective. The jarring of these video works and the skittering screen, evoked ideas of trying to run in a dream, but not moving. I felt her videos were successful in activating the relationship to our own subconscious and the want, to remember.
Apart from studio time, a brief visit to Lausanne, and the Art Brut institute.
This was a first hand at understanding the brain and its powers. Interesting to say the least. Its best to see for yourself. The range of art and special exhibitions are dumbfounding. For myself, seeing these artists and their creations only fuels me. It's the visionary aspects of art making, which I have not dealt with for some time, but this does appear contorting in my paintings, every now and then. Alchemy is as strong a word as you will get, out of a high art establishment. Words like visionary scare the bejesus out of traditional scholarly types these days. Any whiff of incense is quickly edited with bleached texts and statements of enduring confusion. My point is letting go and let the madness consume your work, maybe isn't a bad thing.
Anyway that's some of my experience at Trelex, well worth it, good for the soul. Next time I will produce a body of work and maybe get interactive, more community minded, so as to process ideas with a environment that nurtures.