Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Fallen in love with...

Tanya Brett's 'Ice Souls' Exhibition

At first I thought 'Hmmm... animal sculptor - twee?' (book cover judging terribly) BUT the moment I clicked onto her website I gave this blasphemous thought a good spanking - twee couldn't be further from it - she IS TRULY BRILLIANT!

I can't look at her work without feeling emotional (and slightly cleptomaniacal). When I'm rich.... I'm going to kidnap her and employ her as my personal sculptor - a bit like King Leopold's son Archduke Rudolf did with Beethoven (without the kidnapping bit - he just paid to keep him in the country).

Her most recent exhibition, showing at the Jonathan Cooper Gallery, just off the Fulham Road is a trumph. I haven't loved an exhibition in its entirity like this for a long time.

Called ICE SOULS and it consists of drawings and sculptures of arctic creatures - PENGUINS, WALRUSES, WOLVES, ARCTIC FOXES, HARES and POLAR BEARS. Her materials she uses - CLAY and PORCELAIN - lend beautifully to the icy theme.

Sadly, as is often the case with art - this photograph in no way does it justice. In its proper 3-D form, this beautiful bear is paddling in a circular motion through what must be imaginary water by the way its fur seems to trail in one direction, (like my hair does when I go swimming - usually round in circles - i'm not very good at it).

Tanya said: "I became obsessed with this film of a swimming bear on 'Planet Earth'. I thought how beautiful it was, and I was thinking how I could sculpt it as my materials are quite heavy. What also struck me was how big this creature was, yet it had such lightness in the water, which made it look so vulnerable.'

And before I dragged myself - fingernails at the doorframe - away from her exhibtion, Tanya told me: "This is the first exhibtion I feel really proud of,' which was so nice to hear as artists are too often critical to the last about their work - especially on the day of their launch.

Lastly, I remembered that polar bears are on the endangered list - something the artist hadn't forgotten either, as a percentage of her exhibtion went to the Hauser Bears charity.

A saint and a genius all round (VOm!).

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