14 April – 26 August 2018
KINOKINO KUNSTSAL, Sandnes, Norway
Jenna Burchell | Luke Burton | Jodie Carey | Edward Chell |
Derek Jarman | Marte Johnslien | Peter Joseph | Herman Lohe |
James Roseveare | Tom Scase | Richard Stone | Hanae Utamura
Curated by Roberto Ekholm | EKCO London
Sweep~Landskip, an exhibition of 12 international artists whose works use landscape as a concept. Within their ideas, we can find a sense of timelessness, abstraction, figuration and a mapping of its physical origins, and a cultural overlay of human presence. Traces of humanity appear where nature becomes landscape and bodies perceive external stimuli.
“Landscapes are culture before they are nature; constructs of the imagination projected onto wood and water and rock”, Simon Schama
The word landskip in the title appeared in writing about landscape and nature by poets and artists around the 15th century, the word origins from the Anglo-Saxon word landscipe or landscaef (5th century). Landscipe refers to a system of man-made spaces on the land. The modern word landscape (from the Dutch word Landschap) appeared in the late the 16th century to denote paintings whose subject matter was depicting natural scenery. Drawing nature was a particular skill of Dutch seventeenth-century artists such as Adriaen van de Velde, who would go out into the countryside to draw sketches once a week. Nature fascinated theorists, musicians and artists, and brought their studio outside into nature. Artists such as Thomas Gainsborough drew from nature, sketching the landscape using simple materials such as pencils and chalk to later finish the compositions in the studio. They searched for different truths, new compositions, colours and lights. Placing themselves within nature they learned how landscapes could affect the beholder. It wasn’t until the invention of the paint tube by portrait painter John Goffe Rand in 1841 that painting could be taken outside.
The Norwegian artist Peder Balke ventured far north to the distinctive, dramatic and rugged lands of the North Cape, Norway. He sought to experience primal nature, which had a profound impact on him and he wrote in his memoirs
''... the pen cannot describe the illustrious and overwhelming impression, which the opulent beauties of nature and locations delivered to the eye and the mind – an impression, that not only caught me in the flush of the moment, but also had a significant influence onto my whole future life, as I never, not in a foreign country nor anywhere else in our country, had the opportunity to contemplate something so impressive and inspiring as what I have seen on this Finnmark-journey.''
The artists in Sweep~Landskip question and explore our relation to nature and landscape through paintings, land art, installations, sculptures and new technology. Sweeping of colours, mark making, earth casts and sound, their works evoke our senses. In a process of time, they allow nature to shape and form the works and they investigate the political and economics of the land. Reminding us that the landscape is shaped by our presence in nature. Many of the artworks comment on the relation between natural events and the man-made. Over time natural and man-made events evolve into one another, fusing nature with our own presence. The topography by artists places us at the core of nature.
For us to truly appreciate and to be able to see nature the artists mediate nature into landscapes. They make us experience nature as landscape.
“There had been no fog in London before Whistler had painted it”, Oscar Wilde