6 April 2012

The Green Fuse

My lovely friend Karen invited me to a talk by the artist Idris Khan at the Whitworth Gallery in town. 

His work involves the layering of many images - photographs, postcards, or texts - into one, such that an underlying structure can be seen.  At first there is the impression of frenetic movement as if the objects were shaking.  But viewed as a whole a quietness exists; a delicacy. The essential truth of the subject appears from the mist of activity.  Separate from the variables of everyday life a constant shape persists.

idris khan
“Blossfeldt…. After Karl Blossfeldt ‘Art Forms in Nature.’”

Inspired by Khan’s work I attempted a similar effect with dandelion leaves found in the garden.  Before I began I assumed the interest in the final image would be in the serrated edges of the leaves. But what strikes me now is the strong straight upward line of the central vein.  Whatever the outer form of the leaf shape, however battered and chewed it is, there is always a steady support of life giving sap.

Which of course reminds me of Dylan Thomas’s famous line:
“The force that through the green fuse drives the flower”

  And, yes, Karen, I  have also noted the phallic shape, but choose not to comment on it! ;-)