Tuesday, August 17, 2010

geometrical |ˈdʒiəˈmɛtrəkəl| adjective

Oxyrhynchus papyrus showing fragments of Euclid's Elements

Geometry (Ancient Greekγεωμετρίαgeo- "earth", -metri "measurement") "Earth-measuring" is a part of mathematics concerned with questions of size, shape, relative position of figures, and the properties of space.Geometry is one of the oldest sciences. Initially a body of practical knowledge concerning lengthsareas, and volumes, in the 3rd century BC geometry was put into an axiomatic form by Euclid, whose treatment—Euclidean geometryset a standard for many centuries to follow.  (wiki)

The previous post included a diversion of a geometric nature.... Tonight I had an excellent time catching up with a friend from Melbourne whom I met 10 years ago when we had both signed on to study painting at Victoria University. One of those weighty but exceptionally rewarding conversations evolved and a detour to my new studio led to further thoughts.
At home later I found these images taken at Victoria University's City Campus Studios where I was fortunate to do a month long residency in January last year. I blogged about this around May last year but in light of last week's painting these images brought back to mind the theme I was pondering in the previous post.

Moving into an empty studio space, aquiring unutilised furniture (student summer holidays) and being able to move around internal walls made this a very flexible studio to spend the month in. The fact it was on the 17th floor added to the charm.

Above: image looking across city with reflection of inside the studio on glass.

Geometry in every direction. I had flown down to Melbourne from Brisbane (something like 2,000 kms)
and gone from summer in the sub-tropics to a wintery summer in a southern city. I left behind the verdant growth of green everwhere and found drought-stricken Melbourne and the grid-like city instead.

For the first week views form the windows were both startling and entrancing. Gradually my drawings got into the city rhythms. Despite walks to the Botanic Gardens and other such places the city's geometry swallowed me up.

Long hours day and night kept me in the studio. Outside temperatures went from 14 C  one week to 45 degrees the next. That's Melbourne. Still I stayed in and painted. One month is not that long when all is said and done.

Working on paper and canvas unstretched made sense when travel was by foot, tram ... and plane to get back home. Finally after 18 months of being rolled up and put away I unrolled this 3' x 4' work (below) on canvas the other day... my new studio is big enough to get things out, spread things out and take time to ponder.

There's others as well but this gives an idea of this lingering theme.... Off to Melbourne soonish for an Alumni reunion and show. More connections and conversations in a city I miss more than I like to think! 

Prompted by Maggie's comment I found a post from November last year titled 'an affinity for green' featuring ruminations on the oscillation between geometry and organic forms. This image below contained both forms....something which has been on my mind again this last couple of weeks.

Untitled, 35 x 45 cm, acrylic on canvas. 2003-4

NB: click on university label to go to previous Uni post!


Maggie Neale said...

Love seeing the city in geometric forms appearing in your work. From seeds to cities--small space to large one--natural to urban and it does affect the work. Glad to have this visit with you, Sophie. Enjoy this new residency.

Sophie Munns said...

Its a curious juxtaposition Maggie... I rather liked the greek root of the word 'geometry' ....earth -measuring. In a way that says a lot more about the compelling desire to works with this forms at times.'Experiencing spaces and relationships between them.
Im still continuing the homage to the Seed residency. This provision of a studio by Percolator Gallery is allowing me to really work with space large enough to have past, present and future work under consideration. Past work had been out of sight for a couple of years and I felt the need to give it some time!
Lovely to hear from you....

r.bohnenkamp said...

Hello Sophie,
your new series "geometric nature" is fantastic.
Congratulations. I'm thrilled.
nice Greetings from Germany

Sanne said...

i really like seeing where you have worked and the work you made in the studio, i also love the results in your work of the city rythm!

Altoon Sultan said...

It's so interesting to see these paintings inspired by the cityscape in relation to the mapping painting from the last post. And then the painting combining both. Obviously lots to chew on for future work.

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Ralf,
great to hear from you.... always you seem so busy in your studio painting away!
Ah... thank you for your comments... new ...old... I have returned often to this theme...
best wishes form down under!

Hi Sanne,
Im afraid i was feeling nostalgic last night ... and so out came the Melbourne photos... but it did connect thematically to the previous post.
When I was surrounded by the city I was shocked into painting what I could see... there was not much incentive to work with the organic themes I'd been doing... not if I looked out the windows!

Hi Altoon,
yes... the link is clear here to the previous post. Your comments at the last post got me thinking and the combining is something i will play around with. Ideas have been forming for the next few months work that perhaps will draw both much closer together.
This slow time has been immensely productive - a kind of necessary coalgulating process...

Mlle Paradis said...

oh what a lovely post and i have to say it again, the last ones somehow made me want to get my hands into them. such a lot of life to grab on to! i have a good feeling about this next little passage for you sophie!