Saturday, 26 February 2011

Meeting Phoebe McDonald

      I went to meet Phoebe McDonald and to see her artworks at her studio. Her works were great, as I had expected - I had seen a couple before - and though she uses different media (including digital photographs, 'pin pattern' works and some 3D forms), there is a consistent sense of quietness about them all, and a consistent engagement with time or duration. They often incorporate the measure and slowness of watching daylight change. Here's a link to her website:
      I had begun to notice that the works I was inclined to put in the show all seemed to have what I would call a 'quiet' aesthetic. Works that are still and quiet. Is there a connection between making things slowly and having the end product incorporate quietness?  And if there is such a connection in the works for this show, is it necessarily or coincidentally? Maybe, in other words, it is merely because I'm choosing the 'quiet' works and passing over others. Perhaps I am confusing slow and quiet? On the other hand, I guess we do associate speed with high energy; with 'noise'.

In fact Phoebe's pin works  are not still when they are installed where sunlight falls on them, because the pins stand out from the wall (well, from the backboard) and cast shadows which move as the sunlight moves. The pattern made by the pins changes quite remarkably according to where the shadows fall. But all at the slow speed of - well - daylight.

In other works, Phoebe has taken a number of photographs over time at the one location, or photographed the changing light on clouds; on the white dome of a building.

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