Last Tuesday I went to Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich. I spend the whole day there and the purpose of the visit was to choose six objects that might inspired me.
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is one of the most important university art galleries in the UK and the principal centre for the study and presentation of art.
The building and its architecture was designed by the architect Norman Foster, this building was built in the late twenthieth and it is also one of the most important of this period.
The Centre is gratefull for its existance thanks to the generosity of Robert and Lisa Sainsbury who donated their wonderful art collection that dates from prehistory, antique period until now. All these art works come from all around the world even countries we never heard about.
During the small trip to this exhibition I could visit three differents ones: the first was about the private family art collection of Sainsbury’s. They show incredible objects, sculptures, paintings, jewelry and son on, from all around the world with their proper meanings and cultural backgrounds. The second one was about Fiji, this incredibly small island in the middle of the pacific. The purpose of this exhibition, is I think because not a lot of people know about it, so it was to show their tradition, how they live in the middle of water and nothing. Fiji people had a tremendous past, they went trough wars and modern civilisation. They reinvented their lifestyle because of the modern technology that came to them and changed their maners of living. Even now they lost the important ancient skills and knowledges that made them so important full of amazing cultural backgrounds. The question is what would happen if the young generation don’t come back to their past history and only live in the modern time, because the ancient people of the island will pass away one day and the Fiji cultur will get lost if no one cares anymore and it will be a very sad tragedy for them. The last one was about Japanese photography, they showed the transformation of the japanese cultur through the past, their wars until the creation of modern living and technoloy.
What I thought about the building when I saw it, I don’t really know because it is an enormous modern building with a big park in front of it. Inside past and modern are mixed together, the space is very big, in lengh and upright, it is really a nice feeling because I could feel free to breath, you aren’t packed tightly inside and with the the very large bay window from where natural light comes in, gives a very nice atmophere inside the exhibition.
The purpose of the trip was to choose six objects from the exibition, well I have to say that it wasn’t easy to choose from all these amazing art objects because all are very interesting and have a purpose to be here, otherwise they won’t be showed here. So with a lot of patience I could choose the six ones that inspired me the most. But the second thing that might be difficult to do, was to find all the information about them because they are amazing but no one knows enough about them, it will be a kind of challenge to find about them. The only thing I can advice is to have a lot of imagination, let yout creative ideas come out and let your brain wild open. That is one of the key for creativity and success…
Final or staff head
Colombia Caribbean lowlands
c. AD 500-1600
I have chosen this gold object because it was the only Colombian art work in the exhibition and it reminded me my country, well this one is from the North of Colombia in the Caribbean and I am from the North West from Colombia but the work remains still the same.
This head staff comes from a tribe called Sinu and they live in the North of Colombia, they are known for their ability to do pottery and gold work ornaments. Most of the time indigenous show animals on their work because they have strong believes and for them there are important symbolic meanings and believes behind each animal even they combine two kind of species. Animals are part of their culture, sources of food and give the stability of their lifestyle.
Also indigenous tribes believe that animals give them special power and strength. I am from there and I know how important symbols and believes are in this country. When I look at it I can see the body of a bird and a face similar as an alligator, that is beautiful. Actually all gold art work are amazingly beautiful, those pieces are very precious in Colombia because there is a very tremendous past behind gold, and that makes the beautiful object sad. Indigenous tribes from that time lived in a completly peacefull land surrounded of their life elements, mother nature gave them a precious gift that came from their soils. Gold. They used it with respect in using them to create jewelry and other kind of ornaments for the people in the village. It is amazing to think that in c. AD 500-600 they were able to create something from gold with their proper hands and not with machines and technical staff, well I guess that they had their proper tools but just to say that their art work remains unfortgotten. The fact of the gold history, is at the time when spanish conquistador arrived on that peacefull, pure land, but when they discovered all these gold the only thing that went through their mind was:” Let’s take all the gold here and let’s get rich in our country”. But to take all this gold, the only possibility was to kill each tribes that cames in their way to stop them. For them, gold was the most important in their life, they didn’t pay attention to indigenous…
If I had to choose this object for a creative work in fashion, I believe I could create something special. From knowledges of South Amercian culture I could work on the believes of animals and their combination between each other.
I was really happy when I see the unique Colombian object in the exhibition. Around it other objects from South America but they have surely other meaning from each other and do they have such a tremendous background history as gold? Maybe but I think that gold founding had been the most sad fact of indigenous extinction until now.
c. AD 600-900
Deep green jade, with pale green areas, traces of red pigment
A wonderful Mexican jade pendant. Maya culture has a very interesting past, in the way of their excellence in agriculture, pottery, hieroglyph writing, calendar making and mathematics. They also had an astonished ability for architecture and to create symbolic artwork. Mayas had believes and did a lot of studies about astronomical systems that they were able to discover. Another very large theme for them, were gods, in total they had approximatively thirteen gods, from their heaven to their underworld believes. Mayas said that the mood of their gods used to change with the days on their Mayan calendar and with the change of the position of the sun, moon and stars. Thinking that they used to live like this with all these believes, give me the desire of going back to the past and have a look with my eyes how it really was, it must be an incredibly experience.
What I can see on this pendant is the head of a human figure with a kind of crown that surround his face. effectively Mayas used to represent human and animals figures on their artwork, as on each South American country, they believe that animals gave them amazing power and strength in their body. Anyway, I really like it but in the same time the human figure looks a little bit scary, I don’t know why but I have the feeling that he always looks at me without exception. It is just a strange feeling in my body, I can’t describe it…
Another thing I like to look at, is the material, a deep green jade stone transformed in something powerful and scary. Jade was the most admired substance during the Maya culture, even still now jade stone is very precious. However in this period, it was reserved for some adornment of gods and royalty, jade was considered as a symbol of life and purity.
For this art object I can not really remember what was around it, I guess there was another Mexican object smaller than this one, in front of it, I think there were African sculptures but it is not really clear in my head…
Otherwise, if I would choose it as a main idea, I think I would develop further the idea of human and animals figures, and on it add Mayan calendar symbols with astronomical and mathematical systems. As everyone is supposed to know, our life is made from numbers and understanding theories about the world we are living on. Art or fashion ( as my specialism ) are exactly the same, we need theory and logic understanding to create something out of common and it relates exactly with Mayan believes and theories because our life is attached to their astonished experimental Maya calendar…
Clam shell, turtle shell, fibre
This breast ornament seems to have something very special that why I have chosen it, for its special effects on myself. This breast ornament comes from Tema and it is localised to the Gaciosa bay area of Nidu island also known as Santa Cruz island. Tema is a world at the eastern extremities of the Solomon islands in the same area of Melanesia and Polynesia. It is a wonderful world full of canoes, craftsmen, fish, birds, clam shell and ceremonial dresses surrounded of a tropical atmosphere.
On this island, the most precious ornament are made of shells and are worn only by important people. But what I would like to know is what does the pattern on it mean? Does it mean something important or is it just a typical figure? If I should say what I can see on it I would say that in the bottom of the ornament it might represent a bird flying and suddenly take the shape of of fish and then seven others follow. The other representation I could distingue is a human figure looking of its vertical line, I can distingue a body with shoulders, arms and small legs. May it just be the combination of human and fish?
For me it sounds so mysterious… I don’t know if it would sounds the same for you, but know that somewhere on a island people combine human and fish together and this reminds me the power to catch fish at any time of their life and even if one day they won’t be any more fish anywhere, they still will found fish to feed their villages. It is just wonderful to believe this!
Again I can not remember exactly what kind of objects were around it because I was to focused on the breast ornament that I did not pay attention at all to the other objects.
What could I do if I would choose it as main creative idea? Well the response would be: show a mysterious and wonderful world with a tropical atmosphere around it, I would also include the combination of human figure with fish and the transformation of a bird to seven fish. I just guess that the perfect title for it would be: exploration into a mysterious land…
Standing women 1959
Alberto Giacometti ( 1901-1966)
Production place: France
What does do a thin and tall women alone in the middle of the exhibition? She is just standing here looking at each person who stopes in front of here. I would like to guess, where is she going, what is she waiting for. This thin women is just standing on a massive pedestal, but why? I believe there is a very strong heavy meaning, the only thing I can do is to stand in front of her, doing the same and just guess what is going on. Does she wants to tell me something or does she wants that someone release herself from the massive bronze material that cover her whole body? I try to guess, but nothing… the only possibility would to get in touch with Alberto Giacometti and ask him; why?. But unfortunatly when great artists as him passe away, everything becomes your business and you have to work with your imagination.
When I look at her, I can guess that her body has a rough texture but in the same time a smooth touch, it is pleasant to see but she looks so cold… it is like if she had been found in a frozen ice block years ago but actually she is only fifty seven years old.
Around her, something, but in the same time nothing, because she is alone and nothing is similar to her. It is just the standing women and the person who stopes in front of her and nothing else…
Imagening that I would choose it as main idea for a creative work, I would develop my idea to arrive to show the strength and heaviness of the sculpture, her rough texture through fabric and the smooth and cold touch of her body through the feeling.
Little dancer aged fourteen 1880-1881
Edgar Degas ( 1834-1917)
Production place: France
I really like Edgar Degas’s work. He always had the passion for the artistic fields and he painted them. I would like to know honestly who doesn’t like his work. I am wondering… He was such great painter, sculptor and drawer from the impressionsim movement, I can feel the atmophere he wanted to share with the audience. Ballet is a wonderfull dreamy world, when Edgar Degas started to paint ballerinas dancing, he was just sitting in a corner to not disturb their amazing elegance to dance. They are just in another period of time when they dance, they just jump in the airs without fears and they feel free to do what they want, well they do what they want but being carefull to apply the elegance of theoretical ballet skills.
As myself a ballet dancer since the age of three and a half years old, I never stopped to dance and purchase one of my favourite passion, dancing ballet… It is part of my life, if I don’t dance I can feel that I am not the same person inside my body, I need it to feel free, to escape from my fears and I need it to forget what surrounds me. I like the feeling of being alone with myself and the classical music. You don’t care what other people think about it because you do it for yourself and not for others.
Looking at that little girl doing a dance pose, with fourteen years old she already has an elegant attitude. Looking at her and noticed that she was made in France, I guess that she was surely a ballet student from the National Opera ballet in Paris, in the 1880th century operas were used as ballet studio, they had their training and in the same time they showed their ballet performances to the public during the year. Nowadays operas are only used to show repertoire performances during the year around the world.
When I saw her, I noticed that the atmosphere she gave to me was quite particular. The question comes again, what does she do here alone doing a dance pose? Does she wait someone? Does she wait people to look at her to show their how she dance? I think she only wants that someone look at her and pay attention to her attitude…
Again, around her nothing, only few objects that have no any relation to her, she is alone, waiting. But why did they put her in the right middle of the exhibition? She is the main point, from her, a ballerina, you discover the way where to go, you won’t get lost if you start to walk from the little dancer, she will show you the way.
I would already have a great idea if I would choose her as main idea for primary research in fashion. If you should know, a lot of people think that ballet is a very boring sport, that is nothing special and that the music is very boring too, but they would be very surprised when they would see all the possibilities of music you can dance on with ballet steps, it is just wonderful. So what I would do is to develop my ballet knowledges into my fashion ideas, I would show elegant and strong ideas combining the contemporary and classical atmosphere, mix past and modern skills with a touch of urban style.
Standing Jizo Bosatsu
Kamakura period ( AD 1185-1333 )
Wood, pigment, metal, glass
I really appreciate this sculpture, because of her peaceful side, and the details in the background. Another thing I like on her, is her delicateness of standing on the middle of a lotus flower.
To be clear from where exactly the Jizo Bosatsu comes from, I will start from the beginning. So the Kamakura period comes from the Japanese history, this period is known for the important emergence of the Samurais in the country, but in fact it also marks the governance of the Kamakura Shogunate who was an antique Japanese military government that run from 1185 to 1333. In the time of disunity and violence, Kamakura was in the middle of the period of the biggest popularisation of Buddhism since the beginning of the Japanese century.
Jizo Bosatsu is part of the Buddhism world, it is usually represented as a boyish monk holding a wish-granting in his left hand and many jewelries on himself. His position has an important meaning, with is right foot slightly forward, it used to indicate his physical presence of walking through the present world.
As I said at the beginning, the Buddhist monk is standing on a open Lotus flower, it is a traditional Buddhist symbol of purity and it admit the weakness of the real world that surround us.
Around him few others Japanese objects from the same period, older and more modern. I guess that having a Buddhist monk on our possession gives us protection and peace in our inner body, it helps us to think and pay attention of what surround us and being grateful of what we have on our possession.
What could I create from this Jizo Bosatsu Japanese monk? I guess I would be able to show a delicate and peaceful creation with their delicate Japanese details.
All these objects are so interesting in the way of their historical cultural background, they invented and started a new world with interesting skills and knowledges, I believe everyone can learn a lot from them and develop their creative ideas and skills. As I said at the beginning of the blog, we don’t know a lot about them, the only thing you can do is to find out about the period they were created and just let our brain wild open to imagine their proper story and tell what happen to them.