........leap forward 24 years and the title has finally found an equally fitting scenario - A brave and very personal exhibition by my friend Peter has been staged this week in London under the title Natural Flux at the Brick Lane Gallery. It is a collaboration of bonsai art from Peters own trees combined with ceramic art from several artists, with a sprinkle of sculpture, some very high class photography and a jaw dropping pencil drawing - then you add in wood work, forging, smithing, printing and plinth construction to finally produce a finished exhibition!
Fine Art has universal acceptance from a wide audience
Sitting here now I can still see the displays in my minds eye, the curved pot with very simple young beech sapling remains clearly in mind, the Sessile Oak in a Jo Woffinden concrete pot was so balanced and natural I have bought it for our collection here in Cornwall. The subtle details - variation in soil surface, the tree is slightly off center but OMG it is on the 'wrong' side of the pot to get the purists turning in their forthcoming graves, the bark is superb in such a small tree that it needed the power of textured concrete to equal it. Imagine this tree in delicate fluid porcelain - it wouldn't work ....the Oak is the solid strong backbone of everything that is British so the composition is truly balanced
The distinct contrast in ceramic choice has left a profound impression - Claire Wakefields work was detailed, fluid, organic and was easy to 'see' . I feel this piece makes bonsai art appreciation easy for the wide audience - it's coastal, wave battered and a lovely combination of rosemary and ceramic
Then we come to a far more subtle combination - using concrete Jo Woffinden has created pots you want to pick up, rub, touch.....the concrete pots are robust and powerfull in contrast to the delicate nature of the one above
Here we have a 'traditional' one - a lovely juniper, an antique pear skin pot, but displayed and viewed from the trees best front - not the pots front. We had a really interesting chat about the physical restraints that the material tree may impose on us - sometimes the roots and buried trunk sections on wild material will not fit into a pot at the angle we want it to. There are options like use the wrong pot so it fits in, use a 2nd best viewing angle for the tree so it can be viewed from the traditional pot front.....but then the question is why ? the right tree, the right pot,who says if it is right or wrong to view is off center
An excellent exhibition - it worked on every level and has shown a different view of bonsai that actually has achieved wider appeal than formal rows of trees on tables with cloth backdrops. The beauty of our hobby is that there is a place for both types of exhibition - but I think for one artistic individual to showcase their trees this show wins hands down. I hope there is another, I hope there is a book, I'm so glad I made the effort to attend the first one and it was great to meet and chat with a few like minded people - it was a refreshing day that restored my faith in part of our bonsai scene
The art of noise - moments in love