Posts tagged Colour.
And here is evidence to what I claim here sent from a friend. That the new urban planning in Maniitsoq not far from Nuuk is designed to in small ways promote ‘traditional’ lifestyle things. It sounds like the building is designed to have at least one of these hangers under a window for each apartment to allow for drying fish. This sort of thing is done in makeshift ways in houses and apartments all over the country, but unlike the European-model housing bloks in Nuuk, the design acknowledges and enables this. I think this is an interesting suggestion to the ‘problem’ of an urbanizing indigenous nation, as it suggests an urban space that does not totally reject the countrylife.
A lovely mural from the school in Aasiaat.
‘Public paintings’ have, for a while but even more recently, been relatively common in Greenland. Against the repetitive prefab houses and stark landscape they tend to stand out far more than in Western urban spaces. They really give energy into the community. They even have unveiling parties. Most of the time the kommune or whoever is organizing it engages local and national artists, and so it is interesting to see, a company in Nunavut exploring this same model on a larger scale.
This is part of a mural in Kuujjuaq, in Nunavik, designed and organized by Nuschool. While the mindset behind public art is often that it has to be fairly conservative and conformed to concrete ideas of what ‘art’ looks like, to if nothing else be accepted into the norm of urban space, Nuschool’s designs mix visual references of traditional images (as in Aasiaat) with street art, tattoos and trends in contemporary painting. So they do not only bring beauty and liveliness to urban spaces, but also a stronger creativity. And they give the people in these communities, especially the young, an added opportunity to see traditional forms and content reimagined, revitalized and as an active part of their lives. They likewise engage local artists, but on a much larger scale, and across Nunavut and Nunavik, wherever their commissions take them. They also produce advertising, web design, illustration and more. This type of dynamic creative company, that stays involved in its communities but is not stylistically isolated and conventional, is what’s needed more in the arctic.
Rúrí’s 1974 design for a new Icelandic national costume.
I like Edward Fuglø. He’s funny.
As I should not have to say this draws from one of the most important paintings in modern times, arguably the first “modern” painting in the art historical use of the word, Manet’s 1863 Déjeuner sur l’herbe. But what was going on in the Faroe Islands then? National romanticism was beginning to take hold. For the first time distinctive elements or ‘cultural identifiers’ were being held up from their otherwise mundane roles in life, to distinguish the Faorese nation, things like the pilot whale hunt and ring dances. Proposals for the written Faroese language were being created. Later the Faroese flag was created and national costume was isolated as a symbol. Nationalist art featured ‘distinctive’ Faroese natural elements like the rugged land, the Faroes breed of sheep, ptarmigans and puffins.
What I think Fuglø is saying (as I have not read his catalogues, only a handful of articles, and he does not have the best internet presence) is that the elevation of these ‘symbols’ and their dissemination as being ‘properly’ Faroese, coming through the didactics of national romanticism, created a new kind of moralizing in Faroese society. It is not hard to imagine even some present-day nationalists reacting violently to a painting like this - with a man in national dress holding the flag, in a sheep’s head, performing tricks, with a loose woman. And I think, at least implicitly, Fuglø suggests that this moralizing is holding back progressive, creative development on the islands as it did in 19th century Europe. Which is especially relevant today as more nationalism does not seem to be leading to an independent Faroese nation.
As I said he does not have a good internet presence; I had to use the photo of an exhibition catalogue because the only photos of the work are much too small. I linked to his website in the image so that you can read more about him there, but if you like to take a look at the website the catalogue comes from it’s right here.
Till Gerhard. Till draws the images he manipulates from pictures of rural life, cults and dark pop culture. This looks to me like it referneces the filmmaker Kenneth Anger - the leather jacket drawing from Anger’s film “Scorpio Rising,” although that one had metal studs saying scorpio, and because Anger made another film in the same series called “Lucifer Rising.” The mood is appropriate: psychedelic, richly saturated colour, an edgy young feeling.
By Gert Hansen from Qaqortoq. He has mostly worked in traditional media and metal, but is starting to experiment with photography, with good results, I think.
The first Kunngi painting I have seen that I can stomach, from Arts from the Arctic exhibition catalogue. His paintings are all abstracted, vaguely surreal. I went to his big exhibition opening at Nordatlantens Brygge in Copenhagen in the spring - where they had the national choir performing so you know it is also a major state event and honestly I do not like the mix of the same biomorphic shapes and colours with the ultra-sleek, graphic-y painting style he has adopted. But he is one of those ‘big deal’ people.
In Nuuk before Christmas, clearly a hunter’s house.
By Thue Christiansen, from Arts From the Arctic exhibition catalogue, who was Greenland’s first Home Rule Minister of Culture, later a journalist and then Head of Cultural Directorate. He has always been an advocate for Greenlandic art, craft and design and is a self-taught painter. Here is an interesting ‘modernized’ look at the ‘traditional’ face of Greenland.