99 animals by Cai Guo-Qiang

One of the most anticipated exhibitions of late is Cai Guo-Qiang’s ‘Falling back to Earth’, presented at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in Brisbane, Australia.  Cai Guo-Qiang is a global artist whose dramatic installations have made him one of the most innovative figures in contemporary art, as evidently shown by the central piece of the exhibition, ‘Heritage 2013’.

‘Heritage 2013’ features 99 replicas of animals from around the world, all gathered together to drink from a limpid lake, surrounded by a beach of white sand. The installation draws on themes such as nature and its sometimes contrasting surrounding, especially when put in the modern world.  This wild mirage-like installation came to Cai Guo-Qiang after his visit to Brown Lake (Bummeria) on North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah), where the calm and tranquil environment seemed far from the conflicts of the outside world. Further expanding his ideal of Queensland as a ‘last paradise’, Cai has created a gigantic tableau of animal replicas, standing side by side amidst their differences. However, the work has a second layer of power in its almost utopian beauty: the lyrical vision is that of superficiality and simple, minimalistic modern construction. The installation room is vast and there is almost a tension between the frozen moment of the animals peacefully in the act of drinking  and the incessant, frequent drip of water continually disrupting the lake’s surface and the silence of the room. Almost a vision of Eden, the audience is frozen in time when immersed with these spectacular and beautiful still animals, thus creating a deeply meditative atmosphere.

Over the past 25 years, Cai Guo-Qiang has held exhibitions at some of the world’s most prestigious art institutions, including the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum. He curated the first China Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005 and has also shown projects and exhibitions in Qater, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Rio de Janeiro and Venice, but ‘Falling back to Earth’ will be the artist’s first solo exhibition in Australia.

http://www.caiguoqiang.com/

Katy Anderson

Katy Anderson graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with BA Drawing and Painting, receiving Andrew Grant Bequest for First Year Studies in 2009. Her recent exhibitions include solo show at The Blackbird and RSA Contemporaries 2013.

Katy’s inspiration lies in fashion and visual aesthetics. She looks at designers as artists, combining fashion research with the observations of processes found in nature. Her practice revolves around the latest designer collections and cellular forms of nature, proving that anything can be used as a material for inspiration and food for thought. The parallel between fashion and patterns of disease cells offers ambiguous interpretations of her artworks, which makes it even more challenging and interesting for the viewer. Katy demonstrates a successful approach of exploiting every form of nature as a source for contemporary art.

Her portfolio is an engaging exploration of Individuality vs Conformity. She works with the body silhouette, using different colors and patterns, emphasizing the importance of being different and unique. Katy expresses her perspective on the world of fashion. Transforming recognizable shapes and fashion forms into unfamiliar abstract combinations, she creates almost hypnotizing works.

To find out more, visit her website www.katy-anderson.com

Sam Spreckley

Never ending contradiction and comparison between nature and technology has found new resolution in Sam Spreckley’s practice. His artworks are fresh ideas altering everyday reality in an unexpected direction.

Sam graduated with a Masters degree in Electronic Imaging from Duncan of Jordanstone, and is now based in Scotland. He is interested in the moving image, sound and animation, exploring the relationships found between sound and image. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally at film festivals and exhibitions, most recently in Greece as part of the European Young artists Biennial and also in the Moscow Museum of Modern Art.

His practice is inspired by biology and science, attempting to transform everyday items into mysterious objects. The featured video is based on the opposite elements- oil and water, two elements that will never mix. Combination of the two, merged with electronic sounds creates almost a mechanical structure. This surreal video is a skilfully made deceiving illusion, looking similar to a 3D animation it is hard to acknowledge the natural processes involved.

Sam turns natural elements into immersive artworks, synthesizing biological structures with machinery sounds. Exaggerating sensory perception and re imagining sounds of every detail, he creates an alternate sense of the natural world. This is another way of observing our reality, a rather uncommon looking glass that is focused on the processes existing in nature.

To find out more visit this website http://vimeo.com/samspreckley