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AP1: gallery visit Ikon in the 90s


A very special place: Ikon in the 90's - a survey exhibition reviewing the 1990's at Ikon, including work by 40 artists who had previously exhibited at the gallery during the 90's. The exhibition itself was very visually busy with so many artists and artworks exhibited, however, the work of Tania Kovats stood out to me as being the most visually interesting and a creative exploration of surface and materiality.



Tania Kovats Little Vera, plaster and flocking, 1998


Use of miniature - scale model - very delicate - small size is quite inviting.


displayed on a white shelf - a mix between being read in a domestic/commercial setting as well as referencing museology - almost like an archive of an object taken from a landscape set on all white.


Blend of materials is unique - the cold smooth surface of plaster as a casting material has picked up the detailed edges, shapes and angular curves from the mould - the pristine white plaster is then disrupted by the flocking - it looks both realistic and on closure inspection very artificial. Interest contrast between soft, fuzzy texture of flock and hard surface of plaster.


I find it interesting how the artists has taken inspiration from landscapes to inform sculpture - compared to her other work, this is an incredibly literal rendition of an existing landscape.


Within my own work it could be helpful to gain inspiration from the natural world - with an interest in geology - beneficial to inform the shapes or textures I look at within print or sculpture.





Tania Kovats’ Peninsula, 1998




In contrast to the scale model of the White Cliffs of Dover, Kovat's Peninsula sculpture functions in a very different way - being more of an imagined abstract landscape.


contrast between fractured and broken forms of rock with the highly smooth geometric corner casing - it appears as though the stone texture has been carved from a perfect rectangular block. It takes on a form of visual trickery - while presenting the piece as being acted upon - a surface being broken or chiselled away. The title Peninsula relates to the structural design of the piece, with the flat build up end appearing like a landmass as the front breaks open to a cliff face, however, it is interesting to consider the floor it sits on as being the water - it is a very strange form - offering almost a cropped cut out of a landscape - sectioning off the natural world.


This process of sectioning areas is quite interesting - within my own work I am engaged with fragments within landscape and found objects - both as a aesthetic device and something that produces a series of questions: where is the rest of the fragment? is it incomplete? the viewer could begin to imagine the whole, unfractured version - but what might that look like?