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William Blake etching named Head of a Damned Soul.

William Blake’s Universe

Discover William Blake’s universe and a constellation of European artists seeking spirituality in their lives and art in response to war, revolution and political turbulence.

‘After Nature’ by Jonny Church and ‘Rocks from Yon Hills’ by C.N. Liew – an exhibition of landscapes

Fri 25 November 2022

Clare Hall

After Nature

Following a conversation with Jonny Church, Frances Spalding, Chair of Clare Hall Art Committee, shares the following:

‘Jonny Church is a local artist, living in Cambridge. His interest in landscape has led him to explore how representation and abstraction can intersect, at times suggesting both existence and non-existence. This liminal space offers a sensory threshold between traditional representative art and the abstract concerns of line, shape, pattern, colour and form. While constructing his pictures, he often treats them as palimpsests, building up layers of paint that are then partially erased, sometimes effaced, scratched and scored. Yet, erasure is never merely a matter of making things disappear; there are always traces of previous mark-making – some bruising the surface of the canvas, others a reminder of the original mark or of a gesture once made. Whether rubbed away, scratched or effaced, the rejected entity returns; an ethereal record of a presence in time.'

Rocks from Yon Hills

Clare Hall Life Member, Mun-kit Choy, has curated C.N. Liew’s work within this exhibition. He comments:

‘Almost certainly owing to the Taoist philosophy of ‘the Way’, Chinese intellectuals constantly seek a minimalist approach in aesthetics. While ink has been used to write and paint for thousands of years, it is the simple lines and dots of calligraphy that have been regarded as the most supreme form of Chinese art in the long history of its development. This has been both a blessing and a burden for Chinese contemporary ink artists. In the 1980s, the avant-garde identified with contemporary Chinese calligraphy (CCC) deliberately tried to subvert this grand tradition. Art critics such as Nanming Wang and Wu Hung argued that CCC had become the “radical opposition” to traditional Chinese calligraphy. Deconstruction was rampant, as some of the CCC artists created incomprehensible Chinese characters, or rearranged the lines and dots in familiar characters to disorient the viewer.'

Cost: Free

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In person

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Fri 25 November 2022 10:00AM - 6:00PM on Thu 5 January 2023


Address: Clare Hall
Herschel Road
Email: art@clarehall.cam.ac.uk