Nomophobia is the irrational fear of being without your phone. If you cannot stop using your smartphone here is an instant cure.
This installation continues Anthony Moman’s exploration of syringes in art. The syringes have an ambivalent, controversial presence. For some they evoke feelings of horror triggering childhood memories of visits to the doctor for essential vaccinations, for others the squalid imagery of discarded drug paraphernalia.
They were first used in the 1600s for different types of intravenous injections, followed by the 1850s when the French veterinary surgeon Charles Gabriel Pravaz and the Scottish doctor Alexander Wood developed a syringe. It had a hollow needle fine that pierced the skin. Initially made of metal by 1866 the barrels were made from glass enabling doctors to see the contents.
Syringes have most likely been the saviour of humanity but now are also associated with tattoos and cosmetic surgery as well as recreational drug use. The ambiguity of the syringes in Anthony Moman’s sculptures are what makes them unsettling.
I am proud to be part of the Andare Oltre Si Puo Art Exhibition, helping Downs Syndrome children and their families. The magnificent setting is the Palazzo Ducale, Lucca and the show is sponsored by the City of Lucca, Region of Tuscany, Comune of Capannori, Viareggio and Lucca Centre of Contemporary Art amongst others. Everyone is united in raising awareness of the challenges these wonderful children, and their families face. The art exhibition lasts from December 16th – January 7th 2018
Only one month to go before The Venice Art Biennale ends.
Hurry along to The Personal Structures Group Show which will also be ending on November 26th.
EXHIBITION TITLE PERSONAL STRUCTURES – open borders
VENUES Palazzo Bembo, Palazzo Mora and Giardini Marinaressa
LOCATION Venice, Italy
PROMOTER GAA Foundation
HOST European Cultural Centre
Open daily from 10:00 to 18:00, except Tuesdays.
I have not been entirely idle during the long, hot summer instead I have been sketching out images that would work as sculptures. I have finally realized my dream to create a sculpture of a childhood icon – Mickey Mouse, but using non traditional material. He is still cheeky and lovable, but the title and symbolism of the material hint at a slightly darker side.
Arriving in Venice last week, I was greeted by dark skies, rumbles of thunder and then incessant rain….but wait a minute ! Who cares about the weather. I had been invited to exhibit my artwork at the preeminent cultural event in the most beautiful city in the whole world.
The Venice Biennale draws hundreds of thousands of art lovers and professionals from all over the world and I am going to be a part of this for the next 7 months, so I repeat, who cares about the weather.
After checking in to my apartment, I decided to head off to Palazzo Mora early to check that the lights did not reflect too much off the plexiglas cases. This palazzo is one of the three palazzi taken over by the European Cultural Centre for the Personal Structures group exhibition and also the Kiribati National Pavilion as well as the Seychelles National Pavilion. Kiribati and Venice, although at different sides of the world both geographically and culturally, share similar environmental challenges in that they are both sinking.
As I feared, the lights were too fierce but I felt churlish complaining that the great Hermann Nitsch’s blood paintings were vividly reflected on my artwork. This calls for tact and diplomacy and actually lend another perspective to my syringes sculptures…think Anish Kapoor’s highly reflective sculptures.
I checked out my other fellow artists and who should be behind my wall but none other than the great Jeff Koons…how blessed am I ! Nitsch’s blood and gore paintings, Anthony Moman’s syringe sculptures and Jeff Koon’s balloon dogs. Well this is the Venice Biennale, after all.
At 6pm there was a steady trickle of people arriving and by 6.30 it became a torrent as they arrived by the hundred. By 7pm with the Prosecco flowing, and trays of exquisite canapés passing me by, it was barely breathing room.
I was gratified to see the many people who did a double take as they realized that my shapes were formed not by led lights or ball bearings (now there’s an idea ) but real, fully armed syringes. The reactions were mixed from surprise, disgust – phobia of needles, to incredulous, but at least no one was complacent or unreactive. That is all I wished for, to provoke a strong reaction amongst all this amazing art.
To take the Kiribati motto : “Te Mauri, Te Raoi ao Te Tabomoa”
Syringes are really symbolic and can provoke a host of different emotional reactions, mostly negative.
They can, however, alleviate pain, cure and protect against life threatening diseases, and change the way we look and feel about ourselves.
Our very existence can depend on one syringe, and they therefore deserve our respect and their place in the history of humanity.
The globe sculpture is called ” To Be One ” and it’s name was inspired by the poem
” To Be One With Each Other ” by George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans)
” What greater thing is there for two human souls
than to feel that they are joined together
to strengthen each other in all labour
to minister to each other in all sorrow,
to share with each other in all gladness,
to be one with each other
in the silent unspoken memories ? “
I guess my interest in skulls and syringes can be traced back to my childhood where family dinner conversations usually centred around my father’s daily experiences as a family practitioner. From the tender age of three I was aware of life, death and something vague in between.
I like to transform ugly, unloved materials into attractive and alluring objects without any structural interference.
Syringes are very symbolic, invoking a host of different emotional reactions, mostly negative. They can, however, alleviate pain, cure and protect against life threatening diseases and change the way we look and feel about ourselves. Our very existence can depend on one syringe and they deserve our respect and their place in the history of humanity.
I was invited to participate in the group exhibition Personal Structures hosted by the European Cultural Centre and organised by the GAA Foundation.
I was drawn to the exhibition’s title “PERSONAL STRUCTURES – open borders” which shows the commonness and differences between Europeans in dialogue with works of non-Europeans. In addition, the exhibition stimulates a more conscious relationship from the spectator towards his daily surrounding aiming to increase the awareness of their own personal Existence as human beings influenced by a specific Culture within Time and Space.
Here in pictures is the passage to Venice.
PERSONAL STRUCTURES – open borders
Palazzo Bembo, Palazzo Mora and Giardini Marinaressa
European Cultural Centre
Valeria Romagnini, Lucia Pedrana, Sara Danieli, Alesia Varnaeva, Bianca Bonaldi, Elena Volpato, Alessandra Valle, Anaïs Hammoud
13 May – 26 November 2017 (preview 11-12 May 2017)
Love Is The Drug (Green) 2017
Syringe on marine wood in plexiglas case
42 x 42 cm
I like a challenge. It takes you out of your comfort zone. I was asked to create a syringe sculpture using a client’s prototype syringes. The time frame was tight as I was busy preparing my work for the Venice Biennale. My first thought was to decline the offer but as I said I like being challenged.
This is the result. I think these syringes are stunning.