Berlin-based Amelie Blendl is the second emerging artist invited by the new Porthmeor Artist Residency Programme and supported during her time in Studio 9 by the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust.
“When offered the opportunity of applying for the St. Ives residency by the Borlase Smart John Wells Trust I started researching the town and Residency Programme. I was very excited reading into St. Ives’ vast and rich tradition of artists retreating to and working in this remote place in peace and quiet. A place which allows a certain level of concentration. The latter one can only find in the tranquility of a small community with its calming repetition of the wild and beauty. The surrounding terrain- the atlantic sea.
Of all the prominent artists having resided in St. Ives Barbara Hepworth is the most notable to me. Her work impresses and inspires me. She’s one of the very few female artists working in large scale gaining recognition by critics and fellow artists of her time. Her determination of being an artist and working in the rather male field of sculpting makes her an outstanding example to me.
My current practice and technique is dominated by paper reliefs. At first sight they follow a clear structure and regularity: paper-folded hexagons stretch together as a constantly growing web across the surface. It looks as if it consists of many small copies of itself. Chaos and order as binary entities can no longer be considered as mutually exclusive. Following seemingly chaotic systems of algorithm I am splitting the surface, the whole, into hundreds of small things. These innumerable little things are then woven together into a complex web. Unlike programmed algorithms, I allow chaos, error and chance, the affirmative and the sensuous to a certain extent.
I will dedicate my three months stay at St. Ives to working with clay, pottery, wood and stone thus returning to sculpting from a new angle. My previous works in pottery and stone explore the sensual idea of touching and the process of ‘setting free’ the sculpture hidden within the stone. The meta-layer unfolds by the choice of material: wood, stone, clay and glazing. The ‘information’ of the sculpture is altered by its appearance.
As Barbara Hepsworth says, “I think every sculpture must be touched, it’s part of the way you make it and it’s really our first sensibility, it is the sense of feeling, it is first one we have when we’re born. I think every person looking at a sculpture should use his own body. You can’t look at a sculpture if you are going to stand stiff as a ram rod and stare at it, with a sculpture you must walk around it, bend toward it, touch it and walk away from it.””