'Crystal Ship' Exhibition -- Extended Through January 31, 2008*
Felicity Powell, Ansel Krut, and Saskia and Hannah Krut-Powell
A family of artists looking for Arcadia
Opening Reception: November 9, 2007, 7:30-10pm
Exhibition: November 10-December 28, 2007
"One midnight we were woken by the sound of thunder. A distant storm was coming in across the sea and the lightning stood out in prolonged relief against the moonless sky. Suddenly a ship, lit up like a crystal chandelier, detached itself from the storm and sailed serenely across the horizon. It seemed to have come out of the heart of the storm, a jeweled vessel of light, like the carriage for some mythological goddess and part of the storm itself." -- Felicity Powell
While visiting a remote Italian island at the invitation of Chora, an initiative of the Annenberg Foundation,* the Krut-Powell family experienced a moment of delighted awe. Sharing their sensibilities and insights, this family of artists, who range in age from ten- to forty-eight-years-old, then set out to make work as full of wonder, surprise and magic as that moment. The richly diverse results of their enterprise are on exhibition at Farmlab from November 9 through December 28, 2007.
Taking its name from Plato’s concept of "empty space" – a receptacle where thought interacts with matter to become form – the Chora Initiative provides settings in which cultural practitioners can work together. In August 2007 the Initiative invited four families of artists to the Mediterranean island of Pantelleria to explore 'journey' as a generator of creative work.
Working alongside their children for this multi-generational art experiment, the adults found that the usual constraints of making "grown-up" art were suspended. In keeping with the intuitive nature of Choral thought, which is aligned with imagination, memory and feeling, the adults were absorbed into the child’s eye view of an endlessly mutable, strange and compelling world where judgments were determined according to imaginative possibility rather than reality. As Ansel Krut noted: "Once we had crossed that threshold there was no way back."
Speaking to the fertility of this liminal space, Crystal Ship presents a wide range of works that run a gamut of scales and mediums and manifest a spectrum of characteristics. Felicity Powell exhibits film, animation and drawings alongside sculptural works that include a series of infinitely delicate white wax reliefs on black glass. Ansel Krut's projects include robust drawings, paintings in oil-on-canvas and an installation of eighteen small works on glass titled The Ghost of a Flea. Saskia and Hannah Krut-Powell's projected photographs flank their drawings and a number of their small-scale sculptures, which are realized in fabric and needlecraft as well as more traditional modeling materials.
On Friday November 9, at noon, in advance of Crystal Ship's evening opening, the weekly Farmlab Public Salon will feature the Krut-Powell family speaking about their work and the Chora experience. Further information about this and other Farmlab Public Salons is available online @ www.farmlab.org.
About the Artists
Felicity Powell, Ansel Krut and Saskia and Hannah Krut-Powell live and work in London. This is the first time they have exhibited together. The Chora Initiative is a project of the Annenberg Foundation.
ANSEL KRUT: A recipient of the Abbey Major scholarship, the Fellow in drawing at Wimbledon School of Art from 2005 to 2007, and lecturer in painting at London's Royal College of Art, Ansel Krut ascribes much of the unsettling imagery in his paintings to growing up in Apartheid era South Africa. His provocative inventions have been exhibited regularly over the last twenty years in solo and group shows in the UK and internationally; and his work is included in the collections of, among others, the British Council, the Arts Council of England, the Government Collection, the Wellcome Trust, the Johannesburg Art Gallery, The Mercer Art Gallery Harrogate, LAC Narbonne, and the Ben Uri Collection.
FELICITY POWELL: Felicity Powell's work in various media has been exhibited internationally and is represented in the collections of major museums, including both the Department of Prints and Drawings and the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum. She is the recipient of the V&A Department of Sculpture's first contemporary art commission and of an Arts and Humanities Research Board award, which resulted in "Drawn from the Well", a site-specific installation at the V&A, 2002-4. An acclaimed medalist, Ms. Powell won the 1998 Millennium Medal competition organized by the Royal Mint and the British Art Medal society and she is the co-curator of a forthcoming exhibition, 'Medals of Dishonour', to be held at the British Museum, 2009.
Crystal Ship, Felicity Powell, film still, 2007
(Image courtesy Felicity Powell)
*This subject heading has been changed from the original