Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Open Lecture Series 07: Chris Welsby

Chris Welsby is a painter by educational class yet, moved into the field of video art and film making and in particular the use of early experimental video machines. Know as a "weather artist" Chris Welsby's work becomes part installation when exhibited within the gallery space, with an emphasis on the weather being a participant in how his films are made.

Tree Studies 2006
 Working across a long spanned career, his work has always stayed faithful to his practice in looking at how the weather changes environments and how the natural world can become such a vehicle to drive ideas and play a vital part in the experimental, unpredictable and performative.  Early work and ideas incorporated the use of strapping cameras to wind veins that were singular powered by the natural wind speed. The films some how show a divide between user control and the release of the natural environment, producing films that could only be produced by the natural. Chris mentioned during the lecture that when he was studying painting he considered and reflected upon that "nature" always seem to play a part in the background, and was only ever present to support human activity that was the forefront subject. His work has therefore swapped these two participants in making the weather the star of the show.

Lost Lake #2 2003
At Sea 2003
 Much of Chris Welby's work once brought into a gallery environment considered the use of multiple screens and projections [often with the equipment in full view] Repeated footage was a common trend with slight overlaps and delays where the projector plays its organic role. The projector also played a role in providing the sound track. Many films were produced over long periods of days and weeks. With each film there was only ever the consideration of the filming device, location and time; everything else that made the work final was in the hands of the weather.

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