Finoak Blog


Man in Bathtub

George W. Bush paintings

‘’I wanted to make sure that the last chapters of my life were full....’’
George W. Bush wanted to unleash his inner Rembrandt, and the results are now on public display: a deeply personal art collection "The Art of Leadership: A President's Personal Diplomacy," at the Bush Library.

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Immersive Theatre

Movie and Theatre

Immersive theatre is all the rage. The pioneering company Punchdrunk started in 2000, offering theatre that interacts with audiences and combines award-winning design installation with the most intriguing of locations. This takes audience participation to a whole new level of theatre going: spectators are encouraged to explore the ‘set’, which is often designed across an entire building that has been transformed specially for the performance. The idea is to apply a cinematic level of detail so that the audience finds themselves totally immersed in the world of the spectacle and the narrative.

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A Glance at Pottery

Patrick Swayze Ghost

Pottery is something that can evoke childhood memories of a splattered clay workshop, or perhaps summon up images of Patrick Swayze gently caressing Demi Moore over a potters' wheel. More technically the term refers to the serious art of ceramic-based crafts that are produced from clay, made into a required shape and then fired in a kiln at an extremely high temperature. This firing is totally necessary as it removes all the moisture from the clay, transforming it from a sloppy and defenceless clay squidge into a fixed given shape. The fired item can then be glazed and beautified to give it any desired pretty extras...

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Audio versus visual: where one begins and the other continues...

Haroon Mirza Triangulation
by Haroon Mirza

It is an undeniable fact that children are endlessly curious and therefore natural experimenters. I remember my younger brother pulling worms directly out of the mud and sampling them like spaghetti. I never felt particularly inspired to follow him, but as he got a bit older and started to dismantle not only his own toys, but occasionally mine as well, rather than getting angry I would sometimes join him – much to the grief of our parents – and together we would discover the dark underbelly of Barbie and tamagotchis.

My first encounter with the work of the artist Haroon Mirza (b. 1977) re-kindled a few of these memories. Often piecing together found objects, Mirza mediates relationships between audio and visual works to produce a synthesis and create a correspondence between his various cultural and ideological sources.

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Outsider Art

Outsider Art, Souzou

You may have heard of the term 'outsider art' by now in association with The Museum of Everything, indie film Junebug (2005) starring Amy Adams as an outsider art dealer, and most recently an extensive exhibition at the Wellcome Institute in London called Souzou, featuring outsider art from Japan. There is also the pioneering American Folk Art Museum in New York, which opened in 2001 and shows the work of self-taught artists.

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...but is it art?!

Donald Judd Chinati

Minimalist design is primarily recognisable for its less-is-more aesthetic. It has been used as a bastion for architectural innovation and interior design since its explosion in the 1960s as an art movement.

I am always instantly drawn to its attention to clean and bright colour combinations - or often a reduction in colour and attention to black and white lines and shapes - un-fussiness, and emphasis on surface textures. A first encounter with minimalism is like taking a dip in a cool swimming pool after having been on a hot and sticky 10km hike: in one words - refreshing.

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