The Art of Humanity

I thought I knew what I liked: I was wrong.

Friday 16th September 2016

This morning my fellow class mates and I that are studying Journalism at NCN took a trip to The Nottingham Contemporary International art centre located in the Lace Market, Nottingham. We went to view the workshop that is currently presenting Michael Beutler’s and Yelena Popova’s extraordinary artwork. Michael is from Germany and Yelena is from Russia but is Nottingham based. Both artists create insulations in different ways. Michael’s art work is produced from plastic, wood and other re-usable resources. Whereas Yelena draws with paint onto linen and other domestic objects.

Personally, the idea of visiting an art workshop didn’t appeal to me one bit. Although after visiting I now have a completely different opinion! When we entered Nottingham Contemporary we set of to find out about the artists’ and their unique work and exhibitions. Firstly I interviewed ‘Effy’ from Hungary who works at Nottingham Contemporary invigilating the workshop’s they have on show to ensure that no damage is done and also to answer questions. I interviewed Effy asking her about her opinion on Yelenas gallery and here’s what she had to say; “I love the mind challenging abstract. I am also happy that we have been able to show her work because we usually show mostly international work such as Michael who is based in Germany. I am attracted to her work because Yelena is from Russia and she translates her personal experiences into abstract which I find fascinating.”

After listening to a first opinion I moved to Yelenas second gallery to gain a second perspective on her art work. Yelenas next gallery was rather different and a great deal more interesting. I chose to interview a lady named Margie who is also an invigilator at Nottingham Contemporary. To be honest, Margie gave me a much broader explanation regarding what Yelenas intentions are. Margie explained that the reason Yelena Popova’s work is minimalist is because they take a lot more contemplating to understand. Also that pictures are too easy to understand in this day and age. Which I agree with. In gallery number 2 there was a film being showed including 30–50 images per second. After approximately five minutes the computer programme crashes this conveys the financial crash in Russia.

Above is a photograph I took of Yelenas spiral piece of art work. This symbolises bank notes which are very hard to copy. Suggesting that Yelena is thinking about money. She is influenced by ‘Leon Warneke’ who intened to flood the Russian market with the currency he had made. Which therefor caused the crash in the Russian economy.

Next up, I wanted to find out about Michael Beutler’s art work and view the comparison between the two artists. My knowledge of comparison is that the two exhibitions at Nottingham Contemporary are astonishingly different, they share a focus on the use of materials together. Micheal’s work is so vibrant and colourful! Regards to colours the two artists are completely opposite! Whereas the use of materials is what makes them quite alike. So, I wondered into Michael’s gallery’s three and four to find out what an experts opinion on his work is. I interviewed ‘Arianne’ she spoke that; “Michaels work is seriously fun. He never wastes any resources, instead he reuses all of his surroundings. He also loves working with his hands.” I then asked Arianne ‘”why do you believe that Michael uses so many bright colours?” “Michael uses a wide range of vibrant colours because they are joyful. As a child he didn’t have a lot so I believe he makes the most of basic resources now!”

To the right is a picture I took of Michaels work whilst I strolled through the middle of it. The colours and style gave off such positive vibes!

I was pleasantly surprised when I had left Nottingham Contemporary (I actually really enjoyed hearing about the reasons behind the art work). My opinion on the two artists changes each time I see more of their unique work! Although evaluating on what I have seen so far and reviewing on the background context behind each piece I believe that Michaels work is vibrant, whereas Yelenas is as plain as paper in my opinion. However, Yelena’s work has more inner depth and symbolises serious events such as the financial crash in Russia. On the other hand, Beutler incorporates industrially manufactured or processed materials, shaping them into larger scare building elements (like the picture on the right).

If Nottingham Contemporary could make any improvements to their workshop gallery’s I would personally suggest that they adjust the lighting in the galleries as it wasn’t quite right. Also when walking into the gallery it’s unclear as to who’s gallery is who’s. Perhaps they could present the galleries with personal names such as ‘Yelena Popova’s work’ this would be more professional as the signing wasn’t clear enough in my opinion. Other than this I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Nottingham Contemporary!

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