Saturday, 13 April 2013

Documentation from Berlin, January - April 2013

Made in Berlin, Alex Roberts 

Studio 112, open evening, Thursday 28th March 2013

Observations - drawing exercises

Wanderings - painterly experiments, works on paper

Berliners - the ochre series - new paintings

Photography credit: Wiebke Maria Wachmann 

Click here to download the full 'Introduction from the artist, January - April 2013'.  English and German copy.

I hoped accepting the 3-month studio residency at Milchhof e.V would be an opportunity to observe, reflect and re-look.

‘A platform for you to think and act like a traveller’ (The Art of Travel, Alain de Botton).

‘”When we go somewhere new, we tend to be more aware of our surroundings. We notice more. We look more closely. We explore. And more often than not, we leave with a memory, or a souvenir of our adventure, typically in the form of a photo or maybe even a drawing. Often we use the opening for pause and reflection, take in the change of scene and enjoy the experience and our surroundings” (Observations in Painting, Alex Roberts 2012). 

Not knowing what my Berlin adventure would involve or lead to, I excitedly packed my kit and was Deutschland-bound!

The only loose task I set myself was to observe and test my drawing; making a decision that any initial surveying would start with paper and pencils.

The outcome of the starting points – a collection of observations shaped through drawings; almost a commentary of ‘lampposts and bins’! These works have been an invaluable exercise. The simple editing approach within the process has led to new developments with three, new painting series underway:

Berliners - the ochre series. A group of smaller paintings, that witnesses people going about their daily lives. Works where the sitters’ characteristics, or compositional scenes hint to a story. The common denominator is the application of the colour yellow.
I have noticed the frequent use of this hue in Berlin’s everyday life. Other planned compositions in the set – two postal workers, people walking by the willow trees along the Urbanhafen and Landwehrkanal.

Evocative, female faces. An assortment and sequence of snapshots that investigates the notion of complete, trusting exposure.
A sentiment that has become apparent to examine, inspired by my time residing in Berlin. Very early starting points are outlined here, but it is clear that the individual close ups will share a light, muted range of tones. 

Wanderings. Weekly, painterly experiments, works on paper that record views, thoughts and daydreams I stumble across.