Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Armchair explorer

We are extraordinarily lucky at present that despite most of our garden being wetland (a few springs rise there and flow off to become the Wey river eventually), we are not flooded.  But the current weather pattern is increasingly depressing in its round of wind and rain in excessive quantity - with glimpses of sunshine to taunt us.  The worst oppression I feel is the dark skies which loom far too often now that Winter should be retreating - especially as this darkness impinges on my stitching.
Danielle Rante: The Blue of Distance 1 38 x 66" Ink wash, carbon paper transfers on cut paper
On the other hand it gives me more time for my explorations.  I have taken the theme of the North for my current reading pile (well, my most immediate reading pile), and I am savouring thoughts which spring further out of this reading.  One of the 'discoveries' I have made (rather in the way that David Livingstone discovered Victoria Falls!) is the work of Danielle Rante.
Danielle Rante: Icelandic Meditation 2 (Sediment) 19 x 20" Screenprint and mixed media on cut paper
For me these pieces are exquisite, capturing the feel of what I am imagining through my readings - I love the use of scale, both tiny detail with overwhelming whole of the repetition of those small marks to convey a feeling of place.  It is a bonus that her techniques relate to mine - but it is the overall impact of the pieces to which I really respond.
Danielle Rante: Ghost 1 48 x 60" Two layers of cut paper with graphite rubbings
So often we encounter images of landscape which to my eyes un-naturally contain no sign humans or other animals - but somehow these ones are appropriately filled only with the overwhelming presence of elemental life.
Danielle Rante: The Weight of Mountains 36 x 70 Ink, graphite, carbon transfers, collage on cut paper
I found an image on Danielle Rante's blog which shows some of how she works, the elements pictured immediately made me wish so much to see her work for real.  I'm sure the impact of her work must be lost to a great degree viewed small on a screen.  But it is such a joy to be able to see Rante's work at all.
Here is a review of this exhibition of Danielle Rante's work in San Francisco last year. (The last link being a gallery which has led me to more delightful 'discoveries'. I could spend my life being such an explorer!)


  1. These are beautiful. You used the word exquisite of this work and I can so see what you mean.

    More pleasure to explore - thank you.

  2. They are all very beautiful. My favourite is Blue of Distance, I love its dreamy quality.

  3. I'm glad that you both enjoy this work. I am building quite a Museum of the North in my mind now - and greatly enjoying the process.

  4. "Blue of Distance" - that title caught my eye, and wow ... like you, I'd love to see this work "in real". So intriguing, that image on her blog ... the cut marks remind me of Charlotte Hodes' work (I first saw it at the Wallace Collection)
    But I'm sure you know her work already!

  5. Yes Margaret, I like Charlotte Hodes' work. I must admit to being very intrigued by both artists' techniques as well as being wowed by their work.