August 4th to August 23rd
Whilst an art student in 1970’s England, Michael Wall came across a pen and ink drawing by Mu Ch’i, a 13th century Chinese monk. “Six Persimmons” is widely acknowledged as being one of the greatest calligraphic paintings ever produced, and the image has fascinated and inspired Wall ever since.
Over the years he has made several works in different media that reflect the composition and cadence of the original, but it is to photography that he keeps returning as he feels there are great parallels between the processes of Eastern Calligraphic painting and digital photography. In both disciplines there is a meditative precondition followed by a rapid execution. Wall is particularly drawn to the period of contemplation before he captures a photograph and is acutely aware of how much this dictates the subsequent execution. This characteristic is common with Zen painting where the emphasis is on meditative power and the spiritual depth of each work, with the paintings often being used to aid meditation.
The photographs in the exhibition are largely black and white studies of six locally grown persimmons, with Wall manipulating the depth of field in some photographs and exploring effects made by moving the camera during longer exposure times. Hints of colour, unusual textures, and adventurous compositions appear from out of his contemplation, making for a series of unique and personal responses to the original painting. It is a visually strong and intoxicating collection; inviting the viewer to join in the contemplation.
Wall says that over time and in creating this exhibition his relationship with “Six Persimmons” has altered, although he is not yet sure in exactly what way. That will, in time, be revealed as well.
“Six Persimmons: Homage to Mu Ch’i” opens on Friday 4th August, at Artcraft in Mahon Hall; running until August 23rd. There is an opening celebration from 6-8pm on the 4th August and an artist talk on Sunday August 13th at 2pm. The exhibition is sponsored by Thrifty foods.
Artist talk August 13-2pm