Thursday, 13 September 2012

More about a very talented new friend I'm glad to have met.

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the great fun I had at the Ancestor's Trail; you can read about that here.  I've said many times that one of my favourite things about such humanist and secular events is the feeling of community and a general air of (often slightly inebriated) bonhomie.  One of several new friends I made that weekend is Victoria Gugenheim, an immensely talented and rather gorgeous artist who travels all over the world turning people's bodies into beautiful and thought-provoking pieces of tantalisingly ephemeral art.  I didn't mention it in my previous post because - annoyingly - I'd failed to get any good pictures of the work she did at the trail, but I have a couple now including this one (model Helena Biggs, photo by Jo Balcombe):

Victoria herself has also very kindly sent me a couple of other examples of her work:

(The above photo by the very talented Mui Tsun, whose work can be seen here).

... but I wholeheartedly recommend you have a look at this page, where you can see many more examples of the extraordinary work Victoria does.

Ahead of the trail, I actually volunteered to be painted by Victoria as "Mitochondrial Eve". In the event that didn't happen, but Victoria has very kindly agreed to paint me on a different theme at some point when we can both find a free day in our schedules, hopefully within the next few weeks.  I don't want to give too much away, but the plan - in outline, at least - is to explore the way understanding affects our perception of beauty in the natural world. Victoria tells me she loves to work on biologically-themed pieces but doesn't get as many opportunities as she would wish for. Her work also explores the - often neglected or even rejected - relationship between science and the arts, the common misconception that artistic talent and rational thinking tend to be mutually exclusive.  I think this is well worth exploring, because even those of us who adore it can occasionally be guilty of thinking science a coldly logical, unromantic subject - and one of the reasons Professor Dawkins' work is so popular is that it shows us how quite the reverse can be true!

Victoria will be writing a piece on this subject for the November issue of the excellent Athience Magazine; I strongly recommend you look out for it, and I'll link it here when it's published of course.

I can't wait to see how Victoria decides to paint me; I know it'll be striking and unexpected, but beyond that I don't know what to anticipate! (I AM quite nervous about being painted and photographed in - essentially - my knickers, but it'll be totally worth it!)

I'll keep you posted, and of course I'll post the photos once I have them!

Big hugs to Victoria and all my lovely new friends. xxx

PS - Victoria's just sent me the photo below, which is of a piece entitled "DNAges of Man". It's - obviously - rather beautiful, and deals with a subject of which Victoria is fond; "man's struggle to understand the world through religion and finally science with the idea of molecules and chemistry at the shoulderblades and in the face", to use her own words.  Eeeeek, I'm so excited about being painted by this extraordinarily talented artist, I can't wait!

No comments:

Post a Comment