Rock Art at Pangolin London

25 September, 2008

Marcel Berlins, in the Guardian G2 section, has a salutary note for all bloggers, arguing that although only a minority of the comments posted on his column have been hysterical rantings or even abusive, he has been minded to consider suing one respondent for libel. So it is with not a little trepidation that I start my blog, hoping that my comments and opinions will not incur the wrath of any litigious reader or indeed elicit any unpleasant responses. Although it would be true to say that knowing that anyone out there is bothering to read what I have to say may become rather reassuring, regardless of their thoughts on it, when there are millions of blogs sent out into the ether every day.

So to begin. Somewhat fortuitously, given that I am starting an arts blog, I went to the opening of Pangolin London at Kings Place, King Cross, London. The brainchild of Rungwe Kingdom and Claude Koenig, Pangolin London is their second sculpture gallery, drawing on the expertise and artists they work with at Pangolin Editions, the UK’s leading sculpture foundry in Gloucestershire.

The inaugural exhibition entitled Rock Music Rock Art is a mixed media show with work by sculptor Peter Randall-Page, photographer Steve Russell and music from members of the London Sinfonietta and is inspired by the natural phenomena of the ancient rock gongs of Lolui Island, Uganda. As a picture editor I went straight to the photography. Russell’s work falls into two parts, beautiful close ups of snakes and lizards and a documentary series based on the project. To my mind the two parts do not go together to make a complete whole. The documentary images are simply that and don’t offer a sense of interpretation or impression of the project or the environment. The reptile skins are however very beautiful and in some ways compliment the Randall-Page’s detailed linocuts of simple lines and bold use of dense colour. It may have been better to separate off the more documentary style work to another area, so we could understand its value as a record rather than present it within an art forum.

Monitor Lizard Skin by Steve Russell

Peter Randall-Page’s work is intriguing. The catalogue offers an understanding of the work in terms of “a study of organic form, its geometry and its subjective impact on our emotions.” The main work [Theme and Variation] is made up of three large bronzes inlaid with hundreds of ping pong balls with a coating that renders the work white. It is quietly sublime. I like simple forms and while the colour made it a little clinical, I did want to touch it, to see just how organic it was. Visually bumpy, the surface is smooth and there is something reassuring about its regularity of form. Along side the bronzes are series of linocuts, which like the sculptures, pare down complex shapes into simple direct lines of colour, echoing the repetitive symmetry found in nature.

Some images of the sculptures can be seen on the website below.

If you are in the neighbourhood, it is worth a visit.

1st October – 9th November 2008,

One Response to “Rock Art at Pangolin London”

  1. […] bookmarks tagged pangolin Rock Art at Pangolin London saved by 5 others     thedarksasuke6 bookmarked on 10/29/08 | […]

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