Crit#28, @Slade School of Fine Art, 23 October 2012
Esther Geis is a self-taught visual artist mostly working in the media of oil paintings. Her works express a philosophy of “joyful complexity”; a counter-philosophy to the ideas of the era of enlightenment. Instead of trying to grasp the world through categories and classifications Esther’s works aim to express the need to see uncertainty, nuance, context, non-linearity as well as unexpected extreme events (black swans). Esther grew up in Germany, where she completed a full education in law. Having spent many years with law she, finally found her true calling in art and moved to the US to marry the love of her life and pursue her dream of becoming an artist. Esther currently lives and works in London. Her works have appeared on “Elephant Journal” and are in private collections in the US, Mexico, the UK, Germany and Spain.
Bernice’s practice has been intensely occupied by the nuances of identity for some time now and her new body of work is attempting to convey what it is like to be faceblind to most of us who aren’t. Faceblindness (prosopagnosia) is not about “not seeing”, but more about “not recognising” or “not remembering”, not being able to recall from whichever memory bank is required, that a specific person is someone you know… 2-3%* of the population could have this condition to some degree.
The central theme of my work is freedom and sensations of freedom. We experience fleeting moments when we feel free and I work with images from popular culture around this theme. The ‘everyday’ nature of plastic/ rubber seems appropriate as a material as it speaks the ‘everyday’ language of the motifs that have been familiar in my life; from childhood toys and knick knacks on my grandmother’s windowsill to fairgrounds and nightclubs. Though tangible, tactile objects, the transformational properties of light provide a predominately visual experience enriching and manipulating the space between object and retina.
I am a visual artist born in the United Kingdom in 1987 working in the mediums of Photography, 16mm and Digital Film, Sound, and Installation. My practice is centred upon the exploration and attainment of knowledge and the difficulties, responsibilities and ethical conflicts derived from such a pursuit. Fundamentally Knowledge governs the perception of our experienced reality; it both ushers forth into the world creation and simultaneously leaves a wake of unending destruction in the persistent pursuit of transcendence, or that which we call progress. I am Unable to escape the contradictory existence of the artist, one who creates and embroils resources in an altogether useless activity, yet one of pivotal vocations for the understanding of the human consciousness, I feel indebted to the emotive advance from my work to the viewer. I take the upmost care where possible to use materials which are sustainable and only use found building materials.
My work discusses the relationship of painting in three-dimensional form, exploring the phenomenological use of spaces. The constructions that I make are a comment on the buildings of today, appropriating industrial objects such as scaffolding towers and recycling their dominant forms into a stage/landscape of colour and light. I am interested in the notion of boundaries, and my installations can often only be peered over at, or glimpsed at from certain angles or distances, with the work often being physically cordoned off. I am interested in how a barrier can create a disturbance of balance; an interruption to the space between the inside and the outside or the backstage and the frontstage. Most recently I have been pairing my work down to trompe l’oeil wall drawings that come off the wall and reflect onto the floor.
BA Fine Art Chelsea
An adjective for my practice would be ‘Merz-practice’, a phrase I coined for myself. It’s a fusion of different concerns and use of medium. Key to my practice are particular crunchy themes; text, prayer, concrete poetry, colour, the stripe and spatial&poetics.