Sunday, January 09, 2011

Saturday 8th January at IKON Gallery, Birmingham

Such an amazing start to the new year was had with our day at the IKON Gallery on saturday 8th January. Run by Mark, Jo and Chris we were looked after all day by Emma Bowen the IKON's excellent Learning Coordinator. We ran a three hour session which worked really well with a steady crowd building up to a crammed audience for the final ten minute film produced that day which was predictably great and also accompanied by the loudest shout-out we have recorded yet!
It was a an absolute joy to be at the IKON whilst they were exhibiting the first full retrospective of Len Lye in the UK - something hard to imagine hasn't happened before.
All of us involved in Unravel are huge fans of Lye's work and would never deny that the project owes all of its processes to those developed amongst others such as Norman Mclaren and Stan Brakhage particularly from the former two artists portfolio developed for the GPO Film Unit in the 1930's and '40's, but nevertheless we were all blown away by what we saw.
Full screen projections of key works incuding A Colour Box, Rainbow Dance and the awe-inspiring and deceptively simple Free Radicals (anyone who has taken part in one of our workshops will understand just how complex the scratch technique he employed to make animated lines seemingly rotate in 3-D before you) which took him three years to make and we think blows away milliondollarbudget fare such as Avatar, Clash of theTitans or Bono the movie (!) in 3-D every time. Even more impressive was the showcase of his Kinetic scupltures which we all found incredibly moving (and that really wasn't intended as a pun!). These sculptures are engineered to make the light and sound dance around you as you stand immersed in the experience. Gathering rave reviews this is well worth the travel costs to Birmingham alone  - miss this show to your own loss - it runs until the 13th February.  Thanks so much to IKON and everyone who made this our best date of 2011 so far ;)

UPDATE! - Just been sent this from Emma at IKON - a telecine made quickly on the day of the results of the workshop. Cheers again Emma!


  1. Ahh thanks for such an informative and inspiring post. Loved the Free Radicals clip, and I am off to watch more. Thanks!

  2. Free Radicals is incredible. A colour box is probably his most popular due to itbeing the really famous one he did for the GPO. They also had his entirely live-action film 'N or NW' about the pitfalls of writing the wrong post-code on a letter.
    It's typically brilliant and makes me wonder if Len Lye invented the jump cut waaaaaay before Godard?! ...