The “Nurturing Artists” series of images portrays fellow
artists by capturing shadows of their body language, tools and work in a
photogram. This work pays homage to Anna Atkins work capturing plants and
flowers in her parent’s garden in 1842. Like a gardener, the Tashkeel
organisation also nurtures and oversees the growth of artists and their work
rather than a garden of flowers and beautiful plants.
Atkins used Sir John Herschel’s cyanotype process to make
photogram or shadow pictures of flowers, fern leaves and plant leaves from her
garden. These can still be seen today in the Royal Horticultural Society
collection at Kew Gardens in London.
Each portrait is the result of a collaboration with the
“sitter”. The artist’s pose, and the belongings around them tells their story,
represents their character, describes how they are seen by their colleagues,
and how they see themselves.
The size of each image is in part determined by the subject.
However, the large size of each of these prints also references the idea that
by collaborating we are all bigger together than we would be on our own.
This portrait is of Mike Arnold, a Tashkeel artist working in
oil and watercolour paint.
Five years ago, Arnold turned his back on triangles, straight
edges, and the other tools associated with being an architect, and turned to a
new life employing paints and brushes.
The explosion of shapes around the artist portrays his never ending energy, his ability to swap between techniques, and subjects, and the warmth which always radiates from within his studio.
Lia is Tashkeel’s resident goldsmith.
As one might expect of an artist from Germany, Staehlin has a
serious and studious side. She points out that the high quality of her work
would not be possible without discipline, technical knowledge and experience.
However, there is another side to Staehlin’s personality. A
little girl bursting with energy and imagination is the source of her creativity.
In this portrait, Osborne and Staehlin have jointly sought to capture these aspects in a way that a conventional portrait could not achieve.
Painter Victor Sitali is both speech and hearing impaired.
Sitali’s image sees him with brush in hand ready to make a mark on the imaginary canvas. He is surrounded by the tools of his trade.