Untitled Document

All Flesh is Grass - John Hopkins + Grenville Davey

Date: 17 March - 24 April 2008

Abstract

All Flesh is Grass is an exhibition which documents the power of landscape and art, emphasising what we rely on to live - the air that we breathe, the food that we eat, the water we drink, and meanings we imbue, as the human life is transitory.

Grenville Davey, artist and sculptor, has worked with landscape architects involved in regeneration projects in the UK. Grenville uses drawing to explore the nature of pure form and his objects, seemingly out of context, reveal his interest in how we perceive reality. John Hopkins is a landscape architect, urban designer and environmental planner. He is currently Project Sponsor for the Olympic Parklands and Public Realm at the Olympic Delivery Authority. Both men share a similar goal in their creative practice, but have different ways of achieving it.

The exhibition consists of drawings from both Grenville and John, a photograhic piece of the Olympic Park, and Grenville’s sculptures. The sculptures are from his solo exhibition Little Emperor, part of Canary Wharf’s ongoing ‘Sculpture in the Workplace’ series. John’s drawings are diagrams which have critical meaning capturing the importance of delivering a vision. In this context the drawing takes on a different meaning.

The exhibition also includes six songs which have been written and produced by John. Grenville has taken two of the songs and has rewritten the lyrics for the publication. The show takes on a different reality and focus to how one would view the work in the world outside, what we are and what is public realm. All Flesh is Grass

The publication also includes an interview between the artists and Karen Raney

The exhibition is available as a CD: All Flesh is Grass – A Pocket Exhibition (Limited Edition of 1000) Please contact Gallery Office for a copy.

John Hopkins + Grenville Davey

John Hopkins

John Hopkins DipLA MLA ASLA FLI is a landscape architect, urban designer and environmental planner. Hopkins was a partner in LDA Design, a broadly based environmental planning, urban design and landscape architecture practice, until March 2007. In addition to the United Kingdom, he has practiced in Malaysia, Australia, Hong Kong, and the United States. He is currently Project Sponsor for the Olympic Parklands and Public Realm at the Olympic Delivery Authority.

Hopkins is a graduate of Louisiana State University, a Corporate Member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, a Fellow of the Landscape Institute, and on the CABE and South East England Regional Design Review Panels. Hopkins has lectured widely at universities and conferences in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He is Senior External Examiner at Manchester Metropolitan University.

John is a Churchill Fellow in Urban Design and published Urban Space: form, funding and function based on research in Boston, New York, Minneapolis, and Portland, Oregon. He writes regularly for the professional press, and has made contributions to several books on urban and landscape design. He most recently co-edited and contributed two chapters, one co-written with Peter Neal, to Cultured Landscapes – Designing the Environment in the Twenty-first Century, published by Spons Press in 2005.

He has directed the site design, documentation, and implementation of many urban parks and spaces. Hopkins also directed the preparation of several environmental infrastructure and green grid plans for the Thames Gateway. The Thames Gateway South Essex Green Grid won the Landscape Institute’s Award for Landscape Planning in 2006.

Grenville Davey

Grenville Davey is an artist and sculptor; he was born in Lauceston, Cornwall, in 1961. He is a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the University of East London. Davey studied at Exeter College of Art and Design until 1982 and graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1985. Davey won the Turner Prize in 1992 for the continuing development of his sculpture as seen in shows held at Kunsthalle, Bern, and Kunstverin, Dusseldorf. He was awarded the title of visiting Professor at the University of East London in 1997, and an Honorary Fellowship in Fine Art by the Arts Institute at Bournemouth in 2005.

He uses drawing to explore the nature of pure form while also inhabiting the realm of the domestic and industrial. Davey shares a similar interest in industrial materials with sculptors Tony Cragg and Richard Deacon. The simplicity of his forms shows an affinity with minimalism. At first his work appears to be functional; a characteristic to be found in some of his works, but not all. However, Davey enlarges the everyday object to the extent that it takes on a new identity and a wealth of meaning. His objects, seemingly out of context, reveal his interest in how we perceive reality.

Little Emperor was a recent exhibition in Canary Wharf featuring ten original sculptures created at Davey’s Essex studio in 2007. The exhibition was part of Canary Wharf’s ongoing ‘Sculpture in the Workplace’ series. A grant from the Arts Council England, and support from the company ProEtch, gave Davey resources to make the work, which he wished to see in a space outside the gallery system.

Karen Raney

Karen Raney is a painter and visual theorist. She is currently senior lecturer in art and visual theory at the University of East London, and editor of engage journal. She has a particular interest in conversation as a means of communicating complex ideas about art, and her published interviews have included Bill Viola, Faisal Abdu’Allah, Griselda Pollock, and Barbara Kruger.

She is author of Visual Literacy: issues and debates (1997) and Art in Question (2003). Art in Question examines, through dialogue with artists, historians, curators and educators, new ways of thinking about the visual, including the re-thinking of the idea of art itself. She has written and lectured widely about art and art education.

IMAGES: TOP - BOTTOM

  • Cover Image: Wembley Stadium (detail) © Nigel Young / Foster + Partners.
  • www.fosterandpartners.com.
  • Grenville Davey, working drawing.
  • Grenville Davey, Chess, painted steel and plastic, 2007.
  • Grenville Davey, By air, painted steel, 2007.
  • John Hopkins, prints from sketchbooks, working drawings.
  • Photography Images: Little Emperor New Sculpture by Grenville Davey, Canary Wharf Exhibition, photography by Heini Schneebeli, www.schneebeli.co.uk.

    (Download PDF for full essay / text)