Distribution of Wealth Chart versus Geological Strata

permanent Site-specific artwork at Zürich Insurance group, Zürich, Switzerland, 2021.

Distribution of Wealth Chart versus Geological Strata 2021, Stuckmarmor on 18 aluminium
panels, 661x285x 2,7cm

Detail of Distribution of Wealth Chart versus Geological Strata 2021, Stuckmarmor on 18 aluminium
panels, 661x285x 2,7cm

Detail of Distribution of Wealth Chart versus Geological Strata 2021, Stuckmarmor on 18 aluminium
panels, 661x285x 2,7cm

Detail of Distribution of Wealth Chart versus Geological Strata 2021, Stuckmarmor on 18 aluminium
panels, 661x285x 2,7cm

Detail of Distribution of Wealth Chart versus Geological Strata 2021, Stuckmarmor on 18 aluminium
panels, 661x285x 2,7cm

Walking through the town I followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman's profile

England's Creative Coast's Waterfronts project with Towner Eastbourne curated by Tamsin Dillon

May 29 – November 12, 2021

printed map on the occasion of the public artwork Walking through the town i followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman´s profile

Inspired by local archaeological sites, artist Mariana Castillo Deball has created a public artwork that plays out across the streets of Eastbourne, into Towner Eastbourne's gallery building and out to the South Downs. Walking through the town I followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman's profile is, explains Castillo Deball, "a work that can be experienced as an image, a walking path or a narrative". On this two-hour walking route around the streets of Eastbourne, pedestrians will discover a chalk-stenciled rope that traces an unexpected route through the town, outlining the silhouette of a woman's profile. Followers of the walking trail will encounter several sculptural objects embedded in the pavement, each relating to objects that were buried with The Frankish Woman, whose ancient remains were discovered in Eastbourne at the Anglo-Saxon cemetery on St Anne's Hill. The locations for the objects are shown on the map as a loop in the rope. A third element to the work takes place at Whitbread Hollow on the South Downs where the shape of a giant hairpin, the most magnificent of the funerary objects, will be inscribed in chalk. In contrast to the nearby Celtic hill figure, The Long Mari of Wilmington which is cut into the chalk a few miles north-east of Eastbourne, Castillo Deball's geoglyph will be evanescent, disappearing over time. Visit towner.gallery/CreativeCoast for more details on this work and how to see it. Alongside her Waterfronts commission, Castillo Deball has curated an exhibition for Towner Eastbourne. A drawing, a story and a poem go for a Walk will run from 29 May 2021 to 16 January 2022.

 

printed map on the occasion of the public artwork Walking through the town i followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman´s profile

Beachy Head, Head pin geoglyph location. 2021

Walking through the town i followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman´s profile, Waterfronts, Creative Coast Project, Eastbourne, England, 2021. Photo Thierry Bal

Installation view of the public artwork Walking through the town i followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman´s profile, Waterworks, Creative Coast Project, Eastbourne, England, 2021.

Photo © Thierry Bal

Installation view of the public artwork Walking through the town i followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman´s profile, Waterworks, Creative Coast Project, Eastbourne, England, 2021.

Photo © Thierry Bal

detail of the public artwork Walking through the town i followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman´s profile, Waterworks, Creative Coast Project, Eastbourne, England, 2021.

Photo © Thierry Bal

Installation view of the public artwork Walking through the town i followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman´s profile, Waterworks, Creative Coast Project, Eastbourne, England, 2021.

Photo © Thierry Bal

Installation view of the public artwork Walking through the town i followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman´s profile, Waterworks, Creative Coast Project, Eastbourne, England, 2021.

Photo © Thierry Bal

Installation view of the public artwork Walking through the town i followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman´s profile, Waterworks, Creative Coast Project, Eastbourne, England, 2021.

Photo © Thierry Bal

Installation view of the public artwork Walking through the town i followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman´s profile, Waterworks, Creative Coast Project, Eastbourne, England, 2021.

Photo © Thierry Bal

detail of the public artwork Walking through the town i followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman´s profile, Waterworks, Creative Coast Project, Eastbourne, England, 2021.

Photo © Thierry Bal

Installation view of the public artwork Walking through the town i followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman´s profile, Waterworks, Creative Coast Project, Eastbourne, England, 2021.

Photo © Thierry Bal

Installation view of the public artwork Walking through the town i followed a pattern on the pavement that became the magnified silhouette of a woman´s profile, Waterworks, Creative Coast Project, Eastbourne, England, 2021.

Photo © Thierry Bal

A DRAWING, A STORY AND A POEM GO FOR A WALK: MARIANA CASTILLO DEBALL CURATES THE TOWNER COLLECTION 

May 29 2021 – January 16 2022

In our latest Towner Collection show, artist Mariana Castillo Deball (b.1975) delved deep into the Towner Collection to discover works that have rarely been displayed and has presented these alongside familiar and much-loved depictions of the Sussex landscape. 

Castillo Deball was instantly drawn to Leslie Moffat Ward’s The Long Man of The Downs, 1943, a modest print of the larger-than-life hill figure. This print is central to the exhibition and continues her fascination with geoglyphs — large-scale drawings in the landscape that have informed her England’s Creative Coast Commission here in Eastbourne. 

Interventions in the landscape, real and imagined, are a theme that runs through her selection, ranging from mysterious hill figures to depictions of the land as an agricultural environment that has been engineered and shaped over centuries. Harold Mockford’s Eastbourne, 1958, and John Lake’s Land and Sea reveal a latticework of fields and interlocking streets from an aerial perspective. Closer to earth, Val M. Ewens has captured a sense of pattern in the obedient crops of Midday Harvest and Harvest Completed, both 1978. 

Landscape is explored as a symbolic territory that is constantly being altered, manipulated, and harvested, this concept is reflected in Tom Phillips’s A Humument. In an endeavour spanning fifty years, Phillips drew, painted, and collaged over the pages of a Victorian novel to create a new story within the story, with a new protagonist. 

Animals are often omitted from depictions of the countryside, they have been reintroduced here through a variety of works featuring agricultural animals, domestic pets, and their human companions, including Kathleen Walne’s Girl with Cat, and Gertrude Hermes’s Fighting Dogs, 1924. 

A drawing, a story-and a poem go for a Walk: Mariana Castillo Deball curates the Towner collection, photo Rob Harris

A drawing, a story-and a poem go for a Walk: Mariana Castillo Deball curates the Towner collection, photo Rob Harris

A drawing, a story-and a poem go for a Walk: Mariana Castillo Deball curates the Towner collection, photo Rob Harris

A drawing, a story-and a poem go for a Walk: Mariana Castillo Deball curates the Towner collection, photo Rob Harris

A drawing, a story-and a poem go for a Walk: Mariana Castillo Deball curates the Towner collection, photo Rob Harris

A drawing, a story-and a poem go for a Walk: Mariana Castillo Deball curates the Towner collection, photo Rob Harris

A drawing, a story-and a poem go for a Walk: Mariana Castillo Deball curates the Towner collection, photo Rob Harris

A drawing, a story-and a poem go for a Walk: Mariana Castillo Deball curates the Towner collection, photo Rob Harris

A drawing, a story-and a poem go for a Walk: Mariana Castillo Deball curates the Towner collection, photo Rob Harris

A drawing, a story-and a poem go for a Walk: Mariana Castillo Deball curates the Towner collection, photo Rob Harris

A drawing, a story-and a poem go for a Walk: Mariana Castillo Deball curates the Towner collection, photo Rob Harris

Forbidden symmetries

permanent installation at Rathausumfeld Wedding, Berlin-Mitte, Germany

Floor piece consisting of 45 concrete tiles, based on Penrose tiles, which conform both a pattern and an ornamental map.  Symmetrical shapes such as rectangles and triangles can cover a plane with neither gap nor overlap, and in an ever-repeating pattern. Repeated patterns are called “periodic” because even if you move a pattern from place to place, it looks always the same. The British mathematician Roger Penrose tried to imagine a set of tiles that could be used to cover an infinite plane in a pattern that never repeats. To be precise, he was interested in “aperiodic” tiling, a set of tiles that could cover an infinite plane, without the tiling pattern ever repeating itself. That was a challenge because he couldn’t use tiles with two, three, four, or six axes of symmetry—rectangles, triangles, squares, and hexagons—because on an infinite plane they would result in periodic patterns. That meant he had to rely on shapes believed to leave gaps in the tiling of a plane—those with forbidden symmetries.

Tiling based on a pentagon was thought impossible, a forbidden symmetry, but in the early 1970’s, Roger Penrose discovered that a surface can be completely tiled in an asymmetrical, non-repeating manner with just two shapes based on phi, now known as “Penrose tiles.” What is special about Penrose tiles is that even though he derived his tiles from the lines and angles of pentagons, his shapes leave no gaps. 

They snug together perfectly, twisting and turning across the plane, always coming close to repetition, but never quite getting there. This is accomplished by creating a set of two symmetrical tiles, each of which is the combination of the two triangles found in the geometry of the pentagon. Based a set of Penrose tiles, I developed a series of ornamental tiles to depict a modular topography, an imaginary landscape.

By creating an ornament following the rules of the Penrose tile, the pattern becomes alive, and allows the viewer to get lost in the intricate possibilities.Thanks to the ornament, we can wander endlessly like a dance though the pattern. According to British anthropologist Alfred Gell, complex patterns, by their multiplicity and the difficulty we have in grasping their mathematical basis by mere visual inspection, generate relationships over time between persons and things, because what they present to the eye is, cognitively speaking, always unfinished business.

The ornament complexity exceeds the viewer’s ability to organize the visual field, entrapping him in a kind of cognitive limbo, in never ending exchange. Gell describes this capacity of visual patterns as ‘cognitive sickness, the pleasurable frustration of the eye being trapped within a rhythmic surface, the mazy dance in which our eyes become lost.

Sketch: Forbidden symmetries

Sketch: Forbidden symmetries

Forbidden symmetries, 2015, concrete tiles

Freiraumgestaltung Rathausumfeld Wedding in Berlin-Mitte, Germany

Sketch: Forbidden symmetries

Detail: Forbidden symmetries, 2015, concrete tiles

Freiraumgestaltung Rathausumfeld Wedding in Berlin-Mitte, Germany

Forbidden symmetries, 2015, concrete tiles

Freiraumgestaltung Rathausumfeld Wedding in Berlin-Mitte, Germany

The Mapping Impulse

permanent installation at the Noord-Hollands Archief, Haarlem, The Netherlands, 2007.

“There is a fundamental dichotomy between the art of the Italian Renaissance and that of the Dutch masters: Italian art is the primary expression of a “textual culture”, this is to say of a culture which seeks emblematic, allegorical or philosophical meanings in a serious painting. The world of Dutch art, on the contrary, arises from and enacts a truly “visual culture”. It serves and energises a system of values in which meaning is not “read”, but “seen”, in which new knowledge is visually recorded.”

Svetlana Alpers, The Art of Describing: Dutch Art in the Seventeenth Century

L’Europe suivant les nouvelles observations de Messrs de l’Academie Royale des Sciences Augmentées de Nouveau

Jigsaw Puzzle. Map of Europe.

Amsterdam, Covens & Mortier ca., 1750, 30 x 22,5cm.

Several things attracted my attention during the visits to the Noord-Hollands archief and the city of Haarlem, but there is a constant, which can be compared to what Svetlana Alpers defines as “The Mapping impulse in Dutch art”.

It is not a coincidence that The Dutch were the first ones who produced maps as wall hangings and probably the first jigsaw puzzle (from a map). This shows only a part of the wide production, dissemination, and use of maps throughout the society. Mapping in the 16th century was a common, even a casually acquired skill. Each man made at least a single map in a lifetime. It seems to have been an accepted way to pay one’s respect to one’s home while contributing to the knowledge of it.

The Noord-Hollands Archief, and specially the Atlas section, contains a vast collection of maps, engravings, photographs and other visual material.After going through the cartography collection, it is striking to see how the countries landscape has been changing throughout the centuries. This development has two faces: the actual transformation of Dutch geography, in an attempt to gain land; and from the other hand, the quick development of cartography since the 16th century.

    In the archive I could see thousands of drawings, maps and books defining and measuring land. Even the smallest piece of land has a value, a name and a use. There is also a constant exchange between water and land. Complicated plans show the drying systems and walls were made to stop the water.

In my proposal, I am working with the following elements:

a) Map making and the development of Dutch geography.

b) Defining space, exchanging values: The metaphor of the jigsaw puzzle is appropriated in the sense that water and land have been cutout, exchanged and divided, specially in the north of Holland.

c) Wind roses: signatures of the cartographers

The proposal is based in a series of carved panels made out of different materials: stone, wood and paper.Some of the carvings stand on their own if the material allows it, the fragile ones, is installed like a sandwich, between glasses.

Detail: The Mapping Impulse, 2007

Steel, aluminium, wood, marble, blue limestone and glass

Noord-Hollands Archief, Haarlem, The Netherlands

The Mapping Impulse, 2007

Steel, aluminium, wood, marble, blue limestone and glass

Noord-Hollands Archief, Haarlem, The Netherlands

Detail: The Mapping Impulse, 2007

Steel, aluminium, wood, marble, blue limestone and glass

Noord-Hollands Archief, Haarlem, The Netherlands

Detail: The Mapping Impulse, 2007

Steel, aluminium, wood, marble, blue limestone and glass

Noord-Hollands Archief, Haarlem, The Netherlands

Detail: The Mapping Impulse, 2007

Steel, aluminium, wood, marble, blue limestone and glass

Noord-Hollands Archief, Haarlem, The Netherlands