In between all the busy schedule I am currently facing, I want to share with you a few short thoughts on a very interesting lecture I have attended yesterday. I hope to make this habit more constant and be able to share more of my current artistic intake here, because some of the events and information I have been exposed to are absolutely wonderful and truly inspiring.
“From Space to Place” lecture held by Dr. Emily Webb at SCAD, has opened my eyes in terms of the different forms through which art can envelop a space, place or environment. I have been particularly interested in the site specific artwork practice since my artistic horizon has opened incredibly wide and once with the new turns that my artistic practice has taken.
In the lecture, Dr. Webb spoke about the two shows that featured in 1968 the work of Carl Andre, Robert Barry and Lawrence Weiner. The first show was held at Laura Knott Gallery of Bradford Junior College, and the second at Windham College. Each artist has engaged in a different way with both spaces. At Laura Knott Gallery, Carl Andre has manipulated the emptiness of the space with his sculptural grid of metal plates, for him the negative space actually being a positive presence of here and now, the viewer being able to interact with it, as part of the space. On the other side, Weiner has used the displacement of a side of his artwork, letting the space to invade the painting. By displacing a notch of his painting, the space becomes more visible, attracting the viewer’s attention to the materiality of the work. However, Barry has displayed two monochrome blue small square of canvas separated far enough to question the traditional definition of painting, where the space of the wall was an essential component of the work itself.
For the second show at Windham College, the same artists have been asked to create temporary, outdoor, site-specific sculptural installations on the college campus. Their works have turned to be specific for the outdoors, being created with material specific to the area and that would function just within the campus. The conclusive points of the lecture were on the difference between space and place, how space interacts, surrounds or becomes part of an art work; how place governs the specificity and location of a work within an environment.
And because is morning here and I like to bake, I made these gluten-free muffins with walnuts and pistachios. I am drinking my coffee and writing to you these thoughts. The muffins are best eaten still warm from the oven. If you need to make them a day ahead, store them in an airtight container. They are moist and taste indulgent and nutty, flavors taken from the gluten-free flours and toasted nuts. Every so often, reward yourself with these lemon-scented delights!
Muffins with pistachios and walnuts
Ingredients (makes 12 servings):
1 cup (125g) self-raising flour
1/4 cup (30g) corn meal
1/2 cup (50g) buckwheat flour
1/2 cup (100g) superfine sugar
1/2 cup warm milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
a pinch fine salt
1 teaspoon pistachio extract
1/2 stick unsalted butter (56g), melted and cooled
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 handfuls of roughly chopped and toasted walnuts and pistachios
1. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with muffin baking paper.
2. Place the flours, corn meal, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest and salt in a bowl and mix well. In another bowl, mix together the pistachio extract, melted butter, beaten eggs and 1/2 cup warm milk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, filling each cup to about 3/4 full.
3. Sprinkle the top of the muffins with the chopped nuts. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Top with strawberries if desired.