May 232012
 

After a bit of a blip, there’s a summery feel to the year once more, neatly coinciding with the opening of Paul Kenny’s new show O Hanami at Chris Beetles Fine Photographs.

Paul has been building this body of work since the harsh winter of 2010, as he explains in the show’s catalogue:

I was forced to stick close to home — trips to the beach were out of the question for about a month. This resulted in my field of vision being restricted; I was forced to work with the world around my feet. Teasing some scraps of natural material from under the snow or from the ice in the frozen garden pond, I began making a new body of work.

Printing this show has been a particular treat for me — we’ve worked together for four years now and each time the results of our collaboration simply seem to get better and better.

As with many of my posts these days, the images that follow are photographs I made of the prints themselves.  Hard to believe, perhaps, but true!

All made with the trusty combination of HP Vivera Pigment Ink and Hahnemühle Paper, the three-dimensional quality to Paul’s finished pieces really does need to be seen to be believed.

Paul Kenny, O Hanami edition prints for Chris Beetles Fine Photographs

Print Detail | ‘Iris Print’

Paul Kenny, O Hanami edition prints for Chris Beetles Fine Photographs

Print Detail | ‘Foxglove No.3′

Paul Kenny, O Hanami edition prints for Chris Beetles Fine Photographs

Print Detail | ‘Silver Leaf No.2′

So, why O Hanami? Paul describes:

In the spring of 1999 I travelled to Japan with a grant from the Sasakawa Foundation. While there I witnessed the phenomena of ‘O Hanami’, the festival honouring the brief, fleeting few days that cherry blossom covers the tree before being blown away by the wind.

I saw groups of businessmen sitting under the trees at lunchtime, applauding when the wind showered them with gossamer pink petal ‘snow’. I saw the TV special reports with ‘weather’ maps of the whole country with lines like isobars predicting the bursting out of blossom. The literal translation of O Hanami from the Japanese is ‘flower watching’, the more poetic translation is ‘the celebration of transient beauty’.

Paul Kenny, O Hanami edition prints for Chris Beetles Fine Photographs

Print Detail | ‘Seeing The Landscape With Honesty No.1′

Paul Kenny, O Hanami edition prints for Chris Beetles Fine Photographs

Print Detail | ‘Pink Square’

Paul Kenny, O Hanami edition prints for Chris Beetles Fine Photographs

Print Detail | ‘Forgot-Me-Not Summer’

Paul Kenny signs one of his O Hanami edition prints for Chris Beetles Fine Photographs

Paul signs ‘Seeing The Landscape With Honesty No.1′

O Hanami is at Chris Beetles Fine Photographs in London’s Swallow Street from 29th May to 30th June.

 

 Further Reading:

 

Since publishing this post, two leading industry figures have also written about Paul’s show…

David Anthony Hall was so struck by O Hanami that he has generously dedicated a page of his site to it, which you can read by clicking here.

Wayne Ford has also written a second post about Paul on his unrivalled photography blog.  Here’s an extract:

Throughout this breathtaking series, Kenny demonstrates a powerful connection with the landscape, a relationship through which he creates work of not only outstanding beauty but also emotional richness, that places him at the very forefront of land artists, with works of art that are so distinct they can only be categorised as like that of no other artist.

Read the full post by clicking here.

Share Your Thoughts

%d bloggers like this: