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.
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’.”
O Hanami is at Chris Beetles Fine Photographs in London’s Swallow Street from 29th May to 30th June.
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.
I’ve enjoyed busy times in the studio of late and simply had to share this new work from Paul Kenny—a peony and tulip as you’ve never seen them before.
As ever, I enjoy the stunning three-dimensional sensation I am able to achieve with my HP DJZ3200 and Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm. I hope these images manage to convey that sensation to you too…
Paul’s collection of new work is evolving along exciting new avenues. Here are two of his latest pieces, Fritillary, which I have made as Archival Pigment Prints on Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm for him.
As ever, the prints carry an extraordinary three-dimensional quality…
Paul explains the work further:
“One of the roots of this work is a trip I made to Japan many years ago during the blossom season.
“They have a kind of ancient rite, called O Hanami, which involves journeying into the landscape and sitting under blossom trees, simply to have the pleasure of letting swirls of petals drift over them.
“The translation of O Hanami is “The celebration of transient beauty”…it might end up as the title of this work.
“These two new pieces are made using petals from a snake’s head fritillary. I used to have a poster of a Charles Rennie Macintosh drawing of them and that’s in there somewhere too.”
Just as with his Seaworks, Paul Kenny’s latest camera-less imagery continues to strike a chord among his audience. Such is the interest, two shows have already been lined up for the coming year, more news of which will follow soon.
For the moment, the seawater samples are put to one side as Paul returns to his forays with leaves, picking up where he left off many years ago.
Here is Paul’s latest piece with the simple working title of Hydrangeas:
I am, as ever, very pleased to have printed this for Paul using HP’s Designjet Z3200 and Hahnemühle Bamboo 290gsm.
A truly archival ink and paper combination, with permanence ratings in excess of 250 years under normal display conditions:
Regular visitors to these pages last year will be no stranger to a special client of mine, Paul Kenny. His roots lie in the Manchester suburb of Salford and this post coincides with an online interview.
This week, I’ve been printing with Paul on the beginnings of a new body of work – ‘Field of Vision’.
The first two pieces comprised of Hosta leaves are now made and, on this Friday afternoon, I thought you might like to share in them.
The Archival Pigment prints look as gorgeous as ever with HP’s Vivera Pigment inkset on Hahnemühle Bamboo 290gsm (do take a look in the sidebar on the right for links to further information)…