Ancient and Contemporary Tools

Jordi Fornies Art on Scéalta Ealaíne
Jordi Forniés:  “Khuracaņā”, resin, iron and bronze powder, 2019

It’s so dark these days, it’s that old ‘anti-cyclonic gloom’ that keeps our little island shrouded in a damp, miserable blanket of cloud for most of the winter – so I thought I’d cheer it up with a sunburst by Jordi Forniés.

It’s not really a sunburst – it’s actually based on a workman’s brush – and it’s one of a group of works that are on display in the Olivier Cornet Gallery at the moment.

These are pieces that were inspired by Jordi’s sojourn in rural Punjab, India.  While he lived there, he made friends with some of the local farmers and he became fascinated by their everyday tools, both ancient and contemporary.

“These tools are truly stunning pieces”, he writes in the catalogue, “made of metal or wood, with incredible shapes, forms and imperfections that naturally occur with use and with the passage of time… ”

Farmer's tools from the Punjab
Image from the online catalogue

Echoes of these shapes and textures can be discerned in the various pieces by Jordi in his latest body of work.

Now, I’ve used the term “pieces” and “works” here because that’s the first question to ask about this exhibition:  What are these works?  The materials used include: resin, iron and bronze powder, bitumen, concrete, latex, gesso and oil. The pieces hang on the wall, they look like ceramic objects but – are they actually paintings?

Bhati, artwork by Jordi Fornies 2019
Jordi Forniés: “BHATHI”, resin, iron powder, gesso & oil, 2019

It turns out that these “works” were first created virtually, on a computer. Then they were printed out from a 3D printer and then, they were finally painted by hand to create the subtle effects and textures that we see.

Jordi writes in his artist’s statement about three-dimensionality in painting, how some artists over the years have stuck ‘found objects’ into their paintings while others mixed sand or plaster etc into the paint to add physical volume. So, with the advent of this new technology, it was a logical step for the artist to experiment with it and to incorporate 3D printing into his practice.

Yes, you could call them 3D paintings, I suppose.  But when you view the works, you don’t think about how they were created, you are immediately captivated by the wealth of artistry and then, slowly drawn in by the subtle colours and minute details.

The exhibition continues until the 20th of December. Your comments are always welcome, down below…

Jordi Forniés’s Exhibition

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