Night Fishing On The Nagara
$5,000 - 7,700 Each ( price range from 1 - 6 )
Proudly presented in association with Fox Jensen Gallery
Natalie Guy’s work lovingly intertwines the familiar, traditional and nostalgic through a homage, of sorts, to the international :lavour of Japanese Ikebana and Zen gardens, and the loaded symbolism that accompanies modernity.
The lanterns we see are placed right on the lake edge, almost like flattened, indestructible lily pads, are infused with history. Guy’s work is based on the innovations of Isamu Noguchi, who, in 1951, visited the Japanese town of Gifu, known for its manufacture of lanterns and umbrellas from the mulberry bark paper and bamboo. Fascinated with the subtle shimmer of the lanterns illuminating the night fishers on the Nagara River, Noguchi designed the first ‘Akari’ lamps. Akari, meaning light as illumination, but also implying the idea of weightlessness, embodies the effects of Guy’s artwork perfectly - the visualisation and subversion of tradition, nostalgia and modernity.
Guy utilises the premise of the Akari lanterns in her bronze casts, flattening the form and reversing the traditional characteristics of light and weightlessness through the darkened bronze patina. Slight detailing in the surface texture of the works echoes ripples in water, a visual play on what one might see when lightly touching a pond-surface with one finger. Her work will eventually move through processes of natural verdigris over time, especially with the water being in such close proximity; the pieces will eventually turn pale green.
In her work, Guy chooses bronze material that gives longevity to the lantern forms, dematerialising the traditional memory of the original, but not necessarily its legacy. Night Fishing on the Nagara acts as poignant mementos, achieving the sensitivity that Guy consistently identifies in the most successful modernist aesthetics.