The founder Chair of RaAM, Professor Lynne Cameron, now works as a professional artist and is currently Senior Fellow and Artist-in-Residence at the Cinepoetics – Center for Advanced Film Studies, Berlin. The RaAM conference provides an opportunity to see her artworks in an exhibition, with a metaphor dimension.
The exhibition takes its title from a series of paintings made in 2012, after a research visit to conflict transformation projects in Kenya. The abstract images were inspired by the wide skies of the Rift Valley, by the colours of clothes worn by the young men we interviewed, and by the stories they told, both terrible and hopeful. The term ‘landscape of possibility’ in complex systems theory refers to a multi-dimensional graph describing all possible trajectories of a system. It provides a particularly resonant metaphor for peace-building within social systems involving conflict, and for paintings inspired by this work. “Landscapes of Possibility 1” was chosen for RaAM conference publicity.
Other works in the exhibition have been produced in Berlin over the last six months, and are influenced by the experience of moving to a new city and working in Cinepoetics. Recent works on canvas are accompanied by paintings on paper. These use a new technique that I call ‘dynamic painting’ and that starts from colour. Through several layers, the painting moves from intuitive laying on of colour to more formal considerations of composition, form, and contrast. The process of dynamic painting is often accompanied by poetic expression in words. Sometimes words and phrases are incorporated into the image and sometimes texts produced during painting are refined into poems. Examples of the poems are presented alongside the paintings.
Attending an art exhibition can often be an uncomfortable experience, including standing on hard floors and walking long distances. As a result, viewers often pass paintings very quickly, not really seeing what is in front of them. In the RaAM exhibition, I want visitors to have the opportunity to spend time comfortably with the paintings. In line with my current thinking about the poetic emergence of metaphor, some short activities of ‘deep looking’ are offered to exhibition visitors. These invite the viewer to explore a painting in depth and attend to aspects of the art that might otherwise pass unnoticed.