Uta Kogelsberger commission for Cumbria museums

Uta Kogelsberger commission for Cumbria museums

New Expressions commission for Cumbria

By Cumbria Museum Consortium

03 September 2015

Cumbria Museum Consortium venues: Abbot Hall Art Gallery, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust and Wordsworth Trust, have come together to take part in the Arts Council England funded New Expressions 3 Commissions.

These three leading arts venues jointly present new work by artist Uta Kögelsberger who has developed four interrelated pieces of work that establishes visual and conceptual links between the three venues and their collections as well as responding to the landscape and climate of Cumbria.

Inspired by the story of the last golden eagle living in England, Kögelsberger has developed a series of large-scale photographs of his un-hatched eggs that are part of the collection at Tullie House. Magnified on a scale of 1 to 300 the eggs begin to resemble planets, each bearing distinct characteristics different from the others. The photographs that act as evidence of the eagle’s failed attempts to reproduce bear testimony to unrealised potential, desire, hope and failure.

At Abbot Hall this series of egg ‘portraits’ will be complemented by two video projects. The first one takes its cue from the narrative of the lone eagle, who, since having lost his mate ten years ago, continues to build nests of ever increasing size and performs the eagle’s sky dance in failed attempts to attract a new mate. The ‘eagle project’ follows a birdwatcher who grapples with the impossibility of becoming invisible in order to achieve true observation and the very paradox that the closer you are trying to get to your subject, the less likely you are able to achieve this goal.

At Tullie House and Abbot Hall the second video develops in response to the climatic conditions of the region. Struck by the heavy rains during her repeated stays in the Lake District, Kögelsberger set out to develop a performative video that employs the rain itself as an active ingredient:  The ‘Stop the Rain Dance’ is a playful evocation of ancient rituals, myth and man's desire, often futile, to gain control over nature.

At Wordsworth Trust, Kögelsberger has created a large-scale exterior backdrop presenting the visitor with a permanent break in the clouds; an alternative reality to the picturesque setting of Dove Cottage. Referencing painted cinema backdrops as well as ubiquitous advertising hoardings the large-scale image is situated in the back yard of the Wordsworth Museum. The clouds take reference from one of the earliest romantic depictions of the Lake District, Philippe Jacques De Loutherbourg’s painting Belle Isle, Windermere in a Storm painted in 1785 and on show at Abbot Hall Art Gallery.

Uta Kögelsberger lives in London. Her work has been exhibited widely both in the UK and internationally including at Spacex, Exeter, Bluecoat, Liverpool, the European Sovereign Art Prize at the Barbican, London, Photofusion, London and The Glassell Project Space, MFAH, Houston, Texas in and Laurence Miller Gallery, NYC. Her project 'night vision' was published in an artist monograph with a text by Jean Paul Curnier.