Research

Ideas Factory - Primary Research

Animism

animism
noun
 
  1. 1.
    the attribution of a living soul to plants, inanimate objects, and natural phenomena.
  2. 2.
    the belief in a supernatural power that organizes and animates the material universe.
    "beneath the veneer of Hindu religion, ancient animism runs strong"
     
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"Animist beliefs can also be expressed through artwork. For instance, among the Maori communities of New Zealand, there is an acknowledgment that creating art through carving wood or stone entails violence against the wood or stone person, and that the persons who are damaged therefore have to be placated and respected during the process; any excess or waste from the creation of the artwork is returned to the land, while the artwork itself is treated with particular respect. Harvey therefore argued that the creation of art among the Maori was not about creating an inanimate object for display, but rather a transformation of different persons within a relationship." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animism#In_art_and_literature

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Rui Matsunaga’s practice is founded in Asian folklore and story-telling. Her paintings are a window into a fantastical realm, a world inhabited by frenzied and at times grotesque characters - foxes, rabbits and ogres, drawn from traditional Japanese myth but immediately familiar to Western eyes - as they dance, play, revel, and cavort. Born in Japan, Rui studied a the Royal Academy Schools and the Central Saint Martins College of Art. She has exhibited widely, including in the John Moores and Celeste Art Prize.

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Nadege Meriau takes organic subject matter - food, plants, insects, vegetation - and re-presents it to disorientate the viewer. Utilising photography, sculpture and installation, central to her practice is the concept of dwelling, drawing out parallels between manmade and organic architecture. Exploring in particular notions of the sublime, her work shows nature creeping into the cracks in contemporary urban living. Nadege was shortlisted for the Bloomberg New Contemporaries and the Conran Award in 2011, nominated for the Arts Foundation Fellowship 2012, the Arles Prix Decouverte 2012 and more recently the Prix Pictet 2014. 

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Mimei Thompson paints the underdog: the overlooked, the humble, and the ridiculed; the disgusting and the discarded. There is no hierarchy in Mimei’s practice. Wise owls and humanoid apes sit alongside a chorus of snails, moths, and flies. Weeds are painted alongside rhododendrons. Each is painted with the same empathy and gentle humour, drawing out their intrinsic nature of her subject. Mimei studied at Glasgow School of Art, Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art. She has been selected for Jerwood Contemporary Painters and the Marmite Painting Prize, and three of her works were bought for the Arts Council England Collection. She lives and works in London.  //

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