It’s more often the folk of the Far East who get to appreciate exhibitions by Chorleywood based conceptual artist Wayne Warren than us Brits. But now the tide has turned. Warren, who shows his own art worldwide and extensively in Japan, China and Australia is currently curating an exhibition in Chenies Manor House with a flavour of the eastern world. East meets West features artists from UK, Japan, China and Australia with much of the artwork inspired by or linked to the history of the Tudor Manor.
“So many things originate from China.. tea, silk, paper, ceramics. We have rolls of paper and silk flowers in the entrance hallway and, in the sitting room, vintage willow pattern china that belongs to Chenies Manor juxtaposed with a modern pot by painter/ceramicist Dan Baldwin which has a bird in relief echoing the doves in the traditional Chinoiserie pattern. In the Billiard Room paintings from Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama have a theme of identity – one shows her dressed as Alice in Wonderland, another by Nara uses rubber and means yes /no as in Yin Yang.
There’s a contemporary bronze by British Pop sculptor Clive Barker that mimics an ancient philosopher’s a scholar’s rock, a ceramic Buddha figure in Chinoiserie pattern and traditional ‘bound feet’ women’s shoes made as a ceramic; worn-out boots collected and cast into bronze. One bronze of linked figures reminds us of Henry VIII and his six wives and their connection with Chenies Manor. Out in the garden a traditional Chinese wooden acupuncture figure by Australian Tony Scott is mounted on the wall in the Physic Garden –it’s an a interplay of eastern Medicine and the medicinal plants growing in the garden. My colleague John Wright and I have built a structure referencing a Chinese pagoda near the trees .. It is a virtual pagoda in effect as the shadow falls on the ground.“
The whole installation gives an added reason to visit Chenies Manor this season. It is thought provoking, says Warren, and a great way of involving the public in art in a stunning setting on our doorstep
“ I have always wanted the public to access art and East meets West complements the spirit and history of the Manor House. “
East meets West at Chenies Manor House and Gardens by Edge Projects is curated by Wayne Warren and runs until June 2017