Persona November, 17th 2022 by

   World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 389 - Vivian Mac Gillavry

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World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 389 – Vivian Mac Gillavry

At the second edition of the Amsterdam Pop-up Print Gallery in NDSM Fuse Amsterdam I saw several beautiful and intriguing works. Include etchings in black and white by Vivian Mac Gillavry of botanical phenomena and forms. Branches, below ground, above ground, and skies, at least it could be that.

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When I speak to her she says that she has a fascination for shapes, systems and patterns. “For example, patterns of ramifications. My graduation work for the Rietveld Academy was about this theme. I looked at similar patterns that appear in different forms in everyday life, for example a river delta network seen from the air or a vein network in the human body. I have a background in cultural anthropology and am currently reading the work of anthropologist Tim Ingold who in this book depicts a world where everything and everyone is made up of intertwined or interconnected lines. Lines, networks and grids are an important starting point for me.”

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Pattern of fungi and mycelial networks

This is how she views the world, in an abstract way. “I hope to convey my own fascination to the viewer. After my final exams, I did a residency at AGA LAB. It is a place of creation and laboratory for cross-pollination in the field of technology, material and image. I have concentrated on the pattern of fungi and mycelial networks. I did that with etchings, with which you can build depth and layering in the image.

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The whole world is made up of networks and lines. Merlin Sheldrake has written a book about the network system of fungi, ‘Entangled Life’. In it, he describes how the mycelial network functions as a fabric that holds a large part of the world together.”

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“The best-known part of such a network can be encountered, for example, during a forest walk in the form of mushrooms. Remarkable is the attention for what comes above the ground (in the form of mushrooms) and less for the network without solid shapes under the ground. Such a mycelial network can be gigantic. The largest mycelium is located in Oregon in America and occupies an area of 10 square kilometers. In the etchings in the exhibition I have imagined what that world might look like under the ground.”



Her graduation research was her coming out to art, she says. “In 2021 I graduated with the work ‘Ramifications’ (which means, among other things, embranchments). It is a kind of installation consisting of metal sculptures, large drawings and combinations in between. It is a key work. As a result of this work I ended up in many other places. I was asked for a mini-residence at KW37 in Arnhem, where I worked for a week with sculptors, metal- and woodworkers. I was also scouted by Sprouts Young Talent of the SBK Amsterdam for their annual ‘Best of graduates’ exhibition in Loods 6. Through that exhibition I came into contact with other places such as AGA LAB, The work Ramifications feels to me as an essential element in my overall work and in my career path.”

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Vivian Mac Gillavry has been an artist since she graduated from the Rietveld Academy in 2021. Before that, she studied Cultural Anthropology at the VU, specializing in Material Culture. She graduated with ‘Te Hono Ki Aotearoa, Can the waka be seen as an ‘ambassador project’ and represent Maori people?’

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What is her experience of the art life?

“I’ve only graduated from Rietveld for a little over a year. The first year is a lot of fun but also complicated at times. There is not one art world, but there are several art worlds. I am figuring out in which world(s) I want to enter.”

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Finally, what is her philosophy?

“I think that visual work gives space to show the beauty of the everyday or the inconspicuous. Things that you pass by so quickly, or that don’t require much attention. So again rhythm, form and structures, things that are difficult to capture in words. It is also nice that art gives a different image, which is not necessarily committed, or is close on the heels of current affairs.”

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1) Etching Mycelia, 2) Etching Roots, 3) Etching Roots, 4) Etching Verne, 5) Ramifications 2, 6) Ramifications 3, 7) Ramifications, 8) Ramifications1, Photo by Franzi Mueller, 9) Ramifications, overview, photo by Franzi Mueller, 10) portrait Vivian Mac Gillavry

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