Thursday, 19 August 2010


Amy reminded me of a student that appeared on the BBC2 programme School of Saatchi in our meeting yesterday.

In the programme, six artists were given their final, and most important, project - to put on a "one night only" group show at the Saatchi Gallery in London.

They were given three weeks to create the artwork and organise the event. At the show, Saatchi's original selection panel - artist Tracey Emin, critic and broadcaster Matthew Collings, art collector Frank Cohen and Barbican curator Kate Bush - reassembled to help him make his decision.

They were hugely impressed by the standard of work on display but could select just one artist's work. Charles Saatchi and the panel unanimously agreed that Eugenie Scrase's 'Trunkated' Trunk was the most outstanding piece in the exhibition.

Twenty-year-old Eugenie, the youngest artist taking part in the series, is currently studying Fine Art Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art in London. Her sculptures and installations are often formed out of found objects.

Whilst walking in East London, Eugenie came across a section of tree trunk which had fallen and become impaled on a fence when the tree was been cut down. After a bit of detective work, she found out the fence was on land belonging to a housing association and managed to persuade them to let her remove this section of fencing.

Talking about 'Trunkated Trunk', Tracey Emin said it was a "genius idea. Some artists could see that but they'd never have the confidence to go ahead and do it."

Rebecca Wilson, who works with Charles Saatchi and featured in the series, commented: "Charles thought it was a completely bold, brave move on her part. Some of the most exciting work in contemporary art is not necessarily made by the artist, but it's the ideas that come from the artist and it was Eugenie's idea and it was a brilliant one."

'Trunkated Trunk' has been in place at The Hermitage since Saatchi's exhibition 'Newspeak' launched there in October, but now her name will be revealed by the artwork. As well as having her work appear on the world stage, Eugenie has also been given a free studio for three years by Charles Saatchi and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Speaking about the whole experience, Eugenie said: "I'm so grateful for Charles Saatchi providing such a great opportunity, gallery space in Russia and studio space. It's mind-blowing. I'm really, really happy."

This piece caused quiet a lot of controversy as to whether it should be classed as art as Eugenie found the piece whilst walking through London one day. Saatchi claims that the fact she had the balls to ask the Housing Association if she could remove the piece and place it in a gallery was a touch on genius in itself. I am unsure as to its place in art - the piece itself is interesting to look at and it does provoke questions about the artist (if there ever was one) and its reason for being there. Because of this alone I feel that it should be allowed its place in a gallery. As we all know art is very much a personal interpretation. But do we class this piece as art... you tell me?

We could argue that the artists of this piece was the tree surgeon or person that cut the tree down in the first place.

This though has reminded me of my reasons for producing my final outcomes and it is ironic that one of my pieces could mirror something very similar to the above - the only difference will be that there is a narrative to what I will be producing and hopefully a more clear reasoning behind what the piece is trying to relay to the viewer.

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