Almost no formal plans or models will be found in this exhibition. Balmond fills the start of the exhibition site with many photographs and drawings with the intention of creating an exhibition that hones each visitor's senses and makes him or her think of using their body, rather than gaining understanding by reading information.
With an eye on the nature around him, Balmond finds the underlying order and rhythm that resides within nature - not just its superficial beauty - and develops that into geometry. Although based on simple rules, the nature that surrounds us displays amazing richness and complexity. Take, for example, the way a tree grows by recursively branching outwards or the way the veins of a leaf spread out to cover every nook and cranny. Adopting Balmond's point of view that nature has been wonderfully designed from the outset, Gallery 1 allows visitors to experience the elements of nature and enjoy the beautiful rhythms hidden deep within it.
The thing is, what do I look at? On the surface, colours and the shape that greet me; but if I keep staring another picture enters, blurred, losing detail. Only certain features remain which give character, like a certain cast to the face or gleam in the eye. If I look further the focus leads to more loss, as if the retinal image can not hold.
Surprisingly, other shapes emerge. An inner eye engages and the spirit behind the body takes over. The snapshot is the first gateway; then a sketch takes me through the second, intent on character. Beyond this the deeper feature is caught only in a diagram, more a concept of the thing than the actuality.
Image Top and Bottom:© Prestel Verlag, Munich - Berlin - London - New York 2007
Middle left: Sketch for Coimbla Footbridge
Middle right: Coimbla Footbridge, 2006 photo: Christian Richiter