18 December 2017

10 years ago

At the end of November, 2007, I posted about the monoprinting course that Tony and I attended at City Lit. It was his first adult-ed course, despite my continual recommendations, and after that ice-breaker he went on to do many more - digital photography, video editing, bookbinding. And we even went to a dance "taster" together, but somehow didn't follow up on that...

Some of these monoprinted fabrics have reappeared over the years, and others are still lurking, waiting to be rediscovered.


City Lit had a two-Sunday workshop on monoprinting, led by Sharon Finmark. What fun to be in the print room with the presses and drying racks:
Working away with our palettes and plates and brayers:
On the second day, most people were using colour:Tony used leaves picked up in the street as a resist:The brayer leaves marks of varying weight:I used black ink both days - and came up with a lot of "rain" prints, on paper:and on fabric:In the week between sessions, I stitched a little piece to be used for printing, first with ordinary thread and then with thread almost too thick to fit through the needleand found the back went all loopyBoth sides were useful for printing - especially on tissue paper.The oil in the ink will eventually rot fabric, but I printed some fabric anyway -Overall, these are my favourites -

17 December 2017

Gloomy Sunday in or near Knightsbridge

A walk through Green Park and Hyde Park to the V&A.
The Serpentine

Go easy on the eyeliner, fellahs

Rose Wiley at Serpentine Sackler gallery

(click photo to enlarge)

Canvases patched, spliced, layered
In 1928 the V&A was given a collection of 16th century stained glass, mainly from the workshop of Gerhard Remisch, from Steinfeld and Mariawald Abbey, which was closed in 1802. Says the V&A: "In the nineteenth century, after the 1798 French Revolution and during the Napoleonic Wars that followed, huge quantities of stained glass were removed from churches and monasteries in France and Germany. England became the primary market for this glass. John Christopher Hampp (1750-1825), a German cloth merchant who had settled in Norwich in 1782, and his partner William Stevenson were responsible for bringing to England much of the continental glass now to be found throughout the country. Much of this continental glass was used in churches to replace the glass destroyed during the sixteenth-century Reformation. Quantities of it were also set in the windows of private residences and chapels of the newly rich industrialists and by the mid-nineteenth century there was a well-established tradition of stained glass collecting in England. "

On the right, beyond the blue reflections, is St Simeon in the temple beholding the holy spirit - the dove was a sign that he would see Christ before he died -
 Looking more closely, and having just puzzled over Rose Wylie's paintings, I found these panels puzzling in a different way ... that man with the staff, for instance, what's he doing there ... and why does the statue of Moses(?) have horns ...
 Both panels are filled with a concatenation of fantastic architecture -

 ... and just look at the shapes of the glass, some of them very tiny ...
As I headed for the tube, the 12,000 light bulbs of Harrods tried valiantly to cut through the late-afternoon greyness -

16 December 2017

Seen in galleries

At Pace till 22 Dec, Impulse - radical abstract painting from the United States in the 1960s and '70s - including sculptural painting (confusing!) by Sam Gilliam; also in the show, Kenneth Noland, Morris Louis, Frank Bowling, Ed Clark -
 At Redfern Gallery, extended till 21 Dec, collages by Francis Davison -

New use for old envelopes!
Coming out of the gallery, we suddenly noticed the pavement, similar shapes as in the collages -
 Next door is Flowers Gallery, with its annual Small is Beautiful show (till 6 Jan) -
 Some groups of three -

15 December 2017

Snow on woodblock prints

Hasui Kawase, Zojoji Temple in Snow, 1922 (via)
Hasui Kawasi (1883-1957), Snow at Tsukijima, 1930
(via, which has more of his snowy images)
Shiro Kasamatsu (1898-1991)
Shimano District (In the Snow), 1964 (via)
Raizan Negoro (artist's name of Kawatsura Yoshio) (1880-1963)
Asakusa Temple in Snow, 1922 (via)

Takahashi Biho (b.1873), Sparrow in Snow, 1930s (via)
Iwao Akiyama (1921 – 2014)
Monk in Snow, 1988 (via)
Image result for japanese woodblock prints snow scenes -pinterest
Kyoshi Saito (1907-1997), Shovels (via)

Kamisaka Sekka (1866 - 1942)
Tomoe no Yuki (Monk in Whirling Snow), 1901 (via)
That's enough for now - there are so many more, including by Hokusai and Hiroshige and other ukiyo-e artists.

14 December 2017

Poetry Thursday - Microbial Museum by Maya Chowdhry

Gas bubbles in Antarctic ice. Photo: NASA
"reservoirs of extinct creatures" (via)
Microbial Museum
April ship sets sail, sea freezes ripples, leaves Rothera
behind. One hundred and fifty thousand years of snowfall in
cylindrical samples, bubble-wrapped, boxed in styrofoam,
cores wrenched from ice caverns to Immingham.
Drill incises annulus ice cuttings spiral surface. Statistics
held in water vapour measure up to eons of weather.
Blueprints of other lives, the oldest ice sequesters
reservoirs of extinct creatures resurrected.
Suspending cable sonars frozen microbial cells
immortal bugs from bacteriasicles emerge, grow, divide.
Prehistoric pestilence thaws, allows ancient genes to mix with
modern ones. Skiing genotype slaloms through DNA markers,
mutating the ocean, creeping into the unsuspecting cells
of species climbing the ladder to life.
The future is thawed, dispatched into a white out.
- Maya Chowdhry (via)

"Finding the poetry in scientific vocabulary, this work is alive to the marvels of its discoveries as well as the ecological peril it reports" is how the Guardian, where this poem appeared, sums it up. Here, Carol Rumens gives background and gently unpicks the poem, helping us make sense of the terse style (like a scientist's notebook). The comments from readers, at the ed of the article, often take a poetic route themselves.

Maya Chowdhry devotes her recent poetry collection, Fossil (2016), to investigating, "with wit and precision", unusual geological phenomena and the life cycles of various species, but her larger goal is public and eco-political. Her recent work explores the juxtaposition and conflicts of new technologies with the ‘natural world’ - she uses film, text, animation, photography, augmented reality and the web. Her work has been exhibited in and around canals, in public gardens, theatres, galleries, the web and on television. See some of it here.

13 December 2017

Latest enthusiasm

Continuing with the "overlapping people" idea - playing around to see where it might go....

Possibly the first attempt is the best so far - and I've now abandoned my "no peeking" rule to try to place the components "interestingly", based on what's gone on in the "blind" versions - contrast of scale, for one thing ... and it helps to have arms and legs visible.

That latter has led to concentration on the sports pages, which often show the whole body, in action - so the shapes are interesting, arms and legs all over the place! Spot the footballers here, and spot the politician -
This morning I leapt out of bed, in a hurry to get on with it -

Layering up tissue paper and cutting out shapes from the newspaper. Tissue paper to see if there were interesting colour blends in the overlaps ... no, not transparent enough - it might work with colouring in the drawn shapes with watercolour, or (on fabric) thinned acrylic.

Pastel colours? for sports"men"? I kinda like that....

I also like the idea of fitting in a bit of "footballer's dream" glamour ... add some more contrast ...
These shapes would all be intersecting black outlines (the glamour girl in white?) or else pastel solids, overlapping. Maybe. If it ever gets further than this initial enthusiasm ... if I can continue to focus on it for a bit.