31 May 2017

Bill's Silver River - revisited again

Since 2004 I've been fascinated by the meandering river called Cuckmere, after seeing Bill Brandt's moody, stripped-back photo, taken in 1963. I used it as inspiration for a quilt for some challenge or other, made of layers of sheer fabric and net.

In 2010, out for a drive, we came upon Cuckmere unexpectedly and I wrote about trying to photograph the scene from a moving car.

Third time lucky - photography is easier from the top of a bus, especially when Sunday traffic is slow -
Travelling eastward, 3pm

Travelling westward, 6pm
The quilt made in 2004 now hangs in the house of friends, just a few miles from the river

During my previous stay I was taken on a walk from the coast guard cottages at the river mouth

along the river to a lovely pub - which turns out to be on the No.12 bus route (Brighton to Eastbourne).

Wordless Wednesday: half-term outing

30 May 2017

DrawingTuesday - Brunei Gallery

The current exhibition is "Celebrating Art and Music" (till 24 June). First, a wander round...
Dancer (stencil?)

Burmese harps

A scene from the Ramayana (paint on cotton) - Prince Rama
is defeating the ogre in a fierce battle

Musical instruments
What caught my eye, with a view to the "gridded" theme for JQs, was this screen ... and I struggled with it ...

 So drawing the kora was a relief. An ethnographical film made in the Gambia in 1970, at the start of the Super 8 era, by Roderic Knight was playing in the background, showing how a kora was made and how its making fitted into village life in terms of it having a "godmother" and a celebration when it was finished.
Janet B found the large harp wouldn't fit on just the one page -
 Najlaa fitted smaller instruments on smaller pages -
 Judith's pages held large metal sculptures of dancers (by Sokari Douglas Camp) -
 Whereas Carol went out in the Japanese roof garden -
 and Michelle too had a gardenish theme, with a frottage composition -

Extracurricular activity: Janet B has been drawing at the vet school again -
Polar bear

29 May 2017

Art I like - Caroline Achaintre

Caroline Achaintre works in tufting, ceramics, drawing, fabric sculpture, and other media. Here she is in her studio in 2014, as seen in Tate etc magazine -
In that article she says: "I work with the mask in the widest sense, using ceramics and textiles. My tufted works always depict more than one being. There is the fa├žade of the surface, and then the question of who is behind it. I was interested in the psychological aspect of what you see in these objects: they have anthropomorphic features, but they are not abstract, and not yet figurative; a multilayering of multi-personalities."

Some more of the tufted work (images from her website) - 
Insider, 2007

Om Nom Ore, 2015
 And an installation (2011)  with "Zibra" -
Three ceramic pieces -
Drawings -
Air Hair, 2014 (via)
Recently her work was in the Making & Unmaking exhibition June-Sept last year - large padded flat shapes made of african fabrics, pinned up on the wall. No photography allowed in that exhibition, but I did a quick drawing -
Another "F.Ritz" was in a show in Brussels last year -

A wild and wonderful and bold and audacious use of textiles as an art medium.

28 May 2017

The thrill of the mill

After poking round Rottingdean - checking out the charity shops, buying a mango, seeing the Burne Jones windows in St Margaret's church, lunching in the garden designed by Gertrud Jekyll and visiting the museum in the Lutyens-enhanced house - I made my way to Beacon Hill and the windmill for one of the open studios that are part of the Brighton Festival. The panorama's waviness reflects the windiness of the day -
 The mill, a smock mill, is a wonderful object -

 inside as well as outside -
 The show was by artist-in-residence The Baron Gilvan.
 Bits of mill machinery were interspersed with the paintings ...
Upstairs was space enough to show a film of the work being made, sometimes with a huge, long stick of charcoal -

The artist was wearing a coordinating hand-painted shirt.

26 May 2017

From the South Coast

Slight trauma today when I went to use the camera on my phone and found it wasn't working - just a black screen. And the phone was eating up battery, and was hot all the time. 

Fortunately I also had my "old camera" in the bag and took photos of the wonderful white cliffs with birds nesting in the cracks, and the shadows of seagulls, soaring in the blue blue sky, undulating over the chalky verticality ... but as I'm not at my own home I don't have my laptop with its photo-processing capability. 

We'll just have to make do with fewer photos for a while.

The walk under the cliffs took me westward into Brighton, where the beach was densely populated in parts. 
 I walked down to the water's edge, took off my espadrilles, and limped into the shallow water ... quite cold! ... then had an agonising walk back up to the dry part of the shingle to let the feet dry and put the shoes back on. How lovely to have shoes on for the rest of the walk over those hard stones.

And how lovely to leave all that heaving humanity and the fried-food smells and the  noise of traffic and be back, up the hill, in the quiet of bungalow-land, sitting in the garden reading and communing with the cat.
Who - was it the heat? - didn't seem to have much appetite, and is staying out very late tonight. There are suspicions he's being fed elsewhere. The cat-flap is open, but I won't sleep well without the cat safely inside the house.

Going out at intervals to call him showed more and more stars, a wonderful sight that we miss in London's urban glow.

As for the problems with phone camera - if it happens to you, turn it off and turn it on again - it worked for me.

25 May 2017

Poetry Thursday - Delight of Being Alone by DH Lawrence

"humming in the wind" (via)

Delight of Being Alone

I know no greater delight than the sheer delight of being alone.
It makes me realise the delicious pleasure of the moon
that she has in travelling by herself: throughout time,
or the splendid growing of an ash-tree
alone, on a hillside in the north, humming in the wind.

- D H Lawrence (1885-1930)

Found first in my "Trees be company" book, then on the tumblr pages of The Woodland Trust, which have a multitude of tree(and wildlife) pictures, some with short texts - well worth a browse.

24 May 2017

Books in their new, happy home

After the renovation of the living room, some bookcases needed building. The first one is now ready - this is the during and after of the story... it's been so long, I've completely forgotten the "before".
First, check that the walls are level (they aren't, says the laser level)

The carcass is in place

Setting up for spray painting

The spray booth in use

It adds that je ne sais quoi to the room (as do the towers of toolboxes)

In the "carpentry workshop", shelves have been sprayed with undercoat

The cases are ready

Impressive detailing!

The first books are in place

Waiting for the shelves to dry before more books can be added
The Domestic Carpenter has been so busy ... but he pulled out all the stops for my birthday and this is what I saw on the morning -
 By mid-afternoon, some of the books behind the chairs had found their way onto the shelves and it was time for a little hiatus -
 Today the rest of the shelves were filled and the piles of books moved to an empty stretch of wall. And the position of the rug adjusted a little, along with some thorough hoovering -
The cookbooks on the ladder are going ... where ...
 When the furniture was replaced, it looked like this -
Oh! Where did all those paperbacks come from?
I'm trying to feel comfortable sitting at the desk with my back to the room and with so much space either side as well. (All the books etc that I know are lurking behind the red chairs are a bit off-putting.)

My fervent hope is that the Domestic Carpenter will, having made one bookcase, be able to whip up another in the very near future.

 The worst case scenario is to get some white Billy bookcases from Ikea.