01 July 2017

New shoes (and some art)

New = first time worn, even though they've been sitting around waiting for this moment for about three weeks. Would they be comfortable after a day's walking? (That's 10,000 or more steps, thanks to the gizmo on my wrist and my rather obsessive need to meet that goal every day.)

The new shoes found themselves crossing the bridleway in Hyde Park (not a horse in sight) -
 and pausing here and there at the V&A -
But what is it with feet?? Why, at the end of the day, does one middle-toe on one foot hurt, are feet that asymmetrical?

Since then the feet have carried me, in different shoes, to various art events. Exhibitions at the Photographers' Gallery (eerie and eventually terribly annoying pix taken in a small town in Massachusetts by ...had to look it up ... Gregory Crewdson), and the inspiring Dust exhibition at the Whitechapel (till 3 Sept) - I especially liked Kirk Palmer's video Murmur, and was intrigued by this newspaper cutting from 1950, as the directorship of Kew Gardens changed hands -
Would there be any trees in Kew Gardens in 2000?
Mayfair Arts Weekend offered various talks, and I went to three. First, on Milton Avery, who would go to Vermont for the summer and come back with 200 preliminary works, then spend the winter in his studio turning watercolours into oil paintings, informed also by drawings. (See the slideshow here.) These two  are based on time in Vermont - at a time when Abstract Expressionism was what other artists were doing -
 His simplification of treatment was very satisfying -
 By coincidence that day I also saw the Advanced Textiles show at City Lit, and again it was simplification of treatment that appealed to me -
Work by Yvonne Blackmore

Today's Mayfair Arts Weekend talks were by British coastal landscape artist Jeremy Gardiner, at the Paisnel Gallery - he works on handmade paper in mixed media, using collaged and printed elements, interesting -
 Then to Annely Juda to see Sigrid Holmwood make pigment from woad - it's called Mayan blue and was used by the Aztecs. Making it involves woad and a type of clay. The process involves picking, chopping, boiling, cooling, whisking (aerating), draining - and drying, washing, filtering, drying again ... fortunately she'd brought along some washed and filtered and dried pigment she'd prepared earlier. Heating it was the missing step, only rediscovered recently, that darkened the colour and made the pigment -
The exhibition is called The Peasants Are Revolting and Sigrid's peasant costume incorporates madder dyeing and screenprinting of the skirt with madder and cochineal. The pattern derives from esparto grass plaits traditionally made in Spain and it reappears in some of the paintings (see them here; the catalogue is online here, and the exhibition runs till 7 July).
Some of the woad growing in the gallery was harvested and used to make pigment
 My souvenir books and bag, courtesy of the generosity of the galleries -
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