31 October 2017

Drawing Tuesday - Prism exhibition

We visited the exhibition by textile group Prism, held at Hoxton Arches. A wonderful variety of work -

My first subject was "Architecture" by Tansy Blaik-Kelly -
Then the jolly flowers (sorry, forgot to note the artist) with silver bells up the stems and cockle shells on the "ground" -
(At home, further work enlivened the drawing, but the colours depended on the crayons in my bag on the day -)

 And finally an attempt at "Somewhen" by Consuelo Simpson, based on a land-surveying chain -

Jo's wall, outside the gallery
Joyce and Carol were both drawn to a series of machine-stitched landscape vignettes, displayed as a long scroll - or perhaps "stack" describes the format better -
Inspiration from the machine stitched landscapes by Amanda Hislop

Another interpretation of the landscape scroll
Judith generally carries black paper and white crayon
Janet K enjoyed the "pots"

Meanwhile, in Paris, Janet B was fitting drawing into her touristic schedule, but I'm having problems downloading photos from emails so they'll have to wait till next time.

Extracurricular activities -
Carol's felted, stiffened vessel

Sue had been to Cafe Sketchers at St Pancras station

Nice book, good cause

For years Fine Cell Work has been doing a sterling job in prisons, teaching prisoners a new skill - sewing - and giving them something do in their cells, not to mention the benefits of learning a skill, and making something beautiful, on self-esteem.

Now they have published a book on the Sleep Quilt project, which involved 70 people in eight prisons. The quilt - a prizewinner at Festival of Quilts in 2015 - consists of 63 squares exploring what sleep means to their makers, and was commissioned by Tracy Chevalier. The squares are shown on separate pages of the book, alongside quotes from their makers.

The book is published today; all proceeds go to Fine Cell Work.
The Sleep Quilt’s Kickstarter initiative ends mid-November. The link is: http://bit.ly/TheSleepQuiltKickstarter

30 October 2017

What the post brought

This book was expected - indeed, eagerly awaited -
 This was a surprise -
"Prescriptions" was the artists books exhibition at Canterbury Museum (The Beaney) last year, and this is the catalogue, a splendid production. There are essays in the initial session (read them here) and then the works are shown........
Mine! - "Suturing"
 Some of the people from my MA group had work in the show -
Karen Apps

Christine Pereira Adams

George Cullen

Egidija Ciricaite

Janet Marie Bradley
Special thanks to Egidija for letting us know about this opportunity, and for all her work on the exhibition and catalogue.

Also arriving in the post, a mysterious black envelope saying "Art Happens" - that turned out to be my "reward" for contributing to the crowdfunding of the May Morris exhibition at the William Morris Museum, Walthamstow (till Jan 28) -
A lovely tote bag!
 The post also brought a card with friendly news from the Orkneys -
Such riches! "It never rains but it pours"...

29 October 2017

Continuing the "chimneypots" project

The highlight of the week was stumbling, in my getting-enough-steps obsession, upon a shop-studio space about 10 mins walk away that "rents out" kiln space. They'll let me try out my porcelain pots in their kiln. Some experimentation with kiln temperatures and perhaps bisque firing will be necessary...

Now it just needs some pots sewing, dipping, drying, and taking there for the trials. Not exactly the work of a moment, as I'm thinking of doing a series of much the same thing processed in different, controlled and recorded, ways, to figure out What Works Best. 

But somehow, and crazily, I think this part of the project needs all previous pots to be got out, looked at critically, recorded, sorted, and put "somewhere" for storage or display. Which would be a big job, and would probably make me feel very muddled if I dived right in. 

So let's be methodical, and especially "start where you are with what you have" - there are sewn but not dipped pots in various places, they - and what I remember of the fired pots - can be the basis for decisions and/or trials.

1. Gather sewn pots

2. Evaluate - is there a quickly-made shape* or size or material or embellishment-design that can be done in a series

3. Decide - what variations in the making are to be "tested"

4. Make - a sufficiency of sewn pots

5. Dip them and dry them

6. Record - the variations in the making, and to which pot(s) they apply

7. Take the pots to be fired.

I hesitate to put a timescale on this, because the woodblock printing is also ongoing, and is currently occupying the workbench, and I want to continue with it for a while -
Lots of possibilities!

* Having gathered all the sewn pots (strike while the iron is hot!) I have found a shape etc and am about to list some of the variations...
Top left, the sinamay (abaca) from which most of the pots are made: it resists collapsing when covered in wet clay. 

Bottom left, the two plain vessels are made by simply sewing together bias-cut bits of the sinamay. They can be embellished in ways that link up with their subsequent treatment in terms of firing or whatever.

Bottom right, five heavily-embroidered vessels that will probably escape dipping and might get mixed into "pot tableaux" ... if it ever comes to displaying them ...

(Thinking about grouping the pots, I'm considering how the groupings might be linked to stories that are already known, or whether a title for the grouping would be enough to generate the story...)

Away day, Birmingham

Time for a quick walk before the meeting - my last meeting on the CQ committee, as I've come to the end of the three-year term.
Facade of New Street station - very reflective

Something a bit older...

On a back street

The meeting was held in John Lewis cafe and finished earlier than expected
Time for more wandering ... the sunshine was glorious -
Shadows from windows in a church

Reflections on a building in a (de)construction zone
 I wanted to see the new library - and was delighted to see so many people using it, either sitting with computers or actual books, or wandering up the escalators and travelator in the vast central space -
 And the lighting did wonders for the "dusty tomes" -
 The glass elevator starts outside the Archives and goes ... where? -
 There's a roof terrace, midway -
I didn't look carefully in every corner The "standing stone" gives a taster of one of my favourite subjects -
 I found a book about prints, translated from Czech and published in 1970 (mellow colours on slightly greenish paper) - which mentioned some "minor" artists I'd vaguely heard of, and many I hadn't - they all seemed to have been born in the 1890s or 1900s, perhaps Robert Motherwell was the youngest. Two women were included, both wives of artists: Anna Eva Bergman was one; alas, I omitted to write down the name of the other...
New to me, and possible inspiration for a woodblock - Heinz Trokes (1913-1997)
And the name Capogrossi rang a bell - good to be reminded, again in terms of woodblock possibilities.

A crowded train, and a lovely sunset -

28 October 2017

Away day, Folkestone

Lured by the blue sky, clear air, glorious sunshine, and unseasonably warm temperature, on Friday I took the risk of going to Folkestone to see the Triennial (till 5 Nov) and have lunch by the seaside.

Hmm, didn't quite work out that way ... I got off at the "wrong" station (as compared to previous years) so the place looked a bit different ... and the walk along the clifftop was great, with a few bits of art to notice, perhaps part of the "permanent collection" rather than this year's crop -

Signed: y.o. 2014

"Temporary sign" and passing shadow

(The choice!)

Mark Wallinger's Folk Stones, 2008 - one for each of
the 19,240 British soldiers killed on the first day of
 the battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916

 In the centre of town, the sunshine continued, but I was completely discombobulated and not terribly interested in the artworks, even after getting a map that showed what and where they were, and coming across "fringe" works too.
Little houses in inappropriate places ....

"This is an accurate timepiece made from gunpowder. It shows a 12 hour clock (showing both night and day) and runs on a 24 hour loop. Hours, Minutes and Seconds are exactly marked by a series of small explosions"

Look through the peepholes and see "Burning Time" by Colin David

Jolly shops, and a painting of a seaside treat by Michael Craig-Martin

Bob and Roberta Smith pointed out in many places that "Folkestone is an art school"

"Dungeness Boats" by Robyn Nield, bronze

"Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens" (Nathan Coley)
 Then it came time to find "somewhere nice" to eat, and my resilience crumbled into food-indecision and wandering into charity shops -
 However that very one yielded a copy, with lurid cover, of the first of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, which I'm wanting to re-read before getting The Book of Dust.

So when further indecisive food-wandering led along a quiet street to a pub called The Pullman, there was no further decision to be made.
Possibly the only bike being pushed in Folkestone that day
Late lunch, then head for the nearest station.

It was good to see the sea -