14 October 2012

This is just to say...

... that for the next wee while, blog posts will be of a semi-nostalgic nature. I've been trawling through my  files, doing a little housecleaning of photos. It seems a good time to prepare some posts, as I'll be away for a couple of weeks - in Berlin this time. (Too much travel lately! I hope to be able to settle back into some sort of routine on return.)

On my previous trip to Berlin, three years ago, I did quite a lot of drawing in museums.
These pages were filled at the applied arts museum and I soon used the drawing of "Schloss" (top left) for a project in the foundation course. Schloss means both "castle" and "lock" in German - but even while drawing the keyhole, the second meaning didn't impinge on me - I could only see it as a strange sort of castle. Thus are we bound by our assumptions!

The object at the bottom of the left page was the "best" thing I saw at that museum - a simple(?) ceramic box, with lid. It was big, it was porcelain, it was blackened: I wanted to take it home ... so here it is in a drawing, figuratively in my possession. Of the maker, Mechthild Poschlod, I know nothing other than she lives in Kassel.

Drawing in other museums wasn't as memorable, except for these objects:
Looking at the drawing of "Veneration of the Stupa" brings back the entire atmosphere of the museum, as well as some other objects in that room -- and isn't that one of the reasons we draw in museums? Not just to  record the object, or even to get to know it well, but to stop and take time to absorb the experience of not just the object itself but the place that it is in - sounds and smells and light levels and the comings and goings of the patient friend we might with.

The bronze skull bowl, from Nepal, was in a different part of the museum. I was intrigued then, and have followed it up now. Kapalas are considered a legacy of a tradition of human sacrifice, and were used in Tibet to make offerings to wrathful deities. Some are made of actual skulls, but this one is cast in bronze. I think the holes were damage to the metal, rather than part of the design.

Last time I took a large sketchbook - part of the project was to Draw Big (hence one object per page) - but this time will be taking only my usual A5-size notebook. To avoid getting back to that bad old habit of putting too many pix on one page, I've set myself the goal of filling the remaining pages - about 2/5 of a 160-page book, yikes! Another bad old habit is always using the same pen, but that's ok by me - the primary aim is to look, to experience the object and the surroundings rather than make a stunning picture. And - less to carry, easier to keep track of.

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