Monday, April 21, 2014

A tribute to Alan Davie

Alan Davie in 2001 image from Guardian obitutary
I recently found out that the great Scottish artist Alan Davie had died. I have been attracted to his work for some time, looking for other artists that have a spiritual, mythic or symbolic elements to their work. The Guardians obituary here 
Cosmic Signals NO 7

Such artists are not usually prominent these days in terms of exhibitions nor usually praised by critics.
I didn't see any of the solo shows that Alan Davie had unfortunately, but saw the odd painting in group shows. So my main connection has been by way of books.
However Gimpel Fils is showing Alan Davies latest art work, 24th April till 23th May which I hope to see.
Gimpel Fils website here Fone Variation II

I have the exhibition catalogue of Alan Davie's show at Tate St Ives, Jingling Space, 2004, which I look at regularly and remain inspired by the work shown in there.

Fairy Tree NO 5 from Tate collection.

Paintings such as Fairy Tree No 5 1971, Cosmic Signals No 7 2002, Island Maps No 14 1998, and Shaman's Window No 3 1999 all have Alan Davie's characteristic use of signs and symbols from a broad range of cultural and spiritual sources
Little Island Phantasy No.2 1998, oil on board, 6 x 8-1/4 inches. Courtesy ACA Galleries, New York  

They are colourful, energetic works that have an elemental feel you can trace by following the lines and forms in the paintings.

Night Sky on a Holiday Tate Collection

In the St Ives catalogue Alan Patrizio writes that " Davie views his activity as a painter as ' fundamentally the same as artists of remote times..... engaged in a shamanistic conjuring up of visions which will link us metaphorically with mysterious and spiritual forces normally beyond our apprehension.' "

Patrizio also writes that "There are both immediate and broad reasons why the work is not 'abstract' in any meaningful sense. The psychic power of images - recognised by jung and the reason why Davie has never abandoned figuration - means we are compelled to make and recreate them anew, over millennia and across cultures."

More of Alan Davies work can be seen at the Tate website here

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Out of the Blue exhibition at the Pie Factory Margate

I went down to The Pie Factory on Sunday to see Out of the Blue, an exhibition by Sally Higgs and Deborah Crofts.

The Pie Factory is a really good space, website here in the old town close to the sea and the Turner Contemporary Gallery.

Sally and Deborah have used the space well, filling the rooms with colour. They were both at the gallery when I went along so it was good to talk to them.

Both artists have a love of the sky, clouds and sea, the fleeting moments and changes in light that we have in Britain.  They also both have studios in Folkestone's creative quarter and I was pleased to hear that the area is developing well.

Deborah was showing a range of work including pieces with bold shapes and colour that seem to take a moment and distill it into an essence.
Deborah's website here

Sally's work includes colourful sunsets and sunrises that seem to contain the light and release it. Some more of Sally's work here

I really enjoyed looking at the work and meeting other artists who are interested in the same subject matters as I am.

The exhibition is on till 26th March 10-4pm and there is an opportunity to make a postcard picture yourself to add to the wall during the exhibition.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Birds and Insects exhibition, Andy Malone at the Beaney, Canterbury

Visiting Canterbury yesterday I spent a bit of time with friends in the Beaney, Canterbury's revamped
gallery, library and museum. The Beaney website here

In the Front Room exhibition space was work by Andy Malone. I have seen his work a few times and really like his book arts. Other websites with Andy's books include Much Ado Books

Andy Malone takes books like the Observer guides to butterflies or birds, books I remember from childhood, and cuts them up. The birds, or insects or other creatures are left at the top of the pages.

He also cuts out ciggarette cards, forming concertina books and in this exhibition he has collections of matchboxes with cut outs or actual objects in them.

One of his main pieces is a large work having 365 matchboxes, one for each day of the year, filled with cut outs or objects like a feather, or wasp or crab's claw.

They are tactile little boxes making you want to take them down and look more closely at the objects inside.

Andy Malone says on Much ado Books site that :

 "The Observer’s and Ladybird books and cigarette cards, maps and stamps that I use to make my work come from a more innocent age when I would pore over them by night and be out in the countryside looking for their contents by day."  and

"My work is a continuation of that obsession with collecting, cataloging and observing”

The exhibition is on till Sunday 13th April and there is a workshop, Museum in a Matchbox on Saturday 5th April 2014.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Beach Cross Racing and Parkour, Margate.

Last weekend the regular beach cross racing event was down on Margate's main sands.
The weather was good and there were crowds of people watching the racing.

I was watching the crowds as much as the racing, taking street photography style photos as well.

Because the main beach was out of bounds for the visitors and the tide was in, there was only a tiny bit of beach left near the steps.  I was impressed that some people were in the sea this time of year.

walking back up the High Street I came across a group of young people doing some street dance, parkour moves. Running and jumping up the walls of the shops and doing somersaults. Great to watch, though not many people on the street.