Monday, May 28, 2007

Found, Shared exhibition and Chelsea flower show

There is an interesting exhibition on at the Photographer's Gallery Found, Shared: The Magazine Photowork The walls at number 5 are covered with found items, from discarded photographs, some torn or creased, to letters and notes and doodles. These are some of the materials used by artists and photographers, some in the form of magazines like Found magazine.
I respond to the random nature and excitement of finding materials and using them in some way.

At number 8 there are works by Joachim Schmid. Since 1982 he has been collecting discarded photographs from around the world, in a piece called Pictures From The Street. He also advertised for unwanted photographs, offering a way of dealing with them for people.

Chelsea Flower Show was upon us last week again, and I went along on the last day with Pauline and Ruth. The weather was not so good, cold, but we missed the rain and all the gardens and flowers were a tonic as usual.

The Fetzer Californian Garden and the moss garden stood out along with Chris Beardshaw's garden, a homage to Hidcote Manor. Some photos here

The turfing of Trafalgar Square and clouds

After hearing about Trafalgar Square going green for a few days, last week I had to go in to see for myself. It made such a difference to the space, which is normally a part of the urban space and roads.
Suddenly there was green, green grass as you looked down to the square. People were having picnics on the grass, lying down reading their books and just enjoying the difference.There was a smile on my face, something to do with seeing that change, and what a difference that little bit of turf had made. the power of that grass perhaps.

Some pics here.

Following my climate theme I have been drawing some clouds, and did a small dry point of clouds.
I also got out of the library The Cloud Spotter's Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinney after it was recommended to me. I liked the amazing story of Lt-Col. William Rankin who was forced to eject from his plane and fell through a Cumulonimbus cloud. That's a really big storm cloud. He lived to tell the tale despite extreme cold at the high altitude, hail and thunder and lightning in the cloud and being tossed around by the forces in the cloud.

The Water Works nature reserve

I'm working on a number of themes for up coming exhibitions, one at Walthamstow library will be on the theme of retreat. I have been taking photos in local churchyards and parks and went down to a local nature reserve last week.
This reserve, The Water works, is part of the Lea valley parks and reserves, the land was once part of the filter system for East London's water. There were pumping stations and filter beds and was used until the 1960's.
Despite the huge pylons striding across the land and the busy Leabridge road on one side and industrial land to one side, the space was remarkably tranquil. A host of birds were singing, and a pair of swans, families of ducks and moor hens were all on the old filter beds.

There are different habitats maintained on the filter beds and a large section of walkways and hides to look out at the birds and wildlife. I took some photos, some here.

Urban Arts Workshop

Saturday 19th was one of Amitajyoti's and my workshops, on the theme of Perception. I really enjoy the challenge of working with the Buddhist perspective, that there is a non-dual reality/ way of seeing the world. We normally see the world through our constructed ego sense, which leads to the idea of self as separate or opposed to other.

I used Chogyam Trungpa's books, Dharma Art and Glimpses of Abhidharma as resources, and we gave short talks and lead drawing exercises. We also went into the local park to put our new ways of seeing into practise. Some pics here, and more on my main site.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Buddhist graffiti

Walking along Old street I spotted this graffiti on some hoardings. I looked twice, is that a mantra syllable ? It seemed a bit surreal on this busy London street, but if any one is to spray paint on the walls, I think I prefer a mantra to Avalokiteshvara than some obscene language. But then I am still in the realms of duality!

There is a good artists bookshop on Pitfield street near there bookartbookshop I like to go and have a look around. There are so many styles of artist's books and I always come away with some inspiration, and sometimes a very cheap book.

I have been busy helping out for my friend's ordination, this included making special shrines for her private and public ordinations. Funnily enough after being caught up in the world of trees, for my main site's new section, Small trees arrived on the shrines. Very beautiful they looked too, lit up with lights.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A few days in St Ives

Last week saw Ruth and I in St Ives. It was a mini holiday, we had been there about 8 or 9 years ago and really loved the town. Tate St Ives was on the list of visits, and fortunately there was a display of Bernard Leach's work there, as the museum of his work was closed for refurbishment.
There was some interesting work from contemporary artists in Cornwall on display in Tate St Ives I am looking at the video work more often as I walk around with my video camera.

The Barbara Hepworth museum and Sculpture garden was again a delight to see. I bought a DVD about her and Bernard Leach, lovely to see Barbara Hepworth in her recently planted garden. The cherry tree only a quarter of the size it is today. And interesting that she states quite strongly that her sculpture is for touching, and for interacting with.
How sad that we are not allowed ( officially ) to climb, lean or touch her work now, when that experience was integral to her conception of the sculptures she made.

I took quite a lot of photos some videos of the sea and water and did some drawing while I was there. I am working on my Bird Diaries. Little books perhaps, that note one of my connecting with the birds around me.