Saturday, December 20, 2008

Andy Warhol exhibition and the South bank

I have been keen to see the Andy Warhol exhibition at the Hayward Gallery for a while. The only problem with the exhibition being the amount of his films on show. From factory recordings to interviews, to TV channel shows, a huge range of work that would take days to view.

I did enjoy seeing the prints, silkscreens and books on show and think one of the things I like about Andy Warhol is this recording of everything around him without discrimination in a sense. Obviously on the one hand there is always selection by an artist but here there is also recording whatever happens. I also like the fact a lot of videos had what could be called bad technique. There is hope for mine in the new year.

Afterwards I was taking photos outside the gallery and the South Bank.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Snow and Christmas lights

The weather has turned colder, I caught the snow on the way to the tube. Leyton looking pretty bleak in these images.
The Christmas lights are on in Walthamstow, not that there are many, this blue net of lights strung along the lime trees brings a bit of a show. Interestingly with the lights of the shopping centre behind we could imagine we were somewhere more continental.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Urban Jungle private view.

Last week Thursday 13th, was the private view of the exhibition Urban Jungle. It was a bit of a wet blustery night but inside was warm and welcoming. The exhibition looked good, a range of work prints, painting, photography and group pieces. I was particularly happy because the theme was trees which gave a particular energy and feel to the exhibition.
Children from Dance Explosion performed during the evening.

Katja, our great organizer met me with the news that I had sold my work which was great. There was a good attendance and quite a lot of work sold on the evening raising £1110 for Trees for Cities. I like Dean Reddick's painted plaster "Birch Landscape" and Naomi Mcllroy's stoneware ceramic tree plaques.Sieglinde Diabel's lovely "Laughing Tree of Life had me smiling and Amanda Taylor's linoprint "Roots" was vibrant and full of energy. Pirasteh Gourang's "Hampstead Heath" had a sense of the silent majesty of the trees and Jo Perkin's "Urban Drifters" was witty and colourful.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Urban Jungle Exhibition, City Hall.

Last weekend, I took my painting," Tree of Life" into City Hall for the exhibition, "Urban Jungle. It is an exhibition with a range of work from the East London Print makers,and other invited artists on the theme of trees.
The charity Trees For Cities will be benefiting from any sales in an online exhibition/auction.
The exhibition is open Saturday 1st till Friday 14th 8am-8pm and the private view is at the end of the show on 13th of November 6pm-8pm.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Drawing at the british Museum

Last week saw me having a few days to draw at the British Museum, through a WEA course. 2 or 3 years ago I went drawing at the museum with the Princes Drawing School and a lovely tutor Francis Hoyland. So when I saw this course advertised I thought it would be great to go back to the British museum collections and do some drawings. Pages from my sketch book here.

Jane was our tutor knowledgeable about the museum, encouraging and thoughtful. It was good to work with a range of materials conte, graphite, watercolour pencils and pen and ink. We spent time drawing in the Greek and Roman galleries, the Asian, African and Japanese galleries and I went into the Americas Gallery. Jane set us some tasks using materials and composition. I think it is good for me to work within some parameters sometimes, it helps break patterns of work, style and subject matter.

I also took photographs in the galleries, drawing really helps to see things more clearly, and this reflected in my photographic eye. There were still some objects that resisted being photographed but I was happy not to pursue them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Photomonth Photofair Spitalfiels Market

I have been very busy getting photos ready for the Photomonth Photofair that I'm having a stand at tomorrow and Friday the 16th and 17th October 10am till 5pm.

It's a new event for Photomonth and I thought it was worth applying for a stand, there is a lot of publicity for the event and a lot of shows. I'm going to show a mix of work, London urban scenes and the natural world, prints and some cards. I have had a bit more tuition with photoshop and have been drawing on some of my photos of the moon.

This week is the big one for art fairs, Zoo, Frieze, Scope, etc, I haven't managed to get to any over the years yet. I was interested in the idea of the Free Art fair, where all the items in the exhibition are given away at the end. It seemed last years event had ques of people waiting for a chance to get one of the pieces.

I don't think I'll have ques of people at my studio giveaway, I'm also giving away for free a lot of paintings and studio stuff next week in my studio clear out. It was quite good going through all my old work, some from 25 years ago. It was time for me to let some work go, so I sorted out a large pile.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Photofair at Photomonth

This month I'm having a stand at the Photomonth art fair at Spitalfields market. Thursday and Friday 15th and 16th October. I have been preparing work for a while alongside finishing my paintings for the previous exhibitions.There are two main themes, urban images, street art, street scenes and the natural world.

With a bit of extra tuition I have also been using photoshop to use drawing with some photographic images. I am quite excited about this, although they are my first attempts I can see a lot of possibilities. Although I think my ideas may be well ahead of my skills and even digital technology at the moment

Hopefully I will get chance to see some of the exhibitions listed as part of photomonth this month.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Concrete and Glass Shoreditch exhibitions

I went to some of the art events at the new Concrete and Glass festival in Shoreditch last week. I didn't make the openings, but wandered around the streets finding a lot more galleries than I thought were there before. I knew around Hoxton was becoming the East End art gallery area, but hadn't realised how much was there.

The old Shoreditch Town Hall basement has been used for a while, I found the un-modernised, dark and creepy space very interesting visually went I had been there before. This time a lot of the exhibition, Heart of Glass. was suitably unsettling to match the venue.
There was an atmospheric installation of steam, generated and blown into minature tornados, by Alistair McClymont, a disturbing horsebox piece that featured sounds of agitated horses, screaming and seemingly trying to kick open the horse box and escape,by Paul AQrchard. There was a ghostly projection of a woman on the wall. dim lightbulbs, films and paintings. Martin Sexton, who I met at the No More Grey Gallery, had a piece called "The Levitation of John the Baptist", which was a very realistic minature head floating in a cabinet decorated with angels and other symbols.

The Riflemaker Gallery had a show at the Rochelle school,"The Glass Onion Shop" and had a range of work including a participation painting by Yoko Ono, which had a box of paints next to it and when I was there someone was busy adding their own bit to the painting.
PSJM had some light box works using famous brands logos and the words "Made by Slaves for Free People" which I thought were very clever.

Hanging from the ceiling were strange forms, rather like chrysalis or cocoons, while Anabelle Moreau showed large curved panels with beautiful coloured surfaces. The space was surprising considering it was an old school building, Rochelle school, maybe this is a way forward for schools, incorporating galleries.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Exhibitions and Leytonstone car free day

After the inspired by William Morris exhibition, I have a painting in The annual Arts Club exhibition at the Changing room Gallery. It is a painting of an angel, the "Angel of Dusk Lunden "

After painting in acrylic for a while, I had forgotten how long oil paints take to dry! and my painting was still slightly tacky 5 days after I'd stopped painting. I am using the new water mixable oil paints from Winsor and Newton and I am pleased with them. There is very little smell to them, the texture is like traditional oils and It means I can paint in my flat with them now.

Last weekend was the Leytonstone car free day, I hadn't been for a couple of years, and the event had grown, there were a lot of stalls up and down the roads near the tube station, a french market ( where I had gone to look for a particular soap) and lots of childrens activities.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Inspired by William Morris Exhibition

I've been invigilating at the Inspired by William Morris exhibition at the Changing room Gallery this morning. It is a great little exhibition and seems to create a mood of uplift and inquiry.

My painting, entitled" Invoking the Spirit of Morris," is an attempt to invoke in the viewer something of the spirit of William Morris as they enter the woodland landscape woven with Morris patterns and designs. I was thinking as I painted the image how might the forest or woodland appear to William Morris? The painting also recalls other visionary painters such as William Blake and Samuel Palmer.

There is some great work in the gallery, from 19 different artists, including, painting, photography, printmaking, stained glass, installations and 3D work.Martin Adams, "River of Fire" brings the ideals and struggles of the Socialist League that Morris was part of into the present day, with his installation of Morris designed wallpaper hanging, old photo and leaflets for a troops out demonstration this weekend.

Ann Fuston and Linda Green showed evokative stained glass pieces,Alison Chaplin captures the essence of the bare trees in her painting, and with Jenny L'Estrange produced the decorative borders around the walls of the gallery. In the corner is a garden full of gnomes, arising and standing on the ground, they are adorned with William Morris inspired designs and bring a smile to peoples faces. Some visiting children have to be restrained from picking them up and taking them home. I think they have all found good homes now.

Great entertainment was provided at our Inspired event by Russ Chandler, the clip here. Roger Huddle, Theresa, and Kevin Sheils.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

E17 Art Trail, Art Grows on Trees

Yesterday was the start of the E17 Art trail, we had a launch at Vestry House Museum on Friday night, which went well. Laura and Chris spoke of their enthusiasm and pleasure that the art trail has being going from strength to strength and the sense of giving that was part of the trail which inspired their title, "with love from Walthamstow"
It was good to meet fellow artists again and share in the anticipation of the trail. This year I am part of a number of group shows and activities. Yesterday was our first Art Grows on Trees event, where we hang small art works on the Lime trees near the bus station and town square in Walthamstow. These are free for people to take away with them and it was great to tell people they could have one of the pieces.

.Dean had brought some of his great fruit sculptures this year apples with a bite out of them, Michael had brought some amazing ice sculptures with vegetables that dripped red and orange colouring as they melted, and one that contained a string of beads and objects inside.

Some lovely salt dough shapes decorated and ready to hang on the trees were supplied by the artist's children, which made a great addition. Some images of abandoned umbrellas of Walthamstow by Kathryn Kirton were a topical addition and I put up digital prints of urban scenes and from some of my paintings.

We had someone from the BBC filming, good to know that the trail is getting known more widely.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Butterfly house, Natural History Museum,

With the butterfly theme going on in some of my recent work, I managed to get along to the temporary butterfly house they had in the front of the Natural History Museum. It was a wet day, as it seems a lot have been this summer again, and the outdoor maze was full of puddles, which the young children seemed to be enjoying. It was a bit of a squeeze inside but there is something quite magical about seeing butteflies flying overhead and settling close to you.

I do remember back in my childhood, the sheer amount of butterflies that I used to see in scrubby grass land and gorse banks, literally hundreds sometimes. Now I am excited if I see one or two in the garden. .The Butterfly Conservation society helps protect some of their habitats.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Publish and Be Damned fair and Brooks Farm

I finally found our own city farm at the weekend. The borough make it very difficult to find the few attractions we have here in Waltham Forest. No signposts from the roads etc.
Brooks farm had, chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, goats, sheep, ponies, one llama and some small animals and a small aviary.when we visited. Some of the buildings were in need of rebuilding, some areas had received funding for development, but quite a lot still needs some TLC.

We took some photos, the cockerel made a good display of calling one of which I recorded.There were quite a few young ducks and geese and turkeys, which were being carefully supervised by their parents.

On Sunday there was a self publishing fair, Publish and Be Damned in Hackney. I hadn't heard of it before but apparently this was the fifth fair. There was a good mix of exhibitors producing newspapers, comics, graphic books, handprinted books, audio work, and the usual accompanying, badges tee shirts and bags.
we bought a number of interesting pieces, including small booklets from Leisure centre which has guest editors and contributors on particular themes each issue. As did quite a number of published magazines. I choose 2 of mono kultur's magazines which were interviews with photographers, and an issue of Garageland with nature as it's theme.

This page is from Isabel Greenberg's small book called Flora and Fauna.

There were a lot of visitors and a good buzz to the place. I came away with renewed enthusiasm for producing my artists books, and worked on a few of them when I got back.