Thursday, December 08, 2011

Craft fairs and Pop up Shop at The London Buddhist Centre

Still busy this week with sorting cards and prints for the craft fair at The Mill tomorrow 9th December 11-5pm The Mill is at 7-11 Coppermill Lane, Walthamstow, London E17 7HA (Google Maps.
Waltham Forest Arts Club is also having a stall there with a number of artists work, and there will be knitwear, jewellry and cakes. I do actually like looking round craft fairs myself, there are a growing number of fairs and events and a vitality about crafts in general which is good to see.

Funnily enough, though not good for artists/craftspeople like myself, lots of mass produced craft type goods are much more expensive than our hand made items. I'm not sure when the change took place or whether it has been a slow move to seeing industrial goods as better than handmade craft goods. Or maybe companies are just good at marketing their products.

On Saturday 10th December Ruth will be at the London Buddhist Centre pop up shop with my cards, prints, paintings and other items with Stavarha and Lokadhi. Stavarha is bringing cards and prints from her great photographs and Lokadhi is bringing some of her drawings. The shop is open 11-7.30pm. 51 Roman Road E2 0HU I will be there for the the last part of the day after a workshop with Courtney and other healers.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Grayson Perry The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman

I went to see Grayson Perry's latest exhibition at the British Museum, The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman last week. Exhibition info here.
I really like Grayson Perry's work, including his vibrant irreverent ceramic pieces, with their collaged surfaces and painted and scratched designs of which there were several in the exhibition. He had spent a few years researching the objects in the British Museum with the help of curators and brings together some intriging objects including Tibetan travelling shrines, maps and headresses. At the entrance to the exhibition is the customised motorbike he used for a pilgrimage with his bear Alan Measles, who is the god of Grayson Perry's imaginary world.

Alan Measles voices part of his history on the British Museum website

"So around the year 2000 Gray starts to celebrate me once more this time not as a swashbuckling hero but as a wise old friend. He finds me matured, no longer seeking endless vengeance and having to win every race. But as I re-enter the conscious human world one blot mars my new found contentment. Someone has tried to usurp my iconic position as the go-to teddy bear, someone yellow with a remarkably similar injury, an evil twin if you will. Yes, I mean that po-faced inanely smiling do-gooder Pudsey bear."

In his Head of a Fallen Giant, the head was made of hundreds of cultural icons, from Lewis chessmen , CND signs, post boxes and Tower Bridge, to country cottages and acorns.

Grayson Perry writes, " Part of my role as an artist is similar to that of a shaman or witch doctor. I dress up;I tell stories, give things meaning and make them a bit more significant"

The heart of the exhibition is his tomb to the unknown craftsman a cast iron ship full of cultural objects made by unknown craftsmen and including an ancient flint axe head, the original tool of them all.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Occupy London camp outside St Paul's Cathedral

I have been over to the Occupy London Stock Exchange camp outside St Paul's a few times now.
The protest group was stopped from camping outside the London Stock Exchange by the police and so set up next to St Paul's Cathedral, which next to Paternoster Square where the Stock Exchange is.

Paternoster Square is like many new developments in London, a piece of private land, and concern to many photographers like myself who take street photography pictures. The square has remained closed by barriers and police eversince with only checked and vetted entry, which much be proving a real problem for the businesses there.

For St Paul's cathedral the protest camp proved to be a catalyst for serious thought and politicing, as three members of the clergy resigned at various points, the cathedral closed for several days and we learnt that their trustees numbered many financial leaders. Some might say the money lenders were not just in the church but had become a fundamental part of the churches organisation. A number of banners in the camp said " What would Jesus do ?" A pertinent question.
As the protesters didn't leave after the cathedral had closed it's doors, for that great catch all modern reason, health and safty concerns. The cathedral was forced to open again or look rather foolish and the camp was organised in a more permanent and sustainable manner.
The kitchen tent now has shelves to keep the food off the floor, and when I was there last week people were coming in with donations all the time.

It was great to see so many offers of generosity from the public, winter clothes, food and money while I was there. There's a cafe, legal help, information and education tents and more. Their weekly newspaper lists an impressive ammount of talks and workshops, for a great alternative perspective on society.

On the pillars around the camp artists have been at work with some very witty collage work and statements about society, the whole area a vibrant mix of cultures and strands in our modern day London.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Moontree Gallery and Mill on the Street exhibitions.

The exhibition at Atlantis Bookshop has come down and is up at the Moontree Gallery in Bournemouth thanks to Courtney who has taken these pictures of the show going up. Courtney is giving a talk there this evening, Merlin to Infinity at 7.30pm. LInk to the Moontree Gallery here


I have been working on the Street photography exhibition for The Mill "Mill on the Street" The Mill has formed as a community venue and organisation from an old library in Walthamstow.

It is great to see the place up and running, with all sorts of creative classes and events taking place. I know it took a lot of hard work on behalf of the volunteers and campaigners to get the old library and it will take a lot of work and money to kep it going. I had one of my photographs there as part of the E17 Art Trail in September and am pleased to be organising the show with Maureen, Mo, arts organiser for The Mill.

The "Mill on the Street" exhibition includes work by a number of local photographers including Rachel L'Anson, Nathaniel Legall, Imraan Ismail and Fabian Ho. It opens on Tuesday 8th November till Friday 2nd December. Tuesdays to Saturdays 10am -6pm.
There is also a Street Photography workshop on Saturday 19th November 10.30-2.30pm
Bookings at The Mill. link to The Mill site here

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dawn Fires Exhibition at Atlantis Bookshop opens

Courtney and I put up our exhibition on Monday, I'd finished another painting, Land of the Dragon which went up as well. Following the intuitive and imaginative way of working that I've used for the other paintings in this series, the landscape slowly emerged. I knew it was waiting for a being of some sort of being and a red dragon seemed to be the creature needed. This landscape actually turned out to be the land of this dragon and an opening in the hillside framed with carved and incised stone became the dragons cave. A comet which was part of the sky from the outset seems to blaze a trail full of stars towards the cave, while crow watched from one of the standing stones. Was this comet heralding a further awakening of the dragon or land ?

The Atlantis Bookshop exhibition space is a small space with a lot of esoteric history, which suits the themes of the work. We've sorted a range of prints to go with the exhibition and there are cards too. So I'm hoping we have a good turn out at the private view on Friday 21st 7pm and look forward to meeting people and showing them the work.

The exhibition is open Monday to Saturday 10,30 till 6pm at the Atlantis Bookshop 49a Museum street London, WC1A 1LY

Friday, September 23, 2011

New paintings for Dawn Fires

I have been continuing to explore this more symbolic and mythical strand to my work where symbols like the moon seem to appearing in abundance. I am still working intuitively with these paintings, reflecting and allowing forms to arise in my mind or directly on the canvas.

In Tree of Stars, and Homage to the Moon I was drawing on the traditions of the Tree of Life, or World Tree. The tree that links the levels of the world from the underworld to the heavens. In Tree of Stars, there is also reference to alchemical texts, where symbols are often depicted on a tree. Here stars in red, white and gold hang from the tree, and a large blackbird who can often be heard singing late into the night, also holds a luminous star on a red thread.
The star seems to be an offering of light to any traveller who intends to enter the doorway set inside the hill and venture on the paths below.

A standing stone inscribed with the marks of the Goddess stands outside the doorway guarding its entrance and symbols of the labyrinth are marked in the fields. As I was painting this picture it seemed as though it was taking on the qualities of a talisman itself.

Homage to the Moon, as the title suggests began with not one but two moons in the rich blue of the night sky. More and more moons have been appearing in these more symbolic paintings over the last few months. I'm not sure where this will lead but for now I paint the moons.
The World Tree in this painting has rich foliage and the celtic and Goddess marks upon its trunk and branches and a white bird with echos of the luminous moon flys across it.

A dragon lies uncurling under the roots of the tree contemplating or watching a smaller moon and a monk sits meditating infront of the entrance to a cave, with his own luminous moon in his lap. It seemed that everything in the painting was paying homage to the moon.

Some of my paintings will be in a Dawn Fires exhibition in the Atlantis Bookshop Gallery.
Link to Dawn Fires here The exhibition runs from 17th to 29th October, link to Atlantis Bookshop address and contact details here

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

High Street Fashion Week at Oxford Street

Early Monday morning Oxford Street's High Street Fashion Week, , got off to a colouful and dynamic start with acrobats, unicyclist, jugglers and a human spinning wheel. I really enjoyed the vision of circus performers and the circus music playing in the heart of the West End.

Traffic was brought to a standstill and early commuters watched as the fashion themed circus performers took to the centre of the iconic Oxford Circus. I liked the idea of having real circus performers in Oxford Circus and less traffic.

Oxford Streets High Street Fashion Week includes events and promotions in shops along Oxford street info here

E 17 Art Trail part 2

Vestry House Museum was the scene for a drawing event on saturday that Julie Caves, Julian Beere and members of the Waltham Forest Art Club organised. It was a perfect afternoon, the sun was shining and the gardens were moving into Autumn with plenty of apples on the trees.

A number of younger visitors enjoyed themselves studing and drawing the plants. I got chance to make a quick sketch of one of the apple trees there.

I also had chance for a quick look at some of the art works on display in the museum as part of the Art Trail. I was attracted to the birds and feathers of Naomi Kane's work. Naomi writes that she is a scientist researching avian cognition, which sounds really interesting to me, with my own love of birds. Here she has persued her other interest in art with very dynamic images of crows.

Julia Spicer website doloresrocket is showing some great collages, following the theme, on your marks, by using National Geographic magazines from Olympic years. The collages juxtapose landscapes and figures making new connections and creating new dynamics of form and playing with the picture plane.

Amy Blum's contribution is a draft selection of her work for Teal Heise on the Olympics, here on the theme of the Olympics. Amy is one of the new generation of American feminist artists, her work including the words, "Racing to Take Part- A Graphic History of Women in the Olympics," is particularly striking.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

E17 Art Trail Art Grows on Trees part one

It was great yesterday to meet up with a group of fellow artists to hang our art offerings on the Lime trees near Walthamstow bus station. It was part of the E17 Art Trail, Art Grows on Trees.
I have been part of this from the beginning some years ago, and it was good to have some new artists involved this year, with even more art work on the trees.

I had been making lots of tiny Tree Spirit faces to put in the trees this year, (below)plaster, paint and pen work. More to follow for next Saturday, we arrive about 9.30am so you need to get there early to pick your own art work.

Amongst the artists taking part, Julie Cave put up delicate bird watercolours,(above) Julie's site here

Dean Roddick brought along a new variety of fruit his hairy pears, Deans site here. He also brought along one of his sparrows, there are more on display as part of the trail. That was snapped up with in minutes.

Katja Rosenberg included some cacti in great pots decorated with quotes among her offerings. Katja's exhibition site here.

Rachel L'Anson brought some lovely photographic prints, from urban scenes to trees and snakes.
Rachel's site here.

Alban Low brought more fridge magnets, this year with great birds and tweets on them.Alban's site here.

Valeria had some great climbing pictures colouful prints and bark, appreciated by one young art picker here. Valeria here

Helen Porter, used one of her umbrella frames to hang a variety of decorative and quirky prints.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New paintings and E17 Art Trail.

I've still been busy working on some more paintings for the next couple of exhibitions and getting things ready for the E17 Art Trail.
My paintings, Stones Guard the Mysteries of Earth, above and Night of Mysteries below, both include standing stones. In the painting above, the colour of the harvest and corn came first in the work, evolving into swirling cornfields reflecting the patterns of the wind. As I was contemplating this new landscape it seemed to include the idea of a stone circle. Stones that definately bore symbols of the Goddess and ancient ritual and seemed to protect the land and the entrance to the underworld. The deer still resting at the start of a new day brought a sense of calm and balance with her and the whole painting came alive for me with a sense of beauty and completeness.

In Night of Mysteries, the landscape took on the tones of a night sky illuminated by a full moon that also arrived early in the painting. I was feeling a sense of mystery evolving with a strangely more alive sense and resonance to the standing stones. The stones are marked with symbols and have taken on some of the colours from the night sky. Stylized and symbolic trees stand on the horizon and a stag is running across the land looking back over his shoulder; as if also recognising the strong presence of the stones. I was left thinking do they really walk at night?

Dawn Fires page with exhibition details here

Two other small paintings are work in progress and I am pleased so far to be touching a weath of symbolic and mystical themes that are bringing together a lot of my strands of work.

On a completely different note I am continuing with the year long Street Photography Project, which will be continuing in some form after the year has end

ed. Project info here.

I have entered one of my photographs, Protest on the Streets, in at The Mill, info here, as part of the E17 Art Trail. E17 link here

I am also helping on the drawing event in the Vestry House Museum gardens on 3rd September 11-3pm.

Art Grows on Trees is also happening again this year and will have even more art works offered for free on each Saturday of the art trail. Sat 3rd and 10th of September on the lime trees next to Walthamstow bus station from 9.30 am. info here