Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at Tate Britain

Ruth and I visited the Pre Raphaelite exhibition at Tate Modern a little while ago. link to the exhibition site here

Millais's Mariana.
I thought it might be a bit of a block buster show, and it certainly was busy. That's one of the problems I find personally, having to shuffle along side hundreds of people to get near a piece of work, without blocking other people.
The Death of Chatterton by Henry Wallis.

Still I was pleased to have gone, the Pre Raphaelites were one of the groups of painters that I first admired as a child. A lot of their paintings were in an art encyclopedia that we had at home and I remember spending lots of time regularly looking at such pictures as The Blind  Girl, Hope, The Lady of Shalott, The Scapegoat and The Death of Chatterton.

Such vivid detailing in the paintings influenced my teenage pictures of the natural world.
Ophelia by Millais.

There is definately a quality of light that I respond to now, rather than the detailed depictions, and the spiritual dimension in some of the work.
William Morris's bed from Kelmscott Manor.
Interestingly I found myself more desiring of some of the tapestries, carpets and furniture rather than the main paintings. They did reinspire me to take up decorating some of my furniture again when we've moved.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Mr Brainwash at The Old Sorting Office

I just caught the extention of Mr Brainwash's exhibition at The Old Sorting Office in New Oxford Street. Mr Brainwash aka artist Thierry Guetta is a bit of an infamous street artist from LA.

 This was his first solo European show and I liked the suitable venue of The Old Sorting Office. It retains it's edge, being mostly stripped of it's machinery and industrial in size. BBC Review of the exhibition here

 You are first met by the large pieces of art on the outside walls of the building,including images of the Beatles and Kate Moss. I liked the Queen, guard and corgi with her majesty holding a can of paint and the words "God Save the People" painted next to her.

Inside was a range of art work some of which made me smile and think. Some clever political understanding and understanding of culture. The boxed up life size black cab like the old matchbox toy cars was one to make me smile, very clever, it pulled on my buy me strings.

Lots of 2D work too, mostly prints, multiples using iconic images, Campbells soup as spray cans, referencing Andy Warhol and famous faces, Charlie Chaplin, the Queen, the Rolling Stones,.Madonna and John Lennon to mention a few.

I was pleased to see the work, it stimulated my mind and ideas I've had for more overtly political work. It was good to see the street art/political stance taken with the exhibition being free to enter. And the shop at the end having nothing for sale but being a place where you could choose free things, posters, and postcards.

E17 Poetry Trail and Birds on the streets of Walthamstow

This year  was the first time I entered the E17 Poetry Trail info here , part of the E17 Art Trail info here.

   Penny Rutterford was comissioned by Artillary to curate the Poetry Trail  which included this year, the display of poems, some illustrated by local artists, in estate agents windows along Hoe Street, pavement poetry and events at Vestry House and the William Morris Gallery.

Poem by Jocelyn Cran and image by Carne Griffiths

Paekakariki Press  produced the prints for the display and the anthology of poems. They use the tradition of letterpress printing with an original Heidelberg press.
illustration of the Heidelberg press from Paekakariki Press website

The display of poems works well in the windows, I like the idea of people coming unexpectidly across them as they browse for property.

info about Paekakariki press here

Poem by Michael Shann and image by Anna Alcock

I had illustrated my poem with an acrylic painting, an abstract floral peice that was remarkably difficult to make work in the end. I haven't really tried to illustrate any writing in this way before.

 Usually the writing comes after I've made the art work, or I have a photograph that I've taken or found in mind. This time I had written the poem and had made a few sketches of the flowes on the shrub in question, but then worked on more of a painted feel for the poem.

Poems Mohammad Ali age 9 George Mitchell primary school, my poem and poem by Paul Mc Grane

Poem by Kyshore Kumar age 15 image by Hannah Khan age 11 George Mitchell secondary school

Poem by Janet Wright image by Matilda Bevan

Alban Low and Dean Reddick organised another brilliant Magnetic show as part of the Art Trail this year too.
100 magnets with the theme of "Birds" on the streets of Walthamstow were left around the Town Square by enthusiastic participants of the magnet shows, for people to spot and take home with them. info on the bird magnets and next art work planned here

I joined in by sending 2 images of birds for the magnets and helping the team put them out on Saturday 8th September after hanging some free art on the trees.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Art Grows on Trees E17 Art Trail.

On Saturday, I joined with a group of artist friends on our annual art give away as part of the E17 Art trail. Artists included Katja who had brought some fun cacti work, Dean who hung some of his famous fruit with a twist and Rachel who brought some of her pin hole photographs. Julie had hung some little watercolours and Valeria had some cards to pick.

We have been running Art Grows on Trees for a few years now, putting art work on the trees next to Walthamstow bus station for passers by to pick and take home. This year I put a few paintings and larger pieces of work as I'm sorting my things before moving.

It was great to hear the enthusiasm for my work and peoples real surprise and pleasure at having a free work of art.

We will be putting more work on the trees this Saturday 15th September from around 10am. You have to come early though to pick your choice.

The Paralympic games

 Ruth and I went to the Paralympics last week, we managed to get tickets to the Stadium to see some of the Athletics.

 I was impressed by the stadium, we were near the top this time, but the views were still good and the acoustics worked very well. I was fascinated by some details like the little radio controlled cars that took the discus back from the field. Apparently one of the coveted jobs for the Games Maker volunteers.
The long jump was the opposite side of the arena to us, but I was trying for the action shots.

The radio controlled cars take the discus back.

I spent some time trying to get a photograph of the shot putters actually throwing the put.

 We were also above the podium for the medal ceremonies and it was great to share in some of the joy and pride the athletes felt with their medals.

Outside the stadium the crowds were enjoying the good weather and the English garden was full of visitors.
I enjoyed looking out for all the variations of flags being worn or held by people as we walked around. The atmosphere was very positive and friendly again. It has been one of the hallmarks of the games that everyone has remarked on and has given London a new image I think abroad.

I liked having lots of people around all the tube stations and in town offering help even if I didn't need it.

Crowds walk around the English Garden near the Stadium.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

At the Olympics

The Olympic games has ended and I'm only just catching up with my own visit to the games.I was up very early on the 30th July for the handball session that I'd managed to get tickets for, after many days and hours on the internet.  Ruth and I walked to the Eaton Manor gate, which unlike Stratford had nobody waiting to go in and only us in the queue at the security gate!

I think there had been some serious over estimate at how many people would use this entrance to the Olympic Park, though for us it was great, we just sailed in. Some of the iconic structures like the velodrome stood out with out the crowds in front of them.

It was good to come into the park from the opposite end to Stratford as we had a very different view of the site. We spent some time exploring the natural areas around the river, all planted with trees, wild flowers and grasses.

The large screen was set in the marsh in front of the river looking a bit surreal with a few ducks and a moorhen  swimming on the water. Just across the way we sat and watched housemartins skimming over the water for insects.

By the time we got to the Copper Box, the venue for the handball, the park was filled with crowds of people. I'd never watched handball before and enjoyed the fast paced matches where goals were scored every minute or so.

We walked to the Stratford gate to go back home, around the Orbit Tower, which is not my favourite structure, and I think looks out of place in the park.

 The atmosphere inside the park as most people have remarked on, was very good natured and friendly, lots of people decorated with flags and excited children everywhere.

We have tickets for the Paralympics and I'm hoping to explore the park a bit more and find some more of the art works on the site as well as enjoying the games.