Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pancake day races, Parliamentary Pancake Race and Guildhall races.

I was out and about on Shrove Tuesday, Pancake day to see some of the capitals Pancake day races.

I had heard of the Parliamentary Pancake day races, and liked the idea of cross party teams of Lords, MPs and the parliamentary press racing against each other outside the Houses of Parliament. Rehab website here.

I was surprised that there were not as many people as I imagined watching the event, held in the small Victoria park gardens along side the Houses of Parliament. Though it is really popular with news crews and photographers. The event raises funds for Rehab which supports people with disabilities.

Natasha Kaplinsky was the official starter for the race and posed tossing her own pancakes along side the other competitors. I liked that it was a good humoured event with lots of banter between the teams which made me smile.

There were only 3 members of the Lords competing this year and the MPs won this years race.

At the Guildhall the Inter-Livery pancakes races are held, with guilds such as the Poulters who inaugerated the races, the clockmakers, furniture makers and the cutlers. Poulters company website here
The entrants wear their robes as well as hats and gloves and aprons. The gun makers start the races with a bang.

I did enjoy their races and the billowing robes of the masters and the fancy dress. There were bigger crowds to watch the races, with many cheering on their guilds.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jewels of the Imagination exhibition Wood Street.

Saturday saw the start of our week long exhibition, Jewels of the Imagination at Wood Street Market. 98-100 Wood Street, Walthamstow, E17 3HX Website for Turnaround exhibitions here

Sanyukta is showing 3 of his beautiful and intricate paintings, using ancient Nepalese Buddhist and Hindu iconography, Sanyukta is researching and exploring these traditions and is producing work using modern and traditional forms. Sanyukta's website here

Ellen is showing 3 frames filled with sparkling jewellery and a display of more jewellery to buy inside the unit.Ellen's etsy shop here

I have several Buddhist themed paintings and four of my recent symbolic landscapes exploring the world of myth and shamanic imagery. I also have a range of my photographic and art cards and prints on show.

The exhibition is open to view from outside on Monday and Tuesday and is open to look around inside 10am till 5pm Wednesday 22nd and on Friday 20th February, the last day of the show.

On Saturday the exhibition changes again and their will be an exhibition of printmaking and installation art from Helen Porter and guests.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Yayoi Kusama exhibition at Tate Modern

I went to see the exhibition of Yayoi Kusama at Tate Modern,exhibition info here drawn by her use of colours and the installation Infinity Room. I remembered her polka dot works and the sculptural pieces from some years ago, but hadn't seen the installations or much of her work at Tate Modern.

The first thing that hits you are the large red and white balls out side of the exhibition its self. I watched quite a few people interacting with them, adults and children alike. I enjoyed taking a few street photos there too.

Inside the exhibition I was struck by how interesting sticky dots and paper rings can be on mass on paper. A lot has been written about the obsessiveness in Yayoi Kusama's work, something she talks about too and there are many examples of multiple layers and patterns to see.In one of the installations, you walk into a room just lit by UV light, where furniture walls and ceiling are covered in coloured dots.

Yayoi has used polka dots since a child and in her happenings in the 1960's she covered people in polka dots.In one of her films in the exhibition you see Yayoi even covering a cat in polka dots and filming it too.

Quite a number of her sculptural works were on show including the facinating pieces of furniture, ladders and shoes covered in phallic shapes. They look like extrusions of clay arising from the objects themselves and do seem to convey a certain sense of unease as well as facination.

In the Infinity room an installation set up for this exhibition, Yayoi uses coloured light , mirrors and water to create a wonderful space. Inside the darkened room the lights change and looking all around you see what appears to be infinite reflections stretching into the distance. I stayed there quite a long time, entranced by the vision.

Yayoi has been voluntarily staying in a psychiatric hospital in Japan since 1977 and working continually in a studio nearby. She says her art has saved her life.
Yayoi Kusama's website is here

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Turnaround exhibitions in Wood Street Market

The opening of Turnaround exhibitions and the other art and craft stalls seemed to go well on Saturday. At Turnaround we had great poetry and music and masks to wear.

The market was busier than I'd ever seen it,hundreds of people came along which was great to see. There was a good sense of energy and dynamism in the market that all the units seemed to be benefitting from.

Quite a number of new busineses have taken up the indoor stands including the East London Craft Guerrilla, their site here Significant Seams have a shop, workspace and exhibition space in one. Their facebook page here

The Wood Street market blog has photos from the launch day here

I hope it continues to be busy, there doesn't seem like a lot of passing trade along Wood street, though quite a lot of new housing has been and still is being built just back from the street. It is known that quirky and unusual shops and art and designer craft busineses can draw people into an area. There aree so many similar high streets that we are all on the look out for something different. There is also a growing appreciation of the hand made again, though I am still surprised by the high cost mass produced objects can fetch, compared with designer hand made products.

I wonder what has lead us to value the factory produced over the artist/craftsperson?

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Capture Waltham Forest Exhibition and Turnaround Gallery show

I am pleased to have had one of my photographs exhibited in the Capture Waltham Forest Exhibition. The selected photographs from the competition will be on show at the vestry House Museum 1st June till the 30th September. I'm still waiting to hear the details of the private view.

Website for the exhibition is here

Waltham Forest Arts Club has been chosen to have one of the market units in Wood Street, there will be a re-launch of the market on February 11th where more art and craft makers will also be opening their units. Wood Street Market site here Website for Turnaround The arts club unit/gallery here

The arts club has a group show to open Turnaround which is the programme of exhibitions running till April. I've put in a small painting in for the group show. The launch day on Saturday 11th February is from 12 till 3pm and there will be live art, poetry and music sessions.

I'm also showing work in the second exhibition Jewels of Imagination, with another artist Sanyukta and Ellen a jeweler
Link to our exhibition page here