Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Margate in the Mist and Gwen Ramsay's Exhibition

Last Sunday after a scorching hot week Margate was filled with sea mist. I could taste the salt in the damp air in the garden and the light was diffused and pale.

I went down to the sea and the Harbour Arm appreciating the change in perception that the mist brought. It was like seeing through a very fine veil.

People were still on the beach and swimming in the sea, not as many as had been but still making the most of the day. I enjoyed looking out across the pale aqua sea to the horizon now wreathed in mist.

I had gone down to see the latest exhibition in the Harbour Arm gallery.  The artist Gwen Ramsay was showing a range of paintings there. Her website here

I was drawn to her still figures in water,one called Night Swimming showed a female figure with her arms crossed in front of her, looking as though she was gently rising through the water which was full of stars.

There was another female and male figure with their heads just above the sea which

also had this very still quality which reminded me of the stillness in meditation.

One wall was full of small paintings of magnolia flowers in various shades of colour. They conveyed a sense of botanical collections. And the studies botanists made on their plant hunting trips.

I really enjoyed seeing the work which was in the very lovely small gallery on the Harbour Arm, with views out onto the harbour and sea front.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Curiosity exhibition at Turner Contemporary Gallery.

I've been back to see the exhibition Curiosity :Art and the Pleasures of Knowing at the Turner Contemporary gallery. I really like the exhibition with it's mix of historical and contemporay exhibits.
Thomas Grunfeld's work Misfit is quite arresting, I wasn't sure if it was a bit too disturbing at first. But I wanted to sketch it all the same.

A sketch of Thomas Grunfeld's sculpture.

It also appeals to the collector in me and some of the items I definately covet. There is for instance a collection of old German glass sea creatures, which is absolutely amazing. The skill of glass blowing and sculpting is amazing from trailing tentacles to sponges.

Similar glass sea creatures to those on show in the exhibition.

Similar sea creature to those on show at the exhibition.

Another display case holds some beautiful agates with their patterns suggesting landscapes.

I'm also appreciating a look at some of Turners work that is not normally exhibited. In the last exhibition it was some drawings from his lectures on perspective and studies of reflections in glass balls. This time there is a wall full of watercolours of birds, paintings I'd never seen before.

One of Turner's studies

They are lovely, very delicate in colour and feel. A lot of head studies and a few birds that had been collected for his studies after they had died.  The dead Jay and Ring Dove have a softness and lightness of touch that speaks to me of care for the birds in his observation.

Another of Turner's bird studies.

I liked Salvatore Arancio's works that had the look of historical engravings from the nineteenth century.  I made a sketch of one of the pieces. Site with an interview and work by Salvatore Arancio here

 A sketch of one of Salvatore Arancio's works.

Laurent Grasso's reproductions of historical photographs of popes and bishops looking through the telescope in the Vatican, really interested me. It started me thinking of the historical links between astrology and astronomy, which were much closer together in the past. Article about his work here
One of Laurent Grassos works.

The exhibition is on till the 15th September and is well worth a visit.

Monday, July 01, 2013

RIBA Sandcastle competition Margate.

The Royal Institute of British Architects RIBA Sand Castle Challenge went ahead on Margate's main sands on Saturday. 
The beach is particularly good for sandcastles having a very large sandy beach, part of which remains out of the sea except for very high tides.

Team Yellow JRA architects

I liked the idea of architects and planners making sandcastles along with teams made up from the general public.

Team The Family Planners working on their fantasy castle.

  I've always loved the idea of sandsculptures but have yet to try any out on the beach.
I remember seeing some semi permanent sculptures of mermaids and sea creatures at some seaside resorts when I was a child, and I really loved them.
Ryan Richards

There's also something about the transient nature of sandcastles that is appealing, having the tide fill in the moat around your castle and finally the waves toppling the structure.

The weather turned out well, in fact very hot in the afternoon and sandcastles were being watered to stop them from completly drying out.

Dmitri Ivanoff and Petra Lui building their sandcastle.

There were some great sandcastles, from a turtle to octopus, castles to a race track and a Roman Colosseum . I think adults outnumbered children for this event and they seemed to be enjoying the day as much as the children.
Ryan Richards and Karen Richards hard at work.
Andy Blake works on his turtle.