Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Trip to Venice

I was lucky to have a few days in Venice at the end of March, a place I have always wanted to see, as so many artists have painted the city, lagoon and canals.

We were staying very close to St Mark's Square and spent the days walking the streets, taking photographs and making a few sketches. Many shops had glass, stationary and masks in them. Most of the glass from the island of Murano, made in a vast range of products from jewelry to intricate sculptures. I was drawn to the handmade books with marbled or block printed covers and bought one small sketchbook.

It was a very different feel with no cars, buses taxis etc on the main island and walking was much more enjoyable.

We visited the Peggy Guggenheim gallery, her house in Venice, filled with amazing art work, chosen by her for her home. The view from the terrace across the Grand Canal was stunning. I could see why she would have chosen this beautiful place to live in.

The winged lion of Venice was very much part of my experience and I felt very connected to the history and symbolism of the city.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Pie Factory Margate POW event Material Matters.

I went to the opening of Material Matters at the Pie Factory Gallery in Margate on Friday.

Open 10th to 21st March 10-5pm Tuesdays to Sundays.  Pie factory website here

The exhibition is part of the women's festival POW and includes five woman who work in a variety of materials. I really enjoyed the exhibition and it is well worth a visit.

Julie Parker is showing work made out of such things as hair and lint. Artists using hair always intrigue me, showing the visceral feeling of something that was attached to our body and associations with ritual and the sacred. Loose Ends, made from such things as bed sheets, wax and wire, is a large sculptural from suspended from the ceiling. The work for me has organic  links with animal and 
human forms.

I am always drawn to light and Flora Gare's piece Castles in the Air seemed playful and explored resin and lights in a sandcastle form. I have been thinking of using resin for a while to cast seaside themed objects and so  it was interesting to see that done well and with the addition of lights.

I also enjoyed looking at I Spy (Night) a circular mono print that evoked the night sky and landscape.

Sally Childs was showing Shibari inspired paintings and soft bodied figures. The paintings were evoking the female body with the sinuous forms of the ropes used in Shibari. Evocative and sometimes unsettling they draw you into the image and forms portrayed. I also loved the calligraphic 
marks of her dancer pieces.

Sally Hayes often works with plastics and in The Little Black Sack  Veolia's Little Black Dress,
a model form was showing a black dress made of woven and shaped plastic strips and pieces, which played on the nature of bin bags and fashion.  Sally's plastic drawings were also playful and I loved the little dragon forms.

The glass in Shirley Eccles work evoked fragility and strength to me, glass though sometimes easily broken can last centuries. In her piece The Roads We Walk,  I saw the glass shapes forming shoe lasts  and echos of feet.  I liked her use of hot glass in drawing, scorching the paper and then threads of glass left on them.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Flat Iron Building exhibition at Bernie's Chocolate Bar.

Bernie's Chocolate Bar in Margate, is part of the Flat Iron Building, Imperial House, on the corner of the High Street overlooking the sea. Bernie has been interested in the history of the building since starting her business and to celebrate it's third birthday she has organized an exhibition looking at the history and showing artists responses to it.

 Imperial House was originally called Imperial Hotel, and is one of the worlds oldest flat iron buildings, and was built over 20 years earlier than the famous Flatiron building in New York.

Imperial Hotel images from a local history site here

The exhibition includes painting, photography and illustration and I have a wooden box in the exhibition, that I have drawn a picture of the building on.
The box, an re purposed tea box, was made to look like an old souvenir of the flat iron building, painted and distressed.

The exhibition is open till Thursday 2nd of March 2017 at Bernie's Chocolate Bar, Imperial House, High Street,  Margate CT9 1AT

You can follow on twitter @flatironmargate

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Kashif Nadim Choudry comission by the Studio Group at Turner Contemporary.

The Studio Group at Turner Contemporary commissioned Kashif Nadim Choudry to make work for the Sunley Gallery. The exhibition is on till the 23rd April.

The installation called The Three Graces was made with the support and work of the Studio Group members and local artists and craftspeople.

I had a very tiny part cutting out some fabric for some of the flowers in one of our Blank Canvas sessions

"Kashif Nadim Chaudry (born 1976, Nottingham) uses elaborate textiles techniques to create sculptures and installations that explore themes of identity, religion and cultural heritage. The Three Graces is a large-scale installation of three richly decorative monumental figures inspired by triptychs in eastern and western culture." (from The Gallery website)

The installation wraps itself around the space with vine like plant forms, and other spherical forms, and horse skulls are brightly decorated with beads, threads and layers of fabric.