Research

My MA continues to absorb me.  Research is a main focus this term, I have never got through so much literature in such a short time!  I am looking at the ‘expanded fields’ (Krauss) and blurred boundaries in drawing and sculpture, doing alot of thinking, writing, visiting exhibitions, listening to talks and making samples.  I love the alchemy.  Inspired by artists such as Eva Hesse in the 60’s who defied categorisation, Cornelia Parker (exploded shed; melts down and ‘draws’ the object/s (eg a lead bullet) into wire), Monika Grzymala (see image below: theatrical explosions with tape and paper), Chiharu Shiota (immersive stretched installations) and critics/philosophers e.g. Rosalind Krauss and Peter Osborne, new ideas are slowly formulating.

Monika Grzymala, Freeing the Line, 2010

This month, I will be taking part in the Quartz Visual Arts Festival ’16, ‘Outside In’, 15-22 December at Queens College, Taunton TA1 4QS.  This involves a collection of work based on the rural landscape and natural world from over 40 artists and makers in the South West.

quartz-visual-art-exhibitionquartz-visual-art-exhibition-2

I’ve been involved behind the scenes at Black Swan Arts, Frome.  The winter exhibition ‘30 Years/30 Artists’ is now running until 24 Dec, our final 30th anniversary celebration of 30 years at Black Swan.  Postcard artworks have returned to the Gallery (displayed on a strange pink/silver/pearl tree I cobbled together), this time in secret envelopes at just £10 each – Christmas bargain!

I am also working towards a large piece for ‘Fresh Air ‘17’ in Quenington, Gloucestershire.  More news on this later.

Very best wishes for a happy festive season!

LOCAL TALENT!

One of the upshots of this year’s Somerset Art Weeks for me was making new contacts – not only with clients and potential ones, but with like-minded artists who visited my exhibition.  I didn’t have a chance to get out and view other artists’ studios during SAW as I was open daily myself, but this week I was invited to visit the studios of two very different, talented sculptors who are both fairly local to me.

Peter Osborne has made his mark with some amazing mixed media public, private and commercial pieces, often large in scale, using a tactile juxtaposition of metals, concrete, glass and wood. He has developed a range of unusual surface texturing, finishing and material processing methods, gained from his experience in the crafts tradition and commercial world of contemporary industry.  Peter’s understanding of materials and ability to form, join and meld them together is very impressive.  A blacksmith, sculptor and craftsman, his work and approach reflects his love of our world, its natural forms and rhythms, sometimes extracting ideas from ancient codes and ages.  Peter’s wonderful ‘Mallet’ piece, recently installed on Tesco land in Shepton Mallet (and funded by Tesco) is a radical social comment, with some strong connotations about the town’s history, corporate land ownership, and its connections to the present commercial paradigm.  It asks us to respectfully consider the effects this is now having both on humanity’s development and other life forms this wonderful planet also nurtures.  His passion about life and art is infectious.  I was smitten by his studio and feel inspired to get on with evolving my own studio and practice.

Anthony Wilson’s mad (his words), lyrical sculptures – to me, reminiscent of Miro’s work – take over his massive garden and house.  Peering out from corners, wild and more topiaried hedges and trees, hub caps and car bonnets with bulging eyes greet you.  Owls, space men and writhing, battling kings all watch as we mere mortals wander through their land.  Gnarled wood, chimney liners, bin lids, coloured glass and silicone are teamed up to play a major part in the show that grows in Anthony’s grounds.  I love the way these materials and substances – which seem an incongruous combination – work so powerfully together.  The surreal experience was abruptly ended, when Anthony’s dog escaped onto a busy A road – luckily rescued by a kind driver!  I hope Anthony’s plan to locate a suitable wood to house his creative menagerie will come to fruition soon.  http://www.sculpturemad.com/

Time to get down to the heady business of creating again…  A trip to London Museums and Gloucester Cathedral’s Crucible Exhibition next week will also, I hope, help to fuel new ideas.