Thursday, February 28, 2008

Fashionable Art

Art is playing a big part in fashion at the moment. The current collections and advertising campaigns from Dolce & Gabbana and Prada feature incredible fabrics that have been produced by young artists working directly onto the material, which is then made up into clothing.

Read the Vogue article(s) here.

I love the idea of art being something you wear, sit on, eat off, live with and not just look at. One of my problems with the 'white cube' gallery concept is that it's so clinical and detached ... you can't touch the pictures, let alone lick 'em!

For some time I've been producing 'products' in a series called "Art Comes To Life". I guess the jewellery falls into this category, as do mirrors, boxes, bowls and this ...

It's called "A chair for all seasons" and it has images of different seasons on it as well as some extracts from the Bible that refer to the seasons. The idea is that there's a place to sit and rest whatever the times and seasons we find ourselves in.

It was an old wooden chair that was going to be thrown out. And I'm going to work more with the idea of reclaiming and restoring worn out, broken down things, and giving them a new beauty, meaning and purpose. It resonates with me.

This chair will be going on sale at the Red Dragon Craft Fair this coming Friday to Sunday.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Size Matters

At my recent exhibition someone expressed suprise at the scale of the pictures ... as in how small they are.

I've done a lot of pictures in a 6ins by 4ins format ... as I mentioned before, when I tried to scale them up I couldn't. Weird, huh?

More recently I've been producing brooches and pendants that are similar but even smaller!
I used to work on a much larger scale (measuring feet rather than inches). But as my life has got smaller, so has my art.

Now I feel ready to try scaling up again. I've worked out how to do it (in my head) so let's see if I can do it in reality!

I want to produce big pieces for 'corporate' environments ... in the entrances ... so as to affect how people enter into places. I think this could work in certain environments when people come to work or worship. So often foyers are places people simply hang around in or pass through and then try to make the leap into whatever it is they are there for. Church buildings come to mind.

I think there need to be transitional places where people can enter into the 'space' they are there to work or worship in.

Entering is so important, but we tend to rush in and just 'get on with it' ... often relying on others to create the context and the meaning for us.

I remember ... years ago ... going into a church building for a christian conference. There was art all over the walls! There were life drawings, abstracts, representational art and all sorts! I thought this was a group who were really doing something with art and then bringing it into their community life. It was fabulous, and it made me so ready to engage with what was to be said.


The first thing the faciltator did was to apologise for the art. It was all done by a local arts society, and they hadn't taken it down in time for the conference!

Monday, February 25, 2008

That's what I call marketing!!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Images of Earth and Spirit - how to read 'em

This (seemingly never-ending) series of paintings explore the hidden energy of the natural world. The things we can't see embedded in the things we can. (BIG questions about this and how to describe what I'm attempting. For instance, is the tangible the real thing and everything else simply a component part? How do the tangible and the intangible co-exist and affect each other? Is the intangible the more real and the tangible just a temporary manifestation?)


The pictures take a look behind the scenes; they split things open; they focus in on the detail. They portray randomness and selection, excitement and energy, chaos and order. Things that are familiar become abstract. Images and impressions are combined with a mixture of colours, textures, shapes and symbols.

Sometimes it’s in the detail that the whole is seen more clearly and more deeply.

These pictures represent a different way of looking at things.

So, how does anyone 'read' them? I'll give you a few pointers. (You do realise I write as much for my own understanding as for yours?)

Intense colours create a strong visual context and, across the whole series of pictures, represent the spectrum of colours found in nature.

Background textures combine with the use of natural elements to create a tactile surface.

The surface of the picture is embellished with beads and gold or silver leaf to represent preciousness and to create a sparkling surface.

The central image of each picture is a cropped photo representing the realism and sense of
location on which each picture is based. Any words that are included add another level of depth, insight and meaning.

There's also a thing about numbers going on in some of them, but I'll leave that until another time.

When I click my fingers you will wake up and remember nothing.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Craft Fair Dates

I've added the Craft Fair dates for 2008 in the "Dates" Section >>>>>>>>>>>

Monday, February 04, 2008

Images of Earth and Spirit - a bit of the process.

Camera in one hand, sketch book in the other, sandwich bag in the other. That's how I set out.

Most recently it's been Garwnant in the Brecon Beacons. In fact, it's usually been mid Wales that does it for me. When I lived in London I used to go down there for days and weekends. When I moved there I barely stepped outside the door. Funny that. Now I live in Cardiff I go back there from time to time.

I don't walk much ... I fall over more. It's probably how it will end. I'll fall over and injure myself and never be found again. I've told the children not to worry if I disappear. I'll be rotting happily in some woods somewhere waiting for winter.

The reason I don't walk much is that I can usually see all I want and gather all I need in a very small area. Grass, moss, stones, rocks, trees, branches, water, rubbish ... they're everywhere. I'm not after the big view, the breath-taking panorama. I'm after that little patch right there.

I take lots of photos (the camera), do some sketches (the sketch book) and gather handfuls of whatever's there (the sandwich bag). That's how my big picture of Garwnant ended up with a Cherry Cola label and a lego brick in it.

Then it's back home where I usually have enough material to keep me going for weeks if not months. I've been working on this series (Images of Earth and Spirit) since 2005. Though I'm just about running out of stones and earth and dirt and twigs and bark.

Each picture includes a small, cropped photo of the place - an abstraction. Then it includes the natural materials I collected there. Then I paint and try to express some of the "Spirit" I felt there, adding shiny little beads, gold or silver leaf, high gloss varnish. It's a portrait of a piece of landscape.

And that's how it goes.

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