an artists' view

an artists' view

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Barbara Hepworth 'Mother and Child' 1934

This is the second photograph Julie Clarke took of the Barbara Hepworth sculpture.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Barbara Hepworth 'Mother and Child'

This is a photograph of Barbara Hepworth's sculpture from 1934, entitled 'Mother and Child'. It was taken by fellow studio holder Julie Clarke.

It was installed in Westgate Studios for the last Artwalk, on Wednesday 28th July. We studio holders had the opportunity to go and draw the sculpture, before the Artwalk began at 5pm. The Project Space was empty apart from this single sculpture, and a member of staff from The Hepworth Gallery was on hand at all time, to look after it.

I was particularly intrigued by the reflections onto the acrylic case surrounding the sculpture. I asked Julie to take a photo, as I hadn't thought to take my camera with me. This was one of the results.

The sculpture also cast a reflection onto the inside of the case; it created a black silhouette, and this caught my attention. The sculpture is very rounded, and curvaceous; making it hard to draw. The reflection however, seemed much more angular, and blocky. I was reminded of the Aztec sculptures of goddesses giving birth, squatting on their haunches. Of course Hepworth studied ancient scuptures when she moved to study in London, so I wondered if the images were being called up in my memory, because I had read this about her, or if the reflection really was squarer?

That was the reason I asked Julie to take the photograph. What do you think?

Tissue Text

I've been up at the studio today, working on some experiments with tissue and text.
I've stuck some black perle cotton onto a piece of white tissue, forming words with the cotton.
It's very faffy; but the effect is of delicate and swirling lines.

I'll take some photos when I'm a little further along, to give an idea of what it all looks like.
I'm not sure whether to mount it up into a frame when it's completed or create a book from the tissue pieces.
My first idea was to make a book; but of course now it's taking form, I'm able to see how it might work mounted up.
Still undecided as yet.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Sashiko Stitches

Here is the completed Sashiko stitched piece!
It is now sewn onto the larger piece of calico, which is the 'Journey Through The Past' Core Sampler.
I was told recently that this running stitch, which is known as 'Sashiko' in Japan, is also used in India.
In Bangladesh 'aunties' fold last season's saris and stitch through them to make blankets. In the East of India it is called KANATHA, and in the West GANDRI.
My friend Berenice gave me a leather glove, to cut out the fingers and use to protect my fingers with all this sewing I'm doing. It looked rather sinister sitting in my pigeon-hole at the studios, where she left it for me to collect; but then single black leather gloves can look quite sinister!
I've hand-painted the larger calico background fabric; which has changed the look of the work.
More sewing to do on it, but I hope to be able to use Irene's sewing machine (now mine!) to do this. It should help me to crack on with it a lot faster.

Parsnip Spiral

Here is a photo of the parsnip spiral taken in July 2010.

I fed the plants with nettles steeped in water, and gave them a good watering. Then thinned out the spiral.

We should have a good crop of parsnips for the winter.

Parsnips are best left in the ground until there's been a frost. This converts the starch to sugar, and makes them taste sweeter.

It's an act of trust in the future to grow plants; I'm interested in trying to grow food for the winter months, when vegetables are scarcer. Jon has planted lots of brussels many indeed, that he's given lots of plants away to friends and family.

I'm looking forward to eating these winter crops for our xmas dinner!

Parsnip Spiral

This was the parsnip spiral that I sowed in April 2010.
The beginning of another 'land art' project, involving growing plants.
I sowed 2 spirals in Jon's allotment; this was one of them. I sowed the seeds, and they're growing nicely.
I've taken some photos of them greening up, and will add them later.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Jon's Assembly

Jon made this assemblage up of things he found in his garden!

Personal Artwork Workshop with Marion Michell and Carrie Scott-Huby

This is a photograph of one of Marion's 'Hairdresses', which were exhibited at The ArtHouse in July 2010.
They're croched out of artificial hair! Tiny little dresses, hanging on show, looking for all the world as though they've been made for fairies to weer.
Very evocative of fairytales.

Personal Artwork with Marion Michell and Carrie Scott-Huby

On Saturday I went to the Arthouse for a workshop with Marion Michell and Carrie Scott-Huby, called 'The Personal Artwork'.

Carrie had brought along some folded and sculpted brown paper 'Mantles', which caused me to think for a few moments.
I'd seen some photos of the Pace Egg plays at Hebden Bridge (?) and been really taken by the cloak/s made for one of the characters to wear. This was made out of strips of newspaper, and it occurred to me then that a coat like that would be fantastic......though I did wonder if it would be very heavy to actually wear!

I decided to use this workshop to make a mantle using strips of newspaper, and some coloured tissue strips mixed in. When I finished, it looked more like a neckpiece as worn by Egyptians, or South American Aztecs! Which also set a lot of thoughts running for me!

It was good to make a piece of work in one session/day, rather than spend days/weeks/months hard at work on a painting or knitting, which is my usual working practise.

There was some lovely objects made by everyone; I did take some photos, so when I get them onto the compooter, I'll try to get them uploaded.

I also took a couple of photos of Marion's croched work which is currently on show in the exhibition space at the Arthouse.
Don't be put off by that sentence. She is very inspired by fairy tales, and personal memories of childhood, and the work reflects these concerns.
She has croched a set of 'Hair Dresses'....say it quickly!....using hair extention pieces from a hair dressers in London. They look very strange, like doll's dresses, hung on the walls. And are very hairy...obviously.

Reminded me of the film 'The Company of Wolves', from the book by Angela Carter, where the very charming wolf says to Red Riding Hood, that 'Some wolves are hairy on the outside, and some are hairy on the inside'; i.e. their wolf-ishness is hidden from sight.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Sashiko stitches on hand painted calico

This is part of a textile project I'm working on at the moment. After visiting York Art Gallery last year, and seeing the Sashiko exhibition there, I was inspired to try my hand at this hand-sewn running stitich.

I have used calico as the fabric, and hand painted it with fabric paints. I then sewed the piece of painted fabric onto the larger piece of calico.

It has taken hours and hours of sewing! I used an embroidery hoop to help me sew, but I still had shredded fingers!

This piece is still on-going. There is sewing; knitted 'pelts'; hand-painting; and transfers included in this sampler.

Neolithic Carved Ball

Here is another example of the Neolithic carved balls that can be found in museums.

This one is on show in Hull Museum.
It's a wonderful museum to visit, and the archaeology on show is astounding. Included in the exhibition are copies of the Folkton Drums.

Very much recommended to visit, for anyone interested in archaeology.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Nest of Long-Tailed Tit

The nest of the Long-Tailed Tit.
Made from cobwebs and lichen! Lined with feathers.
There is a group of Long-Tailed tits who make a racket bouncing around the trees around my house.
They're like little round balls of feathers, with very long tails!
Despite them coming round to feed, I've never managed to see a nest. This one from Whitby Museum is the nearest I've come.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Wasp Nest

Here's a photo I took of a wasp's nest that Jon brought home for me.
It's extremely delicate, and fragments were falling off it as I carried it out into the garden to photograph it.
It's only small, it fits in the palm of my hand with room to spare.

Jon had found it in the shed at his mum's house. It's very beautiful, and the photo doesn't do it justice.
I have a book about how animals build, which I haven't read yet, but will dip into, and try to find out some information about wasp nests.
I believe that wasps 'chew' the structures where they attach their nests, and the spittle and saliva (if indeed this is what the wasps produce!) from the wasps, mix in with the chewed materials of wherever the nests attach to. This is then made into the paper-like material which the nest is made up of.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Morning Glory Give-Away update

The latest news is that 21 Morning Glory Plants have been passed onto gardeners/artists.
Out of this, 14 have so far survived the predations of SLUGS!!!!

I have 2 plants left which are recovering from the hungry chomping of slugs. So they'll remain here, and I'll plant them out in my garden, when they get a bit bigger.

I've handed out advice about the plants, suggesting that eggshells, sharp sand, organic/harmless slug pellets be spread on the ground around the Morning Glory plants.
Cut down plastic drinks bottles placed around the plants, to stop slugs getting to the plants, is another way of protecting them.

I've done a rough draft of how I want the page/s to look, so just got to do that on the computer. And do some more work on the cover and the back of the book.

'Morning Glory (IPOMOEA) flowers last only one day, but are borne continually, so there is the pleasure of being able to see new flowers open each morning. The foliage is not particularly dense which means Morning Glory is not an effective screening plant. Treat it as a decorative guest, not a workhorse.'

Friday, 2 July 2010

Neolithic carved ball from the Isle of Arran

Here is another neolithic carved ball.
It was in the museum at the Isle of Arran, which we visited in 2009.
Like the previous carved ball, its purpose is unknown.

I love the mystery contained in these ancient objects.
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