an artists' view

an artists' view

Friday, 31 August 2012

Rust & Tea, Rust Dye-ing #3

Working with a group, we did some rust-dyeing. I added a used tea-bag, just in one place; the orange/rust patterns.
I like the grey/black colour, and the striations on the fabric.
Currently there is a scrap of fabric soaking in tea-bag dye. Every time I make a cuppa, I add the tea-bag to the pot! What will it come out like???? More alchemical kitchen!

Monday, 27 August 2012

stoke museum

Stoke was the centre of the ceramics industry in Britain, and the Art Gallery &  Museum has a big collection on view.

This is (left) an unglazed earthernware jug with painted decoration, from Cyprus, circa 700 BCE; and (right) an earthernware cup from Greece 600-575 BCE.
There are also Clarice Cliffe, and Susie Cooper ceramics on display, from the early 20th century.

And this, rather baroque 'urn', which stood more than 5 feet high, covered in leaf and animal designs. Quite hideous in its way; though I rather liked this sheep/ram head. I photographed it as I've been looking out for wool related images, since developing an interest in textiles, and all things 'woollen'.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

'fears, foes, & faeries'

At Scarborough Museum is an exhibition called 'fears, foes & faeries', which is on until the 30th September.
Anyone with any interest in folklore, and charms and amulets, would find this a fascinating looksee.
It uses the Museum's collection which came from William James Clarke, who was collecting between 1900-1945, and lived in Scarborough.
The photographs are of one of the exhibition cases in the 'Charmacy & Health' room.
Below is a close-up of 2 of the exhibits; on the left is the throat of a goose; on the right is a fabric bag, which held a charm for health.
Animal parts were used by cunning men and women, and witches, as part of healing rituals, and the philosophy of 'sympathetic magic'. To twenty-first century eyes, this can seem uncomfortable and even cruel.....the kingfisher nailed to the mast of a boat, which came from Guernsey, as recently as 1913, was one which struck me particularly. It was supposed to bring a good catch to the fishermen. And possessing a kingfisher feather was thought to bring protection from lightning. 
Life was tough for ordinary people in the early years of the twentieth century, and they needed any help they could get.

More information can be found here.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Star Carr

 The Derwent River
This section of the River Derwent has been canalised, for quite a length. A long straight section, that I'd guess is relatively recent (?)
I stood, and sat here, for a number of hours, soaking in the landscape; watching the wildlife; drinking in the silence.
Close by is the site of 'Star Carr'; where during archaeological digs last century, deer horn helmets/masks were discovered in the peat. These are now in the British Museum. Not, sadly, in either Hull, or Scarborough Museums. Needless to say, they are a highly significant find, and nothing like them have been found anywhere else in Britain.

I saw a hare in the field next to where I sat. Always an amazing sight. No deer, though, although they are round and about that area still.
Did some sketches and took photographs. I'm planning a painting based upon that landscape, which was the reason for my visit. 
Artists have worked there in the recent past, and you can type in 'Mesolithic Interventions' and find the blog for that project; there was an exhibition in York Art Gallery a few years ago.

More information about the archaeology can be found here.

'chicken scratching for my immortality'

The campsite I stayed at had lots of chickens wandering around; they were really tame, and I crumbled up some breadcrumbs for this one, to tempt her closer. The sunlight really caught her colours. 

Friday, 24 August 2012

Beacons Festival

Last weekend I went to Beacons Festival.
Listened to music; drank beer; ate food; enjoyed the sun....when it shone! And tried to avoid the rain!
On the Saturday, it was glorious weather. The sky was blue; the clouds were little fluffy ones!
The sunset over the fields, and the hawthorn tree, was spectacular.
For 3 days, I sat in a field, camped up in Blanche, and chilled. Bliss!  
 And after Beacons? I drove off to explore North Yorkshire, and look for Star Carr!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

staffordshire hoard

Yesterday I went to Stoke, to visit the Museum and Art Gallery, where there is an exhibition of the Staffordshire Hoard that was discovered in 2009.
A metal detector, with man attached (!) found around 5kgs of gold, buried in a field in Staffordshire.
This was later declared 'treasure trove'; and is now being cleaned up and conserved by Birmingham University. A small selection of the Anglo-Saxon treasures are on display at Stoke.
This is a terrible photo of a replica of one of the pieces. Light levels are kept deliberately low; and the original pieces are extremely small, so I wouldn't have been able to photograph them to do them any justice. And I'm not sure I was even supposed to take photos (?) but I reckoned photographing the replica was safe enough!
You can find out more about it, here.

This photograph from the postcard I bought, shows the detail of the work. Stunning!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

studio 2

This is studio A13 at Westgate Studios that I used to inhabit! When we all moved out of the Artsmill, and into the studios on Westgate in Wakefield city centre, there was a lot of work to be done on our studio spaces.
The walls needed whitewashing, and floors sanding and painting with floor paint.
One particular day, I remember sanding the floor, and creating a dust-storm! So bad it set off the fire alarm! Ian came knocking on my door to tell me. I had no idea, the noise of the sander obliterated the alarm's noise.
Happy days!
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