Thursday, June 01, 2017

Dreamland opens for the summer season.

Dreamland on the reopening day
Dreamland has reopened after a  makeover including putting a music stage at the centre of the site .
It's been interesting seeing all the changes happening over the last 5 years. From a first look inside at a derelict site with just the old roller coaster in need of a lot of restoration, and abandoned buildings.
Dreamland with work continuing
Parts of dreamland under constuction

Seeing the plans at that stage for re launch of dreamland as a vintage theme park was exciting.
Dot Dash art installation at Dreamland.
Queuing for the first tickets for Dreamland's opening
There was hope that a lot of local artists could be involved with the project, I put my name down for a number of things, but nothing happened there was no further contact and nothing materialized unfortunately.


One of the temporary rides








Finance problems loomed and changes in ownership, and I think the great pool of local goodwill for Dreamland wasn't utilized sufficiently. But it is still here and financed for the continuation of the venture and further restoration and development.

Many day trippers were arriving from the station this half term week and at the opening Dreamland was packed.
Lots of  new landscaping has been done and the whole site looks good, reminding me of the childhood fairgrounds I visited, with out the smell of diesel!       They just need the plaster dogs and cats as prizes.

A whole series of concerts and events are planned through the year, but the site is free to enter at any other time, you pay for the rides you want. This is a much better idea than the original one of everyone having to pay to get in whether they went on the rides or not.

Dreamland website here                    




New entrance to Dreamland.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Exhibition at Crate. Jemima Brown Figures in a Political Landscape


It was good to pop into Crate exhibition space in Margate over the weekend.
I had been intrigued by publicity for an exhibition called Figures in a Political Landscape, showing 3D sculptures using found materials, so was pleased to be able to call in to see them.

Jemima Brown the artist, was in Crate, using the space as a temporary studio as well as exhibiting her latest work. Website here.http://www.jemimabrown.com/


It was really good to have a conversation that covered things like  making art, politics and moving from London.

Jemima's work in Crate includes her sculptural pieces arranged on tables with art work on the walls.
I enjoyed the humour of the found materials she uses to make the figures, which include things like retro glass vases, pot cleaners and tin foil. This humour and the use of found objects draws you into the subjects and invites conversation.

We talked about her early memories of Greenham Common and how that has been an influence on her thinking and art making around the ideas and depictions of women with a social critique.

Jemima working in Crate
This exhibition looks primarily at Tory woman such as MP's wives, a chance synchronicity given the recent political events, the show was not planned to be open during the election campaign, but apt all the same. Jemima spoke about the importance of understanding your subject matter too. As an artist I understand the need for the integrity that Jemima shows in her work, drawing and painting from documentary sources and her own references.
 We also talked about the importance of gathering work together in order to see the links and relationships between pieces. I find that a problem working from home and not having the space to see work altogether.
Jemima was appreciating that opportunity at Crate to take that time and pay attention to exactly how she would arrange her sculptural figures with her figurative drawings.

The exhibition is on over the weekend 2nd/3rd and 4th of June, 1pm till 6pm or by appointment.
The closing party is on Friday 2nd June 6/9pm.
Crate's website for details    I really recommend a visit to  Jemima's exhibition.

CRATE Studio and Project Space
1 Bilton Square
Margate
CT9 1EE


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.