Friday, April 20, 2007

Retreat at the Seekers Trust

I spent a few days at the Seekers Trust in Kent on a solitary retreat recently. I usually spend some of my time taking photographs and painting as well as meditating and reading. I find it a very creative place.

The birds were just starting to build up to the dawn chorus, and there were Jackdaws in the church tower just up the lane. There were daffodils and Celandines and white and violet Violets in the woods.

I have been thinking of diary forms and artist's books still and so decided to do a small piece I've called Tracking The Sun, which is 4 small paintings, one piece of canvas folded over, showing the sun in the morning, early afternoon, late afternoon and at sunset. I did the paintings quickly, about 20mins each on the day 28th March. I also did some even quicker 5mins sketches recording moments and their time.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Talks and photos of the Thames

There was a talk at the Southbank with Jeremy Deller and Lu Jie called Unofficial Art, that I went to earlier in the month. It was a shame that not many people were there, as it was a very thought provoking evening. Jeremy Deller was talking about his Acid Brass project, where a traditional brass band played acid rock music. It seemed to be a way of linking cultures, and breaking the stereotypes around brass bands and creating a new audience. Deller talked about re-connecting people and giving them a lineage. He showed an extract from a video he made of the band playing and it really was good.
Other work he talked about included his documentation of alternative culture in Britain, including traditional festivals such as the tar barrel rolling in Devon. Then there was the film about Depeche Mode fans particularly in Eastern Europe. Questions for Deller were about what is seen as art, what is valued in our society and who has access to exhibiting space?
Art in general he thought lost much by not acknowledging it's connection to the wider cultural forms.

Lu Jie, quipped Am I back in Bejing? when he saw the title Unofficial Art, which made me laugh.
He is involved with a vast array of projects in China some under the heading The Long March, artists travel across China working with people involved in creative practise. I was really pleased to hear about one project, The great Survey of Paper cutting, which looked at the paper cutting tradition in one province, where some of the outcomes have been a higher status for the people involved in paper cutting, usually women, and international exhibitions of their work, more money coming into the region and the re-evaluation of the tradition.

After the talks I was walking across the bridge with Ruth to Embankment station. The lights around the river were making really amazing reflections on the water, the area was filled with people, which was giving a party like atmosphere and a good end to the evening.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Urban Arts Workshop

On Saturday 31st I was running one of our art and meditation days with Amitajyoti, for women. We were working with our inner guide, or exploring the idea of an inner guide. It's some thing that I have been interested for some years and last year we ran another event on the same theme. This inner guide can be called our intuition, or gut feeling, our still small voice, or inner teacher, however we describe it, it has an important role to play in our lives,
There are quite a few resources, talks etc on this area on my main site if you are interested in finding out more.

Artist's Diaries and Tate Modern

I've been working with the theme of artist's diaries recently, in other mediums, film, photography and painting. This follows an inspirational couple of workshops at Tate Modern, where we looked at some artist's diaries including Jo Spence, Sophie Calle, Larry Clark andGilbert and George. Discussed work and then brought examples of our own diaries to share with the group.
Some pages from my visual diary here.

While I was at Tate Modern I couldn't resist taking some photos of the " slides"I do quite like their sculptural qualities and who can really argue about a work of art put to good use by keeping children and some adults happy.