Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Spring blossoms in Bethnal Green

Walking through the Museum Gardens at Bethnal Green and along to the London Buddhist centre yesterday, I was struck at how amazing the cherry blossom trees are this year. Maybe the April showers have come at the right time after the period of dry weather we've been having.

The light in the morning is lovely too at the moment, illuminating the details of the trees and casting some long shadows. I had to keep stopping just to look a bit more closely at the trees and enjoy the blossom I was pleased I had my small camera with me to take a few shots.

May be the cherry blossoms, being so delicate and easily blown off the branches remind us of the transience of life as well as bringing delight at the clouds of colour they bring.

I can see how the Japanese have festivals, Hanami, in celebration of the Cherry blossom season. Link to cherry blossom seasons and locations in Japan and guide to the trees. I like the idea of having picnics under the trees and people just spending time appreciating the trees and blossom.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

On the streets of Camden

Looking round Camden last week before a Show of Hands concert at Cecil Sharpe House. I hadn't been round Camden much for a number of years. There were a good mix of people , lots of tourists and shoppers round the markets, students and local people too.

I thought it would be good to go back on a Saturday or Sunday and walk around the canal too and the locks. I was pleased that there was still an alternative feel to the area, despite some developments and good to be reminded of newer places for me to take my camera.

I enjoyed the decorated shops with their oversized, shoes, figures and an airoplane on one. The abundance of tattoo parlours, goth clothes and jewellry gives a certain dangerous element to the atmosphere. Though there were also enough people on the edge to give a real dangerous element to the street too.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Leyton Marsh

In the warmth of a week ago, where did that Spring weather go? I walked up to Leyton Marsh and the area that is being improved for the Olympics. The part near me is not the occupied section, but a few fields and pitches where kids play football with a small industrial area and schools along the edge.

Despite the less than inspiring setting and area, with the sun shining and the birds singing it was good to be out in a bit of greenery. The last trickle of the Dagenham Brook even looks appealing with a bit of blue sky reflected in it's waters and the bright green Spring leaves.

Still with the inspiring Hockney exhibition in mind, I found myself seeing some of the blossom as the strange caterpillar forms he had painted. The roots and trunks of one of the Hornbeam trees trees caught my eyes and a pair of woodpeckers their bright green bodies and red heads shining in the sun, chased each other across the fields.

A couple of families had brought blankets to sit on the grass and a few youngsters were kicking a ball around. I breathed in the scent of the gorse flowers and the remnants of a wood fire someone had lit probably the night before.

Cutting back through Villiers close to Church lane I passed the sad sight of too eagerly lopped aspen trees that had died.This is probably because inexperienced tree surgeons had cut all their new growth before a period of drought or heat and the stress to the trees is too great for them to survive.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

New Artists Book, Fragments of Blue and White

I have been working on some more Artists Books, since being on a writing course based in The Museum of London. I have been wanting to write more and combine my writing and art forms for some time now, and the course has been really good in terms of encouragement, our tutor Elizabeth Sarkany is really expert at encouraging and developing our writing skills, using the museums collections as a resource. Link to the course here

I used the collection of broken pottery, from an old victorian tip, that is inset in the floor of the museum,as inpiration for my artists book Fragments of Blue and White. I used to collect pieces of pottery from the banks of the river Severn in Ironbridge as a child. There were potteries on the site including Caughley and Coalport. I also used to collect blue and white china including the famous Willow Pattern, which is still popular as a design.

I decided to re-tell the story associated with the Willow Pattern design and include a story from the potteries that used to make the china in Victorian England. I had painted the willow pattern design as two oval pictures and cut them up into fragments on which I wrote the stories. The fragments are in a found box decorated with the china from the tip, which I had taken phorographs of.

I am in the process of printing the handwritten text and pictures so that I can offer the book for sale.