Monday, May 30, 2016

24 Degrees, at the Sidney Cooper Gallery Canterbury.

Ruth and I went to Canterbury at the weekend to see the Degree show at the Sidney Cooper Gallery.
link here   The show called 24 Degrees, BA Fine and Applied Arts Degree Show is on till the 11th June.

It's always interesting to see what art colleges are doing, and the range of work was wide and varied.
From more traditional painting and sculpture to installations with beer cans and moulded black plastic.

Sharon Abayomi was showing work, with a great combination of sculptural forms of wood and Nigerian textiles influenced by Yinka Shonibare who is also showing work at Turner Contemporary at the moment.

The bubbles in Valentina Arno's work intrigued me, her work inspired by Joos van Cleeve painting called Homo Bulla.

Rosie Clay was showing ceramics, I loved the sculpted surfaces and the inclusion of the pieces of cut out clay.

Vicky Finch had set up an installation of forms of fantasy birds and insects and microscopic life in black and white. Formed by lino cuts wrapped around paper and mod rock sculptures. There was a mythic and totem like quality that I responded to.

Cyd Parker's paintings also explored allegory, signs and symbols with painterly stokes of colour.

Other artists and works include Holly Hickmore's amazing horse sculptures, Kevin Monk's "Realm of the Dream Nightmare" and Sam Webbs sculptural forms from found materials.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

New works in mixed media

I have been working on some new pieces using print and paint and collage. In a way I like to work sometimes, I put the ink and paint on with no thought in mind, using brushes and rollers. Then look at the colours and forms and find the faces or figures in them.

In this series there emerged all sorts of figures, birds, strange creatures and faces. I used pencil or pen to just highlight the forms.

The brain is wired to see faces, so they often come first,  it seems almost miraculous when looking, finding other figures arising when moments before it was just a mass of colours. It is a particular way of looking, relaxed and not forced in any way, allowing the eye to travel across the page, and not all forms arise straight away.

These particular pieces have a folk tale sense to me. I will be continuing to work this way for a while.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

3 Way Mirror exhibition Pie Factory Margate

Saturday 7th May was the opening of a new exhibition at The Pie Factory in Margate, called 3way Mirror. Pie factory website here.

An exhibition of ceramics and paintings by David White, Marilyn Williams and Steve Lobb.

I loved the ceramic pieces that Marilyn had made inspired by the foreshore, using the forms of birds. I liked the subtle changes of colour from piece to piece and the characters of the bird pots. More about Marilyn's work here

David's paintings explored the natural world, with often vibrant colours, which I responded too, there was also a portrayal of  the human exploitation of this world. He was also showing ceramics, working in collaboration with musicians.


Steve is also concerned with the greed of human nature as well as the forms of water and water lilies, beach and forest. I liked the tranquillity and forms of the lily pad paintings.

The exhibition is on till May 18th and is well worth visiting.

Monday, May 02, 2016

Hilma af Klint at the Serpentine gallery

I was very pleased to be able to get to see the Hilma af Klint exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery.
The exhibition is on till May 15th and definitely worth seeing. Gallery website here

I am always looking for artists who have a spiritual dimension to their work, and Hilma's work is all about that.

As it says on the Serpentine Gallery website, the "Serpentine Galleries presents exhibition  of Swedish painter Hilma  af Klint  (1862–1944), who is now regarded as  a pioneer  of abstract  art. While her paintings were not  seen publicly until  1986, her  work from  the early  20th century pre-dates the  first  purely abstract  paintings by Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian and Kazimir Malevich.

Klint originally painted landscapes and botanical works, but left them in favour of pursuing more abstract and symbolic works based on occult and spiritual dimensions.

She was interested in the work of Rudolf Steiner and formed a group with four other women called The Five. They conducted séances and the work in this exhibition comes from a series called The Paintings for the Temple, a commission from an entity called  Amaliel.

Surprisingly I found that a lot of her paintings had thin layers of oil paint, used almost like watercolours, with sections of the canvas showing through. Though some of the paintings are not particularly bright in colour, they have a luminosity that makes them shine.

The three large paintings in the entrance to the exhibition glow with light and colour that draws you into their world.

Klint's work is definitely work to see in the flesh, there is so much that has been taken or reflects her work in graphic design over the last 40 years which can make the work seem familiar. But in terms of presence, the paintings are much more unusual and arresting.