Monday, 26 November 2012

All Wrapped Up Cambridge Exhibition

I have been invited again to take part in the All Wrapped Up Christmas exhibition at Cambridge Contemporary Art gallery. It is always good to take a day to get out of London and visit this pretty city and the lovely staff at this gallery.

This Christmas they will be showing my new pieces Lineate and Coronet pictured here, as well as my Kaleidoscope screenprint.

Whilst there I also took the opportunity to visit Kettle's Yard to see the intimate exhibition of Winifred Nicholson paintings which were inspiring.

The All Wrapped Up exhibition is on from 1st December - 24th at Cambridge Contemporary Art, 6 Trinity St. Cambridge CB2 1SU Tel. 01223 324222

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Tim Walker - Somerset House

Somerset House seems to be the place to be this Autumn/Winter season. I revisited the Lucian Freud etchings show at the Courtauld, (see previous post below), and ventured across the courtyard where I was equally impressed with both the Tim Walker and Paul Benney shows also currently running there.

I became familiar with Tim Walkers work from the beautiful, surreal photo shoots that he creates for both Vogue and Harpers. He creates his own whimsical vision of the world which borrows from fairytales, and Surrealism. The outsized props and models created for the shoots are fantastic, and many of the most familiar from his photographs are included in this exhibition.

The unusual props combined with the strikingly made up models, and beautiful haute-couture creations of the various fashion houses creates a strange, magical narrative for his images. This exhibition is visually one of the best I have visited as it is beautifully designed and curated. Definately one for you if you love photography, fashion or model-making.

Also on display at Somerset House are the Association of Illustrators annual Images exhibition, and underneath the courtyard can be seen Night Paintings by Paul Benney, many of whose images also owe a debt to Surrealism.

Just as impressive as the paintings is the exhibition space, which are the hidden passageways that run like a labyrinth under the courtyard which are not normally accessible to the public. 

It is like being in a crypt as there are some old tombstones mounted into the walls and water dripping from pipes which adds to the dark/moody atmosphere of Benney's paintings. Highly recommended. 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

London Olympics 2012 Revisited

I was recently commissioned to create another version of Citius, Altius, Fortius, (see my earlier post below), by the Rowley Gallery. This piece commemorates London hosting the XXX Olympiad Games, and I was really happy to revisit the theme, having been completely swept up in the feelgood factor and wave of national euphoria  generated by both the Olympic and Paralympic Games over the summer.

Another artist who takes architecture as the central theme of her work, and has documented the development of the Olympic site and building of the various sports arenas in Stratford is the wood engraver and printmaker Anne Desmet.

I became familiar with her work previously, at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, with her stunning series of huge architectural Babel Flowers prints, (above), that were on show there. These were hung next to a series of Piranesi's moody, interior etchings and there are quite clear parallels between the works of the two. Having been a lino cutter I loved the immediate graphic qualities of her work. They also remind me of the wartime woodcuts of Edward Wadsworth of the Dazzle Ships.

The transformation of the site in the east end, from demolition, clearing and development and subsequent construction of the Olympic Park site, is wonderfully documented through the beautiful graphic imagery of this series of wood engravings. These wood engravings provide a more useful document, and are stronger visually, (in my opinion), than the officially commissioned artwork by well known artists, chosen by the Olympic committee. I like the way in which she takes the art of wood engraving in a new direction by mounting the prints on unusual materials such as razor bill sea shells, slate and also mirror to stunning effect.