Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Daniela Osterrieder: Butterfly Brooches

I really like these pieces by German jewellery designer Daniela Osterrieder. They are based on the shapes and textures of butterfly wings. They manage to perfectly capture the fragility and texture of their subject beautifully, even though they are made from precious metals.

They resemble early Greek and Roman micro-mosaic work which comprised of tiny pieces of tesserae (glass panels) set into a base. Micro-mosaics were popular, and produced at their best examples during the 18th-19th centuries when micro-mosaic jewellery would be worn by ladies of wealth whilst completing the Grand Tour. Coincidentally during this period micro-mosaics were also made using the real iridescent scales of butterflies.

Osterrieder's pieces are so tactile, they are just begging to be touched and handled, as well as worn.

Compare the texture of Osterrieder's work to Nature's real life examples of butterfly wings viewed through a microscope below. The microscopic examples of real butterflies are amazing for their colour and pattern.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Thursday, 21 May 2015

BBC2: Butterfly Ident

Spotted this butterfly themed ident for Springwatch on BBC 2 over the weekend. Love it! So creative. Give it a play and see if you agree.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Transport For London Butterfly Poster

I spied with my little eye this great butterfly themed poster on the Underground recently. It advertises contactless payments and is illustrated by Rob Bailey and created by M&C Saatchi for Transport For London. Nice colours and butterfly motif.


Friday, 15 May 2015

The Gold Standard

Snippets of 3 pieces of golden gorgeousness, that are works new to - and recently delivered to Orso Major. These include the debut of a completely new piece entitled "Rabble" (more of which in a later post).

Also the Rowley Gallery tweeted yesterday about one of my gold dresses new into their gallery (here). Go get 'em! Go for gold!

Tuesday, 12 May 2015


Loved this exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery. It contains many of Ravilious's iconic images, and a good few that I had never seen before which are held in private collections. Ravilious's reputation suffers in comparison to other artists of that age, because apart from the Morley College murals that he worked on with Edward Bawden, his work was rather modest in scale, and he chose to work in watercolour rather than oil paints - the medium traditionally favoured by other artists. 

Ravilious's watercolour technique however is absolutely beautiful, and these paintings are like little time capsules of a bygone era, full of obsolete machinery and modes of transport. They fill you with nostalgia and make you yearn for those simpler times.

I loved the watercolours that captured the secrecy of the British intelligence war rooms of the 1940s, as well as the more popular landscapes with chalk figures. All of his themes - interiors, landscapes, war artist, and watercolour designs for ceramics are represented.

I thought Ravilious was almost as good as Imagined Realities the large birth centenary retrospective of his work held at the Imperial War Museum in 2003, and hope to visit the show at Dulwich again before it closes.

until 31st August
Dulwich Picture Gallery
London SE21

Friday, 8 May 2015

True Colours

This is my latest commission, a piece entitled - True Colours, (after the song made famous by Cyndi Lauper - but the Eva Cassidy version!). It was commissioned as a wedding gift for a lovely couple who are soon to be married, and created to complement a fabulous orange sofa. Its new home is in the most beautiful period house in central London. It was a great commission, and a privilege to create something that the happy couple adore, and will be a cherished part of their future journey together. It was a pleasure to meet you A & T. Congratulations and Good Luck for your big day, (and yes, I will definitely hold you to your offer of visiting rights!)

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Pangaea II: New Art From Africa And Latin America

The first part of this show from last year focusing on emerging African and Latin American artists (see here), was one of my favourites of 2014, so I looked forward to seeing this second instalment. I was not disappointed. It was a really strong show. Like last year the curators again opened the show with a stunning installation in the first room. Last year it was Rafael Gomezbarros' spiders, this year it was in the form of 97, 000 blue plastic bags, which comprise a piece entitled Everything Must Go - the work of:-

Jean-Francois Bocle: 


It is a comment on human consumerism and waste, and a metaphor for the sea, and the lives lost to the sea during the transatlantic slave trade. Never would have thought plastic bags could have such an impact artistically. I loved both the scale and simplicity of this installation. Other artists/works that impressed me were:- 

Armand Boua:
These are thought provoking graphic paintings using tar and acrylic on cardboard boxes that address themes such as child abduction, politics, ritual sacrifice, sex trafficking and man's inhumanity to man.

Virginia Chihota:
The drawing style and textured surface of Chihots's works reminded me of childrens book illustrations from the 1960s by illustrators like Ezra Jack Keats. 

Alexandre da Cunha:
These straw hats stuck onto coloured canvases were oddly compelling. 


I thought these objects were ceramic plant pots at first glance, but on closer inspection they turned out to be painted tyres given a new context, purpose and meaning. Loved the colour combinations.


Federico Herrero:
Another artist who uses colour really well on a large scale.


Diego Mendoza Imbachi:
I loved the huge scale, drawing, and simplicity of these works, as well as the nature/eco theme.

Jorge Mayet:
These sculptural works representing trees and plants were amazing. They look so real but are made from electrical wire, paper, fabrics and acrylics.

Ephrem Solomon:
Blogged about Solomon last year (here). Love his take on linocutting.

Mikhael Subotzky:
I like the way Subotzky composes his photographs. He has a good eye, and real painterly sensibilities in terms of composition. They remind me of paintings by J-F Millet, like -The Gleaners (1857).

Subotzky's photograph below reminded me of Gustave Caillebotte's - The Floorscrapers (1875), one of my favourite paintings.

Most powerful was this beautiful little girl with those awful words scrawled across her forehead. What were her parents thinking?

Rafael Gomezbarros:
Great to see the return of these amazing eerie skull-spiders.

Pangaea II: New Art From Africa and Latin America 
until 6th September 2015
Saatchi Gallery
Duke of York's HQ
King's Road