Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Adriaen Coorte: Butterflies Through Other Eyes #10


Adriaen Coorte - Three Peaches On A Ledge with Red Admiral Butterfly - 1693-1695

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Big Butterfly Count 2015

Last Friday saw the launch of The Butterfly Count 2015, where we are encouraged to go out into nature and record as many butterflies and moths as possible in an effort to assess the state of the environment in the city and countryside. The Big Butterfly Count helps scientists realise how we can help butterflies to be protected from extinction. All you need do is to count as many butterflies that you see in a 15 minute period throughout the duration of the Big Butterfly Count dates and submit this information online. For more information go to Happy Counting!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Joseph Cornell Wanderlust

The real purpose of my visit to the RA however, was to see Joseph Cornell Wanderlust, which I thought was a very good exhibition. Cornell is such an inspirational artist, and has probably influenced every other artist like myself who worked/works in the box-frame format. It has been over thirty years since the last survey of Cornell's work, so this exhibition is long overdue. It is a really wonderful show full of self-contained miniature worlds in a variety of boxes which display the gamut of Cornell's imagination. Surprisingly, as his shadow boxes are so evocative, Cornell never travelled outside of the United States, but trawled second-hand bookshops, flea-markets and dime stores to find source material for these magical boxes. I guess the sense of travel and magic conjured up in the boxes are a reaction to, and antidote to the very humdrum life that he was forced to lead, having had to support his family financially from an early age with the premature death of his father.

The elements and objects of the boxes are beautifully selected and composed like 17th century Dutch still life paintings. Personal favourites were the constellations series and of course the birds.


The scale of some of Cornell's pieces are tiny, which creates a sense of intimacy and drew you closer into he work. The sheer range of objects and paper ephemera that he adapted for use in his collages and boxes was interesting to see. And it is a real testament to the power of his imagination that he was able to conjure up and evoke places and environments which were alien to him so vividly.
Joseph Cornell Wanderlust
until 27th September
The Sackler Wing
Royal Academy of Arts

Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Royal Academy

The Royal Academy of Art is looking particularly fantastic at the moment. In the courtyard you are greeted by Conrad Shawcross's "The Dappled Light of The Sun" sculpture. They are like low lying clouds of steel, and also gave me the impression of wandering through a forest of metal trees whose leaves throw peculiar geometric shadows.

The interior of the RA is equally impressive thanks to artist Jim Lambie's dazzling ZOBOP coloured tape installation on the stairs. There were so many people trying to take selfies using the stripy staircase as a backdrop and being moved on by the RA staff.


Monday, 13 July 2015

Summer Exhibition Cambridge Contemporary Art

The summer exhibition at Cambridge Contemporary Art which opened last week is proving to be very popular and well attended. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the opening but the good folk at the gallery have sent me some images from their Facebook page to share of the work of yours truly and other artists in the exhibition.

The Summer Exhibition
until 31st August
Cambridge Contemporary Art
6 Trinity Street

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Serpentine/Serpentine Sackler

It was a real pleasure recently to cycle through Hyde Park on a lovely sunny day and to interrupt my journey to see two very interesting exhibitions which employ the figure as their focus. At Serpentine Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Verses After Dusk, is a show of her imagined portraits loosely rendered in oils.

I really admired the drawing techniques and mark-making in her series of etchings.

Whilst over at Serpentine Sackler is an exhibition of Duane Hanson's hyper-realistic

I thought these were good fun, and the attention to detail is incredible. The hands in particular were really well rendered. The only element in which they failed to fully convince was the hair/wigs which mostly look obviously false, and a little worse for wear with age, on some of the sculptures. Many of the figures really did fool the eye from a certain distance though, and were credible representations of blue collar workers.

Lastly, there was this year's colourful temporary pavilion outside the original Serpentine gallery, designed by Spanish architectural duo Selgascano, which proved to be a hit with adults and children alike, if not perhaps architecture critics.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Verses After Dusk
Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens
until 13th September

Duane Hanson
Serpentine Sackler
West Carriage Drive
until 13th September

Serpentine Pavilion
Kensington Gardens
until 18th October