Friday, 29 January 2016

Art For The Heart: Romantic Gestures

These pieces, (Gesture I, and Gesture II), are two new works of mine which will make their debut alongside other pieces at Art For The Heart - the annual Valentine's themed exhibition at Cambridge Contemporary Art which opens tomorrow.

For this new Gestures series, and this show, I was thinking about how we express love, through signs and gestures - particularly those made by the hands, that form the shape of the heart - the universally acknowledged symbol of love, so commonly expressed in selfies and Instagram posts. As with other pieces created last year I used the sewing machine as a drawing tool to represent the hands, and then added the butterfly to represent that lightness of being, and fluttering sensation one experiences with such a powerful emotion as love.

After stitching the positions of the hands into the paper, I then had to decide which butterfly shapes to add to the final pictures. I quite liked the reverse of the pictures with the rough threads which formed a mirror image of the hands.

I had a great reaction to the pieces I exhibited in CCA's Christmas Show, so to reserve these new pieces, or other works of mine in the Art For The Heart show, then contact the team at Cambridge Contemporary Art at the address/number below. If you are unable to make it to Cambridge, but would like to commission a similar piece as a gift for your very own valentine, then contact me by phone or email. Look out for more in the Gestures series as the year progresses.

Art For The Heart 
30th January - 14th February
Cambridge Contemporary Art 
6 Trinity Street
01223 324222 

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

RSPB: Big Garden Birdwatch 2016

The Big Garden Birdwatch is an opportunity for everybody to take part in a huge wildlife survey by simply observing and counting birds in their gardens for one hour on the weekend of 30-31st of January 2016, recording the results, and then submitting these to the RSPB. You can get a free Big Garden Birdwatch pack, and register to take part (here). It is a very similar scheme to The Big Butterfly Count, and a good indicator of the state of the nations bird life, and also a great opportunity to get closer to nature. 

The results from the 2015 Big Garden Birdwatch show that the House Sparrow, Starling and Blackbird were the most commonly spotted in the nations gardens. Among the rarer species to appear were the Snow Bunting, Waxwing and Grey Partridge. Happy birdwatching!

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Peter Blake: Portraits and People

Made sure I caught this Peter Blake show before it closes later this month. This is the first show in his career dedicated solely to his portraiture, and it displays a good range of his artistic styles incorporated in his portrait work, such as collages, watercolours, acrylics and oils. This exhibition also incorporates Blake's figurative sculptures created from cigar boxes and other ephemera.

This is a fantastic collage entitled Aquarium and it is the first artwork to greet you in the exhibition. It is large and incorporates a range of historical portraits taken from a variety of found printed sources. All of the people in the picture look out of the picture plane rather than at the fish in the aquarium.

These are commissions and personal portraits of friends and colleagues demonstrating Blake's techniques in the show. Below is a study from life of Helen Mirren.

The back room of the gallery is a dedicated homage to one of Blake's musical heroes - Elvis, and contains lots of memorabilia, all artfully curated and displayed in the form of two shrines.

My favourite works in this exhibition, and throughout Blake's career, are the fictional characters/portraits that he creates for wrestlers, exotic dancers and tattooed men and women. I like that their facial features are taken from different photographic sources, and that in some cases those facial features are too large for the heads of the character giving them an odd appearance, which somehow seems to suit their fictional personas. The thing that comes through in these works, like that of the Elvis shrines is that Blake is really a fan of his subject matter, and popular culture in general.

Peter Blake: Portraits and People
until 30th January
Waddington Custot
11 Cork Street 

Thursday, 21 January 2016

London Art Fair 2016

To Islington for the first big art fair of the year. It seemed to be a little quieter, and a more subdued affair this year for some reason. There was nothing really outrageous on display. The following though are things that pleased my eye.

London Art Fair 
until 24th January
Business Design Centre
52 Upper Street

Monday, 18 January 2016


Speaking of moths, the lovely variations of ornamental typography and curlicues on this antique sheet music has inspired me to revisit the Nocturne moth based pieces that I created a few years ago.

Currently deciding on the moth placement and then it will be going out to one of the  galleries.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Max Alexander: Butterflies Through Others Eyes #18

Brrr! It's freezing! Warm, and cosy knitted moths for these cold winter months courtesy of textile artist Max Alexander.