Monday, 28 July 2014

Visiting Exhibitions in London

I haven't been to see any exhibitions in London for ages. (When I helped out at the graduate exhibition a couple of weeks ago there was no time to go out). So at the risk of getting Art Overload I am catching up on what's on at the moment. My first ports of call have been Tate Modern and Tate Britain.

However it was an uncomfortably hot day and Tate Modern was really heaving with people and I think that affected my appreciation of the exhibitions somewhat. I really didn't feel as beguiled as I thought ought to be by the huge Mattisse exhibition. The story of the last years of the artists life is so familiar and through the crowds of people I think I just saw what I expected to see. No more, no less. It was interesting to see how 'hand made' the 'cut-outs look with their occasional rough edges and glue stains and the faint outlines of preliminary drawings still evident. In reproductions the colour looks completely flat (as it is meant to) when actually you can see the varying density of the paint and the brush marks of the assistants. And I must say that I have seen his stained glass windows in books and on TV many times but I found that in the flesh the organic forms combined with the colour and light were really powerful in their simplicity. I will be going again to the exhibition with a friend before it finishes, may be it'll be quieter then.

Folk Art at Tate Britain was a rather weird and a wonderful collection of extraordinary objects
created by ordinary (often unknown) makers. Folk Art is a vast subject and, as if to make the point, the first display as you entered the exhibition was of outsized objects made as shop signs. If I had brought a child with me I would have told them that someone had used the huge key to break in to the giants castle and make off with a random collection of huge shoes, kitchen implements and toys (and here was the proof of their daring).  In fact it was a 'wonder full' exhibition altogether. We will never know who decided to paint a horse’s vertebra so that it became a mini-model of Methodism’s founding father John Wesley or what prompted Irish labourers to fashion the peculiarly fetishistic “God-in-a-bottle” sculptures. The exhibition certainly succeeded in  showing that creativity and innovation have always permeated every aspect of everyday life  and can pop up in the most unexpected places. I'm thinking now that I'd really like a 4ft teapot....

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Another Exhibition Over

The Synecdoche show closed on Sunday evening and was generally considered a great success. I'm pleased to report that I sold quite a few pieces. I still find it quite a challenge when someone looks at a print or a sculpture and asks me "what is your work about?"  I shall have to work out something pithy and succinct before next time.
I also did some swaps with some of the other students which is always a nice thing to do. The sculpture below right is by Marius Bremer who will be finishing his degree next year. It is now sitting on my mantlepiece.

Photo: After months of planning and a busy but great week Synecdoche Art is finally back in Bristol! Such great feed back from everyone who visited- on with the next exhibition!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Rabbitmen are in Crafts magazine....

advertising the Synecdoche exhibition in London! It felt amazing opening my copy and seeing them there.

Yesterday I packed up and delivered the artwork which is going in the exhibition next week. My contrbution is all very rabbitty. Accompanying the herd of rabbitmen is the original rabbitman collagraph and the Rabbit Suit for Mr Messerschmidt. The exhibition is being organised and curated by fellow students from UWE and I'm taking my turn at invigilating next Saturday. So if you're in London next week do pop in to the Embassy Tea Rooms, Union St, SE1.