Sunday, 30 August 2009

Edinburgh in a rather large nutshell or 'too much of a good thing is simply wonderful'

i love Edinburgh! each time i visit i come home truely 'inspired'. even when it isn't festival time there is so much to see and do. this was my first visit that coincided directly with the main fringe festival, not to mention 'The festival', the arts festival, the book festival and the international festival. i have come away with a cultural overload of ideas, visual images and a complete rain forest of paper! luckily i didn't have to carry the bags home! our aim was to try and see things that were free.
we visited a total of 8 exhibitions(after which my son refused to go in another art gallery), various events, lots of shops and many restaurants and cafes. i think i'll split my experiences into several posts so today's sub-title is exhibitions part 1.
my favourite was, i think, 'Eva Hesse-Studioworks' at The fruitmarket Gallery. it brought together many small experimental 'test pieces' by the german born american artist Eva Hesse (1936-70). perhaps i shouldn't admit this but i had never heard of her and i realised there must be so many american artists and sculptors that i ought to investigate. some of this work had never been shown before and certainly not together since it was made. Hesse used latex, wax, cheesecloth, wire mesh, metal, paper and found objects. many of them were very fragile, especially the delicately beautiful paper bowls which were on open display in a very humid gallery (a conservators nightmare). i have a passion for shadows and some of her pieces produced wonderfully evocative shadows which don't come across when looking at photographs of them. this exhibition has got me thinking about the cross over between textile art and sculpture. do checkout the website.
next on my list came 'Rough-Cut Nation', a remixed version of Scottish history as seen through graffiti and street art. the group of artists had totally re-decorated one of the rooms in The Scottish National Portrait Gallery, whilst it is closed for redevelopment. we walked straight in, unlike the 4 hour wait some have taken for the Banksy exhibition. the more i look into graffiti, the more exhibitions i find, it is becoming more accepted as an art form.
i won't name all the artists here but i will congratulate them i loved it.

complete with frame for photo opportunity of my son!
last year in 'Selvedge' i saw an interesting exhibition advertised, 'Cycling up the hill with my dad' by Claire and David Hemingsley. unfortunately i couldn't get to it so i was delighted when i saw it again this year coinciding with my visit to Edinburgh. at the Collins Gallery in Glasgow it combined 2 of my other passions, textiles and ceramics. Claire is a textile artist and illustrator and David (her father) was a potter. her work shows the relationship between her and her father, getting much of her inspiration from the everyday such as words, lists, jam and dressmaking and her fathers tools. her materials are clean and crisp such as linen, organdie and wire which work well with the layers and transparency she uses with machine and hand stitching and digital print. what was interesting especially was the inclusion of her and her fathers sketchbooks. the quote in this posts title was seen in one of her books. do you think i could apply it to ice cream (good quality of course)?!

Friday, 7 August 2009

Continuing Chapter 12 but at a tangent!

not being entirely happy with my previous samples i decided to try something Sian had suggested which was to print on patterned fabric. i also went back to the above pattern for inspiration.
i decided to use stencils again using the above street graffiti, which i think belongs to BT, along with arrow shapes and other stencil patterns from tags.
and guess what i found some tartan in just the right colour combination. it took the stencils and Stewart Gill paints beautifully. i then embellished areas with beads and cross stitches. i am not a great one for over complicated design, i often think the simpler things work better, so i decided to leave it there. i think there is something of the wild west about this now! i see cacti.

it was then cut up and re-arranged

i have been playing around with slotting together some of the cut outs. it is here i go back to the rabbits (if anyone can remember a previous post)! i can see a rabbit monster with two pointy ears holding onto his dog who is cocking his leg in the air! i am off to Edinburgh tomorrow for a couple of weeks so i intend to investigate a few tartans while i am there! not to mention the Fringe festival. when i return i will tell you what i have done with the rabbit!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Distant memories

i have just had this picture converted from a slide to send to my brother, the artist of the wall painting and incidentally the chap in the photo holding the small child (ME)! it reminds me that somewhere deep in my psyche i have been heavily influenced by seeing art and possibly wall paintings from an early age. does this link in with my appreciation of graffiti? i also think its a great picture of a bygone age, although that makes it, and me sound very old!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Field for the British Isles and more little men

this last weekend we went to Torre Abbey in Torquay (the English Riviera), to see Antony Gormley's 'Field for the British Isles'. 40,000 little figures made from clay. they were displayed in their newly refurbished barn, where Spanish Armada prisoners had once been kept. the venue was just perfect for the figures but unfortunately no photos were allowed. in our travels round Torquay we came across this derelict building complete with graffiti man.

back home and still on the theme of little men i discovered this kame kaze sticker man trying to get into a dangerous spot.
further danger of high tide, this little monster throwing his hands up in horror!

Monday, 3 August 2009

Chapter 12, towards an embroidered item, at last!, at least most of it.

i chose for my first sample a blue glazed cotton which i just happened to have in my box of bits. a layer of painted silk organza on top which was randomly painted with silk fabric paints and the design below in a 'glo in the dark' paint. unfortunately this needs to be a bit thicker to glo really well but i will investigate this further. this was outlined with fluorescent green stitching, which i am sorry to say the scan does not pick up too well. other random stitches were worked into the voids and further embellishment added with sequins and printing, using ends of straws, card and stencils.

i was not entirely happy with my blue sample so i started another one made from 4 separate pieces. cotton, cotton organdie, silk and linen all painted with fabric dyes. the stitching was a mixture of hand and machine,finally printing on top with card ends and straws.
the pieces were cut up across their width using lines from the above design.
i tried various re-arrangements. above they look like totems/faces, like the statues on Easter island.
with guess what? yes,tartan placed behind!
and finally i realised i wanted to add something else to the whole. stencilled tags painted silver. i even think the ends of the threads look like hair sticking up and i want to add eyes to them! today i bought myself a pair of tartan shoes!!! and i have just added another website to my list of useful sites, the museum of fabric brain art. absolutely amazing, especially the knitted brain! check it out!