Sunday, 27 June 2010

Ventosa Siamesis

well to say it was hot is an understatement and what i really wanted to do was sit under a tree with a nice long cold gin and tonic or something equally cool! However we suffer for our art and headed to Exmouth beach: so did everyone else!
as in a previous blog i had mentioned Theo Jansen's Strandbeests (beach animals) and the fact he was showing one at Exmouth this June.

it took him almost 2 years to make this 'skeleton', which as he explained is in fact 2 joined together, hence the name Siamesis.
he also explained (above) that they are constructed from plastic tubes and plastic bottles which store energy from the wind in the form of compressed air and then are pumped up by the wind powered wings.
the wings are amazing,the sails expand and they then move around in the wind, much like the cape worn by one of the 'scissor sisters's singers at Glastonbury last night! i wish i could have recorded the noise the creaking plastic and the movement the wings made, somewhat boat like and mesmerizing. i wanted to be transported to a desert island , under my tree again (oh and yes of course with the gin)!!
this looks like some sort of backbone.
the only problem with Exmouth was that it didn't like our 'fluffy' sand! its feet are quite small and there wasn't enough wind so they had to resort to a compressor!
there was also a smaller beast you could try moving for yourself. this is my son moving far too fast to be captured by a decent camera shot! i still think they lend themselves best to deserted wintry beaches (with hard sand) but it was great to see one in the 'flesh/plastic'!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Head and Face designs chapter 12

this chapter first asked for an examination of artists who use the head or face in an expressive way. the following are my personal choice more or less in chronological order. Modigliani who elongates the face.
Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935) went through cubism and abstraction (above) to minimalism even producing 'Pictorial Realism of a two-dimensional peasant Woman' commonly referred to as 'Red Square' because it was a painting of a red square!
finally he went to basic figurative painting but breaking the face up into simple blocks/ sections.
next i looked at Wyndham Lewis, i love his portraits. i like to think of him as the user of curves, with beautiful sweeping strokes to create the features.
when i was idling my way through the local library i came across a book on an artist i had never heard of before John Falcke a modernist who has painted portraits amongst other things since the 1950's. he was quite a revelation to me breaking heads down to basic shapes.
lastly i thought i would use one of my favourite graffiti artists Jean Michel Basquiat(1960 - 1988.
i am quite keen to investigate artists who used children's drawings as bases for their work including faces, such as Klee, Kandinsky and Jean Dubuffet. also 'outsider' artists use interesting portraiture.
i started thinking of heads and faces when i was working on previous chapters and drew from books and life. #1 above taken from last years Edinburgh Festival brochure.
#2 the 3 Sitwell siblings from a photo by Maurice Beck.
#3 and 4 staying with Edith Sitwell, she had such an amazing profile.

above my poor husband asleep in front of the tv! hope he doesn't mind being spread over the Internet!
and above him in the garden, i think he was probably asleep there too!!! i have still to complete the remainder of this bit of the chapter, working with silhouettes so that will come in next post.
in the meantime i branched out and started on the design development from silhouettes. i was intrigued by these bobbin/pegs from the rope industry in Bridport museum. they reminded me of some carvings my father had done.
#9 fathers carvings
WIRE #1 i was keen to work with wire again and wanted to make a 'sea' of heads. going back to the silhouette of Sacheverell Sitwell i cut a template and then outlined it with pins in foam to form my wire around. i used 'silver' florists wire. each head is different as i distorted them.
#2 i then filled some by stitching on various materials, clear cellophane, organdie, brass mesh, painted and drawn calico based on faces drawn by Da Vinci and melted straws.
#3 shows the melted straw face and in the background wire dreadlocks!
#4 on the left i made a wirly-gig of faces. i then branched out after seeing an amazing ice cream seller who wore a hat and had his long hair up in a 'bun'! so the 4 on the right are based on the ice ream seller all attached to lolly sticks. still in a similar them Tizer is attached to a wooden fork from the food i had at the Bovey Contemporary Craft Fair. Can't put anything in the bin now without a second thought!
#5 finally collage punk head and my 'street find' perspex sandwiched between cellophane with a shi sha mirror for the eye! i could keep going with these!!! it is difficult to stop when you're on a roll! but must go back and play with papers and make my ATC for summer school!

Sunday, 13 June 2010


i've decided to work on heads and faces for the next chapter of work and there will be more in my next blog but meanwhile i have been thinking 'how little you can portray or get away with' when drawing a face for it still to look like a face! above a very cute bit of graffiti with minimal face seen in sunny Bridport a few weeks ago!