Excited to be exhibiting with two talented friends from the NUA MA this May at the lovely Nunns yard Gallery in Norwich. Will be sharing some of the work in progress in this blog...
A Place in the World: An exhibition of photography and film by women artists
Visited this exhibition with a couple of Nua friends. Very excited to see some self-portrait work of Hannah Starkey included. She works in urban landscapes and in these photos she uses reflection to draw the viewer into the work. She uses spaces that are public but that are "Invisible" allowing for private moments to be captured. A great deal of cross over with my own self-reflection selfies here. I was already familiar with both the photographs included and, as always with digital media, I experience a slight disappointment at the similarity with seeing the work first hand and looking at it online.
More exciting to see the work of Susan Trangmar, an artist I was unfamiliar with. A photograph of a woman with her back to us, stood at gates looking into a world she doesn't belong to. Reminded me of some of the Vivian Maier work I did. Definitely going to look out for more work from this artist.
Erika Tan's The 'Forgotten' weaver was the stand out piece of the show. A very clever installation with two films projected onto plastic packing tape layers, from different directions. The piece focuses on the "minor history of a Malayan woman, Halimah, who participated in the Empire Exhibition in London in 1924" It was the fragmentary multi-perspective nature of the work that really spoke to me. The projection onto a construction that resembled a loom but was made from industrial scaffolding and packing tape - rough, un-refined and ubiquetous.
Working this spring with Trowse Primary school in decorating their Leveret ready to take part in Break's GO GO HARE project which will take place this summer in Norwich. This blog's aim is to share both the design process and photos of the children working on the Hare.
Tuesday 27th March
Today we put the finishing touches to the Hare. Two teams of varnishers: Team one (Eva and James) and Team two (Kieran and Miriam) carefully applied coats of varnish to help protect the Hare from damage. We had a problem seeing the teachers names as the brown paint pen was too close in colour to the bricks, so the names are now in gold which adds a sparkle to the Hare. Tomorrow the Hare will be on its way to join the other Hares in preparation for going on display in the summer.
Tuesday/wednesday 20th/21st March
Little logo figures now all in place. Thank-you to the all children who had to remake a figure in a different colour to ensure we had a continuous rainbow flow. Excited to finally see the logo people in place and breathing a sigh of relief at the ease of using the marked up string to look at the lines and shapes made by the figures whilst making sure we would fit them all in. All 107 figures in place. Next job is for all the staff at the school to add their names to the bricks on the Hare's legs. Then we will need one last team - Team Varnish to seal the artwork in and protect the Hare from damage.
Monday 19th March
Been working on varnishing and cutting out all the little logo people ready to stick down onto the Hare. Paintwork is all finished now (not withstanding some touching up). Marked up the railing around the base. The string is plotting the lines of the figures around the Hare, circling from one door to another. I have marked it up to ensure that I get all the 107 little logo figures on. Tomorrow will be starting to stick the logo figures on...
Wednesday 14th March
Today I think the best job yet went to team Team Grass texture (Nina and Archie). They had to paint texture in two different greens, trying to capture some of the springy energy of grass. A great job was done and once it was almost dry I started on marking out the railings around the base.
Tuesday 13th March
Loving the enthusiasm of the children for their Hare. I catch class 2's faces peeking through the glass as they go to the school hall. They have also been very encouraging calling out "looking great" through the doorways and today there was some disappointment at how finished the Hare is looking as it means the end of painting!! Today Team Brick texture (Miles and Zak) did a great job with sponging on darker and lighter textures onto the brick base. Team school (Honey and Kate) did a first coat on the mid section of the Hare. Class 4 disappeared for the afternoon and so I finished a second coat on the body and got a first coat on the grass. Despite the time set back due to snow days we are still on schedule to get the Hare finished by half-term. Tomorrow will be more grass and railings...
Monday 12th March - Painting
Another full day painting the Hare. The morning kicked off with Team playground texture (Imogen and Micheal) who dry sponged on some lighter texture and dotted on some highlights. Tricky work keeping it neat but both did a great job. Then we were onto painting the legs. Team legs were (Charlie, Ella and Frazier) for the first coat and (Harry, Kate and Harley) taking the second. Surprising how much leg there was to decorate by the time you had painted all the way round. All had to concentrate hard to try to get the paint as smooth as possible. In the afternoon I worked to mark up the brick mortar joints on the legs. Tricky work to try and keep the bricks horizontal which involved a spirit level, a pencil and some strips of masking tape. Once masking complete we will be action Team Brick texture...
Wednesday 7th March - Painting
We made great progress today on the Hare. First up were Team Cloud (Martha and Joseph) who patiently added a second coat of more textured white to all the clouds. Then we had Team Sun (Honey and Tom) who painted the happy yellow sun. After lunch Team Playground (Zak and Will) took the tricky job of painting some of the underneath of the Hare - as you can see from the photos this involved lying on the desks to be able to access all the areas. Finally for the day Team Door/Clock (Ellen and Harry) took on the job of painting Trowse front door and clock.
No painting tomorrow as I have a college day but next up will be playground texture and then we will be onto the brick...well done class four.
Tuesday 6th March Sky painting
Today Team Masking (Angus and George) took the tricky task of masked off the clouds using masking fluid. Masking fluid is a liquid latex and is a little tricky to use (particularly upright) but is a little like magic when the dried latex is rubbed off after painting. Then I applied a first coat of the sky. Team Sky (Oscar and Kumi) took painting the second coat. Once touch dry the latex was removed and a little touching up was required around the cloud outline. Starting to take shape.
Monday 5th March Preparing the Hare
Team Sand (Evie and Dillon) helping sand the Hare and Team Gesso (Orla and Marley) helping prime the Hare. Then transferring on of cloud design and mapping out the sky line in preparation for the blue sky painting which happened in the breakfast room. Enjoyed chatting to all the children at break time about the design, such lovely and thoughtful questions. Allowed them to stroke the base plate (as we have not yet primed this) which feels super smooth after all of Evie and Dillon's sanding.
Thursday 22nd Feb Art Work
Into school to meet our Hare !! Mapped out in tape the position of the design. Used string to plot the line of the people in order to do some maths and find out how large each of the little logo people should be.
Staff meeting Wednesday Final design
Met with the staff and talked through the designs. Collectively we combined ideas from different designs to come up with a final design.
Design - Initial designs
From the children design ideas I worked up five alternative designs.
Workshops with Class 4,3,2 and 1 Monday 5th -Tuesday 6th Feb DESIGN IDEAS
Worked in the classroom, talking through the design process and discussed with the pupils how we can use images to communicate ideas about people and school.
Pupils were then given time to generate some ideas of how we could represent Trowse primary school. Here are just some of their many beautiful ideas.
Meeting No 1: 31st Jan:
Mrs Elvin and I meet to discuss the arrival and decoration of the Hare. We arrange times, during special week , that I can come into the class rooms and help gather design ideas for the decoration. At this point we discuss where the Hare will be painted and that it would be great to facilitate all the children getting to work on an individual area of the Hare.
NUA Masters Student trip to London Galleries -Friday 23th Feb. A highly personalised account of the trip, sharing my personal highlights and excitements. Day started out well - excitingly got to park up my bike next to an Ofo bike at the train station.
Gallery One: Sadie Coles HQ, Marvin Gaye Chetwynd.
A room of giant wall paintings/sculptures - 2D flat digital prints of collaged historical imagery, often monochrome, with fantastically theatrical 3D props mounted on the front. Enjoyed it's colourful magically and the relationships between the 2D and 3D elements. Coming from a position of not previously knowing any of Chetwynd's performance work it was difficult to initially connect to the work but it had an immediacy in it's playfulness and theatricality.
Gallery Two: Workplace Gallery, Marcus Coates: The last of its kind.
A film of Coates speaking all the great things man has created to nature. Incredibly powerful, a mesmerising film. He shouts out to an monumentally inert landscape, just a few yellow flowers flicker gently in the wind. Very excited by this artist, particularly his self-portraits. Marcus Coates: White British male has given me a great idea for my masters project. Interesting exploration of man/nature and "becoming" animal.
Gallery Three: Gagosian - Grosvenor Hill, Glen Brown
I found both this gallery space and the work so oppressive that I couldn't stay in this space too long. The work was flat and wilfully ugly. Totally not my thing. I tried but too depressing so sat outside. Only positive was the beautiful slim light grey brick of an otherwise oppressive building.
Gallery Four: Sprüth Magers
Gallery Six: BlainSouthern, Racheal Howard, Der Kuss
After some lunch and coffee...
Gallery Seven: Alison Jacques Gallery, Roy Oxlade: Work from the 80s & 90s
Roy Oxlade was the husband of Rose Wylie. Having caught her exhibition at the Serpentine in Jan it was really interesting to also see the work of her husband. Bold colour, brush marks and paintwork. Like Wylie there was a spontaneity and immediacy to the work which was engaging. A lovely sized gallery and a great glass window to the front through which I caught this image"Desmond and I" . The desire to be free of the 'artiness' of art shone through.
Gallery Eight: Fold, Michaela Zimmer Peter Welz, After white
This exhibition was a collaborative show which involved some performance which we didn't see. Difficult to comment on the whole show with this part missing. Difficult basement space which smelt of damp. An architectural intervention which was rather clumsily executed. Not much caught my attention here, except a pair of canvases which were white on white with leftover patches of florescent colours (looked as if colour had been sprayed onto masking tape and then removed) Again layering and leftoverness. Inspired by dance.
Gallery Nine: White Cube
Photos of me performing myself in two of the shows we saw here. The red 'performing you' photo was from Eddie Peake Concrete Pitch. An Installation filling a whole room, filled with dance music. A rumination on self-identity with architectural constructions and performance elements. Quite mind expanding. A fabulous, raw plaster lined, tunnel space. A 'Magritte' ladder and paintings in florescent colours using masking and layers (Quite a re-occuring theme throughout the day). Andreas Gurke, Rückblick, 2015 - Photo above right. I had already admired this work online. Fabulous composition, extraordinarily pleasing and powerful. Fictional "photograph" with a paint like quality when viewed in the real. I love the positioning of the vertical black and white lines. In my photo I am caught looking at the German leaders from inside the painting (Heroics Sublimes, 1950-51 by Barnett Newman).
I couldn't resist taking a second reflection photo of myself in the main corridor (caught one last year too). I love this building and the calmness and clarity of the interior spaces and the ethereal green tinged frosted glass doorways.
Gallery Ten, Matt's Gallery. Elizabeth Magill, Still (dark)
Best had been saved for last !! Matt's Gallery is in a new temporary space. They had constructed a small cube gallery inside a terraced house. There were only three works in the exhibition - arranged to speak to one another. Being such a small space we were up close to this beautiful painting. A densely worked surface, with many layers of imaging. Images screen printed onto aluminium and then worked on top of. A small red bird hiding in the thickets of trees. Red finger printed dots floating as a top layer. I hadn't connected yesterday but I have already come across Magill's work and much admired it. Really exciting to have seen her work in the real. I have been building a collection of branches in shadow and reflection images. Perhaps this show a way I could work with this material.
Finished the day around a fire in the gallery's fairy light garden which had a magical feeling.
Life Drawing: January 2018
Been drawing in thick, chunky charcoal on A1 white paper. Experimenting with layering different quick poses on top of each other and focusing on trying to get a sense of the volume of the model. Thanks to NUA open access life drawing and models Ben and Colin.