09 October 2015

Art I like - Geta Bratescu

Seen at Tate Liverpool - the exhibition runs till 18 October. Read about it briefly here and at greater length in the press release.

Recent collages and works using painted sticks

Large Medea embroidery

Medea prints

Two of the Medeic Calisthenic Moves (1980-1) - "drawings with a sewing machine" - see them all here

"Recently, Bratescu has been besieged by curators. Her installation at the Venice Biennale in 2013 and subsequently in the Moscow Biennale the same year introduced her to a new audience from outside Romania. The displayed abject fabric collage works were stitched together from old clothes that belonged to her mother ... “She wanted to find a purpose for them.” And then the great museums of the world and collections fought over them." (via)

Sketchbook pages regarding the Medea work

Info about Medea, and about the blind drawings of women, above

Costumes for Ephemeral Celebrations (1987) - collage;
a better view is here

A mysterious textile - hard to get near enough to see it without setting off the alarm!

 An excerpt from her film Hands is here.
Geta Bratescu (b.1926) in her current studio (via)
More work here, from which this overview photo comes -

08 October 2015

Poetry Thursday - today is National Poetry Day

The mantra for the day is "make like a poet" ... so we'll all be penning haikus, or odes to our lovers, or ... well, the sky's the limit!

Poet and ocean
Nation’s Ode to the Coast
Dr John Cooper Clarke
A big fat sky and a thousand shrieks
The tide arrives and the timber creaks
A world away from the working week
Où est la vie nautique?
That’s where the sea comes in …
Dishevelled shells and shovelled sands,
Architecture all unplanned
A spade ‘n’ bucket wonderland
A golden space, a Frisbee and
The kids and dogs can run and run
And not run in to anyone
Way out! Real gone!
That’s where the sea comes in …
Impervious to human speech, idle time and tidal reach
Some memories you can’t impeach
That’s where the sea comes in
A nice cuppa splosh and a round of toast
A cursory glance at the morning post
A pointless walk along the coast
That’s what floats my boat the most
That’s where the sea comes in …
Now, voyager – once resigned
Go forth to seek and find
The hazy days you left behind
Right there in the back of your mind
Where lucid dreams begin
With rolling dunes and rattling shale
The shoreline then a swollen sail
Picked out by a shimmering halo
That’s where the sea comes in …
Could this be luck by chance?
Eternity in a second glance
A universe beyond romance
That’s where the sea comes in…
Yeah, that’s where the sea comes in …

Thousands of members of the public helped with writing this poem - read about it here, where you can also see a gorgeous video with the poem being read, made by the National Trust.

07 October 2015

Extended drawing - week 1

The Extended Drawing course at City Lit will occupy my Monday evenings until June. Seventeen in the class makes the room quite crowded when the easels are holding the big boards. And we were working big - taping together two sheets of A2 paper and scaling up a tiny playmobile figure. Here he is in his final pose -
First though, a variety of two-minute poses, in charcoal -
which were rubbed out (with paper towel) and a larger, more careful version added (on the right). The final one was started before the break (which alas is compulsory in this three-hour class) -
An hour later, it seems like not much has changed -
but there's been a lot of looking and adjusting, and considerable use of the eraser.
Do try this at home - set aside two hours; join sheets of cartridge paper (it's strong, erasable) with masking tape (on the back); work vertically if possible (tape the paper to a wall?) and get something tiny ... first, quick charcoal drawings (set the timer for two minutes), then a medium sized one (five minutes), and finally a longer, bigger, more considered one. The rubbings-out are all to the good, and there's no rule saying they can't go off the edge of the paper.

06 October 2015

Drawing Tuesday - Wallace Collection

Back to the armour in this congenial place, the Wallace Collection. We are continually astonished that people could have worn it - and at the the resources, skill, and craftsmanship involved in making it.

My first choice was some swords - those handles make for helpful negative shapes -
followed by a man-in-metal -
whose armour had the most wonderful patterning -
What objects did the others choose?
Lion?? mask, by Janet
Side view of rigged-out horse, another in Janet's series of horses-in-metal

Cathy's fine fellow, and some swords
More of Cathy's swords

A helmet and two views of a gauntlet by Sue
Another helmet, and more, by Sue
Continuing the metal theme - on the street nearby, some old lead removed from a roof

05 October 2015

Tracking a parcel

At first glance, this looked like a nonsense message -

There seems little point in tracking if the only information you get is that it's been signed for - after all, it's coming to you and you'd be the person signing for it, right?

Er, maybe not. In their haste to meet quotas for their rounds, it's entirely possible that the delivery ends up with a neighbour who, in the anonymous big city, you don't know. And that the "we left your parcel with your neighbour" slip goes missing. It's happened to us....

Button, button...

Willow pattern buttons, seen in the British Library shop - they put me in mind of the "cumbrian blues" of Paul Scott (see more here) -
Paul Scott, commission for Contemporary Art Society (via)

04 October 2015

At Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge

Penguin egg collected on Scott's 1910-13 expedition - a present for
Hazel, sister of the collector

Man and woman carvings from Greenland, 1927-35

Tupilaat from Greenland - the shaman catches the ancestor's spirit by singing a spell over
 the carving; the tupilaat can then be called on to help against an enemy. These are
modern carvings made for the commercial market

Diary from polar expedition "providing a handy home for
a needle and thread, essential equipmnt on any expedition"

Front and back of scrimshaw, made by whalers mostly 1835-1870