Saturday, 30 October 2010

A day to myself London

The girls and I went to London a few weeks ago for a family function. We had a fab time here are a few of the things we did.

My mother in law and the girls looking at the water sculptures at Kings Place, Kings Cross. There is also an exhibition of self portraits on one of the levels. I escaped for a few minutes to have a look and sketch a few. I will have to put my drawings in another post.

Amyra and I about to hit the town and drink rather lovely cocktails at the fabulous Lounge Bohemia in Shoreditch.

This is the beautiful chair my friend Amyra made, out of scraps of old clothes. Such talent.

I left my husband and his mother in charge of the children on the Saturday and went off by myself to see some galleries and to go to the Frieze Art Fair.
I wasw also able to squeeze in a visit to the Tate Britain to see the Turner Prize nominated artists exhibition but was not allowed to take any photos, such a shame. I can say that I really liked Dexter Dalwoods paintings and Collages, and paintings that look like collages. Take a look here and see what you think. I really got excited about the exhibition of Rachel Whiteread's drawings in one of the other galleries. I love the range of materials she uses. Check them out here.

I took my life into my hands and snapped a few pictures in the permanent exhibition. I Love these Francis Bacon rugs. I began to appreciate Cubism after researching Cubism and textiles for an essay a few years ago, now I really like it.

The composition and colours of this quite small painting caught my eye. There is something quite quiet and also a bit Latin American about it. It is "Studland Beach" by Vanessa Bell painted in about 1912.

I also went to the Frieze Art Fair which was super fantastically huge....

I spent 3 hours just going round half, and when I got there I realised I was almost out of camera batteries so didnt take photos of the artists names. The idea was that I would snap the artworks that caught my eye and write down the rest........ didnt quite work out like that. I did buy the wacking great catalogue though and I will, I will, I will, look up the artists names. I will put in the ones I did write down for now. (how rubbish is that?)

poor stuffed puppy.

I know who this is, Alina Szapocznikow. I think I was drawn to this because of the delicacy of the detail. It reminds me of the romantics and Pre-Raphaelite. But it has a dark side, it is severed from the rest of the face to me it is Passion but unrequited, perhaps??? Or, having just skim read the wikipedia entry for her, perhaps it is to do with the memory of family or love or tenderness lost in the concentration camps.

I was immediatly drawn to these life size collage portraits. I am becoming more and more interested in collage, the way unrelated (sometimes) pieces can be made to relate to eachother and create a new whole. Like threads of conversations or memories untangled and fitted together to create a, sometimes fractured, sense. After about 15 minutes of looking at them I realised what they remind me of..Body Worlds an exhibition of plastinated bodies that toured the world some years ago.
These are by the artist Gabi Trinkaus this is the best link I can find for her.

Pins, is it because I work in textiles that I like to see (and use) pins in artwork?

I had to put in this

Here is one I really liked, unfortunatly no idea who it is. I even went to the trouble of writing myself a little note about why I liked it but didnt bother with the artists name. I like the idea of doing a portrait over time, just laying the next years drawing right over the top. Recording the passing of time visually. I dont know that that is what the artist was doing but the painting sparked that thought for me and as I am working on the theme of memory I became excited by the idea.
I am bored of putting up art that I cant put a name to so for now that is my lot.
See you soon.
Love Christina

Sunday, 10 October 2010

A day to myself.... in Launceston

I recently took another day for myself and went to Launceston, perhaps not the obvious choice for a day out but there is a beautiful castle on the top of a high hill right in the middle of town; oh and I needed to go to Argos as well.

This is the gate in the old wall of the town, I couldn't get a shot without bystanders and there were too many charity shops to be explored for me to hang about waiting. (unfortunatly or perhaps fortunatly considering how over-packed my house is, there was nothing much of interst in any of them).

I tried to get a photo of the wall behind through this gate but only managed to get the gate iself, but I quite like the woodgrain and how handled it looks.

I finally got out my sketchbook just before it rained and boy it rained hard, I had to run for my car.

Friday, 17 September 2010

personal project part 2

I am finally ready to write the second part of my Personal Project story, well its more of a visual story so lots of photos.

I talked about how I was interested in creating a "decayed" surface to work on and how my experiments with image transfer I had discovered a quite exciting way to produce the look of old billboards and peeling advertisements. I wanted to use this as a metaphor for the tricks that memory can play on us. What we think we remember has changed and the details have been lost over time, also how we can misinterpret an event and weave this faulty myth into our psyche or personal story. Something overheard in childhood for instance that has a very profound on our idea of who we are or where we come from can be so easily misunderstood. If we never get round to discussing these events for whatever reason we may never truly understand who we are or where we come from.
I have just talked myself round in a circle and I am not sure I have made any sense, sorry if you are confused.

Here are the layers of image I was talking about that I peeled away before they were properly dry so that the edges decayed.

Whilst looking at the work of other textile artist I re-discovered Polly Binns and loved the way she used knots, I did some experimenting and really liked the way the long ends of the knots look like birds wings.

Here finally is what I did with my paper birds. Stuck them like specimens on to my quilt. On a purely visual level it adds another dimention to the piece. Metaphorically it represents all those conversations I would like to have and it also conveys how prickly and uncomfortable I find the sort of discussions I am talking about.

This is one of the most succesfull parts of the quilt, I really like the white paint around the edges of the transfers and the way the text and the face are layered.

Here is the quilt before I transported it to college to hang in the exhibition. After seeing it up I decided to cut away some of the acres of white fabric that I had left around the outside of the image area.

Below is the quilt and me at the exhibition.

By the way I decided to name the work,
"Words-half spoken and half remembered".

Thanks for looking.

Lots of Love



Here is one more image, I was experimenting with lighting the piece to create shadows, in the end I decided that it was strong enough with out going that far but I really liked the way it took it to an even darker place.


Thursday, 16 September 2010

A whole day to myself

Yesterday I packed up my sketchbook and a small snack and took off by myself for the day. No plan. It was lovely.

I started with a quick stop to sketch of one of the old mine workings that dot the Cornish landscape and then took myself over Roughtor to the top of Brown Willy and back, it was so windy at the top I could have been blown off. I stopped there for a quick sketch and to eat my snack, then back to the car and off to one of my favorite beaches, Crackington Haven where I had a proper lunch and long walk on the beach.
I have never been a great photo taker and that day was no exception but here are the few I took and a few of the sketches I did as well.

I enjoyed the day so much I am going to try to incorporate a regular day to myself in my life.

Love Christina xx

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Personal Project year one. 2010

This is a little glimpse into the sketchbook I worked in during my personal project.

The front cover

I started thinking about how we communicate and in particular how we can be missunderstood. I began to examine some of the "myths" of and from my childhood. The things that I have always believed to be fact though they have never been spoken about. How the things we thought of as actual events can have been missinterpreted and missunderstood and missremembered as a small child. All the things that have shaped the person I am now and how many of them are based on erroneous memory. Both of the above images are self portraits and they represent anger or frustration and self loathing. I felt that I needed to comfort, wrap up, the me that falls into these mostly momentary fits of self loathing so I quilted me. That is I think when I started looking at the other possibly less obvious associations with quilts, almost a protective layer between you and the world or sometimes yourself. I associate it here very much with a mothers love. The comfort that a mother provides, the protector, the one who picks you up and kisses all your pains away.

This winter I became fascinated with the starlings that cluster in huge clouds over the Moor where I live. I looked at birds in symbology and mythology and found that they were so often used to express "communication". I could also see how a silent communication orchestrated their inticate and collossull formations when they flock. I started including starlings in my sketches and textile samples

I have always been drawn to text in textile work and it is of course one of our most obvious forms of communicating. I also started to think at this point about how my personal project would look and began to sketch and sample out ideas. Above are image transfers that I did using white arylic paint and photocopies. I am really pleased with the transfer on knitting. Particularly the way it decays and cracks when adhered to a surface with stretch like this piece of chunky knitting.

I became fascinated by the decayed surfaces that Norma Starzakowna (above)creates using various print mediums, some look like rust and others decayed concrete. I wanted to create a decayed surface to work on to express the notion of faulty memory and the damage it can cause.
I was also inspired by the way Joan Shulze uses image transfer in her quilts (below). I had already fallen in love with the process of image transfer and discovered through experiment that it is possible to layer up images and if the source is removed before the paint is dry it pulls away and gives a decayed effect, like neglected billboard hoardings.

Below is the start of my personal project. All the images have been transfered on using either image maker or white paint. I started using photocopies of bits of work I have done before or photographs but I quickly ran out of source material and started ripping relevant or interesting images from newspapers (mass communication).

I am almost done now and I am not going to show you my finished piece in this post because I think I have run on for too long, just one more image (below). These are the most literal interpretation of the work in my sketchbook. Little birds cut from the pages of a book. I'm afraid you will have to wait until next time to see what I did with them.

Lots of Love

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Talented textile artist Janie McDonald

If you are interested in Fine Art Textiles then check out the website of a friend of mine, Janie McDonald. She is a super talented Textile Artist and has an exhibition at the moment at Trelisk. Go down and see it if you are in Truro.

xx Christina