Sunday, 20 August 2017

Box Art at Printworks London

20170818_131917 I casually agreed to join some friends at a free workshop for children and adults of all ages, working with boxes. And turned up at Printworks London, immediately blown away by the scale and magnificence, both of the venue and the project underway - pretty pleased to have trekked to Surrey Quays with two small children!

Funded in part by a local regeneration project, artist Charlie Evaristo-Boyce had used dozens of boxes to create a city, using a mixture of screenprint and spray paint. The magic of repetition and cityscraper patterns achieved through screenprint on white boxes was lovely.IMG_3590

But part of the project requirement was to invite the community in to contribute to the project, and so here we were, our part of the community comprising three grown ups, two small children and a baby.

Left fairly to our own devices, we decided to draw around the children and let them paint themselves onto a tower, while the other grown ups had a dabble with screen printing. It worked rather well and the children were amazing - this was perhaps Feets' first time painting on a large scale and the attraction of painting herself helped maintain her interest.
IMG_3593For me the key magic of the day was the size of the space and the sheer number of boxes and towers. What a joy it would be to work on such a 'blank canvas'!

The other magic, perhaps not the magic the artists had in mind, was the joy for the children of exploring this box city - of building houses and tunnels out of unused boxes, playing hide and seek - simply being able to work with such a monumental medium was a dream for a groups of pre-schoolers.

Photos thanks to Eleanor Salter-Thorn

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Indian Summer at the Horniman Museum

20170816_144902Feets, Bean and I passed a dreamy day in the Horniman Gardens, and found ourselves in a storytime and workshop themed around the Indian Summer and run by Emergency Exit Arts. We learned to count in Hindi, and to say 'Namaste' (and that one has stuck - we are still greeting each other in Hindi each day), and learnedlearned Indian dance signs for a number of animals, which Feets practises at frequent intervals. And we painted our own many-headed animals with bold paint sticks. A little bit of story, a little bit of dance, a little bit of art. All happy.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Working side by side ... on postcards

Feets Feets1 Feets and I have struggled a bit lately. After I set her up collaging her pressed flowers with tissue paper and postcards, and she was 'finished' within a minute, I realised that, in the struggle to get jobs done and look after Bean, it's a long time since I've sat with her and made things alongside her. So I took one of the postcards that she'd cut up and spent a happy half hour sticking, and Feets continued onto a second, third and forth postcard, each for a different friend. Watch out, friends! Feets2

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Pani

A corner of the Natural History Gallery at Horniman Museum is devoted to a contemporary interpretation of the Museum collections.  I love this corner very much, though I often have a three year old in tow who drags me past to see the walrus!
For now, there is a beautiful display by Daksha Patel, exploring people's relationship with water.  My attention was caught both by the beauty and the use of materials - she has 'edited' a satellite map of water with illustrative drawings of the creatures that live there and embroidered patterns.  I love this interaction of embroidery (a traditional, meticulous and very hands on, unmechanical craft) with the abstract beauty of satellite photography.
She has also created a series of rustic pots, collapsing the form of the pots to reflect the effects of pollution on the world.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

July

July1Just in time, here's July ...

Monday, 24 July 2017

Anime Architecture: Backgrounds of Japan

I popped into the House of Illustration after a glorious hour introducing Bean to the fountains in Granary Square.  To be honest, I'd been most appealed by the Jacqueline Ayer exhibition (pretty predictable of me, I know), which turned out to be closed.  So I explored Quentin Blake's Life of Birds (lovely - what is it about birds, of all things?  He tries to answer this, but he's not the only illustrator to love birds - perhaps I'll come back to this in a future blog), and then an exhibition of backdrops from Japanese Anime films.  Not my bag at all, usually, so very good for me to see something different!
It took a while to get into - I'm not traditionally a fan of the cool, clinical lines of futuristic cities (above - by Hiromasa Ogura for Ghost in the Shell) BUT ... I couldn't help but be mesmerised by the sheer talent of the artists and utterly intrigued by the complexity of developing an animated film like this.  To be honest it clicked into place for me at the end of the exhibit when I saw some cuts from the actual films - THEN I found myself fascinated and absorbed by how they manage to put such things together.
Along the way, I was chiefly drawn in by the gorgeous, obsessive complexity of Takashi Wasabe's layout drawings for Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence, a world (on a boat, I think) of tubes and pipes ... 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Wood

20170710_224032It had to be something quick and easy ... and rarely turns out quite as quick and easy as intended ... but here it is, a 'wood' gift for our fifth anniversary, made from the driftwood we collected on Salt Spring Island in April, reminiscent of the candle holders we made for our wedding.