Sunday, 31 July 2011

Yayoi Kusama ... in Spain

A week in Spain ... I could write about Guernica, Prado or Thyssen-Bornemisza, about Guggenheim, Frank Gehry and the wealth of art in Spanish permanent collections.

But I'm sure you can find that somewhere else if you take a look. I was inspired by a thousand things. And at the Museo de Arte Reina Sofia, before I even found Picasso's Guernica, my imagination was full to overflowing, by the exhibition on Yayoi Kusama. I think she's even been (or going to be) in Tate or Hayward recently, but my appreciation had to wait for me to visit Spain.

Yayoi Kusama is the polka dot lady. But her epic, evolving career has taken her through west and east, through Miro-esque (but, seeing them for the first time, infinitely more beautiful) paintings of delicate natural beauty (my favourites), through a multitude of textile phalli, all white, explorations of the self, nudity, mirror mazes, lit by a thousand tiny lights, and back to painting, on a huge, vibrant scale.

I like seeing such a long journey, all in one place. I hope my journey is as diverse as that!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Ocean Deep

Jack in the Box 010At the end of each term, we give our Art Clubs the final challenge of coming together in a short hour of total mayhem, inviting parents and siblings to come along too and contribute to a sponatneous display. This time, we went underwater, and created fish galore, along with a strange series of creatures that are believed to live at the bottom of the ocean ...
Jack in the Box 011

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

The Magic of Thomas Struth

I have just met the photographs of Thomas Struth at the Whitechapel. I don't often have the patience to take in what is unique or creative about the photography of professionals, but I find myself rather bewitched by these. Is it their size? Is it merely a cheat that he blows the photos up so large that they become mesmerising? But it's not only this. There's something in the clarity and balance of light that is ... well, perfect. Consistent clarity and brightness in what should be a dingy photo of electricity cables.

Something else. There is something disturbing, or rather intriguing, about the special relationship between myself and the buildings or people in the photos. They feel so near, so close, and yet he fits so much into the picture. Then, the lining up of vertical lines with the edge of the picture is impeccable. If I did that, the lines would inevitably converge. It is a kind of technical magic that mystifies me on both a visual, responsive level and on a logical, investigative level. My camera doesn't do that.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Jack-in-the-Box

Jack in the Box 001
My 5-8s Art Club have been working on their own creative interpretation of Jack-in-the-Boxes this term. Here, at last, they are. The hardest bit was finding suitable springs!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Brixton Art Gallery


I've often observed, as I'm sure have many others, that Brixton is the kind of hub that ought to have an Art Gallery. I have my eye on the closed 'Rest is Noise' pub, or one of the closed shops down the road behind it, I don't really mind where. Brixton is enough of a social, creative and commercial hub that it simply ought to accommodate a Gallery of some description. Probably quite an eccentric one.

Well, it transpires that there was, indeed a Gallery, between 1983 and 1986 - a dynamic, active, thriving community of artists with a physical hub and a broad programme of exhibitions. It's quite a nostalgic experience to dig through their online archives and discover what was here, not so very long ago...

Friday, 8 July 2011

Hennie Haworth's Magic

When I need cheering up by the inspiration of colour, decoration, line, sheer beauty ... I pop by the website of Hennie Haworth. Everything leaps from the screen in life, detail and pattern. This is her work for Porthcurno Telegraph Museum.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Penguin Opposites

IMG_3116 Edited with Text
As I reach the end of a course in Children's Book Illustration with Dee Shulman, I bring to you the next phase in my penguin journey ... some ideas for a little book of opposites ... and my very early adventures in watercolour.
IMG_3115 Edited with Text
... And also, a trial for 'big and little', which didn't work quite so well for that theme, but I thought I'd share nevertheless ...
IMG_3114 Edited

Friday, 1 July 2011

Amber's Marine World

Last week I shared Micol's textile adventures. Now here is one of Amber's - her marine explorations into playing with plastic bags and meltable fabrics.

Amber