Thursday, 18 April 2019

places that have never existed

Steve Oliver's exhibition 'Best Muscle' - currently showing at HOME Fri 29 Mar 2019 – Sun 26 May 2019 piqued my interest recently.

I've long been fascinated by ordinary places -  the unnoticed, the banal, the forgotten - and most usually spaces devoid of human presence.

This work added a new twist: these are images of places that have never existed.

"Steve’s photographic works form the major part of his practice. They are made exclusively in-computer (no cameras) with material sourced from Internet searches. This process unfolds over many months, as the elements are searched out and piloted alongside each other in the emergent compositions." source

we'll all be laughing....
3 hours of gentle night
The good archer
The ecstasy of candy
Tiny hands

"In contrast to the implied three-dimensionality of the photographic image, these works give only a collection of surfaces that do not neatly allow the illusion to take; though they also demand that one is prepared to look carefully."

"This is why they must be encountered in the flesh, and lose something vital to their reading when seen through a screen."

Steve was born in Manchester, England in 1981. He received his MA in Fine Art from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2015. He teaches in the School of Arts and Media at the University of Salford, and works out of Rogue Artist Studios CIC.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

drawing to sound workshop

I've run drawing to sound workshops before. You can find a sample of one of the prepared soundscape collages here: 

The previous soundscape was tweaked for this particular session. 
Some of the more alarming, shocking, surprising or less harmonious sound samples were removed.

This session was delivered for HerArt which was set up to provide arts and crafts activities, workshops and courses in the Greater Manchester community. 

'The impact of all of the creative ideas, play and possibilities generated through HerArt helps reduce isolation, increase skills and improve wellbeing.'

The session was divided in to sections:

1. an introduction to mark making possibilities with the drawing kit to hand - mostly pencil, coloured crayon, pastels, felt tip pens ie dry media. 

Lots of play, experimentation and possibilities...nothing pictoral. 
Whether you think you can draw or not - all can participate in this session.

2. The sound collage was played.

Selection of colour, materials, shapes, rhythms, mark making, use of paper space etc was dependent only on participants' sense of what they could hear - how they felt the sounds might look when interpreted visually.

These are some of the results....

3. Everyone displayed their mark making. Lots of discussion ensued:

Positives - how fast the time liberating the exercise playfulness was relaxing, that anyone could join in

Negatives - how others might judge these experiments...
"What are these supposed to be?" etc

4. Participants chose ways to remedy the problem of what these mark making sheets were 'meant to be' by making them in to 
design sheets...

experimental collages...


or reconfigured images...

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Hew Locke: Here's The Thing

 I recently visited Birmingham's Ikon Gallery to see an exhibition by Guyanan artist Hew Locke. (Showing 8 March — 2 June 2019)

His installation 'The Nameless' consisted of manipulated black beads. Draped and pinned, they covered the walls with 3D drawings depicting and referencing tales from multiple sources.
"Hew Locke first began to incorporate strings of beads into his work after seeing the frayed tapestries on the walls of once-stately European homes. Their dangling threads especially interested him. “In [my] wall drawings, the beads act as equivalents to broken threads,”
Locke uses (beads) to create lines, rather than surfaces or volumes. ... Strings of beads hang down, like trails of dripping paint."
Source: Guyana Modern

Installation time-lapse of 'The Nameless' (2010), 'a processional walk of unlikely characters made of cord and plastic beads.'

'The finale of the exhibition presents a flotilla of customised boats, comprised of a mixture of new ships and those featured in the installation On the Tethys Sea (2017), first shown in the Diaspora Pavilion in Venice. Suspended from the gallery ceiling, intricate decorations, talismans and greenery adorn these empty vessels – with crew and passengers as absent presences – immersing visitors in a submarine environment, at once dreamlike and poignant.'
They also hold personal significance for the artist...

Here’s the thing: Guyana means ‘land of many waters’ – you are constantly aware of boats. I went to Guyana as a five-year-old kid on a boat. I came back here on a boat. So many things, good and bad, travel by sea.”

Hew Locke: Here’s the Thing 

photos: Helen Birch

Hew Locke, Here’s the Thing, 2019, Ikon.
Courtesy the artist and Ikon. Photo by Tom Bird.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Super-sized botanical watercolour painting

My new botanical drawing, painting, illustration, art book now available in 4 languages⠀
Spanish edition: 'Ilustración botánica': @editorial_gg 🇪🇸
Italian version 'Arte Botanica': 🇮🇹⠀
@logosedizioni ⠀
'La Flore' - French version: @pyramyd_editions 🇫🇷 ⠀
Portuguese: Ilustração botânica:

2 of New Zealand artist Denise Ramsay's dramatic large scale works feature in the new book. 
Her 'Fireworks' and 'Flight of Passion' paintings both measure 46"x48" = 116cm x 123cm⠀

Some of her painting process is revealed below.

Denise Ramsay Instagram

You can see more of Denise's detailed, labour intensive botanical watercolour paintings here:

'Flight of Passion' features on the front covers of the Spanish and Portuguese versions of the new book.