see

“Don’t ever count yourself out”

Just watched a gripping documentary on BBC about Gene Cernan, astronaut.  If you’re in the UK, and pay a TV licence you can view it at:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0b3gd8g/the-last-man-on-the-moon

“Don’t ever count yourself out.  You’ll never know how good you are, unless you try.  Dream the impossible and then go out and make it happen.

I walked on the moon, what can’t you do?”

(more…)

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quilt, Ken Burns, video, documentary

“Civil discourse… quilts and films are ways to do that”

Ken Burns, well-known American film-maker, recently revealed that in a lifetime of making films for other people, he was quietly collecting quilts, for his own enjoyment. Then he let them go on public show, at The International Quilt Study Center and Museum.

The whistle-stop tour in under 2 minutes.

And for the threads enthusiasts – the 10 minute version – which also features great footage of how a textile exhibition is mounted.

“The common sharing of our heritage becomes a way in which you can continue to have a civil discourse – and that’s really, really important to me.  And quilts and films are ways to do that.  And that’s been my mission in life.” – Ken Burns

I love it that a man with a camera move named after him (the Ken Burns effect, look for it in your home video editing program) is that ‘into’ quilts, and sees the same attention to detail, colour, line and creativity which he used in his film medium.

Embroidery, poetry, photography

Maria Wigley combines embroidered handwriting with poetry and photography.  If the thought of that excites you half as much as it thrills me, then don’t miss her website

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© Maria Wigley

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© Maria Wigley

 

As an arts college tutor, Maria has thought much about her art and is able to pull out of her bag the quote:

“Painting is silent poetry and poetry is painting that speaks”

Plutarch.

Also, she is refreshingly honest about how her art received a new influx of life when she was balancing artwork with looking after her young daughter – seeing her joy with mixing the colour and putting it onto paper, without trying to make a particular representation.  Maria joined in.

Now, although her work is different, it still resonates from that place of sitting on the kitchen floor with her daughter, markmaking together, and becoming drawn into embroidering.

The art I produce now focuses on the connection between writing, stories, people and places, particularly the relationship between place and memory. Poetry and songs have a huge influence over my work, as well as listening to anecdotes about other peoples’ lives. The use of photography and drawing, features heavily in my work as it helps builds the relationship between the visual and the text. 

Excitingly, when you look at the list of her c.v. and recent projects, Maria’s embroidery text work is being used in book jackets, film, group exhibitions, artwork for a Paris hotel, handmade books….. there is a sense of her being on the cusp of about to be better known and even more sought-out.  In other words, if you like her work, seek it out now.

 

Creative Takeaways

Do you have a favourite photo, a place to remember, a favourite family quote or few lines of poetry which never go away, but keep resurfacing and still ‘speak’ to you?

How about combining them in a picture, then framing it?

CURATORS INVITING VIDEO – Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

I’ve watched with interest the dawn of curators describing their exhibitions to possible attenders.  The small Dulwich Picture Gallery in London started really well with its director, Ian Dejardin.  In a few minutes, he would tell us what to see, in a quietly enthusiastic way.

Now this – the gallery has TWO curators having a discussion and walking around a collection.

Hands up anyone who’d like to see this exhibition, now?

Me too!  And yes, of course, it is a marketing tool, that couch has been placed there, just so – but they do look at least somewhat relaxed and it feels like a real conversation.  They walk amicably around the exhibition, both get to speak and say what they’re keen about in it – and I find it overwhelmingly inviting.

 

Bravo, Dulwich Picture Gallery!

 

 

Fashion, Art, dance, music

Here at ,& we are all about the arts mixed, and the arts mixed with life – hence our tagline “,& the continuing conversation between life and Art”.

So we love this.

Tracie Cheng‘s drawings on flowing fabrics, dance across a field in fashion by Arret Studio, Shanghai.

Video by Derryck Menere.

Subtle, beautiful, moving.

 

Creative Takeaway

Do you write words or paint or draw?  Take that into another dimension by putting your work on fabric and placing it in different ways.

How about flying it as a flag?

Wearing it as a t-shirt?

Printing it onto fabric for a dancer?

Online exhibition, Edinburgh

So I curated an exhibition of contemporary art, poetry and readings – and it’s viewable in Edinburgh and online.  The works are by a collection of artists and writers, many of them are friends, all of them are excellent.

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Online catalogue – with tracks for various audio streams: poems, readings of the narrative by congregation members and curator or artist’s comment, describing the work.  This brings the exhibition to you.

https://wp.me/P3Cret-l3

Ideally, you’d visit in person, with the website page on a portable device, with headphones, so you could choose which tracks to listen to, at each artwork.

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However, if you can’t be there in person, the online catalogue is better than nothing.

I was commissioned by St Andrew’s and St George’s West, which is a church in a very central location, in Edinburgh, close to one of the main hubs of the International Edinburgh Festival.

The theme covered are the days from Christ’s resurrection through to Pentecost – all the transformed grief, new hope, encounters and excitement of that time, captured through 21st century disciples reading the words of the eye witnesses of that time, through semi-abstract pictures and modern poetry.  Something for everyone.  Those separate 3 strands of audio are clearly indicated on the audio guide, so if there’s one you’d rather miss (and it may well be the audio tracks recorded by the curator with a sore throat!) – then you can choose that.

For those of us minded to meditate, we don’t need to look far to find in our own lives and those we love, the same themes as in this exhibition: of despair, loss, recovery, transformation, hope, light, breakthrough and accompaniment through dark days.  Perhaps there will be something to think upon in our own lives as we look at the art and poetry.

Love to hear your comments and feedback.

There’s a dedicated Facebook page, ideal for comments, at http://www.facebook.com/SOLedinburgh

Please do check out the link to artists on the catalogue – many of the pictures are available as prints, if they take your fancy.  The artists featured are based in America, Ireland and Scotland.

bottle, water, painting, Sarah Bush

Painting as thinking: Sarah Bush

“I have an idea, then the work helps me finish the thought” – Sarah Bush

Sarah Bush works quietly in her studio, which is also a quiet palette of light neutrals – her colourful clothes jump out as she moves in her environment.  Many of her paintings are also quiet: almost monochrome.

There is depth in her work – she uses layers to represent time and memory and space.  As a mixed media artist, she literally puts in delicate slices of nature into some of her work.  Text is also important, too.

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Sarah Bush at work in her studio

As always, my curator’s eye was caught by a visual throwaway, briefly featured – the bottle and water.  It was one of many still photos of her works, and then was in the background in her studio.  I love it so much, I made it the feature picture for this article, so you can’t miss seeing it.

 

Creative Takeaway

What are you thinking about today?

Try taking it into your artwork (of whatever medium) and see if that process develops the thought.