Saturday, January 29, 2011
It is one of those magical books which brings together so much so well. The author is a maker of exquisite ceramics, a man with an eye and a touch ... who also is able to write, not only with authority but with approachability. He tells his story well. There are reviews here and here and here and here and here,
And what a story! Edmund de Waal not only has the fortunate circumstances of his abilities; but also the extraordinary felicity of ancestors of note with fascinating acquaintances (the buyer of the netsuke moved in the same circles as Renoir, Proust, Degas, ...) and living in interesting places through interesting times: Paris during the Drefus affair, Vienna before and during the Nazi occupation, the American occupation of Japan, ....
I like the way that de Waal's research took him to Odessa, almost the beginning, after he had brought us almost to the current day. I enjoyed his musings as to whether we should pursue the private lives of the past or leave them be as private. I am delighted that he has pursued the story of his family round the collection of netsuke - how fascinating that this narrow line following a few is so rich a vein.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Lack of attention. That has been it. I have been working on Canyon lands, have stitched the body to my satisfaction, and began well on the 'lands' bit of it. I am using a supplementary layer of stiffened silk, and it is awkward stitching in any case. But I have not been paying sufficient attention to placement. It is too complex to sort out without lots of time to unpick calmly and then think properly. I can't do that right now, and need something to stitch TODAY, to occupy and distract me while I spend the afternoon with my mother.
I hate the idea of giving up on being able to move forward, so I am lucky that I have an experiment which I can begin stitching straightway. I'd better prepare something else, however, in case of more plans going awry.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Is this the front? Is it the back? Does it matter? The friendly chaos she presents has an extraordinary depth to it created within the work. It is fused, layered, with additional elements through those layers, but also surface work deceives the eye. The effect is to believe that you are gazing at marks caught in mid movement, as if Hodson had caught traces of thoughts as they spun in the ether.
Apologies for the snap above being out of focus. The book below opens from the middle, the pages folding out to each side, uneven in size so that a right page can spread under a left, and vice versa - so engaging to delve into. I also apologise that I paid absolutely no attention to the names of pieces, nor to their prices. It was the work itself which wholly engaged me. More information can be found on her website.
Friday, January 14, 2011
I have found myself so inspired by Thomas Houseago's work that my back burner has been working overtime. Yesterday evening I had an idea which I wanted to scribble down, using the computer. I knew it had to be black/grey and red, and that it involved a figure at the edge. That's all I started with. Once the figure was done I saw that there should be figures in the distance - and so I added them. And now this seems to be complete as a design. I'm happy enough with it to send it off for printing onto cotton.
The title Distant dancers is one which has popped up in my mind before, a long time ago - last century even! It was attached to that 'frieze' of dancers that now appear in the above design - they were a quick scribble really. Nothing came of them, although I have tried using them in other forms, most recently as templates for the figures made on soluble film in an experimental piece. Nothing really came of them because they were never before linked to visualising my emotions.
It is becoming clearer to me that I do not come up with designs or work which satisfies me wholly unless it is an expression of my emotional state. And it is the power of the emotion in Houseago's work, for instance, that I respond to - so powerfully. The inspiration that that sets up in me helps to propel my work further along the road.
Which road, and to where? Well, I don't know. All I know is that I like moving forward, and it has taken me a long time to find where forward is, so I'm happy with that for now.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Outside the great door of the museum is Giant Giant, an imposing but friendly creature, putting up with messy scaffolding nearby, and with a steady drizzle. Since seeing the work close to last week I was fascinated to find that what I thought was drawing direct onto the plaster finish is in fact a 'cast' of drawing.