Sunday, June 30, 2019

Starting in the courtyard

Thomas Houseago: Untitled (Red Man) (image from here)
This year's RA Summer Exhibition had yet again presented something different.  For me one outstanding positive was the number of sculptures which delighted, starting with Thomas Houseago's work in the courtyard.
The main lift was not working today, and so I was escorted through the labyrinthine corridors backstage to a staff lift to get to the main exhibition.  
Marcus Harvey: Napoleon Invictus (image from here)
The first large room, Gallery III, is mostly full of paintings, but on a half-wall of their own are Marcus Harvey's pieces, two busts Napoleon Invictus and Full Nelson either side of his painting Victory.
Marcus Harvey: Full Nelson (image from here)
This trio benefited greatly from their virtual isolation.  I found that the rest of the room looked good as a whole, but that nothing else leapt out for my attention.  
Thomas Schutte: Mann Ohne Gesicht (image from here)
The next sculpture which captured my attention was by Thomas Schutte, entitled Man without face.  The stance of the man in shallow water was enough to draw me to look closer, then I saw that his face had been cut off, and that this was in his right hand.  I found this to be a quiet, powerful statement.
Room IV, hung this year by Barbara Rae, was my favourite room as a whole.  I enjoyed more individual pieces of work in here as well as the look of the whole. 
David Mach Easy tiger (image from here)
Two sculptures caught my attention - one of which certainly could not be ignored. David Mach's Tiger covered in Tunnock's teacakes foil was in this gallery when I saw it.  Fun, certainly, and of course prompted the thought of how many of the teacakes he'd eaten himself.
Nicola Hicks: Bear from dump circus (image from here)
The second sculpture appealed to me more, and had a poignancy to it as well as aesthetic attraction: Nicola Hicks' Bear from dump circus.
Tim Shaw: Parliament (the voices in your head) (image from here)
Gallery V came a very close second favourite; it was hung again by Barbara Rae, this time with Hughie O'Donohue, and contained a great many interesting prints.  The sculpture which I loved, however was by Tim Shaw: Parliament (The voices in your head).  The whole as presented is more complex than shown in the photograph.  There are additional pieces of detritus: cardboard boxes, torn paper, and there is an audio tape running.  I was intrigued and delighted.
Janet Mullarney: Dancer (image from here)
The two other sculptures which particularly appealed to me were both figurative: one by an artist I have not encountered before, and one by an old favourite.  I have not consciously met Janet Mullarney's work previously, but a quick look at her website and her galleries here and here make me want to find out more.
Mimmo Paladino: Untitled (image from here)
Mimmo Paladino, on the other hand is someone whose work I have enjoyed looking at over many years.

There were other sculptures which I enjoyed, but these were the stand-out ones for me.  I shall write further posts on prints and paintings.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Summer hotting up

- and I am seeking cooling greens.

Monday, June 24, 2019

A ruined abbey at midsummer

Mary, Queen of Scots' last night in Scotland was spent at Dundrennan Abbey in what is an idyllic spot these days.  Summer weather and solitude with the attractive ruins made for a perfect morning.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Practising with my new zoom

Not long ago my camera decided to retire itself.  It had served well for many years, so I replaced it with the latest model - a Canon IXUS185.  One facility I'd always wanted was a better zoom, which this claims to have.  And so today, the first day of our trip, I had the chance to try it out.
After torrential rain in showers yesterday (always while we were in the car, thank goodness) today, appropriately for the Summer solstice, the sun shone.  We went to Castle Kennedy gardens, and then to Torhouse Stone Circle, then Wigtown for an Ecclefechen tart and tea.

Monday, June 17, 2019

A diversity of input

She is known to every star (image from here)
I am currently enjoying such a varied selection of stimulae, but what accompanies me to my sleep are the thoughts about Wordsworth and Coleridge's poetry, their time in the Quantocks as described in my bedtime reading:  Adam Nicholson's book The Making of Poetry - and I am especially enjoying Tom Hammick's accompanying woodcuts.
It is a joy to have a book with frequent images which add such a rich breadth to the content of the whole. (More about Tom Hammick's art here.)  It is not only the very young who enjoy pictures in books.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Procrastination, or expediency?

There are two projects, long planned in outline, one of which at least I should be starting now.  Meantime it is the tennis season, continuing next week, and I need work in hand for that - then with Wimbledon fortnight not long after Queen's.  As I do not want to rush into one of the bigger projects - also not fully decided which should be the first - and not completely comfortable with the outline plans yet, ... or is that my excuse for putting them off?... I have instead printed off three smaller pieces to work on.  After all, I not only have the tennis to think of, but also a few days away for which I always like to have stitching with me.
So I have printed one design which has been in the pipeline for some time, but tells me it's ready now.  
And I have worked on another design which has been hanging around in bits, so to speak both digitally and in my mind.  Suddenly today I had an idea which brought all the pieces together.
The third design arose from contemplating all the greens in the garden and the countryside around at this time of year.
The great thing about stitching is that it is such a facilitator of thinking and working out, so doubtless when July comes around and I am sated with tennis, I shall be ready to plunge into the bigger projects.  Now of course my next decision is which of these three to start with? - I'll put off the decision until I have allocated appropriate threads.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Encapsulating England

In so many ways a pointless exercise, but if I had to pick one view which epitomises England for me it is this one of Thurle Down which I took from the Ridgeway at the end of April.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Enjoying the tennis

and in intervals enjoying a few rare interesting images of tennis:
Camille Pissarro: Girls playing tennis (image from here)
Yuko Shimizo (image from here)