Saturday, 28 May 2011

Three dimensions - or getting plastered

Further horse sculpture pictures.

I have been applying the plaster gradually. Nerve racking but so enjoyable and the horse is beginning to come alive again. He has a feeling of gentle power, which is what I wanted.

Much to do still, his tail is just a piece of fabric for example! His mane, hooves and ears need much work, too.

I wonder whether there is more to horse symbolism that I am aware. I found this picture in "The Surreal House" a catalogue from Barbican, London, 2010. It is a painting by Leonora Carrington from 1937-8.Autoportrait a l'auberge du Cheval d'Aube" ( Self Portrait (Inn of the Dawn House)

Monday, 16 May 2011

Archipelago the movie

Film by Joanna Hogg set on the semi tropical Tresco estate in Cornwall. A mother and her two grown up children are on holiday before the son goes away to Africa for a year, as a volunteer adviser on the treatment of Aids. The family is joined during the day by the (real life) artist Christopher Baker, who is teaching them in painting the local landscape.

Baker is a quiet observer of the fractures that open within the family. I enjoyed his relaxed remarks of encouragement in making of work - for example,
"Think what you want to say , but be open for chaos to intervene and take over."
" You have only so much energy, listen to it and don't abuse it."
Was this supposed to have a wider relevance, I wonder?

At one point he talks to the son, who is feeling uncertain about whether he is right to abandon his high paid City job for the journey to Africa. Baker himself says that, as a young man, he had great passion for his art, but he was advised not to go to art school because he was "not tough enough". He had an inner determination and vision but it might not survive in the competitive environment of an art education. Instead he followed his path in a different way, and it has been a success for him. Interesting how the conventional wisdom is not always the right way.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Adam Curtis - documentary film maker

I read an interesting article in yesterday's Observer. Adam Curtis is a documentary film maker. His new work "All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace" begins on BBC2 on 24th May.

In the Observer interview he made two points which I found particularly interesting. He criticised the "1960's" assumption that nature is a self regulating system and that there is a natural order, both in nature and society. In such a society our role is to stand back and enable, rather than to change and respond to and reinvent.

Curtis regards the system ideology is a myth, since inequalities between humans mean that politics, or the intervention and protection of the weak is always necessary. He considers globalisation and internet communication and the proliferation of managers to be part of the network society. But in this de-politicised society, power actually lies with corporations and financial institutions which use a corrupt and weak political system for their own ends.

Secondly, according to him, the private dimension of this society is an obsession with personal feelings, as expressed in reality TV and on social networks such as Facebook, and Twitter, both owned by large corporations. This apparently sincere and open expression is of the same network ideology, and masks not only real issues within our own societies but ignores other societies where people are completely powerless and often very poor - but who have "different myths about us as human beings, things that the west longs for, but which make us terrified".

I am not sure I agree with much of this mainly because of the obvious benefits of the internet as an incredible and revolutionary means of communication and expression. But I do find Curtis' analysis interesting, particularly his critique of social networking. Maybe that is because I don't really get it!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Going into three dimensions #2

I am working on a large horse sculpture for the Open Studios event in June. I have a wonderful space for the period of the exhibition and I want to make an almost full-size pi
ece. Here I am working on the armature. All totally experimental, but fingers crossed! I am loving the process anyway.

Coming home through back lanes I noticed this example of good tree planting, now looking its absolute

Sunday, 1 May 2011

May 1st

Glorious day, glad to be alive. A few pictures to convey the life in my garden.