21 November 2007

Solo Show at Shed-and-a-Half Gallery


photo by Andy McKillop

It rained and rained all day I was setting up and the brave 40 or so who came to the private view had their hair plastered to their foreheads. But there was a blazing fire down below and an atmospheric rooftop with my pieces glowing in the Sheds. One guest said, 'It was magic up there on the roof in the dark with the glass moving and reflecting the light. Great. Despite the weather it was a splendid place for it.' And another said there was a, 'sense that this was somewhere where ideas could flow around the room like butterflies - multi-coloured, wonderful and a little difficult to catch up with - and laughter and an entrance hidden from the world - and a rooftop surrounded with three-dimensional art'. So I think a success. And one piece (the smallest) sold and another one possibly reserved.

More at Shed-and-a-Half Gallery

17 November 2007

Paris through glass


The glass chandelier under the Chagal dome at the Opera and us reflected in the glass ceiling in the lowest storey.

A posh glass shop selling very upmarket cut flash glass. And a little batch of Biedermeyer chairs seen at a special exhibition at the Louvre (the reason I've included these is that they seemed worth stacking with my 'Why is a wine glass not a shoe?' train of thought in that the inventiveness of the backs made me think of shoe design rather than of wineglass design).

This 1st century AD Roman bowl made with little murrini surrounded by clear is the closest to my 'ghost bowl' technique that I've seen.

And through the glazed panels of the Gare du Nord, this amusing poster greeted us on our arrival off the first train to Paris out of St Pancras on 14 November.

11 November 2007

Colour samples

Spent much of the weekend making little colour samples so I have a record of all the colours I have acquired so far -- out of the packet and also mixed in different proportions with clear. I'm not really methodical enough, but it's been quite therapeutic - and it might be fun to see if I could encase them to make some marbles later. Or buttons.
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02 November 2007

The Artist's Statement

The MA 'taught' unit this semester is Theoretical Discourse, which I have been dreading since Day 1. I do not agree that 'without critical discourse your work is merely a hobby' (lecture no. 2). There are other forms of academic rigour beside taking the stance of a philosopher, politician or historian. So I am a bit kicking and screaming on this one.

A little exchange between myself and artist bookbinder Sarah Brown who made the piece pictured, entitled 84 Hours.

Me: Can I use your artist's statement for my MA essay because it adds a political dimension that the image, all on its own, does not convey.

SB: Certainly. Although I put a great deal of emphasis onto the craft skills, the most important part of my work is the idea. It is the statement, in my opinion, which moves it from being a craft piece to being a piece of art.

Me: But sometimes I feel it can become an alibi for the absences a viewer finds in a piece of work - hobbling the viewer's own uncluttered responses.

SB: Maybe it is more about the narrative of the piece. I find it interesting to read about the conception of a piece and its development, as opposed to what I am supposed to find in it.

I invite comments.

01 November 2007

Making moulds

This week I spent all my Farnham workshop time either drawing or making moulds for more p√Ęte de verre bowls to pick up in the hotshop or life drawing - including an exceptionally difficult 2 hours trying to draw a skeleton -- nightmare of counting ribs and bones. Very good for me.