This is my 'drink deep' goblet chalked out on the workshop floor - to be constructed in seven parts. And here we are blowing the outsize bowl (I'm doing the easy bit) - just in case anyone doesn't realise what a collaborative business this is. I'm really lucky to have so much support. I don't know what they think of my concept, but they're up for it. The idea is an installation goblet on the quote 'We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart' [Hamlet] which will contain a cocktail of research notes, exhibition catalogues and sketches – all absorbed in the course of my two years. This both represents the MA exploration and goes full circle to my obsession with wineglasses.
29 July 2008
26 July 2008
Here they clockwise: autumn, winter, spring, summer. Ready to be blown out - though I fear I am pushing my luck. But nothing venture, nothing gain. I have thought quite carefully about how the colours will behave this time, and have (I hope) anchored some of the more volatile ones so they don't run away. But it's not easy to predict. Winter is the one I am most looking forward to. I think it will be cool, and a little bleak, but with optimistic flashes of glowing gold. I'll be reporting back.
25 July 2008
I'm not the only person interested in bones. This is called 'Untitled Monument' and is by Jodie Carey and I saw it at the Anticipation exhibition in the basement of Selfridges - a new venture, I think in collaboration with Saatchi. It's made of plaster, wire and sugar paste icing and took 9 months to make. She must have to construct it anew each time she shows it. My 'bones' piece for RNOH has moved miles away from its original inspiration in bones - so much so, that perhaps it has become untraceable (though I know). Whereas a giant 'wedding cake' of obvious bones gives you pause for thought.
24 July 2008
This one is autumn. In the kiln now are winter, spring and summer - pix to follow. I was inspired by Cy Twombly and I think, like him, my year should begin with autumn. I've always seen it as the beginning of the year (the academic year, certainly). And also I am in the autumn of my life and I must view that as a beginning of a new cycle too. I hope to get all four blown out for the MA Final Show, but if that doesn't turn out to be possible then the pâte de verre originals aren't so bad and I could think of an interesting way of displaying them.
16 July 2008
The Cy Twombly exhibition on at the Tate at the moment has given me an idea. With a fair wind, I would like to come up with a little 'Four Seasons' quartet of my ghost bowls for the Final Show of the MA - each one in the colours and mood for spring, summer, autumn and winter. The way the wind is blowing at the moment gives me a bit of hope that I will get some help, though everything is still up in the air. Can't say I liked (or understood) these large paintings, though if you take the trouble to read the pencil scribbles, there's a lot of poetry tucked away in them.
picture borrowed from the Tate website
11 July 2008
Just been to look at the Frank Gehry pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery - it isn't yet completely open and you can't see it properly, but someone has called it an 'exploding conservatory' which seemed about right to me (pic: Rex Features). Reminded me very much of a stage design I did for King Lear when I was at university - and I think that's not a complement to either of us.
10 July 2008
I forgot to log my visit to New Designers - nice to say goodbye to the outgoing BAs and have a good look-round, but in truth I felt the whole show was all rather the same as last year. On stairs on the way out, though, I came across this 3D optical illusion, that seemed to move in front of your eyes until you got right close up to it and saw that the parts in this picture that look as if they are in the background, were actually sticking furthest out. Very clever object.
02 July 2008
Our 5 weeks of drawing are now over [sigh] - I was only just beginning to understand how important it is. The answer to my questioning of the importance of drawing came (serendipitously) from an unexpected source this morning. The book (top right image) of scientific paintings of mutant insects by Cornelia Hesse-Honegger, has a preface in which she says: 'the actual scientific research process took place during and through the picture-making...Pictures can transcend the barriers of verbal communication.' She gives Galileo's sketches of the moon as seen through his telelscope as a telling example: 'Galileo's problem - which almost cost him his life - was that he could provide no witnesses to his discoveries. Those who looked through the telescope saw nothing. They were the seeing blind - they looked but they could not recognise what they saw, because they had not gone through the perceptual and pictorial processes that enabled Galileo to describe his observations.' Top left image, her own working drawing; bottom, my last attempt yesterday - possibly my most successful, but for me showing that the process of discovery is only just beginning.