|Posted on November 4, 2012 at 6:35 AM|
Recently I had the opportunity to draw some illustrations for 'Hook', a reflection on the darker heart of childhood by the video essayist John Bresland and writer Brian Bouldrey.
It was an interesting project for me, given I am not used to working to a brief, or collaborating with others on art. John and Brian gave me the script of the video, and I set to work, reading Peter Pan as my homework, and reminding myself of exactly what Oedipus was all about. And what an insight re-reading Peter Pan was! It's certainly not the saccharine story I remember it as. Peter Pan, with his sharp little teeth, is a far more ambivalent character than my Disney memories.
The resulting video essay is wonderful, and I'm glad to have played my small part in it:
|Posted on July 31, 2011 at 1:44 PM|
I've recently returned from an artists' residency that I've attended for the last 3 years in Maine, in the US. It takes place on a heavily wooded island, out at sea. Close by is another island, which is uninhabited, with a boarding house that was abandoned back in the 80s. It has a Marie Celeste air, with food still on tables, toiletries in the bathrooms and magazines open on tables.
The 2 photos below were taken a year apart, up in one of the bedrooms. The difference between this year and last year was marked - there were signs of animal entry last year, but this year they'd gone wild. I wasn't sure if people had been in, but looking at these pictures it's clear they have, as the bottles had been moved off the dresser. I don't think the house will be standing much longer, so I feel privileged to have been able to wander around whilst the place is still intact enough.
The experience last year led me to paint 'Mary Was Unwell' - the rooms are so evocative of what might have taken place there.
|Posted on July 30, 2011 at 10:52 AM|
I've decided to start a blog - I've never wanted to before, and suddenly I find that I do. To keep track of things I've seen and done, and at the same time think through my own painting process. I'll try not to be self-indulgent and comment on my breakfast - or dinner - but I can't promise, if it was something exceptionally delicious. Please feel free to comment on any and everything.
So,my first post will be about the exhibitions I saw today - the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery and Forests, Rocks, Torrents at the National Gallery, an exhibition of Norwegian and Swiss landscape painting.
As usual, the BP Portrait Award was full of incredible work. My favourite though was 'Venus as a Boy' by Wen Wu. It's so beautiful,and I just can't stop looking at the yellowish green of those trousers, and those flowers on the viridian background.
Forests, Rocks, Torrents had some stunning work, though unfortunately I can't find an on-line image of a study by Robert Zund that caught my eye. It wasn't as grand as some of the large paintings there, but had a beautiful stormy sky with shafts of light on foliage. An interesting point they raised though in the exhibition was that the curators felt that Alexandre Calame attributed anthropomorphic characteristics to a tree in his painting (picture below 'At Handeck' 1860). I'm not sure if this was the curators' supposition or something that Calame himself said.
It's an issue that occurs a lot in my work- I very much see the trees as anthropomorphic, but am never sure how much other people see scenes in that way. I try and clarify what I'm seeing, by the use of the titles of my work, but I'm never too sure if I'm being obscure. Or whether it really matters if I'm obscure.
The painting I'm currently working on has 3 trees, and is tentatively titled 'We Know It's Late But We Need to Come In'- because that's how it seems to me - 3 officious personages coming to your door.
The painting is just small -- if it works out, I will post it to the blog. It's an experiment with using gesso'd paper rather than canvas or wood.
Interesting review of Forests Rocks Torrents over at Amelia's Magazine.
Calame's painting with anthropomorphic tree: