Category Archives: sculpture

Little Altars at Home

window sill

Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while will know how much I loathe housework, but these are strange times! Today found me actually wanting to give the bathroom a thorough going over!

As I was putting things back on the windowsill, I realised that every item has a special memory or significance to me.

Left to right:

There is an Umbrella plant, that I grew from a root cutting given to me by a dear friend who I see only rarely nowadays. She is currently staying somewhere in deepest India, unable to return home due to the transport system in that country being under lockdown. The glass bowl it sits in, has been with me since I got married in 1972, nothing special, not beautiful, but it has become an old familiar friend.

In a little pot next to it are some honeysuckle cuttings, waiting to see if they grow roots, so that I can give some little plants to my daughter as requested.

The fish shaped little dish holds a bumble bee that sadly died in my bathroom, I know Little Miss M (7) would love to see it, so I am keeping it for when she is able to come into my house again.

The clay dolphin was made by Miss E when she was about 8. I took her to some wonderful sculpture and stone-carving worshops when she was being homeschooled.

I bought the brass incense burner with the Ohm symbol when I was travelling in 1994 and visiting Buddhist communities all round the world – such powerful memories. It reminds me of chanting in the echoing valleys of the Himalaya Mountains.

The scallop shell was given to me by my neighbour, who is a diver, and brings me yummy scallops in the summer. The shells it holds all come from the beaches of my beloved Pembrokeshire, collected on my month in a treehouse by the sea.

Sea glass, collected on my local beaches, in times gone by.

A collection of tiny white pebbles – there is something so beautiful about them.

The twisted piece of wire with beads: this was a spiral Christmas decoration I had been making with my grandchildren

christmas trees, wire and beads

One of them sat in the bathroom, and after the twins came to stay – I found this one had been just too tempting to resist – I rather like the resulting tiny wire sculpture.

The jam jar has more honeysuckle cuttings,

and the shell on the right was given to me by my Mum when I was a teenager.

A whole lot of family, friends and memories on that tiny windowsill.

Do you have similar little collections about the house?

Dreamcatcher

Look what I found, hanging in my fig tree!

barbed-wire dreamcatcher

My wonderful son-in-law is a farmer and he was clearing away an old rusty fence. Knowing how much I love rust, he wrapped some into a Dreamcatcher for me and hung it in my Fig Tree.

He also left another bundle of rust for me to cut up and use.

I am so delighted with the thought and the time he put into this in his busy day.

When I thanked him for the time, the thought, the gift, he said, “I like supporting your crazy arty-crafty ways”!

How lucky am I!

Antony Gormley at the RA

Antony Gormley is one of my creative heroes. In the video at the end of this RA  link about the exhibtion and he says that ‘the viewer is the subject of the show’. Worth listening to.

Gormley

When I go to see an art exhibition I usually whizz round to get a sense of the whole, then I go back and spend time with the pieces I’m drawn to, graspthen I go round again and take photos of the pieces,Gormley

Gormley

Gormley at the RA

Gormelythen I go round again and notice how other people are interacting with the exhibits

Gormley

This is one of my favourite things to do

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RA

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Here is an excellent review by Studio International

I hope you enjoyed people watching with me.

At a few exhibitions recently I have started to take photos of people who go with the paintings they are viewing and then I came across this amazing post about Stefan Draschan’s work, take a look – fascinating.

An Arty Week

You might know that I am drawn to all things Japanese (here are some links to my posts about my trip to Japan in 2015) and have been most of my adult life. So when I saw a course at a highly respected art school entitled Abstract Painting and Wabi Sabi I just had to book a place.line, mark, charcoal, explore

You can Google ‘Wabi Sabi’ to find a definition and will get a few different results, I fear it might lose something in translation but in the context of abstract works of art this is my own best shot: the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi, briefly/loosely translated as the celebration of materials and imperfection, leaving things unfinished for the viewer to complete it in their own experience of the piece. 

I learnt by doing, that it is also about immersing oneself in the materials, the properties of the materials and about how ones body and inner senses respond to the materials.

After booking this course, I heard about an exhibition in which a blogging friend, Alastair Duncan was exhibiting his interactive weaving, which I talked about in this post.

Alastair Duncan interactive weaving

AND THEN!

ANTONY GORMLEY at the Royal Academy – I just had to go and see that!Antony Gormley

To fit all this in I stayed in an Air BnB in Horsham in West Sussex, which had free parking and was just a 10 minute walk to the train station. In just over an hour I could be in Central London.

I drove the 3 hours to  Horsham last Saturday.

Visited the Espacio Gallery on Sunday – which I will tell you about in a future post. London gallery

There I met with 2 other members of the Stitchbook Collective – Oh SO lovely to make these creative connections!!

On Monday I travelled up to the Royal Academy for the Antony Gormley exhibition, Gormley at the RAwhich was absolutely amazing of course, but not quite so impactful as his exhibition in 2007 at the Hayward Gallery which I often think of and stays with me on some deep inner level.

And then on Tuesday I started my Wabi Sabi voyage of discovery with Helen Turner in Partridge Green, just a 20 minute drive each day from my cosy self-catering pad.

Wabi Sabi

I loved every minute! I got home yesterday.

So much to tell you about. So many photos to sift through!

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Silent Sunday

Sculpture by the Lakes

120, Fenchurch Street

Hellooo!selfie

Here we are again, this time on top of 120, Fenchurch Street – wow that sun was bright!

(see previous post about the Sky Garden at 20, Fenchurch St)

That is ‘The Gherkin’ in the background.

To get up to the roof garden at 120, you just turn up and queue. As people come out, more are let in – we only had a couple of people in front of us and didn’t have to wait at all. You go through an airport-style security scanner before getting into the lift.

roof garden

This garden is open to the sky with native planting and it is much quieter and calmer than in the tropical lushness of the other garden.

120, Fenchurch Street, London

I loved the play of light and shadows on the floor, walls and plants.

There are no restaurants there, but it is a perfect place to take a packed lunch as most of these people seemed to have done.120, Fenchurch St

They were perched on the edge of the rather awkward looking water feature, more comfortable seating would be a bonus.

From this terrace you can see ‘The Walkie-Talkie’ building and look at where we had been just a few minutes ago – in the garden on top of that building.

walkie talkie building

120 Fenchurch Strooff gdn

roof garden

so much to enjoy, looking in, looking up, looking through, looking out, roof gardenwith a few surreal reflections where the glass wall was high

London roof tops and reflections

and looking down building siteand DOWN!street

On the way out you pass under a vast ceiling covered with a moving video art installationsculpture in london

it is called Botanic and is a picture of slowly swirling flowers as if they are floating in a dark pool. It is part of Sculpture in the City.sculpture in the city

and as we walked back to the tube station we spotted some more, this one with a very long title that makes very little sense to me, and is something to do with lava and volcanoessculpture in the city

and thissculpture

Bridging Home

which could be very witty …….hmmm. Perhaps I need to find out a bit more about them to appreciate them more.

Edit: I looked for more images and information about this piece. I wanted to see the piece up closer and from the inside. I found this which says the Footbridge was closed so that the piece was not vandalised. Grrr! So eventually it will be removed. I seem to have a whole load of thoughts and emotions swirling around about that. It would have been good to have had a video to experience this replica of a displaced home. I get the reference to migrants and displacement and the fact that the ‘home’ looks as if it has been just dropped uncomfortably out of context, I just wish it’s message could have been presented in a more accessible way.

Searching for all of the 21 sculptures and getting up close to them could be a nice focus for another visit to London.

I will end with a photo my son took just before we left The City.

Look up!

sky

and went back to his house to spend a delightful weekend with him and his three girls, whilst their Mum was on a girly birthday celebration holiday.

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Silent Sunday

garden sculpture, Sculpture by the Lakes

Dalby Forest 2: The Nissen Hut

Rachel Whiteread's Nissen Hut

Ever since seeing Cathy’s post about Rachel Whiteread’s, I was looking forward to seeing it. Cathy’s post sparked off a lively and forthright debate about what her readers thought of it and whether it is indeed ‘Art’, if you follow the link you can go to the comments and see what we all had to say about it.

I am a fan of Rachel Whiteread and her work, you can see other posts I’ve written about it, here, here , here and here.Nissen Hut by Rachel Whiteread

It’s not easy to sum up why I relate to her work, but I think it is about the way she gives the small, seemingly trivial aspects of human activity, construction and development a monumental quality. She uses real objects that show the marks of time and use and sets them in a monotone, permanent structure that gives us a chance to explore the details in a new way, and think about the hands that created the original structure and all that it connects to.broken windows

To me this is a war memorial that does not speak of the military, hierarchy or grand gestures, this commemorates Peter Nissen, the man who designed a pracitcal solution to a required need, during the First World War. Rachel WhitereadThe sculpture remembers the men who constructed it and lived in it and it connects us to those who constructed other Nissen huts over decades and all the different uses they have been put to. This one also commemorates the men who worked for the forestry and planted the forest it sits within. It commemorates time passing with the flaws and evidence of decay. It is the only permanent public piece in Britain of this, our most successful living female sculptor, it relates to all her other works throughout the world.mesh window

Making art is not only about making something that looks nice. Nissen SculptureIf it causes one to think about things in a different way it has done its job. broken windowsWithout knowing the story of this sculpture it would be difficult to appreciate what on earth it is doing in the forest.wooden planks, Rachel Whiteread

That is the same for most art – if we don’t want to discover more about it, we can just walk on by, but taking time to discover the story is, for me, an enriching, thought provoking and sometimes emotional experience.

corrugated, Rachel Whiteread

Here is a link to a short video about this sculpture

an article about the sculptor’s family connection,  her grandfather was a conscientious objector.

Not everyone will see it in the same way and all views are valid. Some of the locals were very much against it. I’d love to know what you think.

So that is the ‘deep and meaningful’ bit – now for a bit of silliness

In Cathy’s original post she wondered if the Nissen Hut would attract graffitti,  and Tialys’s comment prompted this quickly scrawled temporary bit of graffitti.

graffitti Nissen Hut

We was

graffitti -

and you can see a few more pics on this post of Cathy’s.

As we left it was getting dark and the sculpture took on a quiet ghostly glow through the trees

Rachel Whiteread

 

Somerset House 5: Time

I am still trying to understand why this exhibit had such a profound effect on me.

The Title is Time is Subjective and you can read more about it here.

time

70 hour glasses filled with sand

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all gleaming in a dark space underground

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UAE exhibit LDB 2018

there was something beautiful about the colour of the sand against the black and the sparkle of the glassesIMG_1899

and then they began to move

 

one row after the other

sands of time, LDB2018

The sands of time.

I felt so deeply connected to the idea and concept of rows of hour glasses, every so often turning slowly and another cycle would start, another event causing time to pass in a different way, at a different rate, with periods of stillness in between. The soft twinkle of the sand falling through and landing on the grains beneath …  and so many all together, all connected.

I am still not sure where that gets to me or why it does, but it does.

~~~

Thank you so much to all of you who have enjoyed this brief 5 part tour of the London Design Biennale. It has truly enriched my experience of the event to have you all along with me as I remember the experience.

I love going to exhibitons on my own so that I can experience them from my own perspective in silence; and then to be able to go round the exhibits again on a virtual tour with you, my blogging friends, is something very special, seeing things again with new eyes, the eyes of a collective creative group ………… so good!

Can you imagine us all going round together singly or in pairs and then meeting up and chatting about the exhibits whilst sitting in the sunshine in the piazza with a cappucino or a green tea and cake!

And then going back for another look all together ….

If you would like to go back in and wander around some more exhibits you can see them all here

Farewell London Design Biennale ……..  looking forward to the next one!

 

Somerset House 4

Now for a quick dash through some of the exhibits as my penultimate post about this fantasmagorical exhibition! Come on – keep up!

First up, Full Spectrum:  Australia’s Celebration of gay marriage being accepted by law

pride Oz

I liked the way the rainbow lights shone out of the darkness in such a playful way – metaphorically beautiful.

gay marriage celebration

Next a room to make you giddy with exotic scents and mesmerizing patterns

London Design Biennial 2018

from  Hong Kong, Sensorial Estates: lift the lids and inhale deeply! Heady stuff!

Hong Kong

And now a quick trip to Guatamala. This exhibit really deserves more time – click on the link to discover more and see much better photos. Such a great project.LDB 2018

colour

Closer to home: Dundee and Shpeel

interactive art

Each button on the black box, when pressed created a different light effect on the wall and different sounds. It was fun to play with these and feel like a conductor of light and sound. I played for some time here and  it got even better when I was joined by a group of students – I got a tiny teeny titchy sense of what it must be like to be Jean Michel Jarre! Ha!

 

Lastly, for this post, kaleidoscopic doodles from Saudi Arabia – blurred because they were constantly moving. Oh how I would love to be able to do this with my mandala doodles.

It makes me feel charged with electricity just thinking about it! A mandala doodle as a kaleidoscopic mirrored wall – oh my goodness wouldn’t that be trippy!

doodles

Gosh I have to stop now and go off into my mandala-doodle-filled fantasy – I might be lost all day!

Click on the links to discover more about each exhibit.

See you soon with my last post about the London Design Biennial at Somerset House.

Somerset House 2

LDB sculpture

In one corner of the courtyard there was Turkey’s contribution to the London Design Biennial exhibition, a cube made of white rods embedded with lights. You can read a description/explanation here. It is called ‘Home’, but I did not find any resonance with the title or the explanation. I did enjoy it though, it must have looked wonderful at night. IMG_1890The best bit was watching how others interacted with the space. There were some gorgeous romantic photographs being taken of girlfriends, couples and family groups, who all seemed to glow within this white space.

It got me thinking how wonderful it would be to have an exhibition of spaces/settings that would be perfect for photographic portraits. For instance, Rachel Whiteread’s sculptures would be perfect.

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Click on any photo to see it larger

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There was an exhibit ‘Kiss in Budapest’. The idea was that a person would enter from either end and kiss in the middle – outside the booth their picture would be displayed againt the backdrop of live webcam photos of places in Budapest. Fun idea.

Inside Somerset House room after room was filled with interactive exhibits.

This one from Qatar

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I could only get a faint floral whiff from a couple of the domes, maybe I needed to be taller, but I did like the shape of the carpet.

On to Germany’s exhibit of recycled household items recycled

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recycled bottle tops

I loved this standard lamp made of bottle tops, maybe I’ll try a table lamp one day.DSC_0742

Made from Beach Clean too – win-win!

Here are a couple of  links if you would like to read more about the Exhibition

Kiss in Budapest FB page.

‘Culture Trip’

Somerset House FB Page

Somerset House on Instagram

 

Somerset House 1

Last Friday I went to London to stay with Son number 2 and his family, but first a bit of art at Somerset House where they are holding the London Design Biennial

‘Emotional States’

40 countries participated

In the courtyard there were several pieces of interactive art/sculpture – my favourite type of art.

courtyard interactive sculpture

Greece provided a wobbly walkway that was entitled (click on the title to see the description)

ΑΝΥΠΑΚΟΗ

My own experience of it emphasized that every step we take has an impact.LDB sculpture

As you entered the sides expanded and opened up, with a creaky sound, each step made the next section open up for you, each step felt a bit wobbly

interactive art

so you had to think about keeping your balance. It was made of recycled plastic.

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A whole body experience has an impact on all the senses – every step I take makes a difference …  to something, or somebody.

If I know it in my body, I know it forever.

There was so much to see and interact with in the whole exhibition, and as you can imagine I took hundreds of photos. It is taking me a while to process the photos and the feelings that each exhibit evoked …… more to come.

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Silent Sunday

sculpture byt he lakes, Dorset

The perils of smoking with Petra Pear

fruit sculpture, health warning

Petra the pear was feeling poorly

She didn’t know quite what to do

Not only was she putting some weight on

But she was suffering from toothache too!

 

She had started to let her self go a bit

Indulging in too many treats

The sugary snacks made her teeth hurt

Causing trouble whenever she eats!

 

For too many years she’d been smoking

Which caused her teeth to go brown

Her gums receding and bleeding

It was time to turn things around.

 

She wanted her life to be fruitful

And continue her family tree

But she had to make sure she was healthy

And in the best shape she could be

 

First stop was to the doctors

To get help with giving up smoking

The harm it was causing her body

Was both sobering and thought-provoking

 

As if heart disease and strokes weren’t enough

It could cause breathing problems as well

Tooth loss, fertility problems and cancer

Not to mention the horrible smell

 

She decided to go for the patches

And started the very next day

She found that her nicotine cravings

Were slowly melting away.

 

Next stop was to the dentists

To see if something could brighten her smile

Because her teeth were so neglected

It was going to take a little while

 

It was not just about brushing and flossing

That Petra had neglected to do

But her sugary addiction

Had helped in her tooth decay too

 

The dentist took some impressions

And gave Petra’s mouth a good clean

She was advised not just to clean the outside

But all around, underneath and between.

 

It was too late for poor Pedra

To save some of the teeth that she had

She had to make some appointments

To remove the ones that were bad

 

Several months later and Pedra is glowing

Her smile now so fresh and so bright

She cleans her teeth like an expert

Even the ones she takes out at night!

 

humour, fruit sculpture, nicotine patch

Poem by Judy E. Martin

fruit sculpture and photos by Sandra Dorey

 

Here we are with another health related Silly Saturday. You might know that Judy, as well as being a hugely talented poet and writer, is also a nurse.

Following a great suggestion from Noelle last week to send Tom the Toothless Tomato to the Institute of Dentistry, we are thinking about coming up with more health related pictures and poems (not all about teeth!) accompanied by fruit, flower or shell assemblages – any ideas?

If you would like to read more of Judy’s work, a humorous twist on life, the world and everything go to her website, where you can also find a link to her book, Rhymes of the Times.

Have a fun Silly Saturday!

Monthly Meet Up: Sculpture

Hellooo!

Here we are again for our Monthly Photographic Meet-Up, happening each first Tuesday of the Month.

This month’s prompt is SCULPTURE.

Archive and/or current posts are all very welcome, just leave a link in the Comments to join in.

goat

First up a Pink Goat – I think this also qualifies for Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge don’t you, especially when teamed up with his friend Blue Hare

pink and blue

As seen during Dorset Arts Weeks at the Studio ofpen and ink

Jane Shaw in Cattistock. IMG_1455Do click on her name to go to her website and see more of her wonderful work.IMG_1456

During Arts Weeks we had the priviledge of seeing inside her studiostudio (1)

arranged for the two weeks as a gallery. What a charming space.

I’m looking forward to seeing your sculpture photos

More Sculpture can be seen in This Post, and the bizarre Doreen’s Garden post.

Now must dash

blue hare

as I’m off to do some gardening before the temperatures crank up – this afternoon I’m off to Sports Day at the school of 3 of my grandchildren – sunhats and of course camera at the ready.

The prompt for next month (August) is FLAKE

Silly Saturday

face in the pebbles

I met this guy on Branscombe Beach last weekend, any ideas what his name could be?

He looks like he might be emerging from his underground home to see who’s about.

Branscombe man

I think he might be related to this chap who lives in the Lost Gardens of Heligan

lost gardens of Heligan

I don’t know his name either.

Joining in with Cee’s Oddball Challenge

Wings

………Continuing to share our lovely bright Winter’s walk around the Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Somerset, England.

There is a smaller wings sculpture in the South Garden.

angel's wings

here, viewed from the rampartsWells, Somerset

from where one also gets this glorious view across the Somerset countryside

Somerset

Peeping through the rampartspeep

you can see the moat below

swan in Wells, Somerset

There are some videos of the gardens and last year’s cignets here.

swan by moat

Like us, the swans were basking in the sun

whispering gallery, Wells

(Noelle and Alison in the Whispering Gallery)

swan in Wells

moat, Wells

And so was a cheeky little robin

robin

sitting on his favourite posing post

robin1

All of us glorying in that clear blue skysky and the warmth the sun gave us

Noelle suggested this photo of me trying out the wings, it was such a fabulous day our spirits were certainly soaring

getting my wings

and I must show you Noelle’s marvellous hand-knitted hat and scarf/shawl, which looks like wings to mehandknit hat and scarf

more to come …..

Up, Up and Away

themed bedroom

I had to nip away for an overnight stay in central London this week. I Googled ‘quirky, arty, hotels’ and up came the Pavillion Hotel on the Time Out site.

Just click on the link to see all the amazingly themed rooms, and crazy decor. Someone must have had such fun putting it all together. I would love to know the history of the person and the place, but couldn’t find anything. My bedroom was called ‘Up, Up and Away’.

themed bedroom decor, hot air balloon

Sadly I can’t recommend the ‘Hotel’, it has definitely seen better days. It is in a slightly dodgy area, there is a surly, bored person manning the desk, no resturant and this was my so called continental breakfast left outside my room in the morning.Yuck

 

 

 

Weetabix on the Go – euuuurrrrgghhhhhh! Who knew that even existed! Yuck!

 

But I did enjoy the decor and the quirky bits and peiceshot air balloon

The Hotel was quite close to Hyde Park, so before it got dark I had a brisk walk to Marble Arch where there is a strangely wild sculpture,

Danse Gwenedour

by British Sculptor Bushra Fakhoury

Danse Gwenedour by Bushra Fakhour

which was unveiled in March 2017.

There is always something arty to see in London, no matter how fleeting the visit. After a quick whizz round a bit of Hyde Park, which was looking rather bleak on a cold drizzly January afternoon, I found an oasis of a health food shop to pick up something for supper. Then back to my hotel as I did not want to be wandering those particualr streets after dark.

A nice cosy evening of knitting, reading and a bit of TV followed – always particularly relaxing away from home.

In a Magic Garden on Monday

….. where a dragon, Frosty the snowman and a little glass duck can frolic happily togetherJodies Flowers, Etsy, Zolo, succulents, kids art

succulents

The above arrangement was created by Little Miss M aged 5, in a pot of succulents

dragon and glass duck

 

 

 

 

 

Then we added to it

gardencatkins

with two more funny Forever Flowers  made by Jodie

The photo below is Jodie’s, showing more of her wonderfully bonkers creations

Jodie Flowers on Etsy, fun sculptures

I just LOVE them!!!! They make me smile and brighten up a dull, rainy Jaunuary day.

We added some ‘flowers’ made using sculpture pieces by Zolo

Zolo sculpture pieces

These pieces are great for the children to make fanciful sculptures with – sadly they cost a fortune to buy from the US once shipping and customs duty ave been added. I first bought a set at the airport in New York when I was coming back home in 2008. Then luckily a friend of mine was able to get another set for me when she visited the US more recently.

The vase:

in a vase on Monday

Hazel catkins, ash twigs and golden privet.

Pop over to Rambling in the Garden to see what Cathy and other gardeners, from all over the globe, have put in their vases this Monday.

Tate Couple

Version 2

A wonderful BBC programme, Imagine,  was on TV on Saturday, giving insights about Rachel Whiteread’s 30 year career and the current Exhibition at Tate Britain.

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I became fascinated by this couple

Version 2

Their shapes, their colours, their interaction.

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People watching is one of my favourite things to do – you too?

Joining in with Norm’s Thursday Doors.

Doors, Rachel Whiteread

Rachel Whiteread