Sunday, 28 December 2008

I am trying to update my blog, because mid November to mid December was a blur at home. We had significant birthdays and anniversaries all round. With lots of deadlines for Uni, I am afraid this blog was a little neglected.

Today, I visited "Renaissance Faces" at the National gallery, and then "Sisley in England and Wales". Really enjoyed the former. I found the small room of drawings near the end particularly interesting, where tone and form were skillfully depicted by Durer, for example. The Sisley was a much smaller collection. My favourite was actuallya snow scene elsewhere in with the "New acquisitions", room 42.

Last weekend, Dec 21stI went to see, "Turner, Paths to Fame" at the Courtauld . Ireally like the small room on the top floor there. It has housed,for me, many memorable small exhibitions. This one showed in full the Courtauld`s collection of his watercolours.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Encounter with an Art Work:
Tate Britain, 21/12/08.
'Jacob and the Angel'-Jacob Epstein.

This alabaster sculpture depicts two monumental standing figures placed on a pedestal. The rectangular form of the stone it was carved from is obvious.

One of the first things that struck me was the solidity of the piece. The figures are larger than lifesize and of squat build. The Angel is the taller of the two. I think of angels as celestial and ethereal, but Epstein's Angel is very strong and grounded.

Jacob and the Angel have been locked in a furious struggle. Epstein shows us the moment the confrontation ends, and Jacob yields. Jacob`s knees seem to have buckled and the Angel has caught him as he collapses, clasping Jacob to his chest. Jacob's face is upturned, gazing beyond the angel, whose face in turn Jacob partially obscures from the veiwer. His visible features are powerful. The angel's wings spread out behind him and his long hair flows back against them. Even though we can't see the facial expressions clearly, it is a very strong piece. There is a powerful emotional and physical connection between the two protagonists. The figures, though solid, are dynamic and inseperable- almost as one.
Epstein based the sculpture on a story from the Old Testament. The Angel and Jacob have been engaged in a great struggle and Jacob only yields after the angel dislocates his thigh. Then he blesses Jacob. Epstein made the Work in 1940 to 1941, when Britain was standing alone and enduring air raids during World War Two. I think it works very well as a metaphor for the challenge the country was facing.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Went on a group visit to Vyner Street galleries on Halloween. Really enjoyed Guy Dennings work and i'm going to look into it further. 

Managed to get our stop motion onto a memory stick but having problems viewing it. Put the Time and Action movie and stills onto stick as well (poor stick!) and hope to complete the edit next week.

Visited Cork and Duke Street galleries on the seventh of November. Enjoyed Sam Taylor Wood's photos and instillation with the orchestra.

Friday, 31 October 2008


I had my first try at stop motion animation yesterday. Did it in a group of 3. It was really good fun, and I think our short worked well. We had a great actress in Anastasia, which was really important. I am going to try to get it on a memory stick to put here next week.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Callanish Standing Stones, Lewis

There are 3 sights of stones at Callanish. This photo is from Callanish 2. 

I also took photos at the main sight, with more of my sculptures. Shooting was pretty difficult, because it is very exposed on that part of the Island. Even in Summer the wind can be strong, and the rain falls horizontally. It is really beautiful, no matter the weather.

Not Waving but Drowning

Over the summer I photographed my sculptures in the Western Isles. My dad's family come from Lewis and I last visited the island with him when I was in my teens. I continued on the the environmental theme I explored during my foundation year. I am trying to use my work as a comment on protection and preservation of the environment. 

Monday, 27 October 2008


Yesterday, I visited the Tate Modern and it was brilliant. I went into the TH 2058 instillation by Dominique Gonzalez- Foster in the Turbine Hall. You enter through a curtain of plastic slats into an area filled with blue and yellow bunk bed frames. Sitting on most of these is a sci-fi paper back. At the end of the hall is a giant screen playing a rather surreal film. The end of the hall is filled with massive sculptures. The idea is that the rain will not stop 50 years in the future and that these works have grown and had to be brought inside to stop them growing. It also doubles as a shelter for the people who have to take cover from the rain at night.

Form there I went to the Rothko, which was a much more contemplative and tranquil experience. It was good to see the Seagram murals hung as he intended them to be seen. I was very moved by his brown and grey works on paper which he made later in his career.

I then went into Childo Meirele's exhibition. I love this Brazilian artist's work. It managed to be simple yet complex, direct yet questioning. He worked on large and very small scale instillations and I really enjoyed being able to walk through and touch some of his larger works. I wished i had seen this before I tackled 'Image and Index'. I would really like to find out more about his work.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Shakeman- Christina Mackie


Record of an Encounter with an Art Work:
Installment 01

I visited the permanent collection at the Tate Britain, and was struck by Christina Mackie's Installation, 'Shakeman 2005' in room 28. It took up the end wall and was the height of the gallery. The whole structure seemed to be balancing on a knife-edge. It was made from planks and beams of cedar wood, perspex and strips of material. A wooden beam approximately one meter long was horizontally attached to the end wall, 2/3's of the way up. 

There was a rope and pulley system; two interconnected straps of material running up from this beam and over another longer horizontal beam then down to a wooden structure at the base. This was made up of a short plank and boards arranged in upside down triangles on the ground.

I had recently seen the Phillip Petit film, 'Man on Wire' and was reminded of the image of him walking between the Twin Towers on the wire, holding his long balance pole. 

I read the accompanying information and saw that Mackie was interested in, 'The power and vulnerability of nature, and the cycles it is subject to.'  Something which fascinates me. It describes the instillation as toy-like and on the verge of collapse, in balance but not fixed. The artist wanted to evoke a feeling of vulnerability.

I liked the way Mackie had cut up strips of her own clothing to make the two supporting straps. By doing so, she successfully suggested her involvement in and closeness to her subject.

Friday, 24 October 2008


08/10/08- At the end of my walk I came across this chair and suitcase abandoned at the end of our street. I photographed it and then used the idea in my image and index work.

index and image work

I made two minature enviroments out of twigs, leaves and wood chippings from the woods. The collage of leaves on board uses pastels  and i burnt a twig i found and used it to draw.

Shadows and growth rings

08/10/08- i will be using these images in future work.

Paddling Pool

08/10/08- I took these shots at the old paddling pool later on during my documented walk. I like the reflection in the puddle and the imprint of my walking boot on the blue base. 

growth rings series

08/10/08- i took these shots during a walk in our local woods which i documented for 'image and index'. I took progressive close ups of these amazing growth ring patterns. i plan to use these images in future.

mould collage

mould, pastel, charcoal and chalk (fixed) on board.

i think this worked quite well but the brown is too warm. i should have tested the colors first.

Old Mould

Passed an old, discarded door outside a neighbor's house last week. I took lots of close ups of some lovely mould. I then scraped some off and used it in a collage as part of my image and index strand.

I've just had my first strand crit of my BA fine arts course at mdx. i presented my work on the 21st of october. i think it was resonably well received but maybe the rest of the group were just being polite. 

i really liked Ariadne's film... I wish i'd got around to editing mine and shown it as well. I thought the general standard was pretty high and the crit was way more relaxed than i imagined.

Friday, 10 October 2008

"rain is coming?"

this began as a life sized triptych... but ended up being a little more than that. it's meant to address such issues as global warming.