I have various different projects on the go at the moment…a large commission, bird baths for the Bishops Palace garden festival in June and some new work for an exhibition at Glastonbury Abbey in September. All exciting stuff that is keeping my left and right brain buzzing and pinging.
During the in-between times I like to experiment with various other mediums such as animation and digital photo manipulation. Some of you will remember my designs that I made into scarves a few years ago. This time I’ve made some more designs from photos of my mosaics and uploaded them to Redbubble where they are printed onto clothes, wall art, iphone cases, stationary and home-ware. I’ve picked out some favourites to show you but please visit the shop to see more of the products that are available with these designs.
The Golden Leaves this time is the only one without photo manipulation although the scarf is tiled with the photo on the Redbubble software. Please click the pictures to see more or purchase.
Golden Leaves Scarf
Starlings in the Wind Dress
Sunset Swirls chiffon top
Darkness is Gathering in a Swirl cushion
Leaf Swirl notebook
Fish Waves acrylic block
Spinning Moon Moths metal print
Wake of the Chorus drawstring bag
Whirl in a Whirlwind iphone case
Now I MUST get into my work-shed and fondle some glass!
Last year I made a video and an image for an “Exquisite Corpse” style collaboration project called 6 x 6 Escape coordinated by curator Lauren Fancher. It was hoped that 60 participants would take part.
The final media performance (put together by Lauren) took place in Athens, Georgia, US on April 6th 2011. I think about 40 participants took part.
It interested me because of a fascination in Surrealism that I have had for many years, one that led me to research and write a final dissertation for an art degree in 1989.
The “Exquisite Corpse” was named by the Surrealists to describe a collaborative assemblage of pictures and words. Inspired by the Victorian parlour game of “consequences” (originally played using words or phrases written on paper which was folded over to keep them secret, then passed onto the next player to build up a spontaneous story, and later using pictures where the players draw parts of the body, folding the paper each time to pass to the next player so that eventually a strange figure is made), the Surrealists would play variations of the game, which inspired collaboration, chance and spontaneity within their art.
This is the image (photo-montage) I contributed to the 6 x 6 Escape project. My assignment for this was called “Tears Falling”
My assignment for the video was called “a cold rain in the winter garden“. It had to be 6 minutes or less and take no more than an hour to make. I recycled some footage from my animation “Rain” and used some photos of icicles and the garden.
Come back soon for some exciting news about my animations.
During the last few weeks I have been finishing a book with selections of my work from the last 7 years including some drawings that were hidden deep in some old sketchbooks. All the mosaics tell a story and together a bigger story emerges. It is a sort of “concept album” . The book has been uploaded to Blurb and now I am waiting for the first book to arrive to check it all looks ok before releasing it.
As I was generally “chained” to the computer, I was really glad to escape into the fields on several occasions and go for a walk. I was hoping to get some real-life footage and sounds of the crows that were gathering together to include in my animation of The Storm. But every time I could have got a really good photo or video something would happen; once it was the batteries that failed, once I forgot to put the card in the camera and another time I slipped and fell face down in the mud!
Finally I took my partners camera with a telephoto zoom lens and found that most of the birds had scattered, however I managed to take a shaky shot of two single crows in the sky!
I decided I would make my own pictures of lots of birds and made some photo collages on my editor, which I interspersed between the cropped photos of my mosaic The Storm
Here are some of the photo collages:
The sound on the video is a mixture of some of the sounds I made on my animation “How the Sky Becomes Blue” , a recording of the wind, and a recording of a storm we had here a couple of months ago when the lightning knocked out our internet for several weeks! I edit all my recordings in a great audio editor called Audacity. On it I can repeat sections, add echo, change the pitch or speed and a lot more.
But enough of all that! Here is the animation. Wear headphones for the best effect on your loudest setting (the sound has been processed quieter on You Tube)
Last April I was out with my family watching the gliders at the Mendip flying club. It was very exciting seeing them being pulled into the air almost vertically with the aid of a wynch , then after the wynch hook dropped the glider finding balance and floating gracefully up high into the air.
Well that day was extraordinary as along came three doves to join in with the celestial flight. I was lucky to get this great photo:
What don’t you believe me? They are quite rare! At the moment they are migrating, West to Somerton, where some of them are temporarily roosting in the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen’s “Courthouse Gallery” while they wait for good homes (and not just for Christmas!)
Others have gone a long way into cyberspace over to my new shop on “Folksy.com“.
If you decide to give one a new home, I can track their migration route, it’s always fascinating to know how far they fly!
There are other birds on my Folksy shop, and more to come. And if you like my extraordinary photo you can purchase greeting cards of it.
My final year at college (1989) I finally settled into making photomontage , and in those days without the use of a computer programme. I would cut up pictures from magazines, take photos of scenes and people and arrange the pieces, then take a final photo which I would then process in black and white. Sometimes I would paint part of the photo with special photo paints. I was into dada and surrealism – ( can’t you tell?!) Most often the idea was spontaneous – I had no final image in my head before I started. But the process of the choice and juxtoposition of the images were the most important part. Those pieces arranged to make a whole.
I also made videos at college, and studied contemporary dance. Some of the videos were stop motion animations and others were real life action videos, only cut up and re-arranged again like a collage, a photomontage. In dance classes I had to choreograph my dances . I had to design and choose the moves I made and put them into some kind of order…. for both video and dance , the process of choice and juxtoposition are most important, as well as timing.
In 1994 I was asked by a headteacher of a school if I could make a mosaic on the school wall with the kids. So from photomontage, collage and video art, it seemed a logical progression. Again practising the process of choice and juxtoposition. Pieces that make a whole.
Going Home - (1989)
(If you look at the menu on your right and click my photomontage you can see some more of my work from 1989)