Archive for the tag “art”

One Stone Too Far…

Gosh, it seems so long since I was last here!  Well, after my break I am feeling considerably better and ready to leap into a new topic that I have been mulling over recently.  What is this megalith that has been on my mind?  It is the Stanza Stones Project: a collaborative art project organised by the Ilkey Literature Festival, imove and Pennine Prospects as part of the cultural programme running up to to the 2012 Olympics.  The project places work by the well-known modern poet Simon Armitage into the landscape of Ilkley Moor and surrounding areas in West Yorkshire by carving the words of his poems into a number of rocks. A couple of these rocks have been imported, but many form part of the Moor’s natural geology.  The idea is that they will form a ‘poetry trail’ through the landscape between Marsden and Ilkley.  Two poems have already been carved, at Marsden Quarry and Nab Hill, with more to follow.

The poems are a collection called ‘In Memory of Water’ and are all on the theme of water, an important natural force that has helped to shape the landscape in this area.  The organisers suggest that the carving of the poems onto the rocks places the work into the context of human carving in the moor’s landscape over centuries, from prehistoric times through to masonry, through to ‘twenty-first century informal unauthorised carving’ (otherwise known as graffitti!  More on that later…). Read more…

The Vagaries of Light

Colour.  It’s part of our daily lives.  Whether we pay much attention to it or not, it’s there, all around us, in everything.  We might only engage with it when we’re deciding what to put on in the morning, or perhaps when picking out paint or soft furnishings or plants for the garden; or we might spend quite a lot of time making decisions about it as artists or crafters.  One way or another it finds its way into every part of our lives, moving us, challenging us to feel something about it.

I have often wondered why it is that colour can have such an effect on us and why that effect can be so powerful; why colour or combinations of colour can fill us with such joy or so utterly repel us and why these effects seem to differ from person to person.  For instance, why do people have ‘favourite’ colours?  Why does one person revel in fluorescent pink while another feels more at home with a soft warm brown?  You only have to sit outside on a busy street watching passers by to see the diversity in this thing we call taste.  Of course there may be other factors involved in some of the choices we make about such things – sadly, fashion, magazines and TV seem to have an every increasing influence on our decision making – but I would like to think that for most people there is a bottom line of ‘do I like it?’. Read more…

Blackbird Singing In The Dead Of The Night…

One of the things that inspires my creative work most of all is Nature. That’s everything, from the dramatic hills and moorland of the Peak District where I live, to the tiniest bugs that I find wandering around in the grass on my lawn (though sticking my toes in an ants’ nest the other week didn’t generate quite so much affection!!).  I can’t get enough of the green stuff and having finally escaped many years of town centre life a few years ago, I’m not sure I could ever go back to that now.

I grew up in a quiet village called Prestbury on the edge of the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire and spent my childhood running around in fields and woods. One of my most treasured childhood memories is of standing spellbound on the edge of the trees as I watched a wild deer grazing in the sunlight that had made its way through a glossy canopy of Beech leaves. The magic and tranquillity of that scene kept me returning to that place throughout my life, right up until I left the area. Read more…

My Influences: Part 1: ‘Sons and Lovers’ by D.H.Lawrence

D.H. Lawrence

Well, I thought I’d have a go at writing some blog posts about those things that have influenced me as a person as well as my creative development. As I thought about this I found myself looking back and asking myself what had really had a big impact on me, what had gotten under my skin and stayed with me.  I don’t mean under my skin like a mite, more like…hmmm, I don’t know… perhaps like a hormonal implant; something that sends out messages all over your body and changes the way you feel about the world (yes, okay, I was struggling for an analogy there, but as it happened that one didn’t do toooo badly ;)). I could think of lots of things that I had enjoyed looking at, reading, listening to throughout my life; a string of new discoveries that had all fed into my creative process, but this wasn’t quite what I was looking for. I was looking for those ‘wow’ moments when the light bulb goes on and you either can’t pull yourself away from something or you want to rush out and research everything you can on it.

The first time I remember this happening to me in any kind of serious way was at school when we read D.H.Lawrence’s ‘Sons and Lovers’ for an English class.  Up until that point, we had read lots of books that I will always remember: George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’; Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’; Jane Austen’s ‘Northanger Abbey’; Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’; H.G. Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds’, and many more, but this book – ‘Sons and Lovers’- changed everything. Read more…

Making Odin

Well, the bank holiday weekend brought with it some fresh inspiration, or perhaps simply the impetus to act on an idea that had been swimming around in my imagination for a while now.  I decided to tackle a new figurine in clay, this time Odin, the All Father from Norse mythology.

Odin is considered the ruler of the Asgard realm, home to the Aesir Gods within the Norse pantheon.  He rules from Valhalla, whose halls house fallen warriors, lifted from the battlefield by the Valkyries.  From his throne he is able to look out across the nine kingdoms of the Norse cosmos, and with the help of his two ravens – Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory) – he is able to know all that happens across these realms. Read more…

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