A whole year ago I attended a great quilting workshop led by Angela Maddock at Oriel Myrddin. The world was so different then. I made some new friends, shared threads and pins, ate fabulous food and wandered around the gallery. It was so easy.
When COVID – 19 forced us all indoors in March this year, I began stitching this quilt in the evenings. It’s a work in progress – I just keep on stitching each night – see where it takes me…
I was fortunate to visit two of the galleries showing this year’s BEEP painting prize selection before the Lockdown brought it to an abrupt end.
What a fabulous range of contributors. Many artists were absorbed with the materiality of paint and the physicality of its application. Very rewarding to encounter. A great show indeed. (Main image: Jeb Haward).
In October I had a great afternoon visiting the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. It was my first trip out to see art in the flesh since the Pandemic.
The whole gallery had been re- hung and was a delight to behold, it truly raised my spirits, starting at the temporary entrance, greeted by a joyous Bert Irvin painting. I felt waves of gratitude, just looking at all that red.
It was SO good being in the gallery, looking at the sumptuous use of colour and the physicality of making; it all seemed to be screaming of being alive. It also felt a lot like archaeology – you know that feeling when you touch a door lintel or pick up an object knowing it was held centuries before by someone else – a lost civilisation, and you feel a weird almost connection with them? Impossible to articulate.
Selection of works from the excellent ‘Pushing Paper’ touring exhibition: Richard Deacon, Anselm Kiefer, Susan Schwalb, Anish Kapoor, Jonathan Callan, Fiona Robinson, Cornelia Parker and Edie Allington.
A week later, just when I thought it was safe to go outside, the shutters came down and a Firebreak began across Wales. Galleries are once again closed which is so sad – the space felt very safe and the positive affect on my wellbeing was palpable. I will wait patiently for it to re-open.
This is another attempt at presenting a collection of stitched tissues from my Pocket Remains project, all from a particular year. This piece which is 1:1 scale, is from scans of the 140 tissues collected in 2019.
As part of my developing relationship with artists and curators in Japan, this year I co-curated Lifting the Lid, a group exhibition at Gallery Art Spot Korin, Kyoto (August 18 – 30) with Masahiro Kawanaka. The exhibition brought together thirteen artists from Wales and Japan who are interested in the Everyday and the exploration of ordinary objects. Work ranged from glass, ceramics, sculpture and assemblage, to print, digital and mixed media. Given the travel restrictions due to Covid-19, each artwork was mailed to the gallery. Some artists used their packaging as an integral part of the artwork.
For me, what has made this exhibition distinctive is the range of ways in which each artist has realized their objects, responding to the things they encounter in their worlds. There are artworks which reference specific cultural practices such as Ikebana (the Japanese art of flower arrangement) and traditional welsh weaving. Some artists have explored particular objects associated with history, memory and nostalgia, others have drawn attention to the unseen, unloved or overlooked. A number of artworks have transformed the ordinary whilst others have invented completely new species of objects.
One highlight of the exhibition was a zoom gallery tour on Saturday, August 22nd. This was led by Osaka based artist and participant Matthew Fasone. It was a great way for artists from both sides of the globe to meet each other and to talk briefly about their work. It gave us new insights.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the show.
Participating artists: Anne Gibbs, Aya Shimamoto, Chris Bird-Jones, Chris Nurse, Daniel Trivedy, Frances Woodley, Heather Parnell, Lisa Krigel, Masahiro Kawanaka, Nigel Talbot, Takaya Fujii, Yuki Tsukiyama.
Discarding the box, I’ve looked at lots of variations on this looping arrangement. More of the surface is revealed on each strip now it’s exposed and it also exposes the qualities in the latex. However, the configuration doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
April – June has panned out rather differently for all of us than anticipated. I should have been undertaking a short residency at Elysium studios which was to feed into an exhibition at the gallery. It was to focus on the short journey from station to studio in much the same way as I had in Osaka last August, casting the ground with latex skins. Given the Lockdown restrictions in place during these Covid times, I’ve been exploring the ‘Underfoot’ project as a ‘home residency’ using latex to record what is underfoot in territory deemed ‘safe’ : the boundary of my home; Journey’s end.
I’ve taken this opportunity (where public safety is not an issue) to try casting large skins, to learn about the process and material properties at this scale. Physically, it’s much more demanding and the jury’s out as to what and how I might use such large sheets. I’m mindful of the associations that have been forming and shifting for me whilst here. I find myself thinking of my house as an island, sometimes I feel marrooned, closed off. I sometimes see the space around the house as turbulent water; an ocean which protects me and simultaneously keeps me prisoner.