I've had to shut down all media, including the BBC website as I am SICK TO DEATH of those annoying, expensive and irrelevant idiots who are about to embark upon an outdated institution of which I have no respect.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
As part of the exhibition, there was a book of the prints available to view, one published by Dover Paperbacks in 1964 and harder to find than hen's teeth. (I did manage to find a copy on ABE books but it has subsequently gone "missing" in the post, which, as we all know, means that it has been stolen.)
Having searched extensively online for the book in PDF or similar format, I stumbled across the whole 60 or so pages on the website of the University of Graz with the added bonus of them having been coloured at some point, the woodcuts in the exhibition and the book being black and white.
The prints are amazing and well worth looking at, especially if you have an interest in European history during this time. There is much here that will be appearing in my future works.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
As mentioned before, a gift of a polymer clay owl skull prompted me to create a piece based on an episode from the book in which Sepulchrave, 76th Earl of Groan, is driven to insanity by the burning of his library, the madness leading to him believing that he has become an owl.
This is where the piece has got to since that post:
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
The Strange Story...
Originally uploaded by the justified sinner
Just before the holiday, I was looking for my copy of "Boutell's Heraldry" in order to do a bit of research for a project I have in mind. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it and, more annoyingly, I couldn't remember the name of the book in order to re-order it.
One evening, Dingo mentioned that he had never seen "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", so we decided to watch that (Lazenby should have had a longer run as Bond: way better than any of the others, bar Connery.)
In this film, James Bond is required to pose as an expert on heraldry and in order to infiltrate a woman's room, he arranges to meet her on the pretence of showing her an important book. He picks up the book, of which I immediately recognised the cover. A couple of freeze-frames later and we had enough details for me to order another copy from a second-hand bookshop!
No doubt the original copy will now turn up.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Jivan's deeply philosophical underpinning of her work relates the very current preoccupations of environment and recycling to create anti-commodified works of great beauty, infused with nostalgia. Her work often derives from literature and uses such diverse materials as found wood, ceramic doll parts, pearls, pages from books as well as the more traditional jewellery materials. The work – largely neck-pieces - was presented along with several of her weighty philosophical texts and one of the great pleasures of these works is the tension between the immediate emotional appeal that they have and the philosophical investigations which preceded their creation.
An underlying alchemy – and a love of the same – guides this body of work: mirrors, retorts, laboratory vessels and vintage medical equipment are all present in the source materials which are presented alongside the beautiful, simple and understated objects which Elizabeth has created with great finesse and skill. One of the most striking parts of this exhibit was the sketch-book explorations of the source material and the way in which the finished works – largely in blown glass and metal – explore both the dimensionality of the source and the idea of the “shadow” or the “silhouette” of the source.
Jack's work with the brooch form is almost too well-known to followers of contemporary jewellery to allow for the necessary distance to be able to see the work dispassionately. It takes an effort of will to be able to “look again” and to appreciate the forms and narratives which lie behind the finished work. In this exhibit, Jack has presented a series of pieces which make this easier for the viewer by moving his readily-identifiable style forward with a shift of colour-pallet and material, using more white and plain silver than before, using surfaces enhanced by subtle pencil drawings. This work was presented with additional video material and sketch-books: the link between the source material and the finished work is fascinating and intriguing.
It would be hard not to laugh at this exhibit. Not because it is in any way laughable, but more because Andreas quite plainly found his notion of defining “spoonness” (the Platonic idea of a spoon) not only engaging but amusing. It is too rare to encounter humour combined with craftsmanship or philosophy, but here all three are pulled together very successfully, engaging with the viewer on many levels. The “spoon” objects themselves are beautifully made from wood, felt, silver, steel and other materials. They make the viewer ask, “In what way is this a spoon”: the answer is always surprising.
Chris Knight's work is everywhere in Sheffield: from the fountains at the railway station to the fencing on a car-park, from the Millenium Gallery to St. Mary's Cathedral. It was, therefore, excellent to be able to see some of his more recent small-scale works in this exhibition, notably his now famous “Lest We Forget” chalice. The most interesting part of this exhibit was the way in which Chris works on the interface between CAD and traditional craft, using 3D software to design pieces, laser-cutting on elements of the pieces, then bringing the whole together with the time-honoured traditions of metalsmiths.
Since his first forays into metalworking, Cóilín has been fascinated by Japanese metalwork techniques, even to the extent of living and studying in Japan. For his exhibit in this show, he worked with Dr. Hywel Jones, a material scientist, in order to research reliable methods of using the Irogane metals and the colouring of these. Additionally, he invited Dauvit Alexander, Fabrizio Tridenti and Grace Horne to take some of these materials and to produce pieces using them in their own way. These pieces – a tattoo-machine by Dauvit Alexander, knives by Grace Horne and a brooch by Fabrizio Tridenti – plus several bowls by Cóilín show the potential for western artists to use these materials.
Using wool and found objects, Laura explores the ideas around what is precious to the individual in opposition to more generalised concepts of preciousness. A colourful and deteminedly craft-based exhibit, she boldly – shamelessly – embraces the current Etsy-mentality craft aesthetic, combining it with her post-feminist ideas about nostalgia and childhood, even incorporating wooden knitting machines and a toy periscope into her narrative.
Focussing on the surface of enamel itself, Jessica's works transcend the usual concerns of enamel with colour and/or the manner of application. Her skill in using the tricky medium is phenomenal and in some ways it is quite sad that the majority of people who see her work in this exhibition will not be able to appreciate the technical mastery displayed here. Anyone, however, will be able to admire the pure and elegant simplicity of the work, much of which explores ideas of mark-making and the disruption of surface. Much of the work is based on writing or cipher-like intrusions into fields, the idea of palimpsests and this is combined with larger-scale enamelling techniques such as those used in industry for the production of enamelled panels.
Overall, an exciting, thought-provoking and intriguing show and one which it is hoped will be sent out on tour to further general awareness of the range of activities being undertaken by contemporary jewellers and metalsmiths in the UK today.