Wednesday, October 01, 2014
London and the South/Dundee and the North
Posted by Dauvit Alexander
Since my last post, I've been on the south coast of England, variously in London, Folkestone and Brighton. What should have been a very relaxing weekend proved to be anything but, albeit in a good way. Very good, in fact, as it kicked off with seeing Kate Bush perform her "Before The Dawn" concert at the Hammersmith Apollo.
I have always really liked Kate Bush and although I cannot confess to having been heartbroken about having missed her (only) last tour in 1979 - when she played Glasgow Apollo, I would have been interested but probably had to save my money for Hawkwind or Tangerine Dream! - there was absolutely no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to see her this time around. Armed with multiple internet-connected devices, Dingo managed to get us two rather good seats in the circle and I found myself getting increasingly excited as last Friday night approached but nothing could have prepared me for the event I finally experienced.
This excitement was whipped to unintended fever-pitch as it was announced that due to a power-failure, the concert would be delayed and delayed it was, for an hour. During this time, the audience became restless and it began to look increasingly as if we were not going to see the concert at all: of course, we did.
Quite deliberately, I had eschewed media coverage of the concerts and managed to actually get seated without having the first idea of the set-list, let alone the format and duly, Kate Bush appeared to thunderous applause and performed "Lily" from "The Red Shoes" followed by "Hounds of Love". The introductory section of the concert was pretty much what I had expected, Kate Bush in front of her band with various roving dancers and musicians supporting her but all that came to an end with a blistering performance of "King of the Mountain", dropping into a video about a suspected shipwreck and suddenly it became a huge, sophisticated multi-media show, incorporating some of the most incredible stage work to create live versions of two of her albums' thematic sequences, "The Ninth Wave" and "A Sky Of Honey".
Utterly brilliant. I've been hearing snippets of her music in my head ever since!
My other reason for being in the south was to speak at Cursley & Bond gallery in Folkestone, who have been really supportive of me and my work and who have been shifting quite amazing numbers of pieces for me. It seems that I have a fan-base in Folkestone and it is so good to be able to meet with them. In fact, this was the first time I have ever attended an event where members of the audience were actually wearing my work! (Flattering indeed.)
The talk was part of the Folkestone Triennial arts festival and I am extremely grateful to Nicola and Chris for giving me the opportunity to speak and meet people. Folkestone is an odd place, strangely run-down in parts but amazingly vibrant in other parts. It used to be one of the main places for people to get to Europe but the train station at the harbour is now derelict and the boats are all fishing boats again, suffering from the popularity of the Channel Tunnel but someone there has vision and it is slowly being reinvented as a focus for the arts and for food, rather as Brighton did twenty years ago.
For anyone who attended the talk and wanted a copy but didn't manage to get the details, the talk can be downloaded in PDF format here and the references are here.
A photograph taken by Carl Ericksson, a photographer and film-maker who attended the talk:
I was outside, talking to someone about my work and he took the picture from inside. "A Forest" is hanging in between us.
I spent last night in the photography studio with my friend and colleague, Simon Murphy, who was taking photographs of the collar, "Ko Si Iruufen" for me. It has been quite hard to explain how this collar sits when worn and so far, I've only managed a shot on a mannequin:
In conjunction with model Kirstin Norma Beaton and make-up artist, Sam Hendry, we came up with a rather better shot.
Needless to say, it was brilliant fun working with Simon, as always!
I've been pretty busy in the workshop over the last few days, making more work for Cursley & Bond to replace that which sold over the last week or so. I was lucky enough to pick up some interesting iron on the beach at Dungeness, which is just along the coast from Folkestone, so I've started a range of pieces using this material and which will be known as the "Dungeness Works":
The huge bracelet at the front is made from a piece of chain found on the beach and is already shaping up to be a favourite!
And finally, I am off this weekend to the excellent Gordon Millar's "Gathering V" in Dundee at the DCA. The last few of these that I have been able to attend have been absolutely brilliant and he is a powerhouse of creative energy. I'm pleased to be able to link to his Kickstarter project to publish a book about the movement and the people involved in it. I've backed it already and I hope everyone reading this will be able to offer something too.
Come along to the DCA in Dundee on Saturday!