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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Sketch it, cut it,stick it, glue it!

Paper is an amazing medium that you can use to create fantastic pieces of art work. The versitility of paper has no bounds, it can be drawn on, painted on, cut, ripped, folded, rolled, textured, sculpted and the list goes on. Recently I have spent alot of time investigating paper craft, collage and paper engineering techniques that I can use in my practice. I spend alot of time building sketchbooks and pull ideas from these to create my art - which does not alway result in a 2D piece of work. Working in collage provides me with the fliexibility of changing compostions, colour schemes and focal points without having to paintout or start over.
Below are three pieces I have worked on recently.
Sliding mechanism "Whats the use of a book..."
Paper collage

 Pop up "... pretending to be two people
Paper collage
Bursting Iris folded star " oh my poor little feet
Pencil, crayon and collage

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Access Art Papercraft Workshop

In May I will be working in partnership with Access Art leading a paper engineering workshop in Cambridge. During the workshop participants will explore the use of collage, paper engineering, stencils, mixed media and other practical approaches that can be used in sketchbook work. Throughout the day you participants will have the opportunity to produce a sliding picture, iris folded image and mixed media collage creating a visual documentation of new techniques learnt and reflecting their own ideas.

If you are interested in taking part in this workshop email of have a look on the Access Art website

The workshop will take place on Saturday 14th May 10am-1pm at Burwash Manor, Cambridge

Friday, 15 April 2011

London to Paris

One of the mediums I love to work with is crayons and oil pastels. I enjoy the tactile quality of the medium on a good paper and the expressive marks that can be made. The two drawings below are influenced by a recent visit to the surrealism gallery at the Tate. I was looking at a couple of paintings by Magritte and was intrigued by the limited palette in the paintings.

I decided to chose two quite iconic images and simplified the forms, colour and line in the drawings. So with a good bottle of wine and a bit of Nina Simone the results and pictured below.
Paris in the rain London Calling

Thursday, 14 April 2011

80's Bouncy Castle

How retro is this! For my M.A. Show I wanted to create a big and bold piece of art work that evoked childhood memories. As a child of the 80's, I decided to investigate my siblings and friends memories and asked them to note them down. I collected memories from lecturers, parents, grandparents and colleagues as my raw material for an installation. The Playpen 2004, and Pod Installation 2004, were constructed for the viewer to physically engage with and respond to the tactile nature of the mediums used. I wanted to create a piece that would physically take the viewer back to their childhood - to allow them to play, to let their guard down, to be a child again. And so the bouncy castle was born.

To start with I drew up plans and made a small model of the castle out of felt, embroidering the memories on the sides of the walls.

After much fund raising and saving, I found a company based in Romania that took on my project. The castle had specific measurement (12ft x 15ft x 16ft) but more importantly had to be strengthened to be safe for adults to use without compromising on the design.

After a long wait of a month, the castle was delivered and here is the finished product. It was interesting to watch viewers respond to this piece and to how they felt they could engage with the work. Primarily viewers enjoyed reading the memories printed around the castle, provoking discussion and evoking memories that they shared.

Initially people read the comments and memories and walked around the piece, joking about times they had been on a bouncy castle, gradually approaching the castle and feeling the material, running hands along the forms of the bumps and testing out the spring by pushing down on it. Once the first brave person got on, people began to follow, still not sure whether it was acceptable to actually physically engage with the art work. Throughout the few showings the castle has had viewers have bounced, flipped, sat in the corner and read, but more importantly remembered what it feels like to let go and have a bit of fun.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

And now for something different

As a community artist I have the pleasure of working with a range of schools producing murals, canvases, sculptures, totems and other art projects. Today I worked with a group of pupils from a local Infant school to create a canvas for their British Isle Week. The children aged between 4-7 years old spent some time learning about 4 Great British artists; Patrick Caulfield, Damien Hirst, Fiona Rae and Alan Davie. Working as a team we then appropriated the styles of the selected artists into this fabulous canvas. The pupils focused on the symbols and shapes used in Fiona Rae`s work, the butterflies used in Damien Hirst paintings, the flat coloured shaped interior objects used in Patrick Caulfield`s work and enjoying the `zen` style painting of Alan Davie. The children hopefully learnt about colour mixing, making marks with a paint brush and how to work collaboratively.

The Final Product -Key Stage 1 pupils appropriation of 4 great British Artists art work Patrick Caulfield
Fiona Rae
Damien Hirst
Alan Davie

APT Exhibition

For the show Philoscope held at the APT gallery in Deptford, my work was inspired by local graffiti that I photographed when investigating the site. I was really interested in the bold, bright colours that were used and where the graffiti was placed - on doors, walls, lamp posts etc.

I used fabric to recreate some local graffiti tags giving them a 3D form. 15 small forms were made and attached to the wall in a formal arrangement. The fabric forms were measured to scale and were quite precise in their making in contrast to the randomness and speed of the bright coloured tags photographed around Deptford. Brick shapes were patchworked together to create a colour chart of the spray and paint used in the local tags.
Two larger forms were hung onto a frame built out of wood to represent a doorway. These forms also took on an insect form, almost scorpion in shape emulating some of the history of Deptford docks and creatures found there.
The APT Gallery encourages particpation in the visual arts through creative practice, exhibitions and education. Have a look on the APT website for more information

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Works on Paper

For this blog I am travelling back in time to an exhibition I took part in whilst studying for my degree. The work pictured below was shown at the RK Burt Gallery in Southwark in an exhibition titled "Works on Paper" 2004.

I created a range of pieces using origami folded shirts made out of various different papers. Some papers were new, some were recycled and some were made for the piece. The shirts had a seductive quality about them, with a box displayed on the floor for viewers to take one if they wished - challenging the usual boundaries of touching art work in a gallery context.

I think I made a total of over 5000 shirts for this exhibition, continuing the obsessive, repetitive working process within my practice.

A larger piece was made for the centre of the gallery using cardboard boxes filled with large crisp white paper folded shirts- almost like those you would find displayed on shop floors. I was interested in the juxtaposition of the crisp white paper, against the tired tatty worn cardboard of the boxes.

The pieces were displayed in different sizes and compositions, discussing subjects such as work ethos, office environments and manufactured objects.

The RK Burt gallery was created in November 1999 at the grade 2 listed site on Union Street. The gallery offers an affordable and accessible opportunity for degree level students to exhibit their work in a professional setting. The gallery provides nearly a 1000 sq feet of exhibition spaces in the Southwark area close to the Jerwood Space, Tate Modern and The Globe Theatre. Have a look at the RK Burt website for more information