Friday, 31 July 2009

Showing Now!

Over the past few weeks I've been taking a break and thinking about what next. Along the way stuff comes up - so 'for one week only' actually only until next Thursday...6th August - I'm showing with a number of other artists in an enterprising exhibition set up by Alyn Mulholland at the Angel Row Gallery in Nottingham. The three collages from the "Le Pays Minervois" series look good on a proper gallery wall and suggest to me that I may have to reconsider my final project - maybe bringing some of the fine art practice into the photographic side. I also feel that this may enable me to bring into the work some of my thinking around the uses to which we put the natural world and our depictions of it.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Out And about - The Craic

Dublin is as always bright and blustery, even in summer. I'm a great fan of Jack Butler Yeats and the sky above the city reminds me of his paintings greatly. Its a few days of immersion in contemporary (or recentish) painting with visits to the Hugh Lane Gallery and IMMA. The Hugh Lane is now surely one of the most handsome galleries just about anywhere...with the added bonus of the re-creation of Francis Bacon's studio and now the Sean Scully room (see picture). Alongside its selection of leading Irish artists and other bits and bobs (this time a delightful room of mixed landscapes across three centuries plus a striking show of four leading mid career painters) the place is a fabulous triumph of recent painting. The Yinka Shonibere work that dominated the foyer space was also a really magnificent tour de force.

At IMMA the main attraction is a ten year retrospective of the paintings of American artist Terry Winters (see picture). Winters is a bit hit and miss to be truthful - his obsessive interest in form and the endless variations around those he chooses make his drawings a real feast but the paintings sometimes suggest a less than thoroughly convincing engagement with colour and a cack handed roughness (not that in itself this is a bad thing) that occasionally overwhelms the image. At least thats my view - what cannot be gainsaid is his industry - the work on show being but a part of his output over the period.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Travel agent

I have pretty much spent my day arranging travel. My wife and I are off to Dublin next week. The painter Terry Winters has a big retrospective taking place at IMMA and besides she hasn't seen the recreation of Francis Bacon's studio at the Hugh Lane Gallery. As a long time admirer of his it will be a treat. On top of that we are off to Dresden in August to view our own work in a big art jamboree titled 'Ostrale 09' - a rare opportunity to be seen in the context of a wide ranging survey of international work. Getting to Dresden reasonably cheaply and comfortably not that easy! In addition we are off to Venice in September and then in Italy again in October. All good fun but quite a bit of organisation.

I'm also tidying up my departure from University life having decided to resign from my post at Derby - dangerously scary stuff but right for me now. In part it will help me focus in on the MA, create space for my wider practice and - hopefully - allow for new projects and ideas to emerge. One of my recent series of artworks - 'Le Pays Minervois' a set of digital collages needs more work on as it looks possible they may feature in a research journal this winter...hopefully other similarly interesting possibilities will come up as I move forward.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Through the summer months

It's proving difficult to find the need to post...not helped either by a stinking cold that laid me low for a week or so. Although it's been a busy period - sorting out work to go off to a major show in Dresden in a few weeks time alongside submissions to competitions and so forth - the real reason for not posting is that I haven't either been taking pictures or really giving much thought to the taking of pictures.

I have made a couple more trips into Dimminsdale Woods where its looking likely I'll set my major project but I'm trying to keep an open mind on the subject for the moment - and finding it pretty easy to do so!

I'm venturing into the competitions simply to get myself used to the idea of submitting my photographs for consideration - not because of any illusions as to their worth. The landscapes are proving tough to find something new to say.