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Congratulations to our namesakes MADE IN HASTINGS for winning the bestgrowing business in the Country Living awards It's one of our favourite shops and well worth a visit when in Hastings. Made In Hastings is a co-operative owned by makers but the work all gels well together and the shop always has things you want to buy. It makes such a nice change from the blandness of the chain stores. There are also quite a few other good galleries worth looking at in Hastings such as Todds opposite Made In Hastings and of course just up the road is the revamped De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill with modern art exhibitions and a great restaurant looking over the channel.
Monday, 30 July 2007
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Posted by Jon at 12:55
Friday, 27 July 2007
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I have recently had a solo exhibition at The Queen Street
Gallery, Emsworth, Hampshire and am now exhibiting at The Beaux Arts, Bath
and Rowley Contemporary, Winchester. I was also shortlisted for The Celeste
My paintings are ; A narration of everyday life, small unspoken moments. They are there to draw you in to a story and then you are invited to explore the possibilities of where the story might go. The journey they take depends on the story of the viewer and whether it touches something in their own lives.
1. Money spent on chocolate is never wasted because it brings such pleasure and can be shared with others.
2. Stella Vine is my favourite living artist because she is so of our time. She dares to confront all the critics and shows us rawness and vunerability whilst poking fun at us all.
3. Hogarth is my favourite historical artist because he was so good at showing life as satire(the Private Eye of his time). His capabilities as an artist are profound, he had immense skill as a craftsman, storyteller and humorist. His work still holds its own today.
4. Peter Blake had a major retrospective at The Tate Britain when I was 15 and it opened my eyes to the possibilities of what being an artist could mean. Before then I had only really been exposed to Renaissance artists and the Impressionists. Now I could see that art could be completely contemporary, personal and unreverential.
5.Most recently read Saturday by Ian McEwan. Talk about a good story teller, fast paced, emotional, inciteful into the human phychy and gripping from beginning to end.
6. The people who buy my work are those who have time to think and reflect on life.
7. On the walls surrounding my work space I stick up anything I think I might use as reference at some time in the future.At the moment there are newspaper articles on family disfunction, postcards of Philip Guston, Hogarth, Damien Hirst and too many to mention.I also have a doll's house filled with a multitude of sized dolls and accessories. There is a washing line hung with paper clothes and kitchen utensils. I also have many photos of interiors, armchairs, stairwells, kitchens and household objects. And lastly there are lines of poetry and snippets of conversations Pinned to the wall.
8. My studio is behind a funeral parlour so the neighbours are quiet, it used to be the coffin storeroom. I share with 3 other artists and 3 dogs. It is a very diverse studio with very different working methods employed by its occupants, from the meticulously clean ordered artist to the free spirited sloshing of paint artist. We are quite frank with one another on most subjects especially art so it is normally pretty lively. It is a great studio to work in even in winter when it is so cold I have to wear ski clothes, fingerless gloves and a nose hat.
9. I have a fantastic life style, a studio 15 mins walk from home, an independant teenager, a supportive partner and funny cocker spaniel who takes me out on muddy walks to clear my brain.
10. Art is one of the most important things in life as it is a reflection of the world around. It makes you think about and assess yourself and others. It can make you look at things and see them again for the first time. It is all around us, is impossible to capture and can lift the soul
Posted by Jon at 12:26
Thursday, 26 July 2007
the amazing spirit and atmosphere in such adverse connditions
the doolicious pork, stuffing, apple sauce and mustard bagettes
the golf cart rides across swampy fields back to parked cars
oh and the art...
Emiko Aida Printmaker and Painter (www.aidastudios.com)
Posted by Jon at 15:58
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Shirley-Ann Dixon makes a range of hand crafted woven and knitted fashion artefacts made using high quality natural yarns. Each piece is constructed on either an antique 1898 Counterbalance floor loom or a domestic knitting machine. The creative philosophy that drives her work is to maintain consistent originality and innovation through the exploration of traditional weave or knit constructions. She tries to do this with honesty and truth to the materials used, culminating in contemporary pieces with textural surfaces that have a visual, sensual and ethereal aesthetic.
Money spent on a bar of Green & Blacks organic chocolate is never wasted because we should all spoil ourselves - at least once a week!
One favourite living craft maker - ?Reiko Sudo, the director and designer for the NUNO Corporation – a textile company based in Tokyo. I discovered her work when studying for my degrees in textiles and have been inspired by Japanese weavers ever since. I still follow the progression of her work. She creates beautiful fabrics for the modern world using the latest technologies but still with a very great reverence for craft traditions. Her last major exhibition was in 2005: 2121 The Textile Vision of Reiko Sudo and Nuno.
One favourite historical artist - I have many, Van Gogh for his colourful textural works but it would have to be Joseph Mallord William Turner because his atmospheric compositions look as though they were created with nothing more than wisps of coloured smoke.
When and where did you first want to do what you do? - As a child listening to the story of Rumplestiltskin . I was fascinated by the concept of spinning straw into gold. I later came to realise that weaving or knitting with the type of yarns I use (filament silks/fine wool crêpes) have a similar alchemy applied to them. I start with a single (often white) yarn, then that yarn goes through various processes (dyeing, weaving etc) until finally it is transformed into something completely unrecognisable from its original state. I marvel at it every time!
At age 15 who influenced your style? Was there any individual who very much helped you on your way? - That person would have to be my family’s oldest friend and godmother to one of my sisters - Ella Johnson. She took me to the Tate (now Tate Britain) during the holidays. It was my first encounter with the Pre-Raphaelites movement. The intensity of colours they used and the painstaking methods adopted to truthfully recapture nature within their paintings influenced me and is still an important part of my working ethic. I still love Arthurian legends, which was the narrative of a lot of their compositions.
Last best read ? - Raymond E. Feist’s “Magician” the classic fantasy epic which has enchanted readers for over 20 years and was voted one of the Nation’s top 100 reads.
How do you set about starting a new project? - I go to Kew Gardens or some other natural environment with my sketchbook and camera to capture what Mother Nature is up to at that particular period in time. I record colours, textures and emotional responses to what I see happening around me and use my research to find a suitable theme from which to begin exploring ideas.
What do you have on your pinboard? - A sprig of dried flowers (pale blue). A horse chestnut leaf that I found while out walking that is decayed and full of holes. Hand woven and knitted fabric samples that reflect the qualities of the former. A photo (close up) - a knitted raffia basket that has unravelled. A photo - box of various types of mushrooms. A V&A postcard - a pleated paper outfit by Hussein Chalayan (1995). Samples of hand woven fabrics that I have pleated. A pen and ink sketch of a leaf from my sketchbook. Yarn wrappings of selected colour ways.
Where and what is your studio? - I have a studio at Cockpit Arts. I am very fortunate to have single occupancy now – I was sharing when I first came to Cockpit. I work alone but the other Designer-makers here are very friendly and we often pop into each others studios for a chat, lunch or coffee. I tend to have Classic FM going most of the time but also like to listen to audio books while threading the loom. It’s a great way to catch up with all those books you never got round to reading.
What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work? - Gratitude. I’m so fortunate to be able to do what I do.
Would you rather be doing something else? - No, never. It’s not always easy-going but this is all I’ve ever wanted to do.
If you could exhibit in any gallery which would it be? - I’d love the V&A Museum to purchase one of my pieces for their textile collection/archives as a way of giving something to future generations.
Posted by Jon at 11:57
Saturday, 21 July 2007
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My work is based on memories of growing up in 1960s Britain. The paintings feature many places and characters from my childhood. My paintings are acrylic on canvas and paper and the work starts life as a series of cardboard models dressed with Dinky/Matchbox cars and toy people which I photograph to establish a scene.
When and where did you first want to do what you do?... Mid 1960s, sat in front of the box watching Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlet. I fell in love with the spacecraft and characters and couldn't stop drawing them!
What place in the world has inspired you?.. Believe it or not, the London council estate where I grew up! It was the Lambeth Councils flagship estate where all the residents were chosen to represent a cross section of the community. The place felt like a little village complete with The Butcher, The Baker, The Mechanic, The Milkman, and my dad the Wholesale Tobbaconist! I still draw on many of the characters and situations I experienced there.
At age 15 who influenced your style? ... John Berry and other artists responsible for illustrating Ladybird books. How do you set about starting a new project? By casting my mind back to a childhood incident. I then build a quick cardboard model which I then dress and photograph to use as reference.
What do you have on your pinboard? A still from The Wicker Man (circa 1973,) A photo taken at Warners holiday camp when I was there as a child, a black and white photo of my tipsy mum and dad on there wedding day, and a picture of my Wire Haired Fox Terrier called Archie.
Where and what is your studio? My studio is a converted coffin store (great for atmosphere!) in Putney, south west London. It backs on to the old funeral parlour which is still open for business. Locking up when I work late is a bit creepy though. I share the place with three other artists and we all listen to our own radios which can get interesting! I have been there since 1982 when I hired the place to sculpt a huge Rhino for a Dutch feature film. Coincidently, all the body casts for the Tarzan movie- "Greystoke" were also made there.
Do you have a good work/life balance? Yes I do have a good work/life balance although being an artist can be a curse as wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you always end up thinking about your current piece or the next in line.
What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?... Blissfull!
Guilty secret? Sneaking off to my favourite cafe for a cigar and coffee.... Listening to Abba really loud when everyones gone home!
Can anything be 'art'?... I suppose anything can be art... after all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder etc but for me there has to be a good measure of craftsmanship.
Christopher was born in London in 1961, and grew up on a diet of cult TV classics such as: The Prisoner, Dr Who, Randall and Hopkirk Deceased, and The Avengers, and from a young age he would often sit in front of the box, drawing his favorite TV heroes.
He left school at seventeen and started working in a commercial art studio. Whilst there he worked on many "Top Ten" album and single cover artworks for the following bands: The Police, Squeeze, Robert Fripp, Sham 69, The Jam, The Cure, and Roxy Music.
With a passion forged in the inferno of 1970s popular television and armed with his portfolio of paintings, set designs, models, and short films, he set out to find work in the industry. Having experienced life on the sets of: The Sweeney, Space 1999, Blake’s Seven, The New Avengers, and the James Bond movie: The Spy Who Loved Me, he finally landed a job at Shepperton Studios as a Special Effects Designer / Model Maker.
He worked on a string of award-winning animated TV commercials including: Quavers, Prize Guy Yoghurts, KP Nuts, and the famous PG Tips Chimpanzee adverts (live action.) He also worked on the highly successful children’s television series: Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, where he built many of the characters, stations, and landscapes. His film work has included the designing and building of a massive aerial model of a small American town for the feature film: Amazing Grace and Chuck, directed by Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Harry Potter) and starring Gregory Peck. He then went on to co-write, design, and produce: Potamus Park for Carlton Television (at Pinewood Studios.)
During this time he also illustrated books and comics for many well known TV characters such as: Postman Pat, Rosie and Jim, Potamus Park and Tots TV.
Having achieved his childhood ambition of working in Television and film, he felt more and more compelled to return to his love of painting where he could express himself away from the time and budget constraints of his TV work. He now paints full time from his studio in Putney.
Christopher’s enigmatic paintings feature everyday scenes of both urban and country life but with a retrospective twist. He paints with a strong nostalgic feel for the past, and often features places and characters from his childhood. His current series of paintings are based on his memories of being a milk boy in the late 1960s and are full of amorous milkmen, bored housewives and local people who used to treat the milkman (with crates a-rattling) as their local hero!
Christopher spent twenty-five years working in the film and television industry and this has quite naturally influenced his work. As part of the picture making process, he photographs small cardboard models (complete with toy cars and people) to establish the scenes he has in mind. This process seems to imbue his pictures with a cinematic feel.
In a similar way to how a TV series is filmed, Christopher will create a story line, setting, and cast of characters, which he will use for the basis of a series of paintings. The finished work often looks like a sequence from a soap opera or kitchen sink drama!
With regard to his visual style, he draws inspiration from the commercial art of the 1960s, especially cigarette cards and Ladybird books.
Posted by Jon at 12:51
Tuesday, 17 July 2007
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Describe your work?
I create lighting and functional homewares using bone china for it’s white and translucent properties. The play between shadow and light informs my work. I derive inspiration from structures of nature. I aim to highlight beauty and purpose in natural forms to enhance our interaction with the objects around us.
1 Money spent on food is never wasted
2 Favourite historical maker (and why?)
There are many of the historical Scandinavian designer/makers that I love. However, Finnish designer Tapio Wirkkala is a bit of a legend. He was incredibly versatile working in glass, metal, wood, ceramics, lighting, jewellery, furniture etc. He abstracted the essence of forms in nature. His work is timeless and could have been made today. I especially like that he worked on everything from everyday pieces to the highly exclusive, often blurring the boundaries between art, craft and design. The design world could do with more people like that. He also looked incredibly cool, like Father Christmas smoking a pipe.
3 When and where did you first want to do what you do?
I have always wanted to do something creative and have been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pen. It took me ages to work out what I wanted to do, trying a range of things from photography to graphics. It was probably the second year of my degree I decided that I wanted to work with lighting. I love it now, but I hope it will evolve and that I will be doing something different in 10 years time.
4 What place in the world has inspired you (and why?)
Going back home to Sweden always inspires me. I find that nature there especially in the summer feeds a lot of my ideas. I look at repetition of forms in nature and derive ideas from this endless source of inspiration.
5 What was the last art/craft/design thing you purchased? or What one product/item do you really covet? (and why?)
I bought a charcoal-black ‘Amoeba dish’ from Dominic Bromley of Scabetti at last years East London Design Show. I love his work and his new bone china ‘Cibola pendant light’ is stunning.
6 How do you set about starting a new project?
It depends. I come across something of interest and start researching it perhaps finding out more on the Internet. I might do some sketches, however I often find that the process of emanation (one thing emerging from another) whilst working in my studio is the best way of coming up with the most interesting work. I often work with repetition of form, and starting on one piece can often lead to other work, as is the case with my bone china wall light leading to one of my latest pieces ‘Stardish’.
7 Where and what is your studio? Do you work alone? In silence, radio?
I am in a studio In New England House in Brighton. I share the studio with seven other ceramicists. However, most of us are part-time, so we are not all in at the same time. It is usually Radio 4 for culture or BBC 7 for drama on our radio. As some of the makers in the studio have an addiction to the Archers I seldom miss an episode, however I still don’t know the characters.
8 Do you have a good work/life balance? Are you able to switch off from art work?
I never really switch off as I always keep looking at the things around me, finding inspiration in a number of different things. If I am in the middle of developing a new light I am often quite excited about it and find it hard to switch off until I have the prototype finished. However, I am getting better at switching off as it is really important to have a break and sit back. It is hard to look at your work objectively if you are constantly absorbed in it.
9 What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?
10 Are their other (unusual) fields that you'd like to apply some facet of your work into?
Making huge striking site-specific lighting pieces for large entrance halls or similar spaces.
11 Can anything be 'art'?
Yes, I think that as long as it is considered and has an intelligent thought behind it.
Ulrika Jarl lighting & homewares was launched in 2004 and the lighting products are made mainly from bone china clay and slip, she also uses various types of plastics creating similar translucent qualities. The Romanésco pendant light is one of Ulrika’s most unusual and successful piece and has since the launch been exhibited in various places around the world culminating at the Design Museum in last years Design Mart exhibition. The light has had continued success being picked up by furniture retailer Habitat, where it was launched last year.
She explores her love of natural forms and structures throughout her work as a designer-maker, which she was able to explore through her studies of three-dimensional crafts at the University of Brighton, where she now works. Her work has taken a further facet in the form of commissions and one-off pieces where the location of the piece and where it will be displayed is central to the design.
Ulrika is currently working on a new collection of lighting and homewares that will be launched later on this year at Top Drawer Autumn and later at Brighton Craft Fair. The lights are bone china and the functional dishes are earthenware.
“The light element transforms my lights into sculptural object and the shadows cast are as important as the light”
Any excuse for a party I suppose so we invited some of our supporters and our artists down to the gallery at Castor and Pollux on Brighton seafront for a glass of wine or two . I had written a speech and everything but luckily spoke personally to everyone and so didn't have to, despite (or because of this) it was a nice evening and the sun stayed out for us.
- Steamroller printing - TNLawrence has kindly given us a very good rate on Large sheets of Lino which we are giving to 7 of our best printmakers including Sarah. They will produce a 3ftx3ft or larger relief print which we will print up at the fair - or rather in the street outside the fair courtesy of a large and probably vintage steam-roller. We will then display the results on Bulldog clips in the Art Fair entrance
- Hove Civic Society are sponsoring a competition for the best piece of work featuring the built environment. This prize will be open to anyone selected for the Art Fair and will be shown on a special section of our website before the event.
- We are looking at ways of making the Private View a little more of a party as well as a buying, opportunity. So we are looking at attracting a drinks sponsor and providing a live band.
Posted by Jon at 23:07