A recent visit to the current outdoor sculpture exhibition, Radical Horizons: The Art of Burning Man at Chatsworth, proved to be an unusual and enchanting encounter with the curious. It is a wonderfully diverse collection of monumental, thought-provoking works which spark the imagination, play with possibilities, or dare you to put your faith in their shifting structures as you are invited to step or hold on.
Quote above is from Vincent Van Gogh, letter to Theo, 11.2.1883
My recent MA studies investigating theology in the context of the imagination and contemporary culture have been an inspiring and intense part of grappling with some of the subject-matter that informs my art. But this comes with concerns that my love of books and research within this academic setting might subsume my creative work. Certainly time has been an issue, yet creativity has found expression in new provisional forms behind the scenes rather than through work as yet on public display. Van Gogh’s words highlight an interrelatedness which I can see in my own creative approach, and helps to make sense of the way academic research has fuelled rather than quenched my creative curiosity.
Strolling around the exhibition ‘Living with art we love’ in Chatsworth House reminded me again of the unexpected energy and ideas that disparate items put in proximity can generate. The traditional and contemporary co-habit with textures, colours, forms and scale which draw attention to each other in fascinating ways.
My latest exhibition opens to the public on 3rd December 2016 at The Stone Space, London where I am showing with Ali Clarke and Helen Scalway. My new work follows on from my residency in Weybridge and The Chelsea Gallery show in November, and explores the subject of belonging from different angles, inspired by literary references and the many conversations I have had this year as a result of the residency. Hope to see you there.
‘Energizing’ is the word that sums up my experience of Sonia Delaunay’s work, currently being shown at Tate Modern. This response not only comes directly from her artworks, but also from studying her interesting journey through life; no matter what she encountered, she found a way to live her art in a diverse yet coherent display of innovation, experimentation and determination.
The one work I continually return to is the ‘Prose on the Trans-Siberian Railway…’ where she explored the Delaunay theory of simultaneous colour contrasts, ‘simultanism’, through text and image in a stunningly subtle yet striking manner to interpret the poet, Blaise Cendrars’ words. As a visual artist with a graphic design and print production background, I was particularly excited to see a refreshingly blatant disregard for design rules!
Sonia Delaunay has long occupied a core position in my personal list of most influential and inspiring creative people. However when I studied her work some years ago, I found her seldom mentioned in fine art circles, despite her acknowledged importance to modern art. I hope this exhibition will change that situation.
Image from Sonia Delaunay Exhibition Catalogue, 2014, Tate Publishing, London, p67.
Preparing this new website has been like a process of creative spring-cleaning; sifting through and re-evaluating, selecting, discarding and sometimes seeing things in a different light having had time to reflect after the event. The process isn’t complete yet, with some files getting lost in the transfer from old site to new, but despite its frustrations, it feels like an exciting new beginning…
‘In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge…
Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire…’
Two verses from For a New Beginning by poet, John O’Donohue, https://www.facebook.com/JohnODonohue.AnamCara/photos/a.195041557196029.45433.128546530512199/874752439224934/