Tag Archives: Coastal Housing Group

Taking Proofs

19 Oct
interior 1

Inside my new studio on a warm and sunny afternnon

I did some test proof prints from my sample woodblock, using Caligo Safewash relief ink onto MDF. I did a few printings onto different papers and using different densities of ink – I mixed extender in for some of them. To be honest, I don’t particularly like any of them, they’re a bit too faded. I need to try out some different inks and papers to see if I get a better result.

 

From left to right: inking the block: rubbing the back of the paper with a Japanese baren, the prints hanging to dry on a clothes rack.

 

 

Geeky stuff

18 Oct

I’m starting to do some test wood blocks for my commission for Sky Arts Art50. I’m cutting into MDF, using a facemask as it’s a bit dodgy, although it won’t be generating any dust. I’ve tried MDF before and when I inked it up it soaked up the ink and I had to make 3 prints before I got a decent one, the ink sank into the porous surface. I asked around and was told to try sealing the block, so I cut a test piece earlier and I brushed parts of it with Shellac. Once it’s dried I’ll ink up the whole thing and take a few proof prints to see how the sealed and unsealed bits of the block print up. I love doing stuff like this. I’m so geeky.

test block 1

I’m three days into my month-long residency at 216 High Street, Swansea, a very roomy shop with a generous subsidy from Coastal Housing Group – thanks very much.

216 high st 1

 

Here Be Dragons! Have Your Say!

17 Oct Sky Arts, Art 50, Brexit
Sky Arts, Art 50, Brexit

Commissioned by Sky Arts TV for ART50

Filming on Thursday November 8th (15.00-18.00) and Sunday November 11th (14.00-17.00)

Come and be on the telly! I’m doing a commission for Sky Arts called ‘Here Be Dragons’ and part of it is filming 1-minute interviews on what people think it means to be British – or Welsh – or something else altogether – for programmes in March 2019. Please pop in to my studio for tea and cake and if you want to do a quick interview – you don’t have to – it would be lovely to see you.

Here Be Dragons” at 216 High Street, Swansea

I’ve been commissioned by Sky Arts television to make a new artwork for an arts festival and TV programme early next year. It’s Art50, where over 50 artists or art organisations (in music, theatre, literature and the visual arts) have been commissioned to produce new art exploring the question, “In post – Brexit Britain, who are we?

Coastal Housing Group has kindly given me a subsidised space to work in and I’m developing a large woodcut, but I’ll also be having four Open Studio days as well so that people can come in, have a cuppa and a bit of cake (home-made of course) and see what goes on in an artist’s studio. They’ll also have a chance to do a one-minute vox pop interview to camera, if they want, giving their views on what Britishness is at the moment. I’ll keep you all posted when they’re going to be.

Check out more about what I’m doing here

 

 

 

The Glamour

10 Feb
The Glamour

The Glamour

Continuing with my series of drawings of Baby Boomers, my latest model is at the top end of the demographic and is now aged 70. I have known her for over 40 years and she is still probably the most glamorous woman I know, always beautifully dressed and groomed, the sort of person who makes heads turn when she walks into a room, not because of outrageous clothes or acres of bare flesh but simply because she oozes sprezzatura, an effortless impression of elegance, confidence and charm. In Celtic mythology, the glamour was a magical ability to weave spells on humans.

I’ve been doing these recent portraits at The SPace on Swansea’s High Street. It’s been a short-term project in partnership between Swansea Print Workshop and Coastal Housing Group and it comes to an end on Saturday. It’s been a lovely venue for doing these portraits and I’m going to have to find somewhere else to draw them from now on, I still have to do about 60 of the 100 I plan to draw. I drew this with a mid-grey graphite stick into an A4 spiral bound sketchbook.

And It’s Goodbye From The SPace

5 Feb
panorama

Panoramic view of the lovely SPace

Hurry and see this artspace before it disappears! Back in the middle of November, some members of Swansea Print Workshop got together to run a short-term popup gallery and artspace in Swansea’s run-down High Street, an area of social regeneration. We had a 12 week lease from Coastal Housing group and we painted and cleaned, hung prints and drawings on the walls and opened to the public 4 days a week. The rest of the time we went in and worked on art stuff, sometimes alone and sometimes in small groups.

A press feature back at the beginning.....

A press feature back at the beginning…..

And now we’re coming to the end of the lease. We recently installed a print and drawing-based installation, ‘Identity‘, led by Pip Woolf and inspired by work with people with dementia, which has brought in a lot of intrigued visitors and we’re closing with a ‘Goodbye Tea’ on Thursday February the 11th from 5.00 to 7.00, with lashings of home-made cake.

The collaborative installation instigated by artist Pip Woolf

The collaborative installation instigated by artist Pip Woolf

 

Please join us if you’re in the area and watch this SPace as we’re hoping to carry on in some shape in coming months……..

 

The SPace is at 217, High Street, Swansea, Wales, UK until February the 13th.

Under Wraps

28 Jan
"Identity" at The SPace

“Identity” at The SPace

I’ve been involved in an artist collective, members of Swansea Print Workshop, at The SPace. We’ve had the place since mid-November and will be there for another three weeks. One of the best things about this has been the impetus for some of the artists to work together, to discuss and collaborate and we’re launching an installation tomorrow, instigated by Pip Woolf, who provided huge pieces of tissue paper for us to work on and then she’s used the results to wrap the gallery. It’s open for just a few days – there’s a discussion led by Pip followed by refreshments Friday (29th) from 5.30 to 7 pm and it’s open daily Friday, Saturday and next Wednesday, 11.30 to 5pm.

 

Pip says,

I am currently exploring “Identity” as a subject that has arisen from my ongoing research alongside dementia, those diagnosed with it, those living with it and those who are supporting. In choosing to show my current work in progress at the Space I have had to consider how I can use the venue respectful of the other 13 members. At the same time when I first saw the SPAce it seemed to offer a potentially interesting and experimental venue to introduce my early enquiries through making.

The discussion will focus on how my studio work has developed and how showing here intersects with my interest in collaborative work. 


The SPace arose as a group of printmakers saw an opportunity to promote their work as well as the fantastic facility that is Swansea Print Workshop. Many of us do not know each other so co-operative use of the SPace is a key element. The temporary pop up has been created as outreach of Swansea Print Workshop courtesy of a generous arrangement with Coastal Housing.”

The SPace continues until February 13th at 217 High Street, Swansea.

Sunpan And Gong

10 Dec

The Bagpuss Window, a semi-derelict anarchic artspace, flashed into existence for three short weeks in September (2015) and then ended as abruptly as it started as the wrecking crew moved in to demolish the building. Fellow artist Melanie Ezra and I took it on at very short notice from developers Coastal Group and opened it up for artists, musicians and poets to see what happened. It was fabulous. Creative people from across Swansea and beyond wandered in and used the space to develop new work, ideas and collaborations. Film maker Melvyn Williams and I recorded what was going on and Melvyn has been editing the footage into short videos to show what happened.

Here’s the first, featuring Sharon Edlington-Douglas and David Pitt who bumped into each other one day and started playing their instruments, Sharon with a Sunpan and David with gongs. The door was open into the High Street, we were having a glorious Indian Summer, and the extraordinary sound reverberated along the road. I became absorbed in the music as I drew on the wall of the decrepit old shop and people wandered in to walk a labyrinth made from bark chippings by David and local archaeologist Dewi Bowen.

wall l

Dewi has written a book about ancient stone monuments in Siluria, South Wales, you can find out about it here. David is involved in keeping alive the Mari Lwyd in the Swansea and Gower area – you can read more about this fascinating tradition here.

Bling, Seagull And Iconic Chair

8 Sep
holo 4

I did this tableau with mannequins and some of my drawings.

Day 2 at The Bagpuss Window, the newest arty shenanigans in Swansea’s High Street. Fellow artist Melanie Ezra and I have opened a temporary pop-up artspace in an old shop due for demolition (thanks Coastal Housing group for the loan). The idea of The Bagpuss Window is that we, along with any other artists who drop in, will fill the window with an ever-changing display of art, work-in-progress, inspirational objects, tools and equipment that we use…..

We’re also encouraging local people and passers-by to pop their heads round the door and interact with us. Yesterday, a couple of local lads had a chat, liked what they saw and came back today with a painting on driftwood of a blinged-up seagull for The Bagpuss Window (above left). Local artist Tim Kelly  dropped by with his porcine pieces (above centre and right) which went in as well.

I carried on working on something I started ages ago, a three-dimensional tableau inspired by the work I have been doing based on a visit to Berlin a few winters ago. I’m getting somewhere with it. And finally, a local group, Circus Eruption lent us half a dozen chairs – I can now sit down!!! They’re fab, copies of the iconic Arne Jacobsen chair, or as I call it, the Christine Keeler chair.

Waiting For Mam

6 Mar

puppies

I spent a happy hour puppy sitting the adorable gallery puppies at Galerie Simpson this afternoon. They are two sweet black Patterdale Terriers and when their Mam popped out, they patiently waited for her – before falling asleep. So cute. And very scribblable! I never miss an opportunity for a scribble. It’s interesting drawing different animals. I’m used to cats, human beings and other monkeys, even the odd bird, but these dogs are so different. Lovely little triangular floppy ears and skinny, skinny legs with big paws.

Galerie Simpson has recently opened on the High Street in Swansea. It’s an area that is undergoing a lot of regeneration and it badly needs it. I lived in this area when I was a small child until most of it was demolished and it’s been very run down for many years, so it’s good to see it on the up at last as part of the new Urban Village, being built by Coastal Housing Group. There’s a terrific exhibition of original prints, Art Lovers, at Galerie Simpson at the moment and it’s on until Easter. Watch out for events coming up at the gallery including Sunday Tea and an arty brunch.

I drew this into my A5 Tate Gallery sketchbook with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size F and I used the last pages – I finished it! I love finishing a sketchbook, there’s a great sense of achievement and also excitement about starting a new one. Which one will it be? OOOOOHHHH!!!!! I’m such a geek 😀

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