Tag Archives: Creative Bubble

A Concentrated Arty Area

22 May

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It’s degree show time at Swansea Art School, or University of Wales Trinity Saint Davids to give it the official name. Husb and I have two arty relatives graduating this year, one from the computer games design degree and the other from the Foundation course. So we took ourselves off to the opening night.

The last time I played a computer game I was in a pub in the 1980s, shooting space invaders and I wasn’t keen to try out a new one but I dutifully donned a Virtual Reality helmet and waited for my nephew to put some thingys (I think that’s the technical term) in my hands that became guns in the virtual world. And to be honest, I had a good time trying and, mostly, failing to shoot down deadly killer scrapyard robots. The exhibition is in the Creative Bubble artspace in Union Street and it’s set up like an arcade. Just walk in off the street and give it a go. It’s open Monday to Friday, 10.00 – 16.00 until June the 2nd.

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Then onto Chaos, the Foundation end-of-year show at the building known as Alex. It was a blast from the past for me as I studied for my Diploma in Art there over 4 decades ago. Where does the time go? Any way, the Foundation show is lively, quirky and so well done. I particularly liked the little biographies next to each exhibit, saying where the student had come from and where they were going to, with the majority going on to degrees. It’s only just up the road from Creative Bubble, opposite the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. All the UWTSD shows run until June 2nd so go grab yourself some culture.

Between the Glynn Vivian, the two art school campuses (Alex and Dynefor), Creative Bubble and the Tapestri artist studios next to Alex, this is a highly concentrated arty area and one of the most interesting bits of the city centre.

Coming Full Circle

10 Mar
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The triptych from the inside

A few weeks ago I was privileged to join one of Fern Smith‘s women’s circles, part of her ‘Seven Sundays In Spring’, walking through the beautiful deer park in Dynefwr, Llandeilo, drawing an extraordinary wintry tree in my sketchbooks, here’s one of the sketches below… 

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One of my original sketchbook drawings

I have thousands of sketches and dozens of sketchbooks locked away in cupboards and I only choose a few to develop into another piece of work, and this is one of those times. I was invited to do a pop-up drawing at the Women4Resources event for International Women’s Day at Creative Bubble today. I decided to do a triptych onto detail paper that I taped to the window, so that people outside could see the drawing developing without coming in – it’s a democratic way of doing art because it reaches out to people, not everyone is comfortable coming into an artspace.

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I started out with my home-made walnut ink, blocking in the base of the tree and working into it with sanguine conté crayon to develop a texture. Then I brushed in the upright trunks.

 

Then I switched to white gouache and brushed in another layer of uprights, trunks and branches. And finally, I used a black conté crayon to work tiny marks into the area of the sky behind the branches.

The work looks different from the outside, with the white branches much more prominent and the black sky almost invisible. I guess that if I ever exhibit it I’ll have to consider framing them with glass both sides.

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The triptych from the outside

And so full circle, from the drawing en plein air to the triptych in the window, from Fern’s creative women’s circle to International Women’s Day, it feels complete.

 

S’Up In May And June?

9 May

What am I up to?

I’m working through a load of art events that I’ve been preparing for ages.

I’ve done TRANSITION, a public art event on May 20th and 21st 2016 in Swansea’s Creative Bubble Artspace with the 15 Hundred Lives art collective.

The 15 Hundred Lives art collective

The 15 Hundred Lives art collective

And then May 28th I was in Fringe Arts Bath’s “A FAB Intervention” as part of The Plebeian Scribblers, a public access street-based drawing event.

A FAB Intervention in Bath

A FAB Intervention in Bath

And then June 1st to 24th I am part of the Swansea Print Workshop collective exhibiting and running events at The Welfare, Ystradgynlais during the “Arts in the Tawe Valley (AitTV)” festival.

The Welfare, Ystradgynlais

The Welfare, Ystradgynlais

And in the middle of all that, from June 17th, I will be exhibiting a large drawing as part of a group show in the ‘Divided By The Meltwater’ exhibition in Swansea’s Dynefor Centre.

Photograph by Tim Kelly

The Meltwater between Swansea and North Devon. Photograph by Tim Kelly

Throughout September I will have a solo show at the fabulous Workers Gallery in Ynyshir, Rhondda, showing the work I am developing on the ancient ancestral stones of South Wales.

 

The Hunt Rose Davies poster

I am part of the “Leftovers VI” International Print exchange which is a touring group exhibition of miniature prints from international printmakers. It’s just been exhibited in Boise, Idaho , USA and is destined for Reno, Nevada USA in October. Moves are afoot to bring it to Wales after Reno – watch this space!

And finally I will be running short courses in printmaking at Swansea Print Workshop over the coming months. Check out details here.

My courses at Swansea Print Workshop

My courses at Swansea Print Workshop

 

If you would like to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

Working Together

12 Dec

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I spent a second day at the Creative Bubble artspace with fellow artist Sylvie Evans. We started with no plans except to collage on top of recycled paper. I’ve very little experience of making collages and I’ve discovered that it’s far more complex than I ever thought. It’s been an interesting experience, working intuitively with someone else in an unfamiliar medium. I like the imagery we’ve come up with, I’m getting ideas for doing drawings from these and maybe develop some prints – possibly woodcuts. It’s a new way of working for me, a new way of developing ideas.

Ripping And Sticking

11 Dec

 

 

monster birth

 

Time to play is important. I can’t constantly be trying to produce a fully worked up piece of art, or focussing on technical practice. It’s exhausting and inhibiting. Inspiration and ideas must come from somewhere. And they often come when I relax and spend some time playing around or doodling. Today I joined fellow artist Sylvie Evans from the 15 Hundred Lives collective for our regular monthly 2-day session at the Creative Bubble artspace.

Last month we did a Big Draw and had a few rolls of paper that had been drawn over. We decided to recycle them by using them as the basis for collages. Sylvie called into the local free bookshop and picked up some colour magazines and we did a load of ripping and sticking. I hardly ever collage so it was fun and interesting to do some. I played. It’s not great art but some of the images have started to generate ideas which will probably eventually end up in my sketchbook.

 

 

 

Plumb Tuckered

31 Oct

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It’s been a long hard day of arty shenanigans. I started early this morning playing a ranting judge in a short film being made by friends. Then onto a second day of drawing in public at the Creative Bubble artspace in the city centre – I do this for a couple of days a month with the 15 Hundred Lives art collective. A quick bite to eat and off to a Halloween Shin-Dig nearby with some groovy people who have taken over an old shop and are developing it into a community cultural centre; early days yet but it looks very promising. I did some more spontaneous drawing there, some faces looming out of a long sheet of brown wrapping paper – well it is Halloween after all. And finally to one of the Elysium events – an open studio which was buzzing. A quick bit of blogging then off to bed because I’m plumb tuckered out. Goodnight 😀

The Big Draw-ing

30 Oct

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The 15 Hundred Lives art collective that I’m a member of is holding a Big Draw event at the Creative Bubble artspace for a couple of days. October is not only the month of the national Big Draw, the world’s biggest drawing festival, it’s also the month of All Hallow’s Eve, an ancient festival for remembering the dead. It’s a Christian festival, part of Allhallowtide; a pagan festival based in the Celtic Samhain; Calan Gaeaf, the Welsh winter festival; and the 20th century secular Halloween tradition of trick or treating.

A lot of my artwork is based on memories of those who have died, my ancestors, and I started a big drawing inspired by this and by my recent couple of days in Pembrokeshire drawing ancient burial monuments.  I don’t see it as a depressing thing at all.  I started by ripping up lumps of newspaper and sticking them on to a roll of Fabriano Accademica with Pritt stick. Then I started drawing onto it with compressed charcoal. Here’s a slide show of the development of the work.

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We had quite a few people drop in and draw with us, some lovely work and lots of great discussions. Another day of it tomorrow – I might do another big drawing.

Creatively Bubbling

16 Aug

 

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A new drawing for my upcoming exhibition at Oriel Ceri Richards from Friday August the 21st.

 

For 2 years the “15 Hundred Lives” art collective that I am part of has been running public access art events monthly at the Creative Bubble artspace in Swansea’s city centre. Each month we have guest artists working with us and it’s a privilege to have worked with 26 guests since we started and interacted with hundreds and hundreds of visitors, members of the public who have seen us on Facebook or on this blog or in the local paper and have come in to see what it is that artists do all day and how we do it.

 

This month we celebrated our second birthday and our guests, Jacki Phillips and Melanie Ezra, thrilled our many visitors with their fine art knitting and multi-layered collage respectively. And we had so many people coming in and engaging directly with artists and art in the making. It’s fabulous. We are so committed to demystifying art and making it inclusive and accessible and this great venue, a partnership between University of Wales Trinity Saint Davids and Swansea City Council, is making it happen. I love doing this. I love meeting people and explaining what I’m doing.

Emerging Heads

15 Aug

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I’ve spent two days working with the 15 Hundred Lives art collective in the Creative Bubble artspace, giving the public open access to our working processes and at the same time putting the finishing touches to the last pieces of work for our upcoming exhibition at Oriel Ceri Richards. Here I’m drawing onto vintage paper that I’d prepared by squeegeeing black and gold acrylic screen print inks straight onto the paper, to break up the tyranny of the white. I’m working onto it with chalk, compressed charcoal and white conte crayon. I’ve broken away from my usual practise of working directly from life, drawing instead from my imagination. The imagery that’s emerging has been influenced by some visits I made about three years ago to Berlin and Iceland, but more of that later. Now to bed. I’m shattered!

FRAMED!

12 Aug

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The boring, mundane side of being an artist. It isn’t all about creativity. I have an exhibition coming up next week and the work has to be framed and, being a skint artist, I can’t afford to take over 2 dozen works to the framers so I’m knuckling down and doing it myself. It’s a mixture of linocuts and drawings, a new body of work.

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I’m working at the Creative Bubble Artspace for a few days, with the other members of the 15 Hundred Lives art collective. It’s really useful to have the space to spread out and work together, discussing the mix of our work and how we’re going to frame and hang it.

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On Friday and Saturday, it’s the second anniversary of our monthly public art events. We open the doors of the artspace and invite the public to come in and see how artists work, what we do all day. We’ll be celebrating with cake, Victoria Sandwich and Lemon Drizzle. And art of course. Click here to find out more.

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