Tag Archives: elder women

Breaking Out Of The Frame @ The Workers Gallery

15 Mar

See my print installations and more artwork by me and the gallery artists throughout March and April at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir in The Rhondda Valley. It’s a great place to visit.

I’ve been a printmaker for a long while, I majored in Printmaking in Art College back at the end of the 1970s and my lecturer, Andy Charlton a fantastic artist, was proper old school. Nothing wrong with that, but in recent years I’ve become disillusioned with the conventional way of exhibiting prints, in a frame on a pristine wall in a gleaming white gallery.

horizontal

 

I’ve always preferred art to be inclusive, rather than exclusive and so many galleries actively promote exclusivity, which puts a lot of people off even entering. And when someone does step over the doorstep, it’s very easy to walk by the rows of neatly framed artwork arranged on the pristine walls without stopping for a closer look or understanding the processes that have gone into the piece.

window 2

I’ve been trying to break out of the frame and display my printmaking in a way that develops a more interactive relationship with the viewer and also to move it into a viewing place that is more accessible than a conventional gallery. I’ve been experimenting with assembling multiple prints, starting with a work based on the cyanotype technique, a pattern for a Victorian corset and a series of sketchbook drawings of elder women.

I have exhibited them in sequence, hanging on a wall, and I also took it all apart and tied it to a clothes horse as you can see above.  I really liked the clothes airer scenario so I decided to do another.

frida paper

A while back, I had a small rubber stamp  made up from a silkscreen print I did based on the fabulous Frida Kahlo, an artist I admire very much. I printed it onto small leftover pieces of a beautiful Japanese Shiohara paper that I had been using for another print job .

I had been wondering what to do with them and I finally decided on making them up into a self-contained installation. I made a start by sewing them onto a very robust handmade paper – 300gsm – that I’d bought at the Tate Gallery a few years ago on an antique Singer sewing machine.

And then I assembled them onto a clothes airer. People seem more willing to walk around something three-dimensional and they look at the work far more than when it’s in frames on a wall.

hung

So far these works have been exhibited in an arts café, a conventional gallery, a pop-up artspace in a socially deprived area, and a shop window and will soon be going to The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir in the Rhondda Valley, a much-loved community-oriented artspace in what was, until the austerity cutbacks, the local library. The challenge now is to continue to break out of the frame and to find even more socially relevant places and ways to show my work.

World of Work Workers Gallery Poster

Met A Monkeh

9 Jan

Went to a wedding, met a monkeh! Seemed like a nice chap.

monkeh

On the arts front, I have finally finished the print installations that I’ll be taking to the Penarth Pavilion Gallery for a new show that opens next week, with work from Swansea and Cardiff Print Workshops.

hung

These small stamped images of Frida Kahlo were developed from a screenprint I did last summer. I did a series on nine women artists who inspire me and I made the rubber stamp of Frida as an experiment and I really like the result so I’m hoping to do the rest of the artists in the series. I printed these on Shiohara paper and stitched them to a heavyweight Tate Gallery Indian paper and sewed ribbon onto them so I can tie them to the wooden clothes horse.

constrained

These cyanotypes from drawings I made of elderly women are printed onto pieces of Bockingford paper cut to a Victorian corset pattern and I’ve used eyelets and ribbon to tie them to the wooden clothes horse. I’ve been working on these for ages and it’s been lovely to get away today for a family wedding, my wonderful nephew and his beautiful wife. Top wedding and great food at the Oxwich Bay hotel on the Gower Peninsula. Spectacular scenery despite the torrential rain.

Deconstruct Reconstruct

19 Dec

deconstruct

A little while ago I made a group of cyanotype prints from some original sketchbook portraits of older women. Each was printed onto a piece of heavyweight Bockingford paper cut from a pattern for a Victorian corset. I assembled them originally in the sequence that would assemble the corset, tying each together with purple ribbon and hanging the sequence from the wall. I am submitting these for an exhibition in the New Year and the gallery wants to exhibit prints ‘off the wall’ so I have had to rethink how I put this together. I took it all apart and tied it to a clothes horse. The clothes dryer represents a traditional female role, the corset would have been dried or aired on something similar. The way I tied the pieces was significant. I tried tying the ribbon with bows but it seemed too soft so I tied it with tight knots which seemed more in keeping with my title of the piece, ‘Constrained’.

I’m continuing to develop this piece at The SPace, at 217, High Street, Swansea. It’s open next week, Monday to Wednesday 11.30 – 5.00 and Thursday, 11.30 – 4pm if you want to pop in and see it.

So Many Stories…….

20 Jul

scan0029

A new head of an elder woman for my blog this evening. I’ve been stuck doing work on the computer all day so it’s nice to do some drawing. I’m enjoying looking through images of older women for this series of drawings in my A4 sketch book. So many fascinating faces; so many stories playing across the contours of the skin. I’ve been sticking ripped pieces of brown paper onto the pages to break up the tyrrany of the white and give me a toned background to build my sketch in black and white conte crayon with touches of carbon.

%d bloggers like this: