Tag Archives: installation

Drawing At An Exhibition

7 Feb

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Husb and I braved the atrocious weather yesterday and drove down to Narbeth, a delightful small town in Pembrokeshire where the excellent Oriel Q Gallery is hosting a new exhibition from Swansea artist Keith Bayliss, “Swsana And The Elders“. We attended an ‘in conversation’ between Keith and Sally Moss. Keith’s work is made up of drawings, paintings and sculptural pieces in a site-specific installation with a soundscape. It’s fantastic and runs until February the 27th. It’s worth taking the trip down, Narbeth is a lovely place to visit with several galleries and a great pottery.

I was so engrossed that I didn’t do any sketches but here’s a drawing I did from a piece in a previous exhibition by Keith in the Mission Gallery in Swansea.

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.

That Goldilocks Moment

20 Jan
Pip 1

Taking a rubbing from a woodcut with graphite block. Gives a metallic sheen.

I’ve been experimenting today. I was given some large pieces of robust tissue paper by a fellow artist and invited to do something with them and then give them back to her for her installation. I decided to cover them with rubbings made from a very large woodcut I have been working on. It isn’t finished yet so I don’t have any prints but the rubbings picked up the developed parts nicely.

Pip compare

I tried out a few different drawing materials to start with. First, carbon, compressed charcoal and Bideford Black (looked good but too smudgy). Secondly, Chinese charcoal (too hard, ripped the paper). And finally, Graphite block (perfect, didn’t rip, didn’t smudge, nice metallic sheen). Bit like Goldilocks and the porage.

There are differing opinions on how to spell porage, which is the spelling I always use but many use porridge and, rarely, parritch. I love the stuff, made nice and thin (Husb contemptuously calls it gruel – he likes it thick enough to stand your spoon in) and I put a knob of butter in mine, I’m not fond of sugar. When I was in Pakistan I had porage made from cracked wheat rather than oats, nice but very different.

The Beautiful Machine

31 Dec

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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.

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I had been wondering what to do with them and I finally decided on making them up into a self-contained installation that I will be building over the next week.The first stage is to make them more robust  – the Shiohara is a lightweight tissue and won’t take a lot of handling. However, it’s also a well-made natural fibre paper and can be sewn so 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. I’d been wondering what to do with that as well! They really suit each other.

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I’m sewing them on an antique Singer sewing machine. It’s Edwardian and dates from around 1904 and it’s a great piece of mechanical engineering as well as being extremely beautiful. It’s so finely balanced, it’s a joy to use. I’ll be carrying on with this in a couple of days, after the holiday.

So a very happy New Year to everyone, I really appreciate you looking in at my blog. Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i chi gyd.



Another Exhibition Piece

19 May


Well, I think this is an installation. Or it may be a sculpture? I’m not sure. Anyway, it’s something I’m exhibiting at anotther show in the Fringe Arts Bath, this time with the 12:34 group from Swansea. It’s a cardboard box; on the outside I’ve collaged inkjet prints of digitally altered photographs taken during a visit to berlin in a heavy winter a couple of years ago. On the inside, I’ve placed a drawing in ink on acetate based on the very graphic imagery of the Holocaust Memorial. I painted and drew on a small wooden artist’s mannequin and stuck that in front of the acetate. Then finally, I’ve put a small light source behnd the acetate to backlight it.

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It’s quite different for me, but I’m starting to like doing drawing installations, taking drawing off the wall and out into three dimensional space.

Long Hard Day

18 May


Just back from the city of Bath where I helped install the Commensalis group exhibition for the Fringe Arts Bath festival. We have a group show at The Octagon from May 23rd to June the 8th. It’s one of the biggest fine arts festivals in Britain. I’ve done a drawing installation based on my research into ‘Degenerate’ artists, persecuted by the Nazis in the early 20th century. I’ve made a start portraying contemporary artists I know who would have been designated as degenerate under the Nazis. In the background is a large drawing in graphite, carbon and charcoal based on drawings I did of the Berlin Holocaust Memorial in the snow.


Here’s another angle, with fellow artist, sculptor Jonathan Green sitting just outside the gallery, having a rest after spending 6 hours putting up his installation.


More to come tomorrow 🙂

Art’s Birthday

7 Jan


This is an old drawing I did  couple of years back. It’s very different to my normal style and genre and it’s based on drawings and photos taken during a visit to Eisenman and Happold’s Holocaust Memorial in Berlin during heavy snow.  I did the one drawing, size A3 onto mark resist film (Mylar) with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen. At the time, I’d thought about taking it forward by developing a series of drawings but I couldn’t get a handle on it so I put my scribbles and jottings in a draw and got on with other work.

Then last week I was asked to develop a piece for Art’s Birthday, a tradition started by French Fluxus artist Robert Filliou on January 17th 1963,who said that Art had been born exactly 1,000,000 years ago when somebody dropped a dry sponge into a bucket of water. 9 artists have been given a large-ish plain brown cardboard box and asked to create a piece on/within it. It’s not easy as I’m used to working in 2 dimensions, but I had an idea knocking around for a while that I might develop this body of work as an installation, so this is a good way of trying out my ideas in 3D. Watch this space…………

The Artist Speaks And Wales Wins

25 Feb

Ink sketches: heads at the gallery.Above: Scribbled heads and notes on installing artworks in a three dimensional space and how it alters them.

Husb and I visited the Keith Bayliss exhibition at the Mission Gallery again today for a talk by the artist. It was a good opportunity to scribble plenty of faces as well as to listen to a very experienced artist explaining his work and his art practice. Keith is a warm, practical and very dedicated artist who has moved away from his usual practice as a painter to create a site-specific installation combining painting with sculpture and sound collage.

The interviewer sits in front of one of Keith’s wall-mounted sculptures.

I often find installations very hit or miss, but Keith’s expertise and artistry have created a work of beauty, serenity and exceptional craftsmanship. He spoke with humour and humility about the exhibition and the experience of being an artist, emphasising the need to draw every day, because drawing is the artist’s ‘writing’, it’s how we express ourselves. He also cautioned against becoming complacent, “When you think your pencil drawing looks really good, stop and switch to charcoal.” I find it’s too easy to stay in my comfort zone when I’m drawing and book onto drawing courses because other artist / teachers force me to try out different drawing methods and it always benefits me.

 A Bayliss sculpture in the foreground, some avid listeners and a Bayliss painting behind.

There were several large moustaches in the audience. More than you’d normally see at any one time. Then we came back for the Wales vs England rugby match. Very tight game and England played very well, but Wales won in a nailbiting finish. Husb is a happy man!

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