turn the page

June 22, 2016

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Come along to turn the page artists’ book fair this weekend

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Artists’ Book Market

June 17, 2016

 

GL.draw with itAt BALTIC this weekend

what will come

June 15, 2016

photo of James Turrell-sketch of plane

Last year looking round the renovated Central Library in Manchester I took myself up to the top floor where I used to go when I had time to kill in the city.  I’m sure it used to house the literature section and had a slight attic feel, with a raised walkway around the double height book shelves. Now it feels a bit like a spaceship, the shelves all sliding in and out, closing into modules when you don’t need them.  The closest I’ve ever been to the set of Chockablock apart from friend’s narrow boats I suppose. There I found a book about James Turrell and sat in the sunlight to read about his work.  The pictures above illustrate the story he tells of his childhood, how he was conceived in 1942 on the eve of a real or imagined attack on their home city of L.A. when his mum and dad celebrated the completion of a birdroom they had built around their flat roof for Mr Turrell to call in the birds. The windows filled the walls and opened wide for the birds to come into the room. James Turrell tells of his dad spending long evenings in the bird room singing with the birds. The birdroom became James’ bedroom but he always shared the space and his dad’s attention with the birds. The windows had dark green curtains lined with tar to blackout the light.  As he grew up Turrell explains that he took a pin to the blackout curtains to assert his self on the space.

photo of James Turrell-childhood bedroom

photo quote James Turrell story

This spring I visited the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and saw the singular work of Bill Viola for the first time. At the end of the exhibition in the study room a film, books and quotes from Viola were presented for contemplation over green tea. Another story of childhood written on the wall.

BillViolachildhood

My favourite of piece of Viola was The Veiling, 6 or so pieces of gauze suspended in a queue. A projector at each end playing separate films towards each other, as the image reaches further into the queue of gauze it enlarges and defocuses. Each film depicts movement through a dark space, light brushes trees, a figure. The movement sweeps the image across the surface of gauze and through the queue of gauze behind, a stagger, a shift in space and time.

Finally, just yesterday whilst following up links to another show at Touchstones Gallery I wish I’d not missed – Natural Makers, I found the wonderful work of Laura Ellen Bacon online with a piece she has written about her nesting instinct describing in loving detail the inspiring sensory memories of den building from an early age.

I’m guessing many of us will have taken paths in life influenced by instincts and memories from childhood..I wonder how many directly link their work to experience.  I now live in a place full of childhood memories. Strong physical, sensory memories.  Not my original home but a place similar to home, full of places that inhabited my dreams .  I’m remembering and wondering what will come of it.

Gemma phone_20160320_009Gemma phone_20160228_001IMG_9118

seeds in drain

So the bank holiday weekend is over, I spent each day sitting by my work or wandering the streets of Saltaire seeking the red flags of the open houses. As I secretly expected, I did not keep a diary as there was too much to see and do and if brain imaging technology was more advanced after each day my brain may have resembled the image above. The accumulated seeds of trees and plants (or creative endeavour) finding their way, settling and pattern making into something akin to fabric. A bit of a mess but also quite lovely and full of potential.

So all I can do now is nod to a few of the wonderful things I saw there and wonder how those things will settle and inform me over time.

Being Inbetween a series of portraits by Carolyn Mendelsohn that make grown women cry for the hope and dignity displayed by the 10-12 year old subjects and that likely, they recall of themselves and strive to recover.

Keith Shorrocks’ carved Boxes honouring the beauty of the burr . Finely tailored sleep shirts and delicious full colour lino prints.

I don’t know where they are coming from‘ – the confidence to follow your instincts. To allow a breadth of skills to inform current practice -a graphic designer and a painter showing wood and glass assemblages respectively. An architect applying draughting rules towards figurative abstraction.

A pathway walked with society, justice and draughtsmanship, through architecture, animation and printmaking.

Finding your place and making space for it – Tapestry working in situ.

Beautiful photographs that can never be fixed.

Delineating topography through mark making.

Colour in landscape.

Corrugated iron sheets + arch = pavilions for every country – photo montage

Imprints and a stitch: care taken to notice and care given to value us, and our relationships with clothes and each other in Lasting Impressions.

So long Saltaire, thanks for all the chats.