Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Inventions of the Mind - review

Kirsty E. Smith - Colin

Here is a link to the full review I have written for Kirsty E. Smith's exhibition Inventions of the Mind at Erasmus Darwin House, Lichfield.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Serena Rowe

Serena Rowe - Monet's Table - Oil on Board

Another update on LUX, the winter show at Oriel Myrddin Gallery. I'm so pleased that painter, Serena Rowe will be showing with us. I really like her still life works of beautifully simple domestic objects.

Serena Rowe - Bowl with Carving Knife - Oils on Board

Serena Rowe - Pile of Cutlery - Oils on board

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Frillip Moolog

Kirsty E. Smith - Stan

I went to Lichfield last weekend to visit the show Inventions of the Mind at Erasmus Darwin House, and to meet Kirsty E Smith (aka Frillip Moolog). I'm in the middle of writing a review of the show, which I'll post a link to later. If you're in the vicinity do go and enjoy Kirtsy's 'beings' that are placed amongst the exhibits in the house/museum.

Enlightenment thinker, Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles) lived in the house, and as a member of the Lunar Society of Birmingham hosted monthly meetings on the night of the full moon with his fellow 'Lunaticks' including Josiah Wedgewood and James Watt. They discussed their radical thoughts about science, inventions and natural philosophy and shared their ideas about the possibilities of what would become the industrial revolution.

Frillip Moolog is a place; a place to interact with Kirsty E Smith's sculptures (she calls them 'beings'), another place which: "... encapsulates the excitement and curiosity of a child when experiencing and interacting with objects for the first time. Her intention is to create work which resonates on a deeply emotive level and which acts as a vehicle to reconnect with a "place" or memory deep in our subconscious"

Kirsty E. Smith - Colin

There are six beings to be discovered at Erasmus Darwin House: Russell, Ziggy, Madeline, Stan, Cyril and Colin (he's a newcomer). Beautifully designed and constructed...invented actually, from industrial machine parts, carefully sourced domestic and industrial fabrics, trimmings and oddments. A resident of Lichfield, the artist has been a visitor to the museum for many years, and this is the culmination of a relationship she has had with the space. The 'beings' are very comfortable here amongst the 18th C decor and the free thinking energy of enlightenment science and invention.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


James Plumb - Cluster Chandelier - seen here

I've been entrusted at the gallery with a bit of curation...exciting and a bit scary! I'm putting together some artists and makers for our winter show. I'm absolutely delighted to say that James Plumb (Hannah Plumb and James Russell) will be the main focus of the show which will be called LUX. We will be showing their Cluster Chandelier along with some furniture similar to the Concrete Stitches range. I can't wait to visit their studio when we are next in London and see some of the work that might be available!

Jo Pond - Brooch with Brush - seen here

I'm also really pleased that jeweller, Jo Pond will be showing with us. I've liked her work for a while now and it's a real pleasure to have her work included in the show.

Hetty Rose - Mami - seen here

Another designer/maker I've admired for ages since I saw her work in a gallery in Surrey is shoe maker Hetty Rose - she uses vintage Japanese kimono fabric to create her exquisite handmade shoes. We'll have a small collection of as part of the show.

Artists, makers and designers in the exhibition reflect on the domestic, the beautiful and the well crafted. Some use up-cycled and reclaimed materials in their work, bringing discarded pieces back into the spotlight in a new form. Other work celebrates the simple and the functional in daily life. I'll write more about the other artists taking part soon...in the meantime - wish me luck!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Ainsley Hillard

Ainsley Hillard - Folds - seen here

I'm looking forward to seeing textile artist, Ainsley Hillard's installation, Folds, a site specific installation tracing the social and architectural history of the Old Laundry, Newton House, Dinefwr Park & Castle, Carmarthenshire. I'm not sure what to expect yet, but these images are really enticing. The exhibition opens on 28 August and runs until 19 September.

We will also be showing woven textiles by Ainsley at Oriel Myrddin Gallery as part of warp+weft: contemporary woven textiles, a major exhibition of weaving curated by Laura Thomas - opens on 11 September.

Ainsley Hillard - Folds (bone china ceramic) - seen here

Ainsley Hillard - Folds (embossed print series 2010) - seen here

For the Bees: a song of will for the honey bee

I went to Swansea University last evening to attend the first public performance of For The Bees, an art project by Owen Griffiths and Fern Thomas. To highlight the plight of the vanishing honey bee, Owen and Fern have commissioned a piece of choral music to sing to two hives of honey bees that have been installed in the grounds of the university. The choir has been brought together from interested people (mostly amateur singers) and last night they gathered with an audience of around thirty folk, to perform the piece, composed in collaboration with Swansea's Mial Watkins.

Owen spoke to the BBC about the performance: "The idea is that this coming together to sing to the bees really is a poetic gesture to the bees, to reconnect and engage people, to see that the bees are in trouble...It's going to have a very haunting quality to it - it's like a lament to the bees." seen here

The idea behind the work is to experiment with the effect the singing and the positive intentions of the participants may have on the well being of the bees, and at the same time raise awareness of the issue.

There was also a gold painted caravan which serves as a mobile cinema at the site (nick-named 'Penny') where you could watch a film to learn about the crisis that has initiated the project.

It is a lovely project, the piece was very short, only about three minutes, but it was very beautiful, hope the bees enjoyed it...

Monday, 2 August 2010

Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru 2010 - Blaenau Gwent and Heads of the Valleys

Roger Cecil - part of the special exhibition staged within Y Lle Celf

I went to the opening of the National Eisteddfod of Wales on Saturday evening in Ebbw Vale, we were a bit late arriving so missed the formal speeches. The show includes a special exhibition of paintings from Valley's artist Roger Cecil.

The winner for the Gold Medal for Fine Art was Simon Fenoulhet for his light installations.

Simon Fenoulhet

The winner for the Gold Medal for Craft and Design is Natalia Dias for her collection of allegorical ceramic pieces which take the heart as a central motif. Dias is Portuguese and currently lives in Cardiff.

Natalia Dias

Here are a few images from the show:

Anne Gibbs

Sarah Ball - Portrait 1

Rosemary Edwards - Ty Coch a Ty Gwyn

Chris Nurse