Monday, 12 December 2011

Breath taking

El Ultimo Grito - Apartments - Photo: Michael Tolke - seen here

I am hoping to get to visit Breath taking: Revealing a new wave in British glass blowing, an exhibition of contemporary glass blowing at Oriel Wrecsam. It is a Crafts Council touring exhibition featuring 17 contemporary makers/artists and five exemplary works from the Crafts Council collection. There have been some really interesting innovations in using glass as a craft/art medium in recent years and this overview of contemporary practice should be an inspiring education in the discipline.

I was lucky to meet one of the contributers, Jessica Lloyd-Jones in Conwy recently, she was one of the commissioned artists at the blinc Digital Arts Festival along with Jake and me in October. Her work is fresh and sharply conceived using glass and light in innovative ways in both public art commissions and art installations.

The exhibition is showing at Oriel Wrecsam until 28 January 2012.

Jessica Lloyd-Jones - Neon Bulb 2 - seen here

Artists Christmas Tree 2011

Steffan Jones-Hughes & Jeanette Orrell

Every Christmas, Oriel Myrddin Gallery invite an artist to make, design or decorate a Christmas tree for the gallery. This year North Wales artists, Steffan Jones-Hughes and Jeanette Orrell were chosen. Steffan and Jeanette are partners in their home life, but this is the first time they have worked together on a artistic project.

The commission is made from their last years tree which they saved back and then painstakingly covered with pages from old paperback books, the branches have then been decorated with little bottles that have been given new hand drawn labels. The bottles were inspired by a hoard of Victorian bottles that were dug up in the artists' garden, but these particular ones have been collected from antiques shops flea markets especially for the project. The bottles make reference to the idea of glass baubles and the little characters on the labels suggest stories and narratives which are echoed in the book pages covering the branches.

Steffan and Jeanette came to talk to us about making the tree and their life deep in the countryside of Denbighshire. They mused that they would have liked to have a little light in each bottle; as a child Steffan remembers seeing a tree that was lit up by fireflies and their Christmas tree also reflects this enchanting memory.


Masazumi Yamazaki - Rabbits

We have a lovely Christmas show at Oriel Myrddin Gallery at the moment, Coedwig (Forest) is a mixed exhibition of craft and fine art featuring artists from Wales and beyond. The theme is the forest and forest animals and I think my favourite work in the show is from Carmarthen ceramic artist Masazumi Yamazaki, I like these strange, dark, funny little rabbits. 

Cornish maker, Cornelius van Dop has contributed some of his beautiful metal work pieces, he uses precious metals to construct small, intricately made boxes and brooches.

Eve O'Neill makes exquisitely observed animals and birds from the British countryside in needle felt, foxes, hares, wrens, thrushes...she uses wool found in the fields and hedgerows around her home in Drefach Felindre. The show runs until 31 December.
Cornelius van Dop - ...this close to the house 

Eve O'Neill - Needle-felted animals and birds

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Shelter @ Oriel Mostyn

Kathryn Campbell Dodd - Absente

I was asked to contribute a piece of work to the newly opened show in gallery 4 at Mostyn in Llandudno, Shelter. The show features the work of over 60 artists in Wales who were asked to respond to the brief set by the originator of the Shelter concept Gareth Griffith

Griffith began by making paintings of a tent in which he went on family holidays and through this exploration started to construct small shelters which he used as maquettes for further paintings. After creating a number of these pieces, he invited other artists to make similar constructions.

We were asked to make a structure 20 x 20 x 15 inches out of found materials or materials to hand. My piece is called Absente and uses the top of a bird-box from the woods by my house, an absinthe spoon, skewers and chopsticks that I found in the kitchen draw and a cover made from scraps of white fabric stitched together to create a canopy.

The show runs from 3 December - 15 January 2011.