Digging in the Glade

The second video to accompany the David Miles exhibition The Hole in Mount Hakone.

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The Hole in Mount Hakone by David Miles

I have been helping out with various stages of the exhibition The Hole in Mount Hakone by David Miles at Brighton Museum, and have just produced a short film to promote the opening of the exhibition in the Prints & Drawings Gallery.

There will also be a second film coming out around the 12th of May, which I also produced, combining a David Miles image and a verse from 1847 called Digging in the Glade, so I will post that up here when it has been released.

I have been particularly excited about this project as it seems to me to be the most true to life way of how an artists creates work. Miles has selected works in the collection at Brighton Museum and created a narrative around them and his own work in response. In my own studio I have a wall of inspirational images, as do the majority of artists, and often my work incapsulates different aspects of them and I always draw upon them for inspiration. Whether you have a pinterest board or collaged wall, a lot of artists will relate to this process, especially as it is important to recognise the old in order to create something new.

A link to info on the exhibition:

http://www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk/WhatsOn/Pages/holeinmounthakone1mayto21oct12.aspx

Milan/Robert Mapplethorpe

On a recent trip to Milan I was lucky enough to visit the Cimitero Monumentale di Milano, quite literally a Cemetery of monumental proportions!

I have always had an obsession with Cemeteries, as Brandon Lee’s character in The Crow says that they are ‘the safest place in the world to be’ due to all the people being dead. And I do find something quite calming about being in a cemetery. This was particularly true when we visited this one in Milan, as we only saw 4 other people whilst we were there, 3 of which were praying at an extravagant family tomb.

To be honest there weren’t any tombs of gravestones that weren’t extravagant, with possibly the most extreme grave having a life size sculpture of The Last Supper atop it.

Below are a few images, more on my flickr account on the right.

Another great day in Milan was spent at the Robert Mapplethorpe Gallery, where the exhibition Perfection in Form was on.

The subject matter immediately caught my attention with slick, muscular male forms and then by the images of Lisa Lyon, a pioneer of female bodybuilding. The thing that struck me about her form was that she was very feminine looking whilst also being very muscular.

Mapplethorpe said of Lisa Lyon ‘I’m looking for the unexpected. I’m looking for things that I have never seen before.’ A feeling that I also got when looking at these images.

The Gallery label went on to say:

Unexpected describes the figure of Lisa Lyon, one of the first women bodybuilders and champion weightlifter. Mappletorpe met her in 1980 and over the next few years he worked with her on a series of portraits and figure studies that led to the publication of the book Lady Lisa Lyon in 1983. These images recall the work of Michelangelo, his vigorous backs and those feminine bodies endowed with handsome masculine musculature. (What a wonderful description!) The physicality of Lisa Lyon is profoundly binary; she embodies both masculine and feminine, force and fragility, which gives the photographer the opportunity to visually subvert our stereotypes.

‘I’m looking for perfection of form. I do it with portraits. I do it with cocks. I do it with flowers. It’s no different from one subject to the next. I am trying to capture what could be a sculpture.’ Robert Mapplethorpe

I think that when I die, I want a life size sculpture of Lisa Lyon on my grave!

Eric Knowles talk on Rene Lalique

On Tuesday I attended a talk for the Reigate Antiques Society, given by Eric Knowles (Antiques Roadshow and also Director of Bonham’s Auctioneers) about Rene Lalique, a French Glass Designer and was an innovator of Art Nouveau jewellery and glassware. In the 1920s, he became noted for his work in the Art Deco style. For example the stunning crystal fountain, which had been a feature at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris during 1925.

I had very little previous knowledge of Rene Lalique and was quite annoyed at myself that this was the case! My love of Pre-Raphaelite, mythological and romantic imagery instantly attracted me to pieces such as the ones below:

A nymph like woman with opium poppies surrounding her head.

Swallow comb made from African buffalo horn.

Brooch Le Baiser (The Kiss)

Processing stained glass window

We just had another lesson on processing and I was intrigued once again by the possibilties!

Now I am not even purporting to know what I’m doing in processing but here are a few experiments below, I was particularly drawn to the colours and how they made me think of stained glass windows, again drawing on my ideas around how the old and the new can work together or enhance each other.