On Thursday 6th and Friday 7th July 2017 I took part in the artist demonstrations at Holmfirth Artweek, which you can read more about here. I made four small 3D acrylic paintings while I was there, doing the cardboard and modroc stages on the first day then leaving them to dry and painting them on the second day.
This is one of the four that I made. ‘Sleeping Dexter’ working from a photograph of my cat Dexter that I had on my phone. I started by drawing directly on the cardboard, then cutting it out and overlapping the seperate pieces to make certain places stick out more than others. After the cardboard was stuck down with glue I then put the modroc on top.
The next day once the modroc was dry I started by painting white all over the cat shape, then the background a nice light purple. I then painted the rest of the details in. All the while talking to the people that came to see what I was doing.
The final 3D acrylic painting now has pride of place on my hallway wall along with the rest of my collection.
I’ll be showing the making of the other three paintings I made at Holmfirth Artweek soon, so keep a look out for them.
Don’t forget that if you would like to make your own 3D picture I have kits and do workshops.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Holmfirth Artweek is one of the UK’s largest open art exhibitions and is a fundraising event for Macmillan Cancer Support, 20% of all sales goes towards the charity.
This year is my 3rd year taking part, you can read about my first year here and second year here.
This year the two 3D acrylic paintings I’ve chosen to submit are my ‘Medium Daffodil’ and ‘Tulips’.
Additionally this year I’m going to have some things in the marketplace too, my 3D print greetings cards and some framed versions.
Taking in day was last Sunday, 25th June, so I needed to get everything ready by labelling it up with all the necessary information that they needed. They provide guidelines that let you know exactly what they want to help make this easy to do.
The main event takes place at Holmfirth Civic Hall, the market is on the second floor and the demonstrations are on the stage in the main room on the first floor. This is where I will be on Thursday and Friday showing how I make my 3D acrylic paintings, I’ll also have more of my work with me for sale plus kits so you can try my 3D technique for yourself.
This year as well as having a new online application process there is also a catalogue featuring infomation about all the artists and work in the exhibition, I’m on page 60, there is also information about the fringe events taking place in Holmfirth during artweek too.
DATES FOR ARTWEEK 2017
Sun 2nd July: 10.00am – 5.00pm
Mon 3rd – Fri 7th July: 10.00am – 9.00pm
Sat 8th July: 10.00am – 5.00pm*
* The market closes at 16.00 on Saturday 8th
Where is it?
The main exhibition takes place at Holmfirth Civic Hall, with additional Fringe venues dotted around the Holmfirth Area. There is plenty of parking in the Co-op car park directly across the road from the hall.
I studied at Selby College from September 2000 to June 2003. The first 2 years there were spent studying for a BTEC National Diploma in Graphic Design with an A-Level in Fine Art Printmaking alongside it. Over the 2 years I much preferred the fine art printmaking to the graphic design so once I’d completed them and was looking at what to study at University I decided that I’d stay on at Selby College an extra year to do the Foundation Studies in Art and Design to help me figured it out.
What follows is a selection of some of the work made at that time, along with some of the original briefs that we were given to make the work, difficulties I encountered, how I felt about the work then and how I feel about it now.
Hopefully you’ll find it interesting to see the art training I had and see the progression of then to where I am now.
If you’d like to enquire about the availability of any of the work email email@example.com
Continuous line drawing of still life shelf objects
Negative space drawing of still life objects on a shelf, part 2
Negative space drawing of still life objects on a shelf, part 1
Charcoal still life drawing of vase of flowers/plants
Ink drawing with acrylic painting coloured shapes
As part of the BTEC course we did a unit on drawing development where we worked on our observation skills and tried various techniques of drawing. The above five show some examples of the things we did.
The first one is a continuous line drawing in pencil of a shelf with still life objects on it. Drawing with a continuous line meant that I couldn’t take the pencil off the paper so I had to think about the picture as a whole from the start. Planning the route I needed to take across the page so all the lines flowed, sometimes going over lines so as not to create unwanted ones while making the ones that I did. I wasn’t impressed with what I created at the time and I’m still not. I do however like it as an example of the technique that helped me to think about and be more decisive with my line making.
When I make my 3D Acrylic paintings now I need to think of them as a whole right from the start. Planning how it will be made up of lines and shapes in cardboard, modroc and acrylic paint that will work together to become the finished piece.
The next two drawings are negative space drawings in charcoal which have then been worked on with pencil. Negative space is the space in between the objects so rather than drawing the objects themselves you’re focusing on the space around the objects. Again I wasn’t really pleased with what I produced in either of these as a final artwork, and I’m still not, but as with the first drawing I appreciate what making them did for my drawing development and so I like them as a reminder of that.
This third drawing is in charcoal and is of a vase of flowers/plants/leaves on A1 sized paper. I can’t remember as much about this piece as the previous three but there was something about it that I liked when I was flicking through my old portfolio folder so I thought I’d include it. I think it may have been one of the first pieces I did at Selby College as it looks very similar to my work from high school.
This last drawing was made by first using acrylic paint to create the coloured shapes, then using ink directly from the pipette to create the links on top. Even though the colours are a bit washy and the ink has made pools in areas I still like this piece. It has a simplicity and clarity of line that I think works.
These next two acrylic paintings were made after we had been looking at Futurism, an artistic and social movement that emphasised speed, technology, youth, violence, and objects such as the car, the aeroplane, and the industrial city in the early twentieth century.
Primary colour Futurism inspired acrylic painting
Futurism inspired acrylic painting
I prefer the simplicity of the first one, the primary colours seem to work better plus I think I over complicated things in the second too trying to use too many different colours, tones and textures within them.
This next set of work is also part of the drawing development unit from the BTEC course.
Pencil line drawing of Breakfast Scene
Textured paper collage version of Breakfast Scene
Complimentary colour version of Breakfast Scene in acrylic paint
Primary and secondary colour version of Breakfast Scene in acrylic Paint
We were instructed to construct a still life of a breakfast scene and make a line drawing of it. We then had to make a collage version of it using paper with different textures (tissue and sand paper were used quite heavily in mine) the next version is an acrylic painting in the complimentary colours. Complimentary colours are colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel.The last version is an acrylic painting using primary and secondary colours (red, yellow, blue are primary colours and orange, green and purple are secondary colours).
There were other versions of this breakfast scene made at the time, a tonal one and other colours, but these are the four that at the time I felt worked best. Looking at them again now I still like them all and I especially like how the textured paper college works with colour and texture, and how the line drawing has a simpleness that is pleasing to the eye while also featuring some more detailed areas.
Another project that we did as part of drawing development was working with a famous piece of artwork. First we made an acrylic painting copy of it, then a complimentary colours version and a tonal greys version in acrylic paint too. I was given Basket with Oranges by Henry Matisse to work with and I was pleased with the copy and tonal greys version but the complimentary colours version didn’t work quite as well as I didn’t get the colour tones quite right.
Copy and complimentary colour version in acrylic paint of Basket with Oranges by Henry Matisse
Tonal grey version in acrylic paint of Basket with oranges by Henry Matisse
The tonal greys version is currently on my living room wall in a frame and the copy and complimentary colour versions are mounted together in my college portfolio case.
We had another project that involved creating copies of another artist’s work. This time it was part of the Fine Art Printmaking A-Level course and the painting that I was working with was Fabulous Beast II, Horse by Franz Marc.
It was one of the first projects that we did on this course to get us used to the screen printing process. We started by using indian ink with a pen and nib to draw the design on to acetate. We then needed to transfer this to the screen to be used to do the printing by coating the screen with light-sensitive emulsion. Once the emulsion was dry the screen and acetate design were placed onto a vacuum sealed light box and exposed for about 30 seconds then washed in the pressure washer. Once the screen was dry it could then be used for printing.
In the first black and white version I’d not applied enough ink and pressure so the resulting print is lighter than it should be. The second one is much darker. Once we had the black and white version we then needed to work on the backgrounds. We didn’t do printed backgrounds this time, that was something we explored in later projects. So these background were either painted with acrylic paints or were collages using different types of papers. The colour choices were left up to me so, that’s why there are a lot of purples used.
I think that as a first attempt at screen printing they aren’t bad, just a few issues with the black ink printing and how that works on top of the coloured backgrounds. I do like the background colours used though (obviously)
Black/white screen print version of Fabulous Beast II, Horse painting by Franz Marc
Darker version of Black/white screen print version of Fabulous Beast II, Horse painting by Franz Marc
Black/white screen print on painted background version of Fabulous Beast II, Horse painting by Franz Marc
Black/white screen print on painted background version of Fabulous Beast II, Horse painting by Franz Marc
Black/white screen print on painted background version of Fabulous Beast II, Horse painting by Franz Marc
Black/white screen print on painted background (top) and coloured paper collage background (bottom) version of Fabulous Beast II, Horse painting by Franz Marc
The last two, with the yellows and oranges in the background and paper collage background, are mounted together and are in my college portfolio case.
Not quite enough ink used or hard enough pressure used to print this one but you can see the tones and details more clearly than in the one where too much ink and pressure has been used making it look muddy.
The purple tones painted on the background needed to be more carefully thought about so that the detail from the black ink printed on top would show through more clearly.
The acrylic paint blue and purple tones work better in this one as the detail from the black ink printed on top are coming through more clearly.
The introduction of complimentary yellows and oranges in the acrylic paint background isn’t as successful as the previous blues and purple version although the lighter tones used has made the blank ink printed on top more effective at showing the details in the print. As a whole it seems a bit disjointed however.
The use of complimentary colours in this painted acrylic paint background is more successful than the previous version, the colours seem to work better together in harmony. Also leaving some of the white paper has helped the details of the printed black ink show through.
The different textures of the paper collage background have made the black ink printed on top react in interesting ways, although it is muddy in some areas I think this one is the most interesting of the set to look at.
Aswell as screen prints we also looked at lino printing. Working directly on the piece of lino with tools to carve out the design then printing from that. We then screen printed a colour background on top. My design was my Missy cat and Rascal (who are sadly no longer with us) on my purple bedroom carpet. Both of the cats are black and white so that lended itself nicely to the black and white lino print. However I struggled to use the tools to make different marks when I was carving out the lino, so I think the cats get lost somewhat in the texture of the carpet. Even the introduction of the light purple screen print background wasn’t as successful as it should have been as I didn’t manage to get it all in. There are bits that are still white that should have been printed over.
Black and white lino print of Rascal and Missy cat
Black and white lino print of Rascal and Missy cat with a light purple screen printed background
These next ink drawings were made as more drawing development. The title was Metamorphasis and we had to transform one drawing to another in six stages. The first stage was a colour ink drawing based on a photograph we’d taken ourselves. Stage six was based on a black and white image that had been created by another artist. So not only were we having to go from one image to another, we were also having to go from a colour image taken from a photograph to a black and white illustration made by someone else. Sadly this proved to be a bit too difficult for me, as a series of images they don’t really work as a transformation from one image to another. The middle stages let it down, I do like the first and last ones though, I just needed to practise the metamorphasis process a bit more.
Metamorphasis ink drawing stage one
Metamorphasis ink drawing stage two
Metamorphasis ink drawing stage three
Metamorphasis ink drawing stage four
Metamorphasis ink drawing stage five
Metamorphasis ink drawing stage six
I found some of the original paperwork from the foundation course ( I am a bit of a hoarder) these first 2 pages are the first things we were given to introduce us to the course.
These next four pages are what we were given to do over the summer holiday before the course started in the September.
As you can see we were given plenty to keep us busy. Here are just a handful of some of the images I produced in reaction to the second phase of the first section.
Pointillism style drawing, using dots to make up the image, in black marker pen of farm machinery near to my parent’s house.
Pointillism acrylic painting, using coloured dots/dabs of paint to make up the image, of the old overgrown garages near to my parent’s house.
Collage made up from magazines of some farm machinery (a plough?) near to my parent’s house.
Acrylic painting of the railway bridge going over the beck where we take the dogs for a walk near my parent’s house.
Acrylic painting of the view from my parent’s back garden, looking at the fence and tree to the shed and greenhouse next door.
Charcoal and chalk drawing of a corner of my parent’s garden, featuring an upturned wheelbarrow, bags of sand, brick wall and wire frame possibly from a rabit hutch door.
Poster paint abstract of a road sign and overgrown grass verge. The poster paint was applied straight from the bottle and left to mix together in pools on the paper.
A marker pen drawing using crosshatching of a relief design idea.
Out of the two of these pointillism style pieces I prefer the colour painting, I like how the colours work with the technique, even though it wasn’t successful in getting realistic colours it still has a charm about it that I like. I do still like how the black/white version shows the use of the technique though, just dotting black marker pens to create the shapes, tones and details.
When I’ve been looking back through this work I have found that I seem to have a soft spot for the pieces that use collage. There’s just something pleasing about recycling one thing and turning it into something else, especially when it uses and creates different textures too. Something which I continue to do with my 3D Acrylic Paintings that start off life as cardboard boxes. I do remember that it took a while to find all the colours and tones I needed out of magazine pages to be able to make this one but I’m still pleased with how it looks now.
These next two acrylic paintings were made using different brush stroke marks to try to create different textures. The first one of the bridge and overgrowth was painted to look quite loose and abstract, not much detail just enough to hint and suggest at what is in the picture. The second one of the view from my parent’s garden was more impressionistic, less abstract so you can make out the objects more clearly but still not so concerned with realistic details. Even though part of me now would have liked more details in them I still like the use of colour and light created.
I’d always struggled when I’d used charcoal before, smudging it and not getting enough definition between the tones, so I was pleased with this one that I did. I tried not to use the white chalk too much and just let the whiteness of the paper show through but I think I used it effectively on the wire. I was having some issues with proportion unfortunately though.
At the time I didn’t think much to this painting, it took ages to dry and couldn’t really be moved as that made the paint move about on the paper too, but actually now it’s one of my favourites. So much so that it’s in a frame and up on the wall in my living room.
These three tractor pictures are some more of my favourites that I’m proud of, the acrylic painting one especially. They were all made from photographs I’d taken at the pig farm near my old primary school and are on A1 sized cartridge paper.
Acrylic painting of a tractor
Oil pastel drawing of a tractor
Complimentary colour version of the oil pastel drawing of a tractor, also an oil pastel drawing
This first one was a combination of two photos, one of the tractor at the pig farm and another of a fence post and barbed wire from a sheep field nearby, to give the foreground a bit more interest.
Oil pastels can be effective but I don’t think that they lent themselves to creating the kinds of details that these drawings required, and that the acrylic paint had allowed me to get in the previous tractor picture.
Complimentary colour version of the oil pastel drawing of a tractor, also an oil pastel drawing
The complimentary colour version sadly doesn’t work as successfully as the first two original versions. The tones are too dark and muddied. I am still proud of all three of them though and have them framed up on my living room wall.
The same set of photos of the pig farm that I used for the tractor pictures were again used, first to make a chalk pastel drawing, then to make a screen print version.
Chalk pastel drawing of pig farm
Black/white screen print version of pig farm drawing
Better printed black/white version of the pig farm drawing
Colour screen print version of pig farm drawing
Better printed colour screen print version of pig farm drawing
Mounted colour screen print version of pig farm drawing
The original chalk pastel drawing is another one that I’m proud of and have framed up on my living room wall. Even though chalk pastel is by nature quite smudgy and blurry I’m still pleased with the amount of detail I was able to achieve with it.
I’ve sold a framed colour version and an unframed copy of each (black/white and colour version) of these when I had my shop in Castleford.
This next project was one of the first ones when we started the course, we were required to experiment with the different marks that can be made with each media (paint, charcoal, pastels, inks etc) and make bound books of what we made.
Here are two of the front covers that I made for my books. The black/white version was created by photocopying the colour version that I’d made.
This page of my marks and media book was made by dripping black and white ink onto mesh.
This is a collage of black mountboard card, white plastic bag, tissue, dripped black and white wax and purple staples.
This page is acrylic paint manipulated with a piece of card.
This is the brief we were given..
These are a few of the pages from inside
This final page was made with ink and acrylic paints and was selected to be used for the next project. In that project we were required to make an enlarged version of the selected page, approx A4 size enlarged to approx A1, this was then made into a black/white screen print which then had several different coloured backgrounds made for it to be printed on.
Enlarged version of the marks and media page
Black/white screen print version of the enlarged painting
Better printed version
Cool colour painted background
Different cool colour painted background
Green/blue painted background
Gree/yellow painted background
Warm colour painted background
Green and pink tissue paper collage background
Purple and pastel colour tissuepaper collage background
Here is the brief we were given to work from.
The top part of this brief relates to the chair project which I’ll talk more about later in this blog post, the second part relates to the next series of screenprints.
If you look carefully you can see the lines showing where the glass broke on the light box when the image was being exposed before printing.
I found the marks and media project to be enjoyable and useful, even the process of making them into books was satisfying, and it meant that I had a resource to look back on when I needed it. Even though it was less about the outcome and more about the experience as a learning tool for future work I do still like some of the pages, so much so that I’ve framed them and put them up on my living room wall (there is a lot of my work on my living room wall and elsewhere in my house).
I think that the outcomes of the enlargement/transcription project was less successful. At least in terms of fulfilling the brief. The things that made the page work when it was small were lost when it was enlarged, and further so when it was made into a print. But they do each have their own qualities that work instead so I still like them.
The next was concerned with still life, we chose to make our still life out of skulls/ bones as the college had a box of them and we liked how the various shapes worked together when set up on the shelf. Once we’d set up our still life we made chalk pastel drawings of them, these were then used to make a black/white screenprint version with different coloured backgrounds for it to be printed on top.
I’m pleased to say that this first chalk pastel drawing has now been sold.
This chalk pastel drawing was used as the basis for the next set of screen prints.
Black/white screen print of the still life bones on a shelf
Odd colour choice for the background of this one, I think it’smade using chalk pastels as the original drawing was.
There’s too many colours used in this background, I don’t know if I was trying to change the mood by using such bright colours but it just looks odd now.
The colours used for this background seems to work better than the first two. I think it’s because there’s not so many different ones used.
Primary colour screen printed background
This screen printed background using secondary colours is my favourite one of this set of screen prints. So much so that it’s framed and up on my living room wall.
Here’s the brief we were given for it.
This next project was quite a time intensive one, there were lots of parts to it which crossed a variety of disciplines and skills including photography, drawing, sculpture and screenprinting.
Here is the brief we were given for it:
These are some pages from my workbook:
First a photograph of the 2 chairs chosen.
This shows some of my brainstorming/analysis about the two chairs, what makes them chairs, how they are different from each other etc.
This shows some sketches of possible ways to construct my chair sculpture/s
Photographs stuck in my workbook showing some early experiments at putting the chair sculpture together, plus some notes made by me about them.
Photographs stuck in my workbook of some of the chair sculptures made by me and others in my class.
We were all told that we’d not been very successful with our sculptures. We’d been too literal and hadn’t understood how to just use the concept of chair to make our sculptures and not a functunal chair. I’ll be honest I didn’t really understand that then and I still don’t, but I do still like some of the outcomes even if they weren’t considered to be successful in relation to the brief.
This is the brief for the next part of the project
The second part of this brief relates to the marks and media project I told you about earlier in this blog post.
This is the black master image screenprint. I like the hatching marks I’ve used and the use of reversing the black and white so the image becomes the negative space.
This background uses coloured tissue paper which has given it a nice texture but there are a few registration issues with it and I’m not sure about how well the colours work with it. A bit too garish I think.
This one has a painted background using acrylic paints in the 3 primary colours (red, blue, yellow) and 3 secondary colours (green, orange, purple). One colour but in different tones for each square, each colour used twice in the grid of 12 but spread out so no 2 have the same colour used next to each other. I like how the different tones of each colour work within the grid, sadly there were registration issues again though.
Cool colour acrylic paint background. I like how the light tones of the colours used make the black master image stand out, Only 3 colours used in different combinations, some slight registration problems but not as noticable as in the previous ones. The master image could have been printed better so that the ink wasn’t patchy in areas, particulary at the bottom.
This is my favourite as I think it works the best. it’s a 2 colour screenprinted background, yellow and pink the orange is created by printing yellow over pink. The tone of the colours is light enough for the master image to be seen clearly and because they are warm colours it gives it a happy feel which seems more appropriate for a poster encouraging people to come see the work.
This is the brief for the final part of the chair project.
I think that these work just as well as individual images on their own as they do as part of a set, even the 3 in the middle transition stage. I especially like the 2nd one, it’s a strong, bold image with nicely defined lines and mark making.
I think this is the most sucessful metamorphosis set out of the 3 that I’ve shown in this blog post.
This next set of work is from the final end of year project that we were required to write for ourselves. As I was a fan of the surrealists, Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte in particular, I decided to title my project Incongruity,
noun: incongruity; plural noun: incongruities
the state of being incongruous; incompatibility.
“the incongruity of his fleshy face and skinny body disturbed her”
“the incongruity of his fleshy face and skinny body disturbed her”
The bottom bit of this brief, Term 3, explains what we were having to think about when starting to come up with our final project.
The next series of screen prints focus on experimenting with the danger sign.
I liked the grid layout that we used in the chair project so I used that with this. The lightness of the tone used here makes it difficult to see, which ties in nicely with the incongruity theme I was going for.
This one again uses a light tone to tie in with the theme.
As does this. These 2 were printed over each other to make the next one.
Pink and yellow printed over each other. Bit of smudging with the pink one in the middle
Next I started experimenting with printing more colours over each other, again using light tones to keep it hard to make out clearly.
Playing with how they go together. I like how this one works with the light purple and light black interacting in different ways.
I don’t like this one quite as much as the previous one, I don’t think the interactions work as well together. There’s some interesting things going on though, especially in the bottom left square.
A master image printed for some experiments with the background, deliberately printed so it’s not solid black, giving it some texture which will continue when it’s printed on top of the backgrounds.
Purple printed background, the purple is too dark and isn’t quite registered right though.
Tissue paper background . I quite like how this works with the different colours/tones of tissue torn into natural free form shapes, it’s quite a simple idea but I think it’s effective. I like how the outlines of the tissue show up under the ink where it’s been printed on top.
Using printed type in the background, it says danger over and over again. Printed onto A4 paper, stuck down then screen printed on top. Again I like the simplicity of this.
Same idea as above but using different types of yellow paper for the word danger to be printed on first, yellow because that’s the colour used on the actual sign.
More experiments with type in the background, this time using different sizes and including the Building site part of the sign too. Some is printed on tracing paper so you can see through it when it’s laid on top of each other. I don’t like it a much as the previous ones, I think they have gotten a bit too busy so you can’t see the master image as well printed on top.
This version uses some yellow paper again to mimic the colour of the original sign. I think the use of colour helps to make the master image stand out more than in the just black and white one but it’s still a bit too busy.
More experiments using yellow and black paper, torn into shapes to work with the master image. I think this one was successful, the flashes of yellow and the shapes created with the black paper help to accentuate the master image printed on top. There’s nice texture from the ink and where it’s printed over the paper shapes.
These last 2 have been mounted with black card and were included in my portfolio that I took to my interview at Leeds Met Uni.
The bottom one is just a simple black master image wth no texture.
Hand of Bananas, screen print
The top one is the master black image the bottom is the full colour version with screen printed colours and black master image printed on top.
Sadly my poor registration skills let me down again a bit with this but I do still like it as an image and it fits in with my incongruity theme. A bunch of bananas is also called a hand of bananas, so by putting a human hand in place of the banana flesh it plays on this idea.
This is the final piece that I made, No Children Allowed, sweets on hardboard. It’s quite large, aprox 1 meter and has a protective plastic sheet on top of it. As you can see from the bottom some of the sweets melt when it gets too hot and some of the white sweets have discoloured over time. It took a lot of planning and time to make but I’m still proud of it now, it lives on the wall in my kitchen/dining area.
I made a few sculpture signs as part of the final project, a no smoking sign using emtpy cigarette packets, a danger do not touch sign from fluffy fleece material and wool, a danger/warning sign as a rag rug spool/French knitted floppy sign and a smaller sign from sweets as a practice for this larger one. It was fun coming up with the ideas for them then using some of my crafting skills to make them.
I’m pleased to say that I passed all the courses that I did while I was at Selby College and was successful in gaining a place at Leeds Metropolitan University to continue my studies.
Even though I do still have quite a bit of the work I produced at college (because I am a hoarder) at the end of the course we put our portfolios together with the help of our tutor ( my tutor was Roger Silvester) and a lot of the work that wasn’t up to scratch was chucked. I’ve also had a few culls myself since then as I’ve needed the space/ my mum has wanted her loft space back.
I hope you’ve found this to be an interesting insight into some of my earlier work and some of the projects I did at college. If you’d like to see more of it, ask any questions or put some of it up on your walls too, let me know.
On Saturday (8th April 2017) after visiting the Spring Market and other exhibitions at The Hepworth Wakefield I finally went to see the Disobedient Bodies exhibition. it’s something that I’d been wanting to go see since opening night but hadn’t been able to yet. I’d seen quite a bit on social media from people who went to opening night, plus I follow The Hepworth Wakefield on Instagram etc too, which had given me an idea of what is was going to be like. But even in these pics that I’ve taken trying to give an overall impression of what it’s like to experience it as an exhibition as a whole, rather than just individual pieces, I still don’t think they convey get quite how intimate yet vast the whole thing feels to be there.
When I walked in I was immediately impressed and enjoyed the way JW Anderson had used fabric to section off the space. This meant that you were teased with glimpses of what was beyond in the next space while alson taking in what was there in the space with you. It’s not something I’d seen used before and personally I think it worked well.
I also liked spotting the quotes on the floor too.
The items don’t have information alongside them, telling you what it’s called, who made it etc, instead there’s a directory booklet at the extrance that you pick up which has all the information in instead.
It made me feel like I was playing a game of treasure hunt, or spot the artwork, going round looking in the directory spotting each piece and figuring out which one it was, there were numbers to help identify them though. But I still went round the exhibtion twice. Once without the directory where I took the pics and enjoyed just looking at everything without knowing much about it.
I then went to one of the seating areas looking out towards the Chantry Chapel and went through the directory, taking pics of each page (which I’ve included below with the rest of the pics) before going round again. As much as I do like knowing the information behind the piece I did like the cleaness of not having the information next to everything cluttering the space up, so I think the directory booklet was a good idea.
As you can probably tell I really enjoyed this exhibition, it’s on until the 8th of June so if you do get chance to go then I recommend that you do. More info at the end.
Disobedient Bodies: JW Anderson Curates The Hepworth Wakefield
18 March – 18 June 2017
This major exhibition sees Jonathan Anderson, one of the world’s most innovative contemporary fashion designers, exploring the human form in art, fashion and design.
A personal selection of sculptures are on display, alongside notable fashion pieces and objects of craft and design, investigating the way the human form has been reconceived by artists and designers across the 20th and 21st centuries.
The selection is shaped by Anderson’s long-standing passion for modern art (from the mid-20th century) and the underlying questions of gender that have been posed by his own fashion collections at JW Anderson.
Figurative sculptures by artists including Jean Arp, Louise Bourgeois, Lynn Chadwick, Naum Gabo, Barbara Hepworth, Sarah Lucas, Henry Moore, Magali Reus and Dorothea Tanning are in direct dialogue with fashion pieces by designers such as Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Rei Kawakubo of Commes des Garçons, Helmut Lang and Issey Miyake.
The exhibition also features a new series of photographs by Jamie Hawkesworth who Dazed describe as ‘one of the most visionary fashion photographers working today’. Hawkesworth worked in the gallery with 123 Yorkshire school children wearing fashion pieces by designers including Issy Miyake and Vivienne Westwood. Find out more
Anderson has collaborated with Tom Emerson and Stephanie Macdonald of 6a architects to present this exhibition, which unfolds across the galleries, offering a series of contrasting experiences for you to explore.
MORE ABOUT JW ANDERSON
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland in 1984 and studied menswear at the London College of Fashion. He established his label JW Anderson in 2008 with a menswear collection. In 2010 he launched a capsule collection for women, quickly achieving critical acclaim and commercial success.
JW Anderson is regarded as one of London’s most forward thinking brands, with a unique design aesthetic that offers a modern interpretation of masculinity and femininity. In 2013 investment by LVMH Moet Hennessy further cemented JW Anderson’s status as a rising, new generation brand. In the same year Jonathan was appointed Creative Director of Loewe and works on both brands in tandem.
JW Anderson has evolved into an internationally renowned and award-winning brand. Awards include British Fashion Award for ‘Emerging Talent, Ready-to-Wear’ (2012), ‘The New Establishment Award’ (2013) and ‘Menswear Designer of the Year’ (2014). He was also the first designer to win both womenswear and menswear designer in the same year at the British Fashion Awards (2015).
The Hepworth Wakefield
Wakefield, West Yorkshire
OPENING HOURS, FREE ADMISSION
Tuesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm
Closed Mondays, except local school holidays and bank holiday Monday
Last Saturday (8th April 2017) after I’d visited The Hepworth Wakefield Spring Market, in The Calder building, I popped over to the main building to look round. I was looking forward to seeing the Disobedient Bodies exhibition but I’m going to write about that in a separate blog post, I don’t want the other exhibitions to get overshadowed and lost by putting them all together, there’s some really great work in them (as you will see in the pics I took) and it’s be a shame to overlook them
It really is worth making the trip to see them for yourself if you can but if you can’t then hopefully this will give you a bit of a taster. I tried to take shots that would give a sense of seeing how the pieces work together as a whole exhibition rather than focusing on individual pieces, I did focus more on the things I liked most though. I also tried to take pics of the information written on the wall to explain what each exhibition is about but I’ll also include excerps from The Hepworth website at the end to help provide more detail too.
You’ll also see some shots taken from the windows in the gallery spaces too, many including the Chantry Chapel where I exhibited some of my work in last May’s Artwalk, read about it here.
Anthea Hamilton Reimagines Kettle’s Yard 15 September 2016 – 1 May 2017
The Hepworth Wakefield and Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge are delighted to present a new installation by 2016 Turner Prize nominee, Anthea Hamilton, an artist renowned for her art-pop, culture-inspired sculptures and installations that incorporate references from the worlds of art, fashion, design and cinema.
Based on her research into the art and objects of the Kettle’s Yard collection, Hamilton has re-appropriated objects from the collection, using unexpected details as starting points for new works.
Significantly, Hamilton has also invited several British and international artists, with whom she has either previously worked, or whose work is important to her, to contribute to this exhibition. These include: French artist Laëtitia Badaut Haussmann, British artist Nicholas Byrne, British photographer Roger Philips, German artist Daniel Sinsel, Latvian artist Ella Kruglyanskaya, Polish artist Maria Loboda and the celebrated American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
György Gordon: From Hungary to Yorkshire, 1924-2005 Opens Sat 25 February
The Hungarian-born artist György Gordon became a refugee after fleeing the Hungarian Uprising of 1956. He resettled in Wakefield in 1964 where he became a lecturer in Graphic Design and the leader of the painting department at Wakefield College of Art.
A gifted teacher, he inspired admiration and affection from generations of young artists. This new exhibition celebrates the recent gift of three paintings to the Wakefield collection.
Approximately 30 works, comprising paintings, works on paper and archival material are on display, including the three gifted works exploring themes of solitude and displacement.
A Contemporary Collection
24 September 2016 – Autumn 2017
The Wakefield Permanent Art Collection was founded in 1923, and housed in Wakefield Art Gallery from 1932. Shortly after, Wakefield Councilman Alfred Carr stated that the purpose of the collection was ‘to keep in touch with modern art, in its relations to modern life’. In its first decades, the collection acquired works of art by important British artists of the early twentieth century who had championed art as a reflection of contemporary experience. These included critic and painter Roger Fry and artists of the Camden Town Group who celebrated ordinary people and everyday events.
The collection supported emerging local artists Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, acquiring their work early in their careers along with that of painter Ben Nicholson. Nicholson and Hepworth, who married in 1938, had formed a new avant-garde in the 1930s that fused geometric abstraction and utopian ideals, which they took to St. Ives during World War II. Paintings created in response to the devastation of the war were acquired by Wakefield through the War Artists Advisory Committee in the late 1940s, providing local audiences with a reflection of the hardships they and their fellow countrymen faced.
In post-war Britain, Wakefield continued to host exhibitions of contemporary artists and collect their works. Alan Davie had his first solo exhibition at Wakefield Art Gallery in 1958 under the directorship of Helen Kapp, and a number of his paintings were subsequently acquired. Gifts have played an important part in the development of the collection. As the new building of The Hepworth Wakefield was in development, Sir Alan Bowness, Barbara Hepworth’s son-in-law, donated a group of paintings through the Art Fund. These included works by Davie and significant abstract artists of the 1960s and 70s such as John Golding and John Hoyland.
Since opening in 2011, The Hepworth Wakefield has continued Wakefield’s tradition of supporting contemporary artists through exhibitions and acquisitions. Its inaugural exhibition was of new work by Eva Rothschild, whose sculpture Wandering Palm was subsequently acquired. Some artists who have exhibited at the gallery have generously given works to the collection, such as Matt Darbyshire’s Untitled (Shelf), which allows the collection to remain contemporary. One of the most recent acquisitions, Anthea Hamilton’s Leg Chair, was acquired through the Contemporary Art Society in 2015, and marks Hamilton’s current exhibition in Gallery 3.
NEW FOR 2017
A Contemporary Collection includes a section curated by Art & Social, a group of young people who meet every Friday at The Hepworth Wakefield to be creative, build skills and develop friendships and confidence. They have selected works from the collection, which are presented alongside collectively written poems that give an insight into their choices.
The Hepworth Family Gift/Hepworth at Work
On Permanent Display at The Hepworth Wakefield
The Hepworth Family Gift consists of 44 full size, rarely seen working models – surviving prototypes in plaster and aluminium made in preparation for the works in bronze Hepworth executed from the mid-1950s to the end of her career. It also includes drawings and a large group of lithographs and screen prints by Barbara Hepworth, and has been given to The Hepworth Wakefield, via the Art Fund, by the artist’s daughters Rachel Kidd and Sarah Bowness, through the Trustees of the Barbara Hepworth Estate.
The Hepworth at Work display explores Hepworth’s studio environment, her work in plaster, her collaborative relationships with bronze foundries and the monumental commissions she received in the last fifteen years of her life. The tools and materials on display were Hepworth’s own and have been drawn from her second studio in St Ives, the Palais de Danse. Also featured is a step-by-step reconstruction of the bronze-casting process, photographs of works in progress and four specially commissioned films containing archival footage of the artist in her studio.
The gallery introduces The Hepworth Family Gift, a unique collection of Hepworth’s working models that is on permanent display at The Hepworth Wakefield. Representing the first stage of the creative process, they offer an invaluable insight into her art and, in particular, her approach to working with plaster.
The collection reflects the variety of ways in which Hepworth used plaster and aluminium. She preferred to make prototypes on the same scale as the finished sculptures and would have worked directly on the majority of these models.
The centrepiece of the Gift is the aluminium prototype for Winged Figure, 1961 – 3, the sculpture commissioned by John Lewis Partnership for their flagship store on Oxford Street, London. At nearly six metres high, this is the only working model to survive for the monumental commissions Hepworth received in later life.
On Wednesday (29th March 2017) as a late birthday present (my birthday was 21st February) my lovely boyfriend took me on a mini break to Amsterdam on the ferry from Hull.
We got to Hull for about 6pm, got settled into our premier class cabin and waited for the ferry to set off at 20:30.
At 7am local time (they were an hour ahead there) the captain gave us a wake up call over the Tannoy so we could start getting up and ready for docking in Rotterdam at 8:15am.
Because we had a premier class cabin we were able to watch out of our window as we got closer to the dock, which was fun.
Unfortunately the dock was busy so we were delayed by about 20mins, but we were off the ferry and on the coach to take us to Amsterdam by about 9:25am.
We thought the driver said that the coach trip was going to be 1hour 45min but we were being dropped off in Amsterdam just after 10:30, so thankfully we weren’t on the coach that long.
This is the building that the coach dropped us off at, and where it would be picking us up from at 17:00.
Once we’d had a bit of a walk to stretch our legs we stopped at a cafe for a traditional dutch breakfast, 3 slices of bread with ham cheese and fried egg on top. A slightly odd combination but still tasty.
After eating we then started to explore, I would have liked to go to the art galleries/museums but they were quite far away from where we were and once we got there we wouldn’t have had much time to actually look round them anyway. So after we’d walked along the red light district, there wasn’t much happening there at that time, and got to where the flower market was we decided that we’d go on a boat tour.
Luckily it was a lovely sunny day so we sat at the back of the boat where there was no roof and I could take lots of pictures of all the amazing looking buildings, bridges and boats etc that we saw on the way.
After the boat tour we looked round the flower market and he bought me some pretty purple wooden tulips, which I’ve put in the purple glittery vase that my mum bought me for my birthday. They fit perfectly. I liked the paper that they were wrapped in too.
Before we knew it nearly all of our time had passed and we needed to find our way back to the pick up point to get the coach back to the ferry. We managed to find it with enough time to pop into the Dirk supermarket to get some delicious curried sausage rolls and other snacks to eat on the coach to keep us going on the nearly 2 hours long coach trip. Unfortunately we hit traffic on the way back so that’s why it took nearly twice as long but once we got to the ferry port it took all of 5-10 minutes to check in and get back on board.