Monday, 13 February 2017

Abstract art


I am  doing an online course "Pathways to Abstraction" with Pauline Agnew.  It is a fascinating challenge and a change from conceptual and figurative art making.  In fact it is my most natural approach to art, and one that I always used on my textiles. But the paintings ask different questions!  As ever, it is a reality check to get some of these early attempts onto the screen and surprising to see what works.   Watch this space




























Friday, 27 January 2017

Self portraits



Self portrait (unfinished)  by Diana Hand


Alternative self portrait 1  Photo by Diana Hand

Alternative self portrait 2  Photo by Diana Hand

In the knowledge that every artist is really painting themselves in some way, I have included a 
couple of street shots along with my own first attempt at conventional self portraiture.  I have been fascinated for years by the oddments I see on pavements and in the streets, and now realise that the fragile beauty of these transitory and vulnerable objects may reflect how I feel about myself.


Friday, 6 January 2017

Gottfried Bammes and drawing the human figure

Diana Hand Figures sketches from Muybridge (January 2017)
Learning about shapes and movement from Gottfried Bammes - a great way to gain a flexible and useful basic knowledge of how the human body is shaped and how it works.  


 
My desk in the workshop



 HERE (below)  IS A PAGE OF SKETCHES BY HENRY MOORE, showing how he was thinking about the anatomical structure of the body in movement.

Henry Moore   Drawings of miners

 The movement drawings are different from the more considered study (below)

Diana Hand  Drawing of life model

Diana Hand  Preliminary drawing for painting on canvas (January 2017)

Diana Hand  Final painting of above (detail)

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Toko Shinoda in Takayama "Art breathes life into architecture"

This includes reflections from the house!





Art breathes life into Architecture

An exhibition by Toko Shinoda in Takayama, Japan

This exhibition was in an old Edo type wooden house, in Takayama, a hill town in Central Japan. I was thrilled to see the use of stone lithography and the architectural abstract theme in Shinoda's work. She is 103 this year.  She is one of Japan's greatest artists. I hope she will not mind me including me in this blog.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Faig Ahmed and the magical carpets




Colossal    photograph courtesy of the artist

As a long-time and passionate admirer of woven carpets I was delighted to discover the work of Faig Admed, who stretches and distorts and manipulates the traditional carpets of Azerbaijan to recreate  them as contemporary works of art.  Here is an article by Paula Cocozza of the Guardian, published 14.11.16. which tells more about his life and work.


Helen Marten by Charlotte Higgins




Helen Marten, winner of the inaugural Hepworth prize for sculpture, with her work at The Hepworth Wakefield gallery in West Yorkshire. Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA 

I enjoyed this recent article bby Charlotte Higgins about Helen Marten, this year's Turner Prize winner.

I particularly liked her description of how she works from reading and ideas. Here is a quotation from the article:


'Her starting point, she tells me, is reading. “Before I touch anything in the studio, before I do anything tangible or physical, I spend three or four months reading and researching, but not with a specific end goal in mind. It could be fiction, theory, news, philosophy. I read a lot of poetry. The primary impulse more often than not is linguistic.”
Recently she has been excited by Iconography and Electronics Upon a Generic Architecture, by postmodern architect Robert Venturi (“a vitriolic architectural postmodern thesis versus an amazing impulse for collecting and gathering weird archaeological facts”); and an essay by artist David Robbins on “the gaze in television, and the Lacanian idea of empathy”. Then, she says, “I store up phrases, a bank of words that are the starting point for thinking about an accumulation of physical stuff.”

The “physical stuff” comes next: first by a precise drawing and mapping of each of her works, for which a great deal of fabrication will be required. She works with ceramicists, metalworkers, carpenters, embroiderers and others to create the components of the sculptures, which she will assemble in the studio. Nothing is left to chance. “I don’t shop for things. I know what it is I am searching for,” she says. “Almost nothing is a readymade. If it looks like it is, it’s almost certainly a deliberate approximation.” '

Angela Carter

 

Angela Carter    Richard Mildenhall/ Camera Press



The real Angela Carter (1940-1992) as opposed to the "invention".  Edmund Gordon's new book
"The Invention of Angela Carter: a Biography" describes the real woman, as he sees her.  Not the rather fey magical intellectual I had always thought (being ignorant of Carter) but a highly intellelectual, highly sexual and completely driven individual overcoming an overprotected childhood.  Here is an article by Gordon published in Guardian Saturday Review  1st October, 2016.  I particularly like the story of how she met her second husband, Mark Pearce, when she sought help for domestic emergency while he was working on a building opposite.  "He came in, and never left", she said.