Friday, 14 April 2017

April 2017 at Blaze, Bristol -- art by me and Lucy Roberts

One of the collages I've made specially for the show
If you're in Bristol in April 2017, please try to go and see my small art exhibition with Lucy Roberts. It's 'small' both in the size of the exhibition space and in the size of the pieces themselves, but it's embedded within a lovely art shop, Blaze, in Colston Street, and I hope it'll be worth a visit.
My work intermingled with Lucy's
Lucy got in touch with me via Instagram. My account is @foundandchosen. If you don't already use Instagram, I'd really recommend it -- it's obviously completely visual, which I love, and in my experience it's very friendly and positive. I feel as though I have lots of friends on there now and it's a great place to 'show and tell'. Lucy's Instagram account is @madebylucyroberts and she often showcases the beautiful memory boxes and other delightful things that she makes.
For my part, I've made some quirky collages, bright prints (including lots of alphabet prints), cards and one-offs. There's a Bristol theme to some of them, including a mixed-media picture of the park in the centre of Bristol in a blossom-filled spring and a vintage image of Rosie the Elephant at the Zoo.
     This is the 'calling card' we made to go in the shop window during the show:
I really enjoyed the afternoon I spent at Blaze with Lucy hanging the pictures. With David wielding the hammer (in a disappointingly traditional gender role), we soon got our 'hang' hung.Then there was just time for the two of us to get completely lost in the city centre, looking for our hotel, before we had to return to Blaze for drinks to celebrate the start of the month-long show. So if you're within hailing distance of Bristol, please do try to go.
'Killing with cake' -- my rather unsettling feminist collage...
Rosie the Elephant, alphabet prints and cards -- all for very reasonable prices!
Some of my work is also for sale in the Found and Chosen Etsy shop, and, after the show, there'll be more. You can also see some photos of my studio in a four-page article in the new edition of Uppercase magazine (no.33):

Beside the seaside?

I found this old postcard in my drawer at work. I can't remember where it came from now. There's no message on the back to give a clue as to its original owner either.
     At first glance I thought it was taken en plein air, and no doubt that's the intention, so that the sitter can send evidence home of her holiday in the sun. But a second glance soon dissolves the apparent reality: the sand looks oddly dark and firm, and, what's that? A skirting board? And then the clincher: this Blackpool Tower has none of the symmetry of the real thing, this one's positively wobbly. Then you realise that the lady is sitting in front of a painted backdrop with a skyline of buildings that only approximates to the actual Blackpool townscape.
The big wheel was erected at the Winter Gardens in 1896 (the photo of the lady looks as though it was taken in the 1920s, I think). It was almost directly behind the Tower, so it appears to move from one side of the Tower to the other depending on the photographer's viewpoint.

But it's also possible that the backdrop was drawn from a reversed image, so the wheel has gone over to the right-hand side.
You can see that the backdrop artist has approximated the turrets and frontage of the base of the Tower, but they haven't really got the buildings on either side quite right.
Image © lovedaylemon and courtesy of Flickr
Here's another photo taken in front of the very same backdrop! The canvas probably hung in the studio of photographer Charles Howell, at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, where the donkey (stuffed?) did sterling work.
     I love the idea of being photographed in front of a bad reproduction of the place that's just outside the studio door!