Wednesday 19 March 2014

movement in space - 2

Our project with young people at The Hepworth Wakefield is flying by. Yesterday we took a trip to Leeds Art Gallery and viewed two exhibitions, Polychromies: Surface, Light and Colour and Bruce McLean: Another Condition of Sculpture. The group made responses to the artworks through drawing, imagining, discussing ideas and writing poems. After viewing McLean's photograph titled Disposable Sculpture Work the group made work out of paper and as we walked to the train station deposited these works in the city.

A challenging discussion was initiated by McLeans ideas of disposable artwork and I told the group about Michael Landy's Break Down, in which the artist took a year to catalogue all his belongings then destroyed them in the former C&A store on Oxford street. We talked about value and whether money and possessions can bring happiness.

Today the young people began planning their activity for gallery visitors during the Wakefield Artwalk next week. It's going to be brilliant!

Monday 10 March 2014

movement in space - 1

At The Hepworth Wakefield today we began our three week project with young people inspired by the current exhibitions by artists Erika Vogt and Philip-Lorca diCorcia. Movement in Space includes drawing, sculpture, print, installation, photography and stop frame animation. The young people are working towards an Arts Award qualification and the creation and delivery of activities for the Wakefield Artwalk later this month.  

Monday 3 March 2014


Close Knit is a project I conjured up in 2009, a way of working with family graves, landscape and textile process. The sixth gravestone cosy has been problematic and led to a pause in the project that I'm picking up again after three years. This work involves the practical: researching and finding graves, traveling to them, measuring, photographing, creating a knitting pattern, knitting the pattern and then returning to photograph the work in situ. This part of the process simply requires a desire to make the work and action. The less tangible is tuning into what would be the 'right' colour for a relative, many of whom I knew only vaguely, some who were dead before I was born. With Violet I've had my biggest struggle to date, odd really when she is my only relative who's name is a colour.

I began to make Violet's cosy while living in Sheffield. In a department store I bought six balls of lilac wool, my first hunch on her colour. I knitted the whole front panel of the cosy and didn't enjoy it one bit. The wool was poor quality, knotted in places and I had to cut away knots and create joins in the knitting, easy to hide but irritating. When I'd knitted the panel I found my colour choice too obvious for a lady who died in her early 80's. I unravelled the knit and gave the wool away. Next I bought six balls of purple wool, didn't knit too much of this and quickly realised this was wrong too. It didn't 'feel' right and this project is as much about feeling and intuition as it is about practical choices.

This week I've begun again, and am sure this time. I've booked tickets to Bristol for early April, giving myself a challenging deadline to finish the work which I'll site three years since my last visit to her grave on a beautiful spring day.

Aunty Vi was shy, beautiful and gentle. My mum's favourite sister.

Sunday 2 March 2014

inner child

Back in London after running a weekend workshop for families at The Hepworth Wakefield. I love setting out the cutting and sticking table, a riot of wondrous Lyra Colour Giant pencils, hole punches, tape, wool, paper and card. It's a do-what-you-like-invent-create-stuff corner where eggs, roaring dinosaurs, butterflies and flowers emerged today. Adults were crammed round it too, their inner children demanding a bit of ME time!

This drawing is by a 4 year old who explored Gallery 5 which is full of small and enormous Hepworth working models. At the bottom of the page she drew the rope barrier with no opinion about it, just that it was there. Her sense of perspective intrigued me, as well as the people included in her gallery scene. A wonderful representation.