Wednesday, 20 July 2011

A sneak preview......

At the moment I'm spending a lot of time thinking about, and preparing work plans for, my upcoming participation in Origin during the end of September (more on that to follow later!). Here's a sneak preview of what I've been working on the over the past few days:

I'm really excited about this piece so hopefully it will work out fantastically and thus will be on display during Origin! It's a bit of a new route for me but it's still all about colour and materials so I'm happy! I touched on this avenue a bit whilst on my MA and over the past few months I've decided that I want to re-visit it (2 years later) but this time to make it bigger and much better!!

A massive thanks also has to go out to Coats who have agreed to sponsor me with lots of their lovely Anchor stranded cotton skeins for some new pieces that I've been working on for Origin. I can't wait to finally get stitching after lots of planning, stripping wood and research!!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Mood photographs....

This is a massive back-blog that definitely spans the years!

I have chosen these photos purely because I like their mood. This might be because they remind me of nice times or just because I like the photos, I'm not sure, but I hope that you like them too:

A rosy sunset viewed from the top of the peak in Hong Kong after having a delicious dinner with the girls from Texprint!

I have no real memory of this photo other than it must have been a boat we travelled on whilst in Hong Kong! I love the lights and the colourful bunting.

One of Hong Kong's very many tall buildings. I think I like the limited colour scheme in this image and the green foliage in the foreground. I guess I also like the atmosphere of it being night and there being lights shining! It seems slightly tropical.

The above two images are both from the Isle of Wight (one of my favourite places; memories of childhood holidays and tasty doughnuts!). I like the random nature and the angles of the hut over the shore and find the second photo scary but exhilarating! I also like the mottled sky.

The above three photographs were taken when I was in Belfast on textile business and went on a boat tour of where the Titanic was built. From what I remember it was a slightly sombre trip, slightly eerie thinking about what happened but the area was very beautiful in a strange way.

This photo was taken in Southbourne, West Sussex. It's a lovely area on the coast and if you look closely you can see the masts of lots of boats. I love the "dink-dink" noise that they make in the wind. I think that I may have a thing about the sky...

The above three photos were all taken in and around Como. I think that I love water too.. 

Taken on a boat trip to see the Forth of Firth Road Bridge (?!) just outside Edinburgh. If I am correct though then this is the bridge for the trains? I like the muted colours and really bright sky. The reflection of the bridge is pretty fine too.

Taken just outside the Notre Dame in Paris at sunset. I love it that there are loads of people milling about, just taking in the atmosphere in front of the beautiful Notre Dame up on the hill (the view is gorgeous from here).

Another Isle of Wight special. It's once again the colour scheme that draws me to this photo, I love the bright red against the very moody grey sky alongside the old style of building.  

This image is quite freaky. It was taken on one of my numerous train trips doing research for my major project on BA. It looks as though the landscape is moving both left and right at the same time whilst a very small area of the ground is actually in focus! I just like the movement in this image.

Corny I know but I like the birds on the wire; another train photo.

I've forgotten the name of this area in Sheffield but I think it might be the Peace Gardens. Either way it's a really lovely area of Sheffield city centre with grass for people to sit/ lie on and a big water feature for children to play in on hot summer days. It goes up and down at random times, often catching people out! It's just got a lovely atmosphere and is a wonderful place for people to sit and enjoy their lunchtime or day.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Reflections and mirrors...


Another back-blog!

When I lived in Como I used to love coming across these large convex mirrors because they usually give you a view totally different from the one that you see in front of you:


This photo was taken in Brunate, which is situated high above Como town. I would often take myself off walking around Lake Como and on this particular day I decided not to take the funicolare (the "hillside trolley"), but instead to walk up the hill. Bearing in mind that it was a very hot day and there was no actual path that I could find to follow it ended up being a bit of a disaster. I had to scramble up through thick forest on the very steep hill and past angry, barking Alsatians! It was all worth it in the end though as the view from the top was always so beautiful. (I got the funicolare down!!). I like the fact that I am in this picture because I can remember how absolutely exhausted I was at the time!

This is the view from the top of Brunate, looking down past the funicolare into Como town, and below it is the view when you are just about to make it back to Como:

More mirrors...


The next two photos were taken in Belfast Zoo, with the first being a favourite:

A train journey from Sheffield to Loughborough (looking like it might start to rain!):

And when I got back to Loughborough it was raining! (the reflection of a barrier in a puddle on the way home from the station):

Finally, an Isle of Wight reflection in my sunglasses:

Street comments....

A selection of comments that have caught my attention over the years:

 "Welcome to the cruel world" - Como, Italy

 "Riot a go go" - Como, Italy

 "The drama is building (Kev. S)" - Belfast 

"Jesus * I like it!" - Como, Italy

 "My dad loves his sofa more than me?" - The Cans Festival, London

 "This is a canvas"- East London

 "Going through the motions kills emotions" - East London

 "I will not draw as I am told" - East London 

 "Sofa so good" - East London 

 "Made you look" - Notting Hill, London 

Showzine Workshop with Charles Edward Brooke School.....

Today I would like to share with you the Showzine workshop I led last Thursday with pupils from Charles Edward Brooke School in Camberwell, held at the Royal College of Art! Here's a picture of the lovely ladies:

The workshop was put on by ReachOutRCA as part of their series of Showzine workshops with participants from London secondary schools. These workshops were devised to run alongside this year's SHOW RCA, the Summer graduate show.

During the morning session I showed the girls my work and then it was their task to make a decorative object, including making an exhibition label and a sketch of their piece. The girls listened very patiently whilst I introduced them to my practice and they asked some very good questions! They were very enthusiastic about using the driftwood I had brought to make objects, with the scoobies proving a very popular choice of material! Here are the girls choosing their materials and the wood piece that they wanted to work with:

Unfortunately I can't take my pillar drill to workshops so I was drilling by hand with an electric drill, which proved a task! I had initially told the girls not to make a design with more than 6 holes per piece, but this kept getting more and more expanded as their ideas became more ambitious! Here are two of the girls planning where they wanted their holes to go:

The drilling seemed to take far too long to get through everyone's pieces (and my shoulder was definitely feeling the pain!). After the drilling came decision-making in regards to colours, materials and amounts:

The girls did a lovely job at constructing their pieces, putting a lot of effort into what they were making and here are some very focussed faces to prove it:

It was all worth the patience and dedication as the girls' objects were really lovely, especially considering the short amount of time they had to make them! Plus, they all came up with very different designs. The girls were understandably a little shy about getting their photographs taken with their objects, but some were brave enough and the results are really great:

 (This photo makes me laugh!)

(This was by far the most complex design to drill!) 

 Their teachers even got into the spirit and took part too!:

During the afternoon session the girls looked at the work of Alkesh Parmar who graduated this Summer from Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Jewellery and Metalwork. His work was amazing in the show so it was great for me to be able to meet and chat with him briefly before he spoke with the girls.

*Images care of Michele Panzeri