Every TOAF event has its communal displays with the ones here including The Colours of Bristol, an Instagram project created over 7 weeks with Bristol 247, @porthjess and @joyfulbristol – I saw it before opening time as you can see from the frenzied activity below. Next to my stand was the I,the Poet. You, The Poet project by Biba & Laurie Cole which was consistently busy as visitors drew images and thoughts with outsized pens and brushes.
Again, all photos here are from her website as she was running a workshop when we popped in.
Often taken from rooftops, the original images are pulled from the media; compression, structure and constraint are all adjectives that come to mind when looking at the work which combines representation & abstraction.
There’s nothing quite like visiting another artist’s studio to get an insight into their work so I make the most of open studios whenever I can.
The viewpoint of an artist towards their subject and how they explore their particular project always intrigues me. Her work spans drawing, photography, video and installation so please visit her website as there’s too much to cover here. The drawings were the first thing I saw and, before I start , all photos here are from her website as I didn’t take any shots during our conversation.
For her insect drawings she painted four large sheets of plastic in a field and left them overnight.
Upon returning in the morning insects had traced paths in the dew, adding their own marks to hers.
The results remind me of maps and mountain landscapes seen from the air.
Other drawings include pebbles, ochre drawings using an imaginary language
and drawings of journeys – this is of the 52 Bus, Chesterton Road to High St Kensington, London.
I now wish I had taken photos in her studio but am due to send her one of my painting rags for another long-running project so expect to see her again fairly soon.
I’d never been to Bristol before (a few hours passing through decades ago doesn’t really count) so gave myself a few hours to wander around the city before setting up for The Other Art Fair.
And what should I come across but Richard Long‘s Muddy Water Walk stretching over 3 floors, the full height of the building.
It’s odd that I’d never connected his circular shapes with mine till now – it really is a universal form.
This large Art Deco former town hall in Crouch End North London may be turned into a hotel but for now it is a cultural and community centre.
An imposing building, it was built in 1933 by New Zealand-born Reginald Harold Uren, winning him the RIBA London Architecture Medal for 1935. His portrait below stands in the entrance hall opposite a snake photograph by one of my Victoria House Other Art Fair neighbours Andrew McGibbon
And no visit is ever complete without checking the toilets.
Full of atmosphere and stories this building needs serious investment to survive so I hope the different groups will find a way to co-exist in the future.
Part hotel part community and art centre? I’m sure it could be done.
London Clubland (not the dancing type) is a world that most of us are only vaguely aware of and the Royal Overseas League is a case in point. A magnificent building tucked in a courtyard in St James and overlooking Green Park, it really is hidden away in the centre of London.
I’d heard about it but never actually been till very recently when invited to attend the Young Masters Art Prize exhibition, held there for the first time.
Organised by the Cynthia Corbett Gallery, the Young Masters celebrates artists “who pay homage to the skill and techniques of the past; knowing that young artists today are not afraid, unlike their predecessors, to look back at art history and its lessons.” Painting, photography, video and ceramics were all included.
This skylight and the next couple of photos give a small indication of the interior as well as how well the artwork sits within it.
Work by Antoine Schneck and Christoph Steinmeyer below.Isabelle van Zeijl‘s photography is on the left.These 3 photos by Sandro Miller (apologies for the photo quality but it was pretty dark) had me perplexed for a while but I got it by the third one. Can you?Lauren Nauman’s frail porcelain and brass piece below was only one of several ceramic artists shown. ROSL, as it is commonly known, was the first London club to accept female members from the beginning and has an ongoing programme of art and music. For more information please visit the website.
Cerith Wyn Evans created this sculpture called Forms in Space…by Light (in Time) filling the gallery above our heads with neon shapes drawn in space. The structure begins with a circle
then 3 symbols used by opticians for eye tests , also used by Marcel Duchamp in his The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (the Large Glass)
followed, as you walk through, by shapes initially inspired by the gestures of Japanese Noh theatre.
You don’t , of course have to view it from front to back; wandering around it gives so many different viewpoints. I also wanted to mention the way the whole thing has been suspended – the support has a fascination of its own.You can see more of his work in London in the lobby of the recently opened Four Seasons hotel at 10 Trinity Square .
Gosh, how many years has it been since this entrance to the V&A was really properly used?
Fractal shapes dominate the courtyard: in tiles, grilles and windows
The new courtyard is entirely covered in white porcelain tiles making the area very light – the practical in me noted the difficulty in keeping these tiles clean though – as you can see below they’re already a bit grubby on the first day of opening.
I love the contrast and conversation between the brand new and the established – see how the lines and angles respond to one another.Once inside, a dark-lined staircase takes you down to a huge column-free gallery where Shade, an installation by artist Simon Heijdens could be experienced through those fractal windows.
Weaving Magic is the exhibition of “The Caged Bird’s Song”, set in a darkened room surrounded by a monochrome painted chorus of dancers.
The original painting below is in watercolour, a subtle medium where, due to rapid drying times, you have to work fast. This fluidity has been beautifully translated into the completely different and painstakingly slow medium of tapestry weaving.
Look how the painting below has been reproduced in a massively enlarged scale and in yarn. This took several master weavers over two and a half years to produce.Here are a couple of close-ups showing the blend of yarns. Such is the level of detail I went back to scour the watercolour to check whether what I saw in the tapestry was in the painting – it was. The tapestry will move to its permanent home at the Clothworkers’ Company at the end of August so visit the Sunley Room before then if you can.
Next time you walk along the Millennium Bridge, look down and see the tiny little artworks being created using the marks left by chewing gum on the metal flooring.I didn’t speak to the couple who are doing this but it’s utterly charming.