Archive for January, 2011

Art I LOVE Maggi Hambling

Posted in ART, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE with tags , , , , , on January 29, 2011 by echostains

I’ve always loved the art of Maggie Hambling.  I’m a big fan of painterly, expressionistic art – words which aptly describe this artists work. 

Maggie Hambling

Hambling studied East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing from 1960, under the tutelage of Cedric Morris and then at the Ipswich school of Art (1962 – 64).  She then went to Camberwell  (1964 -1967) graduating at the Slade School of Art in 1969.

Max Wall by Maggi Hambling

Though known mainly for her portraiture – a lot  were in the National Gallery where she became the first artist in residence in 1980 and did a series of portraits of the comedienne Max Wall.   

She  has also created sculpture including : Memorial to Oscar Wilde London and Scallop,  an interlocking steel sculpture on Alderburgh beach, dedicated to the composer Benjamin Britten  The sculpture itself was made by a local foundry and copied from a 4 inch model supplied by the artist.   The sculpture has created a lot of controversy – some say it enhances the view of the sea, others say it blocks the sea out.  The sculpture has been vandalised a few times too.  Hambling herself calls it a conversation piece – a conversation with the sea;-

“An important part of my concept is that at the centre of the sculpture, where the sound of the waves and the winds are focused, a visitor may sit and contemplate the mysterious power of the sea,”

 

 

      

  

The Scallop by Maggi Hambling

 

Hambling’s subjects include a lot of Gay people including George Melly, Stephen Fry and Quentin Crisp. 

George Melly drawing

 

From the 1980s Hambling turned mainly to landscapes and recently seascapes.  Her work has become  a lot more abstract and in 1995 she received an OBE for her services to painting and appointed a CBE in the new years Honours list in 2010.

George Hambling

 Quote from here

Information about the artist – start here

Wonderful interview which really reveals the personality of the artist here  What a character 🙂

Ghost of George Singing

Max Wall image from here  Scallop image here  Melly drawing from here George Always here, Ghost of George singing here, Archie MacDonald here  Francis Bacon image from here  Hambling photo here

Francis Bacon by Hambling

Hambling’s website  http://www.maggihambling.com/

The short video shows extracts of her work in her studio. Video by shabboleth Thanks!

Archie MacDonald 1981 Hambling

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Scottish artists – A celebration

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS, exhibitions with tags , , , on January 25, 2011 by echostains

To commemorate Burns Night, the greatest Scottish poet (tonight) I have compiled a special video of Scottish artists and artists associated with the National Galleries of Scotland.  Favorites of mine include Allan Ramsay, Anya Gallaccio,Duncan Grant George Leslie Hunter, Glenn Onwin, RB Kitaj,Joseph Crawhall, Norman Edgar, Oskar Kokoschka and Robert Burns! Which are yours?

To further the Scottish theme, there is a post about Robert Burns and a poetry competition over on Bookstains.  Don’t worry the entries don’t have to be written in the Scottish language but that would be GREAT also 🙂

Just click on Rabbie to enter

PLUS 26th January Happy Birthday to Jackson Pollock  earlier post for those who missed it here

Stone Hats and a Shoe Tree

Posted in HISTORY, PAST PLACES with tags , , , , , on January 23, 2011 by echostains

shoe tree

A tree displaying shoes in Nevada gives a whole new meaning to the term ‘shoe tree’ (a device for preserving the shape of the shoe).  These instruments are also made from wood – but there the similarity ends.  What intrigues me about all these shoes is how they have managed to display them all, securing them into what looks like a very tall tree.  Were they all done by the same person or individuals?  Are there any pairs of shoes in there – or are they all odd?

odd or paired?

It’s strange to think of all these shoes baking away in Nevada in the summer and frozen in the winter,  though no stranger than the shoes or other objects preserved by water at famous prophetess Mother Shipton ‘s petrifying well in Knaresborough Yorkshire

the Hanging Well

This is one of England’s  oldest visiting attraction (1630). The magical qualities of the water preserve by petrification the objects (including shoes) which are displayed.

Mother Shipton (Ursula Southill) herself was said to have been born in a nearby cave and prophesied many happenings.  Her prophesies took the form of poems, but there is still some debate about her authorship.

Mother Shipton's cave, said to be her birthplace

 The Hanging well (as it is known locally) still displays two petrified hats – a bonnet and a top hat which were left by a couple on their way to York races in 1854.  I have visited Knaresborough a few times.  It is a delightful and picturesque historical market town and dates from around Norman times.  Among the attractions is The House in the Rock (which we went into many years ago).  Next door to that is a chapel that dates from the Middle ages also set into the rock.  I have photographs, of the hanging well, Mother Shipton’s cave and from inside House in the Rock.  I shall do another post about House in the Rock when I find my pictures 🙂

Info from here

images from here   and here  and also here   Mother Shpton’s own website  Thanks also to this site  for the shoe tree images

Happy Birthday Cindy Sherman!

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART VIDEOS, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , , on January 19, 2011 by echostains

Today is the birthday of conceptual portrait photographer and film director Cindy Sherman.  Sherman was born in New Jersey USA 1954.   She received the MacArthur award in 1995 and currently lives and works in New York.  She studied visual art at Buffalo State college, abandoning  painting for photography.

“I didn’t want to make ‘high’ art, I had no interest in using paint, I wanted to find something that anyone could relate to without knowing about contemporary art. I wasn’t thinking in terms of precious prints or archival quality; I didn’t want the work to seem like a commodity.”

Although a lot Sherman’s work involve the use of stereotyping women in advertising, media  and film, she does not stereotype her work,  she does say this about her work:-

“The work is what it is and hopefully it’s seen as feminist work, or feminist-advised work, but I’m not going to go around espousing theoretical bullshit about feminist stuff.”

 
 
 
 
 

Cindy Sherman Clowns series

 

 Her work involves taking series of photographs of herself in costume.  For example in 2003 her series consisted of photographs of herself as clown.  In 1981 an early series ‘Centrefolds’ considered women’s roles in film magazine and television;-

“In content I wanted a man opening up the magazine suddenly look at it with an expectation of something lascivious and then feel like the violator that they would be. Looking at this woman who is perhaps a victim. I didn’t think of them as victims at the time… But I suppose… Obviously I’m trying to make someone feel bad for having a certain expectation”

 
 
 
 
 

Centrefolds

 

Sherman’s narrative work always has dark or sad undertones within it.  She always maintains that her photographs are not self portraits, even though the pictures are all of herself.  Sherman always plays a ‘type’ – a fictional type;- a housewife, socialite, – B movie actresses.  She  both hides herself within her work, yet reveals herself at the same time.  It is a game of hide and seek where she sometimes disappears:-

“I feel I’m anonymous in my work. When I look at the pictures, I never see myself; they aren’t self-portraits. Sometimes I disappear”

 
 
 
 
 

Cindy Sherman 1990

 

Her work is both thought-provoking and evocative.  As well as directing and modeling, she has also collaborated on advertisements with designer Marc Jacobs and designed album covers for the band American Babes in Toyland.

If I knew what the picture was going to be like I wouldn’t make it. It was almost like it was made already.. the challenge is more about trying to make what you can’t think of.”  

Cindy Sherman

Information about Sherman and her work can be found here and on her website here

images are from here, here here and here

video by innertubevideo with thanks!

Also born on this day Paul Cezannne – read my post here

Don’t forget the Hepworth Echo Poetry challenge which is still going strong over on my Bookstains!

And

Weird and Wacky – Clock this!

Posted in DESIGN, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN with tags , on January 14, 2011 by echostains

 

Time Killer

It’s ages since I wrote a weird and wacky post.  As far as I know I’ve never written a post featuring clocks.  I just couldn’t ignore these unusual ones!  For people with time to kill how about this ‘Killing Time’ piece.  I’m not too sure about the fake blood – and I wouldn’t fancy being underneath it if it fell off the wall, but you must admit – it’s a highly original clock and a real attention seeker – real cutting edge 🙂

time teaser

Never  mathematically inclined, I would find this formula hard to crack or work out.  I do however really like this very contemporary time piece and would certainly have it in my house (even though I wouldn’t be able to pronounce which equation the time equaled!

Astrological clock Prague

I’ve actually seen this particular clock.  It’s  a famous landmark in Prague – a wonderful city.  The clock dates from about 1410.  According to legend, the man who made the clock then went blind – so could never make another one.  The skeleton adds an  interesting and grisly touch as he strikes the time upon the hour.

More  Weird and Wacky posts coming soon 🙂

PLUS The Poetry Challenge (The Hepworth Challenge is still underway over at Bookstains – please join in the fun!)

just click the image

Images from here here and here  and here and there’s awonderful clock blog here

Tomorrows Party – Dame Barbara Hepworth

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , on January 9, 2011 by echostains

 

Dame Barbara Hepworth

Tomorrow is the birthday of British sculptress Dame Barbara Hepworth b.1903 – 1975 –   I shouldn’t really call Hepworth a sculptress – as she believed in equality of the sexes, especially in the arts.  I am putting this post on today because it’s a week since I posted – and I don’t want to get into bad habits already.  As well as having a horrific flu virus which I’m still trying to shake off, I have been busy planning a very loosely based itinerary of the way the posts shall go and that in itself has taken some time.  Of course, whether I stick strictly to this shall have to be seen……  watch this space (there might even be something in it from time to time).  Now, that is just a joke 😀  Just call it flu delirium 🙂

Barbara Hepworth is very famous for piercing her sculptures.  She pierced her first  form in 1931, the year she gave birth to her first child, ( though Henry Moore got all the credit for being the first to pierce the form in 1932.)  Another characteristic of Hepworth’s work are strings or wires which are stretched over the pierced part of the form.  I have written quite a bit  about Hepworth over the past couple of years:-

Happy Birthday Barbara Hepworth!

A Cornish garden of hidden delights – the Barbara Hepworth Museum Cornwall

To celebrate her birthday this year I am running another poetry competition over on Bookstains.  Just click the image below for details of how to enter this unusual challenge 🙂

 original image from here  Adam Woolfitt here, others from   here and here

The Ghosts of 2010

Posted in ALICE IN WONDERLAND, ART, ART DISCOVERED AND UNCOVERED, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS, BODIES IN PRESERVATION, CRITIQUE CORNER, DESIGN, FAVORITE ART: Art I LOVE, Lancaster, OUT AND ABOUT MANCHESTER, POEM CHALLENGES, YORK BREAK with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2011 by echostains

Although I have cut down on my  posts from one per day to one every 4 or 5 days in 2010 starting in August, I managed 256 posts.  I hope to improve on this year and continue to build up Bookstains, which is proving popular. This year Echostains celebrated 16 artists birthdays (another area I intend to improve on).  Some earlier categories have gone and I have plans for some new ones.  This year saw the arrival of slide shows and polls.  WordPress is a learning process and I’m still learning:-)

PS This video was completed in 2010 and was supposed to go on New Years day.    I have had to revise it because it was originally over 20 minutes long 😀