Archive for the LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA Category

Stone me! Bathbombs, puppets, dribbles and Little Dancers!

Posted in Architecture, ART, BYGONE ADVERTISING AND PACKAGING, DESIGN, exhibitions, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 2, 2011 by echostains

Ronnie Wood Sketch

Musician,artist and printmaker  Ronnie Wood, who plays with the Rolling Stones (and has also played with The Faces, and the Jeff Beck Group) trained at Ealing Art College. His new exhibition, called ‘Time and Places’ will showcase 100 pieces of his work, including paintings of Jimi Hendrix, Slash and portraits of friends and family.  It shall run 7 – 12th November Cork Street, Mayfair. London.  Wood had this to say about his work:-

“People don’t know that I’m an artist. Playing music as part of a team effort is wonderful, but to express individuality as an artist is very personal. Art is more powerful, a more personal statement.”

 Creativity is creativity, but I take his point about personal expression and the need for own space to indulge this.  A group of artists can all bounce off each other and feed off ideas, each with their individual interpretation, – the inner journey must be solitary though.

 

 

 

Meanwhile, it’s nearly that time again.  No not Bonfire night – The Annual Turner Prize is nearly upon us.  love it or hate it, The Turner Prize has attracted controversy since it began back in 1984 to celebrate new developments in contemporary art.  Contenders have to have had outstanding exhibitions – and be under 50.

This year the exhibition will be held in the wonder BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts Gateshead.  This is a wonderful venue – a large and airy space  which used to be an old flour mill (see my review of this arts centre from when we visited – here)  The contenders for the Turner Prize this year are;-

Karla Black         

The BALTIC


Martin Boyce
Hilary Lloyd
George Shaw

I shall be reviewing the other contenders in a later post, but my attention was drawn to the strange media of artist Karla Black – obviously a person after my heart where diverse media is concerned.  Whilst I have ground soft pastels mixed with polyfiller, and have flirted with latex, recycled acrylic scraps, Black uses crushed bath bombs (must smell wonderful!) foodstuffs and even medicines to make her sculptures.  Heavily influenced by psychoanalysis, she states;-

‘While there are ideas about psychological and emotional developmental processes held within the sculptures I make, the things themselves are actual physical explorations into thinking, feeling, communicating and relating’.

There’s a good review of this artist, image from here   If you want to see some of my painterly ‘recipes’ please look in my Categories MY SURFACES.  Here’s one I did earlier ‘Brown Sauce meets Latex’

This TV built 1936 was still going in 2009 please read the link below

Age is a dichotomy in many ways,on the one hand, nothing much surprises me any more – yet on the other there is still a yearning to believe in somethings and I still feel a childlike disappointment when they turn out to be wrong.  For instance, I find it very very difficult to believe that television is 75 years old today!  It seems only yesterday when I was told to see if there was any mail, went downstairs and saw a television showing a children’s programme in black and white.  I had never seen a television before – so you can imagine….  I was watching Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men – and they spoke my language 🙂   Bill and Ben, along with Andy Pandy, The Woodentops and many more were part of the Watch with Mother series.  BBC Watch with Mother ran from 1952 –  about 1965 when it was replaced by other children’s programmes like Camberwick Green, Pogles Wood and Trumpton.  Here’s a very early episode from Bill and Ben (Thanks to ) :-

Also in the news is the famous Little Dancer, the bronze ballerina made

The Little Dancer

by French Impressionist Edgar Degas.  The bronze sculpture, stands 40 inches in height and  wearing a silk hair ribbon and satin tutu failed to sell at Christie’s New York.  The ‘Little Dancer aged 14’  had a pre sale estimate of between $25 million to $35 million.  Degas’s heirs had 28 bronzes cast from the original which was made from tinted wax.  Whilst I find it difficult to believe that there was no buyer for such an iconic work – on the other hand, the price tag is a bit on the high side…..

Whilst the ‘Little Dancer’ is at least a bronze, Jackson Pollock’s No.5 1948 painting sold at for $140 million in a private sale in 2006.  The painting measures  8ft x 4ft and is on a sheet of fibreboard.  Quality versus quantity?  Not necessarily – take a look at the rest of the worlds most expensive paintings here.  Perhaps, in the end, a painting is only worth the price someone is willing to pay for it?

Ronnie Wood related link and painting from here

Television image and article (from 2009) is this TV still going now I wonder? read here

BBC first broadcast info here

Degas image and more information here

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Pre Raphaelite Delights that last longer than 15 minutes with Lashings of Ginger Beer,

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT, DESIGN, exhibitions, HISTORY, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2011 by echostains

It’s been ages since I last posted (the longest yet) but I hope to make amends today by writing a longer post – a kind of round-up of posts I should have written.

Enid Blyton

The 11th August was popular children’s writer Enid Blyton’s birthday (11 August 1897 – 28 November 1968).  Here’s a  a link to another post I wrote about this author over on my Bookstains.  Eileen A Soper illustrated every one of 21   Famous Five books. 

five-have-a-wonderful-time

Eileen A Soper (b. 1905 – 1990 Hertfordshire UK)was an illustrator , print maker and a watercolourist.  She had her first exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1921 at the age of 15, making her the youngest artist ever to exhibit.  Two of her etchings were bought by Queen Mary. 

 

 

 

Her work has great nostalgic appeal and is as attractive today to adults as it was a source of delight to them when they were  children.  A gallery of this artist’s work can be found here

 

 

 

 

 

Eileen Sitting in a chair watercolour 1923

Other artists birthdays include Andy Warhol whose birthday I celebrated a while back with this post which featured one a page of my altered book  (this book is still ongoing… complete with artist research)

Andy Warhol-Self-Portrait-1986

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work by Ford Madox Brown

News of an exciting exhibition is coming to Manchester City Gallery (Saturday 24 September 2011 – Sunday 29 January 2012)  A major exhibition of Pre Raphaelite artist Ford Maddox Brown will go on show.  Over 140 paintings by the artist, including his Manchester Town Hall murals (which I have seen) will be exhibited.  The work will be divided into different themes and periods of  the artist’s life including his radical change of direction artistically.  Ford Madox Brown is particularly well-known for his narrative paintings which relate to life in the Victorian age and I think that viewing the paintings collectively will  give the viewer a clearer idea of how radical the Pre Raphaelites really were.  The 12 paintings, known as The Manchester murals depict life in the city in the Victorian age – a must for any Mancunian interested in their city.  The exhibition which will also include a rediscovered painting by the artist.  The painting The Seraph’s Watch  could prove to be a crowd puller.  Here’s a tantalising detail from it below.

Eileen A Soper Gallery (images from there)

Heather’s Blyton pages (all the book images can be found here too)

Manchester City Art Gallery 

The Enid Blyton Society

Andy Warhol image and art history here

More about Ford Madox Brown (and Work image) here

Seraph’s Watch image and an interesting article about this exhibition and Victorian art in general here

Past Pleasures rediscovered

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, BOOKS! DEAR READER I READ IT, HISTORY, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA with tags , , , on July 6, 2010 by echostains
 

a much loved book

I came across my old copy of ‘A Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady’ the other day.  I was supposed to be sorting through some things, but as usual, when it comes to having a clear out, I always come across something that makes me stop to re read it, transporting my memories – and well, – that’s the end of that exertion for the day:)

Edith Holden

I had forgotten just  how charming this book is.  Edith Blackwell Holden (the Edwardian lady) was born into a very different age from ours (1871 – 1920).  She was an art teacher and her nature notes were published in 1906.   She was also an artist in her own right, a follower of the Arts and Crafts movement.  She married  sculptor Ernest Smith in 1911 and taught in Solihull.

another time

Her exquisite drawings feature nature, flor and animals and her notes are taken from direct observation.   Holden also illustrated children’s books.  I love looking at this bygone book, which tells of a more sedate time. 

exquisite water colour

A short bibliography of Edith Holden here and here

some gorgeous images of her work from this site  and here

 

Ecclesiastical public bars

Posted in DESIGN, Lancaster, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA, PAST PLACES with tags , , , , , on July 5, 2010 by echostains

The Parish York

I first came across a church that had been turned into a public house a while ago when we went to York.  I loved it! (see ‘Throwing yourself on the mercy of the parish these days’……….post)   At first I felt a bit uncomfortable about the idea, – but the conversion was so tastefully done and it meant that the church was saved from perhaps demolition or a really drastic bad modernisation, so  I was very much inclined to approve of it.

The Friary Lancaster

On our trip to Lancaster we found yet another chapel that had been coverted into a pub.  The Friary, on Rosemary Lane has a completely different feel to the Parish in York.  The decor I suppose could be called Shabby Chic or Boho: some of the textiles and colours are not for the faint hearted, but there are original touches here and there.  The light fittings in particular are highly inovative, in the sense that they have been fashioned out of rather unusual recyclable materials.  An oil drum, for example, split in half and the inside encrusted with glitter hangs over a table illuminated by bare bulbs.

ten greenish bottles

A wire frame with hanging bottles provide another eye catching light arrangement.  What looks like part of a tyre, is fashioned to become another unusual lighting design.  Strange vinyl sofas with matching covered tables, interspersed with velveteen seating banquettes.  All this – and carpets, red snooker tables.

Footage and Firkin Manchester

This pub used to be owned by the Firkin group, who like to convert old buildings into pubs.  We have one in Manchester which used to be an old cinema – and it’s most interesting pub which still has the balcony.  In the Friary the real ale has gone from this pub now and it’s mainly for students and owned by the Scream group.

The Friary Lancaster

All in all, I did prefer the Parish in York, I thought the space better utilised.  Although the Friary is a good size too, the layout is a little too haphazard and the layout chaotic.  But  that’s probably part of its charm:)  I suppose it’s a sign of the times that the only time some people go into a church is to worship at the bar.  But at least these buildings are being put to use and they are attracting their own congregation.

Excellent Friary Church outer shot from here

Valley of the Broken Dolls

Posted in ART, ART VIDEOS, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES, SCULPTURE with tags , , , , , on June 25, 2010 by echostains

GEM (truly outrageous) still beloved by my daughter

Inspired by artistatthexit0′ s latest post about the dolls he has found in the river, made me think about artist’s who use the doll in their work.  Of course Hans Bellmer and Cindy Sherman were the first artists I thought of.  Surrealist photographer Hans Bellmer (b.Germany 1902 – 1950)  used broken doll parts in a fetish like fashion to invoke disturbing ideas.

Bellmer doll

He  first sent these to the  Nazi party as a protest against their obsession with the perfect body.   He posed the dolls in mutilated, unaturalistic ways.  There’s a great article about this artist here.  The film below Le Jeux de la Poupee featuring Bellmer’s work is not for the faint hearted.  This film was made in 1940s, but I don’t know who the music is by.

Cindy Sherman (b.1954 New York USA) uses self photography to address issues about the roles of women in the world, and as artists.  This short film sees Sherman as a cutout doll with cut out clothes.  I think it ‘s such a clever film, making Sherman completely 2D – surreal as she gets to choose the outfits she will wear instead of them being chosen for her!

Here’s an artist who works with dolls and altered book.  Karen Hatzigeorgiou puts her dolls into her books literally!  All her dolls are found objects and she sells the finished work.

assemblage found arm

Bellmer doll from here Cindy Sherman video from “artpopulus and Bellmer video from artpopulus

assemblage with found object

Putting the Nuts in May

Posted in LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA, WATCHED with tags , , , on May 2, 2010 by echostains

Nuts in May

It’s May Day when I’m writing this, but the 2nd of May when you shall see it.  Now what can I post for May Day?  I thought.  Something to do with the Queen of the May?  Something about the distress signal Mayday?  Then I thought of the 1976 film  ‘Nuts in May’, where two ‘hippies’  go camping with hilarious results.  The film was written by Mike Leigh and starred Roger Sloman as the self rightous Keith and Alison Steadman as very serious Candice Marie. 

Keith puts this lawbreaker in his place

One of my favorite bits in the play is where Candice Marie is singing with her guitar about the perils of eating meat.  There’s one line in there ‘Liver makes me shiver’ which really makes me laugh out loud!  Unfortunately, I can’t find a clip of that song, so the ‘zoo’ song will have to suffice.  There’s some marvellous lines in ‘Nuts in May’ – one of them about smoking ‘If I could take your lung out Ray – and put it on the table and cut it in half….. then you would see the damage… (words to that effect).  I had almost forgotten about the purple hot water bottle  shaped like a kitten, that Candice Marie calls Prudence…   Alice Steadman is famous for a lot of roles, especially Abigail’s party (also penned by Mike Leigh) and as Mrs Bennet in the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice.

A plot summary of the film is here

film clip by ruffledme

A very good review of this film and analogy is written here –  on this blog, and has some good images

Watched – Bunny Lake is Missing’

Posted in LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA, WATCHED with tags , , on April 29, 2010 by echostains

Bunny Lake is Missing

I’ve had this DVD for some time, and watched it once a long time ago.  Last night I decided to re watch it.  It’s a very strange atmospheric film.  It stars Laurence Olivier, Keir Dullea, Carol Lynley, Martitia Hunt (the original Miss Haversham in David Lean’s ‘Oliver Twist’)  Anna Massey and Noel Coward among others.  This 1965 film has been billed as a psychological drama, a mystery thriller and was written by John Mortimer, Penelope Mortimer, based on a novel by Marryam Modell.  It was directed by Otto Preminger.

Carol Lynley (Ann) in Bunny Lake is Missing

  It tells the tale of Ann an  American single mother and her daughter Bunny.  They have just moved to London and after enrolling Bunny in school, Anna leaves the girl under the Cook’s care because she has to meet the removal men.  Later when she goes to pick the child up – there seems to be no record of her ever existing.

Laurence Olivier as the Inspector

 The story gets more and more baffling.  Ann’s Brother Steven, (Keir Dullea) a journalist, lends a hand, filling the police inspector (Laurence Olivier) in with details.  An old woman in the attic of the school who plays with the taped voices of children, a dollmaker with a house of dolls and the odd fact that Bunny is also the name of Ann’s imaginary childhood friend are just some of the baffling ingredients of this film.

Anne and Noel Coward

Poor Ann – no one believes that she ever had a daughter.  No one seems to have ever seen her (including the viewer, I may add)  apart from her brother Steven.  Another odd character in this film is the weird landlord, sleazy, nosy and creepy and played by Noel Coward – a strange fellow, but the least of Ann’s worries. 

Keir Dullea (Steven)

   

 Music by 60s band The Zombies provide the background music. This film has now reached cult status even though it had bad reviews at the time of release.  It was re released on DVD  2005.  A very unusual 1960s film, eerie and haunting.

About the director and this film here

Keir image from here