“Discover tomorrow’s art stars today”

Publications

‘Discover tomorrow’s art stars today’ is the tag line of Saatchi art’s feature on 7 artists they suggest you invest in this year. My husband is one of them. Yippeee!!! I have put this link up on my Facebook page so sorry for the repetition but for those of you on word press it was a little update of news.

You can see the feature on:

Invest in art the feature by Rebecca Wilson, curator and also on Creative Pool a magazine which has covered it.

IMG_3872

Image used for the Saatchi feature. ‘The Bench’ outside Cartwright Hall Art Gallery.

 

Fumare

Colour, Conceptual, Philosophy

I thought it was a bit ironic that the local paper had chosen this image alongside the strap line “Artists create work inspired by Tour”. When what immediately comes to mind is ‘A smoker’, meaning a person who partakes in smoking, and not probably partaking in riding around the dales on a bike, (or maybe some are I maybe being presumptuous).

This is a piece which is growing on me, as the more I discover about it and the more I have to think about it  in order to write; the more I understand the philosophy behind it. This is how it should be with art and life. Sometimes it makes sense, it appears to us clearly and we can go ‘yeah I get that’ other times it is more of a struggle we don’t understand or only later on does something reveal it’s deeper hidden meaning.

This piece is one solid colour rather than the usual mix of colours and so for me it is harder to connect with. ‘I just see red’ which is actually is why it is all red. So what is this piece about…the medium for this sculpture is a ‘collage’ of exhaust pipes and mannequin parts. This in itself highlighting the very issue the piece is speaking about. Those moments in life when we feel disappointment, frustration,and we can’t express it. Those moments when you get on your bike and ride around the dales to let off steam! Perhaps, indeed their is a link between this piece and riding your bike after all.

The modern world is gradually pushing us into a trap of not being able to say what we really mean or what we want. We live in a ‘democracy’ where ‘freedom of speech’ is apparently a tool for us all. Yet we are pushed by media and consumerism to think , act and behave in a certain way. We can’t always say for fear off being misunderstood, offending others, not being politically correct. For some people the toll of being on this treadmill makes them ‘fume’. The verb ‘Fume’ means both ‘to emit gas, vapour or smoke’ and also to feel, express or show anger, coming from  the Latin fumare ‘to smoke’.  ‘The smoker’ is  currently in a Saatchi online competition ,having being selected from 4,000 artists it is now in the top 30 semi final.  I will leave you with the images to have a think about it for yourself…..

smoker 1

‘Smoker’

 

'Smoker'

‘Smoker’ or should I re-title it ‘Fumare’

The Reality

Colour, Exhibitions, Mother and Child, Public Art, Relationships, Soul searching

In a world where we have ‘reality’ TV shows, cyber worlds in which we can make our lives appear very different to the day-to-day routines and constant ‘updates’ of people’s daily realities, I thought it appropriate to look at ‘what is real’.

It is a week ago since we were heading down on the train for the preview. I consciously decided to write ‘The review’ almost not as ‘The sculptor’s wife’ but as someone else who had, had the luxury of being able to glide around the exhibition unhindered by children in their ‘mad hour’. I wanted not to taint my husband’s proud moment with my reality.

The journey started with my husband’s realisation that he had left his jacket at home, the one he had dry cleaned and planned to wear – outfit all imagined of course. Not a good start. One stressed artist in a confined space with two excited boys. Anyway, the food and books  prepared kept them busy. I let it all wash over me and stayed calm. We got to the hotel, changed and met family to enjoy a meal at a Lebanese restaurant around the corner. The boys had gone into hyper mode. I think I became a bit dazed by the sudden thrust into central London life and I was unable to eat much of the yummy food on offer. The walk to the Royal British Sculpture Society offered a moment to savour the atmosphere but as we gathered outside and met with friends it dawned on me that the space inside may not handle all our contrasting energies. Inside, I managed a few snatched conversations and introductions with people I wanted to speak with but overly aware of my youngest hurtling around. As I reflect, I recall an almost cat and mouse game of chase around one of the exhibitions. No wonder someone came out making a comment about not wanting to meet the children inside at a restaurant.Whoops. Half prepared, I dug out folded pieces of paper and crayons I had brought with me with visions of calmly occupied children sketching. Mmm… perhaps if it had been 10.30 in the morning that would have worked. Whilst the speeches were underway the boys bounced off the steps outside, my sister anxiously wondering who was with them as we were tightly compact with no way of assuring their safety. However, they were with a friend and relatively content. My husband was whipped away to speak with a potential client and with my eldest becoming somewhat overwhelmed with tiredness and emotion I took us back to the hotel thankful that it was just around the corner.

passion for freedom

‘The Toy’ exhibiting in Embassy Tea Rooms ‘Passion for Freedom’

Alongside all this my husband also had to organise in the middle of the night the journey of ‘The Toy’ coming down to ‘Passion for Freedom’ which had to change their venue at the last-minute. This meant that the day after whilst he ran across London to meet with the van and deliver it. I took the boys to a museum round the corner with a phone that no longer had any battery. The reality of being out of mobile phone contact when needing to liaise meeting up made for good problem solving skills to come into play. In all, it was an exciting trip and the buzz of it was amazing but good to reflect a week on and put some perspective and ‘reality’ to it. Sometimes we so often see the duck gracefully swimming that we forget the ferocious paddling underneath.

This morning, my boys were playing an imaginary game and I suddenly tapped into their reality and seized the moment to connect their reality with mine. I wish I could do this more often. The three-headed monster (the light in their bedroom) who was a potential threat assisted me by becoming the reason to armour up into school uniform. Hats for helmets, space boots and then our rocket ship journey to school was a more peaceful one than previous mornings.

We chain ourselves to things that make us act, behave, see, respond in a certain way. Our possessions, the people around us are all given to test us for what is real. This piece below is the one ‘nestled in the fireplace’ in the exhibition. ‘Cruelty: This work confronts the parent/child relationship and questions our imposition of moral and social systems which conflict with our own inner truth.’

As with this life, it may seem like the reality but sometimes we need to stand back and look beyond the illusory pleasures of this temporary world and ask ourselves what is real?

'Cruelty'

‘Cruelty’

 

The Review

Awards, Public Art

Wednesday 30th October saw the opening of the FIRST@108 public art award , the commission for the external piece for 108 Brompton Road and exhibition. The evening was crisp cold but dry, perfect for viewing the outside sculpture in the forecourt of the Royal British Sculptor Society. The lighting illuminated ‘Evolution’ gloriously, the stripes of the central piece mirroring the external pillars and the minimalistic shapes appearing like a city skyline. The vibrant sculpture intrigued the passer-by along with our large group congregating unintentionally outside as we waited for the doors to officially open and enter into the colourful land of the Shendi sculptures inside.

illuminated

‘Evolution’ at night

night evolve

Illuminated outside RBS

As we entered drinks and brochures were laid out before entering into the exhibition room. The pieces, so bright and cheerful gave an energy to the inside space, ‘Souls’ perfectly positioned in front of each of the leaded glass windows.

souls in windows

‘Souls’ in the windows

‘The Branch’ stood with the bird perched on foot with high quality shine and the elegant neck of the horse held a gracious curve glancing down at the floor to which we could find the piece entitled ‘Cruelty’ nestled in the fireplace. With sad eyes but strong sentiments and chained to its heavy load, almost floating above which hung the original sketch with figurative notations. On the wall opposite the entrance also hung three framed sketches adding another dimension to the work. As the room gradually filled so that the work only peeped out between the people, there was then an eloquent speech by the president of the society followed by a witty and intelligent introduction to the award by Isabel Vasseur who in the brochure had written;

 “The choice of Sam Shendi this year, an artist constantly interested in placing work in the public domain, is timely, working as he does with the idea of engaging in a tangible dialogue with the onlooker. His sculpture ‘Evolution’ imparts a notion that each elemental figure has its own concerns which it wants to convey to others. a joyfully coloured abstraction of human figures which, with the subtlest of indicators, hints at the complexity of human interactions. Today’s passers-by are likely to respond to the many layers of this work in the same wa as their forbears recognised the multiplicity of meanings in the Price Albert memorial only a moment’s walk away from Shendi’s brave work.”

people in space

‘The Branch’ and ‘The Ride’

speeches

The speeches

The success of the opening marks the start of hopefully good things to come. With an impending visits and intriguing activities for children from local schools. Discussions with other venues for a second home for ‘Evolution’ after it’s three-month stint in south Kensington, potential sales and a step into the public art world.

Autumn Days when the sculptures went to London…

Awards, Exhibitions, Galleries

…and the sun was shinning in an almost cloudless sky.

Estelle White’s ‘Autumn Days’ hymn has been the soundtrack to the last few months for us and we occasionally sing it together in chorus. Our three-year old shouts out the song at every possible moment particularly in the car, much to the eldest son’s annoyance but today it is so fitting. It is a glorious autumn day. The sky is clear and I can see a silky cobweb float across the road in front of me as I sit and contemplate after a busy morning. I felt I was running internally, never mind to school, to take the car to be cleaned, to work. We mustn’t forget to be Thankful.

My husband and his friend had to get up at 3am and the alarm woke him in a sudden jerk. I heard the coffee machine and the careful movements around the house getting everything together. I couldn’t get back to sleep until I heard the front door shut and they slipped out quietly into the crisp early hours. So I too, also pushed the coffee button this morning which fuelled me to get a dozen jobs done before 9am but consequently making me very snappy with my boys and not staying calm enough to take the morning pace smoothly yet again. The winter moon calmly shining down on us which the boys spotted very visibly as they tumbled out the door and climbed on the wall whilst I shouted at them to get in the car before I counted to five! No, we mustn’t forget.

After hours, days and months of hard work  the finishing up was done and the wagon was filled last night successfully, with the sculptures fitting in like a jigsaw. Thanks to my husbands keen eye and good measurements. The rain stopped thankfully and a radiantly clear morning made for the drive to London. Last night I busily put together a stack of egg sandwiches for their journey, cupcakes for the school bake sale and the last few bits of preparation, getting the camera ready, and the last bits of paperwork  done. My husband said he knew he had got everything he needed, all the tools for any eventuality but he was still worried that there may be something he had forgotten.  What had he forgotten? Apparently they got all the sculptures in and then remembered thank goodness the bird on the windowsill. Though my immediate reaction was, at least we could take it on the train.  We mustn’t forget to be Thankful.

'polishing the platform'

‘polishing the platform’

sculptures wrapped

‘Sculptures wrapped like bodies ready to go’

getting ready

‘Wrapping up’

So whilst the ‘Evolution’ sculpture gets erected with the team helping my husband, and the pieces installed for the exhibition. I am looking after the business thankful for a few hours of quiet. Picking up the car gratefully cleaned, sparkling and smelling fresh before whatever was rotting inside gave us poisoning. Then collecting my preschooler to look after the shop together before the eldest child’s parents evening and swimming lesson. I am so thankful the sun is out giving us a dry day, for the installation of the exhibition and everything they need to do outside in London and then for their journey home.

 So as the song continues to echo in my mind, “Autumn days, when the clouds look like familiar faces…. the swallows curving in the sky, we mustn’t forget to say a big thank you.” No, we mustn’t forget.

Selected

Exhibitions, Galleries
'Sperm'

‘Sperm’

We have had a flurry of ‘You have been selected’. All the pieces got selected for the Bradford Open (28 September – 19 January ) Yipee! The mad dash panic last week was worth it. My husband came in the other night and said, ‘How far away is Wales’? I’ve just applied for something there. Let’s have a look I said. WELLS not WALES (roll of the eyes yet again) in October, like we need anything else to do.  A ‘soul’ piece got selected for the Wells Open. Followed by an email asking if we were interested in a solo exhibition next year in the North West. Also, selected to be an associate member of The Royal British Sculpture Society, so can now put ARBS after his name. So a pretty good week in terms of ‘selection’.

This piece above, simply titled ‘Sperm’ has been selected for the Bradford, Cartwright Hall. I think how ‘Selected’ links with this piece is pretty obvious, well, it puts a smile on your face, right? Enough said!

 

Evolved

Awards, Colour, Exhibitions, Steel

Earlier in the year, in March we found out my husband had won the Public Art Award, FIRST@108, then began the process of making the maquette a reality from a scale of 1:6. Finally right on time, the photo was taken and sent for the publicity at the end of August. This impressive piece will be installed outside The Royal British Sculptor Society in anticipation of the private view on October 30th 6.30pm. We now need to arrange a trip down to London for the event.

The piece is a reminder about how we evolve through our lifespan from infancy to ultimately death and how the energy within us changes us physically. Each minimal figure represents a time span and the colour symbolises that. The subject given for the competition was ‘Transmission’ and this large-scale now looks like a transmission wave, representing the mysterious transmission within us that we either acknowledge, abuse, neglect or take for granted. Still to be polished, transported and placed in situ, it has a journey to go but it has come along way from the start, as an idea in a sketch book long ago to a maquette on our kitchen table. Now evolved into a piece of public art.

The FIRST@108 Public Art Award 2013 Winner’s Exhibition at the Royal British Society of Sculptors runs from 31 October 2013

Evolution and maquetteEvolution7 Evolution 6
Evolution 5Evolution 4
evolution 3Evolution 1

‘Can’t see the wood for the trees’

Colour, Soul searching, Steel

 

studio 3

‘The Studio’

studio busy

‘Getting Ready’

studio image

Not much space left…

The studio is full, not much space to move around. Whilst those around us have taken vacations we have stayed put and created, flown kites and played on the bikes.

I had a rare day today, I went to our business and my husband had the boys, ‘Freaky Friday’ I was calling it, like the film but it wasn’t at all Freaky. It was great.  I did some lovely peaceful things and then returned home and took the boys to the park and it was such a different experience with fresh eyes. (I wonder what I would be like after a week!)

It made me think about something I listened to recently about, the importance of seeing the forest before going in and deciphering the conifers, the elms, the oaks…. I don’t think it is entirely possible to do that in parenting but having a little ‘break away’ meant today I came back with renewed patience and could somehow deal with both boys individually rather than ‘the boys’. I enjoyed them in the moment as children.

In parallel and more to the point the studio is full with all the pieces ready for a photo shoot tomorrow. The decision process about what goes in and stays out of the solo exhibition will then begin. My husband was saying yesterday that he can visualise the exhibition space, he can see the sculptures in it. He just can’t see which ones they are. Some how he needs to be able to break away from it, to stand back and see the ‘wood from the trees’.

PS. Just literally had a very ‘freaky’ moment, where after explaining to my husband the meaning of my ‘post title’ as I am finishing up writing this the film in the background my husband is watching I just heard the line, “forest from the trees, forest from the trees’.

‘Evolution’ is evolving

Making, Philosophy, Soul searching, Steel

This morning the wet damp clouds hung heavy over the hills here in Yorkshire, creating an almost hazy fog interrupted with lush green trees popping through the grey like thought bubbles. Made me think of my husband’s mind! The sun broke out this afternoon and turned into a lovely summer solstice, and the sundown will be around 9.30ish here. It’s amazing how the longer days really shift the rhythm internally and externally.

I am very much ‘The Sculptor’s wife’ at the moment, as the sculptures for the solo exhibition and the large-scale sculpture which will go outside the Royal British Society of Sculptors are all in various stages of progress, and taking up my Husband’s time. The lighter evenings giving an extra momentous for working in the studio.

‘The base complete with holes’

The ‘Evolution’ piece has now been welded and has been moved to the studio. Where they congregated like a family;

evolution waiting in the studio

‘Evolution’ waiting in the studio

The surface is polished and smoothed before the painting, at least he is wearing gloves this time!

preparing fro spray

preparing the surface for spraying

The first to be sprayed was the fist stage in the series of ‘transmission’ the infant. Tonight, my husband has got back from painting the last in the series death’. When he came in he immediately starting telling me that the results had been announced for The Cork Street Gallery summer exhibition, shaking his head and looking all disappointed.I tried to quickly remember what this was all about and he told me the pieces and then said “when I scrolled down to ‘S’ these were the three pieces they had chosen! (I think we entered 6) So it was exciting to find out we have been shortlisted, but now some more form filling and delivery of works and the process starts again.

We often want to see the end product of something, get to our destination, get the result, but most often it is the journey, the process, the ‘evolution’ and evolving of ourselves through the process that is the most important thing.

First to be sprayed – infant

FIRST@108, work in progress

Exhibitions, Public Art, Steel
evol progress

‘Evolution’ in progress

I thought I would just update about the progress for the FIRST@108 Solo exhibition and public sculpture. Earlier in the year, in March it was announced that my husband had won this award and since then he has been busy getting on with the making. The exhibition isn’t until October but deadlines are tight. Images of the finished pieces need to be done by August. So here is a little cheeky glimpse at the winning piece, the maquette now enlarged in it’s full size. This is one of the pieces that could be in the solo show. I say ‘could’ as we have selected 5 ideas from sketch book to make but there could be some changes at the last minute.

studio progress cruelty

‘Cruelty’ – first stage

polish

‘part of the process’