All the ways of falling

Colour, Exhibitions

falling 1

‘Falling’…..

in love,

over,

leaves,

down,

to earth,

falling 2

angels,

from grace,

….fast,

out of favour,

over,

hard,

flat facefalling 3

….foul,

Inflation,

out,

through cracks,

waters,

race,

…apart,

falling 4

for you,

star,

man,

asleep,

unconscious,

through space,

…gently,

falling 6

behind,

snow,

skies,

slowly,

out of heaven,

 and into place.

(At Newby Hall and Garderns, Ripon

27th June -27th September)

falling 5

‘Falling’ by Sam Shendi

Deep thought of the day, what are you reaching for?

Uncategorized

As I write the title I suddenly realise many people may be reaching for the end of the working week, the bottle, the next bar of chocolate, the next holiday. We do all reach for that comfort but what are we blocking out.

I have been a bit pre occupied these last couple of weeks not blocked with writer’s block but literally with ‘block’ blocks in researching minecraft parties. I am going all out this year with a Minecraft themed home party for our soon to be 8-year-old. Family birthdays, lots of sculpture events happening and a very busy sculptor means I find it harder to sit and write. Perhaps, just an excuse really however as this next week is half term I am trying to get this written before having the boys and really no time for writing.

Reaching 2

‘Reaching’ by Sam Shendi outside the studio

I have had a few conversations recently about ambition. What it means and why some of us have it and some of us seem to lack it. In conversations with my husband I reach for the dictionary. I must have had the foresight to know it would be useful to request it from a dear friend when we got married and she wanted gift suggestions. The definition of ambition is ‘an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honour, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment’.

My husband thinks he wasn’t ambitious as a child. He didn’t aim to achieve what he has achieved thus far more a determination to better his situation perhaps. In my mind he is definitely ambitious to fulfil a dream but more crucially has the unbelievable determination to strive for its attainment. Meanwhile, I like being in the presence of that ambition and almost make it become my own in many ways but  power, honour, fame, wealth have very little interest for me. I don’t have the drive to reach further or the ability to sustain any determination not for things materialistically. I have a very circular way of thinking. Say like taking a further step my writing into writing a book then I wonder why? for what reason? My mind goes into a spiral of being able to talk myself out of it.

Reaching 4

‘Reaching’ can be seen at Newby Hall, Ripon. June-September ’15

We live in a world where success is often measured in material wealth and possessions. Although we do need those to a certain extent in this western world, aiming to achieve your dreams is something quite different. I guess it is all about purpose. What is our purpose in life. I am too much of a day-dreamer, my personal ambition is reaching into the realms of spiritualism, for something beyond this world…. but I guess it is ok to have these lofty ambitions when your husband is working hard on the ground!!  So this Friday thought is. What are we reaching for? Why are we reaching for it?

Yesterday the sculptor took this piece along with several others in a new collection to  Newby Hall, Ripon. N.Yorkshire. So if you are looking for some inspiration, a wander in the grounds of an 18th century house, something to do over the summer the exhibition will run from the 1st June ’15 until the end of the season – 27th September ’15. 

An answer to Moore’s Daughter; ‘all is not lost, there is form in Shendi’

Mother and Child, Old Masters, Public Art
Mother and child ouline 1

‘Mother and Child’ by Sam Shendi 2015

Two people very independently but both very close and beautiful souls sent me the article in The Guardian which Mary Moore (Henry Moore’s Daughter) states that Hirst has sent art back by 100 years. Perhaps they could see that the article would interest me on a number of levels.

Mother and child ouline 5

Mother and Child, from the back

Mother and child outline 3

‘Mother and child’

Exploring the human figure, shape and ‘finding freedom within form’ are the focus of much of both sculptor’s pieces. Observing the human condition, using the human figure, reclining or mothers and child a link of the source of inspiration. In fact some of the earlier work of my husband’s has a very Moore like quality to it. But, dare I say  I believe my husband’s work continues the line of work that Moore started.

It is all about seeing things within that form and from different angles. Looking at the images of this piece every angle in a digital images looks like a different image. Like Mary says about her father’s work, about ‘exploring the invented object’ in front of you.’ In a modern 21st century contemporary setting with the addition of colour and focus on outline in an attempt of abandoning form as a mass, my husband’s work takes it to the next stage in development, thought process or idea. Yes artists like Damien Hirst may be relying on the title and have put the form back in the frame. However, there is always a reaction and response within the art world. Laconic titles such as ‘Mother and Child’ which my husband uses harps back to old masters such as Moore, giving you an indication to the form but allowing you to use your own imagination and interpretation for the rest.

Mother and child outline 6

Mother – in yellow and pink, Child – red and blue

Mother and child ouline 7

‘Mother and Child’

We have become a two-dimensional digital age , a world of flat screens and it is why education is increasingly important about shape and form. Otherwise these skills will be lost. It was so interesting reading what Moore’s Daughter said about her childhood with her father as a sculptor, playing with clay, thinking about thees qualities of light, shape and space. I observe the boys interaction and how they relate to their father, the sculptor in similar ways. Although this winter the studio has been a little out-of-bounds, we are all looking forward to the sunnier warmer days of playing round the studio. In the article which was highlighting the new exhibition of Henry Moore’s work at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Moore said she hoped the show would encourage people “to explore what is in front of them with an open mind and in a fresh way, so that they might re-evaluate or see things that they have never seen, understand things they have never understood. I hope it generates excitement about sculpture.” I think my husband’s work is creating small slow ripple of excitement in the art world and I really hope one day we will be able to get his work into Yorkshire Sculpture park. Seeing Shendi alongside Moore, what a spectacular way of seeing sculpture that would be.

mother and child outline 2

The shadows create additional images

Mother and child 4 outline

‘Section of Mother and Child’

The Rhythm of Life

Colour, Exhibitions, Public Art, Soul searching
One perspective of 'The Bow'

One perspective of ‘The Bow’

Colours of 'The Bow'

Colours of ‘The Bow’

Perspective can be everything. In order to make myself see the positive I am starting with the highs of summer. At the beginning we had some glorious weather and plays in the park. We had good days out walking to waterfalls, scarecrow festivals and train journeys to a new city. We were together with family and friends. We played with Lego, had picnics and tumbled around. I had energy. The second half has seen a dip in my energy is levels and my patience has been none existent on some days mirrored by the weather with more overcast cloudy days rain. As the six-week school holidays draw to a close I berate myself for getting cross and now at the end  I feel mournful of the times I clocked watched and marked off the days on the calendar in achievement. As I was reading a fellow bloggers entry to break from writing and gain inspiration I related to a similar idea about the idea of what we chose to let our memories focus on and how that can influences our thinking. I am therefore being mindful to focus on all the positive things I have done with my boys this summer at home.

Rhythm of the Bow

‘Rhythm of The Bow’

The sculptor has been busy setting up his first solo exhibition and public art pieces in the park. Beautiful images were taken and it felt such a good achievement. Then we had another dip as despondency set in on discovering the outdoor pieces were getting ‘worn and torn’ much quicker than we anticipated because of people climbing and jumping on them. We debated whether they should be taken out, that the cost of upkeep was going to be too much. A few alterations made, they are there to stay but highlighted a need of education about art in public spaces but also the interest physically in the art. Bringing us back up we successfully sold five pieces in one fell swoop to one collector and so we are very excitedly putting plans in motion for a big trip to Egypt in December. A well-earned holiday, time with Egyptian family and something to look forward to for us all.

'The Bow'

‘The Bow’

 

There are rainy days and sunny days and blessings in them both. There are highs and lows in life and wisdom in it all. Rhythm and flow occurs throughout our day, week, month and the whole year changes. In the midst of it we can appreciate those daily rhythms, depending on our perspective. Change can be welcome or sometimes unsettle us. There is a change in the air as summer ends, school starts and autumn approaches.

Section of 'The Bow'

Section of ‘The Bow’

Something can be constant. We all have something which becomes our aim, what governs our lives and can sometimes dictate the way we focus our day. We all have something that structures the rhythm of our day. In effect what we submit too.

‘The Bow’ at Damside Mill In Haworth,below, see it next at Saltaire Arts Festival as part of the Sculpture Trail. September  Sat 13 – Sun 14 2014 1.00pm to 4.30pm Free Entry.

'The Bow' at Damside

‘The Bow’ at Damside

 

A whole lot of Greek going on

Colour, History, Philosophy, Soul searching

The symbolism and history of Troy is immense, the Trojan horse, not only as great tactic of war and deception but a pivotal moment in ethics of morality. Simon Armitage considers “how we are locked in the same cycles of conflict and revenge, of east versus west, and the same mixture of pride, lies and self-deception that fed the Trojan War”. In the moral world of the Greeks, revenge was the way to go and there was great honour in that. Now in modern or perhaps western understanding there is a shift because of the way society is organised and social needs , the way we think of ourselves as human has changed. Perhaps we believe that the shift from vengeance to justice and forgiveness much greater in the moral compass. In many ways we fool ourselves into a deception of thinking how we would react, if a situation would arise that provoked us would be vengeful?

I felt I needed to research a little bit before writing about this piece but consequently it is harder to finish. It has taken a bit more working out. Having studied Classics at A level, the subject is not too foreign however, my memory appalling. In its own twist of fate I happened to listen to a ‘Start the Week’ episode on Radio 4 about Greek Tragedy and it would appear that with the memorial of world war one this year there is a harbouring back to the past about war and tragedy. Perhaps I am scrambling up all that was discussed in the programme and not coming out with much sense but it highlighted to me again the idea of the subconscious interconnection of ideas between artists. In this case there is definately a lot focus on Greek history this month. So in a good arts and culture plug: The Last Days of Troy is on at the Royal Exchange, Manchester from 8 May – 7 June and then at Shakespeare’s Globe, London from 10 – 28 June. Thebans, with words by Frank McGuinness and composed by Julian Anderson, is at the London Coliseum until 3 June. The writer Kenan Malik’s book ‘The Quest for a Moral compass’ is also out this month and in discussion at the Hay Festival this weekend (30 th May).

In a more rural setting, in a small village a sculpture stands in a studio. This epic piece took its own journey of making ( as you can see from the images in the entry ‘Space to play, place to work’) From a block of polystyrene the craftmanship of this is paramount to those Greek and Roman sculptors of past.

'Troy'

‘Troy’

'Troy'

‘Troy’

It is a contemporary recreation of an idea that fascinates my husband. The horse itself as an animal a majestic creature and the idea that sculptors, craftsmen, creators have been making things for centuries. This work may seem very different in style from recent works which have been more minimal more geometric such as the ‘Souls’ pieces.

There is the link of colour but there is also the link of ‘Soul’. For me ‘Troy’ is not just the idea of a tactic of war and of armies or military power. It is the shift from the outward reality to the internal.  The human condition internalized. We may not personally seek vengeance on the gods as in Greek history but we analyse and over analyse our behaviour our minds. However, like the horse on the outside, impressive, beautiful and an object of admiration, inside destruction is about to manifest. So, today are we, on the individual level, all about making an external impression, beautifying ourself and showing off our achievements.  Objectifing and materializing. We forget our integrity and what is hiding within. Our own internal beauty gets lost and so where is our ‘Soul’.

 

Landscape and Symbolism

Exhibitions, Philosophy, Soul searching

To make the most of my morning, after dropping eldest child and at school and youngest at preschool, then taking the car to the garage, filling in exhibition forms for my husband, I decided to go for a run to the monuments behind our house. It felt symbolic as I went there shortly after the birth of my first child and had a very emotional kind of cathartic outpouring at being detached from him for the first time. Now six years later I am without the children for the mornings and its been a rather strange mix of emotions and experiences. So to go for, what I decided was ‘rulking’ felt the right thing to do.

I had to take my phone with me as I knew I would be having to discuss what pieces to submit in the Bradford Open, which due to my distraction with the ‘school run’ missed the yesterday deadline for the local drop off. I then made use of the phone taking some rather nice photos of the monuments to draw parallel with the pieces ‘Adam and Eve’ but for some odd reason the computer will not let me upload them. Perhaps it know they are not ‘Sculptures’. So the whole point of my Landscape and Symbolism is not quite working with the lack of landscape images. I did ponder on Friday thoughts…..but it is more like an over tired rambling.

Anyway, my husband had to drive to Haworth to collect the pieces he had decided to put in as they were in the newly re-finshed Damside Mill.

To try to end on a more meaningful Friday philosophy; the landscape and lighting is changing and it was that which made me see the monuments in a different way. It is, indeed always changing, through seasons and generations. Made me ponder about the past and people who have gone before us. Sometimes we think we are alone in a quest to get somewhere when thousands like us both now and from the past have the same challenges. As human beings we are all searching for some kind of peace and contentment both externally and internally. I personally feel the world has strayed far from what gives us just that.  We’ve created a whole load of distractions from wholesome natural living.
With the cleverly re-used gym floor on the wall as the backdrop ‘Adam and Eve’ are symbols, a sculptural language of the simplicity that life is. A simple symbol in a landscape of chaos.
Adam and Eve

‘Adam and Eve’

adam and Eve 2

‘Adam and Eve’

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

‘SHE’

Colour, Exhibitions, Galleries, Mother and Child, Relationships

she

Just noticed that SHE is the first three letters of SHENDI, which has nothing to do with the name of the exhibition. Shendi is the name of a town in northern Sudan, situated on the east bank of the Nile River 150 km northeast of Khartoum. I don’t know if the family name traces back to the town but it does have a certain ring to it. When I first met my husband my brother was only 14 and took it on as a nickname, not quite sure exactly why. I debated for a while about taking the name on, in Egypt woman don’t take the husband’s name, they keep their father’s name. All to do with lineage rather than belonging to a man, fascinating.

The exhibition  is simply ‘SHE’ as in, female, woman, girl. It is a joint exhibition with the delicate painter  Anu Samarüütel which nicely compliments the solid sculptures of ‘Shendi. My husband went to set up today on this sunny day after a busy day. I will upload some of the set up pictures on my new facebook page ‘The Sculptors Wife’. The colour used by both artists is uplifting and cheerful. Anu has strong links with fashion and design as does my husband’s work. I hope I can get over and see it, the exhibition will run for  a month at Red Brick Mill, Batley.

red she

‘The Keyhole man’ guarding the door for the SHE exhibition!

Sutra

Colour, Connections, Philosophy, Public Art, Soul searching

A little capsule of culture entered my life yesterday which already seems like a dream, as it felt like a dream itself. Boxes like coffins or bathtubs, ships or tower blocks used in numerous imaginative ways. Effective lighting and manipulated shadows made for sculptural inspiration. A sound world of single cello, violin and piano made you lose all thoughts within a captivating display of movement from the monk marshal arts dancers. The opening of this show began with two figures like a Father and Son, Puppeteer and puppet or Creator and Man; sat on a box playing a game that becomes the performance, Sutra Dance Consortium. Have a little glimpse of it;

My mind, hypnotised couldn’t go past the minimalistic figure, the human form, the individual verses society. Conforming, confronting, obeying, order and uniformity. Isolated. As though it was all inspired by my husband’s piece;

isolated 2

‘Isolated’

isolated

‘Isolated 2013’

After the show my friends opened up another dimension of ideas, flowers, the world, creation, the creator, the pilgrimage. Endless possibilities. I wanted to hear the thoughts of all the audience, to tap into the fireworks of isolated ideas that bounced off this futuristic space and around our minds. I felt as though I had been thrown into a different world for a brief moment, the setting at The Lowry in Salford so different from my usual environment. The architecture, the light, the metal, the water reflecting a futuristic modern world polors apart from my green hills and muddy puddles, and daily life without wellies. We become isolated in our own world and forget there are others around us. It was a moment of inspiration a time to refresh, recharge and re-energize. Taken into another world of ideas and imagination.

The Owl Challenge

Drawings, Relationships
Mr. Owl

‘Owl’

So from the heights of previews and openings in London to the day-to-day drawings at home with his boys. Today’s challenge from our eldest son was to draw an owl never seen before. Even I had ago! (though I am not going to upload my drawings on here) This mixes the cartoon designer, the interest in fashion and the conceptual sculptural ideas all in one sketch! Happy sketching:)