Doubts and dreams.

Exhibitions, Galleries

“I don’t believe anyone ever suspects how completely unsure I am of my work and myself and what tortures of self-doubting the doubt of others has always given me.” ― Tennessee Williams

All artists have self doubts.

My husband often has his doubts and uncertainties simultaneously with a very clear dream and extraordinarily clear talent. The moment of finding his style was a pivotal point. Not in no longer having those doubting moments but more determined.

It is amazing how just taking a moment to stop and observe can help you clear your mind. As I ate my particularly prepared porridge and looked out the window, I captured a moment. A bird perched in a tree finding shelter from the wind. How much protection it found? I wondered, as the tree danced with the movement of the strong gusts on this cold and blustery January morning.

Even within language we may not all be visualising the same thing. If we say ‘tree’, what type of tree is it. What are you thinking of? A willow drooping low and forlorn, a palm reaching energetically tall, a busy evergreen, a strong oak with branches stretching outwards. Is it a tree made out ladies legs? What concept do we have in our own mind’s eye.

bird branch

‘The Branch’ will be shown at FLUX , The Rag Factory. London. FEB 18th-22nd

It is easy to think of trees as strong and immoveable. As the numerous branches move like dancing arms outside it makes me understand that nothing remains the same. Everything is moving, flowing, shaking, changing.

I had a big writers wobble the other day after reading my brother’s newly formed blog. I had a sudden large wave of self-doubt as I compared my own skills with his, unfavourably. Immediately seeing his confident youthful writing style as superior to my own rather than thinking that it is just a different way of writing.

sketch doubts

‘A sketch’ by Sam Shendi

Perhaps a tiny slip of the deadly envy creeped in or a little bit of sibling rivalry but it didn’t last long. I don’t harbour bad and unnecessary feelings for long. Especially towards my younger brother to whom I am maternally overprotective of. I used it positively. It made me realise that I had to focus on my own style and my own direction.

Observing nature helped too, the bird in the tree. We all have moments where we doubt ourselves. The wind shakes the branches of our spirit a little. It makes us grow and develop. My brother who is writing about his recent travels, tells me he hasn’t changed. People don’t change. Perhaps travel doesn’t change us. I think though, if the experience doesn’t change us then time will. Travelling inwardly to the depths of our soul should change us. If we want to change the world then we have to start with ourselves.

with a bird

‘Conversation with a bird’ by Sam Shendi

I have read lots of beautifully brilliantly written blogs over the last four years, here are 8 I would recommend:

http://outsideairblog.com/                             https://knowthesphere.wordpress.com/

http://winterowls.com/                                  https://pathsofthespirit.wordpress.com/

https://ittosjournal.wordpress.com/              http://wharnsby.com/

https://haywardhelen.wordpress.com/         https://emmasouthlondon.wordpress.com/

“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.”- Robert Hughes. Perhaps. I guess it is one of those emotions, it is only human. ‘Only Human’ my husband’s exhibition at Cartwright Hall will end on 23rd February. So one more month to go and view it.

So my mantra for this month. Stop doubting and start daring to dream.

sketchbooks display

‘Sketchbooks’ on display at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery

cellar gallery

‘Only Human’ exhibition at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery

Drawing upon Drawing

Drawings, Galleries, Workshops

So much has been happening of late that I haven’t had time to finish a blog entry. I was thinking of merging them into one but will try to be focused and get it done in two.

The sculptor has had various interesting meetings recently which included a workshop for the first time which went well. It was focused on his exhibition and for the participants to create a sculpture but he wanted the group to focus on drawing their idea first. A large collection of work went in a restaurant in the middle of Bradford city centre, and that followed with a radio interview for BBC Radio Leeds. (Sound bite will only last for the night 3 days and he is speaking at roughly 40.43).

The sculptor talking about ‘drawing’ at the responses to art workshop

The sculptor talking about ‘drawing’ at the responses to art workshop

We all went for ‘The Big Draw’ at Cartwright Hall during half term and had well over 100 people draw on huge paper which we intended to wrap around the building but it was too windy on the day when we wee finishing. It was really interesting to see patterns in drawing.

_DSC4401

Four year olds drawing of people, The BIg Draw 29th October

Lots of 4-year-old drawing circles, dots and lines to represent bodies. Parents drawing houses, some finding inspiration from their family. A grandparent sat for a good while some fantastic shading in of a beautiful snail his granddaughter had drawn. A young boy drew his fish tank with amazing detail and a family came in to warm up from the park and covered their paper in ducks and birds and visions inspired by Lister Park. Upstairs in the gallery Tim Curits , another local artist who does lots of drawing in his own practise, they were looking at a college and self portraits and making pictures of themselves with newspaper. Drawing upon a lovely collection of Hockney’s drawings and college work.  Our eldest, feeling comfortable to roam the gallery by himself went to see what was happening in Tim’s workshop and usually keen to do anything creative declined out of loyalty to Baba downstairs. It was the first time for my husband to do this community art workshop event. We had thought that we would ask family to look at each other and draw each other , perhaps looking at the style of my husband’s sculpture. However, when its a drop in and the numbers fluctuate with busier times and quieter times it was just good to see people sitting and drawing and not being too prescriptive.

The gallery was a hive of activity and what was also interesting was seeing on one wall in the Hockney exhibition, all the drawings were hung at child’s eye level and there were little drawings of Hockney to find around the exhibition. So with the Big Draw event, Julia Donaldson exhibition and curators hanging work directly for children there is no better place or time to introduce children to the wold of museums and galleries so I totally agree with Jake Chapman and his quite ridiculous statement about children and galleries.

_DSC4442

Our eldest’s drawing at The bIg draw event at Cartwright

Children aren’t suddenly going to want to go to an art gallery at 18 if they have been ousted in infancy. Art and drawing is already squeezed out of the main stream too much. Drawing is such an important and valuable skill and something we forget to continue to do as we grow older. With my husband and eldest constantly drawing it is something that happens in our house naturally but something I personally don’t take time to do. After such a busy half term the house is in a state where I have drawers to wash, draws to put things away into, we have been rushing around so much and leaving a mess.

I noticed this morning a sudden drop in temperature, the skyline grey and wintry. Like shades of  newly sharpened pencils crisp and fresh. Time to sit down, wrap up and draw.

 

 

The evolution of ‘Evolution’.

Exhibitions, Galleries, Public Art

It has been a welcome break to be offline and unplugged for a month. However in today’s world I am not sure how possible it is to keep that up. We have evolved into an online society. So much  has been happening in the ‘Sculptural World’ I am not sure I can catch up with what has past. So will have to run with real-time and tell you what is happening today and coming up this month. In all things Yorkshire, we have two solo exhibitions happening locally.

This evening we open at Damside Mill ‘Evolution’ an exhibition about the journey of work over the last 14 years. An interesting collection of work from the bronze beginnings to the recent modern minimalism. Join us tonight for the preview:

flyer

At the same time ‘Evolution’ the sculpture has moved from its first location outside ‘The Royal British Sculpture Society’ and now stands proudly in Lister Park awaiting the accompaniment of two other larger piece for ‘Art in the Park’. We are also getting ready for the exhibition  ‘Only Human’ at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery which opens on August 13th and runs until February 2015. It seems serendipitous that I have been visiting this place since I was 10, worked there and last year our eldest son learnt to ride his bike in this exact spot. As a family we have been on a journey through this creative space. Would highly recommend a visit.

'Evolution' in Lister Park, Bradford

‘Evolution’ in Lister Park, Bradford

‘Only Human’ by Sam Shendi – What’s on – Bradford Museums & Galleries

Exhibitions

So excited!! After a lengthy visit from Curator Sonja Kielty to the Studio last month an exhibition was agreed for this year. See Cartwright Hall Art Galleries Exhibition programme below:

via Only Human by Sam Shendi – What’s on – Bradford Museums & Galleries.

A rare moment

Connections, Exhibitions, Galleries

My husband and I had a rare moment both together and also going to an opening at a local exhibition. Most exciting that it was to see his work in it and at a place where I have worked. His pieces looked fantastic in the space and it is amazing how the space around them makes them more impressive.

adam and E

‘Adam and Eve at Cartwright Hall’

cartwright

‘The sperm’ and ‘The girl next door’ in Cartwright Hall

impressive

The work covered two long exhibition spaces on the first floor at Cartwright Hall Museum and there was a high standard and variety of   prints and paintings, one of which my husband spontaneously bought, a very blue oil landscape of Bradford with an industrial look and fantastic details and use of light. Apparently we are re-painting the living room for it to go on the chimney wall. Only then did it dawn on my husband that the work is in exhibition till January so we wouldn’t be taking it home with us there and then. Will give us time to get painting then!? Anyway plenty of time if you are local to go and take a look at the exhibition. I would definitely recommend taking a trip into Lister Park and visiting Bradford Open 2013. Well worth a look.

Sketching space 2

Children sketching the sculptures

There were few sculptures though, so my husband’s work took the floor space focus. I was really happy to see several children enjoying the work and sitting down in front of the sculptures sketching them. One of the boys who has been sketching came to see my husband and he gave him on of his brightly coloured cards with a sculpture on the front.  When we stood next to ‘Adam and Eve’ another boy came up to look at them, particularly liking the holes and said ” Have you seen the other one in the other room, it is like a ball and it’s got this shape (he pointed to the diamonds in ‘Adam’) going this way and he made lines from his ears. Then the boy said “Did you make it” and it felt like a rare moment of observing  child interacting and meeting with an Artist.

 

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!