Luna London Art Fair

Colour, Exhibitions, Galleries, Publications

We have been ‘Moon’ spotting over the last weeks as it has been noticeably spectacular. One evening last week when driving back from swimming lessons the moon appeared to be sat on the horizon with just the smallest of slithers glowing around the edge and yet you could still see the full outline of the full circle. It was magic.

When we were in Egypt we saw a huge reddish moon, large and low but it is tricky to get a good image of the moon. In the news this week apparently the Chinese have managed to grow a shoot on the moon. Not sure how true that is! Linking to the Chinese, the character for ‘moon’ is above and so is a three-dimensional sculptural version which is currently being exhibited with AN gallery, a Korean gallery at London Art Fair. Whilst the lines of the brush strokes almost correspond exactly to the coloured piping at this angle, the beauty of a sculptural form is that it can be viewed at many angles and creates a whole new perspective.

The colour positioning in this piece creates a pictorial view. A red moon, I think I questioned this before I saw the real deal by the red sea. Perhaps also representing the Japanese flag which also uses this moon character. A pink sky, a green tree, black earth. These colours are also deemed to be lucky colours in Chinese culture.

 

In the early hours of Tuesday morning or more like the middle of the night, the sculptor was up with his aches and pains and setting off with van and sculpture down to London Art Fair. This meant I had to take youngest child (who usually sleeps in) with me, to drop of eldest child, so to make it easier for breakfast, I put weetabix in a jar and we poured over the milk whilst we sat in the car park. One of my first jobs was to remember to pay for congestion charges for their drive through London.

By mid-morning I got a very quick snatched call from a panicked sculptor who said they had chipped sculpture on the way in and that the gallery who he is exhibiting with wasn’t on the ground floor.  So the sculptor was stressed and then he had to dash. So I couldn’t concentrate on my invoice inputting…

The next call was to say he couldn’t check in to the hotel until 3pm and he was tripping and dripping and really wanted to sleep but had to look around the other stands.

I don’t often think ‘we’ titled a sculpture wrongly (the emphasis on the ‘we’ here) but I am starting to wonder whether we should have named this piece ‘Luna’, the Roman personification of the divine embodiment of the moon would link nicely with this still being seen as the outline of a figure.

The sculptor headed home yesterday on the train with lots of stories to tell me. An interesting meeting  which I’m trying not to get too excited about as it’s early days and sometimes these things don’t happen. But positive thinking. London Art Fair continues until Sunday, if you are in London why not head to the business Centre (52 Upper Street, London) to check it out.

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Sculptor in a painting

collections, Old Masters, Relationships

painting

Lucca Indracollo’s painting reminds me of a still shot from an Italian mafia movie. The figure, like a God father surrounded in mysterious, cloaking cloud. Powerful and yet with head tilted down and hands in a prayer like position there is an air of submission and of reverence, maybe regret or remorse. Despite the dark mood there is no fear or threat. Yet there is something devilishly handsome, as though he can raise his head up in a second and capture you with a captivating look. Perhaps this is all easy for me to write because the model for the painting, so realistically so, is my husband the sculptor. Lucca kindly sent us a photo of the painting that was in exhibition, Face Value, in London this past month. I obviously was captivated by it as, very excited   we decided we had to have it. The sculptor is a bit unsure how it will be having a painting of him up on the wall but I really wanted it and well, at least there are no pineapples that’s all I can say. (See the portrait the sculptor did of me!)

So as I am writing this is the showroom on this grey, wet, miserable, cold Thursday afternoon the door squeaks open and a delivery guy walks in with a large box.

 

I immediately know what it is. Opening the box, which I tried to video for instagram footage was much trickier than I expected. Not quite possible to hold the camera and open a rather large parcel with only two hands. However, I unveil the beautiful paining which has arrived in perfect condition and completely stunning.

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It’s amazing to see the oil up close, the application of the paint and just how much it looks like my husband. I told him, “I now have you immortalised”.

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Who am I?

Mother and Child, Relationships, Soul searching

The age old existential question, Who am I?

We can easily describe ourselves in labels, as I have done for the name of my site, The Sculptor’s Wife. We can be wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend or husband, father, brother, son but that doesn’t make us who we are. I remember my sister telling me this after she had been in a lecture where they were asked to do this exercise and she had described herself in labels. Roles, which do play an important part in what we do.

In thinking about this, I took a little quiz at www.quizony.com which  kindly told me I was balanced, emotionally stable, a calm steady force and anchor for those around me. Without blowing my own trumpet I’d say that was pretty acurate. I need to be in a house with three male Shendi’s all with artistic temperaments (whatever that means). However, this painting might suggest otherwise:

Painting of me

Painting, The Sculptor’s Wife. by Sam Shendi 2018

 

The sculptor painted this earlier in the year whilst we were doing home improvements and whilst doing so we moved around the paintings. My husband re-used an old canvas of his which had been framed. There are several amusing things about this painting. I am green, I am holding a pineapple like a baby, I am wearing a pearl necklace which I don’t own. I think I look very severe with a nose like a smurf, not calm and anchored at all. Perhaps I do look anchored. I somehow look routed to the spot not willing to move from my view point. The funny thing is I think it looks very much like my Aunty, my Dad’s sister. Although, as I have lived with this portrait staring down at me in my kitchen over the last few months it does have an air of resemblance, despite it being like a caricature. I do tend to have pink cheeks!

I started this blog nearly nine years ago almost just as a documentary for myself not with intention of people reading it. This year I am really starting to think about growing it (any tips/advice on how to greatly received). Prompting me to consider where it is going and where I am going as me, myself. My desire to write. To expand. My role as wife and mother is pretty central to my day to day living and purpose. I manage much of the admin for both our kitchen business and our expansion into the art world with sculpture. In today’s world if we are not career driven then it can be seen as not aspirational and as though being a homemaker is not ambitious enough, as though it is something from the 1950’s. I think and hope ‘we’ are turning a corner in what defines success and how to achieve happiness.

 I started this year with ‘purpose’ as an intention. Not having a resolution but a word for the year. In doing so I have set goals and now well on my way to achieving them which gives me hope for 2019. There are so many more ways to learn and self improve than doing so through a structure of a system designed by others.

Last night whilst reading to my son the character was saying that everything happened by chance. I said I didn’t agree and that when things happened it was fate. My son said they were the same thing, but in discussing it, we decided fate was more connected faith. When you have faith then everything happens for a reason. It has a more hopeful outlook than merely chance. I think I would describe myself as a woman of faith but like everything it is all a practice. In current society that brings about many challenges.

‘To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson.

For those new to reading my blog thank you for reading. I am, to use the labels, wife to the sculptor Sam Shendi. I write about the sculptures, art and day to day life with an artist and as the mother of two active and growing boys. I am seemingly, a calm, balanced regal pineapple!

You can also follow me on instagram @thesculptorswife.

 

Paintings and Puppets

Relationships

This is a week late in the posting as I have been a bit out of it for a few days. So it was actually two weekends ago that the boys and I took part in a puppet parade. Whenever I hear from others about interesting events they’ve taken part in or exciting adventures there is always that feeling that these things are good, happy, enjoyable, ‘perfect’ occasions. In a social media world where we upload images of a fleeting moment we can easily forget that life is not always easy breezy. I write this as a precursor to the fact that after two weekends of making the puppets or recycled 3D bugs which in itself had it’s own ups and downs.

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Skipton puppet festival parade start. One of the puppets someone had made.

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Puppet parade skipton

The day of the parade my eldest, whom we had done this activity for was really not well. Despite this, I dragged him out with an additional reluctant younger son insisting on bringing his scooter.

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Our butterfly reluctantly held by son with scooter.

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Poorly boy carrying his dragon fly

I don’t think I had properly thought through the fact that a parade meant we would be walking through the streets with the world watching (or rather a select crowd of local puppet enthusiasts and families on outings). So I walked shyly with the butterfly my younger son and I had made, as he refused to help hanging his skeleton face-painted head over his scooter crying down the high street. Whilst my eldest son forced a smile through his shivering and looked the colour of his green coat  suffering with the weight of his dragon fly. I pretend not to think that anyone saw them kicking each in the other in the shins mid parade as elder son increased in frustration at younger son’s lack of enthusiasm which caused disagreements and unsettlement mid walk. Big sigh. I then had to carry 2 puppets and a scooter, queue for pizza and wait for twenty minutes whilst the boys found a pew to watch a puppet performance. I am sure it was throughly entertaining but I failed to enter the packed marquee overladen with objects.

cactus painting

Cactus Painting by Sam Shendi (2015)

It’s this reality of emotion that we display visibly in our bodies and faces that my husband depicts in his sculptures and newly composed paintings. Paintings which have taken place in the back yard and now, kitchen as the October rain pours down to balance the sunny September we had. The kitchen floor is splattered with paint, the cereal bowls covered in cling film to keep colours fresh and brushes litter the sink. The reality of the artist’s house. The up side of this is enjoying having Baba at home working rather than at the studio or away. We have all enjoyed coming home from school to be greeted with Baba’s great smile and open arms and an occasional cooked tea! In the morning the boys have loved being involved in the decision making of colours and concepts to try.

Life is full of it’s high and low moments. I saw a great check list recently of when things overwhelm or over face us to remember the reality of the world around us.

Isolated painting

Isolated Painting by Sam Shendi (2015)

So we change the thought; ‘I can’t move around the kitchen due to washing maiden and several 4ft canvases’ to a more positive, ‘but at least I have a house full of people in my life sharing a space which is warm and dry’. I have more washing up to do but at least we have food to eat and utensils to eat with. I am tired and achy and probably have what my son has but I have a strong immune system to fight infection and I am alive.

Mime painting

The Mime, Painting by Sam Shendi (2015)

Baden-Baden, Pardon?

Exhibitions

We have a children’s book called ‘The parrot song’ which is a little ditty all about repetition. It mentions the German town of Baden-Baden and for a while in my ignorance I wondered why they had plucked out a town which rhymed with Pardon. I find it quite amusing because in the Arabic language there is no ‘p’ sound so words/letters in English can often me a little tricky for my husband. Baden and Pardon could almost be interchangeable. So when the offer of exhibiting in the German town of Baden-Baden came we had a rather interesting conversation as to whether it was one Baden or two. Needless to say there were numerous Baden’s and Pardon’s.

The connection with Baden-Baden was a racing event and the possibility of exhibiting ‘Troy’. The whole idea snowballed into my husband creating a body of work for a solo exhibition for Baden races. He painted prolifically in our house which was a real pleasure to participate in and be able to watch the process. He built on work we have had for several years. Layering ideas and colours, resulting in paintings like stories. I wish I had recorded the whole process really in todays digital age as it is an art in itself watching him create.

The sculptures, sleek and elegant are more like statements. He created new pieces specifically for the event adding to the already existing smaller horses head-piece ‘Mane’. So the summer was overtaken by preparing for Germany. With nerves, apprehension and excitement he flew to Frankfurt yesterday and onto Baden-Baden. Early this morning the work was arriving by van and I am sincerely praying they arrived safely, in one piece and the installation can begin. (text received all going well)

Here is a glimpse at the absolutely stunning work:

Mane

‘Mane’ by Sam Shendi

head

‘Arion’ by Sam Shendi

racer

‘Racer’ by Sam Shendi

name?

‘Rare Breed’ by Sam Shendi

whipped

‘Taking the Lead’ by Sam Shendi

Dark Horse

‘Dark Horse’ by Sam Shendi

Troy painting

‘Troy’ by Sam Shendi

on fire

‘Spirit’ by Sam Shendi

at the races

‘Once upon a time in Summer’ by Sam Shendi

namless

‘Temple’ by Sam Shendi

crusadercoming through

speed

troy baden

‘Troy’ by Sam Shendi

art at the races

poster of event starting tomorrow

His statement:

“I will be showing this collection at my exhibition at Baden Racing event in Germany from 28th of August to 6th of September. In this exhibition I am showing for the first time in my career paintings, which I have created involving horses to compliment my sculptural work. Being at the Baden racing event is a great opportunity and the perfect place to showcase this theme of work.Growing up in the countryside of Egypt I was surrounded by all kinds of animals in particular horses has influenced me. Not only as a creature but mainly the form and shape fascinated me. How it moves, the muscles and the harmony of the body whilst at speed and stationary. Riding horses in my culture is a natural thing there is no training for it. I believe being an Egyptian that I am a natural rider. The experience of riding has made me feel the body movement of the horse and the communication between the horse’s body and mine.At the faculty of Fine Art in Cairo I chose to be a sculptor, I never used horses as a subject as most of the practice was in the classical realism of human figures. However, when I look back at my sketchbook, every book has one or two drawings of horses. I wouldn’t describe myself as a painter; the prominence of my practice is in sculpting. Although, when I choose to paint the only thing, which comes to mind, are horses. I feel like my hand wills the brush beyond my control to paint them.

My usual sculptural practice is using steel and stainless steel using folding and welding techniques to create minimalistic sculptures to create my concepts. In 2013 I created an unusual piece, slightly different from my usual line of work. I had some material and saw a horse within so I tried to carve it out. I had no real purpose for creating it. The materials and space limited the size I could go to but my intention wasn’t for a full size horse. After several months of carving I realized I was creating my own version of a horse. This prompted the start of a collection and I am exhibiting them all together for the first time. My work reflects experience and memories that most of us share. Using the horse as a subject is a tool to highlight the universal concept to point out the strength within us, the harmony of creation of our body and the beauty within.”

Art Swap: ‘In search of Major Tom’ for ‘Poison’ featuring Carlos Martyn Burgos

Art Swap
art swap astro

‘In search of Major Tom’ By Carlos Martyn Burgos

I have been slow to upload these art swaps. I am trying to keep on top of it. This is the beautiful work of Carlos Martyn Burgos, you can see his work at http://www.memakestuff.com. I have liked his work ever since we saw it at The Other Art Fair a couple of years ago. We actually got some prints I still have in a pile of things to frame. So I am pleased we have this original framed and hanging in the living room. IMG_4439

 ‘Put your helmet on…

the stars look very different today…

sitting in a tin can, far above the world..

can you hear me Major Tom…

posion to carols

‘Poison’ by Sam Shendi

…not even knowing the title I thought of David Bowie singing ‘Ground control to Major Tom’. Obviously the space helmet, the astro-girl, outer space feel to the paining all some cues. I love the use of tea, drips and splashes and even evidence of a tea-cup in the left corner here. The detail is also amazing and in this the unusual angle. The boys find it a bit eery, it is unusual but I love it. In my search about the artist I found a fellow word press article and the words that the work is “Fusing elements of the classical, the expressive, the surreal, beauty, darkness and his love of the human form”. This is an interesting link to my husband’s work which is focused on the human form. Like the previous swaps, it seemed such a good connection, perhaps it’s the symbol on this little keyhole man that makes me think of space aliens or darth vader. So for this art swap we sent ‘Poison’ in exchange for ‘In Search of Major Tom’. IMG_4440

Portrait of an artist

Exhibitions, Galleries, Old Masters

 

Portrait

Oil on Canvas by 250 X 140 cm by Luca Indraccolo

 

This is not another art swap (unfortunately..more of that coming soon) but I had to share this. We just got an email through with an image of a painting produced by the most incredibly talented Luca Indraccolo. It is the one which my husband stood for last summer. It is a massive painting, oil on canvas 250 X 140 cm.

For me, this initial view looks mysterious and dark, Italian Mafia meet Turner. It also reminds me when I first met my husband and he said something along the lines of, follow and see how deep the rabbit hole goes. Perhaps this is what he is saying here, though there is more of a sense of foreboding in the painting which wasn’t true in our life. The contrast between the dark depths of the pit below his feet and the white misty landscape behind is stunning. The likeness to my husband is remarkable it looks like a photograph of him. I want to take a closer look so I really hope I can see it in the flesh on day.

If you would like to, it will be on display at ‘Le Dame’ gallery in London from July 9th to the 30th.

Art Swap: ‘Choose London’ for ‘Only Human’ featuring John Clare

Art Swap
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Choose London by John Clare

So the second of our Art Swap pieces by John Clare has been here a little while but after a little re shuffle we have it now hanging in our living room side by side to another piece which I will post later. The two together make a good combination and compliment each other nicely. Many people do choose to go to London, the pull of the bright lights the big city. My husband stayed in London when he first arrived in UK and quickly left. Only now returning for exhibitions or meetings. I went to London after University with the intention of Rowing. Fate intervened and I left after just short of a year. My sister lived there for 7 years.

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The piece hanging in our living room, by John Clare

This framed almost poster like piece came the furthest and survived the post. It appeals more to the three males in our household. I don’t know why skulls do that? The colours are great though and again a link with my husband’s sculpture. Bright, bold and vibrant. I am quite interested in the psychology of the artist and the piece itself. The Keyhole man we swapped it with was ‘Only Human’ which  like the last art exchange, seems an appropriate swap. Almost an answer to the question in Choose London?

'Only Human' by Sam Shendi

‘Only Human’ by Sam Shendi

‘Big Questions’ for ‘I’ll Call you’. Art Swap featuring Sal Jones

Art Swap, Colour, Galleries, Relationships

For the first time in four years of blogging I have lost a post I started. Must mean I didn’t save it which is odd because it usually does it automatically, doesn’t it? But even if it doesn’t I can’t believe I closed it without a reminder for me to save it, or that I even forgot to click the save draft button. Must have been the pre-cursor to the way I felt last night and this morning, not good. So I have had time to write today  from my bedroom, feeling a little under the weather but happy that the sun is starting to shine and it is teasing us with spring. The view from my window a painting in itself. But I digress….

All of this has nothing to do with what I want to write about today which is our first successful art swap. We successfully exchanged ‘The Big Question’:

The big question

‘The Big Question’

with ‘I’ll Call you’ by artist Sal Jones .

So today I am going to write a little bit about her work. It is interesting to see the links and comparisons between painting and sculpture and of course the obvious differences.

I'll Call you by Sal Jones, Oil on canvas

I’ll Call you by Sal Jones, Oil on canvas

Sal Jones focuses on exploring colour and form expressively, aiming to engage the viewer with visually exciting work. Many of her paintings use bold and vibrant colours as my husband’s sculpture usually does. However, The Big Question, above is simple monochrome. I think you can tell when as artist is thinking about the way a viewer might interact with their finished work. It gives a more complete piece of work somehow.

The heightened use of colour adds emotional and expressive dynamic to the work. Many of her pieces have a vivacious quality to them. This one a little more muted, with moody blue tones adds to the story and the suggestion of a dark tunnel ahead.  For me having had a little experience in painting I love the gestural brush marks and the layers of colours. I also am fascinated by the way the suggestive marks give rise to the folds and forms of the fabric. So the light and dark make this piece.

Here is the painting hanging in our hallway, like it was painted to be there. The first things I see when I come out of my room.

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‘I’ll Call you’ by Sal Jones

As the figure is walking away you can almost put yourself in the painting. “By taking an isolated image out of context and using the dialogue as the images title – I’m hoping to create a friction or ambiguity in the reading of the image interpreted in different ways by different viewers depending on their personality and viewpoints and what they bring to their understanding of the subject”. I really appreciate this factor.

Interpretation is everything and an important part of my husband’s work too. Much of Sal Jones’ work features portraits which although I like and she describes more as ‘character studies’, in our small terrace house I don’t think hanging the face of someone would really work. Where as this piece has an abstraction to it because the figure can be anyone, I also like that it is a full figure as many of my husband’s pieces are the female form so there is lovely link there.

Indeed, both the sculpture and the painting tell a story. Like a pictorial book we are invited to create our own words for the images we see. Jones herself states that she is “interested in capturing moments of expression that portray the human psyche, of blurring the boundary between fact and fiction; also in the relationship between the title and image.” Titles are everything, as I said in my last entry about my husband’s laconic titles very different from some of the long-winded titles of many modern minimalist pieces. Sal Jones’ titles are the stories themselves, inspirational points for an aspiring writer.

So we are privileged to have a unique and precious painting on our landing and if you want to see her work you can do from next week at Espacio Gallery . Click the link to another blog entry about the gallery, as my husband has also exhibited there.

Sal Jones exhibits in:

Y Not?
31 March – 5 April 2015
Private View: Thursday 2 April 6-9pm
An exhibition in aid of International Women’s Day.

When dreams become reality, setting up the studio.

Colour, Making, Relationships

It has been a while since I have written, and not for want of writing. Daily life has been busy and other things have taken over my need for writing in the evenings. There could be a thousand words to write against these images but I think they speak for themselves and for now they tell the story of the progress over the last few weeks.

studio day 1

‘Day 1’

building

‘Building workbench 2, all in a days work’

workbench

‘Taking shape’

painting

‘Painting’

studio progress

‘Last touches of paint’

reflection

‘Through the window’

studio relfection

‘Reflection’

sculptures in studio

‘Sculptures ready’

desk

‘Desk in working order’

studio 1

‘Clean and tidy’

studio stage 1

‘Giving the sculptures their space’

stuido image sent

‘Wall of tools’

finish 1

‘How did Van Gough get in their?’

wall built

‘addition of an internal wall for spray room’

wall built side

‘Husband very proud of his handy work’

finish 2

‘Looking good’

finish 3

‘Photo shoot’

studio finish

‘Studio space ready’

“Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you.”
Marsha Norman