After several years of carving, crafting, working and whipping up huge sculptural stories, tonight in Johannesburg the opening of my husband solo show will showcase all that work in one space at Graham’s Fine Art Gallery (photos from the gallery)
The sculptor was amazed to see himself larger than life. ( I see this everyday!) but literally plastered all over the building.
A month at sea, a stay in the port and then the drive from Durban to Johannesburg to the gallery, the sculptures arrived not quite without hiccup.
A few damaged and the repair kit missing added to the drama. However, hoping today that has all been fixed. I haven’t heard any updates so praying that everything is going well.
So he spent an intense day unloading and setting up.
Yesterday, he had interviews.
Tonight the show will open. I am so excited all the way back home here in North Yorkshire and anticipating hearing all about it….find out more tomorrow.
This is the latest piece in the Giant Collection which I wrote about in an earlier post, the other two now stand proudly in Berkeley square house, London. Yesterday this piece, with much relief just about fitted into the hired van and went down to London with the sculptor and his right hand man. It is to be exhibited this week in Flux exhibition which was covered in FAD magazine. ( which you can see in the link). Anyway, enough of the promotion.
The Giant collection looks at stages in mental depression. Despite class or education most people all share a high level of knowledge and depth of thought. Looking through the history of art, some of the best art has been produced at a time of depression that the artist went through. The “Giant” collection speaks of three periods of depression which resulted in three sculptures presenting, the beginning with the silent period (Bird whisperer) and the middle period when every small thing becomes a heavy weight on your shoulders (Atlas). Lastly, the break through when the person comes out through the other side (Big Step). This collection is brightly coloured even though its portraying a dark period. Some of us agree that the period of depression is a period of realisation and self discovery. Sometimes we need that grappling with ourselves to become enlightened.
I like this photo above because of the shadows, which play an important role in my husbands work. With himself in the picture we can see the scale of this work but also his shadow is cast within the shadow of the sculptor, as though the sculptor is within his sculpture.
When asked how he created his masterpiece, Michelangelo said, “It was easy. You just chip away that which does not look like David.” I think my husband works in this same way. He sees the sculpture within the material.
Whilst my husband is focusing on the art of creating art. I have been looking into the art of tidying and de-cluttering in order to make more space within the space of our home. One of my discoveries wasMaura, who uses the Michelangelo quote and goes on to say. “What if our lives are our masterpiece? What if we chipped away all that was unnecessary, all the clutter and the busyness, and focused on that which really mattered – our passions and our relationships.”
A few months ago I read Marie Kondo’s book The art of tidying which prompted me to start with clothing and thinking about what ‘Spark’s joy’. But now I am more in a state of purging, of de-cluttering and de-owning things that really don’t serve any purpose. It’s an interesting battle as I look at a shelf and think I want that to be empty and free, that’s easy. It’s hard when you first look at something and somehow it has memories and attachments for what ever reason. However, It is so liberating though when it works. In my kitchen, I got rid of things I wasn’t using, re ordered the cupboards and have created more work surface area. As the sculptor is now in London for a few days with the exhibition, I have boys and business and home and school to manage. Yesterday evening we came in late after Taekwando and despite being unorganised in not knowing what we were having for tea, the tidy kitchen surfaces aided my ability to create a vegan concoction (as it was world vegan day apparently). So ratatouille was rustled up and couscous and stuffed peppers, thanks to Deliciously Ella, but alas in an attempt to de-clutter the freezer I had to cook the world’s most spiciest sausages (not so vegan) for the boys just incase the veggie attempts were too scary. They had great pleasure in daring each other to eat as many pieces of sausage without drinking any water. Needless to say those sausages will not be bought again,though they did have the advantage of being in a cardboard box not plastic. This is my other consideration at the moment, as I de-clutter and then look at how much waste we produce from a household of four- a ridiculous amount! The zero waste movement seems to be the next step after de-cluttering, not sure how I will get everyone onboard with that idea!
As I delve into this strange cyber world of woman tidying up their houses, I realise and am reminded that in normal everyday conversation we rarely speak of the state of our house work. This leads me nicely to a writer in New Zealand who’s latest published piece ‘Homework‘ looks into the demands of domesticity and how perhaps we have lost the dignity in priding ourselves on how we keep our house. When people ask me what do I do, do I say home maker?
So, to my last link, of this very heavily laden linked post, and back to the sculpture: what breakthroughs are you making today? What big steps forward are you taking? At home, at work, in your art? What are you chipping away at? Keep at it. Best foot forward.
There is a bite in the air, the season is changing. As my eldest son and I drove to swimming lessons the other night we spotted trees turning from their summer green into autumn shades. We saw a miraculous site of birds glistening in the sunset like pieces of glitter floating in one contained space. My son described them like ticks using his hands and saying it’s how Baba makes birds, he was transfixed. The shift from summer to autumn always feels more significant to me then any other season. It’s a reminder that all things fade away. We also had news this weekend of a family member in Egypt passed away. Deeply saddening, life changing news. But, there is always change. A kind of transportation, from one realm to another. Transformation.
“When change visits your life, you can be sure things are turning for the better. It may not look that way in the very moment change arrives, but if you will wait a while and have faith in the process, you will see that this is true.” (Taken from someone-lost the reference)
I have been thinking about this as my link to the transportation of sculptures. We’ve done so many trips to London (I write we but it’s the sculptor, the sculptures). I just sort out the congestion charges and ‘wo’-man the shop. Over the summer ‘we’ ventured into Europe with ‘a man with a van’ for exhibition in Germany. The sculptor flew out to meet them and then back out to pack them up. In a quick turn around ‘we’ then had pieces going to Paris.
I had a whimsical fantasies of going as well. In fact with this trip the sculptor didn’t go. We relied on the driver taking them to the gallery and the unload and unwrap happening without my husband. The exhibition opened last Friday. But really that is much more cost effective than having to fly out to meet the sculptures on the other side. It’s amazing how memories can take us to a place though. Thinking of Paris transports me to a time in my early twenties, still searching for myself. I took myself off with a black and white SLR and not enough warm clothing for a February weekend in Paris. Consequently the cold somehow lured me into a ‘Coiffeurs’ and I came out with my hair red.
Well as I reminisce, the reality of this trip was that the driver had problems finding the gallery so I had to practise my very rusty A-level French with a hotel reception staff which our gallery contact number went through to. I couldn’t ‘unlock the language’ and was a little disheartened, when he asked me if I preferred to speak English and he continued to speak in received pronunciation.
Yesterday the sculptor was down to London and back to take ‘Aphrodite’ to Passion of Freedom. At the end of the week he will be back down again for the opening and picking up other pieces to then go somewhere else. At the moment my husband is almost constantly on the road. I am loosing track as to where pieces are! The difficulty with sculpture is the cost and space of moving them from place to place. Transporting them.
There is something about the space that transforms the sculptures. Having space around them to be able to view from different angles makes all the difference to sculpture. Space, dimensions and time all have connections both in sculpture and thinking. Which links me nicely back to this autumn days which have come around so fast again. This year has past by me again making me reflect that I am still waiting for that moment of transformation. When I am totally in the present and not wishing away time or clock watching, waiting for the next milestone or event. I am definitely better at it than I was. The best of thinking is to reflect on creation ‘How am I’? Taking ourselves into account, especially when we don’t know what the future holds. If poetry, art, sculptures helps to give us those gentle remind us then it’s a useful vehicle. The chrysalises gradually transforms into the butterfly. Transporting us from one way of thinking to the next.
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.
‘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…
…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’.
Some times things do just happen all at once or as though things are happening as they are meant to. Serendipity, just sprung to mind. What a word ! it means a “happy accident” or “pleasant surprise”. This is exactly what happened the other week when I was walking, with a friend in a place I usually run and we spotted a sign saying unit to let. After a few conversations and phone calls by the end of this month this will be ‘The Studio’.
Oh yes it snowed here again this week. Spring is surely nearly here? The sun has been out but it is still bitterly cold but so good to be out and about.
It’s very exciting on so many levels. It’s finally a space for the sculptures we have, a place to do the spray painting, a place that experiments can happen. Simply put ‘Space’. I also suddenly had visions of the sunnier days and the boys being able to play around here and a new place to spend time making and creating. Great timing too following last weeks news. We still have to sort out what happens next so that things can go into process for the ‘Evolution’ sculpture . For now we can focus on getting the studio ready. The studio we weren’t specifically searching for, great ‘serendipity’.
Espacio is Spanish for ‘space’ (as in distance between objects). It is interesting how the space a gallery has can aid the whole exhibition. My husband felt that this was one of the most successful opening events he had been to. The space literally aiding the event, people were comfortable, air conditioning,enough room to view the work. It is only on for a few more days, I had hoped to put this up still in September but the months are flying past. Back down on Wednesday again to collect the work and hey-ho we are in October already. There is not enough ‘space’ (as in intervals of time) in the day to get everything I want to do done. Yet I recall a few hours ago standing by the window, looking out wondering what to do with myself. A little bit like the ‘Mother and child’ in the window of the gallery. http://www.espaciogallery.com/