Tuesday 26 January 2010

Ups downs and diagonals

I am currently in a glass case of emotion as Anchor Man would say. On one hand I am being made redundant from my gallery job as the said gallery is to be closed next month to become, wait for it... a football museum.
I don't mind football, I just don't think the world needs another football themed venue in a city that already boasts two massive football clubs with their own museums and days out for the kids.

Manchester always claims to be a hive of culture and creativity yet the actual art scene is quite small in comparison to other cities such as Liverpool. It seems such a waste to take away a centre that encouraged local talent and public involvment in the arts.

On the other hand I am quite enjoying January so far! I suppose it's the contrast of the loss of job and cultural venue that makes me so pleased to be involved in the art scene through my own work.

Last week saw the private view of Through the Looking Glass; The Past 10 Years of Comme Ca Art, at the Lowry Hotel. I was one of the artists showing work and was really impressed by the overall quality and standard of work by Northwest artists.

Me standing by my nautical 'All at Sea' art work at Comme Ca's private view

The exhibition is on until 2nd March and is well worth the visit; displayed in the lush bar area of the Hotel, the work includes vivid paintings to make you think and memorable images that are just enjoyable to look at!

Myself and my good friend Joanna had a fun time smoozing and taking in the work on the opening night, we particualalry liked the art work by Vincent James for his unusual mixture of subject matter and his use of vinyl as outline.

Cactus Spiralicus by Vincent James. Image taken from www.commecaart.com

I am at another private view this week, the Waterside Open 2010 at Waterside's Art Centre. I'm happy to be one of the artists put through to exhibit.

My painting
Miss How Can I Help You? #1 will be on show until 1st May. The opening night begins at 7.30pm, so if you are attending I'll see you there!

Joanna and myself at Comme Ca's opeing night feeling nautical

Monday 18 January 2010

A bumper month!

To begin the new year I am taking part in two exhibitions this month!

The first is with Comme Ca Art at The Lowry Hotel in Salford. This exhibition is to be Comme Ca's first of 2010,

'A way to kick start the next decade of Comme Ca Art, this group show will aim to visually summarise the interests and aims of Comme Ca over the past decade. The focus will be on bringing together diverse and individual artists united by the common interest in producing contemporary fine art of a high standard'

As a way of marking Comme Ca's continuing interest with emerging local artists I have been asked to contribute. I will be showing two of my All at Sea pieces, which have been showcased on this blog as they were being created!

Through The Looking Glass; The Past 10 years of Comme Ca Art
Private View Thurs 21st Jan 6 - 8pm
Thurs 21st Jan - Tues 2nd March

The Lowry Hotel

The second exhibiton is the Waterside Open Arts Exhibition. This is the second biannual national open exhibition inviting artists to submit work to be shown as part of a high profile show taking place in Sale's Waterside Arts Centre.

Award winners will be announced on the evening of the private view and visitors of the exhibition can vote for their favourite piece in the Visitors Choice Award
(Get voting guys!).
I submitted two pieces from my 9 to 5 diptich, with Miss How Can I Help You? #1 being put through by the panel of judges!

Waterside Open 2010
Private View Thurs 28th Jan 7.30pm

Fri 29th Jan - Sat 1st May

Waterside Arts Centre

Frankly my dear I do give a damn!

I celebrated my birthday last week, and contrary to the belief that a birthday so soon after Christmas must be a quiet affair, mine lasted four days!

One of my presents was Gone With The Wind in paperback form, a brilliant coincidence since I am currently reading 'Frankly My Dear' by Molly Haskell; a book that looks into the making and creating of both the book and the film taking into account the lives of the author Margaret Mitchell and the many great actors who made GWTW such a classic and much loved story.

I have loved the film (which incidentally saw it's 70th anniversary last year!) since I was small and first watched it in installments (five I think) with my Mum after we got back from our weekly swimming. It was of course Scarlett who attracted me first, my fascination with female sexuality and empowerment, which began at a very early age, was here packaged in the gorgeous form of Vivien Leigh. I admired without real understanding Scarlett's determination, bravery and selfishness. Her version of femininity undoubtedly stayed in my imagination and has gone on to influence my art work.

She embodied a type of female character I'd never seen before and one which isn't often celebrated in films; Manipulative, unmaternal, masuline minded and bold yet successful and popular. As Rhett Bulter says in admiration, 'What a woman'.

After watching the film again this weekend I am once again full of love for Scarlett and Vivien. Vivien brought a feline like quality to the role, and a depth of understanding that made Scarlett more than a one dimensional bitch. I am especially in love with the scene where she enters the barbeque at Twelve Oaks and systematically enchants every male in the room while encurring the wrath of every women.

Vivien Leigh went on to become the darling of the theatrical scene alongside her husband Lawrence Olivier. During the 30's and 40's they appeared in a collection of Westend hits with Vivien taking on other challenging film roles including the sensitive production Waterloo Bridge. Yet she never achieved the same fame and recognition as for her role in GWTW. She suffered from recurrent tuberculosis and mental illnesses and died far too young at the age of 54.

Aside from the endless debates about race and American history the film always kicks up, my main love for Gone With the Wind stems from the female viewpoint. The strong female performances of Hattie McDaniels and Olivia De Hallivand. A sheer adoration of Scarlett O Hara, a woman I would probably steer well clear of in real life. Applaud for the actress who portrayed her to perfection and a girly affection for a love story plain and simple. Lets not forget the absolutely gorgeous Clark Gable who played Rhett as he should be played; with swagger, charm and irony.

GWTW here's to another 70 years!

Sunday 3 January 2010

Rainbow Watch

Hi guys and happy new year!

My first post of the year is to show you the finished portait of Rainbow. This was a commission I took on last year for a dear friend of mine, where it was agreed I would work on the painting between other projects, hence the fact this work took much longer than the average painting.

Rainbow was a lovely tortoiseshell cat who was a bit of a diva, a charasmatic and individual feline and it is for this reason I was happy to take on this unusual project and commemorate her special life. To add a touch of glamour to the painting I applied gold leaf to the canvas edges.

When my friend first laid eyes on the finished article she was overcome with joy; 'My baby's come home for Christmas!' she cried. I'm so happy she likes it and feels it does Rainbow justice.