For the last year or so I have been directing my creativity towards painting, sculpture and creative writing. Designing and making jewellery has been my main occupation for some 10 years now but the time has come to follow other paths. The jewellery shown here will be the last pieces I make barring commissions, so if you like bold, geometric, sculptural jewellery, take a look at my collections and visit my online shop.
This is the second painting I submitted for the Summer show at the RA, the first being the portrait of of my uncle Peter.
A completely different kind of painting altogether, I wanted to explore pure colour, to find the clearest, strongest ways to show its true nature and behaviour in watercolour medium. Only three colours are used, cyan, magenta and yellow, employing juxtaposition, overlay and tone as well as wet and dry paper and re-wetting techniques. Each colour is laid on individually, not mixed.
As a jeweller my work is very much about control, my designs are geometric and ordered, serendipity is a rare and welcome component, usually appearing whilst pushing the limits of the material. This process follows through in the “Dots” series of paintings. I begin from a precise positioned grid of marks, working on wet and/or dry paper, overlaying in several passes following a strict order whilst allowing accidental or material based irregularities to occur. Colours are applied with droppers or with broad washes laid over dried dots, allowing the colours to soften and run at will.
This following painting uses another technique, I laid down intense drops of colour on dry paper and allowed them to dry out completely before brushing over them with clear water and a large brush, spreading the colour and making the colours run.
I have been casting plaster into ice cube trays, these long sticks, triangular in section, make for interesting shadows. I made them in two sessions, the first set were marred (or so I thought) by air bubbles interrupting the ridge but having now been looking at them for some time, I like the randomness of the negative spaces. The second set were almost perfect though some have lost their corners. It was only after having photographed them that I saw the similarity to an large work in wood by Susumu Koshimizu 1971 – ‘From Surface to Surface’ that I had seen at the Tate Gallery. From the label – ‘Koshimizu investigates the substance of wood by sawing planks into different shapes, exposing their surface qualities through different kinds of repetitive cuts. The geometric lines produced by an industrial saw contrast with the slit irregularities resulting from missing chips, slips of the saw, and rough surface of certain edges. Koshimizu was part of Mono Ha (School of Things), which reacted against the embrace of technology and trickery in mid 1960s Japanese art. They sought to understand ‘The world as it is’ by exploring the essential properties of materials, often combining organic and industrial objects and processes’
Having now reread the information label I am pleased to discover that we had in common, not only looking at repeated regular forms but also of their inconsistencies and flaws. The particular reason for photographing this work was for the shadows that were being cast on the white walls by the multiple spotlights above. I can count 5 in this photo but I think there were more. Lighting my castings with several sources is something I must try.
I found these 1950’s/160’s Cocktail glasses in an antique shop in Essex and the Salt at an exhibition of crafts in Clerkenwell, London. The glasses were ridiculously cheap and the salt was not expensive. The glasses are perfectly weighted, the stems are gilded glass, not a metal cone as I had thought when I first glanced them in a showcase. I have not identified the make yet, let me know if anyone recognises them. The salt it is mouth-blown glass intricately hand-engraved with plant forms by Katherine Coleman.
I want to explore creating shadows with eggs so I’m going to try making a mould so that all my eggs are the same shape. Some of these real eggs have subtle textures which I love, I don’t know if I will be able to combine areas of texture from several eggs into my mould, I hope so. I think the moulds will be half-eggs, which will make it easier to create the shadow effects I want.
Last night there was a concert of Scarlatti, Lotti, Melgas, Rebelo and Caldara during the Greenwich Early Music Festival, performed by The Sixteen and conducted by Harry Christophers.
Seated in the upper gallery, the acoustics were perfect, the singing in Latin became another medium, not air or water but sound, surrounding and enveloping us completely.
The spiral staircase leading back down to reality was a delightful example of period stone and metal craftsmanship.
A unique grouping of elements, sunshine, high-powered business, Hollywood glamour and more in LA makes for a rich and energetic architectural style. The former May Department Stores built in 1939, the facade is tiled with gold leaf mosaic, is now part of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The birds just love resting on the ledges. (taken from the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour, Red Route.)