Friday, 4 April 2008

Death by Jam-Past Works

I do so love to see how my work has evolved...or not as the case may be. This is a selection of past works, commissions, sketches, random pieces, and the odd bit that may find itself recycled into something else one day!

Very old Geisha painting, based on a pair of Acupuncture trainers. In keeping with traditional Japanese art the original images on the soles of my trainers show the Geisha during a somewhat private moment ;-) and this piece is my slightly tamer interpretation of that.

One of many pieces based on my trip to Australia. I realise I probably mention it a lot but I love the country and I continue to be inspired. On future trips I would like to experience more of Aboriginal art and Culture- while I think its great that Aboriginal art is finding its way into the mainstream I think it would be a shame to ignore the meaning behind a lot of the work, and certainly it would be a shame to forget some of the incredible early work that survives.

While on my trip I saw a great deal of Aboriginal art, (though not nearly as much as I would have liked!) and possibly one of the most incredible places for me was an amazing area called Kuranda, a brilliant fusion of Dreamtime stories passed on from ancestors mixed with modern day materials- even the rubbish bins were functional sculptures!

While there I picked up some stuff on Aboriginal X-Ray art (and fed a kangaroo!) which became the background behind the picture above. It is based on one of the main characters in the Aboriginal Dreamtime creation stories- the Rainbow Serpent- who travelled across the Earth creating Valleys, hills, seas and lakes as she went. The Rainbow Serpent surrounds three fishermen- not to cause harm but to symbolise the process of creation, the link between her and all things.

The piece is made from various fabrics and embellishments such as beads and sequins and is hand stitched. Unfortunately a problem occurred over time with the fabric glue I used to attach the piece to the canvas frame. It would appear that during the drying process it sets white and rubbery and actually seeps through layers of fabric. I do intend to recreate this piece on a larger scale in time, and for that one I will secure it to the frame using tacks!

This piece was originally part of a wall hanging I made, which I later decided I disliked as a whole and removed my favourite bits. The inspiration behind this picture is very personal. It acknowledges a difficult period a few years ago and since I tend to find I don't really want to create pieces that force me to dwell on any issues I have, this is one of the few pieces that have reflected a point in my life as opposed to something I'm interested in.

I created this work from layers of fabric embellished with glass beads, garnet, turquoise, and moonstone chips and gold thread.

This piece reflects my love of Hindu mythology, and depicts Lord Shiva on a background of red satin. The image itself actually started life as a sticker I found at a market, I stitched it to the fabric then used gold sequins as accents, before then stitching the whole piece to some purple velvet and surrounded the image with a frame of red glass beads.

The two sketches above occurred during my obsession with Japanese art, in particular the work of an artist named Junko Mizuno, who's work manages to be both beautiful, colourful and really disturbing (oddly I can't eat while any of her work is in my line of sight). Eventually I began to realise that the style was so far removed from my own that it was better to admire than attempt to emulate.
This is my "Art Attack" piece. (For those of you that don't know, Art Attack is a children's art programme that's been going for years-and I enjoyed it immensely as a student!) Basically the idea came after watching the presenter demonstrate silhouette art, so I dutifully got some canvas, some yellow paint, PVA glue, and a pot of black glitter and this is the result. At the last minute I decided that the owl shape would be better stitched onto felt, but I still think it works. I got quite enthusiastic and carried away during the course of this piece, there were a few other canvases rendered in the same way, however it became quickly apparent that this was best as a one time only piece (though I regret not sending it in to the show).

The two pictures above were both created for use by Peterborough bird Club on the cover of their field guides. Both were hand drawn, rendered in ink and then digitally painted using a graphic tablet. The owl image is the most recent and I think shows a definite refinement of technique.

Two sketches again reflecting my love of Hindu mythology. The first depicts Lakshmi, the goddess of good fortune and luck, surrounded by her symbols-elephants, the lotus, golden coins and a peacock. Lakshmi is a beautiful goddess and during the festival of Diwali she is honoured.

The second drawing shows Parvati, daughter of the Himalayas, mother of Ganesha the elephant headed God, and said to be the embodiment of all the energy in the universe. The story goes that Parvati created Ganesha from turmeric paste to prevent anyone entering her chamber while she bathed. Her consort Lord Shiva returned and was stopped by Ganesha, and during the ensuing fight Shiva used his trident to cut Ganesha's head off.

Parvati made him swear to bring her son back to her, so he vowed that because they could not find Ganesha's own head he would give him the head of the first creature he saw-which happened to be an elephant. Parvati was still unhappy and insisted that Ganesha be made head of the celestial armies and worshipped by everyone before beginning any activity.

Both of these drawings were intended at some point to make it onto canvas, an intention I still have, though I am currently unsure as to whether to do them as paintings or stitchings.

Commission piece from January last year- Beryl the Jack Russel surrounded by white lilies-the favourite flower of her owner.

Future Plans

Just a glimpse of future pieces I'll be working on! For a while now I've been collecting bits and pieces to alter, (this is just a selection) from lampshades to books, wooden bangles and all things in between. Over coming weeks I'll be posting pictures of these items in their newly altered state.