Apologies to those who have seen this photo before, but when I think of how joyous solitude can be, it is to be alone with my thoughts before great art.
A gallery of clay figures; posed, painted, dressed. All different, but at the same time strikingly similar. One face in many disguises?
This gallery of characters forms part of the exhibition Jealous Saboteurs — a survey of work by Francis Upritchard, a New Zealand-born, London-based artist. They are clever and whimiscal — drawing on motifs and imagery from many sources.
In sculptures of the human form, the eyes are almost always blank — there is no discernible pupil or iris to give us the visual cues we draw from living people. So if eyes are “the window to the soul” — how do we read statues?
Without the clues provided by body and clothing, what can we say about these figures, who all seem to share the same facial features. Can we discern, or perhaps imagine, emotions? Is it possible to create meaningful portraits of a statue? I’m interested in your views.
The title is from Robert Louis Stevenson, who said:
It is not likely that posterity will fall in love with us, but not impossible that it may respect or sympathize; so a man would rather leave behind him the portrait of his spirit than a portrait of his face. — Robert Louis Stevenson
I recently spent a long weekend in Wellington; the world’s southernmost capital city and one of my favourite happy-places.
Wellington is a small city, full of art and culture and great places to eat and drink coffee. Bounded by the sea and the hills, it works on a human scale. Everywhere is walkable, even in one of the howling gales for which Wellington is famous.
I arrived in the midst of such a storm. Throughout the flight from Auckland the captain warned that we might be in for a “bit of jostling” as our plane approached Wellington airport. He wasn’t joking.
Although the wind dropped a little over the weekend, it remained a grey and windy time — perfect for black & white photography.
The title of this post comes from the Alistair Te Ariki Campbell’s poem ‘Blue Rain.’ An extract, below, is included in the Wellington Writers’ Walk — a series of “typographical sculptures” placed around the city. It occurs to me that the phase “cube of sunlight” might also be applied to photography.
— Alistair Te Ariki Campbell. From ‘Blue Rain’ in The Dark Lord of Savaiki: Collected Poems, Hazard Press, 2003
Needing more physical projects in my largely online world, I’ve been pootling around making various things, indulging my enthusiasm for anything artistic or craft-based
The messenger bag I talked about a couple of weeks ago (here), worked well on its maiden trip to Wellington last weekend, and I’ve finally got around to photographing one of the dolls I made as a result of a workshop with my friend, artist Claire Delaney.
I love the doll-making process. Not only does it involve different techniques and processes (clay-sculpting, armature-making, fabric construction); it’s also wonderfully iterative. At each stage I’m surprised by something and often have to change direction in the project to accommodate what has evolved (especially at the clay-sculpting stage).
The boy-child claims I’ve used him as inspiration for my choirboy doll — but I can’t imagine what he means. Hehe.
Claire is a talented artist, and a very good teacher. She began making dolls as an aid to illustrating the children’s book she has written and published. Little Wing is a lovely story, beautifully illustrated. It is letterpress printed and hand-bound — a true labour of love.
Find out more about Claire’s art.
The making of Little Wing
For anyone who knows me, it will be no surprise that I’ve chosen images of sculptures for this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge on the theme of curve. If there is anything unexpected here, it’s that I’ve been so restrained in the number of images chosen.
It’s difficult to convey the scale of Anish Kapoor’s ‘Dismemberment, Site 1. The work is 85 metres long (278 feet); a steel and fabric tube whose ends are 25 metres x 8 metres (82 feet x 26 feet). It literally sits between two hills on a vast rural estate facing the Kaipara Harbour.
Of course size isn’t everything. Potter Rod Davies creates domestic-scale ceramic works; many of which are based on curving forms. ‘Ocean Swell’ is one of my favourites.