It's like emerging from a long tunnel, you've been in it so long you've forgotten how the world felt warmer, happier, more positive, more alive until you suddenly emerge, blinking into the light, spirits lifted, ready for a brave new world. The future is bright.
I joined the committee of York Open Studios as Events Manager in the summer and am enjoying working with the fantastic and dynamic people on the committee. Much of this week was spent tapping on the computer, firming up display plans for the York Open Studios Taster Event in April.
But I did get time to visit the Village Gallery to see my work which had just gone up, and have a chat with Simon, the gallery owner. I was really pleased to see these pieces in the window, the side-lighting highlighting the shadows hiding in the porcelain.
Please go and have a look, in addition to my work there are some great local artists work in a range of mediums.
Village Gallery is in the city centre, opposite Barnitts on Colliergate, York.
This week, I finally had the time to test out some of the ideas I've been pondering for several weeks - can I heat acrylic so that it takes the shape of the folded surface, and how thick can the acrylic be? What will create a more interesting contrast with concrete; opaque or transparent acrylic? Will the vacuum forming machine be able to cope with the depth of a cube and how much surface detail will it hold? If I add lines of strata to the vertical surfaces of my cubes will they 'fight with' and detract from the upper folded surface, or compliment it? If I use Stuart Semple's Black 3.0 on a plaster cube will the vertical sides disappear and the surface appear to 'float'?
The results of all these tests were mixed, some unsuccessful, some unexpected and one was far too successful (the vacuum machine). Posed questions were often answered in an unexpected way or created results that led my thoughts off in new and unexpected directions.
It was transition week for my sculptural porcelain - moving from the 'Shades of Clay' exhibition at the Kunsthuis Gallery to the new hanging at the Village Gallery in York.
In preparation for the Village Gallery, I had created new pieces of work that needed framing or bases making, but the unexpected, and very pleasing news, that the Kunsthuis Gallery wanted to continue displaying my artwork beyond the end of the exhibition, meant I was faced with a mad rush to create more new work (which would also need framing).
Consequently, last week I made, from scratch, eleven floating shadow frames, ebonised bases for three sculptures, developed a new colour palette and made three new pieces of work. It took several 10 hour days, a lot of wood and my taking over the Mixed Media Room at College for a framing production line. By the end of the week I had an aching back, aching legs and some lovely new work to drop off with Simon at the Village Gallery. The work will be on display in the gallery from 28 January, please call in and have a look.
I'm really grateful to the staff at York College for letting me take over the room. I honestly don't think I could have managed it on my kitchen tale, without several meltdowns.
Because of the rush, I didn't get time to take the greatest of photos, but you can see sculptural wall pieces, the new pastel blues, deeper richer blues, a surprise development into strong orange, brown and yellow and a shelf-sized, scaled down version of my final degree show cubes, showing surface distortion in concrete.
I was incredibly proud to be asked to open the new University Centre at York College on the evening of Monday 2nd December. The University Centre will provide much needed areas for studying and socialising and create a supportive HE community, giving degree students a sense of identity and distinctiveness within York College.
I was asked because my experience at York College has gone full circle. I’ve been here as a parent, at Vocational level, Degree level, and am now here as artist-in-residence and a part-time member of staff.
My mum's dementia diagnosis was one of the main factors which caused me to re-evaluate my life and led me to leave teaching and begin a Foundation in Art & Design at York College, which in turn led me to York College's Contemporary Craft BA.
My mum had been declining for a long time, but in the end her condition suddenly worsened and she died in the morning. She smiled to the end.
Now I'm back in the studio and I'm testing out new ideas in colour and display.
I don’t ‘do’ shiny, glitter and gold is something I’ve always avoid, but ‘this’, this I love!
The last weekend in October was an opportunity for me to experience life from the other side of the plinth as an installation artist at Art& York at York Racecourse. There were over 120 artists showcasing work in a wide range of media, alongside eleven installation artists. All the artists went through a selection procedure so I was thrilled to be accepted to show my work amongst such fantastic art, design and craft. The quality was superb.
The three days of Art& were exhausting but gave me a fascinating insight into showing work at an art fair. Visitors left some heartfelt comments in my dementia comments book about how the disease had affected them, and one woman felt compelled to give me a hug because I'd conveyed through art what dementia meant to her.
Experimentation with mark making - contrasting a crisp edge and a loose line. The lines are taken from the folding that starts the development from paper to porcelain.
Porcelain captures the linen texture beautifully.
The little green Kiln God is back in pride of place after overseeing last week's perfect firing and is now the Chosen Ceramic One supporting the Chosen Human Two (Beccy and Dawn).
The new shadow framing for my wall-mounted porcelain light and shadow work. Ready for the 'Shades of Clay 2019' Exhibition at Kunsthuis Gallery, starting 1 Nov and running until 26 Jan 2020. I will be showing a mixture of 3D and wall-mounted porcelain with folded surface distortion and stripped back colour, focusing on light and shade.
1000 Pieces of Porcelain
A week's worth of work is so delicate, it emerges from the kiln as 1000 pieces of porcelain and this is a good opportunity for thinking about taking up something else. Like mosaic. Or knitting. Or bare-knuckle boxing. Grrr.
Still, it's a learning process and at least I know what went wrong.