Tag Archive: art


Snow above the Ceiriog

Snow! And plenty of it...

Snow! And plenty of it…

A small group of us – well, two – braved the cold and made our way up to the moors today above Llanarmon D.C. Still a bit grey overhead, with snow clouds low enough to mask the tops of the hills, merging the snow into the sky.

Armed with cameras and sketchpads, we made it as far as the woods at Tyn-y-Coed. Absolutely still, silent and beautiful up there – snow still clinging to the branches overhead, and carved into deep, fluted ridges across the road by the low wind.

Back down to the village to sit by the fire and work up some sketches – a handful of prints now a distinct possibility. Plenty of inspiration up there in the snow!

Mathematical Dreams

John Wragg, Oswestry Heritage Gallery – http://www.johnwragg.net

I’ve always enjoyed Oswestry artist John Wragg‘s work, and it was great to see his recent exhibition in the Oswestry Heritage Gallery.

Vibrant yet controlled, precise yet explosive – John’s geometric paintings are studies in colour as much as they are studies in composition. His twin interests are geometry and light; the end result is a sort of mathematical dream – twistingly precise tesseracts, spirals and hypercubes glimmering with colour.

But his work is more complicated than just strange shapes and bright colours. John also plays around with that 2D/3D boundary that his interest in geometry explores, manifesting itself in a number of 3D mixed media and hanging/kinetic pieces. He’s also clearly interested in the way in which visual interactions with narrative creates a language of representation that thrives on incoherence – meaning born of a fractured and splintered whole.

John Wragg’s studio is underneath mine in the Cambrian Studios Buildings. He exhibited with the Inside Out group at our current work show a few years ago. He exhibits widely, and regularly as part of The Chicken Gallery group on the ground floor of the Cambrian Studios. It’s worth knocking on his door or visiting The Chicken if you’re interested in seeing more of his work.

The Chicken Gallery
of contemporary art and craft

Cambrian Studios Building,
Coney Green, Oswestry
Open: Wed-Sat, 11-3pm

Art Works at Oswestry Chamber

Wednesday evening I gave a quick 15-minute presentation to the Oswestry Chamber of Commerce about ideas that Diana and I have had for promoting art and artists in the business world. From our original “Art Works” ideas for linking art and business together we’ve expanded to cover a range of ways in which these links could build a new business environment for art in Oswestry.

We’ve based these ideas on Inside Out’s experiences working with The Hand, at the Cambrian Buildings, and with Fineline Tattoos. Using these as “case studies”, we’ve come up with a range of broad suggestions for future links and ideas. For anyone who’s interested, there’s a pdf transcript of my presentation here.

The presentation was really well received, and what we do now is to establish lots and lots of dialogue between ourselves, other artists and art groups in Oswestry, and interested businesses. We’d love to talk to anyone in the group – or beyond – who has ideas of their own about business ventures and enterprises, or ways in which art as a business could do – could be – more in Oswestry.

photographic Exhibition

Marches Independent Photography

Marches Independent Photography is holding an exhibition of member’s work. We invite you to come and enjoy this, our fifth exhibition at:-
The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock
From 25th February until 15th April
We are a small informal group of photographers based around Shropshire and the Marches. All of the pictures on show have been selected by the person who produced them and not by a panel of judges. In this way we hope the exhibition reflects our aim of encouraging diversity and innovation alongside the development of classic photographic skills.
We welcome new members and visitors to any of our meetings.
Visit our website to see more of our work and news of meetings: http://www.mipgroup.org.uk

Notebook Meeting Tomorrow!

David Nash at Oriel Mostyn late last year - something to inspire us all!

Just a quick reminder to everyone: our monthly “Notebook Meeting” is tomorrow, 2pm at the Willow Gallery.

Come along for some good art conversation and updates on exhibitions, classes/workshops and projects.

Bring along your sketchbooks or work to share!

Limekiln sketching day

A super day was had by all thanks to Diana’s organization.  As I can’t sketch here is my ‘take’ on the day.

New project: Artists at Work!

Art Works!

We’re launching a new Inside Out project in Oswestry which we want to use to foster collaborative relationshipsw between artists and local businesses.

The project – called “Artists at Work” – aims to create links between the work and practice of local artists and the local business community. The project is designed to evolve to suit the working culture and methods of individual artists and businesses.

What this project will do is bring together artists to produce work inspired by a programme of collaborative, on-site working with a local Oswestry business – a sort of informal artist-in-residence relationship. As the project develops, we will be bringing in local trade and commerce groups in Oswestry.

What kind of work would the project be looking for? That’s totally up to the artists and businesses involved, but some suggestions might be:

  • works which document or record a business’ working practices
  • works which utilise a business’ working methods or materials
  • works which focus on employees, location or tools
  • works which explore patterns of activity, or relationships between customers and staff
  • etc.
We’d hope that artists would engage closely with their collaborating partners, perhaps designing site-specific or interactive pieces. Work in any media, at any scale could be incorporated – again, it depends how the relationship between individual artists and businesses evolves.
We’re giving everyone a few months to think about this project and how they might get involved. We’ll kick-start the project officially on Saturday, July 9th at 10:00am in The Willow Gallery cafe with an informal get-together of any interested artists/business owners.
If you’ve got any questions or observations – go ahead and comment this post. Hope to see you there in July.

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei - currently "detained" by the Chinese authorities.

I’m sure everyone will have seen in the news that the artist Ai Weiwei – under house arrest in China since last October – has been detained by the Chinese authorities, and that fears are growing for his safety. For those of you who might have missed the story, The Guardian has been covering events. Amnesty International as well as leading UK artists like Anthony Gormley are leading the pressure on the Chinese to release the artist as well as other dissident figures.

We’re not used to seeing this happen to artists who have exhibited in the Turbine Hall; given the warmth of the reception afforded his sunflower seeds installation here, and given also that it’s still on display there, it seems particularly shocking to realise that he is regarded as dangerous by his own government.

Arts Cuts

Cuts for the Arts - sculpture by Christopher Locke made from scissors confiscated from airline passengers. via Neatorama.

Not that I wish to be the bearer of depressing news, but today’s the day we all find out how bad the cuts in funding to the Arts are going to be. The Guardian has very good coverage of the results – a good blog and an interactive Google-based map showing where the cuts are falling.

The good news in all of this (if you can call it “good”), is that we failed to get Arts Council funding for Studio A1, which means that we won’t lose our funding! I suppose this really counts as making lemonade out of lemons, but it’s a useful lesson: this is the way arts projects like Studio A1 are increasingly going to have to be funded in the future – through contributions and volunteer time from those who value them.

So, no thanks to the current government, but thanks to all our members who are making Studio A1 possible!

Hannah Phillips & Becky Roberts at Studio A1

Stripes #2, Rebecca Crowell - no, not on exhibition at Studio A1, but a major influence for featured artist Becky Roberts.

Glyndwr students Hannah Phillips and Becky Roberts are our next featured artists at Studio A1. They’re hanging tomorrow, and will open their show on Wednesday. Here’s a taster for what they’ve got in store in the form of their artists’ statements:

Hannah Phillips

I focus on nature’s organic objects and processes to create my work. The beauty of nature has always interested me and I tend to explore this through different techniques and media.  No matter where my creativity takes me, this theme will continue to inspire me throughout my art practice.

My earlier work is based on organic objects, concentrating on using acrylic paint in order to expose their flowing lines and shapes which I am very interested in. I enjoy exploring the form of the object and how the addition of colour adds to this.
In my recent practice I worked with Richard Spence on advertising, and I have also worked collaboratively with Rebecca Roberts where the end result was a sculpture created from rusted metal. This was a turning point in my own work, as the combination of Rebecca’s work on rust and my work on nature led me to explore the beauty which an item of decay can induce. I enjoyed working collaboratively as it has an element of unpredictability, which is refreshing in comparison to working independently. I became more interested in how texture can bring a new dimension to a piece of work when used in an abstract form, rather than concentrating on the image.

I went on to explore the concept of beauty in decay though different media. Using various substances to create texture leads me to discover how vibrant paint merges, blends and interacts with the surface. This has been a key process in my work. Photographs of deteriorating organic objects recently spurred me to move into the medium of print in order to focus on the beautiful forms and lines which decay initiates. I found that the addition of water colour to this otherwise black and white technique prompted me to explore how a process which is commonly thought of as detrimental, can indeed be elegant.

My practice uses different media and techniques to show that things are not as they seem, in an effort to challenge the perception of the viewers.

Becky Roberts

I am a local art student from Wrexham, currently studying my second year of Fine Art at Glyndwr University.
My work consists of a wide variety of styles and techniques. This current exhibition focuses on a more abstract approach compared to my previous work.  These compositions are textural giving attention to colour, tone and layering. I was drawn to the rustic aspect of found rusted objects, using these as a starting point I aimed to re-crate this effect in paint reflecting the colour and textures of the pieces I found. I then moved onto other media’s including print and sculpture. My work developed from using different surfaces to varied materials

I went from painting to sculpture in a collaborative piece made alongside Hannah Philips. Hannah’s theme was ‘Beauty and Decay’ which included the study of flowers which was an opposite of my rusted metal theme. Despite this I believe the contradiction of nature and manmade items worked. The sculpture was made using orange rusty metal which was found; this again was a contrasting colour to the bluebell we chose to base our sculpture on. I found working both collaboratively and independently beneficial and enjoyable as there are different qualities in both approaches. Working independently allows more control however; I find lack of control in collaborative work results in interesting compositions as different ideas collide.

Rebecca Crowell, a Canadian painter was a main influence in my work; Crowell’s paintings are also based on found materials such as driftwood and stones. She chooses her colour pallet based on objects she finds or even elements such as sky or water. I also incorporated the colours of my found pieces into my abstract paintings as well as the textures of them. Another aspect of Rebecca Crowell’s work I found interesting, was how she composed her pieces. She selected different panels which she had painted and arranged them together and when happy with the outcome she fixed them together as one individual painting. I liked this idea as it made compositions changeable. The idea of combining different painted surfaces to create one piece appealed to me, therefore I pursued this.

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