Tag Archive: local artist


Cockaygne: Land of Plenty

 

Cockaigne was a mythical land of plenty, but Bruegel’s depiction of Cockaigne and its residents

is not meant to be a flattering one. He chooses rather a comic illustration of the spiritual emptiness

believed to derive from gluttony, sloth and the other 7 deadly sins.

 

“Not only the Willow” by Diana Baur

one of the 2D entries depicting Cockaigne in much the same way that Bruegel did, but with a 21st Century environmental twist.


 

 

9657477-the-background-of-textured-of-wicker-basketry-light-yellow-colour-closeupThe Underhill Farm Art & Wild Craft Fair happening the first Bank Holiday in May (4,5,6) is now up as an “event” on Facebook. If you’re on Facebook, head over to the page to say if you’re going, and to keep up to date with news and details.

Anyone interested in taking part in the event should come along to our Inside Out Sketching Day on March 17th – we’ll be visiting the farm at lunchtime and having a look around the inside and outside exhibition spaces. And don’t forget to be thinking about demos and taster courses you might be interested in running during the May weekend.

John, Rob and Paul at Radio Cafe

"Underground" from the series 'Signals' - 2010, John S. Now up in Radio.

“Underground” from the series ‘Signals’ – 2010, John S. Now up in Radio.

The first group of Inside Out artists’ work is now up at Radio Cafe in Oswestry. John S., Rob Baur and Paul Stocking all have works hanging in the cafe for the next couple of months.

Saffron is keen to keep the art rotating through the cafe, and so will be changing the hanging regularly. This is not, however, an open invitation for a “current work” hanging – instead, Saffron would like to see artists come forward with works that suit the cafe’s style and atmosphere and explores or responds to the themes suggested by the cafe and the former radio shop from which it takes its name. The prints that I have hanging in the cafe, for example, are from the “Signals” series, about different lines of communication.

Anyone interested in exhibiting in Radio should stop by and talk to Saffron (bringing with you some examples of your work).

Neon Artist?

Art by the lumen.

Art by the lumen.

Does anyone know an artist or craftsperson locally that works in neon? I’ve got an inquiry from someone who’s possibly interested in a commission or collaboration.

366 and counting…

Thursday, 26th July 2012 - Teeshirt for the day from the brilliant "366 Teeshirts". via 366teeshirts.co.uk

Thursday, 26th July 2012 – Teeshirt for the day from the brilliant “366 Teeshirts”. via 366teeshirts.co.uk

How long does your art last?

I don’t mean how long will the print or photograph or painting be around, but how much continuous time do you spend within the creative execution of an artwork. Days? Weeks? I know some of my paintings can take months to complete – but still, that’s not continuous time spent with the work. In fact, in many respects, one of the key elements of art practice is learning how not to work – when to step away from a work to marshal creative thoughts and energies.

It’s easy to dismiss Neil Phillips’ 366 Teeshirts as a naive piece of one-hit-wonder art-jam, a kind of wearable cultural heckling. But the truth is that Neil is the only creative person I’ve ever met who has – literally – spent an entire year inside his art. What came across so clearly in last night’s “An Audience with 366 Teeshirts” was the sheer daily weight of this project. Every day, he became part of whatever was printed on his teeshirt, and the consequent conversations and interactions the daily slogan provoked. Courgettes, swans, cupboards, the price of biscuits – Neil’s captured snatches of innocuous household conversations seemed to unlock days of debates about immigration, celebrity culture and local economics.

How many of us provoke this kind of reaction to our paintings and photographs on a daily basis? How many of us live inside the same artwork day in, day out for an entire unbroken year? Neil’s deadpan modesty hides an astonishing commitment – all the more so for unquestionably still living in the real world, complete with family, job and slug-ravaged garden, all of which were woven into the fabric (yes, pun intended) of his art. What’s more, as last night’s event also proved, this was an art project which drew into its interactive orbit all sorts of other creative minds, like film-makers, web designers, musicians, as well as a cross-section of some of Oswestry’s most distinctive local businesses.

I’m completely jealous of Neil and his 366 teeshirts project. This, for me, is what art should be about: something surprising and immersive, something that outlasts the obvious thing you first see, something bigger than itself that is embedded within the real world. Neil shrugged last night at the failure of his project to “go viral” – but it has gone viral. 366 Teeshirts isn’t over just because Neil’s now wearing “ordinary” shirts again; the project is spawning new ideas and new iterations – 366 the album, 366 pants (no, probably not), etc. “That should be on a teeshirt” is now part of the Oswestry creative vernacular – Neil’s original concept has now escaped the confines of his own project and is evolving into… well, who knows?

Now that’s art.

Inside Out at Oswestry Library

"Discovered Poem" - Will Ashford, via: http://www.willashford.com

“Discovered Poem” – Will Ashford, via: http://www.willashford.com

Here’s another exhibition opportunity for Inside Out Artists: Oswestry Library has no booking for the last three weeks of January in their first floor display space, and have asked Inside Out if they can fill it at short notice.

Anyone with any works they’d like to exhibit at the library for the next three weeks please get in touch immediately: and bring your work to my studio by 11am THIS FRIDAY, January 11th. Work received after then can’t be included in the exhibition, sorry.

Apologies for the short notice – hope some of you can still make the deadline!

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

Jolly Good Show!

Oswestry Show! All pix from Freja.

Thanks to everyone who helped make yesterday an excellent day at the Oswestry Show!

A very big thank you to Louise Hudson and D.R.E. & Co. Accounting, who kindly offered us half their pitch after hearing me talk about Art Works at the Oswestry Chamber of Commerce meeting. Thanks to Jim Heath, Judy Greaves, Jas Davidson, Diana Baur, Rob Baur and Freja who helped get everything set up at a very early 8am in the morning. And thanks to all the Inside Out artists who stopped by and drew, painted, sketched and carved in front of the marquee. Particular thanks to Freja for the invigorating and delicious chocolate/coffee/rum fairy cakes – which vanished so fast I almost didn’t get any!

Everyone was very complimentary about our set-up – and, I think, surprised at the link-up between an accounting firm and an art group. It was an extremely successful partnership – D.R.E & Co. got something interesting in front of their marquee, and Inside Out got a chance to exhibit at the show for free. Not only were we highly visible, and gave out loads of leaflets about the group and our projects – but we also came away with a handful of commissions: proof that if you get yourself out there and make yourself visible, that people will – and do – take an interest in you and your work.

We all had a great day – despite the fact that at quarter to four, the heavens opened and we were hammered with rain and hail. More importantly, we had a very successful day, too. Thanks again to everyone who made it work – and let’s start making plans for next year!

 

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.

Banksy in Os!

Banksy in Os?

So what do you reckon? Banksy was shuttling back and forth between Bristol and Manchester, passed through Oswestry and decided to leave his mark? Why not? Isn’t Oswestry the art capitol of North Shropshire now? It’s certainly an interesting contrast piece to the new Footfall street art being painted opposite Wilko!

Or do we think that some enterprising art prankster has taken it upon themselves to reproduce the master’s work in a small rural market town just to see what happens? What is a real Banksy anyway? His actual handiwork, or his iconic images?

My money’s on the latter of these two possibilities, but I’m still willing to imagine that Banksy stopped off in Oswestry, popped into the Willow Gallery and thought he’d like to join the Oswestry art scene. For those of you who want to judge for yourselves, the piece is on the back of the old car hire/valet/petrol station just by the Whittington Road railway bridge.

I want ROA to do the front of the Guildhall next!

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