19 November 2009

Look what i found...

I have recently seriously edited my art archive and look what i found....

These are two watercolour paintings from way back in the 1980s!

The portrait is of my sister who was a patient and willing model for me during our teenage years. This captures her warm smile and glasses long since gone.

The landscape was painted on site during a class which i went to with my Dad. I think this is in
Dedham, Essex and possibly the building is the Mill....

The paper copies have now gone and these images have become
part of my electronic archive - much easier to store and access.

I am really comforted by the
images and reminded of my long term love of the visual arts. These painting have inspired me to add watercolour paints back into my art media - and to have a go at taking more time out to create my own work.

13 November 2009

Seeking inspiration...

Cover image from Double Game by Sophie Calle

veral years ago, a tatty library copy of a book with a bizarre cover, tied with a claret ribbon, introduced me to the ideas of the French visual artist Sophie Calle. As a Book Artist I was drawn by the variety of papers used in the book and by the combination of beautiful photography, handwriting and printed typography.
Closer inspection of the book revealed a woman shadowing strangers; commissioning others to dictate her behaviour; photographically documenting hotel rooms when guests were absent; and inviting a number of birthday guests equal to the number of her age to combat fear of being forgotten in life.
Trawling the internet revealed several second hand copies of Double Game for sale for very large sums. Searches in London book stores revealed nothing. However, my patience was rewarded in 2007 with the reprint of the book. I headed to the Photographer’s Gallery to collect my copy and was amused and surprised to be handed a volume half the size of the original edition.
Controversial and stepping close to and often over boundaries of accepted interaction with others, Sophie Calle’s work can be viewed as invasive, self indulgent and exploitative. The ‘voyeur’ in the viewer, however, joins Calle in this journey into the lives of others and her ideas represented through images and text lead us on a journey of discovery of the lives of strangers, ourselves and indeed of Calle herself.
Sophie Calle’s ideas and projects are now widely known to new generations following her most recent work Take Care of Yourself originally exhibited at the Vienna Biennale in 2007. This body of work and other projects by Calle combine in Talking to Strangers, currently exhibiting at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. I thoroughly recommend a visit to the exhibition, and if this is not possible then do take a look at Calle’s work in publications such as Double Game.