Sunday, 3 November 2013
I was asked recently by Andreas Efstathiou to supply some paintings for an exhibition he was curating with his work, Stass Paraskos' and others at the Cornaro Institute, Larnaka.
Thinking about which ones to put in I decided upon one that I did in the first week of arriving in Lempa and one from later on.
The first is a portrait of a man playing backgammon in Paphos. This was worked from a sketch I did in my sketchbook and memory; the second is from the still life observations I am doing from local rock. The formal portraits is a way of creating a portraiture of the Cypriot community, and the rock paintings is my exploration with the environment and erosion.
I have been drawn to the idea of erosion and its link as a symbolic signifier for the state of the Cypriot economic problems, as well as its history.
The portraits are linked in the way the Cypriot people socialise and play backgammon, building and strengthening social bonds and an underlying theme concerning the Greek Orthodox Icon, considered in this religion as the real seen through a window or wormhole into the spiritual reality, and not just an image representing the particular Saint. There is also an element of the Prometheus mythology that I have been drawn to and a relation to the Kafka poem of the same name - particularly the Second Aspect.
These paintings have been framed using reclaimed pallet wood and stained with serpentinite rock powder, which is made from filing the rock and then using turpentine as a carrier and olive oil as a binder. Being here forced me to change the way I work, for the better, and there has developed an emphasis on using found objects and local natural materials which have been discarded and is becoming more prevalent in some way in my work. This seems to have a symbolic reference to the economic downturn and our contemporary lifestyle, as we need to shift from the throw away culture to one of reusing and reforming objects, through using skills and techniques to make do and mend, making stuff. Maybe there is a way through our era by creating a skills based system of exchange rather than one based on the exchange of paper and metal that only serves bankers? (See South West Dorset Lets)
There is something going on with my current practice and an interesting thread seems to be developing from these various explorations I am making at this time. More on this as I reflect and become more aware of this underlying thread.
Friday, 20 September 2013
Here are some paintings I have been doing over the last few weeks . These are studies from rocks taken from the landscape of Cyprus. I have been looking closely, creating a representation from the limestone, sandstone, and serpentinite. These take on an abstract quality which is also reminding me of cave paintings and how the artist in those days used the natural marks and features in the rock to create the imagery of animals and people. I am not quite sure where this is heading, but I am interested in the way the weather erodes the rock and stone work from the landscape and buildings around cyprus and I am becoming interested in ideas associated with entropy.
Monday, 5 August 2013
Catalogue of the exhibition of July's Summer School featuring the work of Natasha Kurth, Poppy Nash, Elli Liddie, Kennedy Wardle, Tom Savage, Holly Newnham, David Winter, George Morgan, Caitlin McMullan, Prof. Joseph Danek and me.
Saturday, 27 July 2013
Sunday, 21 July 2013
On the 15th July I boarded the plane to Cyprus flying from Bristol to begin my residency at the Cyprus College of Art. I had been thinking about this for a while and was excited about being accept onto the residency programme, spending up to six months abroad in another country.
For the following six months I knew I would be meeting some new artist friends during the summer school months and travelling across the country, both in the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish occupied territory, visiting sites and exploring Cyprian culture, daily life and this beautiful island.
The heat hit me as soon as I disembarked from the plane, hugging me - immediately the sweat began to pour from my body - I could not wait to change into something more comfortable.
When I arrived I met George who was in the studios, working away. He showed me around the studios then my room. After arriving and being shown around I settled in and changed into something a little more comfortable, before heading back to the studios, meeting Ken, who is also staying here. We introduced ourselves and had a quick conversation about the place before heading to the studio to make some calls to my family and friends letting them know of my safe arrival.
This week has been spent generally relaxing, meeting other artists staying here for a month or two and exploring the immediate surroundings, walking in the countryside, going to the beaches for a swim, having long conversations on art, music and life, sharing stories and anecdotes. The days are very hot and humid, with the occasion cooler days and evenings, allowing me to do a little work, but the days can get so hot that you just want to sit, read and drink plenty of water.
The other artists (Ken, Tom, Holly, Natasha, David, Gwenan, George and Vicki plus three more arriving on Monday), are a mixture of fine artists, illustrators and designers currently studying for their BA or about to embark on their MA course. Joseph , a visiting Professor from the Republic of Czechoslovakia will be giving a talk about his work and I've had the pleasure of discussing our work, the importance of humour and sharing our thoughts about art, life and culture. We will be giving a talk about our work next Wednesday to the rest of the group and we hope everyone will also share and talk about their work too.
Monday, 15 July 2013
Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Friday, 24 May 2013