Floral Pastiche of The Swing By Fragonard

Floral recreation of The Swing by Fragonard

A comment from blogging buddy, Derrick, reminded me to share this installation, created by Flowers from the Farm, a not-for-profit network of sole traders, micro businesses and smallholders who grow British cut flowers and sell them at farm gates, markets, craft fairs and online.

Prompted by the theme of movement at the Chatsworth Flower Show in 2018, it was a quirky, floral recreation of Fragonard’s 1767 oil painting, The Swing. Continue reading “Floral Pastiche of The Swing By Fragonard”

Nine Barbara Hepworth Quotes (With Pictures)

Four-Square by Barbara Hepworth in her coastal garden
Barbara Hepworth’s garden looks out over rooftops towards the sea

In normal times, a permanent collection of Barbara Hepworth’s work can be seen in the St Ives garden she so evidently loved. Although the garden remains on shutdown, a wide range of material is available online (see the links below).  Her work fits wonderfully well into its Cornish setting, within striking distance of ancient standing stones such as Mên-an-Tol, Lanyon Quoit and the Kenidjack Common Holed Stones. Continue reading “Nine Barbara Hepworth Quotes (With Pictures)”

Trick Or Treat?

Rose with blue and red spray painted leaves

Having stored up some brownie points by offering you a virtual treat yesterday, I thought I might get away with tormenting some of you today.

I found this rose growing on the land surrounding an art park in Austin, Texas, with its leaves spray painted blue and red. I could imagine this as an alternative greeting card, but there’s something of plant cruelty about it, assuming you agree with my sweetheart that there is such a thing.

If the rose was wearing an expression, I imagine it would be like the one old Rusty had that made us laugh so helplessly when he came back from the dog groomer looking like the spaniel version of a Chinese crested dog, closely shorn in some places and fluffed up in others, crowned with a bow. Continue reading “Trick Or Treat?”

Ai Weiwei’s Iron Tree (2013)

Iron Tree (2013) by Ai Weiwei - a pieced together tree - beside a chapel

‘Iron Tree comprises 99 elements cast in iron… interlocked using a classic – and here exaggerated – Chinese method of joining, with prominent nuts and screws.’

From the Yorkshire Sculpture Park notes

Glimpsed from a distance, Ai Weiwei’s fake trees pass as real, but dead. As you draw closer, your mind engages with the forms and construction and questions arise. What is it? Why is it? Are the branches actually roots? Is it wood? Continue reading “Ai Weiwei’s Iron Tree (2013)”

Life And Art: Astarte Syriaca With Onlooker

Onlooker with Astarte Syriaca by Rossetti
The onlooker seemed a modern version of Venus in the picture

Venus gazes out of the picture, wearing the draped fabric and heavy curls we associate with the Pre-Raphaelite style. Rossetti, her painter, has chosen a pose that reminds us of Botticelli’s famous image of Venus on the shell. The painting’s title associates the Roman goddess with the older Astarte.

In the background, winged spirits carry torches, and the evening star, Venus, is shown between the setting sun and rising moon.

Watching in turn, I was struck by the synergy between the figure in the painting and the onlooker who seemed to be communing with her. Continue reading “Life And Art: Astarte Syriaca With Onlooker”

Vertical Form (St Ives) By Barbara Hepworth With Reflections

Vertical Form (St Ives), a bronze sculpture, with reflections
Vertical Form (St Ives) in the window of the Barbara Hepworth Museum

I do like this picture, although it has as many accidental elements as purposeful ones: layers, patterns, textural contrasts and red herrings.

Although I lined the sculpture up reasonably well with the r/h edge of the frame, the reflections make it look all catawampus. That doesn’t just allow me to use the word my sweetheart taught me (we would say ‘skew whiff’) but it also makes the picture seem more abstract. That seems fitting.

I tried cropping closer, but prefer the picture with the distractions in. They have an unsettling effect and they provide context for a bronze sculpture that has St Ives in its name.

I suspect the reflections of the houses humanise the bronze more than if the clean lines of a gallery were behind it. The sculpture seems to gaze out, watchfully or wistfully.

The colour combination is muted – natural stone, grey, plus a languid take on the traditional blue and white that symbolises Cornwall – helping the gleaming sculpture hold its own visually in the gallimaufry. Continue reading “Vertical Form (St Ives) By Barbara Hepworth With Reflections”