As a Doctor Who fan, I really ought not to like stone angels as much as I do. My sweetheart loves to visit cemeteries in his quest for tough plants (‘flowers even dead people can grow’). We often see cherubs but the more characterful angels, like this one holding out a lily in remembrance, are rare. Continue reading
I’m a fan of Harold Miller, a contemporary sculptor, who works in mixed media with a focus on clay and ceramics. His largest works are staged on 3D surrounds that have more in common with a theatre set than a traditional frame. Heads and figures, often embellished with tin or jewellery, emerge from textural backgrounds made from clay, stone and/or beautifully stained driftwood.
These two smaller figures show Harold’s technique and storytelling ability. The figures look self-contained, but their silence is lyrical. The man above is one in a series of wind figures wearing stylised, windswept cloaks. It’s almost impossible for the viewer not to imagine the story of his life, as if the clay could have its own history.
But when I first saw Harold’s work exhibited at Chimneyville Crafts Festival, it was this lady, captured in prayer, that I admired most. Her slim frame seems vulnerable and she is rapt in her faith. Though she is made of clay, she overflows with humanity. I can’t tell you her story, but I seem to feel the strength of her heart.
This week’s photo challenge is a strange one at first reading. It’s about a different style of portraiture:
Explore silhouettes, shadows, orientation, and other ways to mask your subject… Explore the use of anonymity to express both that which is common to all of us and the uniqueness that stands out even when the most obvious parts of us are hidden.
I’m not a portrait photographer so I planned to sit this one out, until I remembered this series of pictures I had so much fun taking. Continue reading
I’ve never liked the term ‘Outsider Art’, so why am I using it? Good question. It gives me a chance to take a pop at it a sentence or two later! Art, of all things, should be inclusive. Outsider Art seems to imply exclusion or at least condescension (“they’ve had no training, you know”), as if there is an overarching Art Club, but you have to be a paid-up member to lunch there. Continue reading
Yesterday afternoon we felt very fortunate to be able to preview the flower show that is being held from 10-12th June at the RHS’s lovely Harlow Carr Garden. I’m sure it’s not a coincidence that the show is timed during the flowering of their blue poppies (meconopsis).
A witty placement of a veiled stone head at Gresgarth Hall Gardens in NW England. She’s ‘clothed’ in box topiary that has been trimmed into a cube.
She’s positioned near the door so it’s easy to imagine her as a kind of guardian angel.