Saturday, November 27, 2010

I didn't have to go far for these images - three photos from around the college:-

I particularly like the combination of the colours, lines and numbers on the last one.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Can't sleep ... and electrocution

It must be the full moon but here I am at 4.50 am writing my blog.

I had a full week last week with open days, felting and ceramics but really enjoyed it all.  I'm excited too about the work at the moment (or maybe it's hysteria caused by lack of sleep). Here's what all the excitement (or hysteria) is about:-

This is the felt piece I made, inspired as ever by the electrical wires and in particular from a photocopy of a photograph I made:-

I really enjoyed the process of making this - it's a bit like printing or ceramics, you know the effect you're after but you're not quite sure how it will turn out.  Liz mentioned a couple of other ways to represent the electrical wiring using textiles (bleaching black cotton and using threads with latex) and given time I'd like to explore these also.  

I also did a ceramics class.  There's nothing to show yet but next week I'm looking forward to getting stuck in trying to produce something using this as my inspiration:-

The last thing I did last week was to finish off the wire piece I was making inspired by Petah Coyne.  At least I thought it was finished but now I'm not so sure.  At the review it was suggested that I just hang it from the ceiling but looking at it got me thinking about electrocution. 

Sometimes when you switch on something you see a blue spark.  Other times you switch on sockets with wet hands even though you shouldn't and the whole made me think that the wire piece was the electricity crawling out of a socket so that's what I made.  When it was wired in it reminded me even more of this and the ambiguous nature we have with electricity - we can't live without it but treat it improperly and it'll finish you off. 

I fixed the socket to the wall and took some photographs.  I can't decide if the wire should be going up the wall or along the floor.  If along the floor it needs to be longer I think.

I like it running over the floor, it looks more menacing.

The house I live in is surrounded by electric fences or rather surrounded by fields with electric fences.  Everywhere I walk I can hear them 'clicking' as they pass over tree trunks or fence posts.  It's actually quite a malevolent little sound and I was thinking of trying to incorporate this sound into the socket so that as you approach you can 'hear' the electricity too.  In this way the semi-attractiveness of the wire with it's curves and coloured pieces would be offset by the sound of the clicking.  Is it really plugged in?  Could I get a shock if I go too close?

With these cheery thoughts in mind I looked up electrocution and got some rather disturbing images and also found a lovely term - 'macroshock'This is the name given to an electrical shock that can kill you by causing the heart to fibrillate. I think I would like to explore this a little further.

Last of all, the back of the socket I was using was lovely!

I wonder if I could print directly from these pieces?  They're so random and geometric and have those unexpected little bronze and gold inserts.

I know I shouldn't but I started Photoshopping ...

The image below is from a photograph of the wire piece going up the wall, there's even the shadow of a telegraph pole in there and I want to print it NOW! 

Friday, November 12, 2010


Had my review this week and I'm keeping on with the electrical theme.  I'm pleased about this as I really enjoy experimenting with the connectors, wire and coloured insulating tape.  I'm going to make lots more of the switch plates; they look very Mondrianesque. 

Using Photoshop, I zoomed in and inverted the photograph.  The result is great, I love the stark, graphic effect.

I also played around with inserting some of the wire sleeving  into the connectors and this is what I got:-

And after a little tweaking with Photoshop, I got some lovely images for painting or printing:-

The shadows and reflections are highlighted really well - I wish the originals were these colours.  This last one is my favourite:-

It looks grungy, graphic, industrial and  - at last - colourful!

Monday, November 8, 2010


I'm still experimenting with the connectors and electrical bits and pieces I got at Wickes.  I saw a piece by Petah Coyne in an American arts magazine which inspired me by it's energy (which is appropriate for my subject in itself!)and tried to incorporate this into the drawings and some of the 3D work I made last week:-

 For more of Petah Coyne's work see

Here's my response:

I'm pleased with some of these results but feel they need scaling up and further work.  I'm also thinking jewellery and glad to use the insulation tape to get some colour in my work.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Isn't this lovely stuff!  Designed by Sebastien Wierinck who has a studio in Marseilles and designs domestic and "public" furniture.  I love the fact that light sources are incorporated into these designs and they look so good, you'd have to sit down on them.

His website is 

Friday, November 5, 2010


Last week I discovered the art of Vieira da Silva who was an Abstract Expressionist born in 1908 in Lisbon.  She studied sculpture at the Lisbon Academy of Fine Art and in Paris under Bourdelle but made her name as a painter; "I never contemplated becoming a sculptress; I created sculptures in order to remain more free in my painting".   She was exiled in Brazil during the Second World War and afterwards lived in Paris until her death in 1992.

Some of her early works are figurative in an almost Cubist style (Calvary and War, 1942) but gradually the figure disappeared to be replaced with webs of lines, coloured blocks and converging perspective.  Her later paintings are wonderfully coloured, geometric explorations of perspective and spatial dimensions, lines and blocks of colour and light that draw the eye in or lead it across the canvas.  She often painted urban themes and described herself as a "city woman".  

I love her work, especially from the mid 1940's onwards.  The paintings are incredibly detailed and seem alost multi-dimensional.  She way shes uses colour and line are for me, wonderful and the paintings have an energy and dynamism that I find exhilirating.  Here are a few examples, beginning with one of my favourites:-
 The Big Buildings, 1956, Paris Centre Georges Pompidou

 The Grey Room, 1950, Tate Gallery, London.

Library, 1949, Paris, Centre Georges Pompdiou

I would urge you to check out also Gare St Lazare, 1949 and Urban Perspectives, 1952.  In fact get this book

or visit this site

You'll be inspired for years!