Sydney and Cockatoo Island

On the advice from Tess at Baldessin Press one of the first things I did on arriving in Sydney was to take the ferry across to Cockatoo Island - I am so glad I did!! I took a few hundred photos which I hope will inspire some future work here is a SMALL sample
And then of course I started getting down to the details.....................!!!

you can see where I'm going with this...............................!! No I'm not in a contemporary art gallery!!

Yes it was rust heavon again ................... I will be revisting again on my return to Sydney at the end of February as the William Kentridge installation that is there at the moment was not open the day I went and that I must see!!!


Happy Christmas everyone!

This is Grrl+dog's front door! - don't you just love her enormous RED decoration - the best in the street of course - it certainly makes a statement!
I wish all my friends, family and blog followers a very merry and happy Christmas and New Year 2010


Birthday celebrations Sydney style - a food post!!

It was my birthday and Grrl did me proud (thank you Grrl) taking me to 41 restaurant - as the name says it's on the 41st floor of the Chiefly Bldg in the middle of Sydney - there was fantastic company ..........Fantastic starter...... isn't it pretty! Kingfish and some sort of fish eggs that looked like a necklace!
Delicious main course - Sea trout sitting on baby peas, sorrel (the green swirl) and potato cake - the white is foam which apparently is all the rage at the moment and is certainly visually stunning on the plate.....
with a beautiful salad....
Not forgetting the view..... taken in the restroom (can you believe it!!)
It certainly has the WOW factor - and the wine from New Zealand was excellent - by the time we got to dessert, coffee, amaretto with ice and chocolates I'd forgotten about taking photos!!! It is a birthday I will always remember......


In Sydney but backtracking a bit

A couple of images of Thailand - Bangkok market and final destination in Koh Tao
I'm now in Sydney! It's hot and great!



Well I'm finally ready to leave on my travels to Thailand and Australia tomorrow - all packed - I thought I would leave you with this - I used to love Peter Paul and Mary years ago and still do!!

will be posting about my travels when I get the opportunity - bye for now!


More from the Venice Biennale 2009

As promised here is more work that I enjoyed at the
Venice Biennale in September
Hans-Peter Feldmann's Installation
there was a long table covered with rotating figures - figurines, dolls, toys, with lights behind them, projecting their spinning shadows onto a white wall about 20' long. The shadows merge and it's difficult to tell which one is which - it's magical and dreamlike and also quite scary!
You can read more about this artist HERE
I really wanted to put this on my sidebar does anyone know how to do this without going through the Youtube option?


A FANTASTIC new bag!!


This is arrived in the post today and I just LOVE it!! It is of course for my travels!!


When I left my part time job at the beginning of September the lovely people there gave me a gift token to spend on Amazon. I have been researching the perfect bag for my travels!! The perfect bag had to not just be a padded camera bag but take art materials too! And I didn't want a bag that was an obvious camera bag. So I eventually found this range of Earth Explorer bags - made by Boden for National Geographic it has lots of great features - it will carry my camera safely in a detachable padded pocket, sketchbook, pencils and pens and a water bottle and even has a back pocket for documents/passport etc. You can see reviews and further details HERE - it's made of hemp so is also environmentally friendly too - what more could I ask for? It feels really strong which is good because it will be lugged around Thailand and Australia for a few months - I can't wait to pack it with my gear and go off exploring - maybe I will take a short day trip somewhere very soon!! If my Aussie blogging friends have any advice on what else to bring please let me know!


Rambling and forthcoming adventures!

I've been so busy sorting and packing during the last few weeks - my studio is in boxes - actually most of my life seems to be in boxes as I wait the last few weeks to set off on my adventures! My stuff is going into store for several months while I am in Thailand and Australia and then I will be renting for a few months when I come back so I have been trying to sort things into long term (I really don't need this stuff to survive!!!) and the stuff I will need - basic living stuff and of course all the studio stuff!!! No need to explain this further I feel....... !!!! The word FRAGILE seems to be cropping up quite a lot I've noticed!!

Yes - I'm certainly filling the space up!!!

I was visiting some favorite blogs and was reminded of this quote by India at 'not all those that wander are lost' - It was apt timing " A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving" Lao Tzu.

I have been a bit hung up with plans lately and forgotten this wise advice!
I wonder where I'll end up then !


Hughie O'Donoghue

Prompted by Blue Sky Dreaming I did a further search on the internet and found some images - most of his paintings are very big and photographs don't do them justice - which is why not many are published on the web no doult!! They have many layers of paint, photographic imagery and glazes so have a real translucent quality to them - he talks very eloquently about his working processes and the source material from his research - he has a keen interest in history particularly the first and second world war periods - if you find yourself in Ireland he has work in the Irish Museum of Modern Art. I was interested in how he incorporated photographic images and the transfer to the canvas - he was generous in sharing some of this process - he enlarges the photographs into tiles which are transfered to gossamer fine Japanese paper and then applied to the canvas - that was as much as he was willing to divulge!! I am fascinated by the process so if any of you reading this know more I would love to hear about it!
More information about his work from HERE where I found the image below


Wonderful exhibition

I was passing Leeds Art Gallery and popped in on the advice of my daughter to see the current exhibition - I was completely knocked out by this painter's work (which is rare for me with painting) and just by chance noticed that he was giving a talk on his work that evening - so I went to it - last night. I am fascinated by the processes of other artists and this was not a disappointment. I bought the catalogue and even had it signed by the artist - Hughie O'Donoghue - I have struggled to find anything about this painter's work on the internet - the best I could come up with is HERE - he works in Southern Ireland and has been painting for 30 years! Although I am not a painter I felt such a connection between what we were both trying to say in our work. I can't understand why his work is not more recognized in the world! I wish I could share more of his beautiful paintings which incorporate photography.
It is rare indeed to find someone who has been working for so long and is a Royal Academy artist with virtually no information or images on the internet!
It has started me wondering...............wandering.............. !!!


VIDEO: have fun... take the stairs

I wished I lived in Stockholm! click on the link below to see why!

VIDEO: have fun... taking the stairs ?

Shared via AddThis


Back from exporing!

Julia Cameron in her book 'The Artist's Way' recommends artist dates! I so agree with her! It recharges the batteries! So I went exploring - or it felt like it! I visited so many different countries! No this is not the 'Yellow Brick Road' but I did feel like Dorothy in a wonderful world 'somewhere over the rainbow'.............
I rambled down this mosaic path somewhere in the Mediterranean - called 'Liquid Gold' the name Homer (800BC) gave to olive oil - the square of gold in the granite surround symbolises the olive oil press from which a central golden line evoking the long tradition of oil as a symbol of light, life and divinity runs through a pathway of simply conceived images of the dove - one for each Mediterranean nation - the artist is Elaine M Goodwin

From here on it got hotter as I entered the rainforest!
Past the spice boat below..................
Avoiding the ant's nest which was very alive!!
on past the WEEE man!! made from 3 tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment - the staggering amount that an average person throws away in their lifetime!
Until I reached the CORE!

70 tonnes of carved Cornish granite from Delank Quarry on Bodmin Moor, lifted in to place through the roof of the building by a giant crane - the film of it happening was quite amazing! You can read more about it HERE. The sculptor is Peter Randall Page and he has a large exhibition of his work at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park until next year - I am saving that for a day in November before going on my travels!
So have you guessed where I went exploring? Yes the Eden Project in Cornwall - it was a great day and I'm back!




Venice Biennale - Making Worlds

I feel I have neglected my blog again lately - I think the upheaval of the move is causing more disturbance than I thought so I have started up my meditation practice again - thankfully it is paying off and I feel much calmer and more grounded. I came back from a few days in Venice at the Biennale a week ago. I went with an artist friend and we stayed at the Hotel Casa Linger (an apt name!!) Basic and cheap (for Venice) accomodation in the Castello district so within easy walking distance of both the Giardini and Arsenale without having to get vaporetti! On the way we came to our first art work situated on the edge of the Grand Canal - a giant mirrored box which reflected weird images of the water, nearby buildings and the passers by and caused lots of amusement - it was like being in an outside hall of mirrors! This is me with a one thin and one fat leg! Of course before we started we needed a cup of coffee - this is one of the cafes - great fun and not very busy thank goodness! Here I am enjoying the first of several cafe lattes!
I want to share with you a few of my favorite artist's works - I took lots of photos as you can imagine and I have found it difficult to choose just a few - maybe I'll introduce some more of the artists whose work I enjoyed in future posts - meantime - this was in the main exhibition Palazzo in the Giardini - a very beautiful installation of black threads by the Argentinian artist Tomas Saraceno with the wonderful title 'galaxies forming along filments, like droplets along the strands of a spider's web'
Also in the Giardini in the Egyptian Pavilion was the work of the artist Adel El Siwi - tall, straw woven figures bowed us in!
I loved his work and his sense of humor - the exhibition was called 'Lightly Monumental' and it was!!
Some of the best exhibits were projections and artist films and impossible to capture so I am hoping I can find links for you if you are interested in seeing some of the work - below is Nathalie Djurberg (Sweden) who created a 'Garden of Eden' installation of enormous plants and several screens showing her rather disturbing feminist gothic animated films - (she calls them Claymation films) disturbing and brilliant - I saw one of her films at the Frieze Art Festival four years ago and it made an impression on me then!

Very different and equally powerful - Krzysztof Wodiczko projections of windows on the Polish Pavilion walls showed immigrants washing windows and chatting together outside while the viewers watched from the inside - the link HERE gives a lot more information about the work that was created for the Biennale - It had a profound effect on me and will stay with me for a long time
The link for the British Pavilion is HERE - I was inspired by Steve McQueen's film made in the Giardini and depicting it's other life once the Biennale was over and winter arrived. the work from artists in Northern Ireland was also strong - the most disappointing of all was the Welsh artist John Cale - I'm afraid to say it did nothing for me at all!
Well that's all for now!



I've been so busy in the last few weeks with my pre moving house decluttering that I've neglected blogland! I'm almost ready for the first car load of STUFF to transport down to Plymouth tomorrow where I will be staying for 3 weeks before returning to Leeds for the final packing and cleaning of the house. Although I'm moving down to Plymouth I have decided to take some time out and defer my degree for a year - I'm going WALKABOUT and about this I will write something later on as I'm not starting until November - in the meantime inbetween the sorting, packing, going backwards and forwards from one end of the country I decided to mark the beginning of my decision to go WALKABOUT last Monday and go to ' ANOTHER PLACE' - it seemed a fitting start! I took the train to Liverpool and then to Crosby Beach, just a few miles north - as I walked from the station at Blundelsands/Crosby I turned around - this was behind me............... Liverpool Docks!
And this was ahead of me - I felt excited at the anticipation of what was waiting on the other side of the dunes...
'ANOTHER PLACE' - 100 cast iron figures by the artist Anthony Gormley spread along 3 kms of beach and reaching 1 km out to sea. According to Antony Gormley, Another Place harnesses the ebb and flow of the tide to explore man's relationship with nature. He says "the seaside is a good place to do this. Here time is tested by tide, architecture by the elements and the prevalence of sky seems to question the earth's substance. In this work human life is tested against planetary time. This sculpture exposes to light and time the nakedness of a particular and peculiar body. It is no hero, no ideal, just the industrially reproduced body of a middle-aged man trying to remain standing and trying to breathe, facing a horizon busy with ships moving materials and manufactured things around the planet." The figures are life size casts of Gormley's body. Incredibly they all seem to be so different..........I felt so moved - just look at this face - he seemed to have a tear rolling down his cheek!

this figure was near to the dunes and not submerged by water very often - the patina of the rusty iron was incredible to feel - something you just can't do in a gallery!
And this one much nearer to the sea - spending much more time under water

Quite spooky really..........
I tried to capture the expanse of the beach but it felt impossible........... the high tides here can rise by 100ft and at certain times all 100 figures are completely submerged - I was lucky enough to catch a very low tide and walk 1km out towards the sea......

Next week I'm off to Venice to the Biennale - more about that in a couple of weeks!



So is this the answer I wonder or just TOO extreme! I must say I am feeling more in sympathy with this artist at the moment! But I don't think I could go this far........


I have been packing up my studio this week and feeling frustrated by not being able to find anything anymore - how am I going to cope with this new MINIMALIST living for the next few months while I move myself down from the North of England to the South West and find a new home - the traveller in me has a real sense of freedom from accumulated stuff that I have let go of!! But how will I cope with the artist in me who wants this stuff to create works of art - hmmm - I need to learn from the land art I created and let go of in July - Seth has a marvellous sense of timing at The Altered Page and has just posted this on his blog about the artist Song Dong. There is a link to the artist's installation video here - It makes me feel tired just watching the video and I don't have that many helpers and a fork lift truck at my disposal!!!
I do not want to end up like this so as I said a very timely reminder! Thanks SethSong Dong Waste Not


Rambles in Wales

Here I am in North Wales again with my artist friend Marged who lives in the Snowdonia National Park - today we up near Beddgelert on the National Trust footpath at Craflwyn. It is close to the ruins of Vortigan's Hill Fort near Dinas Emrys. This is the land of King Arthur and legend has it that Merlin spent a lot of time at the fort...... in fact he lived there for a while. The ground is quite sacred! It was also the scene of a battle between the White Dragon of England and the Red Dragon of Wales - the Red Dragon won hence the Welsh flag!
Naomi Leake's sculpture 'Dresser' sits on the hillside - an empty standing dress with a copper bodice and stone cairn skirt - you can read more about her here
We carried on along the path and next was this enormous 'chair' made by the sculptor Dominic Clare
We had fun being children again..............
and this is what I was looking at .................
Oh and in case you were wondering I'm not 3ft tall but 5ft 7ins in fact!!!