I adore gardening and dream of having my own lush greenhouse so these surreal paintings by Jeremy Miranda appeal to me. Working in acrylic paint Jeremy creates structures radiating warm light within a sparse environment. Inspired by nature, technology and memory I love how inviting his greenhouse like homes are.
Maggi Hambling’s current exhibition at The National Gallery, titled ‘Walls Of Water’ (26th Nov – 15th Feb 2015) has received a mixture of reviews since it’s opening. Notably from Jonathan Jones who said in the Guardian…
What is art for? This is a question Hambling appears never to have asked herself. Her paintings are acts of egotistical imperialism, with no purpose except to claim space for themselves.
Quite a damning review (read the rest here). I read this whilst in The National Gallery coffee bar right before I went to see ‘Walls Of Water’ in the flesh and I have to say I agree (sort of). I live near Hambling’s beach sculpture ‘Scallop’ which has been defaced by graffiti several times since it’s installation in 2003 and I happen to quite like her past works so I had high hopes for this new exhibition. Consisting of 8 paintings measuring over 6x7ft and one smaller piece ‘Walls Of Water’ is inspired by Hambling’s musings from the sea wall at the Suffolk seaside town Southwold. She pictures gigantic waves crashing against the seawall and says…
The crucial thing that only painting can do is to make you feel as if you’re there while it’s being created – as if it’s happening in front of you.
However, I was left feeling pretty flat when confronted with the large pieces. Created from 2010-2012, I have stood many-a-time on the windy beach and pier at Southwold where Hambling would have experienced the waves and perhaps even on the same day and I have seen how wild it can get with the coastal winds. ‘Walls Of Water’ however, are empty, they do not evoke the drama and emotions felt when experiencing the wilds of nature and they remind me more of our great British rain rather than waves. There is no obvious concrete sea wall, just a white expanse behind the Pollock-esque drips and Monet like blurriness.
It’s as if Hambling has pulling out every trick in the book to create these, including Van Gogh style brush strokes and abstract dribbles in the foreground and yet they seem to lack impact and fail to evoke any real emotional response. There is something a little bit contrived and too controlled about their creation. They look interesting in these small images (below) but when seen in the flesh it’s very clear that size isn’t everything.
I think the thing that lets the exhibition down is writing about the contemporary parallel between Hambling’s ‘Walls Of Water’ and the seascapes by Peter Balke (1804-1887) which are shown only a few rooms away. They just do not compare.
In ‘Walls Of Water’ Hambling has apparently hidden outlines of animals and even made a homage to Amy Winehouse. Why?! What is the point in this? What does Amy Winehouse have to do with the drama and power of our coastline? The only animal form I could see in one image was a white splodge that could have been Jemima Puddle Duck which yes, made me laugh but just shows how feeble the artwork really is. Can you spot Jemima? I would say if you are interested do go and see the show but don’t expect to be bowled over, I certainly wouldn’t pay to see it.
Today I am swooning over this brand new limited edition print by Ryder that has just been delivered into work. I first featured Ryder’s artwork back in August (see original post here) and he has a new edition that has just been released… I have fallen in love with it!
‘Winter’s Warm Hearts’ pictured below is part of a magical Christmas release by Castle Galleries. Isn’t this what enchanting winter memories are made of? ‘Winter’s Warm Hearts‘ evokes memories of family Christmases, snow days off school and staying out making snowmen until the last sunlight falls and your mum calls you in for hot chocolate.
You can buy Ryder’s ‘Winter Warm Hearts’ framed for £695.
To celebrate being nominated for the award I have decided to hold my very first art giveaway. If you would like to win a hand signed print by Michelle Morin then all you have to do is vote for Brogues In A Coffee Bar (further details below) and you’ll be entered into the draw to win this stunning 11″ x 14″ archival print titled ‘Bird Sanctuary At Night‘…
Michelle Morin, an artist originally trained in horticulture who I previously featured on the blog here, uses watercolour and gouache to cultivate these stunningly bold and colourful scenes of plant and animal life living together. ‘Bird Sanctuary At Night’ is inspired a night time bird watching scene and pictures flamingos, Hellebore, ferns and Queen Annes Lace in the foreground.
I know a lot of you adored her work so to WIN this hand signed print vote for Brogues In A Coffee Bar and tweet/retweet me @BroguesinaCBar to enter. Voting and giveaway ends 1st December so it could be an early Christmas present for yourself!
Caught between abstraction and representation Chinese artist Lisa Ziwei Wang’s oil on linen paintings spill out of the wall, with earthy colours melting into each other she creates remarkable imagined landscapes. I adore how your eye is drawn up the imagined landscape and through the surreal scenes. There is a lovely flow to the work with an undercurrent that something just isn’t right, adding an uneasiness that you can’t take your eyes off.
You can buy her original paintings (approx 600 euros upwards depending on size) contact me to find out more.
Roland Barthe was one of my key texts when beginning my BA Hons Fine Art and quite frankly, I despised it. However, several times since graduation I have encountered his texts. In 2002 the world famous Pompidou Centre, Paris devoted an important exhibition to his literary criticisms, including ‘The Death Of The Author’. In this essay Barthes surmises that to interpret and read a text in it’s truest form, the reader must disengage with the author. Stating that…
Criticism still consists, most of the time, in saying that Baudelaire’s work is the failure of the man
Baudelaire, Van Gogh’s work his madness, Tchaikovsky’s his vice: the explanation of
the work is always sought in the man who has produced it
He promotes empowerment and gives the reader back control to garner what they like from the work without preconceptions of the author, or for the purposes of this post, the artist. It is with this thought in mind that I would like to introduce to you the new collection by Ryder. Blurring the lines between arts disciplines and breathing a narrative into the enchanting images, the work of Ryder is a true mystery.
All that is known about Ryder is that they are created by a male. No artist biography explains the work or his life, leaving the art to speak for itself…
You can buy Ryder’s hand signed limited editions at through Castle Galleries.
The work by Sara Angelucci reminds me of my favourite book series this year Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children. Aviaries, like photographs, sprang forth in the nineteenth century, a time of keen interest in science, unprecedented colonial expansion, and a rapacious appetite for collecting. Drawing attention to the conventions of image making Sara’s photography explores the Victorians rule over creatures as the fashion for collection natural history increased in the 19th century along with new technology for shooting photographic images.
There is nothing I enjoy more than pouring over antique cabinets of curiosities with their mixtures of seemingly mundane objects in the back rooms of museums which I think is why this collection of work titled ‘Aviary’ appeals to me. Her collection of strange yet endearing photographs embodie many themes from 19th century society. The ladies embody another creature and appear mythical themselves, making our history appear otherworldly. Do the birds embody their personalities? The barn owl certainly has an air of superiority over the almost clown like jester of the Eskimo Curlew (below right)…
I definitely recommend exploring Sara Angelucci’s charming website.
Michelle Morin is an artist who previously worked for many years in horticulture. It is this special relationship with plants that gives her work a true depth. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to see an artist brave enough to use colour and experimentation in watercolour. Her work has a modern edge to classic botanical illustration. It is not contrived and with layers and layers of organic paint her work draws you into the environment and has a very calming effect.
You can buy hand signed archival prints from just £11.97 – How could you not?! I plan on getting a few! See images below and visit her Etsy store here.