an artists' view

an artists' view

Sunday, 22 May 2011

ArtyVan (8)

The bunting was out; the art was on display; Jon baked cake; Pauline brought delicious cheese scones! And the weather stayed gorgeous!
The grounds of Westgate Chapel were the perfect place to sit out and enjoy the day when The Hepworth Wakefield opened its doors to the public. We celebrated in fine style.

Some art work on display in the rear of Blanche.

And when it was all over, we retired to 'The Prince Albert', up at Westgate Studios, where we had a pint of lovely 'Masterpiece' beer, brewed especially for the Hepworth's opening by Ossett Brewery. There was an installation in the Project Space, and Vicky (pictured above) had a high old time examining the gloss-paint filled plastic that hung from the ceiling.

Friday, 20 May 2011

The Hepworth Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield is 'officially' open; tomorrow (Saturday) is the first day of opening to the public. I was lucky to go tonight for the speeches of thanks etc, that greeted the preview opening.
It was lovely to see paintings I've viewed for the past 30 years at Wentworth Terrace, in this new setting; a purpose-built gallery. Wentworth Terrace is a lovely building, and very welcoming, with gorgeous stained glass in some of the windows. But house-sized, it was problematic for displaying artwork.
The Hepworth is BIG and it shows the paintings, drawings, and sculptures with lots of space around them, and lit beautifully.
And - as I wrote in May 2010, the views of the River Calder are simply stunning.
The natural light bounces off the water, and pours through the windows, warm and golden. So many people stood looking out of the windows - just as I did 12 months ago.
Now that at last it's open, I hope us Wakefield people visit The Hepworth and take it to our hearts. We'll get to see some fantastic art; not just the work already in the collection, but visiting exhibitions. I want us to come to love it.

I'm looking forward to visiting again in a few days, and having a proper look around; a thorough looksee. The Hepworth sculpture 'Figure (Nanjizal)' from 1958 is one I want to spend some time with. Carved yew wood, it retains the chisel marks on the inner surface. A lovely contrast with the smoothness of the outer tree trunk.
And in the St Ives gallery, I finally found the sculpture 'Chun'.
We visited Chun Quoit when we visited St. Ives, and sat for ages, while I took photographs and sketched; listening to the lapwings' song. It's a neolithic tomb; it stands on the swell of the moor, away from everything. Later, I drew it again; this time on an A1 piece of paper. It's one of the biggest drawings I've ever done. It hangs on my landing; and tonight I shall pass it as I go up to bed.
And I'll think about the pleasure I'm going to have, when I return to the gallery, and look again at Hepworth's sculpture 'Chun'.

ArtyVan (7)

A bronze from Hepworth's studio in St. Ives.
When I first saw this, on my first visit to Hepworth's studio/museum, I finally 'got' her work. It is very explicit in its referencing of neolithic stones, and ancient landscapes.
I'd been visiting many stone circles, and standing stones throughout the British Isles before I saw this bronze. So I looked at it and it was 'boom'...I understood! This was the reason I re-visited St. Ives in 2005, while I was in the process of writing my M.A. dissertation. Hepworth's work needed to be included, because the influence of the land was integral to her work.
My dissertation was about the Land, and artists who worked within it (Land Artists) or who were influenced by it.
And tomorrow, the Hepworth will finally open its doors. It's wonderful that finally there is an art gallery that is named for a female artist. And she came from Wakefield!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

ArtyVan (6)

Had the Wakefield Express round at Westgate Chapel yesterday taking photos of me; artwork; and Blanche.
Not necessarily in that order!
I don't expect the photographer will put them through photoshop!

Have collected the giant catering flasks from work, so we can make drinks for people who visit. And Jon is going to try and make some cake, so that will be a real treat; Jon's cake is becoming legendary to those people who come to my exhibitions!

My friend Lorraine is coming along to help throughout the day.
And hey...we have BUNTING! Hurray! The weather forecast is 'windy', so that will get the bunting fluttering nicely.
Almost ready; any last minute things will have to be completed tonight or tomorrow. If it isn't done by then, it's just too bad!

Bob's studio will be open on Saturday too, up at Westgate Studios; 'The Prince Albert', so who knows, I might get a well-earned drink after it's all over on Saturday!

Monday, 16 May 2011

ArtyVan (5)

Here's a photograph of Blanche, my campervan, that I took in the grounds of Westgate Chapel yesterday. It's been put through a few of the filters on photoshop, which is why it has a rather scruffy, silvery, blotchy look! It makes a change from the usual photographic images though; and I wanted Blanche to get her photo on the blog!
I e.mailed Kate some information about myself, for her to send out in some publicity. She took lots of photos! I'm not that keen on having my photograph taken, so I felt a bit awkward. Perhaps I should have put Kate's photos through photoshop, so I emerged scruffy and blotchy if not silvery!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

ArtyVan (4)

Another Hepworth sculpture from her studio in St.Ives.

Got to Chapel today and Kate took some photos; and I took some photos of Blanche, my VW campervan. I completed the textiles I'm exhibiting there on Saturday, so that's a relief.

A bit of tinkering to complete the birdbox, and everything is ready!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

ArtyVan (3)

I'm away to the Chapel tomorrow, to meet with Kate Taylor, the Chapel Secretary. She wants to take some photos of Blanche, my VW van. So my task tonight (!) is to create a nameplate, reading 'ArtyVan'! Eventually I want one made of fabric; but just for now, I think it will have to be paper.
We went uptown today, and looked out to buy some bunting. Most of the shops we went in, had staff who had never heard of 'bunting'. I had imagined that the country was awash in unwanted bunting after the royal wedding last month, but I was obviously wrong.
In case I don't get the chance to make up some bunting before next Saturday, I purchased, from a poundshop, a 'camping-washing-line' complete with pegs! That, as they say, will do nicely!

And here's a photo of Barbara Hepworth's studio in St.Ives from when I was there in 2005. I was researching my M.A. dissertation, which covered artists and their relationship with the Land, and included Hepworth. It will be fascinating to see the artefacts on show in the new Hepworth Gallery, donated by her family. Her studio in St. Ives, looks as though Hepworth has just stepped out for a moment. It's very evocative.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

ArtyVan (2)

I'm still on with the textile work for the Hepworth Opening Artwalk. Luckily I'm near the end of the process, rather than the beginning....which is lucky, as I've only got just over a week to go! It kind of hit me last night; and I'm now making 'lists' of what I need to do, to get organised. I finally got round to e.mailing round. It had simply not sunk into my head that I needed to get the information out! Doh!

I still haven't processed the visit to London last week, when I went to Tate Britain to see the Susan Hiller exhibition. The catalogue sits on the sofa; I'm refusing to put it onto the bookcase yet, until I've had a thorough look at it. But I'm just too busy at the moment. It will be my 'treat' for after the 21st of May! Then I shall immerse myself in 'HillerWorld' again. Plus I was able to get a wondrous book about Paul Nash, and one about Samuel Palmer, of whom I know very little, except his influence upon artists such as Nash. So much to look at, so little time! I wonder if it's better to be an art historian, rather than an artist? That way, you can justifiably spend your time looking, and not concern yourself with the time it takes away from the making?
I feel the last couple of months have been so full of inspiration; the film of the Cave Art in France; the Spero exhibition; the Hiller show; plus all the catalogues and books I've got to look at.
And of course, the work I've been concentrating on making. Though I don't feel I've had enough time for that recently.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


Westgate Unitarian Chapel, Westgate, Wakefield.

On Saturday 21st May, 2011,

11am - 4pm

To celebrate the official opening of the Hepworth Wakefield, I will be exhibiting a small selection of my smallest work, in the smallest exhibition space in Wakefield.

My T4 VW campervan, Blanche!
I look forward to seeing you, for drinks, and cakes, in this lovely green oasis in the centre of Wakefield. Take time to relax, and refresh yourself.

for details
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