Friday, 18 June 2010
Green Tatton - it was great to walk around the beautiful gardens and breathe the fresh air.
The Japanese garden is very pretty but it's a shame that you can't actually walk around within it. Even though the garden was made by 'Japanese workmen' it still feels like an English version of a tea garden.
And onto the Biennial. It's a great idea to have site specific contemporary art in such a beautiful and interesting place. However, I must confess that I was disappointed as I walked around some of the works situated in the gardens. I feel some of these artists are very good at writing proposals and subsequently 'talking the talk' but they lack the talent or time to carry their ideas through to an accomplished end that is interesting for the viewer. I always look for skill in making as well as the idea that is being conveyed. However, some artists aren't interested in the making just the concept. Unfortunately, a lot of the garden pieces weren't open or in use as this is reserved for the weekends only! I feel that if some of them were open or in use then it wouldn't have altered my opinion of it.
There were two pieces of note in the house though. Kate MccGwire's 'Evacuate'. This is a giant pheasant like creature taking over the kitchen. It was beautifully made from thousands of locally sourced feathers and created a surreal experience. It reminds me of a recurring dream I used to have as a child - continuously expanding worms! I feel the piece is a wildfowl assault on years of abuse by the aristocracy which of course has parallels.
The other piece is Helen Maurer's 'Light Landing'. Although this piece wasn't working, I could imagine that it would look quite interesting. Glass droplets hanging in a hall that when lit would evoke images of parachutes and WWII. If you ever wondered what happened to the chandeliers from Manchester airport...........
Sunday, 13 June 2010
Here are a couple of images of the penguin pieces I am working on (see 29th March 2010 post for the beginnings). Lately, I've been having problems with cracking (there's always something in ceramics!) but I fired these pieces to see how the glaze works. I used my original aqua glaze with a glossy opaque white glaze. The glazes work well together and there seems to be no problems when they blend into each other. Also, I'm not used to glazing such awkward shapes so it was good to practise glazing them. The pieces need further development in particular the scale. I have some interesting ideas to work on.