Friday, 23 September 2011

Blackamoor love triangle

Tonight I am staring at a box which should contain a very expensive print on aluminium for Dr Johnsons House. I hope to open it soon.

All other works for this show are complete, so its cotton gloves on and tweezers to collage this last yet major piece up to complete the works for this show. I have been looking at Blackamoor jewelry for this leg of the project, inspired by Dr Johnson's servant and heir Francis Barber. Exotic and mysterious Blackamoor jewelry was a sought after and expensive addition to the collections of the rich in the 19th century. Believed to hold protective powers guarding against evil spirits, this is particularly relevant to the written works and research for this House and its inhabitants. The rest of the pieces I have made are small personal artefacts and tokens for what can only be described as historical evidence of an unexpected love triangle for Francis Barber, his wife and a mysterious link from his past.
I hope to own a piece of Blackamoor jewelry one day.

This week I went to see the Jerwood Drawing Prize as well as scoot around the Modern for things I may have overlooked before. The Jerwood Drawing prize I particularly enjoyed for its seemingly celebratory attempt at representing all types of contemporary drawing with an eclectic mix of obsessional approaches to the miniscule, repetitive gestures of mark making and the sharing of an idea. It was fab.
The Modern, I skipped through all floors, looking at new artists photography, the work of Diane Arbus and some surrealist pieces that I hadn't seen before in painting form and sculptural form. I also liked the Dark Humour room, with pieces by Louise Bourgeois and the Chapman brothers to name two that I had overlooked before. It all made me want to run away, get in the studio and paint for the first time in a few years, but sadly I dont have the time right now. Maybe one for later eh?

Today I had a mini meeting with the local Art School which was fruitful in terms of setting up what I hope is an interesting proposal for my students this year. I am finding it so hard to work in a building that makes me feel ill (distinct lack of air and far too many artificial lighting units), so I am trying to find positive ways of working elsewhere. The student experience this year has been slashed even further with very few hours to teach very little, so I am desperately trying to get new ideas off the ground in an attempt to be positive, with networking opportunities for them as well as open their eyes to what is around them. To kick this off I have been asked to donate an object to stimulate ideas of cultural exchange, communication and display. I think I am going to make something, as I am currently making a lot of new work that is on the edges of what an object is or can be.

This week I need to get a move on with making works for Wilmore House's next show, 'Treasure' which opens at Asylum. These are going to be drawings that reflect the works of the others that are showing in the space. We are also going to work on mini residencies over the next weekend to attempt to respond to the space. And so, back to that unopened box.....

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