Friday, 31 August 2012

if you're gonna sculpt, sculpt like Tony

Recently I saw Tony Cragg’s latest work along ‘Exhibition Road’, it was a series of remarkable bronze sculptures that had materialised along the road in South Kensington amongst the grandiosity of the surrounding Natural History and Victoria & Albert Museums.
"I call bronze the archaic plastic, when you melt bronze it’s more liquid than water. So you can cast very fine, complex forms from it. People knew this 6,000 years ago. Bronze has never lost its relevance."
They looked so interesting against the backdrop of those buildings and it was interesting to see what happens when art is taken out of the gallery space; the comparison of them being used at seats and ashtrays, as well being appreciated and admired.    

'Versus' 2012

'Ferryman' 2001

'Luke' 2008

'Ellipitcal column' 2012

Tony Cragg began with a career in science but realising that his future lay in art, he went to The RCA Sculpture School which shared a back yard with the Natural History Museum and the Geological Museum. He was constantly in those places; particularly the geological museum (now part of the Natural History Museum), as it conveyed a profound sense of how Britain’s development has been determined by its material structure. “There were minerals, rocks and fossils from various parts of Britain. You could look at crystal forms and see exactly why they look the way they do, not just through their surfaces, but the atoms and molecules behind them.”

'Britain seen from the north'
a sideways map of Britain assembled from multicoloured plastic detritus, with a figure, representing Cragg, regarding the country from the top – a piece that was interpreted as a comment on the way the North was suffering under Thatcherism.

'New Configuration' 1985

'New Stones, Newton's Tones' 1978

While his earlier work was created from the basis of using found objects, and arranging them, he realised he couldn’t go on endlessly finding new materials, and “wanted to do more with the forms themselves.” The result was the gradual move towards more traditional materials.

It is the interplay between surface and substance, and the expectations we bring to them that informs these current works, which is what Cragg is doing in his current sculptures, shifting our sense of what things should look like so that what appear to be human profiles blur out of existence as you move around them, and mineral-like strata slide out of alignment or bulge in bronze like gelatinous sludge.

“We perceive the world through light reflected on surfaces. We develop a fantastic ability to read these surfaces and what lies behind them. And these surfaces are always the product of a function. There’s a reason things look the way they do – a value to everything. But if you shift these relationships just a bit, put another emphasis on them, new meanings come out of it.”

Let the sun shine, let the sun shine baby

(Yeah that’s a Labrinth song)

How nice does Cyprus look in the sun?!

After my pretty little camera was brutally mutilated by a hooligan, (you know who you are) we had to swap with a disposable, and while the majority of the pictures are totally crap and blurry, there are a few good shots.

Although, actually to be honest it was a crap camera (don’t buy an Olympus) Samsung is they way forward if you need a little digital. (Thank you to the harassed bloke at PC WORLD, who just SWAPPED my camera with a new one, easy easy, even though it was definitely out of warranty, seriously get them when they are low on staff and it’s hot outside and it’s a winwin!)

(nudist beaches are waaay liberating!)

Friday, 10 August 2012


I was experimenting with a new style of portraiture, vamping up the old continuous line by not actually looking at the subject! Yep, that right, I created these visual masterpieces by ‘touching’ the face. Before you think anything, it’s not as weird as it sounds. Imagine being blind, and relying on your sense of touch. It was interesting to see how what was felt was relayed to the paper; the relationship between different sensory organs. The results always seemed to look like caricatures, but it was curious to see what features were exaggerated and the ones where it was still obvious as to what they were. 

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Vis-ya'll text-urs

I made a mango and passion fruit  cheesecake the other day (EXOTIC right?!) however there is no photo since I messed up BIG TIME  with the whole gelatine bit so that it ended up as a big sloppy orange mess, like it was squirted out by an Oompa Loompa, although it tasted pretty good. Anyway, due to my incessant nature of having to keep and collect anything with an interesting surface texture, I played around with the leftover shells from the passion fruits. Once scooped out, the inside is really tactile and the outer shell sort of shrivels and hardens when left in the sun, so you end up with a form with a really appealing interior and exterior.  

Initially after drying them out I explored what would happen if you covered the inner shell with a layer of PVA glue, this was the result;

It reminded me of the work of Jennifer collier, a big ALevel art favourite.  (We couldn’t get enough of those paper dresses)

I decided to cover the surfaces with foil which looked like this;

and then I photocopied the foil structure (god bless the photocopier, ‘The Most Effective Way To Achieve Those Exciting Visual Textures!”)

since foil was quite an unusual material to work with; really malleable but relatively strong, I created another structure this time from tin foil cases (the ones jam tarts come in) 

and I vacuum formed it and photocopied  it 

and since you have to exhaust every possibility, I also covered it in latex..

And why? Why Did I bother with this?
Well because I just love them vis-ya’ll text-urs (plus it totally beefed up my portfolio)

Wednesday, 8 August 2012


Cakes are cool.

I think my wonderful future housemate Yash is getting concerned that due to my sudden new interest in technology that I won’t be baking any more cakes, this post is to reassure her that baking is still my number one priority, above all including getting a decent degree.

From watching Choccywoccydoodah and my favourite; Cake Boss (Buddy you legend) baking is totally getting on peoples radar and slowly, but resolutely getting the appreciation they deserve (it’s like they are war heroes or sommin, what am I sayin?!) No longer just for the Mary Berry fanatics out there, since cakes, you know, are COOL.
Anyway, after watching Kirsten Dunst in Sofia Coppolas’ (pretty awful) Marie Antoinette I got inspired to create my own masterpiece, and my sister was turning 15, which everyone knows, is an important birthday so, I thought I’d make her something exciting. Like all good artists, planning is paramount..

I think it was at this point I had realised how little art I’d done over the summer, and was attempting to turn every opportunity into a project worth documenting, which this one is, obviously..
This is what I made ..

Sure, it looks cool, but alas it tasted BAD.
Imagine the sweetness of Buddy the Elf’s syrupy spaghetti like, doubled, and then whip in a few million additives. So after the initial sugar rush, you had that sad, sad comedown, and had to hold back the vom.

SO, the challenge is to create a culinary masterpiece; something that is equally as aesthetically pleasing as it is edible, ok no Michelin star but if can look like sommin out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and taste as good, total win. 

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Festival Fun (Part 2)

 Right, after easing myself in to the festival scene with a trip to Kent’s Hop Farm Festival, the time came to branch out, or upward to the north, to bonnie Scotland’s ol’ Wickerman Festival.  Which was really fun! Travelling via campervan, so okay not totally slumming it, we ventured to Dumfries where it was situated amongst Scottish mountainsides. Amazing setting for a festival, really beautiful, and surprisingly wasn’t pissing it down or particularly cold! Kudos to Scotland!

Look at those rolling hills

Something to do with a Don't Tell The Bride episode?

lovely portaloos, seriously

the 'tyred?' seating area

Newton Faulkner is my new hero, such a cool dude


...and Tinkerbell!!
Everyone loves Skaaaa

The huge Wickerman, it was set alight on Saturday night

The best mother & son picture ever

dancing faces