LEONOR FINI: Artist, Libertine, Provocateur

Loved this . What a fabulous woman , great artist. Wish I could have lived in that world.

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Portrait of Leonor Fini by André Ostier (1951)

“I am independent. I am free. I am not a surrealist and beyond classification.“

Leonor Fini (1982)

Unconventional, free-thinking and experimental, Leonor Fini was once the ‘it-girl’ of Paris and was one of the most photographed women in the art world. Known more perhaps for her flamboyant nature and penchant for dressing-up and cross-dressing rather than her painting, she had an illustrious career in theatre and set design, illustration, product design and film too. However, it is her status as a painter that needs to be examined; so we can appreciate her unique influence on 20th century art history.

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Fini in Corsica (1957)

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1907) to mixed Argentine, Spanish, Italian and Slavic blood, Fini fled with her mother at two years old to Trieste, Italy, to escape her father. There are stories of her father’s plots to kidnap her…

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Printing on maps.

Printing on old maps was an idea formed in my mind a while ago. With the advent of mapping systems paper maps are less relevant in everyday life. I love maps , particularly when the pressure of navigating to a destination in a timely manner has been removed. The crackle of an ordnance survey map was the first sign, when I was a child, that a trip was being planned.

I love the physicality of them, the awkward folds, the musty smell , the promise of adventure. I could’nt bear to part with my fathers maps when he died and I hate to see them unloved at charity shops.

I came up with a plan to print on old ordnance survey maps. I’m at the very early stages of this   and have been buying old ordnance survey maps. Initially I’ve been printing, painting and stencilling but soon I want to start Letterpress printing on them.

As often happens in art , things don’t go quite to plan . Ordnance survey maps lead different lives from one another. Stored in different ways , treated, or not, with respect. Stored in smoky,damp,daylight,houses, sheds, rucksacks. Each has a different quality and it has become an adventure not dissimilar to working on hand-made paper.  I select a portion of map to print on and then gently steam iron the creases  out. Then I decide what to do with each one depending on its intrinsic colours and those that it’s gained along the way.

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Today I’ve managed to match the blue of the text on one printmap and the yellow of minor roads alongside mustard of the nicotine stains on another.

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The maps remember their folds , and many are stained along the creases . Some do not succumb easily to inks or paints and fall apart during the process .

I’ve been asked to do an In Memorium print on a friends grandfathers map. A good bit more practice before I do that I think .

Travelling with a Coffee Addict

For a variety of reasons we are doing a lot of travelling this year. Good coffee is the fuel that gets Hannah around the world. In an effort to make mornings more calm regardless of our location. I bought this little device from China

Smugly , I relaxed on our latest outing. Happy in the knowledge that a hand grinder was in the case. What I had not checked was that the beans were packed. Thank goodness that on this occasion we had only travelled to the depths of Crystal Palace. Once again the morning plans developed with a central coffee searching scenario.

IMG_0704Crystal Palace , thank goodness, is not a coffee shop free zone. Quite the reverse.

Dalhousie had recently followed theoldmortuary.design on Instagram so with an embarrassment of choice on the Triangle we hastened to them to “wake up and smell the coffee” and in fact buy the beans.

Dalhousie is super stylish , the coffee is great as are the cakes. Furry coffee hounds are also welcome.

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