#19 theoldmortuary ponders

A sluggish start to the morning. A late supper with generous portions washed down by rum and ginger beer was great for a solid night of sleep but not so good for a perky rise. Today I am helping to set up an art exhibition in Tavistock. Thankfully this afternoon, so I should be at peak performance by then . The word ‘peak’ may be an exaggeration. My performance levels, at best, are only usually at hillock level.

Hillock= small hill or mound.

We’ve just had a fabulous two days with DFL friends and family. Two days of talking all things London and perhaps eating too much. They are crossing the Tamar into Cornwall now for more eating and drinking and I need to drive up the Tamar Valley and start being useful.

DFL= Down From London.

Pandemic Pondering #221

Emballage à Bulles Day

Bubblewrap re-imagined

Galleries and Exhibitions have had to rethink the traditional Private View Party that usually heralds the start of a new exhibition. Many, like my own group have returned to an older tradition of Vernissage, or Varnishing Day when a much smaller group of people can be invited to see a preview of the Exhibition within controlled time periods. Traditionally the day when final touches or indeed varnishing can take place.

Slightly tongue- in-cheek I’ve found a French term for handing-in day , the day when work is handed in prior to the exhibition being curated.

Emballage à Bulles Day

Or less exotically Bubblewrap Day. Anyone who has ever worked on the Take In desk of a mass participation exhibition will know the nightmare of an ever increasing quantity of bubble wrap being wrestled by arty types as they deliver their precious creations to the hand-in desk.

Yesterday was a catalogue and framing day at home , ready for my attendance at Emballage à Bulles Day in Tavistock, later today.

Against the odds my art group have arranged an Autumn Exhibition that has not been cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions. All contributing artists are probably having a frantic last minute organise of their work before hand in tomorrow.

Framing

I’ve got a total of 12 pieces going to the exhibition 10 of which are easily affordable.

Devon Great Consul

The picture above is the biggest piece 92 cms square and £400. It is an abstract image taken from a series of photographs I took at an Industrial Heritage site near Gunnislake in Cornwall. Puddles of water coloured with minerals settled into man made imprints left by mineral mining in the early 20th Century

All 12 pieces ready to go

The exhibition runs from Wednesday 28th October until Sunday 1st November 9:30- 5:00 except Sunday when it closes at 2:00. It is being held at The Butchers Hall, Tavistock and social distancing and all Covid-19 precautions are being observed.

Blue Pollen

Blue Pollen 40cms square £90 Acrylic and Resin.

Emballage à Bulles, it could become a regular ‘thing’

Serendipity has its way. Joining Drawn to the Valley.

Serendipity plays such a part in life. I have serendipitously joined an art group local to me in the Tamar Valley. I’ve joined but I was not quite ready, obviously I applied to join but I had no expectation of being accepted so I hadn’t factored in my unavailability for various key events, or the fact that I was barely able to create any art in the critical early months of my membership.

The art group was not completely unknown to me. I reviewed their London show in an earlier blog.

Drawn to the Valley, Drawn to London. Artists of the Tamar Valley.

I had also often been to exhibitions over many years that were held in the Tamar Valley organised by the group

Joining a new art group is always a little tricksy. No two are the same and getting involved is the surest way of navigating your way in. A few months in I’m finally able to participate more fully. Here is a trio of my experiences so far.

The Summer Exhibition was a wonderful experience. For the first time ever the exhibition was curated in a new public space, Butchers Hall in Tavistock.

http://www.tavistock.gov.uk/

The Private View was fabulously busy, the venue was probably the star attraction for many but the art was not overshadowed. Visitor numbers were high and sales were impressive. As a new member I was thrilled to sell a piece. Anyone who buys a piece of original art at these events is more appreciated than they probably realise. A red dot 🔴 is guaranteed to make even the coolest artists perform back flips, mentally if not physically.

Open Studios is a fine arty tradition organised across the length and breadth of Britain. Artists open their studios ( obviously) but also their homes. Some group together and share a larger space. It’s a chance to grab a bargain for art lovers and a chance of a good clear out for artists.

I couldn’t participate because all my recent work is hanging at UltraCardiac, a cardiac ultrasound facility at The Science Park in Plymouth. Next year I will be better prepared, but for now I’m thrilled to have big white walls to show my pictures on. Grateful thanks to Sean and Sarah for their space.

https://www.ultracardiac.co.uk/

Not participating made it easier for me to get out and about to see other people’s work. There was a helpful guide book to assist people to locate artists around the Tamar Valley .

Drawing Day at Kelly House.

Once again the location was the star, that and the amazing hosts Sophia and Warin. Kelly house has been in the same family since 1100. About 15 artists were given freedom to sketch and draw both inside outside the house. There was also a room to gather in and chatter over drinks. I found a crumpled crown, previously used in a pageant in the 1930’s, and hunkered down for five hours of painting still life. A crime, I know, in such beautiful surroundings but it’s not every day that a crumpled crown presents itself to me.

https://kelly-house.co.uk/

I can’t say I’m the most sociable person when I’m painting but it was lovely to meet some other members over a cup of tea. I’m intrigued to see where Drawn to the Valley will take me.

Wrongly Hung Door Part 2

Who would have thought it. You wait all your life to tell a badly hung door story and two crop up in one day!

IMG_0469I popped along to Tate Britain this morning to visit Queer British Art 1861-1967, a great, informative exhibition . Somewhat unexpectedly,  and to my mind unnecessarily , the cell door of Oscar Wildes incarceration was exhibited next to a famous portrait of the celebrated gay icon.  The point of the door was lost on me but if it had any relevance surely it would be the cell side of the door rather than the side seen only by his gaolers that would be of interest. If I’m to connect in any useful way surely I need to look at the door as Wilde would have done? Would it have been more effective shown as a sculpture in the middle of a room, or could have it been mounted in some way so the interior door surface could be reflected on a mirror?

Curating is a strange craft , this odd inclusion, arred in an otherwise stylishly curated exhibition.