Friday, 8 April 2016

I love GNOMES !!

Like many fashions, gnomes were introduced to Britain as a touch of aristocratic whimsy, only to be ruthlessly discarded by the upper echelons as soon as the rest of us caught on. In the middle of the 19th Century, Sir Charles Isham bought 21 impish German terracotta figures to adorn his rockery at Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire.However, these German mythical statuary..still beloved throughout Germany..are now so looked down upon here in Great Britain that they are BANNED from the Chelsea Flower Show ! Gnomes, it seems are the horticultural equivalent of a polyester jumpsuit in lime green !

But,all is not lost and I may not be alone ! The gnome became 'cool' again when infant-terrible of the design world Philippe Starck introduced a range of outsize gnome tables for uber-chic Kartell..however this has been eclipsed by ASDA ! Yes ASDA ! Now, this year, and for the third year running, they are selling bright, cheeky, outsized gnomes.....

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Paper Islands
Papier-mâché, acrylic paint, painted paper, 
painted MDF pedestals

Solo exhibition
Humanities Gallery
Long Island University
Brooklyn, NY
Curated by Paul Laster
Photography by Mike Vorrasi

Paper Islands is series of painted papier-mâché sculptures that explore the imagery of imaginary plants and geological formations through accretion of form and material. The lumpy, crude paper forms emerge from armatures amassed from crumpled paper, cardboard tubes, variously shaped balloons, and other materials, that are then “skinned” with layers of papier-mâché and gesso. The surface of the sculpture becomes a three-dimensional canvas for discovering color and seeking magic, richness, and playfulness in a new picture plane. Painted paper elements sprouting from bulbous extremities augment the feeling of growth and accretion, referencing innate potentiality within these fabled objects. At once scaleless and exuberant, the paper sculptures seek an underlying primal form that exists across plant, animal, rock, and landmass. 

Thursday, 10 March 2016

A Stunning contemporary sculpture garden

Through my garden reviews I am attempting to highlight how exciting modern garden making is in Great Britain RIGHT NOW ! I am astonished at how many people have commented both at talks and through social media such as Twitter and Facebook, at how dreary an uninspiring British gardens are. My reply is very simple..'Get yourself an NGS Yellow Book...and get out there and visit'...exciting times.
Mitton Manor, in glorious Staffordshire is one such a garden. Hardly fifteen years old and developed from an overgrown wilderness, this 7-acre garden is a true revelation ! Surrounding a Victorian manor, hence the name (!) this contemporary garden excites and inspires. Not only for the fantastic plants-manship shown, the masterful transitions from restraint and formality to natural woodland and magnificent prairie planting, but also for the superbly placed modern sculpture that surprises and delights at every turn. One of the most exciting gardens I discovered last summer, of which there were many (Over 120at last count)and certainly one that should be better known.

Mitton,  Penkridge,  Stafford,  Staffordshire

Friday, 4 March 2016

How Gertrude Jekyll's transformation of gardens was documented on film

 Paul Klee’s Personal Notebooks Are Now Online, Presenting His Bauhaus Teachings (1921-1931)

Paul Klee led an artistic life that spanned the 19th and 20th centuries, but he kept his aesthetic sensibility tuned to the future. Because of that, much of the Swiss-German Bauhaus-associated painter’s work, which at its most distinctive defines its own category of abstraction, still exudes a vitality today.

And he left behind not just those 9,000 pieces of art (not counting the hand puppets he made for his son), but plenty of writings as well, the best known of which came out in English as Paul Klee Notebooks, two volumes (The Thinking Eye and The Nature of Nature) collecting the artist’s essays on modern art and the lectures he gave at the Bauhaus schools in the 1920s.

“These works are considered so important for understanding modern art that they are compared to the importance that Leonardo’s A Treatise on Painting had for Renaissance,” says Monoskop. Their description also quotes critic Herbert Read, who described the books as  “the most complete presentation of the principles of design ever made by a modern artist – it constitutes the Principia Aesthetica of a new era of art, in which Klee occupies a position comparable to Newton’s in the realm of physics.”

More recently, the Zentrum Paul Klee made available online almost all 3,900 pages of Klee’s personal notebooks, which he used as the source for his Bauhaus teaching between 1921 and 1931. If you can’t read German, his extensively detailed textual theorizing on the mechanics of art (especially the use of color, with which he struggled before returning from a 1914 trip to Tunisia declaring, “Color and I are one. I am a painter”) may not immediately resonate with you. But his copious illustrations of all these observations and principles, in their vividness, clarity, and reflection of a truly active mind, can still captivate anybody  — just as his paintings do.

Friday, 26 February 2016

De La Warr Pavilion


Tonico Lemos Auaí

The London-based Brazilian artist, Tonico Lemos Auad (b.1968), makes sculptures that act as tools for processing thoughts. Often responding specifically in relation to the site and its people, Auad inspects ideas around act of faith, mending and repairing, resistance and endeavour to overcome adversity.

In response to the De La Warr Pavilion’s proximity to the natural elements and the town’s history as a seaside resort and its relationship to mental health and well-being, the exhibition at the De La Warr Pavilion will focus on the activity of gardening and its psychological impact and therapeutic properties.

All the plants in the gallery contain healing properties. The artist invites you to add your own medicinal plants and stories in exchange for a small plant sample. The exchange will take place here on Saturday afternoons, 1pm-4pm. 

A plantsman's garden...created by an artist...beautifully designed and full of do I not know about this ?

That was my hesitant reaction upon hearing about Tilford Cottage Garden..and reading about it and it being open through the NGS ! Telford was one of the discoveries through the Yellow Book..that spurred me on last summer to carefully read the descriptions more thoroughly and to not be so narrow minded about the gardens opening under the NGS Banner !

Tilford Cottage Gardens is a two-acre garden that mixes gardens and arts. The garden itself is split into many distinct zones or rooms, there’s a herb garden, a zen garden, herbaceous border, meadow, vegetable plot and so on. Interspersed throughout are sculptures and glassworks by the owner maker artist Rod Burns. It makes for a very eclectic and unique garden, full of surprises and amusement at every turn. A garden so beautifully planned and notebook was bursting with plant combinations and ideas when I left...a garden that should be so much better known and a credit both to the Burns and the NGS.....

Tilford Road
GU10 2BX