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Student in Residence: Day 5


Black Iceflake 1: Made from black Fabriano paper and ice.

Student in Residence: Day 4


In between running back and forth from the freezer to keep them cool, yesterday we managed to take some nice pictures of the designs we have made.

I have just finished adding the final touches to some of my pictures on the computer and configured the designs into four greetings cards. I’m very excited to finally see them finished– they look much better than they had in my head and I am beyond happy with how they look. – Lydia Harris

Student in Residence: Day 3


Today I have finally finished the collection of images I have designed and created with Deborah over the past three days. We did the initial sketches and started building them on Monday, froze them on Tuesday and today we took them out of the freezer and started the photographing them using the natural light through the studio window (as well as the occasional help in the form of an LED light and mirror). – Lydia Harris

Student in Residence: Day 2



Today we finished off the paper sculptures in the studio and froze them. I finished my designs with some help from Deborah in the morning and began to freeze them in the afternoon. They should be ready for photographing tomorrow as they are going to freeze overnight. To inform some of the designs we developed we looked into the Fibonacci sequence and patterns in nature. - Lydia Harris

Student in Residence: Lydia Harris



Hello there! My name is Lydia Harris and I have taken over Deborah's blog for the moment. I will be working in the studio with Deborah over the next five days on my work experience. We have been working on a series of images made from paper and ice sculptures that could be used as greetings cards for this year. Deborah has been commissioned by three charities to produce cards

On books

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” 
― Marcus Tullius Cicero

The Keeper of the Books 10












































The Keeper of the Books 10
Recycled books into ice,  photography

The Keeper of the Books 8







The Keeper of the Books 8
Recycled books into ice,  photography



The Keeper of the Books 9































The Keeper of the Books 9
Recycled books into ice,  photography

The Keeper of the Books 7







































The Keeper of the Books 7
Recycled books into ice,  photography

The Keeper of the Books, continued







The Keeper of the Books 6
Recycled books into ice,  photography


Another big day in the studio photographing a new ice collection, made during last weeks over night frost event. I'm enjoying the interaction of the pages suspended into ice. The colouration presented in the centre of the old pages adds an interesting dynamic. Some of the structures photographed today were particularly complex to set into the ice, so I am delighted that I have managed to get them in the can.

The Keeper of the Books 5




The Keeper of the Books 5
Recycled books into ice, photography.

Below - water tension and feather studies.

'The Keeper of the Books' series of works including paper sculpture and Giclee ice prints will be exhibited later in the year ,but I am also in the midst of investigating routes into print via solar plate etching and photo-lithography. 




The Keeper of the Books 4








































The Keeper of the Books 4
Recycled books into ice,  photography.

The Keeper of the Books 3









































The Keeper of the Books 3
Recycled books into ice,  photography.

The Keeper of the Books - working maquettes and paper sculptures





























The building of exploratory paperworks. 

Framed paperworks can be purchased directly from the studio or from Cank Street Gallery, Leicester.










The Keeper of the Books 2



The Keeper of the Books 2
Recycled books into ice,  photography.

This work is one of two that have been selected for 'Open 27' Leicester's annual open exhibition at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, from 12 March - 8 May.

The Keeper of the Books 1




The Keeper of the Books 1
Recycled books into ice,  photography.


I am currently working on several new portfolios. 'The Keeper of the Books' series involves the use of recycled, dismantled and frozen books. Works include paper maquettes and ice compositions.

These works explore the decline in the use of physical books and the loss of valued bookshops on the high street.

I have been somewhat hampered by the mild weather which has meant that I have been waiting for an overnight freeze to develop new works. The ice that is produced naturally is always so much clearer and the structures within can be fascinating.

Why don't you PECHAKUCHA





I was one of 5 PechaKucha presenters at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College this evening. Its such a great format PechaKucha - 20 slides, 20 seconds each, just about perfect. 

There were some really interesting speakers, so the participation was good on all fronts. Many thanks Creative Leicestershire for inviting me to participate, the fab turnout, and those of you who stayed behind to chat.

This is me ,waxing lyrical (again) about my residency in the Grand Canyon!

Blackstar



Such a sad day with the loss of our very own David Bowie. I had the great privilege to see him perform in 1978, I knew on that day, during that performance, that I was witnessing something quite remarkable.

My homepage today is my very own Blackstar, ice and paper composition. A limited edition of 69.

Lazarus - David Bowie

Look up here, I'm in heaven


I've got scars that can't be seen

I've got drama, can't be stolen 

Everybody knows me now


Look up here, man, I'm in danger

I've got nothing left to lose

I'm so high it makes my brain whirl

Dropped my cell phone down below



Ain't that just like me


By the time I got to New York

I was living like a king

Then I used up all my money

I was looking for your ass


This way or no way

You know, I'll be free

Just like that bluebird

Now ain't that just like me


Oh I'll be free

Just like that bluebird

Oh I'll be free

Ain't that just like me


Lazarus  (David Bowie)

Inspiration Source - Marinot

 



Early in 2015 I was fortunate to visit an exhibition in Troyes, of glass works by French Fauve artist Maurice Marinot. A large collection of his works were gifted to The Museum of Modern Art Troyes by Pierre and Denise Levy.

Inspiration for my new research, comes in part from this remarkable body of work.

I shall revisit the collection in April. 






Ice Pebbles





Its always good to get back into the studio. Today is my first proper day in the studio after the Christmas break. This New Year brings lots of new ideas and projects to develop. 


New research aims to take my ice work in a new direction with print. The making of these particular works involved ice cast from pebble shapes, photographed in the studio. The eerie colours are the result of LED studio lighting effects, and the stripes running through the background is the misted glass backdrop.



Advent Day 8

Advent Day 7

Advent Day 6

Advent Day 5

Advent Day 4

Mistletoe Card Range



Another new card range available the 'Mistletoe' range. The mistletoe was photographed during a beautiful frosty day last February on a special family visit to Ross-on-Wye.

These cards are available to purchase from the studio.






Advent Day 3 - Iceflake 3

Advent Day 2 - Iceflake 2

Christmas Cards - a charity range




New Christmas cards available from the studio, include one from The new 'Blue Iceflake' range and two designed during my residency last year at Crater Lake National Park. I also now offer a free charity card design service. The two cards on the left have been produced for Leicester based charity 'Fun and Families.

Please get in touch (in the early Summer) if you are interested in cards for your own charity. 



Advent - Iceflake 1































To celebrate Advent I am delivering one image a day from a new series of works which are an indulgent exploration of my favourite subject - 'Ice'. 

These pieces form the basis of new Christmas card range due to be launched next year.   

One version - 'Iceflake 1' (above) is currently available to purchase from the studio. 

Ideas evolved from these new ice studies will also lead to a new body of studio works to be developed in the New Year. (hopefully)

The Frost is here!!!



SO excited to see a frosty morning today, the prospect of Winter and an opportunity to do a little ice wrestling.

This is information that I have to keep to myself, as there were a few grumbling about it in the Post Office this morning and they already suspect that I'm weird.

Ice Flake - Homepage




We are celebrating the season with a new home page image today - 'Ice Flake'.

SEASONS GREETINGS AND PEACE TO ALL 

Greetings Cards


I've had a lovely immersive time in the studio over the past month, since the Hinckley 'Stocking Up' project was finally put to bed. Lots of inspiration and ideas flowing which is good - as I have started work on a new venture to produce and sell Christmas cards. I dipped my toe into this last year, but armed with an excellent print supplier, its full steam ahead for a new card range, to be launched from 2016. So watch this space.

Cards will be available from me directly via Etsy,from the studio, and hopefully a few shops. I will also be offering a free design service for charity cards.

As a taster - the card below is from a series called 'Ice Flake' - it is of course an indulgent exploration of ice. 
 
This ice work, prepared in the studio freezer and photographed with LED illumination will be one of a series of works to explore the beauty of ice. With the arrival of cold nights I will be hoping to make my ice naturally (its way more interesting too). A full moon later in the week may also offer a few moon illumination opportunities. Exciting!

If you are interested do get in touch via the website contact form.





Mistletoe and wine

Mistletoe and wine



A special family visit to Ross-on-Wye back in February, was the inspiration and location for this greetings card series 'Mistletoe'. The heavy morning frost and Mistletoe in the orchard were a magical photo-opportunity.



The cards are printed onto a heavyweight 300gsm laid board and come with a matching laid envelope.





Mistletoe 1





Mistletoe 2

Studio time




A busy day in the studio today, making paper sculptures and photographing ice.

Leicester Society of Artists

This week is the opening of the Leicester Society of Artists annual exhibition at Leicester City Gallery. 


The gallery was busy today (and awash with bubble wrap) as artists arrived with their respective offerings. My own submitted work includes 3 paper sculptures  - 'Leleuvia', 'Algae' and 'Worm'. See descriptions in earlier posts for ideas, process and composition information. 

New Walk Museum & Art Gallery
53 New Walk, Leicester LE1 7EA

6 November 2015 - 9 January 2016

Leleuvia - paper sculpture LSA exhibit


Today I've been busy resolving and putting finishing touches to artworks for the Leicester Society of Artists annual exhibition starting next month. It's great to get back into the studio after a busy time preparing and installing my Hinckley town artwork.

'Leleuvia' continues on with creative investigations that have evolved after my trip to Fiji. These works are directly inspired by the sandbanks that I photographed around the island.

 Below -'Leleuvia' Rusted Fabriano paper sculpture.








Stocking Up Artwork installation






Today saw the long anticipated installation of the Hinckley 'Stocking Up' artwork. 

I loaded the 6 x 2.5m legs into the van a drove over to Hinckley for 10am. Install was fairly complex due to changing levels, wall spacers and relative positioning of the artworks - which of course were all critical.

Many thanks for Yen Ho and his team at Optimum Media Marketing for a speedy and hitch free install. The walls will now be cleaned up and overhead lighting installed ready for the opening scheduled for 4 November.

Here I am holding Richard the III! 

I am delighted to have been involved with this project, and equally delighted by the end result.

Thanks also for Simon at Greenshires, Leicester for organising the artwork production.



Leleuvia - Sandbanks



New works consider the sands and the waves in Fiji. Even in the remotest location there are pockets of debris. The plastics and pollution in our seas are such an issue worldwide.

Increasingly I am starting to think more about the interplay of light and paper and how compositions is influence by a changing light source. These works will be exhibited at Cank Street Gallery and in November at The Leicester City Gallery as part of the Leicester Society of Artists annual show.

Cank Street Open

I was sad to miss the opening at Cank Street this week. Too many plates in the air including a poorly husband who needs me to be around at home. Delighted to be show 3 of my small paper sculptures that have evolved out of my Fiji explorations.

Exhibition continues until October 31st

 

 

Hinckley Public Art Project - test leg!


Thank goodness for dads! 

Today, dad and I installed a test 'stocking' on the side of my house ahead of next weeks installation. 
Its looking good! It may have to stay there too especially as we are a fan of Triumph.

Thankfully, I have a couple talented engineers in my family to call upon (husband and dad), both been advising me on this project throughout.

Project installation date 22 October.


Exhibition Utah



Artwork sent off today to Brigham Museum of Art, Provo, Utah. The gallery at this museum is assembling an exhibition about artists who work in the US National Parks. I am delighted that  works from my Grand Canyon series ‘Supai’ were selected for this show.

This series was inspired by Supai rock formations on the Grand Canyon - South Kaibab Trial, above Cedar Ridge. The works produced during this 2012 National Parks residency, consider the relentless process of erosion and shift; which continues to shape the canyon today.

The ‘Supai’ ice portfolio was photographed on May 23, on the balcony of the historic Lookout Studios, against the dramatic backdrop of the canyon.

The artwork is composed of recycled papers, canyon debris and ice. It is captured here in the latter stages of fragile and transparent decomposition. Despite the souring temperatures on the day this ice sculpture took over three hours to collapse. 


Limited edition Giclee prints are available of this print. Contact me HERE for more information. This artwork can be supplied framed or unframed prices start from £50.




Hinckley Public Art Project - we have a name



We have a name for the artwork! Many thanks to Hinckley resident Terry Smith

STOCKING UP

I put a call out via my Facebook page for a name for the artwork, I had a fantastic response with many excellent, some very silly and a few rude suggestions and Terry nailed it with with 'Stocking Up', which is totally suitable. Thanks Terry!



Leleuvia - 'Bubble'




'Bubble' is similar to works that I have made in the past.

Luna and Luna Moonlight. The same ice paper sculpture photographed initially in the studio but also in the moonlight on 22.01.11.




Leleuvia - 'Algae'



More sculptures today inspired by the same theme. 
'Algae' is quite funky I think.



Leleuvia - paper sculpture investigations



For the moment I have definitely ‘parked’ my ice work to focus on paper sculpture.

The paper sculpture work can be of course enormously time consuming, I’m not always happy with the way that an idea evolves, and small maquettes (or sample sculptures) enable me to test out and investigate ideas for larger pieces.

The small works are made in the same way as larger works. Materials and techniques include rusted distressed papers and hand blind embossing techniques. The works are so delicate that I frame them up as they are made so that the work is preserved. 



Leleuvia - coral

During my recent visit to Fiji, I was able to snorkel around the island of Leleuvia. A lovely (and very pregnant) lady called Sarah coached me and gave some great tips, which as a complete novice proved to be my salvation!

Around Leleuvia the living corals are protected and even nurtured in Coral nursery beds. My studio investigations this week explore ideas and patterns taken from the reef. There is a constant battle to preserve these beautiful habitats. These works are entirely white - white Fabriano paper and white gouache. In death the coral bleaches to white, whilst living coral's are of course a spectacular palette.




This work is available as a small box framed paper sculpture 25cm x 25cm. Contact me HERE for more details.

Hinckley Public Art Project




Designs and stocking shapes approved and ready to go! Each leg will be 2.5m high.
Now all I need is to get them made, sort out the fixings and get a name.

Hinckley Public Art Project



This month will see the completion of my public art commission on behalf of Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council. For the Crescent Bus Station and Shopping Centre which is currently under the final stages of construction.

I have been delighted to be involved with this project which has been almost 18 months in the making. The original concept for this commission was a sculpture (see visuals above). My idea was selected by the the public last year and I have been developing the concept since that initial nod. This sculpture would have been a lot of fun! With the constraints of budgets and risk, the idea has now evolved into a piece to be fixed to the wall. 

The final artwork imagery can been seen below. Inspiration for the artwork is taken from Hinckley's historic hosiery industries which which flourished until the late 1980's. The six stockings from left to right, represent various aspects of cultural and historical Hinckley, they are in chronological order King Richard the III, A hosiery basket (from the museum), the museum windows, a motorcycle, the Atkins and College Buildings, and shoppers wandering through the new shopping centre.

The artwork has involved lots of location based research/photography and the assistance of many advisors including Jola Higgs, Peter Berry, the very staff at the museum and Simon Jones of Hinckley Borough Council to name a few. 

Final artworks involved original photographs and paintings which were put through a process of digital manipulation.

The final artwork slices (below)





Weybourne Village Store





Weybourne Village Store, Norfolk is THE place to be.

This lovely little hub of the community has recently been taken over by my sister and her family. I made a flying visit this weekend to catch up (and make a few coffees). It was a great opportunity for a village store photoshoot for the Village Store Facebook Page. CLICK HERE to visit.

They have a great holiday let above the shop if anyone fancies a cosy place to escape to. TIDE AWAY HOLIDAY LET

Thanks for a lovely weekend Susan, Den and Will!

Weybourne Beach is a peach.




Frisby Sunset




Its so easy to forget the sky and what its capable of. I took a walk this evening with my friend Rachel and we caught the most spectacular sunset over the Wreake Valley. 

You cant beat that lying down in the grass shot for a bit of arty photography. Oh, and to get up close and personal with sheep poo.


Leleuvia- sunset


After a hard days snorkelling and inspecting sandbanks hanging out with Lauren and Pinso.



Leleuvia - My kind of paradise

Leleuvia is like a dream.



Just off the coast of Fiji, we visited this little gem of an island and restored ourselves.  Its just how I visualized paradise to be and its so small that you can walk across in 5 minutes, you can kayak around it in 30 minutes and when the tide goes out you can walk right out to sea on the rippled exposed sandbanks and look back.  The white sand makes the island glow like illuminated sea glass. I spent many an hour snorkeling around the reef exploring the beautiful patterns and structures. Lots of inspiration for paper sculpture.



Sea Snake - Leleuvia



Captivating and dangerous in equal measures, I loved watching this sea snake make its way down to the sea today.

Fiji



I have arrived in Fiji to spend 5 precious weeks with my daughter Lauren her partner Dan and my grandson Pinso. My creative projects when I have been here before usually involve interactions with the people in the village. Who knows what the break will bring. I may just store up my inspiration and bring it home with me.

 

White Cube, The Globe and ACDC




Samantha and Tony - White Cube

A fab weekend in London of cultural contrasts.  On Saturday I went off the see Measure for Measure at the Globe whilst Tony and Samantha headed off to see ACDC at Wembley Stadium. It was a beautiful warm evening down on the Thames and I so enjoyed the venue and play. 



I also squeezed in Sonia Delaunay at the Tate and the White Cube Bermonsdey - which is worth a visit for the building alone.


Cank Street Gallery on ICE


Its been a busy week. 

Delighted with my show 'Paper Scissors Ice' at the Cank Street Gallery Leicester. The show is a bit of a retrospective featuring work from the past 5 years including my 2011 Orchard series, works from the 2012 Grand canyon Residency and deconstructed ice works from my recent Crater Lake Residency. 

Dayle and the crew at the gallery have been fantastic.

Come and join us for the Preview Evening on June 4th 6-8pm.

LEICESTER SOCIETY OF ARTISTS FEATURED ARTIST

Many thanks to Hazel Crabtree for a great feature on the Leicester Society of Artists website.

This feature coincides with an exhibition of my work at Cank Street Gallery, Leicester, until June.

To read the article click HERE

Llao

My new homepage 'Llao' is an ice and paper sculpture, made and photographed on location at Crater Lake National Park, Oregon. You can track through my blog to see the diary of this photoshoot on September 20th 2014. The ice perfectly captures the colours of the Crater, whilst within the image you can see a blurred vision of the crater wall beyond and the reflections on the water.

I am making preps today for a talk that I will do at Leicester Forest Photographic Society tomorrow night. With proceeds to go to The Jake McCarthy Foundation.

I'm also assembling a collection of works to be shown at Cank Street Gallery, Leicester.


Blue Christmas


 


I've been busy sorting though my Crater Lake work and completing final edits. In the meantime I am publishing a series of Christmas Cards inspired by my time at the park - they simply had to be Blue!

The cards are available via ETSY we are shipping to UK, and Worldwide. Click HERE to go straight to the cards on sale.

There are 4 designs in a pack. Two designs feature ice works based on snowflake structures. The structures contained within the ice, are recycled papers from the park and the colours reflect the beautiful blues that surround you from every angle of the Crater.

The ice themes running through the designs speak of the transient nature of weather patterns and the diminishing volumes of snow and ice that effect the park over the year.







Final days in Oregon


The final two days of my US trip were a perfect conclusion to a great trip. I headed away from Crater Lake on Saturday 27th at around 11am and began the long beautiful drive 'down the hill' to Medford through a sweeping vista of dramatic landscapes punctuated by long avenues of trees. I spent Saturday schmoozing, shopping and eating monumental ice cream's in a lovely little town called Ashland, the US home of Shakespeare.

Having stayed over on my way into Oregon, at a proper generic hotel near to the airport, I made it my mission on the return, to find more interesting digs via airbnb (proper impressed by this crew). First overnight stop at Harlow Garden Home on Griffin Creek just on the edge of Medford. Beautiful spot, and fantastic hosts Tish and John whisked me off within 5 minutes of arriving to a proper German beer festival called Oktoberfest. It was a night of beer, lederhosen, oompah bands and lots of fun. A great night's sleep, in a large comfortable bed, was a most welcome end to my day, whilst a home-cooked breakfast of waffles and fruit from the Harlow Garden began my Sunday in style.

Onto Jacksonville I headed into town and enjoyed a wander around. Jacksonville is a beautifully restored historic town, home of a famous 18th century gold rush. My accommodation just off the main street, was a pretty, white wooden historical house the type of place where you'd expect the birds to line to fence a serenade you in.

 










Goodbye Photoshoot


The 'focus stacked' images from this photoshoot, combining ice sculpture and the dramatic background - should be interesting. I shall resolve and post these after my return to the UK.

Goodbye Crater Lake, many thanks to the National Park Service for inviting me here to enjoy the park and make my art. Crater Lake will remain in my heart as I leave and it would be fair to say that the magical blue is stamped all through the work that I take with me. Eternal thanks to the staff for making it all possible, special thanks to Marsha and Emily.

Goodbye Photoshoot





'I can resist anything but temptation'. Couldn't resist a final photoshoot on the rim - the lighting was DRAMATIC. This icey blighter was on the stand for 1 photograph before it fell off and broke. Lots more images to follow on this one but now busy packing up my stuff for departure. Named the 'Goodbye Sculpture' after the 'Goodbye Creek' down by Annie Creek.

Goodbye Photoshoot


Goodbye Photoshoot



Image unedited.

Dramatic weather in the crater


My final two days in the park were dramatic and beautiful in equal measures.

Ice and paper sculpture - Sun Notch



Ice work photographed in the second week of the residency at the Sinnott Overlook. Just a reminder of the lovely weather that week - its been a proper gloomy day today - lots of rain.

A good day to fill in some of the gaps in my blog!

The view over the crater today -




Dramatic weather in the crater






Staghorn Lichen



This work is a ring of frozen Staghorn Lichen. Unedited photographed in the studio grounds. This is the first time I've worked directly with organic matter. 








Staghorn Lichen grows above the snow-line, which is pretty amazing when you see how high that line is on the trees. Apparently there was something like 40% less snow here last year. 


Most snow that falls in the park eventually leaves the park to nourish the rivers of southern Oregon and northern California. Less snow falling in the park means less water is leaving the park to support cities, ranches, farms, and wildlife downstream.

The trees were photographed on a hike today to Plaikni Falls

As the lichen spends most of its time frozen in the landscape I figured that it wouldn't object to being frozen for art. It was repatriated in the meadow afterwards.


Photoshoot on the rim



Second photoshoot on the rim today and a work called 'Devils Backbone' named after one of the rock structures which stretches down into the lake from the west rim. 

Photoshoot on the rim



Today I headed out to the rim and parked in a pull in just beyond Discovery Point to photograph two new pieces. It always an hilarious race against time (whilst being polite to onlookers) before the ice collapses, melts or gets blown off the stand, both pieces did all of these things within 30 minutes of setting them up.

This work is called 'Phantom' is is named after the aptly named 'Phantom Ship' - a curious shaped rock down within the depths of the crater.

All images unedited. Fishing line supports still visible too!

 

Annie Creek Hike

Took time out this morning to do the Annie Creek Hike. The guide describes this as as a moderately difficult hike through a deep stream cut canyon. I hiked today with Emily from the park service and the route took us down into a beautiful meadow. 


Lunch afterwards at the Annie Creek Restaurant.

I had a paddle and it was bitterly cold.



Later I headed back to house to paint. I moved some of my stuff down to the house since I've had the place to myself this weekend.






Ice artwork - 'Crest'



Another (unedited) work from my evening photoshoot again revealing the amazing blues bouncing around. This time I have recorded the ice and paper sculpture against the green of the caldera.




Llao artwork and location




Late yesterday found me ensconced in the Sinnott Overview on the craters edge with two ice works for an early evening photo shoot. New works toying with an idea of deconstruction are definitely paying off, and I had with me one of those works together with one of the more formal pieces that I developed last week to test the freezing process.

On location at Crater Lake I find the quality of the light and the colours captured within my ongoing body of ice sculpture to be quite spectacular. 

Below is one of the images from the shoot quite unedited, revealed is not only the remarkable depth of colour but also the fishing lines that I use to support the work as I document it. This work features fused ice blocks and strips of white paper - (although these appear black in the image)

This new work will be called 'Llao' after another of the locations around the lake and relating to ancient legends of the area -  Llao is the god of the underworld in the mythology of the Klamath Native American tribe. Llao fought a great battle with the sky god, Skell, which caused the eruption of Mount Mazama, creating Crater Lake.


Chipmunk chatter and coffee in the garden



I began my day in a multi tasking sort of way. Building new works in the freezer whilst simultaneously cleaning the house. Not only have I filled up the freezer at the Science and learning Centre, where my studio is, but I also beginning a takeover bid at the house. I need to head back up to the rim tonight to take some more works on location.

After all of this franticness, I took sometime to just sit with a coffee, enjoy the beautiful surroundings and chat to my Chipmunk.




The walk down to the Sinnott Overview



I wish I could bottle this view!





'Cloudcap' sketched out






Pre-production watercolour sketches for the ice sculpture.


 

Sculpture on location.

It was a great day yesterday which concluded with a lovely meal at the Crater Lake lodge.


Cloudcap




Yesterday, I arrived at around 8 am at the Sinnott Overview to record some of the ice and paper works that I have been developing over the past two days. This new work is a departure from previous work and a move towards a looser deconstructed style as befits the Climate Change theme of my residency here. In nature we see strong well organised pattern dynamics as well as looser organic formations; the works that I aim to produce over the next week will further explore these ideas of deconstruction. I am using techniques that are similar in a way to glass making and the fusion of ice elements. 

'Cloudcap' is the name of this new series and it is named after one of the crater rim overlook points on the east of the park.




Climate Quote

“The Himalayan Glaciers on the Tibetan Plateau have been among the most affected by global warming. The Himalayas…provide more than half of the drinking water for 40% of the world’s population…Within the next half-century, that 40% of the world’s people may well face a very serious drinking water shortage, unless the world acts boldly and quickly to mitigate global warming.”    

Al Gore, former US Vice President, An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It, 2006, pp. 42-59

Hiking Diary - towards the Devils Backbone


There was an excellent dramatic sky this morning as I hiked along the rim trail from The Watchman to The Devils Backbone. 


An important part of my daily ritual are the hikes that I do. Hiking gives me an opportunity to engage with the landscape and evolve ideas. It also goes without saying that I would be foolish not to take advantage of this amazing landscape when ever possible. There are hiking paths all around the crater on the west side and several peaks that I shall try to conquer during my stay.




The views over the crater change continuously and the views over the surrounding Klamath Basin are equally dramatic. These were the only hikers that I saw in two hours!



Climate Quote

"I have been described as the grandfather of climate change. In fact, I am just a grandfather and I do not want my grandchildren to say that grandpa understood what was happening but didn't make it clear".

James Hansen

Walk the Walk - Crater Lake Map



I wonder how many of these I can fit in before I leave?

Thus far I have hiked around the rim from the visitor centre to The Devils Backbone, to the top of Garfield Peak, The Pinnacles Overlook, Sun Notch, Cleetwood Trail, and part of the Red Cove Trail to the north. 

I have Mount Scott planned for Saturday and Annie Creek Canyon Trail planned for Sunday.

More rock studies and alchemy


I love the oxidisation effects that I am seeing in the rocks.

Rocks at Garfield Peak (8054 feet)




Some of the rock formations that surround the crater make for interesting studies. This formation was recorded during my hike yesterday towards the top of Garfield
Peak at an elevation of 8054 feet. The views from here apart from the rocks were quite spectacular (no surprise there then)! 


On top of Garfield Peak.

Ice photography session - The life of an artwork


I did an 'on location' photoshoot today at The Sinnott Memorial Overlook, using some of  ice and paper sculpture work that I have spent the past week researching and building.

The Sinnott Memorial Overlook is in a perfect spot with shade from the wind and direct sunlight, whilst offering amazing panoramic views across the crater. I will expect to beworking there all week as I record the various ice works that I am in the process of building. 



Two pieces that I took to photographed today, were six hours in the making and lasted just short of an hour before they collapsed. During the photoshoot I take two photographs each time - one image focussing on the ice work and another focussing on the background. When I return back to the UK I will edit these images using focus stacking techniques to combine for the completed portfolio.

The unedited image below shows how I support the ice on location with a fine network of fishing lines threaded across a portable plastic frame. This is probably shot of the day!



Lots of other folk around today to chat to whilst I was working - thank you for your support!




Evening photoshoot over the Crater


Unedited images from this evening's photoshoot. 
Still a work in progress this one as I managed to refreeze it before it collapsed. 




ROCK PAPER SCISSORS



Watercolour studies of rocks and paper sculpture studies.





The Pinnacles





Today I did a hike to a magical 
place called The Pinnacles with Emily Embry the park library technician. Ive never before encountered such an unusual landscape, apparently there are more like this around. I need to seek them out. Not sure how it might be possible to translate this into my work. but I might try to use the location as a backdrop for ice photography.



Great picnic afterwards (thanks Emily) and back to the studio for the afternoon for sketching and idea evolving.



A Drive around the Crater Rim




After a busy studio day yesterday and as the Rim Drive was open (after being closed for repairs all week), I decided to take the 33 mile drive around the lake. A thick pallor of smoke made for a disappointing view of the crater for the many visitors to the park. 


Still people made the best of it and actually it was quite atmospheric - indeed The Phantom Ship was quite ghostly. 



I met some fantastic people today. I'm quite amazed at the distances that many have traveled. Here are a just a few.







Snowflake



New 
home page today using one of the images taken in the studio garden, using amazing bounced light and colour of the sky.

'Snowflake' is one of a series of designs that will be released as a Christmas Card in late October 2014, available via the Deborah Bird Art website and various shops in the UK.

I'm working outside the studio testing light and locations. I shall try to prepare one body of work using the light from the forest around the studio, and another body of work using the blue of the crater.

I continue to evolve the work for the crater photoshoot.



Climate Quote

"We need to start by having a conversation about climate change. It would be irresponsible to avoid the issue just because it's uncomfortable to talk about."

Al Franken

Snowflake




I have two series of works currently underway. 'Snowflake' and 'Circle of Ice'
Ahead of my visit to Crater Lake I prepared a series of paper designs based on snow flake structures, so that I could test the freezers here or indeed test the freezing outside. These works will eventually be released as a Christmas card series to be available through the website.

I have been photographing the 'Snowflake' series in and around the studio area whilst also working on the ice structures for the 'Circle of Ice' (I plan to document at the Craters edge). Its all a work in progress!




An exercise in Blue - Studio time



Work in the studio is starting to evolve. Currently I am looking at emulating the idea of the crater in a series of works which involve a ring of ice and paper. I hoping to take a few of these over to a place called the Sinnott Memorial Overlook, where I can shelter from the wind and use the backdrop of the lake for the photography session. In working out my designs I am exploring structures gathered from my observations of the internal walls of the crater, these involve watercolour sketches, pen and ink drawings. 


Don't know why I packed my full range of watercolours - I may as well have just brought Blue. Love Blue.






Climate Quote


“It's coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It's not just climate change; it's sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now.”


David Attenborough


A hike, a boat trip, a swim - Cleetwood Cove




One of the many hundreds of chipmunks that follow you up and down the trail

A hike, a boat trip, a swim - Cleetwood Cove



A des res? down by the lake




A swim



An exhausted bedraggled artist who has jus been for a swim. (note small pic)





A hike, a boat trip, a swim - Cleetwood Cove



Wizard Island


I arose early and set off to Cleetwood Cove and a hike to the bottom of the crater, where I caught a boat trip around the lake. If it is possible as you descend in to the crater the blues of the lake become more intense and beautiful. I was keen to experience the view of the lake from the inside out and explore some of the dynamics that could provide ideas to take back to the studio. Of course I also took a dip (thanks for suggesting it Claudia)! The water was so cold it took my breath away. Incredible to me this lake so deep and blue with water that you can drink as it is so pure. Tradition has it that native American Indians would often swim at night, underwater, to encounter the spirits lurking in the depths of the lake. 



Cleetwood trail


Climate Quote


“Some scientists believe climate change is the cause of unprecedented melting of the North Pole, and that effects these very uncertain weather patterns. I think we should listen to those scientists and experts”.


Dalai Lama


A Super Lounge


The lounge at the Superintendents House is quite fascinating. Recently renovated, it retains its 1930's charm and many pieces of original furniture.

The Studio

Studio hours are generally from 10am until about 6pm, and that will involve time inside the studio and out on location taking photographs of ice. Currently more time is being spent in the studio (after my early morning fact finding hikes) as I wrestle with ideas and build ice compositions using the Superintendent's freezer.


Sketching and moon chasing




My day began with a 7am hike heading clockwise along the rim from Discovery Point towards a place called The Watchman. I sat and sketched the view and tried  to absorb the enormity of it all. By 10am I was in my studio developing ideas. 




At around 8.30 in the evening I took a drive back out towards The Watchman to see the moonrise over the Lake. The views over the countryside to the west and the setting sun were equally beautiful.  





Climate Quote


“On climate change, we often don't fully appreciate that it is a problem. We think it is a problem waiting to happen.”


Kofi Annan


The Studio




My studio for the duration of this project, is on the first floor of the Superintendents House just a 3 minute walk from the other cabin that I call ‘home’. The snows fall so heavily here throughout the year that the house is often buried, providing a proper logistical challenge for anyone who needs to live or work here. The house is quite beautiful.


Todays climate quote is from 1916 - and we think we just invented it! Many thanks to Emily Embry the Library Technician at the Crater Lake Science and Learning Center, who has done a stella job finding quotes for me.

The photograph below is on the wall in the lounge at the Superintendents House.



Climate Quote

"Global climate change is challenging the ability of the National Park Service to carry out its mission, which is “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

—National Park Service Organic Act
1916

The early bird catches the dawn


6.30am

The early bird catches the dawn


One of the many advantages of staying in a park as artist in residence is the opportunity to venture out to take photographs at any time of the day. My day began with a hike and pre dawn photo session dawn on the rim and will end with a full moon adventure.


Whilst I find my stride in terms of artwork, I am going to freeze some artworks that brought with me based on snow flake structures. Its so hot here just now I cant see me being able to freeze work outside so that a bit of a disappointment. So I may have to hijack the freezer at the Science and Learning Centre.




Part of my challenge whilst I am here is to prepare works that are aligned with climate change, as part of this theme I will post quotes on that very theme starting with Mr President himself.


Climate Quote


"The shift to a cleaner energy economy wont happen overnight, and it will require tough choices along the way. But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact"


Barack Obama


What a wonderful day for a Moondance




The super moon this evening was indeed spectacular. 


I hiked at sunset with fellow housemates Matt and Kathy, we perched on the crater edge at Discovery Point, photographed the moon and hiked back to the village by moonlight. Thankfully no bears, though a baby bear has been spotted up at Garfields Peak this week. 


The sunset views over towards the west were no less dazzling.




Climate Quote


“One of the most precious values of the national parks is their ability to teach us about ourselves and how we relate to the natural world. This important role may prove invaluable in the near future as we strive to understand and adapt to a changing climate.”


Jon Jarvis,

Director of the National Park Service

October 28, 2009


Crater Lake Day 1




Today I made my drive up to Crater Lake. I started the day with a shopping trip to try to equip myself with enough food to last for three weeks. I fear I may have miscalculated this one - I seem to have quite a crazy amount of supplies. The nearest shop at ‘Annies Creek’ sells some basic supplies and my nearest store is 50 miles away - but I may have overdone it. 




The drive to the lake was of course quite spectacular. I expected switchbacks but got instead a relatively straight road and a gradual climb through pine forests, past sweeping rivers and the occasional camp ground. 


My first view of the lake was everything I expected it to be. Its a dream of a place! I shall enjoy exploring and interacting with its beauty and colour. I went for a short walk and then sat and watched the sundown and the moonrise. The views of the lake are quite hazy due to forest fires, none on my doorstep thankfully! 


For the three weeks I am housed in an historic building which used to belong to the Park Chief Naturalist and it is quite lovely, set into a woodland area about 4 miles below the rim. I will be sharing the space with a few other researchers over the period. I’ll admit to feeling a little spooked on my first night here and currently have no internet or phone signal, but I listened to some music and planned my work schedule for tomorrow. 





Jacksonville



Today I collected my car and drove around the car park a while, to check that driver and car were at one with one another.  Prior to this - 10 minutes working out how to adjust the seat so that I could see over the steering wheel, was a good investment of time I feel. Medford is a relatively small place and after the volume of traffic that we experience in the UK - the driving is easy.

I headed 10 miles or so out to a lovely place called Jacksonville. Such a pretty little town full of white picket fences and historic buildings. I brought myself a Pendleton blanket as a memento of the trip and to keep me warm at the top of the hill. 

Down in Medford the temperatures are blisteringly hot, as I head up to Crater Lake tomorrow it should be cooler. 


En Route to the Crater


 

The journey begins!

My residency to Crater Lake is an exciting prospect as I sit in my hotel in Medford this morning, with a coffee and contemplate the 3 weeks ahead.

It was a long trip via Birmingham Airport, Schiphol, Seattle and finally Medford. Thankfully I quite like airports, the light and big empty spaces can make for some fantastic photo opportunities. I quite like the people watching opportunities too. I paced the whole of the lovely airport (looking like a tired 'lost' person) in Seattle for about two hours to stitch my legs and try to stay awake. SEA-TAC is in a beautiful spot surrounded by mountain ranges. I sat and watched the sun fade over the distant Olympic National Park and made it my mission to return one day to explore this area with Mr Bird.



The start of this trip corresponds with a great article by Leicester Mercury reporter Becky Jones in my local press. Becky came to interview me in my studio the week before last. Click Here to read it. 

Today I will pick up my car and fill it with supplies before heading up to the crater tomorrow. Thankfully, my box of kit, which included 'everything but the kitchen sink' has safely arrived at the Crater Lake Science and Learning Centre. I have followed its potted and unconfident journey all around the US this week whilst various suspicious officials handed on like a hot potato. Contents included - batteries, timing devices, glue, craft knives, hiking poles, memory sticks - wonder how James Bond isn't continuously hampered by international red tape. Thankfully my contact at Crater Lake stepped in and insisted that we had to receive it. Phew! 

A New Feather



Trigon revisited


Today I have continued with my visitation of a composition called 'Trigon', this design originates from experiments that I did in 2010. I have a special portable stand (using a modified tripod) made in 2012, to use out on location when I visited the Grand Canyon - it still comes in useful.

The scale of this piece is around 12cms square.

The use of coloured recycled paper certainly adds another dimension, with pale green's bouncing around within the ice. When I visit Crater Lake in September, I shall aim to use recycled papers within my work, as in this piece. 

Regarding the photographic documentation of the work, it's all about finding a pocket of light in the right location. I nominated to photograph this ice and paper work in the studio today as it was windy. Lets hope that I can find some sheltered spots to shoot my work in Oregon, at 7,000 feet it may be tricky!





Detailed view below.

To see the paper construction prior to its embedding within the ice, see earlier posts.





Trigon revisited




Today I decided to revisit an old series of works, produced when I very first began my experimental work with paper and ice.  The 'Trigon'  series was inspired by an 'Alphabet Cone' shell featuring a pattern called trigon, this pattern which has triangular characteristics is very unusual in nature.

This new work is part of a new series of small works, only 12cms square. The paper used for this sculpture is a discarded John Lewis catalogue.  It will be interesting to see how the colours printed onto the surface of the paper interact with the ice. 



Sparrowhawk




Today I found a beautiful young but very dead Sparrowhawk outside on the road. I think she had possibly crashed into my neighbours window. This beautiful bird with fearsome talons, will make an excellent subject to study and photograph in detail. Over the past few months I have been recording the plumage of birds and feathers found in the countryside. 

Many of our beautiful birds fall prey to passing cars, accidents with windows and domestic cats and other predators. Other times they just shed the occasional feather. This work will form the basis of a new photographic portfolio called 'Harvest'.


The following is advice given by the RSPB on how reduce the number of birds killed by  domestic cats.

My cat keeps catching wild birds - what can I do to stop this happening?

Giving your cat a collar fitted with a bell or a sonar device will reduce the number of birds it catches. You can buy collars that are fitted with a quick release mechanism that is safer for your cat. Keeping your cat indoors at dusk and dawn, when birds are most vulnerable, will also help.

If you keep your cat well fed, they are less likely to hunt and are more likely to stay close to home which may curb their hunting instincts.





Interrupt



New homepage - 'Interrupt' ice and paper from my new series called 'Ring of Ice', features black and white paper set into a ring. In terms of design this series was inspired in part, by studies of feather structures. Their complexity and layered detail can be quite fascinating. Of course of aspects of the work is inspired by thoughts of my impending visit to Oregon and the circular formation of Crater Lake.

I have spent several days upgrading and updating my gallery shop - which is now fully operational (hopefully). Any glitches please report them to me directly. I will be adding new works and greeting cards.

Crater Lake National Park - website

To visit the Crater Lake National Park Website click HERE


Residency - Crater Lake National Park. September 2014



In September 2014, I am due to undertake a residency at Crater Lake NP, Oregon, on behalf of the US National Park Service. During the 3 week residency I will be using intervention processes with ice/paper photography to explore themes associated with climate change.

Residency dates have now been set to run from 7-28 September, I have been busy booking flights and arranging car hire. I will fly into Medford and spend 2 days gathering supplies ahead of a two hour journey up to the crater which is at 7,000 feet. During the residency I will be hoping to capture some of the legendary blue colours of this lake, which at 1,943 feet deep is one of the deepest in the world.

In the period up to the residency I am spending time in the studio exploring new techniques to use out on location. My arrival will coincide with a full moon over the crater on September 9th and I am hoping to take advantage of cold night-time temperatures to make ice compositions outside, ready for photography sessions in and around the crater during the day.

Whilst living at Crater Lake, I expect to post a daily BLOG from my cabin, documenting the progress and experiences of the residency.

Ring of Ice - Homepage

Featured on todays homepage is 'Enclose' part of a new series of works based on rings.





































I am delighted with this new image 'Enclose' - set into the ice are rings of black Canson Pastel paper. The ice is only millimetres thick. A large air bubble has been caught inside the inner circle. The whole piece is illuminated by bounced sunlight and is wonderfully sparkly. The clarity of the ice was assisted before the shoot with a quick spray of tied water.

'Ring of Ice' is a new portfolio of 10 works which were prepared specifically to be used in the darkroom using the Photogram processes. This image series which is due to be published shortly, is a culmination of several months of research both in the studio and in the darkroom. Having completed their task in the darkroom several of the ice works have made back to the studio to be recorded in the usual way with my DSLR. Others collapsed in the dark room - never to see the light of day again!

Each of the works began with comprehensive sketches and drafted designs. I have them pinned all over the studio wall.


British Geological Survey


Today I was invited along to the British Geological Survey at Keyworth, Nottinghamshire. 

During a fascinating two hour tour - 'The tip of an iceberg' (excuse the pun) springs to mind as I recollect my relatively brief visit to the collection. So much to think about, so much inspiration and the daunting task of narrowing down the areas that I need to focus on for a follow up visit. My guide Paul was able to enthusiastically describe in suitable layman terms the parts of the collection that we visited, providing just enough of a glimpse to help me appreciate the potential of it all.

I am hoping to use the collection to develop new works using ice, which explore ideas aligned with climate change and the impact of global pollution, as along term personal research project. It will also be useful to gather some research ahead of my pending residency in Crater Lake National Park.

Below : the Core Sample Vaults at BGS

To find out more about BGS visit their website CLICK HERE



An Easter project in Fiji

Over Easter Tony and were made very welcome during a visit to Silana; a small village on the East coast of Fiji. It was my great pleasure to design and paint a new Village sign.


Painting in progress day one. 




The finished sign was carried through the village to be presented in the community hall.



A special wooden housing will be built for the sign over the next few weeks, with a small thatched roof to protect it from the weather. The new sign will be positioned at the entrance to the village.

Thank you to GVI for the tremendous work that you do in this village and to the community of Silana for your great hospitality and warmth.

To read more about this project and the great work that GVI are doing in the Fijian communities visit their Facebook page.

Crater Lake National Park



Image courtesy of Tripadvisor

Today I am delighted to announce that I have been invited to Crater Lake National Park, Oregon in September as artist in residence. During my stay I will be using my ice and photography techniques to research the park theme 'Visions of Climate Change'. 

This is a fantastic opportunity and will offer all sorts of options in terms of location based work using a theme which is close to my heart

Photograms


This week I begun a new series of experiments with the photogram process. This involved placing an ice sculpture directly onto a light sensitive paper and exposing it. The results are surprisingly detailed, with a good depth of field - showing bubbles and patterns in the ice as well as the paper structure embedded within. 

This opens up an exciting range of new possibilities including photo etching and other light responsive print techniques. I have also tried Cyanotypes with less success.

I am liking the graphic qualities of these works and the honesty of the process.

Onward and upward!

Taking a 15º ellipse for a walk



I have long been fascinated by shapes in nature which repeat in relative scale, pattern, uniformity - such as the detail in flower heads, beehives and seeds etc. I have begun a series of works which use an old ellipse template as an armature to build paper shapes which describe organic growth sequence's. These ideas could translate into paper and ice works or large scale sculpture works.

Several of the designs adhere to ideas of Fibonacci and rules of the Golden Section.






Visions of Change

Another exhibition down yesterday and today busy in the studio today making new works. My new portfolio is called 'Visions of Change' - increasingly I am aligning my work with thoughts of climate change. The new works will be an amalgamation of images through the stages of thaw, just starting research and build processes and hoping for a freeze to enable me to work outside.


I'm just going to have to move to Iceland!


Photo courtesy of John Brightmore- Creative Hinckley

Photolark Gallery




I am delighted to announce that I am now being represented by a cool online gallery based in Vancouver called Photolark.

To visit the gallery Click HERE

Cone

Happy accidents






A challenging day in many respects . I set a sculpture photoshoot up, took one photograph and there whole thing collapsed!! After a short burst of interesting language and lamenting over this piece which was many hours in the planning and preproduction, I took the bits outside and photographed them in the orchard.

The end result is not all bad but I will return to the drawing board on it tomorrow.





My dog Cory looked on in sympathy. 

Acorns and Ice




Difficult light and a thick ice laying unevenly over part of today's paper sculpture made photography problematic. This ice/paper composition needs some refining yet but it's looking promising. Based on earlier studies of an acorn cup, and again featuring Fibonacci elements. 

Cheers to Hannah who popped in today with some FAB circular graph paper that should make life a little easier in the drafting of some of these current designs. 

Ice (again)

Ice from todays shoot. 


I generally avoid editing the colours from an ice photography shoot, they continuously change and evolve with the ambient natural light in a given location, providing endless possibilities within the life of each sculpture.

A chunk of ice from todays sculpture which eventually slipped off the stand and broke despite my precautions during the shoot. I may have managed to save it by sliding it onto a metal sheet and refreezing. 

 


Ice Circles


Same circle, different light and a crop.
Ice, cartridge paper and indian ink




The circle of life


I have a new series of ice and paper works underway based on ideas developed from the studio orchard. The themes recur from old works returning to an exploration of circles and fibonacci in nature. The circle fascinates me and is of course fundamental to many systems in nature. Cyclical systems are also recognised as key factors in environmental sustainability, with materials that cannot be safely returned to the environment being turned into new products and natural resources being more effectively recycled.

I was hoping to work outside today to photograph these works but the wind made this impossible - so I made the use of light around the studio space. 

Inspiration for this particular piece was the fungi that I photographed back in October.

With several paper sculptures parked and ready to freeze; I have waiting for a cold snap to enable me to freeze work outside but I could be waiting a long time - so I have decided to invest in a wee table top freezer to speed things up a bit.


 

Hinckley Retrospective

I am in a new exhibition opening today at Creative Hinckley Gallery.


CH Retrospective: Meet the artists

The 1st Creative Hinckley Retrospective is open. 10 Artists have returned to display their work in the gallery. The same artists have previously exhibited in the gallery in one of the main 19 shows that have been put on since the gallery opened in 2010. Debbie Bird, Mark Boot, Geoff Stalker, Gammelgaard 2012, Peter Berry, Diane E Hall, Maureen Cooper, Mark Roberts, Kevin Ryan and John Lancaster are all showing work.

It starts at 6pm so call in after work for a celebratory drink and to see what they have been up to.

The show continues until Friday 24th January 2014.


Link to Creative Hinckley Page CLICK HERE

Home page for winter

A new ice and paper sculpture for the homepage. Based on organic spiral dynamics in the landscape, cartridge paper rings set into ice and photographed with studio lighting. I am enjoying the frostiness of this work.

I need a good freeze to get on with my work. 

Fibonacci and acorn cups


Sculpture building underway. I have a few new pieces under construction in the studio in anticipation of a drop in outdoor temperatures and a freeze! Maybe it will maybe it won't.

This sculpture has been developed from observational sketches of an acorn cup from the orchard. There are so many interesting dynamic patterns right under your very nose. Fibonacci sequences run riot throughout. You can see the preliminary drawings that I made underneath the paper and the probable sequences that lie within. 

New Header today




New website header today. 

The onset of cold weather brings condensation to the studio windows - its not all bad as there are some fascinating patterns through the macro lens.



Open Studio Preperation

Getting ready for my open studio event this weekend.  Lots to do, and an excellent excuse to be in the studio all weekend. 



Juniper - Ice and Paper Sculpture


The image used this week on my 'Open Studio' notice is from the Grand Canyon portfolio. 

Photographed in May 2012, it takes inspiration from the twisting bark of the Juniper tree which are dotted along the South Rim. This is an ice an paper composition photographed during twilight on a South Rim lookout, just below Verkamps Historic Building.

OPEN STUDIO



This weekend I will be opening my studio as part of the Frisby Art Safari Weekend. Several studio's will be open along with art exhibitions in the chapel, and craft stalls in the village hall.

My studio will be open on each day from 11 am - 4pm. 

There will be limited edition cards and Giclee prints for sale of my ice/paper works.

A wall feature will show some of the working drawings of the Artwork recently completed on behalf of Sainsbury's.

Photograms

This week I have tried my hand at photograms. A long time since I have used this technique and I am delighted with the results. The possibilities with my own work are fantastic. 


The sample shown uses thinly sliced apples, inspired by my recent work with Sainsbury's, I was intrigued to see how this process would respond to the semi-transluscent quality of the fruit and I was quite delighted with the results produced. In terms of my ice and paper work I imagine that this technique could work well. The relative long depth of field will be interesting, and the contrasting quality of the final product could then lend itself to other techniques such as photo etching. It will also be interesting to see how the ice responds to direct exposure onto photographic paper.

Exciting!




Sainsbury's





Some final photographs of my artwork installation at the new Sainsbury's store. Today I met up with children from the two local schools who were involved in the initial consultation process. What a help they were! The local press should be printing a feature on the project this week.

I would like to thank everyone involved with the project Sainsbury's, Gough Bailey Wright, St Marys and The Grove Schools, Simons Group, Hoogy who helped me to deliver them on 16th October and last but not least Greenshires who did such a fantastic job of the print.

http://www.greenshires.com 





Sainsbury's artwork build- the video

The main artwork build for my recent Sainsbury's commission involved many hours of design, photography and digital composition over the summer. The original drawing is below. 












Sainsbury's Artwork - Main Artwork Feature








The largest picture in the Sainsbury's commission series is a 4.25 metre wide exploded view of the town of Melton Mowbray. 

At the front of the composition is the River Eye and Play Close recreation area, to the left a row of shops featuring Ye Olde Porke Pie Shoppe, Melton Country Park runs through the middle ground from left. There is also St Mary's Church and the train station. On the distant hillside a hunting party rides out and a contented fox sits relaxing amongst the foliage on the river bank. The whole scene echoes the work of J.S. Lowry showing many activities being undertaken by people young and old. 

The whole design has bee interpreted entirely using illuminated sliced fruit and vegetables.


Sainsbury's Artwork - Small series

    


Today is the official unveiling of the artwork that I have been designed and developed over the summer for the new Sainsbury's store in Melton Mowbray.

In the first of 4 works along Nottingham Road I have created a fictitious journey across the town of Melton Mowbray by; skate board, bike, and walking etc - through a selected townscape of historical buildings including; the pork pie shop, church and market. Also interspersed are cattle trucks, cars and cows. This work has been created entirely with illuminated sliced fruit and vegetables.

The artwork that I have produced for this commission involves a new creative direction which taps into my ongoing fascination with light, photography and organic structure. I have plans to continue with more versions this work alongside my ice a paper sculpture exploration.

   






October- Fungi watching




October is always a time for Fungi watching. I often revisit themes that are specific to the time of year and my environment. Top is a recent sculpture using recycled 
paper, ready for the freeze. 

I am currently preparing a stack of these in the hope of a cold snap that will enable me to freeze work outside, the chances of timing this with a full moon must be pretty remote ! I'm probably the only person around here hoping for cold weather!





The gills on these exquisite little fungi found on my walk are fascinating.

Another feature of the week last was the moon. Moonlight works brilliantly with my ice work- I am hoping to expand my moonlight portfolio over the next 12 months. Below is an ice an paper sculpture photographed by moonlight in October 2010


Sainsbury's build - update

The crew on site at Sainsbury's are busy today (in the rain) building the walls of the service yard where 4 of my images will be positioned. Installation must be imminent but I don't think that it will be today.






As a taster of the work to come - the markets in Melton are a feature of the town. The market holders in the smaller frieze - like a game of football and can often be found in the big picture at lunchtime.

Moonlight over the Wreake Valley





I have begun a series of moonscape studies over the Wreake Valley. I am fascinated by the way that the moonlight illuminates the landscape. Its a battle with my own trepidation of the dark and how to focus my camera - when I can’t actually see anything through the lens. The only way seems to be to research locations beforehand and make a record of the focus settings.


This view towards Melton is lit up by distant lights over the town whilst the clouds and valley mists are illuminated by the moon.




Sainsbury artwork - hot off the press





In the studio proofs of the Sainsbury’s project on the wall. I made an early morning visit to my print company to check on the prints before we wrap them up for delivery to site.





The colours and quality of print are fantastic and to see the artwork at this scale is the best reward for what seems like months of hard work.


The days the cows came to town



These young bullocks posed beautifully on Frisby top today for their contribution to the Sainsburys artwork. Later they were built into the composited street scene, dressed in Sharron Fruit, Kiwi and Beetroot.


Wirksworth Festival

This week end I was invited to exhibit at Wirksworth Festival. I visited the festival many years ago and was honoured to be to be involved this year.  I am exhibiting at the Heritage Centre where manager Sally has made us very welcome and the cafe staff who kept us supplied with drinks and refreshments.




This photograph represents the lull before the storm today. I have estimated that I spoke to around 300 people. Lots of interest in my work and a few sales. The calibre of exhibits around and about as usual, are high.

Must not forget my good friend and lookalike Rikke who stepped in a pretended she was me for 30 mins so that I could take a break.


Tresco Abbey Gardens





Today we visited Tresco Abbey Gardens - they are an inspiration. Plants from around the world are protected and presented in an ingenious terraced garden. For an organic pattern addict such as myself - it is possible to explore dynamic plant structures from all around the world; I could have parked myself here all weekend with my sketchbook. Such an inspirational place but frustrating from a creative point of view as it felt like just getting to dip your toe in the pond of creation. I would love to return one day to spend more time, even better to conduct some proper research.





Tresco



Ahh Tresco! I have wanted to visit the island of Tresco for many years and this weekend we finally managed to make the trip. Regrets I have few actually, but not visiting before is one of them. You can probably walk around the island in 3 hours via the white sandy beaches. You can see the stars. There are no cars, the phone signal is rubbish, time seems to have momentarily halted, one day in and we are already making plans for a return


Preparations for the Wirksworth Festival




Today making final preparations for the Wirksworth Festival. I am revisiting a few of my paper sculptures to sell at the exhibition.

Sainsbury's build - the concept sketch





My revised sketch for the Sainsbury’s main artwork features an imaginary exploded view of the historic market town of Melton Mowbray. Play close and the bandstand are in the foreground, the Country Park runs through the mid-ground, together with a few key buildings including Ye Olde Pork Pie Shop, St Mary’s and the Train Station. The scene will be packed with people young and old, playing, working and going about their business - this idea plays homage to the work of JS Lowry.

Sainsbury's Commission - Making People



Lots of fun this week - I recruited fellow artist Sam Grubb to help me produce a few of characters in readiness for the Sainsbury's artwork. Between us we churned out around around 40 characters to weave into the final artwork series, many of the final contribution were Sam's - he has a unique take on characterisation. It is anticipated that the characters will appear once in the large artwork and another time en-route in the smaller artworks.  


One or two of the characters used were actually produced by the students at St Mary's and The Grove who took part in the initial consultation process. They really enjoyed making ideas out of sliced fruit once I had given them a little demonstration of what could be achieved. 

Sainsbury's build


Grass? 


Just building a library of macro images for the digital collage. 

Cress and small shoots are perfect for the grass along the river bank.








GOD SAVE THE QUEEN




Over the summer I am working on a commission for the new Sainsbury's store in Melton Mowbray. Five large artworks to be displayed on the outside of the shop facing the road, each image will feature macro photographs of illuminated sliced fruits to describe themes associated with the town.

'Queen' is a composite image using this technique. This artwork was developed as a sample piece ahead of my project proposal for Sainsbury's. 

Research into interpretive themes for the final pieces was developed in collaboration with two local schools The Grove Primary School and St Mary's Church of England School.

Whilst 'Queen' will not be used on the store it is available as limited edition print through this website for more information visit Gallery Shop.

Wickedland tonight



Its the opening of Wickedland tonight in Leicester, an exhibition of work by the talented Sam Grubb. Looking forward to it - no doubt it will be packed with lots of fantastic 'wickedness' if Mr Grubb is up to his normal entertaining artistic standard.

Poppy Field


I have had a busy 2 months running around the countryside doing my City & Guilds thing in the various multi-talented educational centres around the country. Coming to the end of that for now and looking forward to a few new creative projects including a commission for a large supermarket chain and preparations for Wirksworth festival. 

The driving's not been so bad the countryside and hedgerow look amazing. Yesterday I happened upon this amazing view of a distant poppy field en-route to Derbyshire via Loughborough.

A letterbox over the Wreake






Divine light over the Wreake Valley this morning promises for a beautiful weekend. 

Windows being fitted in my new studio space today hallelujah!    

George Best Belfast City Airport


Another busy week charging around with work. 

The light over Belfast Airport late yesterday was spectacular. Ireland is indeed beautiful - even the airport! I walked through Enniskillen early in the morning (to walk off some of the amazing tray bakes that have come my way during my travels this week) and the high street was literally awash with painters and decorators preparing the town for the pending G8. Lets hope that demonstrators don't wreck it all for them.


silent, indifferent, complacent





Yesterday saw the launch of our IDAHO exhibition at the Creative Hinckley Gallery. Over the past 3 days we have had almost 50 volunteers through the doors to help construct a series of 6 trees, completed with leaves yesterday afternoon. The trees have evolved to be a beautiful representation of the 'Pride' flag and of the many issues that effect the LGBT community. 

With special thanks to the team Lindsay Orton, Megan Roseblade and Rebecca Shaw.









Silent, indifferent, complacent


Megan Roseblade with her amazing exhibit featuring the Earth collaged with issue related articles about the LGBT community.

silent, indifferent, complacent



" ‘silent, indifferent, complacent’ is the first ever IDAHO event to take place in Hinckley and Bosworth. It engages the voices of both people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual andtransgender (LGBT) and those who do not, recording LGBT lived experience in Hinckley and Bosworth and beyond. Inspired by the words of Judy Shepherd, it challenges our complicity in the continued marginalisation of LGBT people locally and throughout the world. Against a backdrop of violence and social exclusion, strength and individuality shine through, reminding us that LGBT people are so much more than potential hate crime statistics our lives have meaning and worth.

‘silent, indifferent, complacent’ brings together the ideas and creative talents of Proud Generation, a self-help group founded by Hinckley charity Next Generation to support LGBT people in Hinckley and Bosworth, Leicestershire artist Deborah Bird, and staff and students of North Warwickshire and Hinckley College. The event is promoted by Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council."

Rebecca Shaw. Proud Generation, Hinckley, Leicestershire.


Installation of 'silent, indifferent, complacent' will continue to take place at Creative Hinckley Gallery, The Atkins, Lower Bond Street, Hinckley, Leicestershire May 16 and 17 between 10am and 4pm with Deborah Bird; all volunteers welcome.



silent, indifferent, complacent

This week I  have returned to The Atkins in Hinckley, Leicestershire to deliver an exhibition and community event called 'silent, indifferent, complacent' to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.






The exhibition ‘silent, indifferent, complacent’ is an opportunity to use creativity to raise awareness of the difficult paths we take in contemporary society. A map of the world by Megan Roseblade consists of a collage of news articles and headlines that have affected lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from around the world. Whilst in the main exhibition space 6 trees in colours from the ‘Pride’ flag represent the six characteristics of; life healing, sunlight, nature, harmony and spirit. The trees are made up of collaged press cuttings and headlines, whilst the leaves reveal the positive outcomes represented by the colours of the flag and the notion that out of adversity comes hope.

During the installation of the exhibition everyone is welcome to join in the tree making. The power of group installation work and collective supportive mechanisms as a means to move forward is an important message. Whilst the trees provide a metaphor for strength, new beginnings and beauty.



Leicester Society of Artists

Today I was invited to be a member of LSA. 

Many thanks to all involved with the selection. I look forward to working with you.

Bluebell Search : Day 2 - Burrough Hill



Today went on another early Bluebell search in woods just below Burrough Hill, with Beth. Again the crop is late here, plenty of buds amongst the foliage. One or two individual fine examples of flowers but nothing as yet wide spread. I will keep on tracking progress until I am able to record this years crop at its best. 

Despite not having access to my studio whilst it's under construction, it's great to be outside taking in the Spring. What I did find are a series of oil drums in place to feed the Pheasant hereabout' - see next posting.


Searching for Bluebell's but found oil drums



Oil drums below Burrough Hill, for feeding the pheasant hereabouts. Don't you just love a bit of patination! I may return to record the others, and start a series called 'Farmyard Shabby Chic'.

The Red/Burnt Sienna analogous colour harmonies remind me of the Grand Canyon.


Silent, Indifferent, Complacent



For my next exhibition I am delighted be part of a ground breaking project to raise awareness about issues which effect members of the local gay, bisexual and transgender communities. Over 3 days - May 15, 16, & 17 I will be preparing exhibits in the gallery space at Creative Hinckley in readiness for a grand opening on 17 May at 4 pm.  If anyone would like to come and help I would be delighted to see you.




This year people in Hinckley and Bosworth will be able to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) for the first time. And Proud Generation, the focus group for our local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) population wants everyone to get involved.

On 17 May Proud Generation and Hinckley and Bosworth Council will be hosting ‘Silent, Indifferent, Complacent’, an exhibition to promote awareness of IDAHO and of the discrimination and prejudice which LGBT people encounter throughout the world. The exhibition is curated by international artist Deborah Bird who will lead a series of workshops for volunteers at which they will help her to create a display which celebrates the individuality and strength of LGBT people against a backdrop of violence and social exclusion.

Rebecca Shaw, who coordinates Proud Generation, explained the concept behind the exhibition:

“’Silent, Indifferent and Complacent’ are the words used by American campaigner Judy Shepard to describe how USA has become a ‘S.I.C.’ society, but homophobia isn’t confined to the American continent. We don’t want people to be silent, indifferent or complacent about hatred and social exclusion; we want to see them actively engaging on this issue all over the world regardless of their own sexuality or gender identity. Our message to you is ‘Don’t get SIC, get busy’ and this project has been designed to make it easy to get people involved”.

The workshops will take place in the Creative Hinckley Gallery at the Atkins Building in Lower Bond Street between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm from Wednesday 15 May to Friday 17 May. To register your interest, telephone Megan Roseblade on 01455 255908 or email          

megan.roseblade@hinckley-bosworth.gov.uk.

Bluebell Search. Day 1 : Swithland Woods





Probably one of my favourite places to speak to trees.



If you go down to the woods today




I took an early walk today at 6am, with my friend Rikke in a local ancient woodland called Swithland, hoping to catch the usual display of Bluebells. Instead there was a carpet of Anenome Nemorosa. Beautiful! The smell was divine.

Studio progress


Progress continues with my new studio. 

Since I am aiming to use this space as a 'dry' workshop I have painted the floor in a pale wash. I shall protect it with several coats of floor varnish - though I wonder how long it will be before I have paint or probably Quink on it! I have had the wall made in plywood so that I can easily pin lots of stuff onto them. Need to prime them properly with PVA before painting.

Windows and doors will hopefully be arriving in three weeks.

Happy days!

Studio progress

Some excellent progress being made on the studio, the team headed by Elliot Nolan were here cladding the frame in Cedar today. This will be the 'dry' studio and personal research space, with a separate workshop for 'wet' work and courses. 


Hopefully I will be back into my work by June. Its frustrating as all of my kit is packed away and difficult to get to. 


Reclamation Inspiration





Visited a reclamation yard today, we found piles of fascinating stuff. This room (above) was full of old radiators, doors, stained glass windows and a row of ancient bike pumps.

Stack's of Victorian chimney pots in a range of shapes, colour and patination.



Brrrr




View over the Wreake towards the old mine. 

It's COLD. Loving this sky - its great one to paint.

Views over the Wreake Valley




More views over the Wreake Valley. High over my new village Frisby-on -the-Wreake, the middle of the image is a distant view of the lakes which have been a rich source of inspiration over the years. 

It has been a long winter this year. I've really enjoyed the frosts.

A House Move

Its been a very busy time. On March 1st we moved into a new home. I also moved out of my studio in Great Dalby. So all has changed, and for the moment my creative energies are being steered into the renovation of out-buildings and the building of a new studio and workshop. 



Views over the Wreake Valley

Beautiful misty views photographed on an early morning walk over the Wreake Valley. I quite forgot how lovely it is.







Quink workshop

This morning I ran a Quink workshop, based on my 'Descent' drawing series, with Redmoor High School. What fun it was, we started with a talk about the exhibition and then everyone got stuck in. They went away with some great work to hang at the school.




'Descent' drawing series - Exhibition Feature






'Descent' Quink drawing detail


Large scale Quink drawings at my exhibition. Part of my ongoing research process involves the use of fountain pen ink- just love the way that the ink separates out and its watercolour-like qualities. Of course the process involves a few extra props including a good lump of candle wax, an ironing spray, piles of tissue and some decent brushes. 

This loose organic style was a perfect technique to illustrate the changing strata as you descend down into the canyon and the blue cast that the ink provides is also a colour that you associate with the location.

This is definitely a technique that I shall be getting stuck into alongside the ice work when I have relocated to my new studio - hopefully mid April.

From location based studies taken in the Grand canyon, exhibition series completed in the Great Dalby studio, November 2012





'Descent' Quink drawing series. 2 metres x 500mm onto watercolour paper.



Artist talk



A talk with Hinckley pupils in the gallery, after an exhibition tour we discussed employability in the creative industries and educational pathways.

Creative Arts Network Talk

Boy, does she talk! Creative Arts Nework talk tonight in the gallery. Interesting chat with like minded people - and thanks for the lovely feedback guys.


Also a big thank you to Lindsay Orton - Arts Officer with Hinckley and Bosworth Council, for organising many of my talks. All funds raised are going towards a data projector in the gallery.



Beauty and Utility Arts Workshop




Workshop today with Beauty and Utility Arts after a tour of the exhibition.

My Film Crew!




Through the period of my exhibition I am being filmed by a lovely lady called Alice Tuppen who is making a short presentation about me and my work. Will post it up as soon as I have it. It is quite exciting and daunting at the same time as I feel most uncomfortable in front of the camera! During my public presentations I feel that I have been more natural but on a one to basis I fear I may have provided short sequences where I walk like spotty the dog and talk like a Dalek! The big screen is definitely not for me but am looking forward to seeing what Alice makes of it all. I must say she's been most considerate and professional in her dealings with me despite my poor performance.  Thus far we have filmed at my gallery talks, in my Dalby studio and outside the gallery.

I have to remember to wear the same clothes for the next month of my talks for continuity!






Photographs courtesy of John Brightmore.

Diary Wall Talk




Lots of interest in my Diary Wall as part of the exhibition. many extract are taken from this blog.

Many thanks for the feedback that I have had about this particular part of the exhibition. 

My talks have been a great opportunity to re-live my adventure.


Exhibition Feature - Shale sculpture




Descending into the canyon, the evolving shale layers present an ever-changing palette of colours through red, red-orange, orange, green, ochre, blue and grey.

The shale sculpture is made from two pieces of Fabriano paper large sliced and folded and manipulated to replicate some of the processes that the rock undergoes in its formation. 




The Exhibition



























Finally done and looking great. The work is up. labels in place. The work features over 30 ice images from the work that I did on location in the Grand Canyon, together with a context wall showing where the sculptures were photographed, a diary wall giving and account of my time in the Grand Canyon, two large scale paper sculptures based on rock formation and a series of time-lapse video installations back-projected onto a suspended screen.



We also have cards, prints and catalogues for sale.


























Final Touches

Making the final touches to the exhibition with another helper - Nicola. The exhibition installation has taken over 4 days but has gone really well - all we need are a few people to attend the opening this evening.




The opening - 'Grand Canyon 2012'





More shots of the preview evening. A great turnout, many thanks for all of you who turned out and the fabulous feedback. Below - yours truly giving a speech and forgetting to thank all of those who helped to install the exhibition!

I couldn't have done it without you guys. 



The opening - 'Grand Canyon 2012'



The exhibition opening. Early evening. 

Private View

Another day of exhibition building



















Most of the walls and images pictures are now in place. Today we wrestled with the video installation and I with a large paper sculpture based on shale. Fantastic teamwork.






Assembling the diary wall

The residency 'Diary Wall' tool a lot of time and thought especially by my studio colleague Beth. Who sorted it all out for me! The diary wall features extarcts from my blog and private diaries together with images and samples of paper sculpture.




Paper sculptures for the exhibition

I am currently working on several paper sculptures based on ideas developed in the canyon, to feature on the exhibition diary wall.

As ever I am recycling paper by slicing up and using old pen and ink drawings based on strata.


Exhibition invite

Autumn



Ahh Autumn is here. The English countryside is beautiful. Views towards Burrough on the Hill. 
Not so many spiders camped out in the studio sink this year. 

I have been really busy preparing for my forthcoming exhibition, alas theres not been nearly enough time for creative work. Currently wrestling with designs for invites, posters, 24 page catalogue, greeting cards, press releases, selected / printed 31 images for exhibition - it seems endless. Roll on 23 Nov and opening night.





Canyon Portfolios Finalised














Today I have completed the edits on my 'Canyon Rocks' and 'Canyon Organics' portfolios. It seems to have been a monumental task. Many thanks to follow artist Beth Johnson in the UK and Mike Buchheit (a lovely man from the canyon - and a bit of a photographer himself!) for picking through and helping me fine tune the texts.

Next task is to complete my 'Online Shop' but first I am off to Fiji to see my daughter Lauren and to work on a few creative projects with the children. So I will carry on with the shop installation in September.

Toodle Pip!

Olympics


Art aside.

It has been a remarkable year for me and this evening was no exception. We were very lucky to manage to get tickets for the Olympic Stadium on May 9 and the evening of the mens 200m and 800m final.  What a night, what an atmosphere, what a gift.

How incredibly uplifting the Olympics has been.  





ROCKS PORTFOLIO LAUNCHED





Finally I am able to say that my Canyon 'Rocks' portfolio is fully launched on the website. Most images are available to buy as a limited edition Giclee. After my exhibition in November additional formats will be available, including large scale onto metal. 

Click here to view Canyon Rocks Portfolio.


My next stage is to prepare to launch the Canyon 'Organics' portfolio series. 


Please contact me via the website regarding purchasing enquiries.




MAKING ROCKS




As light relief from sorting and updating my website I went to the studio to try to work through some of the paper sculptures that I have in mind for the November exhibition, its important to get this underway. Two days of intensive paper manipulation and experimentation and I am just starting to get where I need to be with one piece based on shale formation. I now need to try to upscale - it doesn't always work when I do the upscaling part due to the relative thickness and tolerance of the cartridge paper.

My aim with the sculpture below is to replicate the shale structure (above) by slicing and creasing a single sheet of paper with no glueing. Of course the effectiveness of the sculpture in situ will be dependent on a relative natural light source. The Atkins has excellent sources of both natural and artificial light so it shouldn't be a problem.

I enjoy the 'problem solving' aspect of my process. I have also started to make a scale model of the exhibition space in order to start my plan of attack.

In between now and my exhibition I am going to Fiji to see my daughter Lauren and probably moving house!




LUNCH AT THE TRIP TO JERUSALEM

Today I met up with Rachel Woodburn who is currently over in Nottingham from Arizona with a group of students on a month long field trip. I last saw Rachel in my Grand Canyon apartment the night before my hike down into the canyon. How nice to catch up and what a lot we had to talk about. After the pub we went to my studio for a chat and back to mine for a chaotic but fun dinner. 


Rachel is an artist and her fascinating work can be viewed via  www.rachlewoodburn.com  

SELECTING THE CANYON PORTFOLIO





Selecting the canyon portfolio has been a huge task which has taken up any spare time that I have had since my return from the canyon, aside from the many other things that have happened in my life this month. 

In the studio, it has been a matter of sifting through and organising images and collections, naming them and putting them onto the website (and I am still updating the texts to accompany images and trying to make sure I have any references correct - any glaring errors do let me know). I also have one eye on images and the curation of my November exhibition.



Blog Update





Hi folks. Apologies for the delay in updating my blog - and update it I will I have a number of images and words still to insert and also during June I shall publish my portfolio.

Busy sorting through 40GB of images has been a challenge.

The homepage image is from 23 May and a photoshoot at The Lookout Studio, many thanks for Christie and the team for allowing me to perch for the day of some fantastic photographs out of the wind.

My time at the Grand Canyon was very special and I would like to thank everyone who has followed my blog for your the comments and messages of support.

I particular I would like to thank Rikke, Rene, Dan, Annabelle Kim, Mike, Rachael, Denise, Jenny, Virginia, Darlene, Joyce, Roman, Wally, Keisha, Cynthia, Mary Anne, Laura, the children at Grand Canyon School, Phil (and the crew at the Kolb Studio), Christie (and the crew at the Lookout Studio), Anna, Ron Brown, Pat Brown, Pete, Eric the Ranger, Emily at Phantom Ranch, Meghan and Hannah on the Bright Angel trail.

Also the many folk that I chatted to along the trail and the many people who came for a cup of tea and are still in touch. Especially Gloria, Kurt, Eloise, Daisy and Jim.

.....and of course The UK Arts Council for providing the funds for my exhibition in the UK from Nov 23.



THE LAST POST


Today was a sad day of packing up, saying goodbye but of course I was also trying squeeze images of my last few ice sculptures into the photographic can.




An early start with a sculpture set up on the rim from 6am, I set it up with my auto exposure device to take a photograph every minute. Tony went down to babysit the sculpture whilst I took a shower. Unsuspecting tourists stood next to him and posed on the rim, whilst he sat patiently (in his motorbike boots and shorts), until I came back to resume my post. Unfortunately despite the effort this piece turns out to be my least successful of the tour and won't make the portfolio. 





Later we headed to Desert View on the motorbike.

Back for more packing and cake and goodbyes.




My final piece (based on some of the rhythms in the slot canyons observed early in my trip) was set up on the balcony 30 minutes before sunset to record in ice the last remnants of light on my last day in the Canyon. Tony and I went for a meal whilst the camera did its work. This image below is a record of the moment that the sun disappeared over the horizon. 





I am profoundly sad to be leaving this place.

Cathedral Wash


 

A day off today and a chance for  a trip out on the motorbike. 

After a great tip from Mike and Kim Buchheit we headed up towards Lees Ferry around 100 miles away, stopping off at Marble Canyon Lodge on the way, just after Navajo Bridge. After a great lunch we rode up to Catherdral Wash, changed out of our bike gear and hiked down to the Colorado River. Although we didn't see any, we could hear Rattlesnakes heralding our descent as we made our way through this beautiful slot canyon.




A photo shoot at The Kolb Studio




(above, Kolb Studio in the foreground perched on the edge of the canyon, with El Tovar behind to the left and you can just see the flag pole at Verkamps)

Today high winds on the rim provided a unique photo opportunity.

As Tony headed off on a hike down the Bright Angel Trail to Indian Garden, at 8am I headed to the Kolb Studio armed with my kit and two sculptures. The staff had kindly agreed to allow me to use the Kolb family garden room with panoramic views over the canyon as a place to work. The light was superb and I worked with two sculptures over 3 hours through the stages of thaw, increased translucency and subsequent collapse. This photographic session provided me with a chance to work in one of the most important historic buildings in terms of photographic history within the canyon, and produced a set of works that will certainly be key pieces in my November exhibition.











Later a return to Verkamps to upload and review my work, and make final preparations for my evening presentation at The Shrine of Ages. A good turnout included many of the good friends that I have made since I arrived and a lovely man with his young family who are on the road for several months visiting National Parks and will trek down to Phantom Ranch via the North Kaibab next week. If you should read this guys I would really like a copy of the photo that you took of us!

A party back at Verkamps later, was a perfect end this day that I shall remember for a long time.

THE IMPORTANCE OF LICHEN


A solitary tree on the edge of the canyon.

'In rocky deserts, lichens are the pioneer plants. They slow down the passage of air over rock surfaces, helping wind-borne soil particles to accumulate in cracks and fissures.'

Portraits of Earth - Freeman Patterson

A LIZARD




A fat little lizard wandering along the rim today.

THE BLUE CANYON



When I came to the Grand Canyon the only preconceived notion that I had is that the palette of the canyon and of my work would be warm. There is of course a beautiful range of warm hues to be seen but above all else, the canyon is a rich tapestry of blue whatever time of the day you look at it.



A Welcome Visitor




Tony my husband arrived today at around 3pm after battling through 50 mph winds on the route from Phoenix on his BMW motorbike - it was a lovely reunion and we went for dinner at El Tovar whilst the School Graduation Ceremony took place on the lawn outside on the rim. 

...and he brought fresh tea bag supplies!

A ROOM WITH A VIEW




A Condor, 10 minutes ago from my balcony - one of the things I will miss when I leave next week.

A PHOTO SHOOT at THE LOOKOUT STUDIO







Today the folks at The Lookout Studio an historical building (1915 designed by Mary Colter) kindly allowed me to use their premises as a location for my photography. The winds are really high here again today, the building offered shelter and shade so that I could position my sculptures right over the canyon.

This is from my Hotauta Conglomerate series. It is much less windy just below the rim so next when the light is right and the temperature perhaps at dawn tomorrow, I am going to hike down into the canyon with a couple of sculptures to see if I can capture some of the reds. I am getting lots of blues at the moment, loving them but be good to capture some red bouncing light, which I am sure is possible.


 

'Forced to focus on the intricacies of erosion, not the whole of it. I am always amazed at what a surprising sensual place the desert actually is. Dry, Yes, but water has written everywhere. Raging flash floods cut through ancient hardened seas, leaving behind sandstone trenches of such soft and delicate beauty they seem carved for cathedrals.'

'The wind whispers and the falling light paints the red rock in hues of ever shifting brilliance.'


Lonely Planet Guide to The Middle of Nowhere  - Jeff Campbell


A BEAUTIFUL MOON OVER THE CANYON



A beautiful moon over the canyon. 
Never before have I been able to appreciate the night sky as I have in this place. 



'The glories and the beauties of form, color, and sound unite in the Grand Canyon - forms unrivaled even by the mountains, colors that vie with sunsets, and sounds that span the diapason from tempest to tinkling raindrop, from cataract to bubbling fountain.'
      
'The elements that unite to make the Grand Canyon the most sublime spectacle in nature are multifarious and exceedingly diverse.'


John Wesley Powell

More spots

ROCKING SPOTS



Early rising as usual. I tend to leave my bedroom blind open so that I rise with the dawn. 

At around 8 am, I headed out onto the rim with two sculptures based on rock formation. Over the next two hours I photographed the sculptures in the changing light directly over the canyon. My aim today was to attempt to ease out some of the paper structures within the ice to make holes all the way through to reveal a blurry canyon backdrop, this was quite successful. Worked until the ice collapsed. This work has been very much informed by my talks about geology and the impact of water on he landscape with local Hydrogeologist Cynthia Valle, cheers Cynthia.

Today on the balcony at Verkamps I have set up an additional camera overlooking the rim (and the place where I was working) on an automatic exposure every 4 minutes I shall try to maintain this over the next 24 hours.

Goodness knows how many photographs I have taken thus far - I am on my third memory stick and have 28GB.




A Solar Eclipse

Yesterday I took a walk along the Rim Trail towards Yavapai Geology Museum, to think through some ideas, then onto the Super Market to get some supplies. At the Yavapai I took time to reflect about my climb up through the canyon last week. Whilst down in the canyon at the Phantom Ranch you can see the distant lights of the museum on the rim. It was strange to be looking down from this view-point.

For the remainder of the afternoon I had my head down making ice sculptures, whilst listening to Radio 4.

Later some friends came around for a Solar Eclipse gathering on my balcony at Verkamps. I also managed to get a few photographs done of an ice sculpture or two.

After dark I headed over to the Mather Point for a Star party where you could view the night sky through some really powerful telescope – amazing stuff.

GOODBYE




As the sun went down over the canyon today I give my thanks for the life of Margaret Mair who passed away last week and was buried today in Wales, UK. Margaret was a very special lady who will be missed by us all.

HEADING UP TO INDIAN GARDEN




On the Thursday I decided to take advantage of an available bunkhouse halfway up the Bright Angel Trail at Indian Garden and start my ascent up through the canyon, this way I could take more photographs and enjoy the trip. Gloria, Kurt, Eloise and Jim, the people I met at Phantom were also heading up that way and it would be good to have some company. An early start meant that we were able to miss the worse of the furness at the bottom. 

The Bright Angel Creek intersects the trail at intervals along the route, its tempting to stop and paddle in every one. Around 2 miles from the bottom you hit 'The Devils Corkscrew' which lives up its name, a series of switchbacks lead you ever upwards through some of the oldest rocks in the canyon. Fascinating stuff, lots to photograph. 

Great to get to Indian Garden and have a rest before I set off to complete the hike to the top, this is definitely the most civilised way to do it, though not sure that you can convince the many 'rim to rim'mers who run past you at fairly regular intervals.

A DAY OF REST and DRAMA




The day began with breakfast in the Phantom Canteen where everyone waits outside until the bell rings to invite you to dine. At the Ranger station I came a cross Daisy who fell during a 12 hour hike down the North Kaibab Trail and hurt her knee and ankle. Within 30 minutes a helicopter had arrived and whisked her off to the medical centre on the South Rim. I understand that there were 11 other such call outs that day. 

I headed up to Phantom Canyon with some new friends (and intrepid explorers) Kurt and Gloria (who had also trekked down the N. Kaibab the day before). We came upon a beautiful waterfall and completely immersed ourselves, randomly dumping our kit further down the trail so that we could paddle up to the source. 

Later that day, under the stars I gave a presentation to visitors staying at Phantom Ranch in the Amphitheatre. After a short question and answer session several of us headed up to the mule coral to checkout Black Widow Spiders and Scorpions. The stars were beautiful and after my star talk with ranger Marker at the Shrine of Ages last week I was at least able to know what I was looking at a little. A satellite passed overhead too. 


A JOURNEY DOWN THE SOUTH KAIBAB

 




On 15 May at around 6am I started my hike down into the Grand Canyon via the South Kaibab Trail, with what seemed at the time a ridiculously heavy bag, including 3 litre's of water for the trip as there is no water available on the trail and supplies for one or two meals.
 
As you descend the changing rock formations are fascinating in their colours, textures and minute detail, giving me lots of ideas for ice sculptures, I expected to see the same strata patterns on the way up Bright Angel Trail 3 days later but here the rocks tell another story. The trail path changes colour as you pass through the various layers going through shades of terracotta, pink, grey, green and ochre. The dust permeates your clothing, your skin, your hair and is difficult to wash off. The final mile (and hour) was challenging as temperatures soared above 100 F and there were very limited areas of shade. As I descended it got hotter and hotter even though it's only 9.30 by this time. My first sight of the bridge and Colorado was a sight for sore eyes and my arrival at Angel Creek at 11am was deliriously wonderful as I jumped into the spring soaking my weary hot feet and laying down in the water, its amazing how water restores you. 

First stop Phantom Canteen for glass of their legendary Lemonade.

Second stop my digs, for a snooze. The Crew Bunkhouse is very comfortable and lies in a beautiful green oasis of cacti, deciduous trees with Mule Deer wandering peacefully along grazing amongst the tall grasses. It was entertaining reading the visitor book, with the various reports of unexpected visitors (of the wild variety) finding their way into the cabin and of stories of being marooned whilst snow storms raged in the upper canyon. During my afternoon snooze I had all of the windows open - after reading the book I changed my strategy.



ON the ROCKS





My latest batch of images and I think that I have finally turned a corner, but will need to park my boat for a few days as I am going on a 4 day hike to Phantom Ranch (at the bottom of the canyon - yes really!). This set of sculptures combine the paper, the ice and debris from the locality of the shoot where I dropped my sculpture this week. I think that I am going to drop a few more when I get back! Its definately the way forward. Interesting how the debris has worked with the structure of the ice.  Also in this work the paper structured were not fixed and the water dictated where they arrived in the composition. I am very pleased with this new series as it bears some semblance of what I hoped to achieve and for my process it breaks new ground.

I leave you with two quotes one from Colin Ward a friend and fellow artist on my work (cheers Colin) and an extract from ‘God of Small Things’  by Arundhati Roy

'Symbiotic to have taken rocks that were spewed from volcanic eruptions or compacted from the creation of times ageing process to create naturally a form unlike the beginning. You have added a twinkle in time to the behaviour of those particular rocks by engaging them symbiotically with an appreciative audience whom in essence marvelled at the pseudo recreation or happening you applied and manipulated. Water, ice, minerals were again engaged in a nano second of the existence of said rocks and water'

Colin Ward

Earth Woman
'Imagine that the earth –four thousand six hundred million years old –was a forty six year old woman. It had taken the whole of the Earth Woman’s Life for the earth to become as it was. For the oceans to part. For the mountains to rise. The Earth Woman was eleven years old when the first single-celled organisms appeared. The first animals, creatures like worms and jelly fish, appeared only when she was forty. She was forty five – just eight months ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The whole of civilisation as we know it began only two hours ago an the Earth Woman’s life'.

Arundhati Roy


A HIKE DAY




The view down over Bright Angel Trail.

Today I set out at 7.30 am and went for a 6 mile hike down into the canyon via Bright Angel Trail which is just under my balcony, went to 3 mile resthouse which is around 2,000 feet down and back up again. In preparation for my big hike on Tues am to Phantom Ranch. It was around 70 F at the top of the trail and is apparently around 105 F down at Phantom.


 

Above 'Indian Paintbrush' .

Again lot of interesting people on the trail always plenty to talk to, including Meghan Smith the very helpful park ranger who was down there manning the trail when I went down with Rikke last week. Didn't take a camera this time which is thankful, because of the colour of my face when I resurfaced (just like Indian Paintbrush above). Somebody spotted a rattler nearby today and as I was talking to Meghan a Humming Bird was collecting nectar from the flowers nearby. Plenty of squirrels which seem to work as a team with the crows to steal hikers food.

Off to watch a documentary with Kim and Mike tonight at the one of the resident association buildings.

A day off hiking tomorrow just catchup with Rene and prepping for my walk to Phantom tues.

HAPPY ACCIDENTS


Such is the creative journey that accidents sometimes lead the way forward. After my sculpture fell on the floor (they have a habit of doing this) I rearranged it took some more photographs and then popped it back in the freezer with the pebbly debris.  It will be interesting to see how it photographs the next time around. Tomorrow I will go on a longer hike down Bright Angel and I will collect some fine rock samples along the way to integrate into new works.

I am also thinking that I need to try to make ice sculptures with holes in - to reveal the canyon beyond the image.

Reading - 'Through the Grand Canyon' by Ellsworth L. Kolb, I recommend for anyone interested in historical adventures into the Canyon. 

PHOTOGRAPHY ON THE RIM


Today I went out on the rim to photograph one of the sculptures that I have developed in a Limestone Series. Here I am trying to instruct the very helpful tourist how to use my camera. Shortly afterwards there was a horrified gasp as the ice block promptly fell off the stand. I had however managed to get some great shots, so all was well.

.

CONDOR 23


During a Skype session with my family this morning two Condors were providing a magnificent display just off my balcony. Ten minutes later I managed to take the above photograph and see the number 23 on each wing, such is the tracking system for the resident Condor population, that I am able to tell you that this male (23) was born in LA Zoo on May 20th 1995, he was fed using a puppet glove (resembling a Condor) and he was released into the Grand Canyon Park on May 26th 1997. WOW! 
The wingspan is so huge that it casts a massive shadow on the balcony floor.

HIKE TO CEDAR RIDGE


Today I did a hike to Cedar Ridge down South Kaibab Trail with ranger Eric who provided a fascinating dialogue which was a fusion of Sci Fi and Geology. 1 1/2 miles down and Cedar Ridge is 1,200 feet below the rim this is 1/5 of the way down! It doesn't seem that far when you say it but took about 3 hours. Sometimes those who come the whole way up from the bottom via this route are said to demonstrate the 'Kaibab Shuffle' because of the effect that it has on their knees. 

Took some great pictures of ROCKS and met lots of lovely people - there is a great sense of camaraderie along the trail.

Cheers to Francis, Lisa, Lee, Marion and David for your company!

Mule Duffle train below transporting bags from the bottom.




An evening photo shoot on the Verkamps Balcony




An evening photo shoot on the Verkamps Balcony was a joy. The ice sculpture is a torn up glossy insert for Tag Heuer that I found in the studio, the inspiration for this piece are the layers of shale that you see down in the canyon.


Whilst on the balcony those tourists who manage to look up and spot me will shout 'what are you doing up there' - here insures challenging shouting exchange where I try to explain what I am doing with ice. 





An introduction at Park Headquarters and a visit to the Museum




Today began with a meeting at Park Headquarters where I was introduced to staff. On display are collages - one that I brought here as a gift from my local school in the UK and two from the local school that were made in response (and that will be shipped back to the UK) as part of an international exchange.

Later I cycled up to the museum for a tour of some of the fascinating artefacts that they have here associated with the canyon. Including below some of the many things found down in the canyon left by explorers and prospectors (some of whom now lie in the Pioneer Cemetery).





Other artefact that interested me were the ceramics and some of the amazing traditional patterns, in another lifetime I could easily have gone down this route for my inspiration source.

Later, I headed back to Verkamps to have tea with Hydrogeologist Cynthia Valle who I met during the tour to 'talk rocks', this meeting was crucial to my research and an understanding of some of the water interactions in geological terms certainly influenced my final work during the residency.



A CHANCE MEETING THAT TURNED OUT TO BE EXTRAORDINARY



In many ways today was extraordinary.  (has anyone noticed that I have started to do my headings like A.A.Milne?)

After an early start with a 6am photoshoot to catch the early light, I went on a cycle ride up to Yaki Point for a picnic, this is probably the most scenic bike ride that I have ever been on. Mostly up hill - that was a challenge but good and even more rewarding on the way home. It was on the way back, cutting through to South Kaibab Trailhead, that I heard a British accent and decided to carry out a promise that I made at the beginning of my week - to invite a Brit back to Verkamps for a cup of PG Tips. So I invited Gosha and Jules back to Verkamps and they duly arrived 2 hours later for a cup of tea. After only a few minutes we discovered that Jules had recently spent three weeks with my daughter working in Fiji. How VERY strange to have selected Jules of all the people. Anyway we had lots more to talk about than we could have imagined earlier in the day, it was lovely to meet them both and a huge bonus to my day.

 

Finally, a sunset photography piece from my 'Twisted' series inspired by the bark of Utah Juniper. An early start tomorrow 7.15 I am going to be introduced to the park service staff, followed by a tour of the archeology archive.





SCHOOLS PROJECT ASFORDBY CAPTAINS CLOSE GRAND CANYON SCHOOL

Today I went to the Park Headquarters to present and hang 3 collages made by children in the UK and US.  These collages are part of a cultural exchange project between the local school in the Grand Canyon and Asfordby Captains Close in Leicestershire, UK.

 A class of 31 children in the UK made the collage as a gift to the children in the local school. This collage was accompanied by a slideshow featuring the voices of the UK children as they describe their lives and environment in a small village in England. In return the local children have made their own collages describing their very different environment in the Grand Canyon. The US collage will be taken back and presented to the children in the UK.

This project was made possible by the hard work of pupils, the teachers in both schools and Rene Westbrook (the Artist in Residence Program Coordinator). The project was facilitated by Deborah Bird the May 2012 Artist in Residence at the Grand Canyon National Park. 

After the display talk we walked over to the Shrine of Ages for a presentation of my own work.




ICE WORKS 07-05-12




New ice works photographed on the balcony at Verkamps 2PM. Listening to the hum of Harley's - a big gang just rolled in. Sounds like they've just gone into the shop downstairs to do some loud but good natured shopping.




FAREWELLS and Bike RIDES and a LONE GUITARIST (continued)

More images.











FAREWELLS and Bike RIDES and a LONE GUITARIST



This morning I waved a sad farewell to my good friend, fellow artist and travel companion Rikke who had been to stay at the weekend and keep me company during my moonlight photography sessions. I spent the day afterwards taking photographs of ice works and making new ones. At around 5pm I set off on my Park Service issue mountain bike along the rim trail beyond Mather Point and worked my way back along the rim taking photographs. The light was amazing with stormy clouds over to the east and low sunlight spilling into the canyon from the west. Lots of people were out along the rim sitting waiting peacefully for the sun to go down. Some perched on the top of pinnacles playing musical instruments (see below - on the top of the pale rocks in the foreground). It was a lovely evening with a great sense of peace. Upon my arrival back at Verkamps at around 7.30 there was a lone guitar player sat on the canyon rim just outside my window - so I took him a beer!


 


Yukka revisited


The current homepage image is from the Yukka series shot on 3 May during a beautiful sunset. For me the sunset light captures many of the beautiful warm colours that I see in the canyon. 

Below is the same sculpture shot in the moonlight last night.


MOONDANCE



Today Rikke and I hiked down into the canyon to 1 1/2 Mile Resthouse on Bright Angel Trail. It took us about 3 hours. This hike was reasonably hard but not too bad, we went down into the canyon by about 1,000 feet. I need to do more of these hikes to prepare for next weeks trek down to Phantom. Apparently whilst at the Canyon only 5% of visitors dip down below the rim. There was a great sense of camaraderie and more Brits than I've met at any other time on the trip! 

Lots of activity on the rim today with it being the weekend. Indian dances and music.




On the way back we saw 3 Condors they put on a magnificent show above our balcony at Verkamps. 

This evening we were invited to Art 21 at the GC Recreation Centre to see a presentation on contemporary art. 

Later at Verkamps I set up a series of ice sculptures in the moonlight tonight and did a 2 hour photo shoot. This one is based on studies of tree bark structures observed along the canyon rim, and the paper used in this sculpture is a Grand Canyon Spring visitor brochure (in which I feature). It is my aim whilst here to use papers for my sculpture work that can find at the GC Village. 





Moonlight 5 May




Looking down over the Canyon outside Verkamps and looking towards Verkamps. 

A really great moon, we took a drive out past Mather Point and then returned to prowl around outside Verkamps until after midnight. The canyon in the moonlight takes on and extra magical quality, because of course generally its just a black hole after sundown.



A FULL 'SUPER' MOON and a potential FROST

Oh my goodness am I in for a good night! A 'super' full moon AND a frost.


After nightfall Rikke and I are going for a drive along Desert View Drive to stop and the various vantage points along the way to try to photograph the canyon in the moonlight. Thankfully the vantage points along the way mostly have railings - so hopefully won't fall off!

Lots of people will be down in the canyon trekking by moonlight - in another time of 'full moon' I should like try this, unfortunately it won't be this trip.

Absolutely NO idea if we will be successful.

'To inquire into the intricacies of a distant landscape is to provoke thoughts about ones own interior landscape, and the familiar landscapes of memory. The land urges us to come around to an understanding of ourselves.'

Barry Lopez

Both photographs below taken entirely by moonlight 5 May.




May 4 Trek along the rim from Hermits Rest to the Abyss




Took a 2 hour hike lots of photographs on a 2 hour hike from Hermits Rest to the Abyss. Lots of inspirations sources really like the texture of the barks along the route. Got my first glimpse of the Colorado River over Pima Point. Met some lovely folk on the bus who came back to Verkamps for a cup of tea later.

May 4 in the studio



In the studio working on sketches and paintings yesterday. 
The studio is to the left of the building and has views over the canyon. 

4 May Visit to Kolb Studio



Early today I was given a tour of the Kolb Studio by the manager Phil. After months of research into pioneers of photography that was a very special opportunity for me. This is a deceptively large studio and house with perhaps 26 rooms, perched right over the edge of the canyon. I was able to look out of the window where photos of people trekking down onto the canyon on Bright Angel Trail were taken and visit the darkroom - I swear I could still smell the developing fluids.

May 4

Up late today 7am. 

Its a beautiful day had my breakfast on the Verkamps balcony, blue skies, though breezy. Off to the kolb studio at around 8am for a tour. Generally the temperture is very nice about low to mid 70's really cold at night almost but not quite freezing.


Sunset photography 03 May



I took a whole sequence of ice images over a period of 10 minutes on my balcony, very happy with results - the changing light conditions made for an interesting set of works. I need to test the quality of light throughout the day through ice - suspecting that the early morning light will be different again.


May 3 first tests and visit to local school




First experimental tests completed today. Testing - the paper, the freezer, and the sunset light available on my balcony. All looks promising. My inspiration for this test piece is the Yukka that grows in abundance on the rim. The coiling structure on the flower head is also fascinating and another possible source of inspiration. Though tomorrow I will start work on the stone based series this will probably be the general direction that I take. The light here is amazing.

Another long but rewarding day. Started with a bus ride to Mather Point at 6.15 and a walk along the rim back to Verkamps. Rene collected me at 11.00 and we went to the school to present a collage made by the children at my local school Asfordby Captains Close in the UK, then hands on to help the children in the canyon finish theirs. Both Collages will be displayed in the visitor centre from next week. Back for tea at Verkamps with some special visitors. Photographs at sunset. Studio work and editing until now almost 10pm. Exhausting but great day-going to bed.

 

May 2 PM CONDORMAN



Worked in the studio trying to find the threads of my direction until 2pm then set off to see a VERY entertaining talk about Condors by a Park Ranger called Ron Brown just at top of Bright Angel overlook, for any of you currently at the GC, I thoroughly recommend it.

After this I took a short hike down Bright Angel Trail 30 mins down and about 45 mins back up, met some very interesting people along the way.

I came back  from my trek at about 6pm and worked in the studio until about 9pm trashing out ideas for sculptures. There are lots of interesting organic starting points and sources of inspiration but increasingly I am coming to the notion that should concentrate on the detail in the rock formations. Just out of my window and running along the rim is 'The Trail of Time' this is an educational trail which charts the passage of time through rock formations in the canyon and along the route are large rock samples. 

My usual route to design work for ice/paper sculpture is through the direct manipulation of paper I call these 'paper drawings', when I have the luxury of time this is OK. Since this route can be very time consuming, I have decided to start the design process through sketching with fine liner pens, Quink and Watercolour. The whole process painting and drawing just helps me to 'see' better and start a creative dialogue - if my ideas are allowed to evolve organically they are much more resolved.

Annoyingly I have lost two lens caps - goodness knows how. Hoping that Rikke can pick two up for me from Sedona. 

May 2.




Today I was up to see dawn at 5.35 and and to try to catch the Elk's that are rumoured to hang around the front lawn at El Tovar at that time of the day (and I have seen them cleaning up Elk Poo!). 

This morning I plan to make some paper sculptures to freeze, I have the brown paper bags that I brought back from the super market at Market Plaza, I shall use those. 

It is a wonderful and uplifting thing to see dawn break over the Grand Canyon, it amazed me how many people got up to see it but actually didn't hang around to see the colours emerge.

'As you stand in the old darkness of an Arizona night, waiting for dawn you will have no comprehension of the enormity of the landscape in front of you. In the dull early light your first view of the Grand Canyon will be a flat almost painterly composition. then gradually the sky turns to blue and red and golden sunlight starts to pick out details - first the edge of the far ridge,and then the tallest pinnacles inside the canyon itself.'

'Only when you notice details, such as a row of trees or a flock of geese flying overhead do you realise the true scale of the canyon.'

Places To See Before You Die - Steve Davey

May 1st. Settling in and saying goodbye to my new friend Jing





Jing and myself on the Verkamps balcony.

The flag is hoisted outside my balcony at 8am. 

Today was my 'settling in' day. Saying goodbye to Jing. Tidying up. Unpacking, setting up the studio, testing the freezer and generally getting my bearings. It is quite cold here in the evenings so I am hopeful that I may even be able to freeze work outside. The next cold snap is expected at the weekend with the full moon.

I also managed to finally get my blog up to date. The internet is pretty slow in the evenings so everyone in the Grand Canyon must be on the 'super highway' after a hard day looking over the edge. Verkamp Lodge is beautiful with 3 bedrooms, a lounge, studio, kitchen, bathroom and the Verkamp family lived here until 2008. Its interesting to read in the visitor book that they return to visit from time to time.










The lounge at Verkamps


At around 4pm I took a walk to the west along the rim, I called into the Kolb Studio where the Kolb brothers had their studio overlooking the Bright Angel trail. As I looked down upon the Indian Garden elevation at 3,800 feet (my elevation 6,820) there were perhaps 4 or 5 Condor's gliding majestically in the canyon. Tomorrow afternoon I will hike part way down the trail with my long lens to try to get some images. With a wing span of some 10 feet they should be easy to spot!

I continued along the Rim Trail west bound to Powell Point recording the sunset along the way and returned just before dark. What a day! (again)

'The elements that unite to make the Grand Canyon the most sublime spectacle in nature are multifarious and exceedingly diverse.'

John Wesley Powell (March 24, 1834 – September 23, 1902) was a U.S. soldier, geologist, explorer of the American West, and director of major scientific and cultural institutions. He is famous for the 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition, a three-month river trip down the Green andColorado rivers that included the first known passage through the Grand Canyon.

 

Arrival 29-04-12 30-04-12


We arrived at the canyon on 29th April and had a two day cross over with Jing Zhou who had been the 'April' artist in residence. Jing was most welcoming, and of course the apartment and view is divine - I shall post some images when I have officially moved in. 

We arrived in time to take a sunset walk to the Shrine of Ages to see Jing who is a New media, digital photography, and designer from Ocean New Jersey, deliver an inspiring talk. Party afterwards with Rene, Jing, Rikke, Mike, and Frank at Verkamps to celebrate our respective residencies. I sat out on the Verkamps balcony until 1 am star watching with Jing - it was magical. Rikke takes leave in the morning for 5 days in Sedona, Jing will depart and I will officially start my residency on Tuesday 1 May. click to link to Jing Zhou website. 

I sat and had my dinner on the Verkamps balcony; contemplated the view and my good fortune on the eve of my residency, whilst Jing went off to watch her last sunset on the rim.



Horseshoe Bend Page AZ 28-04-12




Rikke contemplating the view.

On 28th April at Horseshoe Bend just outside Page, just west of Glen Canyon Dam. Another spectacular view and rather intimidating drop off the edge, more rewarding photographs the closer to the that you were prepared to go! The view really does take you breath away! On to the Grand Canyon tomorrow.



Lake Mead




A moment of reflection knowing that I head for the Grand Canyon tomorrow. 
A great sense of peace. 
What a place.

Photograph Rikke Digerud

Antelope Canyon 27-04-12

Antelope Canyon 27-04-12


 
Photo by Rikke Digerud

What a day! It has been my ambition to visit and photograph this slot canyon for over 10 years - it was every bit as beautiful as I thought it would be. Lots of tourist's we only managed to avoid them with the help of our guide Rick - who steered them away like cattle. Apparently the the guides pop in first thing in the morning to remove the rattlers! The biggest issue was keeping the sand out of our lens. Another one to cross of the bucket list I think - but I might be back. It is called Antelope Canyon because of the Antelope that used to roam here before the dam was built.


Antelope Canyon 27-04-12



Antelope Canyon is just outside of Page AZ on Navajo land.

An unexpected trek near to Bluff




Today we went on the most amazing trek to a remote canyon just outside of Bluff, with some people that we just happened to meet at the hotel as we were leaving. We ate our lunch in a dramatic cove high up in the canyon over looking some ancient ruins. What a brilliant day and cheers to the gang who kidnapped us for the trek - Brent, Fred, Natalie and Bill.


Recapture Lodge, Bluff 25-04-12

Bluff Hike 25-04-12



Lunchtime.

The hike was to an area called Comb Ridge and one can only assume that this is because of the canyons that are slotted across the ridge at intervals. How fascinating that there are so many old ruins in this area.


25-04-12 Monument Valley, Goulding Lodge, Johnny Depp, Bluff





Today we moved onto a small hotel in Bluff called Recapture Lodge our route took us through Monument Valley. The scenery of course is nothing less than spectacular and you get the strange feeling (as I did in New York) that I had been here before. We made our way hot on the heels of Johnny Depp (apparently) who is out here (and was previously at Canyon de Chelly) filming ‘The Lone Ranger’ starring as Tonto.  We stopped by the historic Goulding Lodge, I could have stayed here all day perusing the film memorabilia and the lives of Harry and Leone (Mike) and Goulding who ran the lodge and hosted the stars as they made films in the area.

An overcast day but spectacular none-the-less.



Making cairns near to Spider Rock 24-04-12



24-04-12 Canyon de Chelly

 




24-04-12 Canyon de Chelly




We arrived at our lodgings at Thunderbird Lodge (cheers for the top tip Richard) on a Navajo reservation on the boundary of Canyon de Chelly late last night for a two-night stay. The cafeteria serves quite simple but delicious food and is mainly patronised by Navajo.


We took a tour of Canyon de Chelly from 9am with a Navajo guide who used to play in the canyon as a child. The canyon really is like paradise with monumental avenues of sweeping red cliffs surrounding an oasis of green trees and dotted Indian homesteads. Story’s told by our guide brought to life the sacred importance of the place for the Indian people and the persecution suffered in the 1800 hundreds at the hands of Colonel Kit Carson. Who sacked the canyon and forced the people into exile.


On a lighter note a very nice lady and her friend staying in the room next door admired my Tilley hat today and such is the custom, she had to give me a hug in return for a brag tag, the alternative would have been for her to buy me a drink - this would have been most welcome - but on the reservation alcohol is prohibited!


Canyon de Chelly - photos by Rikke Digerud.


 

23-04-2012


The beauty of jet lag is that we set our alarm for 7am and were in fact up dressed and ready to rock and roll by 6.30! We set off and headed east on the 66 (final destination Canyon de Chelly) popped in to visit Meteor Crater by 9am; given the hot temperature when we arrived  - this was the best time of day to do it. Fascinating huge hole in the ground made by a meteor impact some 50,000 years ago. Next intended stop Winslow with the grand plan of visiting ‘La Posada’ a former railway hotel and historic masterpiece by Mary Colter – but somehow through a combination of my poor map reading and too much chat we missed the turn only to realise 30 miles further on! Called by the Petrified Forest.

Moving on we happened upon an amazing little haven called the Hubble Trading Post where we were treated to a tour of the Hubble homestead by a lovely Navajo lady called Tina who provided a fascinating insight into the life of George Hubble an entrepreneurial social pioneer who set up trading links with the local Indian populace.

We also had a look around he artist in residence accommodation; the most recent artists were two musicians from Holland.

We passed a herd of cows on the highway just wandering into a Navajo gas station!



22-04-2012


My bag finally arrived - thank goodness, delivered up to Flagstaff airport. Said bag contained half my kit for the residency in addition to half my clothes so BIG RELIEF.  Could have managed without the clothes, but the kit loss including an ice frame that I had made especially by Spectroform Eng Services would have been disastrous.

I plan to spend a week touring some key places in Arizona, ahead of my residency which is due to start at the beginning of May with my friend and fellow artist Rikke Digerud-Waring  www.rikkeart.com who arrived  at 4pm and after a nice meal with Rene and her family and we set off to our hotel on the historic Route 66.

 

 

21-04-2012 Safe arrival but not without incident!
































 









Arrived at Phoenix airport safely at 3.25 local time, but minus one bag, with an outside temperature of 100 degrees. Was met at the airport by Rene Westbrook the coordinator of the Artist in Residence program for the Grand Canyon (and her friend Bob) who had kindly invited me back to her home in Flagstaff.  The 3 hour drive ‘up the hill’ to Flagstaff offered a fascinating view of the changing plant life including a forest of Saguaro cactus some (15 metres) high, a gradual drop in temperature and a grand opportunity to chat to Rene and Bob. Arrived at Coconino National Forest Headquarters to return government car by around 6.



OLYMPIC TORCH

As I make final preps for my trip to the Grand Canyon. The Olympic torch (test run) has just passed through the village right past my door - how exciting. The actual day of the event in Asfordby is the 3rd of July. Need to get my bunting ready.


























Off to the airport early in the morning. Having failed to get 'everything but the kitchen sink' in my two suitcases I had to resort to posting a parcel of kit yesterday. First stop Phoenix where I will be met at the airport by Grand Canyon Artist in Residence Program Coordinator Rene Westbrook.

WILLOW



How is it possible to feel maternal towards a Pussy Willow? 

This little beauty was gathered from the orchard yesterday and it reminds me so much of a photograph that I took 21 years ago of my one day old daughter Samantha curled up on the bed in the maternity wing at the general hospital.

I am loving the metamorphose, the colours and the general design of this little willow shoot. These days I seem to have to take macro pictures to see enough detail, but what detail there is if you really look.
Not much time for creative work at the moment its frustrating - I am busy clearing the decks, making space and preparing for my trip to the Grand Canyon next month, so its very worthwhile.

So 21 years ... on my Samantha is just wrestling with her final project at St Martins on BA Product Design. Good luck SAM!

ICE MELT ANIMATION

I have begun a planned foray into animation (thanks to the help from the 'Apple' boys). Below is a link to my first attempt, photographed over 3 hours in changing natural light conditions from 1.30 in the afternoon. This sculpture which featured earlier in my blog features a sliced paper bag from the Grand Canyon and is all about strata. Part of my agenda when I visit the GC in may is to explore the process of erosion in the canyon.


hopefully more of these to follow

FOLOISE FORM


New sculptures this week making full use of my new macro, based on studies of Foloise formation lichen. Several new images posted into the gallery. I need to update the gallery section of the website when I get 5 mins..........

Been learning tricks with iMovie in the Apple store today with Carl, I love iMovie - looking forward to bringing to fruition istop film of melt process - watch this space. 

Its amazing how busy they are in that store even on a Monday, haven't folks got anything better to do? - probably not actually.

Cheers Carl!

LICHEN



Images of Lichen from the studio orchard today. I find Lichen fascinating. These samples are to be found growing on the branches. New ice/paper sculptures take inspiration from these funky forms and the reflective quality of the colours. On closer inspection they remind me of some of the amazing shapes that we saw in the Barrier Reef last year.






CONCENTRA


I started photographing frosted rings on the top of wooden posts years ago, today was a good day for a revisit. Undoubtedly these types of images from my distant past inspired research onto the use of paper and ice. 'Concentra' below is one such image. 

'Concentra' was shortlisted in the penultimate round of the 'Art of Giving' at the Saatchi in 2010. 
Ice and paper; photographed in the studio, the dark areas are shadow's created by the use of indian ink mark making onto the paper prior to freezing.

 

A BIRD IN THE BUSH



A lovely snowy week heralded the return of the Fieldfare to the garden. They flocked in by the dozens and systemically ate all of the fruit on the crab apple tree.

Home page 3 February






Home page image shows detail of an ice sculpture frozen outside on Feb 2nd and photographed in natural light with reflectors behind. The paper used in this instance was a large sepia ink drawing in a previous existence. Areas of apparent unfocus are actually areas of mist sitting on the surface of the ice.

English Martyrs School, Leicester


A big shout out for all of the pupils that I met at English Martyrs School, Leicester today. 
Many thanks for making me so welcome and for the lovely feedback.

What goes around comes around


No comments on the blog for a while but that doesn't mean that I haven't been busy! 

Been experimenting with my new Macro lens delighted with the results. The cold snap has meant that I have been engulfed in a frenzy of sculpture making activities; rushing around making new works to freeze outside - the ice formed this way is much more transparent and I need to find out why. 

Have also been experimenting with a 'remote interval timer' working on some new sequences of animated thaw works. 

The image above is part of ongoing investigations into 'strata' in preparation for my trip to the Grand Canyon, it is from a series of images documenting a sculpture thaw over 5 hours as it melted and changed colour with the ambient natural light. A friend who recently visited the Grand Canyon visitor centre kindly brought me a map in a brown paper 'official bag' couldn't resist slicing it up and using it for this piece which will be exhibited in the visitor centre as part of an interactive display called 'The Arrow of Time' during my residency in May. The dark areas in the ripples are the result of black texts printed onto the bag. The tones created by the use of brown paper are a perfect way to emulate the warm tones of the canyon.


Spent the best part of yesterday photographing a new sculpture. 

This sculpture made outdoors during a heavy overnight frost, is photographed with late afternoon light barely illuminating the ice which has all but melted away. Much of the paper framework has emerged out of the ice and is ready to collapse - at this stage the ice is at its most transparent. I am finding that ice that has been made naturally tends to have more bubbles - not sure why? There have simply not been enough frosts this year to test this theory further - its disappointing.

After the Grand Canyon perhaps my next residency needs to be in the North Pole!

CONTACT

For anyone trying to email me at the moment, you may experience problems with the email account associated with this website. I am in the process changing my computer systems.


An alternative email address is deborah@artqualifications.co.uk 

AIR Grand Canyon









January's home page was taken at the start of my current research around 2 years ago and shows detail of an ice puddle. These fascinating rippling friseurs appeared as I rinsed the ice under a cold tap.

The Resident Artist's for the Grand Canyon 2011/2012 were announced this week on the USA National Park Service website to find out more follow the link.

http://www.nps.gov/grca/supportyourpark/selected-artists-south-rim-2011-2012.htm 

A Murmaration



Frost has made a welcome return to the landscape this week providing some great photo opportunities. Such a contrast to the winter last year. 

My PC went completely wrong beyond repair providing a perfect excuse to go out a buy a new Apple system (desk top and iPad) Oh the joy! Also the pain of having to teach myself how to use it all. The chaps in the Apple store have been very helpful of course, I am sure this is the start of new and glorious friendship.

What about this for an inspiring link especially for the new year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

I start the year resplendent in my new slippers, sporting a few extra pounds around my waist with the pallor of someone who has over indulged.

It was worth it though.

This morning went for a fantastic long walk around Beacon Hill with my friend Rikke to; blow out the cobwebs, contemplate an exciting year ahead, start as I mean to carry -on in the fitness dept and decide upon my New Years' resolutions (yes late I know). So here they are:

  • Waste less food
  • Keep a daily journal for 2012 

I have been busy over the past two days running design workshops at Cheltenham Ladies College for Absolute Academy www.absolute-academy.com . My thanks to the team Anne and Rachael for helping things to run so smoothly and to the students who were fantastically creative. What fun we had and what great results! I shall post up some images soon.

Thanks also to my brother Simon and wife Karen for putting me up, check out their new website www.fritzfryer.co.uk

Just off to investigate Apples and buy a journal!

ICE STAR





Home page image produced today to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas.

Angulated ice has started to appear in the puddles on ‘the walk’, ICE STAR takes its inspiration from these fascinating structures.


Murky weather



A string of murky days and low light have prevailed over the past two weeks – its proper November weather. Leaves seem to be hanging to the tops of trees with the tips of their fingers. A gentle frost today and good light. Looking forward to a day in the studio.

Attached a lovely photo of a wee fungi colony by my friend and studio colleague Beth.

Fascinating program on Radio 4 yesterday about bird behaviour.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b017cd0v




11-11-11

In London yesterday.

 

There was a strange buzz about the place, with barricades in place to protect various sites from the protesters who came through the day before and the ongoing camp outside St Paul’s. I read an hilarious and heart warming story about a PC Gary Withers who was taken in by the anti capitalists in ‘tent city’ after the protesters took pity on him following a drunken night out and put him up for the night. It says it all really. The next morning he was recognized by one of his colleagues on duty as he stumbled from the tent.

 

I spent the best part of my day at Tate Britain after vainly heading to The National Gallery for Da Vinci – by 9.30 the queue seemed to be about 500 strong already. At the Tate I started with the epic ‘Apocalypse’ by John Martin the scale and depth of these works is amazing. Then on to see early works by Barry Flanagan. Most remarkable for me was the work of Don McCullin who is recognized as one of the most important living war photographers. I saw an exhibition by McCullin many years ago as a young student and was mesmerized, the work in this exhibition – not about war, had all of the same power.

http://channel.tate.org.uk/media/1115319613001

 

‘Photography isn’t looking its feeling. If you can’t feel what you are looking at, then you are never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures’

Don McCullin.

 

The Tate has an exhibit on Turner’s use of colour through the medium of Watercolour Painting., I spent an interesting hour picking through some of the fascinating displays in this room, before heading off to Regents St to meet Sam for dinner.

RADIAL


   


The ice paper sculpture currently featured on my homepage is based on radial form in nature such as fungi. This piece was photographed by moonlight just over a year ago in October 2010. 

LOVE NEST ABANDONED



I am delighted to announce that the occupation of the studio sink by a family of spiders has now come to a peaceful end, with all occupiers having moved on to a new venue. Thankfully before leaving they swiftly dispatched a small swarm of fruit flies.

The week started with a kayaking trip with my sister down the canal near to Market Harborough. Despite my serious reservations I really enjoyed it AND we saw a snake swimming in the water.

I’ve made some good progress with creative research with a series of large scale Quink sketches looking at strata and geology.

‘Daisy Fragment’ was also accepted into the Leicester City Open 23, which opens from November 12 to January 8, at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester.


 



.

WATER AND LIGHT




Yesterday’s relentless rain and today’s misty morning made for some great photo opportunities. All I need now is a good frost and we’re in business. Looking forward to watching and dissecting ‘The Secret Life of Ice’ recorded last night BBC4.


Went to the Sharon Steingold exhibition opening last night at Hinckley Atkins. A really fantastic show, beautiful layers of texture and colour on a grand scale!

Just off to the studio to continue with some experimental drawings with Quink.



AN INSPIRATION – UP NORTH

On Saturday I was invited to visit ArtyBird Carnforth www.artybirdcarnforth.co.uk by centre managers Kate and Rosie to talk to about creative process and strategies for working within the creative industries. It was lovely to meet everyone and what fantastic work is taking place in every department! Tho I confess I have a secret passion for the felt making. Thanks too to Kates’ husband Robin, for providing a fab meal before I set off again on my travels back down the hideous M6 - which was wonderfully quiet for once at 9pm!










I was able to share with everyone the good news that I have been awarded a grant by Arts Council England courtesy of The National Lottery Fund. This injection of funds will enable me to bring to fruition an exhibition following my residency in the Grand Canyon (May 2012). The exhibition will open for 6 weeks at the Hinckley Atkins Gallery, Leicestershire, 23 November 2012 and feature creative research, annotation, drawings, ice and paper photography and large scale paper sculpture installations inspired by my experience in the Grand Canyon.

During the exhibition the public will be able to view resolved works together with a presentation of research material and evidence of the creative process through all of the various stages. To coincide with my exhibition in Hinckley I aim to use my experience in this field to deliver 10-15 1/2 day events/workshops within the gallery space linked to the residency project, these events will be aimed at various groups including schools and the general public. Nearer to the time I will post information about this on my website and within the local creative press.

Anyone interested in this project can contact me via this website for further information.

I would like to thank Arts Council England and The National Lottery Fund for their support. These funds impact immediately on the scope of what I am able to achieve creatively and with plans for participation.



GOOD EVENING MR MACKEREL















I am going to eat these little chaps for dinner, but before I do, one has to say - what wonderful design they are. I do not have my studio lighting to hand to do them justice in the photography dept - but the colours and patterns on the top of each are divine.


Anyone interested in the power of pattern should investigate the book 'LI - Dynamic Form in Nature' by David Wade (£5.99) - it's a gem.

PS

My oldest daughter Lauren is currently writing a blog in Fiji for Global Vision International, where she is working on an educational project. Check out the blog ........
 
http://gvifiji.blogspot.com/

GVI are trying to raise money to build a Kindergarten building at the school (they need 6500 pounds) if anyone is inspired to do some fundraising or make a donation.

The links are below - all donations very gratefully received.
 
http://www.gvi.org/education-for-underprivileged-children-in-fiji
http://www.gvi.org/donate

 

ROCKS






Ahead of my residency, research investigates the layers of geology in the Grand Canyon stretching back 1.8 – 1.6 billion years. The Vishnu Schist layer visible in the base of the canyon was formed in the Precambrian time. These metamorphic rocks were once volcanic islands located off the coast of the ancient coast of America.

I have taken some considerable artistic license with the colour range but it has been a joy to revisit some of the earthy tones and pigments in the creative palette. This piece is around 2.5 meters’ long and is part of an experimental look at core sample structures. Starting to think about how I amalgamate this work with ice.


Autumn


This Sycamore on the far bank is always the first to pop its colour during the Autumn walk. The colour harmonies are classic and range through one complete run of analogous harmonies and a whole half of the colour wheel. At this stage many of the leaves display a high percentage of green.

My current palette is all about the colour of Autumn.

3 MEN IN A BOAT (+ MIDDLE AGED WOMAN AND A LABRADOR)

Another glorious day.
I put Sam on the train today at 8 returning to London for her final year at St Martins - where has all the time gone?
We had a lovely family meal outside last night to celebrate birthdays and say goodbyes.

The rowing team from Loughborough Grammar were out on the lake first thing making ripples - wanted to join in really.



SWANS

 More swans in flight. Gliding towards me through the mist.

SYMMETRY IN MOTION





















The view a across the lake this morning.

Its a pity that you can't hear it too - the sound of swans flying is incredible
.
They're restless, and probably confused by the weather, its been so warm this week.



PERFECT DAY













An early walk around the lake with Cory,
followed by breakfast with my daughter Sam.
 
Off for an indulgent 2 hours of drawing in the studio orchard in the lovely autumn sunshine.

I later moved into the studio to work on a series of watercolour experiments continuing an investigation into the sedimentary qualities of some of the colours.
These ideas will hopefully inform my project in the Grand Canyon, and are inspired by the layers of geology, the washing away of sediment and the structure of core samples.

A fellow artist Lynn Baxter also visited today. Lynne has designed an apparatus which enables her to record the resonance patterns of birdsong and turn them in exquisite photogram’s.

I discovered Lynne’s work after visiting the MA Photography show at DMU this month. We had a great chat about art, photography, nature, science and life.

Lots of food for thought.
 
You can see Lynne’s work on her website.

BACK IN THE STUDIO


Its good to be back in the studio after a break over the past month. I've worked out the perfect solution to being camera shy - I can be a ghost!
Its been an interesting week I had a visit from two lovely people from the Leicester Mercury on Wednesday.


Just starting to make notes and think of ideas ahead of my Grand Canyon residency. I am also going to try a slightly new direction to run alongside my current work , I shall be starting to evolve that next week. I have more or less a full week planned in the studio - with a day out with my good friends Jane and Nicky to the opening of Degas at the Royal Academy.

Full moon this weekend?


FULLMOON 13-08-11

I had no ice work to photograph last night, but it was a great full moon, interesting cloud formations.
Difficult to achieve a sharp image with moving clouds and a slow shutter.
Photographs taken at around midnight.






2011 IRELAND BIKE TOUR




I have just returned home from a week long bike tour around Ireland.
1300 miles, great company, great food, great scenery, dodgy weather - lots of laughs!

Below:
The Dark Hedges, County Antrim - a magical place
and The Giants Causeway




PLUM HEAVEN

I have just visited the studio orchard where I do much of my photography and I was rewarded with a whole carpet of plums. I'm going to make them into a crumble for dinner. What a fantastic colour!




GRAND CANYON 2012 - UPDATE

I was thrilled this week to receive my induction pack from the Grand Canyon this complete with a lovely description of the place that will be staying overlooking the canyon. I am hoping to take a trek down into the canyon over several days and stay over on route in some of the amazing little accommodations down inside the canyon including Phantom Ranch designed by Mary.E.J.Colter, but these are heavily subscribed and so I await confirmation that this might be possible. I have been really impressed by the level of support offered by Rene Westbrook the AIR coordinator.

Whilst in residence I will deliver 3 outreach programmes including a session with a local school (which I hope to link to schools in the UK), an interactive installation called ‘The Arrow of Time’ (thanks to Prof B Cox) in the visitor centre and a presentation in the McKee Amphitheatre (under the stars) – this will happen towards the end of my residency and will probably be attended by visitors staying at the Canyon overnight. 

I have been in touch with a lovely artist called Lyn Hart whose blog of her own residency on the North Rim was most inspirational. Lyn has given me some great tips including a tip off about The Kaibab Shuffle’ an infliction often demonstrated the day after by those brave enough to take the Kaibab Trail! Lyn recommended some beautiful music by a musician called Paul Winter – soprano sax recorded on location in the canyon itself. I found Lyn after a local reporter interviewed me and suggested that I check out her website http://www.desertsongstudio.com/

JACK-GO-TO-BED-AT-NOON

During my walk this week I photographed this little chap it’s called a 'Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon', it’s a bit like a large and more robust Dandelion Clock.


Fascinating programme on the BBC last night called 'The Code' www.bbc.co.uk/tv/features/code/ presented by Marcus du Sautoy. I would recommend this particular programme to anyone interested in shape.

The 'Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon' definitely falls into realm of fractals, as covered in last nights programme, thanks Mr. dS for an interesting insight.

Off to see the Giants Causeway myself next week on the motorbike - can't wait. I shall post some photographs into the blog upon my return.

On another note how fascinating are some of the names that we have for our plants - it could be a whole body of work in its own right. In my reference book on indigenous British Flowers (kindly donated by my good friend Beth) is one
called a 'Purple Beaked Milk -Vetch' how brilliant is that?

Below the photograph of the 'Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon' together with a similar image from my current exhibition based on radial patterns.
Visitors to the exhibition have said that this image reminds them of a Dandelion Clock.



MORNING WALKS

Every morning I take an early walk for an hour or so in my local countryside with my 12 year old Labrador ‘Cory’. Our favorite walk is around my local lake where we like to daydream and make plans for the day.

This local area of natural beauty has now been shattered by a developer who is churning up the ground to make way for log cabins and a ‘dog eating’ giant has been posted to guard the one remaining peaceful part. Whilst we can still walk the walk, its all become very challenging. It such a shame that we are being restricted, we should be able freely to walk in and enjoy our countryside as long as we respect our environment.



ARTIST TALK

 I will be at the gallery tomorrow Thurs 21 from 18.30 - 20.00 to give a talk about my work and process.  Come and join me - everyone welcome.

FABRIANO

Visitors to my exhibition have asked what type of paper I use.

To use a quote:-

'There's cartridge p
aper and there's Italian cartridge paper' -
Fabriano is THE Italian cartridge paper.

For 90% of my work I use untreated Fabriano whether that be for paper sculpture or for structural work embedded in to ice.














Drop.
A paper sculpture based on some of the fascinating pods and dangly things which hand out of our trees from spring to Autumn.
1 metre x 80cms


Photo: Roger Rixon

UMM TEMPTING




   It’s been exhausting but exhilarating pulling this exhibition together, thanks again to all of the visitors and the feedback.

  Am I allowed to tap into my alter ego and head off into the sunset with lovely hubby on the Triumph now?






Another exhibition image.
Taking a break now from the creative process.
Looking forward to starting my research ahead of the Grand Canyon.



EXHIBITION OPENING HINCKLEY



Many thanks to all of you who came to my opening in Hinckley   on Tuesday, it was a great evening. The feedback has been overwhelming.

Thanks to every one who helped to put it all up - the crew at  Creative Hinckley - John , Pete, Be
v, Nicola, Lindsay, Gwyn +
Paul, Dad, Anna, Beth, Rikke. Not forgetting Paul, Alex and co in Cafe.

I shall be at the gallery every Saturday between 10.30 and 12.30 during July if anyone wants to join me for breakfast.
Also I will be giving an artists talk on 21 July 18.30 - 20.00

A few stills from the opening.
When I get a minute I will take some better images and build new page for my paper sculpture work.


Photos by Roger Rixon.



I've been very busy resolving works for my forthcoming exhibition at Hinckley. Amongst  new pieces is one of a series based on tree bark studies. These ice sculptures have been photographed in the dappled sunlight of the orchard. I have cropped the final work to allow parts of the edges of the sculpture and the background scenery to show. The Hinckley exhibition will show large scale works for the first time. Collecting these from the printers on Monday before I head to the space to start the installation.

  Delighted with my new 450D camera.   Disappointing lunar eclipse last night - too much cloud cover
.


Another strand of research involves study of the various ingenious methods employed by trees to display and distribute seeds. This is the starting point for a number of larger scale paper installations that are currently at the maquette stage.


 

HAPPY ACCIDENTS

The sheer green-ness of everything around at this time of the year astonishes me. Continuing to work to capture  ambient light qualities by taking sculptures out on location and allowing the green to bounce around the ice. It is tricky and the ice is vulnerable, accidents happen.

Have not resolved this image so I will have to remake it and photograph it again.



 New work in progress based on coils in nature which unfurl, such as ferns and embryos


.


ITS OFFICIAL


I am delighted to announce that I have been invited to work as Artist in Residence at the Grand Canyon National Park in May 2012.

During my month long stay I will reside and work in a studio and apartment above the Grand Canyon South Rim Visitors Centre with panoramic views across the canyon, where I will use this exceptional environment to research a new body of work using techniques and processes that I have developed with paper and ice over past two years.

Anyone interested in the programme should go to the link below.


 

ANOTHER DATE WITH THE MOON

I was up into the early hours last night working with the moonlight after two frustrating evenings waiting for a clear sky.

First stop - the local lake which was bathed in beautiful light from a low moon on the wane. Thankfully my good friend and fellow artist Rikke Digerud-Waring came along to help. Photographed approximately at midnight
.
























Back at the house I wrestled with a contraption in the best tradition of Heath Robinson to hold a new ice/paper sculpture in position so that I could photograph it. The moonlight works beautifully to illuminate the ice, focus is particularly difficult to manage in the dark, but very rewarding.


































Moonflower 18 May 2011

'Strand'  - a composit image taken over 3 hours - from frozen to thaw.
15 images pieced together.

Completed image size 3 metres wide.







'Strand'. March 2011.

We are hoping to use 'Strand' as part of a timeline group participation event at the forthcoming 'Paper Scissors Ice' exhibition at Hinckley Atkins Gallery this summer. Visitors to the exhibition will be invited to make a note of an early memory or event in their lives and position it on a 100 year timeline underneath the photograph.

PROFESSOR BRIAN COX IS MY HERO

The passage of time is an important factor for inspiration and research. A recent documentary series presented by Prof Brian Cox has caused me reflect upon the element of time within my own work and how to show it.












'Luna'. Feb 2011



Ice/paper sculptures from the series 'Paper Scissors Ice' melt over a period of several hours (dependent on the ambient conditions). The transitory nature of the sculpture as it gradua
lly breaks down is a large part of the process, hopefully bracketed sequences of shots help to clarify and illustrate this.


Luna was shot over 3 hours and recorded from a frozen state through to thaw.




This week I have been experimenting with the use of natural and ambient light sources.  By placing my sculptures in various locations, the ice interacts with its surroundings absorbing the ambient colour, locational colours behind the sculpture also filter through the ice providing another link to its context.

The colours of the orchard are more obvious in the new 'Concentra' series also shot this week.
The blur towards the bottom of the second shot is due to a thicker layer of ice lying on top of the sculpture.



MAKING NESTS

My own rules of engagement dictate that I mainly use white or black paper to construct the sculptures. The 'Nest' series is small departure from this as I have used recycled paper (as appropriate to the subject matter). In this sequence 'Nest' is shot during the full moon 19/03/11 and during the week after in daylight in the orchard next to the studio.







.













A DATE WITH THE MOON

Photography during the full moon proved difficult this weekend. I spent several hours working early into the next day on Friday evening and managed to take this one good shot. The nest in this case is made from recycled paper and ice. Focusing in the dark is particularly challenging and perhaps this sculpture is more dense than my previous moonlight works. I had a number of sculptures waiting to be photographed on Saturday night but mist had cut down the intensity of the light.

This piece is particularly mindful of the problems facing the Japanese people currently in the aftermath of the tsunami and the fragility of home.


Welcome to my new blog.

I expect that I am not the only one to be excited by the prospect of an 'extreme super moon' this weekend. I shall be outside in the early hours taking photographs of my ice sculptures. I have several waiting to be photographed just hoping for the right conditions.

Watch this space.

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