Friday, 24 September 2010

Rob Kirbyson's Blog

I'm pleased to report that another of my Rogue Gene Collective colleagues, Rob Kirbyson, has started to write a blog. Rob's talent for writing is equal to that of his artwork and I'm sure if you  take a look at his posts, you will find yourself literally "LOL" ing on numerous occasions!

My favourite to date is his latest post about fish, and seafood in general. As ever, Rob has managed to accompany his post with some of his own works of art -  I particularly like "Hostile Organism"  - it is so well rendered and has a beauty about it, yet at the same time it gives me the shivers. That's what Rob's work often does to me, however, and is one of the reasons I am such a fan.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

20/21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe

I have just discovered this short film about the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe, which I blogged about recently, so thought I'd share it with you as it gives a better view of the size of the place, and shows some of the works on display previously.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Cats and artists

I've noticed over time that many artists with whom I correspond regularly also happen to own cats - or rather, are owned by cats, as I'm sure they will agree! I wonder what it is about us that draws us to them so much? I realise that not all artists I know are cat lovers, in fact some actually have a dislike for them.

For me, it is the fact that they are such quiet creatures, they all have a beauty about them and I love the way they walk, look at you (quite often with disdain), talk to you (oh yes, they definitely have different noise according to what they actually want) and comfort you when you are ill or feeling down. I can't contemplate life without a cat to share it. I have two at the moment and I am very emotionally attached to both of them. One of them, Oscar, had to go the vets earlier this week and I'm afraid I just couldn't bring myself to take him this time. He's had infected bites from the local bully cat before, and the last time I took him he needed a couple of stitches as the skin was so badly damaged. At one point during the examination by the vet, I had to leave the room and sit on the steps outside for a while, or risk passing out! I felt silly and embarrassed, but I just got too upset to stay and watch. So this time, Keith said he would take him for me. When I got back home after collecting our grand-daughter from school, Oscar was asleep on his tower in the living room.

He'd been prescribed a week's course of antibiotics and some antiseptic wash to bathe the wound twice daily. Plus, the dreaded cat collar was sitting on the kitchen side ready to attach if necessary! What amazes me most of all about cats is their apparent lack of pain - Oscar was a model patient at the vets, letting him shave his fur off all around the wound without flinching, and he's not at all bothered when we bathe the wound with hibiscrub. Thankfully, the antibiotics are kicking in now and the wound is starting to heal up - but I still cringe when I look at it!

We haven't put the collar on him yet, that was mainly to avoid him constantly licking the affected area - which, contrary to popular belief, is NOT a good thing for cats to do! I'm glad we haven't had to make him wear it, as it apparently can make cats depressed. How the vets know this, I'm not sure, but I wouldn't want a depressed cat in the house!

I sometimes think I maybe should have just had female cats, but Oscar is such a delightful companion, and the only time he seems to get into scrapes is when other cats try to invade his territory - he's never gone far from our house so I don't think he's the perpetrator, more the defender in these attacks.

He doesn't even look like a fighter, does he?

On the other hand, this photograph of the cat we call "Pug-face" (aka Oliver) demonstrates a true bruiser of a cat, whose owners are even upset at how it shows no affection at all!! I'm sure it was either Pug-face or a new addition to the neighbourhood - both are built to fight and really look as though they mean business!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe

Last week I ventured south of the river Humber and visited the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe. Having entered an exhibition which was nearing the end of its run, I thought it was about time I took myself along to see where my creation was actually being displayed. I have been a fan of 20-21 on Facebook for a while now, but not known what the place was like really. Well, I can now safely say that it is a lovely venue. Easy to get to, very friendly staff and a well-stocked cafe as well as a gift shop (where I couldn't resist buying myself a lovely little brooch) - and on top of all that, the exhibition spaces are varied enough that several different exhibitions can run simultaneously with ease.

After a look at the Throwaway World exhibition, which I had entered (artists were asked to use a single paper cup as a starting point for a new artwork) with this creation of an African drum:

I was surprised and somewhat disappointed to see that there were only 19 entries in total for this exhibition - although the variety was wide, I'd expected many more creations! Here's the full display on the Facebook page dedicated to the 20-21 Centre: Throwaway World. The whole display was in a glass fronted display case set within one of the walls of the exhibition space.

On the opposite side to this was an exhibition of photographs by Alison Walker Smith - an arresting artist who creates some stunning images which are created using digital photography with different focal depths. They have to be seen to be appreciated, but if you click here you will find at least one example of her work. Having seen her work, my husband has been inspired to start a new project with his digital camera. I was particularly impressed with the exhibition by David Hancock - his portraits of young people playing computer games were very striking. I've seen David's work online before, here, but not seen anything in the flesh until I visited the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, so I was very pleasantly surprised to find some of his work there! You can see his work until November 6th, so still plenty of time to pop along.

In the largest exhibition space, which is the former St Johns Church building, was an exhibition entitled "Art With A Pulse II: Tattoo Exhibitionism". I am not a fan of tattoos, although I can see the artistic merits of them, when done well. however, this exhibition was really interesting and I could have spent longer - but we'd only got an hour on the car park so time was short! I was particularly impressed with the work of Paula Hardy Kangelos whose intricately detailed bead collages were fantastic. I also liked Jo Harrison's paintings here. I think the environment really helped to show off all these works of art and I have made a promise to myself that I shall be visiting again before too long. In the meantime, I plan to spread the word about the centre, as I believe it is a refreshingly friendly gallery with excellent facilities, plenty of activities throughout the year (and more during the holidays for children) and an obviously wide range of exhibitions and shows. The cafe sells freshly prepared baguettes, toasted sandwiches, paninis and jacket potatoes to name a few. I had a coffee and a piece of home-made date square, which took me back to my childhood when my Nanna used to make them regularly - although I'm sure my Nanna (who baked lots of delicious buns and scones, etc) didn't fill the squares she made with quite as many dates as I discovered each time I bit into my purchase at 20-21.

The centre operate the "Own Art" scheme, which is supported by Arts Council England, whereby interest free loans are available to anyone wishing to purchase artworks priced between £100 and £2000.

The centre is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. Entrance is free.  Oh, and the gift shop is excellent. I bought myself a beautiful little hand-crafted brooch from Sky Moon Designs:

You can see more of her work on Facebook here.

If all this is not enough to tempt you to pay a visit to the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, then I have obviously failed in my attempt! I just like to spread the word whenever I experience some thing or place that has had an impact on me. So there you go.I've started spreading the word.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

The Holderness Art Show

I have decided to enter this, even though I've only recently received the entry form and the deadline is today - it's for an exhibition next weekend, two days only. As it's very nearby (a village or two away from mine) and doesn't cost much to enter (£1 per piece) I thought I'd better get my finger out and fill in the form. Obviously, there's no time now to post the entry form, but I am just going to pop out in the car and deliver it now. These are the two pieces I will be entering:

Violin - Dedicated to Daniel. Pastel on card, mounted & framed.
Cool Sticks - acrylic on board, mounted and framed.
Right, I'd better get the entry form and dash off before it's too late!!