I’m honoured to have been asked to take part in a project to decorate a dog kennel (!) for the Blue Cross charity for pets. The decorated dog kennels will be exhibited in a trail throughout London in Summer 2018, and auctioned off for the charity at the end. Artists’ designs can be viewed by googling Bow Wow Haus.
My idea is for a Shrine to St Roch (Patron Saint of dogs), inspired by the roadside shrines seen throughout Southern Europe and Greece, which (to me) somewhat resemble dog kennels. My construction design and artist’s impression are below:
I envisage lots of gold!!
Saint Roch is also associated with healing; born in the 14th century, he survived the Plague, healed by a dog who licked a wound on his thigh. Shrines to St Roch are decorated with ‘body parts’, representing those healed by the prayers to St Roch. I have yet to decide if my shrine will feature body parts (from dolls!) …
(I am still waiting for my kennel shell to be delivered – deadline end of March 2018)
St Roch Cemetary Chapel, New Orleans
It seems I’ve been working for ever on a double portrait for a couple in Australia. (In reality, it’s only been 4 months, fitted in around family and community projects.) Here is a taster:
Anyway – it’s finally finished and en route to Australia. I am very happy with it and hope the couple will be too.
The Japanese Bridge, after Monet which I made for the Contemporary Classics exhibition in Teignmouth this summer has also been sold and is on it’s way to USA.
Now I am eager to start something new!
I am happy to report that The Great Wave, after Hokusai (II) was recently purchased by an art enthusiast from Stogumber, N. Devon. This necessitated delivery of the work to the village: an adventure into unknown territory! Discovering Stogumber church was an unexpected bonus with its late 19th century Arts and Crafts style interior: restored by vicar Edward Jones, a follower of William Morris, the walls and roof of the chancel are richly decorated and well worth a visit!
A few days ago, I visited A la Ronde, a property near Exmouth in Devon owned by the National Trust. This sixteen-sided building was designed and built in 1796 by cousins Jane and Mary Parminter. Inspired by their Grand Tour of Europe (fashionable for wealthy young men but very unusual for women of the day) the cousins decorated each room using items collected on their travels and their own creative genius.
I loved this beautiful mosaic table-top, created from small pieces of marble and semi-precious stones, miniature art works and religious motifs collected on their tour. Some of the found items were under small glass panels and the individual pieces joined by metal edging, rather like the lead in stained glass windows. I love the colours, the irregularities, the miniature souvenirs … it is amazing!
How did they do that? In 1800?! What glue did they use? In another room with a decorated frieze of feathers, the blurb said that the cousins made glue from the swim-bladders of sturgeons (fish) mixed with brandy. Was that a well-known glue of the day or how many experiments did it take to come up with that solution?! Fascinating!
Jason Noble from Words and Pictures gallery has sent me this from ‘The Language of Things’ by Hito Steyerl:
‘…modest and even abject objects are hieroglyphs in whose dark prism social relations lay congealed and in fragments…In this perspective, a thing is never just an object, but a fossil in which a constellation of forces are petrified. Things are never just inert objects, passive items or lifeless shucks, but consist of tensions, forces, hidden powers, all being constantly exchanged.’
I really like the poetical feel of the words, even if I’m not sure I fully understand them!
I am often asked where I get my materials from … Yesterday I received 2 exciting packages in the post – jiffy bags containing wonderful buttons sent by Judith, a lady who happened to see my work in an exhibition last year. I am so grateful!
and finally … one last image from the Contemporary Classics exhibition:
with my friend Caroline at the Private View
From the Private View of Contemporary Classics on Friday 26 May, Words and Pictures Gallery, Teignmouth (until 9 June)
A very enjoyable evening!
(Apologies for poor quality images, taken on my phone!)
Three lovely friends in front of works by Anna