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
Just in time for the Contemporary Classics exhibition, I have completed a new Japanese Bridge, after Monet. Here’s a preview of the new work, collected from the framer today:
Contemporary Classics, an exhibition of playful homage
by Anna Grayson and Jane Perkins,
27 May – 9 June 2017
Words and Pictures Gallery, Little Triangle, Teignmouth, TQ14 8AX
This week I enjoyed visiting a local primary school to speak to a class of 5 and 6 year olds about my work. They are working on a project to make a rainbow from recycled materials .
Using lots of visual images I gave a (very brief) history of the use of recycled materials in Art (Picasso started it!), spoke about my own work and showed some images of work by other artists making similar work. I also showed some examples of school projects (see the schools page on my website ) to inspire the children with their art project. The class gave me a great welcome and asked lots of intelligent questions before we played a sort of ‘I Spy’ game to find toys in the 3 works I had taken with me.
Remember the teasing eyes? (13 Jan)
The finished commission of Adele has now made the long journey from the UK to her new home in Sydney, Australia!
For my latest work, I’ve been trying to experiment with a looser style, using larger materials and approximate shapes and colours. I’ve found it so hard to change my habits!! In my head, I know what I want to produce but turning it into reality is so much more difficult!
Here is my (unfinished) Madonna and Child for an exhibition in my village church in June (Art in the Aisles, Kenton Chuch, Devon, UK June 17-18)
The work includes cards of buttons, buckles, tape measures and fabric embellishments, so I’m thinking about calling it Haberdashery Madonna