Twist Bend Fold!

Here's the first installment of pictures from my latest adventures in paper sculpting at the Hepworth this week, as we took inspiration from American artist Lynda Benglis' dynamic pleated sculptures and forms.

Twist Bend Fold explores the art of the fold in the new Clore Learning Studio. It continues in May and June. Hope to see you there soon!

Thanks to Hilary, Leslie, Adele and Susie for all their hard work and enthusiasm helping out during busy workshops!

 

But does it float?

As part of the first two weeks of the Mondrian Mohamedi summer workshops at Tate Liverpool, I have focused on the exquisite work of Indian abstract artist Nasreen Mohamedi. Lesser known in the UK, Mohamedi's work incorporates a number of mediums such as drawing, painting and photography through a journey from semi-abstract landscapes to painstakingly abstract, geometric pen and ink drawings. Nasreen Mohamedi was inspired by Islamic architecture, desert landscapes and seascapes encountered during her travels and these can be seen within beautiful examples of her black and white photographs. 

But does it float? was a series of workshops during the first part of August which encouraged children and participants of all ages to explore experimental, 'random' mark-making vs. careful, controlled, measured lines using different printing, frottage and drawing processes. Inspired by abstract art, architecture, binary patterns, geometry, and the local, Merseyside landscapes, participants worked into thin strips of card to create floating, 3D, architectural sculptures in black and white. 

Watch this space for my next blog post to see how we move from monochrome into an exploration of grids, primary colours, pop-ups and the world of Mondrian and his Studios.

 

 

 

Paper Trails

I've had a busy week running Artigami at The Hepworth Wakefield: a workshop inspired by Barbara Hepworth's curved, hollow forms and strings, The session is dedicated to constructing and deconstructing the possibilities of paper.

 

We've bean tearing, twisting, folding, punching, pleating, scrunching.... and I have to say I've been blown away by some of the work I've seen. We've had lots of positive comments too, so hopefully we got the balance right between structured activity and free-style paper play!

 

Artigami will run again on September 13th-14th (11am - 4pm) and I'll also be working on creating a new paper workshop which will run at The Hepworth Wakefield in October.

 

Another Dimension

I've just had a fun afternoon in the new Clore Art Studio at Manchester Art Gallery. How time flies! Our installation has been taken down and the space has been re-developed by artist Sarah Bridgland. Sarah exhibited two beautiful artworks in the First Cut exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery in 2012. She has since developed ideas to create a space where people can engage and interact with her process and practice. The work also makes connections to influences within the new neighbouring Sculptural Forms exhibition.

As part of the new installation, plinths of modulated heights are arranged in a grid formation. In the centre of the grid, a table with compartments of different coloured, paper shapes can be taken out by visitors and endlessly placed and composed upon the plinths.

Studio Saturdays invites different artists such as myself to pop in and create an intervention which relates to our own interests and practice. My intervention (pictured above) is mirrored shapes and cameras and I'm particularly interested in how this can alter the way people arrange their compositions and also document them, as the mirror opens up a new world of reflections, symmetry and oppositions. The mirror also provides further opportunities for the imagination as younger visitors place it in their composition as a portal to a mirror-image world. In this world, things may seem alike, although appearances can be deceptive! 

Imagine: Paper Cuts in Black and White - Manchester Art Gallery

 It's catch-up time!

This weekend I worked with families taking inspiration from artist Andy Singleton's beautiful paper-cut icicle, currently suspended in the atrium at Manchester Art Gallery, as part of the 'First Cut' exhibition. Families worked together in the atrium, focusing on shapes, patterns and forms inspired by the space and artwork around them.

The display grew over the weekend to take over the windows of the atrium, creating an interesting way to frame viewpoints overlooking Princess Street.

Links:

http://andysingleton.co.uk/

http://www.manchestergalleries.org/whats-on/exhibitions/index.php?itemID=92

http://www.facebook.com/ManchesterArtGallery

http://www.flickr.com/photos/manchester_city_galleries/collections/72157606686346575/

We Face Forward - 'Rags to Riches' @Manchester Art Gallery, Part 1

Phew... I'm on a roll! Here's a selection of images taken in the 'Rags to Riches' summer family workshops at Manchester Art Gallery as part of the We Face Forward festival across Manchester.

Inspired by Nnenna Okore's artwork 'When the Heavens Meet the Earth', we have been challenging ourselves to transform waste materials into wondrous works of art. Okore uses a range of natural materials which she deconstructs, decays, dyes, reforms, etc. She works with natural materials such as paper, clay, burlap and natural dyes.

Over the past couple of weeks in the gallery, we have been focusing on line and form, producing drawings and experimenting with newspaper in the gallery in front of the artwork. Downstairs we've been working with a range of waste materials to create colliograph prints. We also had a lot of fun exploring different ways to shape clay using key words as prompts... what fun!

Links:

http://www.nnennaokore.com/

http://www.wefaceforward.org/artists/nnenna-okore

http://www.wefaceforward.org/venues/manchester-art-gallery

http://www.facebook.com/ManchesterArtGallery#

http://www.manchestergalleries.org/

Just So Festival 2012: Away with the Fairies, The Tent of Surprise

After a long and lovely weekend working at the Just So festival at Rode Hall Parkland Cheshire, I've finally found some time to load up a few pictures.

Hidden in enchanted woodland, 'Away with the Fairies', my Tent of Surprise revealed a paper forest (literally!) growing inside the tent. With baskets filled with surprises to rummage through, families were able to explore objects through all the senses. Torches revealed paper-cut shadows and bugs (both imaginary and real!), pots of perfumes or potions conjured up responses, emotions and memories, children listened out for noises and the feely basket was full of surprises - including a real frog that had accidentally landed in there and gone to sleep! Perhaps it was the fairy queen who had been out casting spells...

Links:

http://www.justsofestival.org.uk/

http://www.justsofestival.org.uk/away-with-the-fairies-at-a-glance/

http://www.facebook.com/justsofestival

 

Playing with Paper: The Hepworth Wakefield

Here are some lovely pictures taken from weekend 2 of my paper workshop at the Hepworth this weekend, working alongside sculptor Liz Pontin:

Artigami! Enjoy!

Links:

http://lizpontin.com/

http://www.hepworthwakefield.org/

Mini Art Club is 50!

We've just had our 50th Mini Art Club... and what a morning!

As part of the 'We Face Forward' summer programme, we responded to artist Nnenna Okore's work 'Where Heaven Meets the Earth', concentrating on the theme of decay and transformation. Materials to be explored and transformed were a variety of recycled papers, different consistencies and types of clay, as well as natural materials such as hessian, twine, vegetables and spices!

Okore is particularly concerned with re-using and transforming materials, working into them using a variety of techniques to test the limits of each material as it deconstructs, falls apart, decays, fades, changes colour, etc. We attempted to explore this laying out a wet clay and natural dye room with paper and also a dark, shadowy paper room. To complement and extend this further, dancer, percussionist and musician Danny Henry interpreted key words (such as rip, stamp, fold) through a series of beats, rhythms and movement - much to the delight of everyone involved! It was really insightful to work with such a diverse and experimental performer who instinctively understood the ethos of Mini Art Club.

Such a great way to celebrate our 50th session!

N.B. Lo-fi mini vid clips hopefully coming up soon!

Links:

http://www.nnennaokore.com/

http://www.wefaceforward.org/venues/manchester-art-gallery

http://www.wefaceforward.org/artists/nnenna-okore

http://www.facebook.com/ManchesterArtGallery#

http://www.mancky.co.uk/?p=3896

 

 

Paper Sculptures - The Hepworth Wakefield

Here are some photos taken this weekend at my new paper construction workshop 'Arti-gami' at The Hepworth Wakefield. Sculptor Liz Pontin and I worked together to develop a new workshop which encourages people to play with paper and try out new paper sculpting techniques, drawing inspiration from Barbara Hepworth's sculptures.

Families are invited to build their own interpretations of Hepworth's sculptures and maquettes. They are also invited to play more open-endedly with paper to find different ways to form and manipulate it. Taking the idea of Barbara Hepworth's sculpture garden, families can add their paper sculptures to make the garden grow. They can also explore the shadows of their paper constructions.

Arti-Garmi runs from 11am - 4pm on the following dates this summer: 4th, 5th, 13th - 17th August and 8th, 9th September:

http://www.hepworthwakefield.org/whatson?page=3&month=&year=&category=&audience=