Monday, 24 September 2007

Road Roller Printing - Pics

Despite very blustery weather and a very doubtful looking start (heavy rain) 6 BAF artists met at the pavilion gardens to print specially commissioned lino-cuts for the lobby of Brighton Art Fair.

Brenda Hartill, Jane Sampson, Helen Brown , Ann D'arcy Hughes , Hugh Ribbans and Bernard Lodge all cut a 90cmx90cm lino block over the summer and we printed (some of) them today.
We were using a road roller as the blocks are too large to fit in a press and although the sun shone most of the day the conditions were not made easy by very strong squalls twirling our paper, pushing dusts leaves and stones onto the block and at one point turning our canopy into a kite.

The blocks though were great and some of the results outstanding despite the working conditions.

We got some spectators and Fred Pipes sent me this video he edited on U-tube

Jane Sampson keeps the 'blanket ' in position as the roller slowly applies pressure

Bernard Lodge and Jane begin to peel the print from the block

The print 'Harpies' revealed

Lino blocks ready to ink (ann D'arcy Hughes' the universe)

Brenda Hartill's finished print.

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Friday, 21 September 2007


Philippa Karakashian

These pieces are compiled using a combination of collagraph, carborundum and collage as elements of the final image. The work is made in a limited series usually of about fifteen or twenty rather than an edition so each piece is uniquely formulated.
Combining intuition with some formal attitudes and a limited palette the work develops by exploiting certain unpredictable changes, together with a process of careful editing and selecting and the addition of diluted pigments.
Her interests lie in exploring the relationship between a duplicated system and the revelations which occur in the making.

Philippa is currently represented at national art fairs and exhibitions by Shirley Crowther Contemporary Art.

1 Money spent on learning new things is never wasted.
There is always something to find out about , discover or change your outlook on and sometimes you can even do it for free!

2. Favourite living artist

It’s hard to choose one, but Cornelia Parker is someone who I admire for her intelligence, sense of humour and ability to select, transform and present objects and materials in a totally new light. Poetic,thought provoking and always visually arresting , a bit of a winning combination.

3. Favourite historical artist

Agnes Martin, although not that “historical” as she died quite recently in 2004 aged 92 and continued to make work until then. I love the timelessness and quiet conviction of her paintings , the faded palette and grid format with its slight imperfections that create subtle imperfections. She lived and worked in virtual isolation and it is said that she had not read a newspaper for fifty years. I admire her dedication, intellect and humility.

4. Do you work best on your own or in collaboration?

On my own, the nature of my work is quite solitary.

5. Last best read?

In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki. An essay on traditional Japanese aesthetics.

6. What do you have on your pinboard?

I don’t have a pinboard as such ,although I do put things up on the wall I don’t keep them there for long as I find they are a bit of a distraction. I usually prefer to leave the space clear to look at my work in isolation. I like to keep the wall as clutter free as possible but I do have bundles of photos and postcards stacked up which I leaf through as well as lists of words, phrases or descriptions of colours.I also have a collection of objects, fibres and fragments of wood metal or paper collected from various sources which are a sort of three dimensional pinboard.

7. Where and what is your studio?
I work within a large studio complex in the centre of Brighton which houses about 100 other artists, although each space is completely self contained and peaceful so I am able to work alone. Quite often I will work in silence, although there is always the constant (but strangely comforting) roar of the traffic from the road below. If I listen to anything it will be Radio 4 , I like the way it punctuates the day and you can drift in and out of the amount of attention you give it.

8.Do you have a good work/life balance?

I used to work from home but found family life, lack of space and trying to concentrate on my work just didn’t mix. I would always be distracted by domestic life in one form or another so my studio is a complete haven where I can work almost uninterrupted. I still find it hard to switch off even when I am not doing my work. I think being an artist is and should be a way of life.

9. What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

10. Would you rather be doing something else?

Not in a million years!

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Thursday, 20 September 2007

A Celebration of British Printmaking

St. Jude's, 35 Red Lion Street, Aylsham, Norfolk

From Saturday 22nd September until Thursday 18th October 2007

A celebrating British printmaking from the 1940s to the present day.

Exploring various forms of print from the commercial lithography of 1950s graphic designers to the playful linocuts of Christopher Brown via Peter Green’s vibrant woodcuts and Jonathan Gibbs’ wood engravings.

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Road Roller Printing

Selected printmakers exhibiting at Brighton Art Fair will be printing specially commissioned large lino-cuts on Monday in the lane between Pavilion Gardens and The Dome.

We have hired a road roller to help us print the linos - we had hoped to get a vintage steam engine t - but couldn't find one at a reasonable cost.

Participating Artists.

Brenda Hartill
Hugh Ribbans
Bernard Lodge
Helen Brown
Ann D'Arcy Hughes
Jane Sampson

The lino-prints will be displayed in the Art Fair lobby - along with photos of the printing

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Brighton Art Fair

Brighton Art Fair starts next week.

We're got the private view on Thursday with gypsy cafe music by Rohan Kriwaczek and refreshments by Barefoot wines. The Hove Civic Society Architecture Prize will be judged and presented and MADE is presenting 2 new (purchase) prizes to exhibiting artists.

BAF07 looks to be the best in terms of the quality and variety of the art on show and the early response to our marketing campaign is very favourable, so come early before the crowds show up!

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Sunday, 16 September 2007

MAKER OF THE WEEK - Meabh Warburton

Meabh Warburton

I make small scale finely woven tapestries. I love colour, line, pattern and I aim for a balance between tension and harmony in my designs.

1. One favourite living craft maker...

I admire Dail Behennah's work very much. She has a unique vision, her own vocabulary which she is always pushing and extending. Her work is deceptively simple but requires impeccable calculation, preparation and execution. Despite this it never feels in any way forced.

One favourite living artist...
Breon O'Casey who has always gone his own way regardless of fashion. He maintains that 'the more simply you can do something, the better'. I'd go along with that.

Last art/craft/design thing you purchased. What one product/item do you really covet and why?
The last thing I purchased was a mosaic hand by Cleo Mussi at Origin last year. I exhibited too and it was my present to myself at the end of an enjoyable but hard week! I love her sense of humour. What I covet is a tapestry by Jo Barker. Her use of colour is literally stunning. Standing in front of one of her tapestries you feel the saturation and richness of colour on a deep physical level. I have just the space for one too!

At age 15 who influenced your style? Wasthere any individulal who very much helped you on your way?
Aged 15 I did a weekend course in spinning, dyeing and weaving with Mary O'Rourke in the Dublin mountains. That weekend led me to taking a year out before university to go to Grennan Mill Craft School where I met the Dutch tapestry weaver Liesbeth Fonkert and started to learn to weave. Whilst there I wrote to the late Alec Pearson seeking guidance - he took the time and trouble to send me a very kind, considered and encouraging reply. I never did take up the university place but did a degree in woven tapestry at Edinburgh College of Art which I guess has something to do with those three people.

How much do you bend your vision to suit the marketplace?
Not at all. If the marketplace doesn't like what I make I have plenty of wallspace.

Who would you say buys your work?
It's usually people who have a particular interest in textiles and quite often some practical experience.

How do you set about starting a new project?
I draw and I make collages using found paper. I find my use of colour is much more interesting if I'm not mixing it! I like the flexibility of collage - being able to move elements around, add and subtract with ease.

Where and what is your studio?
At the moment I work in a room in my house but am in the process of converting an old henshed in the garden. I listen to Radio 4 most of the time - it's good company.

Favourite art websites?
I enjoy reading maker's blogs. I have chosen a relatively isolated place to live and weaving is a solitary activity so it's nice to get a virtual glimpse into other people's studios, methods, working practices etc. My favourite is Sue Lawty's ' Concealed, Discovered, Revealed' blog started during her time as artist in residence at the V&A.

Do you think art and craft has any real importance?
Never more so. I think in these increasingly hi tech, hands off, virtual times, people need and want objects which have been conceived, developed and made by someone. Objects which have soul and bear witness to an individual's endeavour. The cup I drink coffee from each morning bears the finger prints of the maker where he held it to pour out slip. He's called Nigel - I know that and it enhances my enjoyment of the cup and the coffee!

Meabh is writing a blog

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Wednesday, 12 September 2007


Dan Bennett

Gardens have always held a special place in my imagination. Budding with colour, texture and form, they become ever-changing living sculptures, within which one can hide, play, relax and dream. Having tended gardens for over half my life, I have built up an intrinsic understanding of how plants bud, grow, bloom, whither and die. I no longer use reference material to produce my images, and instead rely solely on my inner eye and visual memory. It is this intimate knowledge that I attempt to capture and express in my paintings.

My love of pattern making has led me to appropriate artwork from across the world, and across the ages. Aboriginal patterns have always had a strong influence in my artwork, reflecting the land and a spiritual connection with it. The spiral, for instance, suggests to me; dreams, re-birth, the snake, wind and the labyrinth. This connection between land and art has always been a fascination of mine, from arranging stones on the beach, through to the Peruvian geoglyphs. I find Islamic art useful when considering patterns, and appreciate the meditative process of producing more intricately detailed work. Japanese art from the Edo period influences my compositions, especially when working on several panels, as in a triptych. Body decoration from around the world has always informed my patterns, such as mehndi hand painting, Celtic and Maori tattoos, and African body art. 20th Century Western art is a wealth of inspiration, from which I take most of my mark-making, such as action-painting and 'taking the line for a walk'. My principle material (acrylic paint) is also deeply rooted in the 20th Century, both in terms of its production and its qualities of plasticity and convenience.

Money spent on applications is never wasted.
No matter how original and gifted an artist you are, or how commercially viable your end product is; unless you tell other people about it, you will not be able to earn a living from your work. It is so important to research the industry and find suitable outlets for your work and then actually approach those potential agents and gallery owners. Spending the time, money and effort in producing high quality images, both as A4 printed images and as digital jpegs is the first step. Then put together a simple, well-considered package of six to eight printed images, a CD of up to twenty images, your (brief) artist's statement, and your CV. Send these to as many people in the industry as can. Half will ignore you. Many will reject you. But the ones that accept your work will show it to their clients, and then hopefully sell it.

Favourite living artist.
John Hoyland is a real favourite of mine due to his complete lack of inhibition. There are absolutely no rules in his work. Anything goes - any and every colour combination mixed with any and every brutal mark, team up to create knowingly outlandish and childlike accidents. At one and the same time they are menacingly dark and lightly flamboyant. They suggest the sea, deep space, chemical reactions, the world of amoebae, hallucinogenic dreams, and an afterthought. He is a brave painter, and has had the creative energy to keep at it for decades, without seeming to flag or become jaded.

Favourite historical artist.
Gustav Klimt could do it all. Whether he was commissioned to paint wooden panels for a civic building to a strict brief, capture someone's essence in a portrait, explore abstract expressionism through pattern and colour, or convincingly depict a natural landscape - Gustav Klimpt could do it and do it well. His paintings are simultaneously realistic and abstracted, sexy and spiritual, commercial ventures and personal exploration. He was a truly modern painter.

When and where did you first want to do what you do?
I was watching the Turner Prize award ceremony on Channel Four in 1991. I was sixteen years old and it was then that I realised that it was actually possible to make a living out of producing art. With Anish Kapoor's great big void sculpture, Fiona Rae's exploding exercises in mark-making, and Rachael Whiteread's concrete non-spaces, the event had a deep impact on my sense of self, reverberations of which I am still feeling today.

What place in the world has inspired you?
The generic English town garden inspires me the most. These little oases of plant life barely contained in their fenced off, walled in boxes are teeming with life, artifice and accidental beauty. The time, effort and money spent on them by the owners. The natural wonders of photosynthesis, pollination and germination. The riot of texture, colour and shapes. The rotten ugliness of death, disease and decay. The shifting seasons and helplessness felt when freak weather hits. All this and more makes the little city garden the most inspiring place in the world.

Last best read.
Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe is the story of the chief priest of Ulu, who's authority is challenged by his own tribe, the white government, a foreign religion, and even his own family. Achebe is an inspiring humanist, and leads the reader through a changing world, without ever judging either the old world or the new. Things do not get better or worse, they simply become different. The element of this novel that I particularly enjoyed was the frequent use of old African proverbs and sayings which were effortlessly translated into modern ideas.

How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace?
The breakthrough change in my work that directly led to commercial success was to leave more white space. I have always used the same colours, patterns, geometry and techniques, but I used to fill the canvas so that every square inch was crammed to bursting point. Several people suggested that I should leave more white space between my marks so that they could actually be seen. I did this and it had an instant effect on my sales, and I have since carried on leaving more white space. It takes a lot of confidence to leave large areas of the canvas untouched, and now I am selling regularly I have that confidence, and I am happier with the work. However, before I was selling and lacked this confidence, any blank area of canvas used to scream at me to be filled up. It was breaking this circle of behaviour that was difficult. It seems strange to me now, as I used to feel that changing my work to suit the market was somwhow unartistic. When in fact, changing my work to suit the market has actually led to my work becoming more fulfilled in my own eyes.

How do you set about starting a new project?
Priming my canvases is an incredibly important part of my working practice. I triple prime each canvas with white gesso, to give them a perfectly smooth, matt white chalky finish. This initial step is identical with every piece, and really focuses my mind on what I am about to create. By attempting to make the surface as clean and smooth as possible, the canvas and stretcher become a precious object within themselves, even before I have applied any acrylic paint. This feeling of preciousness is important to grab hold of and to hold onto. To make an exciting, unique and original piece of art, I have to feel that what I am making is in some way precious. Sometimes, when the light is right, it almost seems a shame to spoil the whiteness of the surface, and to simply exhibit the piece as it is. Fortunately my love of colour stops all that.

Surprising activity?
I have recently started climbing, both on indoor walls and outdoor rocks. The activity of clinging onto tiny hold by my fingertips, and balancing on virtually non-existent nodules at great heights is the perfect tonic to sitting in my studio drawing intensely delicate patterns. When I paint I only have myself to rely on, but when I am climbing I am very much relying on the person on the other end of the rope. The high levels of adrenaline mixed with the cuts and bruises involved in climbing, also complement the sedentary painting activity. I have recently created a piece inspired by the sandstone outcrops in Sussex at Harrison's Rock. This piece is called Carrera and is a little more abstract than my usual work, and attempts to explore the seemingly agelessness of stone and rock.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

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Dunford Wood - Handmade Wallpaper

Browsing one of my favorite blogs Design*Sponge from New York I cam across this fantastic wallpaper from Dunford Wood (Hugh Dunford Wood) who is based in Lyme Regis. Hugh trained under and was inspired by Peggy Angus who lived at Furlongs in Firle (Sussex) for many years
The designs are cut by Hugh in Lino and hand printed. Hugh has colour suggestions on his website ranging from zinging contrasting reds and pinks or citrus colours, to natural colours, or you can choose your own colours. We may well invest in enough for a wall when we eventually get round to decorating.

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Tuesday, 4 September 2007


Rachel Spring

Sculpture exploring evolution and cognitive archaeology. I use whichever media is most propitious and, because of its immediacy, this is very often clay.

I am struck by how the DNA of the human race
has remained almost constant during the past 30 thousand years.

- how our evolution has happened in our heads,
through our modes of engagement with the world,
and so manifests itself in this world around us.
- how we are able to imagine the world other than how it is, and make it so.
- the extent to which we shape the world
and are in turn shaped by what we have made of it.

Like a cognitive archaeologist,
you can make an object a map to a particular mode of engagement with the world.

My primary media are clay and glaze.

My work is in private collections in Europe, Russia and the USA

My studio is on the south coast of England, in Hastings Old Town, East Sussex


I am currently collaborating with a Hastings Old Town fisherman / film-maker Peter White, for an exhibition at that solitary blend of estuary industry and estuary nature reserve, Rye Harbour - see for details.

And during Brighton Art Fair my work will appear in new international magazine 'Booklet' with stylist Heidi Taylor.

Do you work best on your own or in collaboration
I exhibit very actively and work intensely to keep up, rising with the sun and using all available natural light, so there is no time for collaboration in my studio. However, I see exhibiting as a form of collaboration, with curators, other artists and with all who experience the exhibition. Collaboration with video artists and photographers in the recording of my work is also very important to me. I occasionally undertake other forms of collaboration when they have a particular resonance for me. I have collaborated with a sound artist, using clay to explore sound. I’m currently collaborating with one of my neighbours, Peter White, who makes his living as a fisherman in one of the largest fleet of beach-launched fishing craft in the country, but who is also a photographer and ties his video to his mast as he fishes.

How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace?
Not at all. I feel it is illogical to do this, as if one were to wish to create a product tailored for sale, one could produce something far more financially profitable than art. When I have a waiting list, or have accepted a commission, I am effectively making work for the individual who is waiting for it, and if I have seen the individual I inevitably retain an image of him or her in my mind, which can show itself in the resulting work, particularly as all of my work is unique.

Who would you say buys your work?
Comments from my buyers indicate overwhelmingly that they desire what is ‘different’. Some of my collectors travel the world looking to be taken out of the familiar. My buyers tend to be confident of their own vision, and are often looking for a unique statement piece for hall, dinning room, stairway, or garden. Many are themselves professionals within the creative industries.

How do you set about starting a new project?
I have a constant flow of ideas and retain them in a chamber in my mind. Once one idea is realised, I take the results to the next exhibition, and contact those waiting to see them. By then I have already committed myself to starting on whichever of the unrealised ideas in that chamber in my mind is making the most noise.

What do you have on your pinboard?
I don’t have a pinboard. My studio walls are covered in sketches, and other than sketching I try to work paper-free. I prefer to allow ideas to germinate in my mind rather than fixing them in writing. My computer stores what is not in my head, eg technical information. And my diary serves as a timetable.

Where and what is your studio?
I work from my studio which is within my home, in solitude, to the sound of birdsong and the occasional siren, and the roar of the primitive gas kiln when I am using it. I mostly use two electric kilns, one of which is very large. I am environmentally conscious and my electric kilns are state of the art, programmed to use the minimum of energy, and very well insulated, operating like night storage heaters, providing just enough heat and no more. If I listen during the night, I can hear them discreetly clicking on and off.

Surprising activity/hobby?
Anticipating the day’s work under a dawn sky.

Do you have a good work/life balance? Are you able to switch off from art work?
Art and life are one for me, and I am grateful to those around me for not minding, hopefully even enjoying, this.

Would you rather be doing something else?
Sometimes, after several weeks of 12 hour days, I experience a momentary craving for sleep.

Do you think art and craft has any real importance?
Art stirs our intellect and our senses. It awakens us to possibilities. This awareness, that things could be other than they are - this imagination - enables human evolution. What could be more important than this?

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Saturday, 1 September 2007

Arundel Gallery Trail

Last weekend of the Arundel Festival and Arundel Gallery Trail. It's a much more manageable trail than Brighton with most houses being on or around just two streets Tarrant and Maltraver. The houses are universally lovely, flint or brick, built up the hill with fantastic views up to the castle and churches or over the Arun valley - over the backs of tall the other historic houses and lovely gardens.Quite a bit of the art is good - apart from Sarah Youngs prints - I liked Josse Davies ceramics in Tarrant street along with Victor Stuart Graham's driftwood ships and David Peduzzi's wood engravings. Giles Penny's (top Photo) sculptures at the Zimmer Stewart Gallery on Tarrant Street.

Chris Mitton and Mike Savage are displaying their sculptures in a lovely garden on Maltravers Street opposite the castle .

Stuart Slade - the day of the mopheads, installation of latex dipped mopheads in a garden in Tarrant Street.
Also Oliver Hawkins sculpture at 42 Tarrant Street. Small wooden sculptures .

There is lots of 2d art too but my photgraphic skills aren't up to the challenge of glass. but can recommend the huge Georgian house at 22 Maltravers Street - Suzanne Wilson and Neville Green, and Margaret Massie Taylor's prints at 49 Maltravers Street.

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