I didn’t mean to. Well, I did, but I wasn’t entirely sure it was Art. It was a group of innocent looking people standing around above the Turbine Hall in the Tate Modern. They weren’t talking to each other. They were just standing, on their phones or reading, leaning on the railings by the stairs. They could all have been just waiting for other people, but the smallest clue was that they were all facing the same way. There was no door or exhibition entrance or anything to queue for, but I’m British – I know a queue when I see one, so I went and joined it (at the back, obviously)!
Turns out, they were performers so I hope I didn’t offend anybody by joining in (apparently one of them gave me ‘a look’ as I walked away). I can’t have been the only one to do it, can I? Anyway, here’s why they were there:
I haven’t posted for a few weeks. I’ve been waiting for a good seasonal photo and here it is. I found it in my Instagram feed. It’s by Adam Bodini (instagram.com/bodblog/) and it’s from Kew Gardens – #Christmasatkew – I went a few years ago and it’s quite magical.
I don’t know anything about Adam. His website is currently in development (pakk.co.uk) but it looks interesting and I shall be keeping an eye on it along with his blog.
Here are a couple more festive scenes he captured in West London…
Today I’ve chosen Phil Miller for my photo of the week. I really like the interesting atmospheres he creates with his collages. There are some more below. You can see more of his work on his website at philmillerphotography.com or on his instagram philmiller_photos.
This is about an exhibition we happened upon at The Whitechapel Gallery this weekend. It wasn’t the main exhibition (called Adventures of the Black Square which also sounds interesting) but the free exhibition alongside, called ‘Monochrome Archive, 1997-2015’. It’s by scottish artist, David Batchelor and is a series of photographs he calls ‘Found Monochromes’ – white (and black) blank spaces found in Cities he’s in. Watch the video of him talking about how it started and why (http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/exhibitions/david-batchelor/). I love this project – it’s an area that interests me – what is art and what isn’t. As he says, “…Is there a boundary between art and non art, or is it always negotiable? Is it always moving and a grey area? I think that’s an interesting place to be.”
If you’re near Aldgate in East London before the 3rd May (2015), do nip in and see it but if you can’t, here’s a link to the Whitechapel Gallery site and to David’s other work:
I was having a clear out the other day when I found these. There were 2 calendars – one paintings, one drawings – each with 12 birds. There wasn’t a date on them but I think I was about 15 and I made them for my grandparents. I’ve still got the book somewhere I copied them from. I’m quite pleased with myself, especially with the paintings!
Have you heard of CreativeLive? They do brilliant online training courses in photography, marketing, software and even blogging.
Based in Seattle, they livestream creative classes around the world. You can watch for free if you’re online when the class is live – that’s usually from about 5pm to midnight here in the UK. If you can’t watch live, you can buy the classes as video downloads from as little as $29. You can get three days worth of expertise from $79. Seriously, it’s a bargain. These guys really know what they’re talking about.
I remember one of the first classes I watched was on Adobe Illustrator. I thought I knew it pretty well but, like when I go and freelance in an office with other people, there’s always more to learn. They often have different ways of working or cheeky little keyboard shortcuts I didn’t know.
This time, I’m excited to watch Ben Willmore’s Light Painting class. He takes photographs in the dark with long exposures and paints the light in where he wants it. It’s a beautiful effect. I really want to try it and I’m not even a photographer. I’d love to see what my friends who know their way around a camera could do. I’m going to have a go though and will report back in a future post.
This piece is reflective of the local culture – the importance of brand labels in an area with limited incomes. The packages are vulnerable and open to the elements, yet sheltered by leafy pillars either side. Each bush has its own paper Primark bag to protect. The Nike box, however, is more exposed. Perhaps, by being stronger and well established, it can afford to exist without such protection. But with its confident orange shell, it draws our attention to the unassuming brown bags which may otherwise have gone unnoticed, thereby exposing them further.
And what of the contents. Is it simply the old and rejected in the discarded wrappings of the new or something more sinister? We’ll never know. This installation was on show for a limited period and is no longer available.
Dagenham Art No.2. ‘Anonymity’ Sep’14
These bags of gifts were left for the taking in early September. Despite claiming to be an anonymous piece, it’s all too brief appearance so early in the year doesn’t fool us. With that infamous red and white branding, this is clearly Santa’s work. We look forward to seeing more from him later in the year.
Dagenham Art No.3. ‘Black and Blue’. Dec ’14
This work has both sobriety and energy. There is something reassuring about the solid black bags sitting so heavily beneath the tree, yet the loose piece breaking free from the 3rd sack suggests drama and an insecurity in its desire to escape. The blue bag on the left juts out uncomfortably. It doesn’t seem to fit at all but despite being smaller than the black bags, demands our attention. Then what of the discarded tin to the right? It is so far removed from the rest of the work, one might wonder if it is even part of it. This is probably intentional and is, in fact, a clever distraction device, placed just far enough away to create discomfort as our attention is torn. This artist’s popularity is declining locally and critics have slated this piece as unimaginative and lazy, but is it simply misunderstood?
It’s been on the wall for a few months now, my clunkydoodle. It’s called Robots and Bikers and I love it. I’d be interested to see one of those ‘Eye Tracker’ diagrams showing my eye journey. I’m sure there’s not a millimetre I haven’t scrutinised but I’m still finding new shapes I hadn’t noticed before.
Find out more about clunkydoodles via the links below.