OLYMPIC STADIUM AND ARCELORMITTAL ORBIT, LONDON OLYMPIC SITE


Wanted to see London Olympic Stadium and ArcelorMittal Orbit. I found that The View Tube is the place to visit.
It is a square green building made of shipping containers, and according to the website, includes a cafe, education, arts and information spaces.

In the friendly cafe, called The Container Cafe at the View Tube, you can sit with your coffee or ginger beer (in our case) and eat bacon baguettes (excellent) and admire the building site, with the dark red, half-finished steel sculpture of Anish Kapoor, the ArcelorMittel Orbit, on view through the big windows.

To get there, go to Pudding Mill Lane station on the Docklands Light Railway – one stop from Stratford. It’s a few minutes walk from there.
I can recommend a visit. There are lots to see, particularly if you like watching lorries and excavators, trains and cranes, (boy’s toys). Outside is a pleasant garden with benches, with passing trains and a canal for additional interest. Apparently it gets very busy at the weekends now. You can buy beers after 4 pm, an added bonus! The Greenway is a path going past the View Tube which is a footpath for those wanting a longer walk. We saw a few cyclists too.

I made a couple of pencil sketches, which are here

View Tube London Olympic

View Tube, London Olympic Site

ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture Anish Kapoor

Anish Kapoor steel sculpture sketch

WATERCOLOUR – TO 21 AUGUST, 2011


WATERCOLOUR EXHIBITION AT TATE BRITAIN, MILLBANK, LONDON

Lucky enough to win free tickets to see this exhibition, which runs until 21 August 2011. I was not lucky enough to get a free book which goes with the exhibition, and like all art books, costs real money, so I had to do without it.

The exhibition is arranged in rooms which are not numbered but which have titles, for instance we start off in The Natural World, where there is a magnificent study of sea shells and coral by a woman artist, Sarah Stone, painted in 18th century. Quite startling in its modern look and strong vibrant colour.

Some familiar and favourite artists have a good example of their watercolours, for instance John Piper and Edward Burra and of course Cotman. Edward Burra’s strange ‘Mexican Church’ in gouache and ink wash was sombre, loose and very dark and I noticed the colours pink, ochre, green and black. I find some of Burra’s works quite macabre, except for the landscapes and the early cafe and street paintings (which were not shown).

There was a creepy Burne Jones in the Exhibition Watercolour room.

Exploring the Medium was interesting because it showed some artists’ paint boxes, brushes and paints, including those of Turner. I noticed his two brushes had long handles, like those that I use for oil painting. Also shown was Whistler’s box.

By the time I got to the room Watercolour and War, I decided that it was really a very good show. There was strong, interesting and new painting which made me feel like going home and getting out my watercolours and gouache, and even looking through some old work. So – success, you might think! This is what art exhibitions should do, inspire.

The painting of Belsen extermination camp was too painful to look at, by Eric Taylor. Burra, again, had created a work of voluptuous soldiers, called Soldiers at Rye, dated 1941. His soldiers all have very rotund buttocks. Maybe he liked soldiers.

By the end of this exhibition, which as is usual in Tate Britain, is large and demanding, I was expecting to find some modern and Brit Art kinds of works, and I was right. The write-ups about these last works, which I read in one of the catalogue copies helpfully left out on the seats, were long and convoluted. Is there a particular qualification that these authors have to attain so as to make obscure and profound sounding sentences about works that cannot be otherwise justified, I wonder?

In the room Abstraction and Improvisation, there is a HUGE work by Sandra Blow dated 1988, in acrylic and collage. It has a dominating presence, from sheer size and the huge red splodge. A painting by Roger Hilton of 1973 of two dogs had the advantage of being funny,

However, I found Karla Black’s large work ‘Opportunities for Girls, funny. It reminded me of a huge pink squishy bra. It is made of mixed media and dominates the end of the last room, hanging from the ceiling on cords, suspended in air. I made a very quick sketch of it.

Tate Britain, sketch

Sketch from Tate Britain watercolour show

With the modern works was displayed some of Turner’s small sketches, of an abstract nature. According to the notes at the Turner exhibition at the Courtauld Gallery exhibition in 2009, Turner would never have allowed these sketches to be exhibited. They are working notes and memory-joggers, but we have them in this room, as much as to say: “Look, Turner did blobby stuff which has nothing representational apparent, just like the artists showing here today have produced.”

BEYOND OURSELVES – EXHIBITION AT THE ROYAL SOCIETY, LONDON


THE SHOW TITLED ‘BEYOND OURSELVES’ AT THE ROYAL SOCIETY, CARLTON HOUSE TERRACE, LONDON UNTIL 22 JUNE 2011.

This small exhibition was open for viewing during April, and now can be visited by prior appointment – for details go to the web site, noted further down.

Follow Beyond Ourselves on Twitter and you will read: “6 artists’ approaches to documenting the discoveries made through science that have challenged our understanding of the universe and place within it”

Here is a quote from the leaflet I was given:

‘Central to art practice is the artist’s subjective opinion or interpretation of the world. Science and maths cannot be directly bolted onto this……However there is a crossover as both artists and scientists are looking at the world and trying to understand it.”

It was interesting to go the Royal Society, in Carlton House Terrace, because I worked there part-time for a short period years ago. It has changed inside quite a lot. The objects provided by the six artists who made work on display are in the entrance area, the grand staircase, and on the first floor in a corner in the beautiful library, with large windows overlooking The Mall.

Most works were either three-dimensional, installations, video or sculptural. I saw a couple of paintings. The work could be described as ‘cutting edge’. I have a few photos and you will see what I mean more easily than if I try to describe further.

The artist who was at the exhibition, Chooc Ly Tan, is at present completing an MA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths. Her work, Hill Falling Experiment, or Nonsense? is in the corridor and a structure, Problems, upstairs in the Library. Although I have been visiting art exhibitions for many years, I still find it difficult to understand the thinking behind such works, they are difficult.

What really interested me was the display case, or vitrine, which included some of the Royal Society’s scientific instruments. They are beautiful, and more important perhaps, it is possible to ascertain what is their use.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL LEAP -OIL PAINTING FINISHED


This is the second new painting, oil on canvas, 30cm x 40 cm. I call it Beach Volleyball Leap.

Beach Volleyball Leap

VOLLEYBALL LEAP, OIL PAINTING

The reference for this painting is pencil sketches made when on holiday in Jamaica last year. The beach volleyball was very popular and I enjoyed sitting in the sand, drawing the players, who were a different lot each day. It was always mixed girls and guys, and some players were very good. All were enthusiastic! I took a lot of photos too. I tried to capture the luscious greens of the trees and shrubs growing in the grounds of the resort, with the beach sand bright from the setting sun.

beach volleyball, detail painting

BEACH VOLLEYBALL PAINTING, DETAIL

NEW OIL PAINTINGS COMPLETED – VOLLEYBALL AND IRISH GUARDS


I have now photographed my new paintings in oil.

Irish guards band and girls at the Polo

Irish Guards Band and Girls, Windsor Polo

Polo in Windsor Great Park, and Beach Volleyball in Jamaica.

The largest oil painting I have given the title Irish Guards Band and Girls, Windsor Polo, it was a really difficult painting! I used sketches which I had made of the Cartier polo match of 2008, when Dubai and Broncos were the teams involved. In addition to this, I used photos taken last year, 2010, at the same Cartier match, but with the band of the Irish Guards playing, and showing some of the spectators, including the very pretty girls, with their cameras. The uniform of the Guards Bandsmen was particularly difficult to paint. What interested me was the brilliance of the colours at this spectacle, the atmosphere of an exciting sporting event and the dynamism provided by the contrast between the highly disciplined guardsmen and the excited spectators (who no doubt had had some ‘bubbly’, as is usual at the polo event of the year)

OIL PAINTING OF IRISH GUARDS BAND AND GIRLS, POLO

IRISH GUARDS BAND AND GIRLS, DETAIL

CYNTHIA CORBETT GALLERY SHOW – WIMBLEDON VILLAGE


CYNTHIA CORBETT WAS THE HOST AT A SHOWING OF HER GALLERY ARTISTS IN WIMBLEDON, SOUTH LONDON

The April evening event was in Wimbledon, in a beautiful setting near the leafy Wimbledon Common.
Art work was arranged on the walls of several rooms and a stairwell, and the ambiance was of an attractive and comfortable home, complete with beautiful cat which slept on the sofa throughout.

Cat enjoys viewing exhibition

Large works were hung by several of the Cynthia Corbett ‘stable’ of what is known as ’emerging artists’. Some of these are well-known now, except by me!

In particular I have seen the work of Tom Leighton on the internet many times recently. They are large, accomplished, manipulated photographic works. One on display is titled Beijing Canopy. I quote from a catalogue: ‘Images are digital C-type prints mounted on Perspex with aluminium/Diabond backing, produced in editions of 5 & 2 artist proofs.’ I am sure they look fantastic in the setting of a huge white gallery or office foyer.

Andy Burgess is another stable artist, working in Acrylic on panel. A small printed catalogue dated 2009 called ‘Pop Geometry’ shows very interesting geometric work relating to Pop Art, however what I saw on display at this exhibition were small works, for instance ‘House’ oil on gessoed panel, measured 18 x 23 cm.

Lluis Barba’s work was interesting for its use of humour in making manipulated photographic images, with the use of reproductions from the masters of the past such as Hieronymus Bosch and juxtaposing these images with photos of current models and celebrities. One such work, which I have only seen in reproduction in a catalogue, has the title ‘Archduke Leopold in his Picture Gallery in Brussels’. David Teniers. It is an edition of 5.

Not many paintings then, the majority of works photographic, not enought for me, who am a lover the the lucious oily brush mark.

Still, a very interesting collecting, both of art work, and people.Po