Thursday, 30 May 2013

REWIRED. Creative Block - artwork

The task in one of my process art classes was to create an artwork called 'Creative Block', using... a... block.
We were given a selection of wooden blocks in various shapes and sizes to choose from. The idea was to work on every surface, using anything we wanted (pencil, ink, paint, magazine pages, fabric, found objects etc.) to create our final work.

I am a "Creative Block Survivor" (more about that later), and could not help but interpret this project literally. The subject immediately brought up strong feelings for me .

I chose a beautiful small block of Oregon pine. I loved the colour, the grain, the smell. My plan was to do sophisticated, beautiful, emotional ink illustrations leaving much of the wood grain visible and to carve into the wood in places. I most certainly wasn't going to glue any bits onto the wood. That would just be ... um... tacky! ;)

I grabbed a magazine to page through for inspiration and to look for possible references for my illustrations I'd planned. (I'm not very good at drawing from my imagination).

Before I knew it, I was like a woman possessed, wielding a hot glue gun. I went mad sticking and gluing all sorts of bits and pieces onto my block. I was having so much fun.

The end result was really surprising. Not at all what I'd envisioned or set out to do.
But, it made me smile.

I called it "REWIRED".

My Lesson:
To let go, be free, have FUN, express yourself in WHATEVER way. Stop taking art and creativity so SERIOUSLY! Who cares what other people will think.

... But is it ART?... Hell Yes! Because it means something... to me.
... Would it sell? ... Hell no! Most probably not ... So then, why do we make art? ...

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time."

- Thomas Merton in No man is an Island

Monday, 27 May 2013

Colourful Cape Town

GMO Protest March followed by Open Streets event in Observatory.

Saturday was a busy day, spent outdoors despite the chilly weather.

I started off by joining a large group of spirited people who were gathering for the protest march Against Monsanto and GMOs. We gathered at the foot of an eight-storey-high mural called Land and Liberty by artist Faith47. I am a great fan of her work and have mentioned her a couple of times in my blog before (see You will be a blessing and Living apart / Entwined).
I have included a few pics that I took with my phone, but do not want to use this post as a platform to air my views on the subject of GMOs. Instead I would like to focus on the spirit and creativity of the people in my hometown, beautiful Cape Town.

Mural: Land and Liberty by Faith47

Some clever placards and fabulous outfits

Sun umbrellas by Afrisol
In the crowd I spotted some beautiful hand made sun umbrellas. These umbrellas are made by a company called Afrisol.
You can click here to go to their website and for more information.

Sun umbrellas by Afrisol


Protesters gathered on the Grand Parade outside Cape Town City Hall
* * *

Open Streets

The afternoon was spent hanging out on the streets of Observatory.

The Open Streets event was "a citizen-driven initiative, working to design and promote streets which embed and generate respect for people, regardless of who they are, and how they move."

Marikana Protest at the Open Streets event.

I LOVE Obs. I do.
 And I love colourful Cape Town.

Monday, 20 May 2013

The Creation of Adam

The Creation of Adam

by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)
c. 1511.  Fresco. 480.1 × 230.1 cm (189 × 90.6 in)

The subject of Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam" came up in art class the other night.
I love these anatomical theories... the right brain... creation...

Anatomical theories

Several hypotheses have been put forward about the meaning of The Creation of Adam's highly original composition, many of them taking Michelangelo's well-documented expertise in human anatomy as their starting point. In 1990 Frank Lynn Meshberger, M.D. noted in the medical publication the Journal of the American Medical Association that the background figures and shapes portrayed behind the figure of God appeared to be an anatomically accurate picture of the human brain. On close examination, borders in the painting correlate with major sulci of the cerebrum in the inner and outer surface of the brain, the brain stem, the frontal lobe, the basilar artery, the pituitary gland and the optic chiasm. Meshberger also argues that there appears to be communication present despite the gap between the depicted Adam and God, just as neurons transmit biochemical information across synaptic clefts. Further, below the right arm of God, the painting shows a sad angel in an area of the brain that is sometimes activated on PET scans when someone experiences a sad thought. God is superimposed over the limbic system, the emotional center of the brain and possibly the anatomical counterpart of the human soul. God's right arm extends to the prefrontal cortex, the most creative and most uniquely human region of the brain.
Alternatively, it has been observed that the red cloth around God has the shape of a human uterus (one art historian has called it a "uterine mantle"), and that the scarf hanging out, coloured green, could be a newly cut umbilical cord. "This is an interesting hypothesis that presents the Creation scene as an idealised representation of the physical birth of man. It explains the navel that appears on Adam, which is at first perplexing because he was created, not born of a woman."

Source: Wikipedia

Immerse yourself

This artwork was created during one of my process art classes. We used sticky black printing ink and pages from a very old Oxford dictionary.
After paging through a magazine and tearing out one picture that caught our attention, we were ready to begin. The picture I chose was of people in the rain with umbrellas and raincoats.
We used a roller to spread the ink onto a sheet of glass and then made prints by either drawing into the ink and making a print (like my umbrella and raindrops on the far left and far right) or by placing a piece of paper onto the ink and 'drawing' onto the back of the paper. This left an ink impression on the other side. We could also cut out some of our printed pages and use them to collage onto our final work. Some of my classmates stuck rolled up, scrunched up or folded paper onto their work.
When our work was completed, we stuck it up above our desks and took a moment to reflect on what it meant to us. Earlier that day a friend and I had been having a good moan about how tough and draining life with young children is, and that we both felt like we're in 'survival mode'.
To me this picture is about 'weathering the storm'. It made me feel sad. I am missing out on so much by just trying to get through each day. Always busy, busy, busy with so much to be done.
So, this was an important reminder, to stop and smell the roses. Immerse yourself into what is happening here and now. Live in the moment.

I love this quote by Roger Miller...

"Some people walk in the rain. Others just get wet."

Details of my artwork, "Immerse yourself"