October 2, 2012
Came across this ring on Pintarest, (housed in the British Museum) what gem ! Beautifully carved red cornelian depicting a crouching cat within a gold setting. An ancient egyptian piece dating back to around 1070-712 BCE. Its the period known as the third intermediate age, that lasted around 350 years, starting at the death of Ramses XI.
The cat was revered in ancient egypt, the Goddess of cats Bastet, women especially gave offerings to, it was said that if you carried around an amulet of a cat with kittens, that eventually you would have as many children as would appear in your amulet. As cats were sacred to Bastet, cats were mummified along with their owners, and people were put to death if they accidentally killed one !
This precious ring was acquired by the Bristish museum in 1947 on the death of Gayer Anderson, famous collector of egyptian artefacts,
Maj Robert Grenville Gayer-Anderson (military/naval; collector; British; Male; 1881 – 1945)
British army surgeon, administrator and collector, given the title of Pasha by King Farouk in 1942 after giving his home Beit el-Kiridliya to the people of Egypt.
On the underside of the cat there is a carved Wadjet eye or the Eye of Horus, used as a protective amulet, and initially offered to Osirus by Horus. So powerful was its use that it restored him back to life ! these Wadjet eye amulets are found in vast quantities wrapped in the folds of the egyptian mummies.
September 23, 2012
December 28, 2011
Another day of relaxing, I have a broken foot and the hospital “total rest” !! So am sitting here, feet up on my chaise and gazing out across the common. Have been spending time researching the projects I am doing at work, so many beautiful buildings with such a wealth of history that I am trying to unravel and hoping it will give me inspiration for the artwork that I will need to commission and purchase.
In doing all this research, going down the road of gothic revival and the aesthetic movement I have sparked off a real fondness again for turquoise and blues and the rich patterns of the arts crafts movement.
William de Morgan and his wife Evelyn created wonderful ceramics and paintings and it was researching his works that I came across these wonderful rich lustre red designs which would add real zing to the turquoise. I want to create a very pared down interior with them, using pattern more minimally, perhaps even in a monochromatic colour scheme, using decortive ornate shaped furniture in plain red with dashes of unexpected pattern, perhaps a bespoke woven carpet maybe……………..
Food for thought
November 5, 2011
working with colour, different mediums, different methods, felt very fragile when completing this. Been a difficult week, last night just wanted to get out some paint and let it happen. Feels in some way like a journey the forest, flickering shades of autumn, the sun dancing on fiery leaves.
Seems I was inspired by my early morning nature walks………now these are the real thing ! Autumn leaves are so beautiful now, deep cherry reds, corals and oranges to deep purples and pinks and yellows
October 2, 2011
Recently I had an angiogram at the new local hospital, seeing my heart on the screen I hadnt realised that the arteries looked like the branches of a tree. Thankfully the consultant told me ‘GOOD NEWS” so very relieved, but it all this got me thinking and researching and being creative.
We are literally just like a tree inside, the heart is our tree of life, and its something I just cannot stop drawing. I started drawing a “heart” before I went to the hospital, it helped me to understand what was going on but then I wanted to draw a happy, supported and nurtured heart, one that thinks, is full of love and is abundant in all ways.
This is my latest offering.
April 4, 2011
Leon Bakst drawings I have always admired, and recently when I watched the Chanel / Stravinsky story my interest in the Ballet Russe became more prominent in my life again. I find the colours so inspiring. Diaghilev was a very clever man, he put together composers and artists the most avant-garde of their time, Braque, Stravinsky, Chanel, Picasso, Matisse and Nijinsky the famous dancer and produced the most inspiring and challenging ballets. He was not at all afraid to break with convention and his passion paid off, however at his death it limped along but was never the same again.
The boldness, the colours, the loose shapes, ballet costumes had never been seen like this before. I just love them, the colours sing out, I so would love to have been around to see their opening nights, especially THE RITES OF SPRING, apparently this caused a riot and they had to close down the theatre!! It’s hard to believe that now, but here is a collection of some the hundreds of costumes that were designed and made especially for each ballet.
Could they be transformed into paper sculptures, could the colour combinations be transformed into my design work and paintings, somehow they will have an influence, my creative mind is like a sponge, its absorbs everything around me so that one day it will be expressed in some form again as I continue along this creative path
April 2, 2011
Cannot believe you would have been 50 yesterday mr Bowery. HOw time flies, you sure made an iconic figure, scary even, you were such a tall, huge man who certainly made his presence felt………… enjoyed your postumous birthday bash at the ICA yesterday, people watching, the music from taboo, the acts, the colour and the sunshine…. not sure about the “West life” guy performing the penultimate song, not sure what all that was about.
my memories of you started through Michael Clark, and the wonderful costumes you designed for him in his early days at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith ( watch the video clip) , and your presence on the stage…………….. You made it ok not to fit the mould and make your own fashion, you accentuated and extended your large body shape until it became and art form. Australia and your city of SUNSHINE certainly produced something very bright and colourful…………….
LIEGH BOWERY 1961 – 1994
December 25, 2010
Its been awhile since I posted, in fact it was in the early hours of December 8th. the day a very close and dear freind, my ex husband died, It was to be only a few hours before I received a call to say to get to the hospital straight away, his vital signs were dropping. We were with him to the end. The funeral was yesterday, such a beautiful service where my children and I paid tribute to him in the best way we knew how, and that was to reflect his big laugh, his ability to tell a wonderful story and his very engaging personality.
Although we had gone our separate ways some while ago, whatever it was that connected us all those years ago when I met him at 16, it was still there at the end, guess its true, that love never dies. Living with Bruce was an amazing roller coaster ride, when the ups were up they flew into the cosmos, when they were down, it plummeted to amazing depths. Life is more stable now but I am trying to remember all the good times of our earlier life together and the more recent times. It was only a few short weeks ago we were sitting in the early winter sunshine sharing a coffee and a sandwich and chatting about old times, it bought a smile to both our faces and we laughed together. Death is so final, it was such a shock and so quick that I am still coming to terms with it.
Watching this incredible sunset last night I realised how beautiful an ending can be, for in a few short hours the sun will rise again, Bruce will rise again on the next part of his journey, I like to think he is travelling back into the cosmos, his souls purpose now over on this earth and he will shine down on us, a beautiful star in the heavens
Rest in Peace dear Brucie
September 18, 2010
Came across these beauties some while back, this week looking for some peices that were interesting and had integrity and opted for some in a project I am carrying out at work.
I am sure you will agree the ethos behind this creative work sets the humble cushions to a more elevated position.
The benefits of Fine Cell Work
Here is a list of the risk factors associated with offending which are diminished by Fine Cell Work
• Addiction – the work provides a calming alternate focus
• Mental health – FCW has a therapeutic effect which reduces incidences of breakdown and self-harm
• Family relationships – many inmates send the money earned to families and their success with FCW provides a positive subject for visits
• Social exclusion – FCW’s system reintegrates inmates into structures of work and community
• Homelessness – prisoners are able to save for rent payments on release
• Key skills – Fine Cell Work requires basic numeracy and literacy skills and can motivate inmates to do further education in prison
Here is a list of further benefits contributed by Fine Cell Work
• Anger management
• Personal and social skills
• Prisoner to prisoner mentoring and volunteering
• Transferable skills such as :
• Self awareness
• Awareness of others
• Self discipline
• Working to deadlines
• Self motivation
INTERVIEW WITH AN EX-PRISONER
I served 7 years, just under. I was doing Fine Cell Work for 6 ½ years. I wanted something to do. I was bored sitting in my cell…when you got nothing it’s hard. And you just sit there thinking about outside, children, wife and what you’re missing.
I thought people would laugh and then I thought, well you get paid for it and it helps with keeping in contact with the children. Saved a few pennies and was able to talk to the children. I could always send the children some money for Christmases and birthdays. You got a choice, you either sit there do 3 or 4 hours and earn a couple of quid at the end of the month, or sit there for 3 or 4 hours and earn nothing.
The main thing in prison is to keep in contact with your family. It’s the most important thing… But you can’t afford to do it. You could write a letter but some people can’t write. And the sewing’s so easy to do, and that’s the best bit, because a lot of people in prison are illiterate. They can’t read and write and they can’t count. But you teach them to count to ten and they can do the sewing.
That’s all I did…I sewed and sewed…cos you get upset and there’s not a lot you can do. You can’t show any weakness inside. So it just gets more and more built up and then you get angry. So with the sewing it just made me stop and think about how things could have been different…and what I could have done myself to be different. I calmed down and started thinking I could have done this when I was outside, going down the pub and things like that, I could have spent time with the family. Just silly little things come to mind, into your head whilst you’re sewing. And it surprises you.
It helped me change the way I was…cos I use to be quite an angry fella when I went inside, I was quite moody and aggressive and people pointed out I was defensive. I never knew I was but when I was sewing I use to go back over my life and thought…perhaps I am. It gave me the space I needed. And that’s why people started to trust me more. When you’re in your cell with another person it gets a bit claustrophobic. So you’re always on edge. I used the sewing to get into my own world.
And where before if I’d be angry with someone I’d let you know, by that time I could, well, walk away and then go back and apologise if I was a bit rude to somebody. And it just went from there. Little steps. But you get there in the end.
I did loads of courses…all the courses they offered me. When I went to prison I had no qualifications. I just left school when I was 14 and started work so never actually got qualifications. I did all the courses they offered, all the key skills. It got to the point where the prison service offered me to go onto Maths OU (Open University) and said they’d pay.
Fine Cell Work made me think about the simple stuff I use to do when I drink and why I use to drink. See I had a lot of affairs before I went to prison and then I’d drink to deal with the affairs and forget them. My ex-wife and I were together 12 years but never really had a conversation. We’d be embarrassed to say certain things. I was 21 when had first kid. I use to work 7 days a week. I had quite a big drink problem.
After about 2 years in prison I realised that my life was leading me to prison. But before you could have asked me and I’ve have been like, no, I’m in control of it… It all started when my wife had post-natal depression and to get my own back I’d go down the pub… And when I went to prison she had to go onto income support and what she had to spend on herself a week she had to live on her and 3 children and pay all the bills.
Talking to the children
I talk the children quite a lot. My youngest son nearly got into a fight the other day. I tried to explain to him the consequences. When I came out the kids thought it was big and clever that I’d been in prison. My son’s friends go in for a couple of months here couple of months there and they think it’s all clever and it’s not. They don’t really do prison, they just do 2 months. They just go there and see their friends. I tried to explain to them it’s not as nice as people make out. When they was living in London they was quite angry and aggressive. But now they’re up with me they’ve calmed down.
They see the big difference in me. They still remember how I used to be. And they used to think it was big and clever I could look after myself. But now I explain to them that it’s just stupid. Takes a bigger person to walk away.
And I start explaining to them about all the silly things I use to do when I was sewing, they laugh at sewing. But you can work through. All through one word, sorry. The only way I got to that was through sewing. That’s why I changed my life. Hope that’s making sense.
Because I had things to do, I was not in prison in my head. And it all came from the sewing really. You can easily become part of the prison system. But through the sewing I could afford to have a half hour on the phone every evening and that gets me out that mindset I’m in prison. And then when that doors shut I’m not on my own because I’m thinking about the children. But if you’ve got nothing then you’re just sitting there, eating and sleeping, and you become institutionalised for the rest of your life. That’s why you have to go into a hostel, to see how you’d cope. But luckily when I got out, I was in the hostel for a couple of months and got myself a job, car.
Teaching and being taught
Ann and Marjorie (his teachers) were like my mum. Ann use to send us postcards when she went on holiday. And with Marjorie, she use to beat me up (laughs). I’d walk in and if I hadn’t done enough work she’d give me a slap. But I use to take the mick. It wasn’t like prisoner and staff, it was just two friends. I made sure that they were safe, and Marjorie if she felt that she was unsafe with someone she’d say is he alright? And I didn’t mind that.
Some times with the officers there’s just an instant dislike. But some of them used to come in and they liked the work and they’d come talk to you about it and say oh I’m doing this at home, I’m stuck with this could you help? Especially with the quilting, because they think oh I’ll go home and do that, that’s a good idea. It don’t take a lot of your time to show people what to do, after you’ve been doing it for such a long time.
A lot of people think it’s quite amusing though, my mums friends, and they say you must be able to sew anything. My mum does a patchwork class. They want me to go in show them how to make quilts. They say it looks really hard but I say it’s not hard it’s quite easy…
August 8, 2010
Mmm, sunday morning, relaxing as usual and thinking of breakfast…….. or should I say lunch or brunch or just a nice milky coffee. Decisions, decisions, wish they were alway this simple. Actually making a decision is really simple, its the framework within which we place the decision that determines if it’s going to be difficult or not. If we think its going to be difficult, then it is, if we go with our gut instinct, our intuiiton its really simple. Have you ever been in a situation whereby you cannot see the wood for the trees? and the more anxious you become the foggier the decision making process becomes? I know in the past when I am designing and being creative, I have an initial idea, I put it to oneside because my “mind” begins to tell me this isnt good enough, try something else, and my mind churns out more and more, I get more confused. Then standing back I look over all the drawings, and most times go back to the initial thought. Our intuitive process I believe comes from the soul, then our minds, our intellect kicks in and starts questioning, DONT LISTEN, dont let it take control, it can just lead you into a maze, going around and around.
May 13, 2010
I dont know what draws me towards red, its a huge pull and a colour that keeps me creating lately. Red, black and white and the human form these are the areas I draw inspiration from. This drawing I did originally as a sketch for a huge centrepiece, I imagined it made from porcelain and glazed in the whitest white.
I guess red for me is powerful, its exciting and passionate and courageous, it gives across a powerful message. Red symbolised desire, determination, domination, the thirst for action, danger, strength, power, its a very emotionally intense colour.
Persephone ate the seeds of the red pomegranate, a fruit thats very powerfully symbolic of life and death, she loved Adonis, and when he was killed in a hunting accident beautiful red roses sprung from his blood………. There are many stories told through generations that herald the colour, think of Little Red Riding Hood and The Red shoes.
May 9, 2010
The coral seems to have taken on a new identity that of heavily encrusted imperial robes of the chinese dynaties, I love the vibrational levels of chinese yellow and with the addition or red the levels increase in intensity. Puts me in mind of the films like “The last emperor” and “Raise the Red Lantern” a real feast for the eyes. This image has come along way from its routes, a piece of red coral in Paris…………..
May 8, 2010
May 3, 2010
April 18, 2010
I awoke on Saturday morning with a real sense excitement, like a “fizzing” feeling going on inside, and tingly, needing to create something. My mind seems to go into overdrive and images, colours, thoughts, past journeys, magazine clips, feelings I want to portray, all manner of ideas swirl around like an “eddy” in a stream. Its as if they get caught, I hold onto them for fear of them flowing away from me, but as they spin the ideas gather and the vortex gets bigger, I cannot express my ideas fast enough and as soon as they are on paper more and more are building……… its exhuasting and my head begins to feel engorged with heat and flickering images until I cant take anymore.
So I have stopped now, paper and perncils, illustrator and laptop are about to be put to bed and I am going to go to bed and rest my weary head. For tomorrow I am designing, huge spaces, so exciting.
The image is trying to portray how I feel when the brain is in abundant mode, creativity is pulsating and courses through my veins. (mixed media)