The Big Picture has arrived…

Wow, unbelievable service from Diamond Photo! I ordered a large canvas print of my artwork on Tuesday and it arrived today – Friday,… how awesome is that? It is huge! I am really pleased with it, cant wait to see it in a gallery setting. Meanwhile here is a pic or two to give you an idea of the size:

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Look at the size of my head next to Red’s!

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I like this spooky black and white hand effect, and it is Halloween in some parts of the world…

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My Gallery Space…

Phoebe and I went to check out The Refinery today, to view the space that one of our curators suggested might suit my installation. It is perfect! Enough room, dimmable lighting and I can hang stuff from the ceiling! There is an artist installation in there at the minute, as you can see, which is not connected in any way to my work. The photos are just to give an idea.

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The photo below shows the entry to the space:

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It’s PERFECT!!

 

 

Ever feel someone is tapping your dreams?

For the past few months my dreams and my days have been filled with Ruby and her journey through the forest, into the shadows with her animus. Soon this stage of her journey will be captured in the big end of year final thing… except Ruby will keep going, the journey is never over.

Just a few minutes ago I came across the work of Pierre Huyghe. Don’t tell me there is no collective unconscious… geez it feels like this dude and I have been invading each others dreams…. I looked at a couple of images of his work and felt I knew it… check these out:

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He even has the red ribbon.rag thingy…! I must look further into his work because the write ups I have read so far are totally fascinating, and deliciously inspiring to boot :)

Images retrieved on 22/10/14 from:

http://www.art-agenda.com/reviews/pierre-huyghe%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cin-border-deep%E2%80%9D/

The Hood or the Hair?

We had our third critique session in studio today. I presented Ruby in her current state of half fur, and a couple of versions of my mixed media painting.

I wanted to know which version of the painting they felt looked best, the red hooded Tabby or the red hair Tabby. Leigh liked the red hair best but the other two group members liked the hooded version the best. I am posting images here in case anyone out there cares to give me feedback!

This is the hooded version, I do like it because it blends in well with the rest of the image which was the main gist of the feedback I got from the those who preferred this version.

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This second version I also like a lot, and Leigh liked it because of the contrast and shine of the hair. It actually printed out very vibrantly. I actually dulled it a little here to blend it with the back ground a bit more. I do like this, I like how it is a step away from the Red Riding Hood, but I wonder of it looks a little too real, a little too like a glossy advertisement? But then she looks very contemporary, whereas the animus looks earthy, and woodlandy, slightly musty which does work well with my narrative, as the animus is musty in many of us and needs unearthing. I will definitely adjust her eye colour in the hair image if I use that one, make them greener.

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The fur effect with knitting faux fur etc was approved by all. I totally forgot to take in my red cloak remnants, but they will be part of the finished installation for sure.

I had a chat to Jose one of our tutors later, and she agrees that the trees/installation works really well, as opposed to just having the painting on a wall.  I have been very tempted to go this route just to fit in the studio more easily. I had doubts about Ruby and her chopped off head, but after some discussion Jose suggested a plinth on its side. I tried this and with Ruby at one end almost imitation the *animus* dude in the painting, it totally worked! It could almost be used to bring the painting into the scene, like the two would be facing each other. I would continue to drape the wolf *pelt* around the plinth a bit and mayeb add some more red ragged pieces (signifying the cloak remnants but also with a deeper story of coming of age, menstruation…).

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I couldn’t get the space I wanted, but I have another corner. It has a large radiator on the wall but the tutors will have to ignore that. G-Block may be a nice design in the atrium etc but for an art studio with a view to having to exhibit end of year work in a professional way, it totally sucks. There is so little wall space in the studios.

So… I shall carry in knitting/stitching/shredding Ruby, and trying to decide on hood or hair!

Your opinions are highly desired and more than welcome!

Knit Your Own Wolf…

I am experimenting with Ruby’s pelt, as it were. I have been playing with scraps of various types and colours of fake fur fabric, and also knitting with a variety of yarns to create a wolf/beastie/animal like feel, without the killing.

The good news about the wolf head hat mask is that it just about fits me… which will come in very handy for the New Years Eve fancy dress party!

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Here is a close up of the Wolf fur… I like the idea of different pieces and a combination of stitch, knitting and fabric, it adds to the layers of Ruby’s story as a female who confronted and assimilated her animus.

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The making of a wolf nose…

Well, after trying a zillion methods of trying to construct the wolf head mask for Ruby, I came back to good old cardboard and that most faithful of household staples, duck tape. I drew a shape, a sort of birds eye view of a wold head outline,  and then cut s strip of card about an inch wide, and folded it around the drawn shape. I fixed it with duck tape. Then I shaped more card strips around it using Ruby’s head as a guide.

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Next I worked on the ears but they are a bit strange looking:

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Finally I covered the whole thing with tissue and dilute PVA. I had to gesso over the duck tape first as the PVA wouldn’t stick to it.

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I think the nose looks a bit odd and long, but I will work on that when I add the furry bits! Wolf ears change in every picture I look at, so I decided that as cat ears are similar I would study my cats… but their ears change a lot too…

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Incidentally if anyone know the correct term for those wolf mask/hats I would love to know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruby has an identity crisis…

Poor Ruby, has no idea who she is. I have been unable to help her very much over the past ten days due to back issues. Anyway she is getting bored sitting waiting around to be transformed into wolf woman, so she grabbed whatever she could to amuse herself.

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On Monday I shall be seeing an osteopath, no choice…

 

 

Rapunzel – A Poem

This is a poem I wrote a few years ago but tend to re-visit and revise now and then. I once planned a series of fairy tale poems, but then art got in the way of writing. I see them moving in together in the future…

Rapunzel, Rapunzel

Rapunzel… Rapunzel
let down your hair
to be twisted and pulled
and wrenched from the roots
at your towers foot…

No gentle Prince awaits you there…

No… we of old pain
worn down, harsh, raw with grief
we seek to punish…

We do not care

As we trample on fragile endings
our boots, encrusted with ancient mud
we close our eyes
we do not dare…
to see… To feel..
or let some kind word
escape through parched lips.

From these hardened hearts
no compassion we share

Rapunzel…  Rapunzel
let down your hair
for we are weary…
Allow us some sanctuary
shelter from harsh reality
where we will remain
thankless souls

Rapunzel…  Rapunzel
the bastards cut your hair
Shorn of strength
disempowered in your tower
you grieve
for those lost ones…
the poets
and the dreamers
who felt only their pain
never allowing for your sorrow

Yet still you bow you head
and weep for them

As those proud
but snagged locks
fall to icy flint floor

Rapunzel, Rapunzel
come down from your tower
it is no safe haven
but your prison
Afraid of your strength
they blinded you
and kept you there
with threats of dragons and witches
and blackhearted suitors

Rapunzel Rapunzel
come down from your tower
Hold your head high
bring forth your pride
and watch those cheats and liars
and feint hearted triers
as they tremble and cower
in the shadow of your power
as you pass them by

Rapunzel Rapunzel
let down your hair

Meet Spike Deane

I am delighted to have discovered another fabulous artist who is influenced by folk and fairy tales, and who is also a fan of Jack Zipes.

Spike Deane is an Australian artist (yip, we are both in the same hemisphere!), who specialises in textile and glass art. I am totally in love with her pieces, her forest of glass twigs, especially struck a chord, as any of you who follow my rants will no doubt have guessed.

This is entitled: The Wolf I Knew Would Lead Me

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I am more and more convinced as I follow my path through art and life, that I have my very own guide leading me through the collective unconscious, to all the best woods.

Here is Spike’s tribute to my wee heroine with the red hood and her lupine companion in Into the Woods…

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This is Forbidden Chamber from the tale of Bluebeard, how fabulous is this?

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Images courtesy of http://www.spikedeane.com/

 

Red Riding Hood by Anne Sexton

I found this while looking through Transformations , a collection of Anne Sexton’s poetry which is based around the tales of The Brothers Grimm. Sexton was a confessional poet, like her contemporary Sylvia Plath  she suffered from depression and mental illness. I feel at home with the work of both these women. They tell life as it is.

In Transformations Sexton has told these stories as they were portrayed by The Brothes Grimm, but within a darker context. The stage set has changed, the props are different, the lighting is altered but the stories are still there, to be interpreted as we will, or as society dictates.

Red Riding Hood by Anne Sexton

Many are the deceivers:
The suburban matron,
proper in the supermarket,
list in hand so she won’t suddenly fly,
buying her Duz and Chuck Wagon dog food,
meanwhile ascending from earth,
letting her stomach fill up with helium,
letting her arms go loose as kite tails,
getting ready to meet her lover
a mile down Apple Crest Road
in the Congregational Church parking lot.
Two seemingly respectable women
come up to an old Jenny
and show her an envelope
full of money
and promise to share the booty
if she’ll give them ten thou
as an act of faith.
Her life savings are under the mattress
covered with rust stains
and counting.
They are as wrinkled as prunes
but negotiable.
The two women take the money and disappear.
Where is the moral?
Not all knives are for
stabbing the exposed belly.
Rock climbs on rock
and it only makes a seashore.
Old Jenny has lost her belief in mattresses
and now she has no wastebasket in which
to keep her youth.
The standup comic
on the “Tonight” show
who imitates the Vice President
and cracks up Johnny Carson
and delays sleep for millions
of bedfellows watching between their feet,
slits his wrist the next morning
in the Algonquin’s old-fashioned bathroom,
the razor in his hand like a toothbrush,
wall as anonymous as a urinal,
the shower curtain his slack rubberman audience,
and then the slash
as simple as opening as a letter
and the warm blood breaking out like a rose
upon the bathtub with its claw and ball feet.
And I. I too.
Quite collected at cocktail parties,
meanwhile in my head
I’m undergoing open-heart surgery.
The heart, poor fellow,
pounding on his little tin drum
with a faint death beat,
The heart, that eyeless beetle,
running panicked through his maze,
never stopping one foot after the other
one hour after the other
until he gags on an apple
and it’s all over.
And I. I too again.
I built a summer house on Cape Ann.
A simple A-frame and this too was
a deception — nothing haunts a new house.
When I moved in with a bathing suit and tea bags
the ocean rumbled like a train backing up
and at each window secrets came in
like gas. My mother, that departed soul,
sat in my Eames chair and reproached me
for losing her keys to the old cottage.
Even in the electric kitchen there was
the smell of a journey. The ocean
was seeping through its frontiers
and laying me out on its wet rails.
The bed was stale with my childhood
and I could not move to another city
where the worthy make a new life.
Long ago
there was a strange deception:
a wolf dressed in frills,
a kind of transvestite.
But I get ahead of my story.
In the beginning
there was just little Red Riding Hood,
so called because her grandmother
made her a red cape and she was never without it.
It was her Linus blanket, besides
it was red, as red as the Swiss flag,
yes it was red, as red as chicken blood,
But more than she loved her riding hood
she loved her grandmother who lived
far from the city in the big wood.
This one day her mother gave her
a basket of wine and cake
to take to her grandmother
because she was ill.
Wine and cake?
Where’s the aspirin? The penicillin?
Where’s the fruit juice?
Peter Rabbit got chamomile tea.
But wine and cake it was.
On her way in the big wood
Red Riding Hood met the wolf.
Good day, Mr. Wolf, she said,
thinking him no more dangerous
than a streetcar or a panhandler.
He asked where she was going
and she obligingly told him
There among the roots and trunks
with the mushrooms pulsing inside the moss
he planned how to eat them both,
the grandmother an old carrot
and the child a shy budkin
in a red red hood.
He bade her to look at the bloodroot,
the small bunchberry and the dogtooth
and pick some for her grandmother.
And this she did.
Meanwhile he scampered off
to Grandmother’s house and ate her up
as quick as a slap.
Then he put on her nightdress and cap
and snuggled down in to bed.
A deceptive fellow.
Red Riding hood
knocked on the door and entered
with her flowers, her cake, her wine.
Grandmother looked strange,
a dark and hairy disease it seemed.
Oh Grandmother, what big ears you have,
ears, eyes, hands and then the teeth.
The better to eat you with my dear.
So the wolf gobbled Red Riding Hood down
like a gumdrop. Now he was fat.
He appeared to be in his ninth month
and Red Riding Hood and her grandmother
rode like two Jonahs up and down with
his every breath. One pigeon. One partridge.
He was fast asleep,
dreaming in his cap and gown,
wolfless.
Along came a huntsman who heard
the loud contented snores
and knew that was no grandmother.
He opened the door and said,
So it’s you, old sinner.
He raised his gun to shoot him
when it occurred to him that maybe
the wolf had eaten up the old lady.
So he took a knife and began cutting open
the sleeping wolf, a kind of caesarian section.
It was a carnal knife that let
Red Riding Hood out like a poppy,
quite alive from the kingdom of the belly.
And grandmother too
still waiting for cakes and wine.
The wolf, they decided, was too mean
to be simply shot so they filled his belly
with large stones and sewed him up.
He was as heavy as a cemetery
and when he woke up and tried to run off
he fell over dead. Killed by his own weight.
Many a deception ends on such a note.
The huntsman and the grandmother and Red Riding Hood
sat down by his corpse and had a meal of wine and cake.
Those two remembering
nothing naked and brutal
from that little death,
that little birth,
from their going down
and their lifting up.