21 November 2006
11 November 2006
Frida Kahlo 1910 - 1954
Frida was born and lived almost all of her life in Mexico. She married Diego Rivera who was famous for his murals and his communist views which Frida shared.
While the Surrealists viewed her work as one of their own, her view was that she was expressing her feelings. 'They thought I was a Surrealist,' she said, 'but I wasn't. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.' Her reality was often one of pain as she suffered polio as a child and as a young adult was involved in a collision between a truck and a bus. This accident almost killed her, damaging her right leg and pelvis and she was left with continuous pain for the rest of her life.
Her work reflects her Mexican background being based on colourful Mexican folk art and in particular on the small votive pictures known as retablos, which the pious dedicated in Mexican churches. Most of her works are self-portraits as she was often bed-ridden during treatments for her injuries, and so, passed the time by painting. In the painting titled, Tree of Hope (1946), she depicts the torture of a metal body brace by day and the relative relief when it was removed at night. Other works depict her miscarriage and other distressing aspects of her unusual life. She had exhibitions in New York, Paris and last of all in Mexico.
I have been inspired by her work to make a female torso reflecting my own experience with early breast cancer. I aim to reflect the positive outcome and also have a little tongue-in-cheek dig at the radiology treatment where the patient is drawn on each day with texta, to allow the technicians to line up the machinery.
Frida: a biography of Frida Kahlo by Herrera, Hayden
New York; Sydney: Harper & Row, c1983
Frida – (starring Salma Hayek and Geoffrey Rush)
10 November 2006
Born in Austria 1902 she moved to England in 1938. Known for her wide rimmed bottles and sgraffito bowls, her work spans many decades from when she was a student in the 1920’s to being awarded a (CBE) in 1981 and made a Dame in 1991. Hans Coper shared her workshop from 1947 to 1958. Her work was of particular note during her time as it was so different from Bernard Leach who dominated the Studio Pottery movement. Her work was exhibited in Paris and New York as well as England.
I have enjoyed researching her work. It has been interesting to see how she retained her style while progressing to different finishes. In the future I would like to research further and try out some more of her finishes and firing techniques such as brushing the glaze onto greenware and then once firing. I like the variety of shapes of her ware and the range of glazes which she fired in her studio in an electric kiln.
I have taken a photo of some of the pots I have made using photos of her work as inspiration.
Lucie Rie, her life and work; edited by John Houston Crafts Council London 1981.
Lucie Rie 90th Birthday Exhibition Galerie Besson Catologue 1992
Lucie Rie by Tony Birks London 1987
03 November 2006
Born in Sweden in 1929, he moved to New York in 1956. He had little formal art education having trained as a journalist at University. His early installations reflected the streets of the area where he lived and the rubbish he collected to make the exhibition pieces. By 1962 he was making very large soft sculptures such as the Soft Hamburger. He went on to make monumental sculptures of items such as a garden trowel and clothes peg.
I thought I would update the concept of the soft sculptured hamburger and use the popular take-away food of now, the Sushi Roll.
Endeavouring to make this sculpture gave me more respect for his early work as it was more difficult than I expected. You can see that I have run out of black tape and will need to tidy this one up before assessment.
Known for his environmental installations, Christo was born Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, in Bulgaria in 1935, he moved to America in 1963 with his partner, Jeanne-Claude. Prior to that they had their first collaboration, Dockside Packages in Cologne in 1961, which was also their first temporary outdoor structure.
In 1962, in Paris another ‘wrap’ was of 240 barrels. Height: 4. 3 meters (14 feet). Width: 3. 8 meters (13 feet). Depth: 1. 7 meters (5 feet 6 inch).Duration: 8 hours. Titled Iron Curtain-Wall of Oil Barrels it was placed in the Rue Visconti.
They went on to wrap several public buildings and even some islands in Florida. Called ‘Surrounding Islands,’ it involved floating bright pink fabric on booms to allow for the tide, around several small islands.
In 1969 they came to Australia and wrapped Little Bay on Sydney’s North Shore.
They are still working together and currently are working towards covering part of the Arkansas River in Colorado, USA. The working drawings and technical data are available for purchase and this helps to fund the projects.
I enjoy the enormity of their projects, however I have always wondered what happened to the little creatures and insects during the duration of the project. Their later projects have required environmental impact studies before permission has been granted. Permission is still pending for the next proposed work.
Iron Curtain-Wall of Oil Barrels, Rue Visconti, Paris, 1961-62