Friday, 18 December 2009

Giving my CV a Boost by Exhibiting alongside van Gogh at the New Art Gallery Walsall

How far will an artist go to get his or her work exhibited in the right place? What is the right place?

Will saying that I have exhibited alongside a priceless van Gogh drawing in a top UK gallery actually affect how my art is seen? Will it make curators take me more seriously?

Ania Bas was artist in Residence at The New Art Gallery Walsall during the summer of 2009.
There is an interview between her and Helen Jones Exhibitions Curator in the Dec 2009/Jan2010 issue of Artist Newsletter magazine. In it Ania says,

“I call what I do collaborative art. When asked what it means I say that I am working with people, not with canvas”.

The Artists’ CV Boost event took place on Saturday 5th December. It was part of The Weekend Supplement and was just one of the outcomes of Ania’s residency.

Various alternative gallery tours also took place during the weekend of 4-6 Dec. Tours such as; Speed Tours (the whole gallery in 15 minutes), Tours where the public found out more about the Gallery Attendants and tours where the focus was on the view out of the various Gallery Windows. These unusual tour ideas had all been suggested in the course of various conversations (over cups of tea and home baked cakes) that Ania had with hundreds of visitors and all types of staff at the gallery (attendants, curators, technicians and cleaners) during her summer residency.

This excerpt from the Weekend Supplement Brochure explains more about the Artists' CV Boost,

“During my time at the gallery I met a lot of artists. We talked about how difficult it is to show work in good company and how very few artists get to exhibit in great gallery spaces, such as the one we were sitting in.We started talking about solutions; ways that the process of showing work could be more democratic and truly open to everybody. The artists I talked to did not moan, instead, they wanted to do something about it! This is how the Artists CV Boost idea came to life. It is a chance for 24 artists to show their work next to a van Gogh drawing for exactly one minute and instantly improve their CVs. There is no guarantee of fame, recognition or an instant job/commission offer. There is however, hope that showing next to van Gogh will raise questions about explored themes, the quality of the finish and the impact works have on each other when positioned in such close proximity. A minute long exhibition versus the reproductive abilities of the digital picture.”

I jumped at the chance to be part of this project. I happen to live less than 10 miles away but more importantly I really love this gallery, admire the quality of exhibitions and events that take place there and would like to be more involved with it.

I am a great admirer of the work of Nina Saunders and first saw her installation Making Love to Flowers in 1998 when it was exhibited in the old art gallery in Walsall. It has since been shown in the window of the new Gallery.

When the gallery first opened almost 10 years ago I was excited by an early piece by Laura Ford. I felt so inspired by the audio interview with Laura talking about her memories of growing up in a fairground family and of playing in the empty zoo enclosures on her grandfather's farm (it was an old disused Zoo).

"Beast" by Laura Ford is exhibited in the Children's Centre of the New Art Gallery Walsall.

The Artists' CV Boost Event was fun for me. I met other artists, many of whom had travelled up from London for the event but much more importantly it helped me to feel another step closer to exhibiting in a gallery which I have grown to love and which regularly hosts shows by artists who really are movers and shakers in the contemporary art world.

The piece that I decided to exhibit alongside van Gogh’s "Sorrow" is a piece called "Flight". I made it back in 2002 and chose it simply as it is one of the few pieces of 2D art that I have made. Ania had stipulated that all artworks had to be able to hang on one nail.

For "Flight" I assembled Airfix model aeroplanes and then painted them with selected butterfly and moth markings. A very meticulous and time consuming piece of art. But I get such a lot of pleasure from opening the case (which I also made) and inhaling deeply. The smell of the varnish takes me straight back to the day that my dad made a farm set for my brother. The glue and varnish smell is etched in my memory. A Frillip Moolog moment?

On reflection I think that a more symbolic piece might have been this self portrait. An even older piece but one which would have had much more meaning when placed alongside "Sorrow".

My self-portrait was one of several made during a period of recovery after a serious accident and period of depression. This might be the piece that would have interested van Gogh too?

Thanks to Ania Bas and Helen Jones for thinking outside the box and for facilitating an event which has stimulated much more food for thought than I first expected.
This is the photograph that I used to make my self portrait. Images were printed (through muslin) onto watercolour paper. I used colour photocopies and lighter fluid to release the inks.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Frillip Moolog gets dramatic at Solihull Arts Complex with visitors from France and Chicago

The vinyl lettering is in a font called "Synchro". This tied in with the show card which was designed by Paul Wigelsworth.

The G1 exhibition space at Solihull Arts Complex is one where all types of people have had the chance to encounter my Frillip Moolog beings. The gallery opens onto the public library and is within the same complex as a very busy theatre. So it is not surprising that the technicians who installed the show usually work in the theatre. This made it all the more interesting for me as, while we worked together, I learnt a bit about "flying cloths", making automated horses for performances and also setting up lighting. Here Richard was completely un-phased about having to crawl into the cavity wall that we were fixing Madeleine to. Crawling in and out of unusual spaces is all part of the job for theatre technicians.

My first degree was in Accountancy. Even on graduating I was unsure about plunging into the world of finance and at that time did look tentatively into doing a post graduate course in Theatre Studies. But that was back in the 80’s and I chickened out.

I have always said that there is a strong theatrical element to my practice so it is no surprise that admirers of Frillip Moolog are often from the world of theatre too. Benny Semp , a Frillip Moolog fan and fellow artist based in Birmingham actually did his degree in Theatre Studies.
……..“Very witty, cute and sexy in places, nostalgic and thoughtful in others.”……Benny Semp

Cheryl (another of the technicians) spent time making sure that the lighting showed the beings off to their best. I was really pleased with all the interesting shadows that were cast. Shadow puppets ... another form of theatre!

As the ceiling in G1 exhibition space was much lower than the one at Westbourne Grove Church Artspace it meant that for Close Encounters of a Frillip Moolog Kind at this venue the beings were suspended at a level that enabled gallery visitors to get really “up close and personal”.

At the Private View it actually felt like the beings themselves really were involved. They had seemed to be celestial beings while at Westbourne Grove Church Artspace. Now at Solihull Arts Complex, they became more like celebrities.

It’s interesting how many people want to be photographed alongside their favourite.

Aimee Green, the Borough Arts Development Officer and Sarah Miah, the Gallery Officer were really proactive In getting outreach workshops arranged for me.

Through my AllSensesArt business I already have lots of experience of teaching feltmaking but this was a fantastic opportunity to link feltmaking to mixed media sculpture workshops.

I led sessions with children from Forest Oak Special School, Hazel Oak School and also the children who come to the gallery’s Saturday Art Club. I explained how Stan and Russell both had nuno felt (which I had made) combined with ambiguous objects (a vintage bus station down pipe and an aged galavanized draining drum). It then made perfect sense for the children to make their own mini-sculptures which combined felt with various items of kitchen equipment!

This pupil from Forest Oak School did a great job of working with the sculptural qualities of a plastic kitchen funnel. He also has a great sense of colour.

BTEC National Diploma Students came from Solihull College and we had a great session investigating objects and fabrics. They seemed to really enjoy experimenting with these eclectic materials.

Presenting my Artist Talk and also working with the Solihull College students was a great way to remind myself what I’m interested in and what I want my work to “say”.

The show was blogged about by various people including visting members of the public, Southhampton based artist Chantal Powell and it was reviewed on a-n by Becky Evers .

Becky has since asked me some interview questions. This question about future exhibition spaces has been most illuminating….. I think I surprised even myself with my answers.

"You produced a photographic project with the Frillip Moolog creations in ‘Chiptop,’ and have mentioned an interest in non gallery spaces. In the interest of site specifity where would you like to exhibit Frillip Moolog next and why?" Becky Evers
My answer to this question:
Chicago and New York: I watched a lot of old American movies and musicals as a child. They featured sophisticated lives with no responsibilities and definitely quite different from my farm childhood. I also visited Chicago last year to visit SOFA Chicago. My mother trained at the Chicago school of floristry in the late 1950’s.

Someone from The Art Institute of Chicago visited Close Encounters of a Frillip Moolog Kind on the opening night of the show at Solihull. It feels so right for the beings to make a statement in buildings which are making a statement.

Quirky Museums:
I wrote in my manifesto (while still at university) that I wanted to make objects that defy categorization. I had at one point planned to display my degree show as a strange museum with cabinets and a catalogue. My dissertation was on Unusual British Collectors, their museums and how their collections had impacted on their lives.

I have come to realise that I collect people. The beings have their own personalities and I hope that other people will want to collect them too.

Grand Country Houses:
The beings have come from me. These are places that I like to go to. Places with sophistication, grandeur, fantasy, where I can imagine living another life in another time.

Art Deco houses (preferably by the sea):
I would love to own one and live in it myself. I’m a fan of PG Wodehouse’s Jeeves and Wooster stories; carefree, elegant era, spacious rooms.

Film sets: But not as props definitely as stars. I have a growing interest to animate the beings so perhaps this would become much more than an exhibition and more of a performance?

Corporate buildings:
Feedback from the visitors to Close Encounters of a Frillip Moolog Kind was overwhelmingly that people felt uplifted when they spent some time with the beings. Corporate foyer and atrium spaces would be fantastic for the beings.

When people encounter the beings on a daily basis they start to form relationships with them.

If the beings could move around the corporate space/building then this would be perfect. When we encounter an object in another space we look again with fresh eyes.

"I came from France especially for this exhibition!!...Not true of course but I have had great pleasure here today. This will make me happy for the whole weekend." Christophe

What a lovely comment to find at the end of my exhibition. It makes it all worthwhile!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Halloween, British Charity Shops & Memories of SOFA Chicago & Day of the Dead Decorations

Last weekend we visited our friends, Nick and Leda Skeens in Burnham on Crouch. They live on a house boat but not just any old houseboat; I’d call it a mansion boat. It started life as a concrete hull which was first used for the Normandy landings; it was never designed to sail independently but rather to be towed across to France laden with wartime supplies. Nick and Leda have transformed it into a very comfortable and unique home; one large enough to accommodate several families visiting for parties etc.

We were visiting for a fireworks extravaganza led by another friend Colin Mayes.

It has become tradition that we visit the local charity shop whenever we are in Burnham on Crouch. I am a great fan of charity shops for lots of reasons:
The strange things that you find on sale in them. Things that you never knew that you needed and that make you wonder about the previous owner’s motivation for owning in the first place.

Charity shop things always have a story and as you know narrative is important to me.

I also love how items are displayed.
It’s not easy displaying such an eclectic mix of stock and as you may have noticed so many charity shops have been “Colour Coded” these days.
What I look for in a charity shop is personality; personality which can be seen in how the items are displayed and also very definitely the personality of the ladies (and sometimes men) who work behind the counters in these shops.
When we visited Burnham’s main charity shop we found that it had changed charities and had a bit of a make-over (luckily only a good makeover). The staff had put a lot of effort into displaying their vast stock; the shop is still very full but it’s somehow easier to find that special something.
They had gone to a special effort with their Halloween window display. I certainly found plenty of personality shining through here.
See this Dorling Kindersley book; "Let’s keep Halloween educational!"

And here poor Yoda from Star Wars fame does look uncomfortable in this plastic caldron,
“Being in this pot; embarrassing it is”.

Giving this orange corn on the cob decorated tea set pride of place (in a cardboard box) on the shopfront is no accident. It's the perfect impulse purchase for someone planning a Halloween teaparty!

Character is strong on the inside of the shop too. I love the way that they have improvised and used an old cheese shop fridge as their display counter. It is now full of jewellery, watches and other treasures.

Last week I presented an Artist Talk for my current solo show Close Encounters of a Frillip Moolog Kind.
I talked about some of the very special charity shops and junk yards that I find some of the objects that I use in making my Frillip Moolog beings.
These two photographs were in my presentation. The parrot perched on his modified magazine rack in Thomas Orton & Sons reclamation in Walsall and this huge galvanized sultana container at Les Oakes in Cheadle, Staffordshire.
I found the blue soap dish for Chubby Blue and the chimney sweep’s brush for Bristle from Ortons and the galvanized drum and blue faceted bus station down pipe for Russell and Stan came from Les Oakes.

This time last year I was in Chicago on a research trip to SOFA Chicago.
As well as visiting the show, talking to lots of galleries both at SOFA and within Chicago itself I also chatted to other artists and did what I love doing; investigating some off the beaten track areas.
A short bus ride found me in the Mexican quarter.

All sorts of shops had commissioned artists to paint their windows with fun, fantastic and engaging Day of the Dead themed images; So much more authentic than the soulless plastic trick or treat version of Halloween that we see so much of.
I’m all for individuality and authenticity.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Close Encounters of a Frillip Moolog Kind. Were the streets of London paved with gold?

What a journey! I’m only now writing about Close Eencounters of a Frillip Moolog Kind as I have been so busy living it!

The beautiful documentation photographs were taken by Olwen Holland. Olwen mentioned how the older beings such as Hyacinth and Tall Legs seem to show the same personality traits whether they are at home or “on location” as they seemed to be in Notting Hill.

Hyacinth seems to be taking on the role of Grande Dame of Frillip Moolog.

Sydney Levinson is taking liberties tickling her grassy underside.

Momtaz was a lady in red alongside a lady in red.

Suse (the first to own a Frillip Moolog being) was whispering a few secrets into her ear.

I was just having fun in my Private View evening wear. Notice the lining of the 1970’s crochet dress is the same fabric as Ziggy’s “skin”.

Westbourne Grove Church Artspace is a truly unique place to exhibit and within a day I felt welcomed into the Artspace family. I spent quite a bit of time there over the 6 weeks of the show and every time I pushed open the glass door I felt like I was coming into a strange extension of my own living room. It felt like home from home; possibly because I knew the beings were enjoying being there so much?
They certainly had a lot of attention with a huge variety of people using the building every day: Baby singing classes, Drama for Children, The Twelve Step Group, Brazilian Capioera classes, International YWAM groups, Home Educating Family Groups; all sorts of people from very wealthy to those a lot less well off, from very young to older people, people who had never visited the space before to some who spend time there almost every day.
There were people who visited specially to see Close Encounters of a Frillip Moolog Kind to people who were enticed in from the street to find out what these “strange and colourful flying creations” were.

I had all sorts which is exactly what I wanted. I got people who went away and then returned for a second time. I had children wide eyed with wonder and I had adults wide eyed with surprise, amusement and happiness.
It didn’t take long before the staff at the Artspace started to observe that the reaction, whatever the age of person, was the same; and the show started to be described as being joyous and uplifting.

The period of the show while in Notting Hill meant that I could get out to more exhibitions and galleries in London (spreading the word about Frillip Moolog) and encouraging people to visit the show to see the beings in the flesh.

Ian Fitzpatrick aquanting himself with Tall Leg's sensual textures.

Not my balloons but a young person's party in the building. The beings joined in!

"Is that real gold?" One of the young Capioera pupils enquired about Andrew Logan's smiley brooch. ( one of his own).
As you know I am a big fan of Andrew’s so I felt very honoured that he took time to visit the show, have a cup of tea and get aquanted with the beings.
Liz Cooper, one of the curators from Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery’s, response was, “It’s magnificent!” And I was so pleased to be able to explain more through my Artist Talk which Georgia Newman, Exhibitions Organiser at Quay Arts, Isle of Wight, came especially for.

Some people still couldn’t make it over to Notting Hill so with the help of Karoline Newman I went to them. It was a real privilege to be able to do a one to one presentation for Beth Smith at Selvedge magazine.

As I said, the Artspace team began to feel like family. When we first suspended Ziggy, Angie, Russell, Celeine and Stan (my first non floor based beings) they were there with the scaffold tower and were fantastic at advising while also ensuring that I felt ownership of the show. I felt supported and also empowered.

They helped to organize a group of home educated children so that I was able to run a day long workshop which complemented Close encounters of a Frillip Moolog kind.
Laura and Susan ensured that the private view really was a party and gave technical support for my Artist Talk.

But most amazing for me is that they were there when, as we were packing the beings up at the end of the show, a collector who had been admiring Bettina over the previous 24 hours, came back to buy her!

My sister, Sandra, and I with Bettina. This is two weeks before we knew she was off to pastures new.

This photograph taken by Olwen Holland

They were so pleased for me. They witnessed me meeting someone who admired Bettina so much that he chose to buy her to add to his art collection. (Her new country of residence will be Switzerland.)
Sadly there’s no photo of us, 20 minutes later, sharing a bottle of sparkling wine together in the kitchen! (Thank you Dave xx)

The opening event at venue 2, Solihull Arts Complex, is 22nd October and the show runs until 14th November. Another great opportunity to have an audience with the beings and to find out more about the world of Frillip Moolog.

Monday, 14 September 2009

The Frillip Moolog beings' adventure with Richard Slee at the MIMA art market

Despite a very busy week and the 316 mile round trip I decided that I wanted to be part of Richard Slee’s MIMA Art Market Adventure. Yes I’m a sucker for an adventure! I’ve admired Richard Slee’s work for several years now. I saw his work on show when he won the 2001 Jerwood Applied Arts Prize. I had already fallen in love with “Evil One” one of his pieces that was part of The Uncanny Room exhibition at PM Gallery in 2002.

Evil One by Richard Slee
I have a strong interest in things uncanny and a few years ago had included Evil One in my selection for one of my degree projects on curating. I also included Penellessa by Bruno Munari, one of my heroes. I love the way that her name is a combination of the Italian words "princess and "pencil" ( not princess and brush).
Penellessa; Bruno Munari
Another all time favourite of mine this absolutely perfect piece by Yurgen Bey.
I could go on and on but I won’t!
Last week while at the Harley Gallery I saw some of Richard’s work which is in the “Age of Experience” exhibition. This was work made during a period where Richard did not have access to his usual ceramic studio facilities and so is made using found objects and more importantly for me brushes (Russell and Bristle are two of my beings who make use of radiator brushes and salvaged chimney sweeps brushes respectively). I like his piece called Jurassic where he has melted the bristles of a multi-coloured brush and hidden some small plastic dinasaurs in the bristle "forest". But truthfully I think that I prefer his pieces where there is still an element of ceramics. This trowel with supremely long fringing is perfect for me.

So what exactly happened at MIMA last weekend?

There were 80 stalls for artists exhibiting or selling work that had a connection to the theme of “Ornament is Crime” (… or not). There were quite a range of stalls including a lovely cake stall where just buying one of their ornate cakes was a memorable occasion. It was run by Arcadea and in their own words, " We all had a great time and shared info about our work with lots of people we would never usually have reached. Good old cakes - a bridge to the future . . .?"

There was also a section called “Ornament Tales”. In my application to take part in the event I talked about the tales of the objects and fabrics that I source and use to make the Frillip Moolog beings. I explained how the narrative is important to me and how it continues even when the object/ornament has been re-appropriated into a piece of art.
By taking part in The Ornament is Crime Art Market Adventure I had the perfect opportunity to validate my claim that people engage with the beings and that they do find that they have strong and engaging personalities.

I took four of the beings Cyril, Chubby Blue, Penny and Boris.
We set out our stall and waited for the Great British public to arrive!

People completing their answers for our Frillip Moolog competition.

My son Dominic and I had a whale of a time. We were ready for an adventure. The stalls were the absolute basic market stalls dressed up only with our handwritten signs. Our stall was only metres from the fantastic while walled galleries of the beautiful MIMA building.

We were outside, not in, but the beings didn’t mind. They were too busy with admirers engaging with them asking about them, touching them, smiling and then best of all, entering our competition.
The competition comprised of four questions about their favourite being: why it was their favourite, where they would go on holiday and what they’d do while on holiday, their hobby and lastly what the being’s favourite TV programme was.

Once I made it clear that there was no correct answer, we were away! Imaginations were let loose, there were brows furrowed with concentration and giggles at their own answers. There were also texts and phone calls made to get friends over to the Frillip Moolog stall. “Get over here it’s the best”.
These people all "got it". They understood the idea of Frillip Moolog.
Alex Pearl is pictured bottom left in this photo. His own art is driven by many questions around our relationships with ornaments.

As my mission in life is: “To encourage and nurture imagination and creativity in a fun and enthusiastic way”, I was really happy with the competition. I (finally) decided on 3 winners.

I like the simplicity, surreal but at the same time very logical answer, that
Cyril’s hobby is Hopping: Harrison Braithwaite

I love the fact that Penny’s favourite TV programme is Doctor Finlay’s Case book (original programme): Don Chesney

I love all of the answers that Alex Freeman Dunn gave for Boris. His holiday would be to retreat to his hunting lodge in Scotland and he likes to go on marching parades. His hobby is horse riding and his favourite TV programme is Black Adder.

The prize? A glossy A4 print of their chosen being.

Because the other answers are so worthwhile you can read them all here.

Solomon with his drawing of a Frillip Moolog being. He used one of my pieces of "quality" scrap as inspiration for this being's head.

I can safely say that I felt that there was quite a buzz coming from our stall during the Ornament is Crime Art Fair Adventure.
People were wearing their Frillip Moolog stickers with pride, the beings got a day out to the North East, I got to meet Richard Slee and finally, I took part in his ornament exchange.
Notice I cheated. I really didn’t fancy any of the ornaments (and had forgotten to bring one to swap) so I swapped this tool (as used to make Float) for another non-ornament; a MIMA mug commemorating the day. Perfect!

Monday, 17 August 2009

Would Richard Slee find this ornamentation a crime?

My solo show, “Close encounters of Frillip Moolog kind” is imminent. For it I have made new beings to “fly” within the fantastic Notting Hill venue, Westbourne Grove Church Artspace. I’m really excited about the show as for the first time visitors will be able to experience the beings from even more angles. Previous beings have been very much floor based but have always had special details on their underside; my motivation for these hidden details being my childhood memories of playing hide and sleek and exploring furniture from all angles.

At the beginning of this project I realised that it would be best to make lighter weight work to suspend from the ceiling. It didn’t take long to make the connection with lampshades. But the main reason that I wanted to use lampshades is because of the beautiful sculptural shapes that are possible, the way that the structure of the frame can be visible if translucent fabrics are used and also the beautiful complex shadows that they cast.

So here’s a sneak preview of Angie. Freddie Robins commented that Angie appeals to her because of her “awkwardness”. I feel that she’s both awkward and pretty at the same time. The words of the Bowie song, “Oh You pretty things” keeps going through my mind, which is interesting as I’ve named another of the new beings Ziggy.

Lampshades have featured in my life since an early age. Almost all of the lampshades in our house were ones made by my mum. I remember her going to night classes to learn how to make them and I used to sit mesmerized as she painstakingly wrapped the frames with bias binding before sewing on the lovely silk and chiffon covers. I think that her absolute best was an oval bell shaped one covered in pink chiffon. The fabric was all gathered up into a central (self covered) button on both the front and back. Buttons keep coming out in my work.

Being a farmer’s wife, my mum was a very busy person so sometimes things didn’t get finished. I have no intentions of finishing this, I just love keeping it in this "frozen in time" state.

I bet Stella Mitchell would love to add this unfinished beauty to her collection at her Land of Lost Content museum. If you’re ever near Craven Arms, Shropshire make sure to visit this way out museum. Exhibits behind chicken wire … say no more!! Sadly no photography is allowed there so you’ll have to take my word (and Wayne Hemmingway’s) for it!
One of the most important lampshades in my life is this one that mum bought in Paris back in 1961 when she was on her honeymoon. Here it is in all its faded glory. It was her pride and joy and the lovely rich velvet on the braid went really well with her kidney shaped red velvet sofa.

The lampshade's generously gathered fabric looks like silk but, no, this is plastic… of the very best Creations d’Art quality of course. I think that it was this plastic that really inspired me to use the “classy” plastic lace fabric when making Tall Legs. My mum was ridiculed by my cousins for continuing to love this lampshade through the hessian loving seventies, but I’m proud that she didn’t submit to fashion and kept it all those years (even though now relegated to the attic).

What a discovery the day that I came across this image (below) in the Conran Directory of Design by Stephen Bayley 1985. The writer says it all when he comments,
"Moller House Vienna 1928. Architect Adolf Loos was strongly opposed to ornamentation in architecture but later owners of the Moller house have not necessarily shared his feelings as this photograph reveals".

I felt that this image perfectly explained the differing aesthetics of Frillip Moolog beings; the streamlined Modernist inspired ones and the others where I have yielded to a few frills and decoration. That was the inspiration for the title, “The Yin & Yang of Frillip Moolog” , my solo show in Bedford earlier this year. I feel that in Frillip Moolog there is plenty of room for beings which express both sides of my personality.
On the question of ornamentation this MIMA event "Ornament is Crime" which will be curated by Richard Slee looks very definitely worth a visit.

To make Angie I had my lampshade frames made to measure by Jack at A & J Lampshade Frames. They are a great example of quality craftsmanship and it’s exciting to see that British manufacturing is still thriving. I think next time I will challenge him with even more complex curves.
Finally a few lampshades from my photo albums: This wonderfully atmospheric sound light installation by Kirsten Reynolds was part of the Powerplant event in Liverpool last October. We just sat there listening to the whispered words and sounds. (My cousin Dave Statham was one of the Powerplant team.)
Kirsten's own words best convey the atmosphere she created, " An avenue of tall elegant standard lamps illuminates the long row of park benches. Fluctuations in the light and sound from each lamp respond to and simultaneously influence the lights and sounds of others resulting in an ever changing conversation between flickering luminousity and chattering harmonies. A series of small human scale environments is created providing meditative places to sit and contemplate both the gardens and the memories of individuals named on each bench."

Lampshades must be "in the air" at the moment. On our recent camping holiday in Leicestershire one of the craft activities was to modify and embellish old lampshades. The lampshade (above) was decorated by a friend and gave some atmospheric lighting to the woods at night.
And here's another great example made in that craft session. What a fun use of paper cases for cupcakes! Could Richard Slee really call this ornamenation a crime?