Sunday, 29 June 2014

Telling Tales #4 Johanna Ward

Brittain Bright, Lottie Davies, me & Johanna Ward 
at L A Noble Gallery 

Taken from a letter written by Johanna Ward's father to her mother in the 1970's the series I shall say goodbye with my strengthening love for you, forever and ever depicts the passing of time in her families life - which like any great love story cottons all the classic ingredients of, romance, mystery,attraction, consequences, demise & reflection. 

©Johanna Ward
Courtesy of L A Noble Gallery

Told through one persons eyes (& more than one lens) from the perspective of her mother & sister the series focuses on the meeting, courtship, marriage, childhood, divorce & separation. By environmentally mirroring the tale with landscape images, Ward reflects the growth, erosion, renewal & familial bonds which strengthen as time passes. 

©Johanna Ward
Courtesy of L A Noble Gallery

I shall say goodbye… is a fractured cyclical narrative that works like memories do without formal punctuation - there are no full stops, only commas & a stream of consciousness displayed through a lyrical curation of images which rise & fall in differing tempos, played at varying volumes & sizes. Clarity is not the aim here, but suggestions for the viewer. Her awareness of the many facets of the story deliver the space for an audience to imagine beyond the literal. 

©Johanna Ward
Click here to see a full video of the 
Limited Edition of 7 - boxed set 

When I first saw this work in book form I was astounded at the dexterity of her visual parlance. In placing emphasis & intimacy - using scale & mixing her photographs of the landscape & still life shots of pertinent objects with vernacular snapshots of Ward's family - there is an familiarity that provides a universal narrative within which we can all connect to. 

These touching photographs exude warmth, love, friendship & familial life alongside visceral landscapes of forests, a frozen waterfall & a baron snow covered hilltop combined with nights capes, fire, skinned deer carcasses create a cacophony of dreamlike emotion. this is the stuff of myth & fairytales as seen through the eyes of a child now grown & aware of the ironies & cruelties of reality. As with all fairytales there must be darkness as well as light, literally & metaphorically. 

The multiplicity of interpretation of each picture & the series as a whole enrich the work - just as in life - elevate it beyond the sum of its parts long beyond the lives of the protagonists it refers to…

©Johanna Ward
Click here to see a full video of the 
Limited Edition of 7 - boxed set 

In this, the last week of Capturing The Narrative: A visual exploration of fact & fiction on Wed 2 July 18.30 - 20.00 Johanna Ward will be doing an artist talk followed by 3 spoken word pieces by Nick Burbridge, Charlotte Barrow & Winnie M Li. To attend please see the website for details. Places are limited & doors close at 18.15. The evening is being recorded, so no further admittance will be allowed once the talk & performances are underway. Johanna Ward night: £5 per person.
Transport: Dalston Kingsland Overground

To see last week's performance by actor Samuel J Weir directed by Lottie Davies please see here.  


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Telling Tales #3 Lottie Davies 'Love Stories'

©Lottie Davies Courtesy of L A Noble Gallery
Title: Waterloo Station (Anthony and Joy 1975)  (2013)
Series: Love Stories

To see the full premise of Lottie Davies Love Stories series I encourage you to look at her blog & perhaps even send your own story…

By collecting the stories (written accounts) from both parties involved Davies recreates the first meeting of couples from all walks of life. This on-going series does not set out to accurately depict each meeting – as to do so would be frankly impossible. In asking for the ‘story’ of the meeting from each person concerned in written form she is presented with tow versions of the same event. As with her other work Davies allows for a dialogue between the written word & visual interpretation – using her artistic licence to narrate the story within the framework of the initial text. Not dissimilar to the process of making a movie from an existing work of fact or fiction such as a novel or screenplay, alterations are made, lights go on & the camera rolls.

In Davies' case the camera shoots still images but the principle is the same – however her goal is to do so in one still image. Without the luxury of the moving image many elements have to be presented to the viewer in one sitting. 
Millennium Falcon
©Lucasfilm Incorporated
Oh I remember the days...

When conveying multiple narratives in one ‘take’ attention to detail is everything. The less post-production the better, a realness can be delivered like Star Wars using miniature model star ships rather than CGI – not to say that no special effects are ever needed, but the more that can be done in the ‘real’ the better & more believable the resulting work. The frame becomes the stage for a tableau. The medium allows it to breathe as the life-like duplication of her characters are brought to life.

Although the location, people and era may be changed from the original transcripts, the emotional feeling shown is not. As with her series Memories and Nightmares when the author’s of the first texts see the finished result the undoubtedly express their joy at the ability Davies has to depict their feelings of the time they wrote about.

In doing so we as the viewer are given carte blanche to make our own interpretations of the story – often placing our own feelings and narrative with the work.

©Chloe Rosser 
Lottie Davies (centre) with actors
Kirsty Ellen Wright & Samuel J Weir at L A Noble Gallery 

Her nimble fingers edit and spice these stories into cohesive wholes – but like any great story, we are left with personal interpretations of our own.

25th June, 18:30 – 20:00, Lottie Davies will be giving a talk about her work on Love Stories followed by a Q&A. After this one of the actors, Sam J Weir, in her photographs will be giving a performance especially written and directed by her for the exhibition. 

Works from Love Stories 2012-2014 by Lottie Davies will be on display at L A Noble Gallery as part of Capturing The Narrative: A visual exploration of fact & fiction
For further details see the website here.

Narrative Values – Artists Talks & performance programme – Wed Evenings at L A Noble Gallery

25 June 2014  - 18.30 – 20.00
Lottie Davies will discuss the use of narrative as a constant theme within her practice, followed by a Q&A.
After the talk actor Samuel J Weir – who appears in Davies’ work - will be performing a work directed by Lottie Davies.

Places are extremely limited. To book a place, please email with ‘Narrative Values – talk reservation’ in the subject line. Spaces will be reserved till 6pm. 

Tickets on the door will be subject to availability on the night. Any latecomers will not be able to enter the building after 6.15pm as the talk is being recorded.
£5 per-person (Please include your telephone number for conformation.)

The gallery will be open as usual from 11.00 – it looks to be a fascinating & intimate evening – we look forward to welcoming you.

Monday, 16 June 2014

E17 Art Trail - A few of my favourite things...

Last Sunday I took a trip around the wonderful E17 Art Trail & I have again this Sunday on the last day. Why? Because I missed some (there are over 160),  I have to go back to pick up a purchase & I want to show my friend the wonders of what us locals call 'Awesomestow'.  

All signs point to art! 

As there are so many things to see I shall only be able to mention the places I have been to & feel it would be churlish to keep to myself. Firstly I must thank everyone & every venue I have been to so far for your warm welcomes. 

Armed with our trusty map we headed into the village via the St. Mary's Parish Church where the grounds are alive with the recycled rustlings of creatures made by the pupils of Whitefield School & Centre. My favourite has to be the fox though - always a weakness of mine they are such handsome fellows!

After a look inside we ventured into the village to see the offerings at Queenie & Ted whose up-cycled clothes are embellished & adorned with fantastic designs. However, hanging from the ceiling were some more lovely clothes, t-shirts by children provided by Little Mashers. There were so many good ones I can hardly pick one so here are a few.

I do too!
Say no more...
 Tell it like it is
 Ooh er, wait till he's a teenager, lookout world!
 So you are, fantastic design.
 Put an owl on it, fab!
 Join the gaps & voila! 

I couldn't pick a favourite, they were all so good. I definitely think they need to make these designs to sell, I really would love some grown up sizes to wear myself - particularly the cat & Kevin & Dave the hamsters a brilliant!

Then into the village to see the work on show at the Deli Cafe, what a great selection they had, much of which had already sold. 

 Part of the display in the Deli Cafe
 This was my favourite (apologies fro squiffy angle I 
was trying not to disturb the diners at their table.)

Hayley Holliday's lovely drawings of Strangers on a Train are as varied as the passengers. There are many more on her Etsy site, see the link above to purchase.
 Little Boy Rabbit
©Eileen Kai Hing Kwan
Pencil on Paper

Blueberry, Raspberry & Cranberry Macaron 
©Eileen Kai Hing Kwan
Pencil on Paper

Donut Twist
©Eileen Kai Hing Kwan
Pencil on Paper

The charming pencil drawings by Eileen Kai Hing Kwan I liked were sold, but her online shop is coming soon, can't wait!

 Dr Knit in the flesh with his creations

Then the annual visit to Dr Knit, who creates fantastical knitted creatures (all with their own back stories) displayed on shelves, sideboards & inside bell jars. 

 Twisted tentacles

The narwhal was a particular favourite as both myself & Mat (a great blogger too see it here) love them - extraordinary mammals everyone should know about. 

We strolled down Beulah Road & to the fab shop Blackduke & Cashman on Grove Road - who sell lovely Mid-Century Modern gems & lots of lovely knic-knacs worth having. (Popped by today as well & spent a little on some lovely coffee cups)

 Wonderful walls 

Then another highlight, meeting the wonderful painter Saskia Huning whose house is painted by her trained hand with beautiful friezes & a mural. The house was teaming with drawings, paintings & gilded panels. What a privilege to see them in a home setting, something that you can imagine in your own home. This is one of the reasons I like small gallery spaces as they feel more domestic in proportion, allowing you to 'decorate' your own place with work as you look… 

Saskia Huning

Here she is in front of it, I was inspired to get on with one in my house I've been meaning to start since we moved a year ago. We talked about the line & how each artist has their own specific way of drawing. I asked if she was left or right handed as it does alter how you compose an image. As a lefty I like right to left, especially when drawing arcs, as she does so skilfully. 

There were also some lovely ceramics - which upon admiring them I was thrilled to here were also by a local artist who was exhibiting in her own home on the art trail only moments away. There was no time to loose, onward to Linda Green's house tout suite! 

 Last Sunday there were 30, when I went
back yesterday there were 2 left! 

Here is Linda in her kitchen with some of her stunning wares. It took me no time at all to find what I was looking for (collected & displayed in my home only moments before writing this) 3 ceramic vases. 

Some of the vases…

Her work begs to be picked up, turned to allow for a different view as each side has its own character & is of course unique. 

Some big bowls…

I have my eye on a big bowl next. When I returned today I met 2 loyal fans of her work back to buy more who have what they described as a 'shrine' to Linda in their home which is growing year on year. I suspect I may fall prey to doing the same myself. 

 All great works need to be signed
Better than the real thing me thinks!
 Mat sits for his portrait next
 Another happy customer

I couldn't forgive myself if I didn't mention the amazing young artist who did mine & Mat's portrait in front of Lotolie with works by local artists & the results of life drawing sessions for under 12's which were fantastic! 

Here is Edith herself, concentrating on getting the portrait just right. I am thrilled with it & here are the results:

Picasso would love this too!

I went back today to show my friend. Edith's mum goes to a life drawing class which runs on Monday evenings & of course she wanted to go to - as a solution her mum asked one of the models from her class (who is a flamenco dancer) to pose in his dancing clothes for the kids. 

Edith's is top left, she also put in the surrounding wooden frame
 in the room, setting the context of the room, brilliant!
 Don't know how old Jacob is 
but he has a expressive line I must say.
The poses are great
And some more...
And the dance moves in case you want to try them

As you can see the pictures are great, more budding artists are made in Walthamstow as a result me thinks. The adult class is on Mondays & above The Nags Head pub, another gem of the village (fab real ale & food to die for - pizza heaven). Here is a link to their Facebook page. The show they had on definitely inspired me to join them soon - however there was a lack of bigger models, I love a bit of flesh to draw after all the best models are always big ones! 

Also Penny Fielding Interiors had (as always) great work & wares for sale, with regular pop-ups like The Gentleman's Closet & beautifully hand crafted leather works by the talented Mia Sabel. Sabel Saddlery & Leather Design has so many goodies, it's hard to know where to start, just look & see for yourself. My bespoke watch strap is on my wrist as I type.

No Art Trail is complete without a visit to see Catboy, Carl Harris, an artist/illustrator whose work is a firm favourite for all animal lovers. Here he is in front of some of his work. Fabulous drawings & a lovely chap to boot, my kind of artist.

Look who I caught with his drawings!

There is so much to see I must mention the one I missed sadly as I met her recently in The William Morris Gallery, Alke Schmidt who will be exhibiting there soon. See her work here. It will be great in the flesh, I shall have to wait till her show.

From one of their groovy evening events

Then of course I had to pop by my favourite vintage store Fox & Bear, where the proprietors Margie & Mark reside. They have both on many occasions found the perfect items for yours truly. 

No more pics daarlings

The first time I went in I came out with glorious goodies & the next time I dropped by Margie knew my size & shape & found even more perfect clothes for me. The combination of clothes, shoes, jewellery & curios & their warm welcome make every visit a pleasure. (They are Open Thursday - Friday: 1-7pm, Saturday - Sunday: 12-6pm) 

Hopefully some of these lovely people may be attending L A Noble Gallery for our upcoming events during the Capturing The Narrative show, catch the artist talks & spoken word events see here for details. 

Till next time...over & out.