Maria Lassnig exhibition

art, Body, Maria Lassnig, Uncategorized

Maria Lassnig

 After a number of months wishing to get to this exhibition I made it last week! On Maria Lassnig a Painting Survey, 1950 – 2007. This has been touring internationally for a number years.

It demonstaed how her work progressed, She started working abstractly in geometric form, and there were examples of abstract monotone work in the 1950s. Thereafter moving to colour and then the transformation into paintings focused on how she focused her own body experience . Her work has been compared to that of the surrealists. Her education was interrupted by the war and I am unclear quite what happened to her artistic and other education with the annexation of Austria. I would assume neither her abstract or figuration would fit with acceptability of the Nazi era


A description of her work from Hauser and Wirth in the gallery in which ‘she captured physical sensation as felt from within. Lassnig devoted much of her career to recording her physiological states through a direct and unflinching style, believing that truth resides in the emotions produced within the physical shell.’


A quotation from the artist displayed in the exhibition perhaps are art work itself ‘I stand as it were, nude in front of the canvas, without intention, without plans, without a model, without photography, and let things take shape. But I have a starting point which arose from the realisation that the only truly real things   are my own sensations, which transpire within the house of my body; they’re psychological, the sensations of pressure when sitting and reclining, of tensions and spatial extension- such things are rather difficult to depict.

Frequently used animals perhaps a frog where one might see a human limb emerge.


Fascinating to introduce another who has no knowledge of her visceral work



art, traces, Uncategorized

As I am working through various options for series paintings /pastels my images are becoming lighter, it feels more ethereal, making suggestions rather than statements.

So although the previous ones have been about the body these pick up on lines marks on the jezzo or canvas giving a very different feel, and is very much something I have not done before. Its also interesting to me that with the previous blog about imperfection there were errors in making, here there were not really errors at all but using natural blemishes and thus a connection to skin.

Avis Newman (Tate modern search) has been a great inspiration with this with her gestural works painted on canvas   that she hung on the wall during the 1980s.


art, Body, life drawing, mistakes, Uncategorized

I struggle with mistakes.

Not mistakes in the art but mistakes in getting the canvas corners right like I would with wrapping presents at Christmas1

With print which has almost resulted in the technicians giving up with getting me   independent

Forgetting processes almost more than the art itself which I’m feeling quite positive about

So maybe my practical mistakes which always get worse and I get more worried about them sould become part of the art itself.

I have created these 6 boards out of a body drawing featuring different angles and different body views and of course I could not get the hanging straight! There are lots of holes in the pristine white wall, chipped away the plaster too in one place. O viv!

I have been looking at the wonderful drawing and sculpture of artist Kiki Smith, fascinated that she starts with medically correct perspective, viscerally she elongates and distorts the body on occasions, in Other Worlds  Baltic exhibition she was placed alongside Nancy Spero’s prints which their social and political comment alongside the 60s onwards with text and figurative art based on trace rather than actual body form.

I am beginning to think my work on aging bodies is more about the internal experience of being in the body rather than external.

So perhaps distortions, mistakes, not getting it right fit well together!

Update When i returned to my studios space yesterday some kind soul had straightened the lower picture and put in level screws rectified my mistake!

An interesting quote from John Ruskin

Louise Bourgeois H & W exhibition

art, Exhibition, feminism, Louise Bourgeois, memorial, somerset, study

I have found this exhibition of Louise’s work really encouraging,and evocative, prints botanical and humanity, textiles and sculpture addressing the psychological, made in the later part of her life ie 80s and 90s! and working through her life and experiences as she always did. The wording alongside the printed image above’ I’m losing my mind, my feeling, the keys’ ( yes I know that experience). I went to a seminar there yesterday which looked at Louise in her context of becoming famous in her 70s when she was known and worked with well known others decades before.The position of women artists historically, and the reality of it being an issue still. An argument for the end to a chronological approach. Reflecting   quite a lot of attention on current  printmaking and artists books with subversive message and meaning. Often Women artists publishing them now. Hope? or as there was discussion still an appropriate theme? A young student responded yes we still need these issues raising as we know they are still current


Weeds, Herbs or Bodies?

art, Garden, herb, Uncategorized, wildlife

Whilst returning to work on body drawings I have also been following up on medicinal  botanical herbs that I became interested in, by the discovery of what I thought was a voracious weed at the bottom of the garden! Described by the Guardian as one of those that have come from overseas in Public Enemy No 1 This continues to lead  to  further drawing and some print making, so far I have identified my plant  as Petascites Fragrans or Winter Helitrope and have been sent to the site of Giant  Petasites Hybridus (Butterbur) by a local botanist, the Giant is a native, so less problematic . I hope to return to do further drawings for print making  on Saturday.

New place and making a studio?

art, Body, feminism, Uncategorized

The last few weeks have been all about unpacking  & settling into my new home in Frome Somerset and now with assistance making a studio in my new home.

Can I believe that? Yes an artist, me.

So now the carpet is removed in the attic room, thank goodness I asked for help, removing transporting a carpet down 2 floors and dragging it out of the pedestrian area to the garage.

Apart from some life drawing I’ve not been doing new work, but did experiment with a pastel sketch yesterday morning, should have thought more about paper but I wanted to work on red again.

Some discovery of artists Eleanor Adair, really evocative for me

and reading discovered Dolan and Tincknell  ‘Ageing femininities Troubling representations’ O yes!



A new home and a fun. Interlude

art, bathspa university, Garden, somerset, Uncategorized

imageMuch of my time devoted to the unpacking chore and making a new homehard work that is every now and again exciting. A back garden with a blank sheet, but a strawberry bed at the side.

university virtually finished for the year, one optional tutorial tomorrow.

the decision that the top floor is a studio in the making, which is what attracted me to this house and the potential of Frome for artist in the making;this has all happened later on for me.

This drawing of a differnt subject than usual bodies, came about on a lovely day spent with Irene at Timsbury on pastel workshop with Caroline Kibble. Lots of advice re paper which I shall find particularly useful. We all created very different images.



Henry Moore project conclusions



Henry Moore project


This has been quite a journey within multiple arenas.

(see captions on above images)

I undertook this work when the Henry Moore Foundation were almost

inaccessible apart from the very considerable on-line record of his work. When I

was initially planning this study I found that I was directed to the online record

rather than any dialogue, obviously useful and an extensive and wonderful

record but in my view no substitute for actually interacting with the original as I had at both the British museum and Kew gardens.

What have I learnt? Where has this led me? What areas would I wish to pursue?

 Moore’s inheritance as the son of a Derbyshire /Yorkshire miner and

mining drawings, through visit to British museum and visit to Radstock

museum which documents Somerset coal mining.

 As I viewed the drawings of Henry Moore I viewed a few of the many

sculpture plans for his Reclining Woman series both in the Tate and the

Bronze at Kew Gardens, and how various members of the public

interacted with this work. Clare Woods’ initial suggestion that I consider

the drawings of Henry Moore was a response to my drawings of the body.

 My own first experience of sculpture, engaging with stone.

Comments on Marketing and Promotional Issues

This is complex

Iin the process of the project I became aware via hearsay of at least 2 pieces of his work that were on permanent loan at the direction of Moore himself but had been recalled by  the foundation

1.from a public place i.e. Leicester University

2. a rumor of a recall from a grandson, where the statue had been a gift from Moore.


Henry Moore is one of the most recognised British sculptor in the pre and post war period, and his sculptures present in very many public places.  This is complex the Henry Moore Foundation holds very many of his works, loans many for public display is clearly a powerful.

The Henry Moore institute in Leeds from my visit earlier in the year prior to the project is profoundly engaged  with contemporary sculpture in all  forms.   Holding series of exhibitions of established and up and coming practitioners.

The various institutions I came across in my survey rescued various approaches to marketing, Radstock museum is a complete gem of local history close to Bath about very different mining communities that operated in villages between Bath and Bristol for 250 years.

LearningStone and Tout quarry, their reputation is their main promotion for teaching stone carving including some university use, with a dialogue with landscape professionals, geologists, including the British Antarctic project, an internet presence facilitates this. I shall keep in contact with Learning Stone on an ongoing basis

Personal impact

The interaction with Moore objects and drawings and the issues related that emerged for me,  has had me profoundly engaged, and doubtless my work effected greatly. My interaction so far with other contemporary sculpture has been limited as the personal process of engaging with my stone took over. I am in the midst of assessing where I am with my work in this and am going to return to Learningstone for discussion..more anon.


I chose this personal study which has involved engagement with web resources, individuals and organisations within local and national history, Radstock museum, Tout quarry, Portland, some of Moore’s drawings, my response to them, a bronze, and of course a stone. Personal resonance is probably greater with Barbara Hepworth but most of her work is less figurative.

The choice of Henry Moore was linked to Figurative work that had been abstracted, and the reference Clare Woods made between my work and his drawings there are many more places to go as I move away from this study.