Thursday 24 April 2014

The Creative Habit - Twyla Tharp

I've recently enjoyed reading the Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. An interesting name and one she says has helped her creativity! 

Twyla is a choreographer but her message is aimed at people engaged in all sorts of creative disciplines. I think this will be a book that I will return to again and again and I suspect that different parts will provide inspiration at different times. For instance the book starts with useful tips on how to...well...get the creative habit. Not something that I have an issue with the moment because I have so many ideas but not enough time to follow them through and I'm always looking for opportunities to squeeze in some creativity.

On the other hand, the book contains some positive thoughts for those times when things don't go to plan and this is what I need at the moment. Twyla says 'doing is better than not doing' and 'the solution to failure is to learn to do it better next time' and suggests we 'waste time and materials' in order to achieve our creative best. Although, I understand what she means, I'm finding it difficult to find it comforting at the moment.

I have dyed some lovely fabric that a friend gave me and I am very keen to do the fabric justice and to use it in a piece I am proud to show her. Maybe I have put too much 'pressure' on myself to create something 'worthy' of the fabric? I dread to think how long I've spent on the cycle of cutting, arranging and staring at the fabric without coming anywhere close to enthusiasm I had for the paper design. 

One suggestion that I think is useful at whether you are in a creative rut or a creative groove, is that we should stop our creative endeavour when we still know what to next. This leaves a bridge into your next session and you will find it easier to start up again and once you've started again, the next steps will become clearer. I'm definitely going to bear this in mind. 

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Kwang Young Chun Exhibition

Funny how things happen sometimes. At the last 'Taking Textiles Further' weekend we were looking at colour and the Korean artist Kwang Young Chun was discussed as an artist working in neutrals. His work looked interesting and so I looked him up and coincidentally he was about to have an exhibition in London. I finally, I got to see the exhibition today and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  

Each piece is made up of triangles of polystyrene wrapped in mulberry paper and tied with string. The picture below is a detail of the piece above. Most of the triangles are laid flat but there are also triangles jutting out and interspersed in the rows.

The pieces are made up of different  sized triangles with some creating flat areas and others creating highly textured areas. 

Here is a flat area next to a textured area and his clever use of shading makes them look like there are huge craters in the pieces.

Perhaps looking at this brightly coloured piece, you'll probably be wondering why he came up in discussions about neutrals but he has done some beautiful neutral pieces too.

I've been training myself to be more restrained about buying catalogues and artist books because even putting the cost aside, where do you put them all and how often do you go back to read them? But I had to get this one and I'm sure I'll be picking this book up again and again.

The exhibition is at the Bernard Jacobson Gallery in London and depending on which information you read the exhibition ends on the 17th or the 19th April, so only a few days to get and see it, unfortunately. One of the staff did suggest that if you visited on Tuesday, some of the exhibition would still be up but best to check first.  The photographs don't do it justice, so do visit it if you can. Mind you if you can't get to see the exhibition, I'm told that the V&A has recently purchased one of his pieces, so there could be another opportunity to see his work in London.

Sunday 6 April 2014

Exhibitions and Good Company

I've been really busy at work this week but what a lovely finish to the week I've had. Firstly there was the HUE exhibition private view, which I really enjoyed. I did a lot of much so I suspect that I missed seeing a few pieces!

Here's me in front of my two of the pieces with Viv and Kevin (Art Van Go) and my friend Laura. In fact I first met Laura on a workshop at Art Van Go and shortly after she gave me my first dyeing lesson! If you have been following my blog you will have seen these two pieces as they were developing. 

On Friday we went to London with friends and we couldn't have packed any more in if we tried! We went to see the Glamour of Italian Fashion exhibition at the V&A and the curators talk. This was very enjoyable, with some lovely things and some very bling things. It's well worth seeing but it didn't have the same wow factor as some of their more recent exhibitions or maybe the recent exhibitions have set unrealistic expectations?

Promotional image for The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014

We also had a guided tour of parliament with an excellent guide. What a lovely building.

We also saw Van Gogh's Sunflowers and the National Gallery. The first time in 65 years that the National Gallery's Sunflower has been seen together with the one owned by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
Van Gogh, 'Sunflowers', 1888

We then had a very nice meal to round the day off.

Saturday was the  Embrioderers' Guild AGM.....the AGM and so much more! There were talks, classes, exhibitions, traders, good food and good company. What's not to like?  I came away with a few additional metres of fabric, some expensive (but lovely) silk threads and some additional inches on my waist. Well done to everyone who was involved in organising it. It was a great day and I came away with even more appreciation for the value of the Guild.

I hope to sneak in a little textile work later and then back to work and back down to earth tomorrow.