Mutti und Kind (Ceramic)

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Day 76.

My mother and and chick penguin in glazed ceramic.

The inspiration for this piece came from a photograph which I then made a drawing of. I was struck by the tenderness of the relationship between the pair. Making the drawing first helped me to get a sense of what I wanted to evoke in sculpting the birds.

The formation lended itself well to working in clay as the simple forms are free standing due to their being larger at the base and so also hollowed out easily. The glazing was experimental as I had really no idea what the colours I was using would turn out like. I was most surprised and pleased at how well the finished fired colours worked.

The chick with his head back under the mother’s beak is so touching. The innocence and trust of the young and the stoic determination of the mature adult female to protect and nurture her chick is absolute.

My chick is larger than I intended. He is more adolescent in size but he is a baby.

Paper Deer (Pencil)

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Day 40.

This is another drawing I did from the cover of  a book. It is from a modern Penguin edition of Franz Kafka’s The Castle which I never finished. The cover image was intriguing to me. It was of a photograph a deer made out of paper bags.

A strange and bizarre image, slightly disturbing too. I just researched the cover and see the deer was worn as a mask by a male figure. It is crudely attached to him with rope and a block of some sort. Very effective image and so very apt for this bewildering Kafka text.

I recall feeling nervous and apprehensive while reading it. The confusion and frustration endured increasingly by the central character known only as K on his lowly quest for access were maddening in a very disagreeable way so I discontinued it.

Perhaps it was too close to home for me. The vivid description of the protagonist’s  incrementally increasing state of anxiety, frustration, expectation followed by deflation was more than I could endure. The setting so bleakly banal, a murky maze inhabited by petty bureaucrats and officials, a host of doubting sneering gatekeepers. Torture without respite. Possibly easier for others to indulge in but I say only possibly but those are some states I am all too familiar with and need little stimuli to generate them which is why I put it aside.

Kafka died before completing it.

The cover image reflects the nightmarish world the reader is drawn into.

I didn’t include the masked figure but focussed on the sculptural qualities of the paper deer. It was very challenging to draw and I am amazed at how lifelike they look.

We’re not lonely (pencil and felt pen)

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Day 37.

Besides lounging about on the Malagueta beach I spent a fair few hours of my time in Malaga at the wonderful Centre for Contemporary Art.  It is a truly marvellous facility hosting an excellent permanent collection of work. I particularly liked many of the photographic installations. And get this people, it is free to visit.

I also got to see a terrific visiting exhibition by renowned Russian performance artist Maria Abramovich. Largely autobiographical in subject matter the show featured challenging material a series of violent images of the artist inflicting pain on herself were that were taken from an earlier performance work. in contrast to these I recall lying on a massage type bed that had a large crystal below it  wearing  headphones as part of a sensory deprivation installation. It was a surprisingly calming and experience.

The space is very attractive. A large rectangular space subdivided  loosely into sections creating a natural flow to the visitors experience. The vast white bunker provides a perfect backdrop to an eclectic collection of mid to late twentieth century featuring both spanish and INternational artists.  A vast range of stimulating works ranging from the Kitsch to the political. Very experiential collection featuring large scale sculptures, musical installations and video works that provoke both mind and body.

The drawing I have included today was done in the lovely cafe on a sunday afternoon. There was a poster featuring the scene and I was much charmed and moved by it. It struck me as incredibly peaceful and spoke to me of the purity and innocence of animals.

The exquisite egoless creatures living out their lives guilelessly and in perfect simplicity. It describes how harmonious nature is.

There is a sense of intimacy and togetherness in the image. Alone in the stillness of the night. To me the atmosphere of silence and the water reflect  a sacred quality to the act of coupling. It is a touching depiction of nature and it makes me smile.

Flightless (Chalk and pastel)

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I am feeling a bit like this right now. A strange specimen in search of its purpose in an alien world.

Words are my wings and at present they they are clipped and tied while I lay mute forced to adopt to my existence using other less familiar attributes. My body, my senses, my rhythm, my instincts.  These and other  faculties are being called for duty helping me navigate to the next phase.

What complex beings we are. Complex beyond our comprehension.

The Golden Fleece (pastels)

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Day 17.

I drew this from my imagination. I so often turn to animals to express myself artistically. It seems most natural for my mind to conjure up beasts. Its a return or hankering for the instinctual aspect of myself. The unspeaking part.

The picture has contradictory elements. The restful slumber and the splendour of the animal’s coat evoke ease and tranquility. The horns and the red face and feet perhaps signify danger and aggression.

The dual aspect of nature and of all things always preoccupies me. I am aware of it constantly in myself how it fluctuates and shifts. It is a creative dynamic force that I respect and am in awe of.