Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Culture and Chips

Another grand day out in Walsall last week, this time with fellow SAFers (Solihull Artists Forum) at the New Art Gallery Walsall to see the Fiona Rae exhibition - Maybe you can live on the moon in the next century.   Rae, who at only 27 was shorlisted in 1991 for the Turner Prize, paints huge canvases with bright bold painterly splashes of Abstract Expressionism.  Here are Fiona and Paula looking longingly at Rae's work.   

Time spent in Japan has influenced her work and computer animated Japanese motifs such as angels, Bambis and pandas regularly inhabit her paintings. 

Sculptor Mark Tilley also seemed suitably impressed with Rae's work.

Also on Floor 3 was  Jodie Carey's exhibition Solomon's Knot.  Carey focuses on an exploration of time passing and memories fading.  Ultimately she is concerned with the fragility and vulnerability of human life.

I was very impressed with this epic piece of crochet Untitled (Bouquet) suspended from the ceiling which the artist has stitched by hand. (Goodness, that's a lot of evenings spent in front of the TV). The choice of stitch is significant and provides the title of the show.  Solomon's Knot can be traced as far back as Roman times, is commonly associated with wisdom and knowledge and has no end and no beginning. 

Untitled (Slabs) is a sculptural installation of plaster slabs which Carey has meticulously hand-coloured using pencil crayon.  This raises many imponderables: 

a) Similar to the crocheted piece, how much time and effort would that have taken? 

b) How many pencils?

c) How much pencil sharpening would she have had to do and surely not using a tiny hand held one, maybe one of those with a handle seen clamped to teachers' desks which seem to devour the pencils up, sharpen them to within a millimetre of their life and then the minute you put them to paper always break. Maybe she would have treated herself and splashed out on an electric one. I expect she did. 

d) All those shavings too and there is always the stray shaving that escapes the bin and sticks to your jumper.

A quick blast out onto the roof top to brace the  November chill  and see the Rose Quartz sculpture and the Walsall sky line.  

And finally a couple of pieces from the Garman Ryan permanent collection at Walsall which I never tire of seeing.

Sally Ryan - Mother and Child

There is also a Damien Hirst exhibition of his sculptures, paintings and prints presented within the Garman Ryan collection until October 2013.  Sorry, no photos allowed I'm afraid so can't post any of his work here. No bad thing I think.

A not too dear lunch in the pub next door to the gallery rounded off our grand day out.  We go home feasted on culture and chips but as always after visiting Walsall, lamenting the lack of art galleries and exhibition space in Solihull.  Now, like the Tardis, if only we could teleport the New Art Gallery Walsall to Solihull.

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