With November being the month for looking at the skies, gunpowder and Lewes being my home town I thought I’d use the occasion to look at the exceptional work of artist Cai Guo-Qiang, who creates unforgettable art experiences, with the unusual medium of gunpowder.
Starting with gunpowder exploding canvases he moved to site specific explosions:
‘I want to reflect on the experiences of the human race from a larger perspective of the universe and to remind us that we are not alone in the universe and that there are other eyes looking at us from this infinite universe.’
He has perfected his gunpowder art, no one does it like him and through his art he expresses all our shared childhood dreams with a true expression of human emotion.
“More than a thousand years ago, when the Chinese discovered gunpowder, they were actually looking for an elixir to make them immortal.” But Cai, despite the spectacle that his gunpowder paintings and explosion events have been known to whip up, isn’t out for immortality. “I don’t think any art is meant to be kept forever, immortal on the earth that we inhabit. What I attempt to achieve is a sense of the eternal from the ephemeral—to inspire a conversation with the greater universe.” Artsy Oct 10th 2016
Talking about his installation Heritage 2013 from Falling Back to Earth:
‘The work took a long time to conceive and produce, says Cai. “It’s like being pregnant – once you give birth, your child has a life of their own and they are no longer a part of your body. They have their own destiny.” And what does he think of his baby? “It looks better and exceeds my expectations. When I first conceived this work I thought it would be related to environmental issues that we have here on Earth. But once the work was finished I realised that it relates to broader issues, such as our position within the universe.”
Cai Guo-Qiang work that you might like to look at:
Poppy Series Hallucination No. 1
Art work that exists for mere moments
Conceived for the Deutsche Bank Collection, the work was inspired by Berlin and its history, its message is generally valid. “I wanted to portray the universal human tragedy,“ says Cai, “resulting from this blind urge to press forward, the way we try to attain our goals without compromise,”
Cai Guo-Qiangmakes a 500m ladder of fire to connect the Earth to the universe.
Read more about Cai work on his blog:
Talking about not being alone in the universe The Guardian Science states that there are 20 times more galaxies in the universe than previously thought bringing it up to a mind blowing 2 trillion, of which 90 % of the galaxies have yet to be studied with the analysis reaching back more than 13bn years, about the time of the Big Bang which is thought to have given birth to the universe. Food for thought when watching Cai’s work, shinning a vibrational message for human kind into outerspace, now that’s what I call Space Art !!
The surprising find is based on 3D modeling of images collected by the Hubble Space Telescope. Photograph: Nasa/PA
Very excited about our new SS13 Scarf collection. Digitally printed on beautiful super fine silks and wool fabrics in juicy fruit colours for putting a little bit of sunshine into your wardrobe.
A selection of colours in store and on line at Liberty
Our new wallpaper collection recently launched at Maison et Objet uses all the printing methods that I like best in wallpaper manufacturing.
We can push the boundaries with Gravure – its fine tone definition allows for photo real prints and when used with metallic or iridescent inks the result always give form and volume to the design.
With Surface print because of its ‘wet on wet’ print process and its squidgy big fat rollers that paste the ink onto the paper it resembles a wood block feel giving the design a ‘hand – made’ charm that is a sought after look. I loved developing this geometric design, the print method here really gives the ink (especially the metallic) a chance to form lines around the pattern creating ridges, and marks that are totally unique to each print, making each time the roller prints, a one-off stamped mark.
Rotary printing is similar to screen printing, in fact it was introduced not long after screen printing came about in the early 1950’s – used for none tonal work and more graphic designs, we have used this method for papers in the past such as our wallpaper ‘Kew’ Elle Decoration loved it so much they awarded it best wall-coverings. Here it works really well for the Letter wallpaper, a one screen print, creating a modern take on the letter-press look. I especially enjoyed developing the Tea Rose colourway, with its soft copper / bronze tones and the Black Letter Boutique a charcoal black ground with warm golden letters.
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This week I listened and saw 3 interesting and fresh things from Asia that were new to me.
Vogue’s Chinese Editor Angelica Cheung’s video for NOWNESS is a refreshingly modern view on fashion, it was great to hear her comment on being a working mother and how she has reflected upon this with her work at Vogue …”that since the birth of her daughter her veiw on the modern woman had changed and if she wanted her daughter to become a certain kind of woman that she aspired to then she needed to make sure her readers could become that kind of woman” .
Korea Vogue asked fashion photographer Kim Kyoung Soo to realise a series of fashion portraits based on the traditionnal Korean costume, Hanbok. These beautiful photos capture a stillness that is so tranquil, I love the colour palettes against the neutral back ground. Images can be seen at Gallery Paris Beijing
And lastly the number one hit of Korean pop singer PSY, a nice note to go out on on a Friday, I LOVE IT !
Visited the Barbara Hulanicki at the Brighton Museum and was “wowed”!!!
The exhibition captures her energy and design essence, the displays are creative and unstuffy, theres a very ‘Biba’ red wall with dresses and jackets to try on and imagine the fun of the Biba world.
The show has 3 or 4 brilliant films that portray the creative dynamism of Barbara’s life, one big creative outpouring of fashion illustration, fashion, textiles, interiors, architecture, hotels, cosmetics….starting from her Brighton Art College days right up to her present day endeavours with Top Shop, Habitat and George at ASDA.
Not to be missed !
Its inspiring to visit Premiere Vision although its always just after London Fashion Week and just before London DesignWeek so no chance for sight seeing or shopping in Paris!
Its hard to sum it ALL up as there is soo much visual information being thrown at you but I will keep it short….
Here are some points from my note book, some times its hard to understand my scrawl and my descriptions so bear with ………
Ornamental Excess Tapestry and Historical, think Gothic and Pre Raphaelite with homage to the Brotherhood – embellished and embossed velvets, oranges, brown – reds, copper, green, smokey blacks, Dandy Jacquards,
Armour influences in its construction shapes / linkage and metallic shines and also in weave constructions.
Patterning in tile formats ie stamp like image repeated in all variations of repeats; 1/2 , 3/4, mirrored etc….
Cement encaustic tiles Gothic /Victorian/Alhambra.
Tudor / Celtic emblems.
Mathematical patterns “accumulations of micro patterns”.
Trees en mass and dense forests scenes – dark and mysterious landscapes and my favourite Nocturnal Gardens- think dark and moody foliage and flowers, lots of shadow and watercolour brush strokes.
Basket weaves, tapestry Jacquards, knobbly wools, some amazing wild and wooly furs, felted wools for coatings, needle punched knits and very, very chunky sweater knits.
Still life- vases with floral displays, Dutch Masters.
Softly disappearing prints/florals and Tartans
I find it useful to put the colours down in to a collage format, painting them into strips and then adapting in Photoshop and then writing some notes that I picked up from the show. Quite often the colours I’m drawn to are already in my print palette for example this season its copper , we used it for Copper Kaleido and I will certainly be looking at using this again for my home range and also for my scarves.
I have been wanting to translate some of my wallpaper designs into scarves for a long time and now I have finally been able to do it. The Letter scarf I designed some 25 years ago, which proves I’m now possibly vintage !!
In those days I hand printed them myself in my print studio and was lucky enough to sell to Paul Smith, Joseph and Bergdorf Goodman, although I really love screen printing it’s great to have them digitally printed this time round.
Watch this space for SS 13 preview
I’ve known Hannah since my Brighton Art college days, she has always been on the look out for found objects, scurrying through ones waste bins in search for discarded plastic bottle tops to fruit packaging. Now living on the beautiful West Coast of Scotland, apart from all her other illustrative projects to keep her busy Hannah has been running art classes to the locals, specially designed to break the mantra of the “ I can’t draw “ brigade. An amazing and truly inspirational project, her creative zest and positive thinking dribbles from the pages and always leaves me open mouthed at her energy to create and more importantly to share the buzz!
Also check out her wonderful animated character ZZebbra
and her blog
I love the drawings of Eric Ravilious (see my blog September 13th 2010), especially the way he uses cross hatching to build up pattern in his paintings and prints. There are 100’s of ways one can make textures, apart from drawing textures using pen and ink or making them from Lino printing I sometimes use lines from something I may have photographed, here for example a lovely winters tree. Not sure how I would use this yet, I may just leave as they are.
I set myself a little project whilst on holiday in Greece to see how many things I could take pictures of that weren’t of the blue sea, white sand, white washed houses, blue doors, painted furniture etc… i.e. that weren’t the typical post card images of Greece. I have to say I didn’t get that far with it as the sea and white washed houses are so tempting to snap at….. but I’m glad I did take a few as its really refreshing to look at them now I am back at home and I realise I have 100’s of the same looking white houses and same blue sea!!! Here are a few that I thought fit the colours predicted for Spring Summer 13.
The sea seems to be having fun with all this stormy weather.
I found some great pieces along the beach, it somehow reminded me of Buddhist prayer flags , not sure why maybe the erosion and washed out look of the material and the way they are draped?
Beautiful and still now but the sea must have thrown them out with some force!
Thought you might like to see these photos they are taken along the South Coast, where sometimes I get the chance to walk my dogs.