Tuesday, 16 September, 2014 Friday, 5 September, 2014
For now she need not think about anybody. She could be herself, by herself. And that was what now she often felt the need of—to think; well, not even to think. To be silent; to be alone. All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others. Although she continued to knit, and sat upright, it was thus that she felt herself; and this self having shed its attachments was free for the strangest adventures. When life sank down for a moment, the range of experience seemed limitless…. Beneath it is all dark, it is all spreading, it is unfathomably deep; but now and again we rise to the surface and that is what you see us by. Her horizon seemed to her limitless.

From To the Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf

(via Rebecca Solnit’s wonderful essay, “Woolf’s Darkness: Embracing the Inexplicable,” New Yorker)

Thursday, 28 August, 2014

No story is like a wheeled vehicle whose contact with the road is continuous. Stories walk, like animals or men. And their steps are not only between narrated events but between each sentence, sometimes each word. Every step is a stride over something not said.

The suspense story is a modern invention…and consequently today one may tend to overestimate the role of suspense, the waiting-for-the-end, in story-telling. The essential tension in a story lies elsewhere. Not so much in the mystery of its destination as in the mystery of the spaces between its steps towards that destination.

All stories are discontinuous and are based on a tacit agreement about what is not said, about what connects the discontinuities. The question then arises: Who makes this agreement with whom? One is tempted to reply: The teller and the listener. Yet neither teller nor listener is at the centre of the story: they are at its periphery. Those whom the story is about are at the centre. It is between their actions and attributes and reactions that the unstated connections are being made.

— From Another Way of Telling, by John Berger and Jean Mohr
Thursday, 17 July, 2014
Louise Bourgeois

Louise Bourgeois

Wednesday, 16 July, 2014
Barbara Kruger, Untitled (You Construct Intricate Rituals), 1981

Barbara Kruger, Untitled (You Construct Intricate Rituals), 1981

Tuesday, 8 July, 2014
Pat Brassington, By the Way, 2010

Pat Brassington, By the Way, 2010

The best and most important news: You already have the skills you need to build a beautiful, sustainable life.

The secret of artists who make it work: they use the skills, resourcefulness, and creativity of their art practice in all aspects of their lives. Artists are over-skilled and work incredibly hard. We see value where others do not. We are brilliant problem-solvers and tool-users. We have the meta-skill of learning new skills.

If I said to you, “I want to make a performance that involves two hot-air balloons, a children’s chorus, and some trained cats.” You would say, “OK, let’s figure it out.” Because you are an artist and because you believe fundamentally that things can be figured out, transformed, adapted, and solved.

You have experience making the impossible happen. All too often, we don’t use those skills outside the studio. When it’s time to make a budget or do our taxes or have a meeting with a fancy funder, we say: “Oh, no I can’t do that. I’m an artist.”

— From Making Your Life As An Artist, by Andrew Simonet. This is a guide to “building a balanced, sustainable artistic life,” and is full of good, practical advice and #quotesabouthardwork. You can download it for yourself, for free, here. ”Don’t starve. Make art.”
Monday, 16 June, 2014
Detail of Christina Henri, Departures and Arrivals (900 Bonnets)

"I was searching for a way to communicate the grief experienced by convict women at their unjust treatment. I spent months experimenting with a variety of art investigations at the Female Factory Historic Site in South Hobart, Tasmania.
One day I was away from the Site at another historic establishment, Narryna Heritage Museum in Battery Point, and I stumbled across a large number of white boxes containing baby’s christening bonnets. I reflected on how colonial mothers in all levels of society had suffered from the loss of their young. For the upper classes though they had ways of dealing with their grief and building monuments to pay tribute to their loved ones. Convict women, on the other hand, were afforded no such avenues and given no consideration during their time of anguish.
It was then the idea came to me to create an installation incorporating images of the beautiful christening bonnets arranged in such a way as to be a moving evocative memorial.”

Detail of Christina Henri, Departures and Arrivals (900 Bonnets)

"I was searching for a way to communicate the grief experienced by convict women at their unjust treatment. I spent months experimenting with a variety of art investigations at the Female Factory Historic Site in South Hobart, Tasmania.

One day I was away from the Site at another historic establishment, Narryna Heritage Museum in Battery Point, and I stumbled across a large number of white boxes containing baby’s christening bonnets. I reflected on how colonial mothers in all levels of society had suffered from the loss of their young. For the upper classes though they had ways of dealing with their grief and building monuments to pay tribute to their loved ones. Convict women, on the other hand, were afforded no such avenues and given no consideration during their time of anguish.

It was then the idea came to me to create an installation incorporating images of the beautiful christening bonnets arranged in such a way as to be a moving evocative memorial.”

Wednesday, 4 June, 2014
Robert Rooney, Child Away, 1955 (via NGA)

Robert Rooney, Child Away, 1955 (via NGA)

Tuesday, 27 May, 2014
Henry Moore OM, CH, Tube Shelter Perspective, 1941 (via Tate)

Henry Moore OM, CH, Tube Shelter Perspective, 1941 (via Tate)

Henry Moore OM, CH, Grey Tube Shelter, 1940 (via Tate)

Henry Moore OM, CH, Grey Tube Shelter, 1940 (via Tate)

Sunday, 25 May, 2014
urbanartlab: Beautiful work by Guido van Helten Reykjavik, Iceland

urbanartlabBeautiful work by Guido van Helten Reykjavik, Iceland

Thursday, 27 March, 2014
James Wyeth, Pumpkinhead (Self-Portrait), 1972

James Wyeth, Pumpkinhead (Self-Portrait), 1972

N. C. Wyeth, Nightfall, 1945
(via)

N. C. Wyeth, Nightfall, 1945

(via)

Andrew Wyeth, Winter, 1946

Winter 1946 is one of the artist’s most autobiographical works, painted immediately after the death of his father, the celebrated illustrator N. C. Wyeth. According to the artist, the hill became a symbolic portrait of his father, and the figure of the boy, Allan Lynch, running aimlessly “was me, at a loss—that hand drifting in the air was my free soul, groping.” Even without this story, the image is troubling: a dark, jagged form set awkwardly against an oceanic swell of brown. A skilled dramatist, Wyeth eliminates all distracting elements from the scene. The boy and his thoughts are visually isolated, his eyes averted. Further deepening the physical and emotional alienation of the boy, the artist has us look down upon the scene from an improbable height. The heightened clarity of the picture results from Wyeth’s use of the egg tempera medium: ground earth and mineral colors mixed with yolk and thinned with water. Wyeth once admitted he likes tempera for its “feeling of dry lostness.” —ncmoa.org

(via annearchal)

Andrew Wyeth, Winter, 1946

Winter 1946 is one of the artist’s most autobiographical works, painted immediately after the death of his father, the celebrated illustrator N. C. Wyeth. According to the artist, the hill became a symbolic portrait of his father, and the figure of the boy, Allan Lynch, running aimlessly “was me, at a loss—that hand drifting in the air was my free soul, groping.” Even without this story, the image is troubling: a dark, jagged form set awkwardly against an oceanic swell of brown. A skilled dramatist, Wyeth eliminates all distracting elements from the scene. The boy and his thoughts are visually isolated, his eyes averted. Further deepening the physical and emotional alienation of the boy, the artist has us look down upon the scene from an improbable height. The heightened clarity of the picture results from Wyeth’s use of the egg tempera medium: ground earth and mineral colors mixed with yolk and thinned with water. Wyeth once admitted he likes tempera for its “feeling of dry lostness.” —ncmoa.org

(via annearchal)