The architecture room at the RA Summer Show is full of beautifully produced models and drawings. This huge one ( coming in at 2.3 x 1.3 metres and 45cm high) however, of the Google’s View Mountain Campus in California, designed by Thomas Heatherwick and BIG, fascinated me with the amount of detail and how lovingly it had all been constructed. Both the exterior below and interiors made me wonder what it would be like to work here.
Another piece from the Blue Room was this glorious hanging by El Anatsui, aptly named Change in Fortune, made from his traditional bottle tops stitched together. The whole piece is a beautiful shimmering sweeping stroke on a grand scale.
This geometric hand folded polyester film by Tony Blackmore impressed me with its delicacy and complexity.
A more traditional piece was a portrait of the poet Hugo Williams by Humphrey Ocean. It was hung high so the photo unfortunately doesn’t do it credit. On a different note is one of Rebecca Salter’s mixed media drawings, Untitled AK17.
The Phyllida Barlow room was, as you can see, pretty busy when I visited (and no, I don’t know the smiley woman in front of Tony Cragg’s Lost in Thoughts sculptures in this shot) The beautifully smooth laminated wood invited touch which practically everyone seemed to do.
David Nash showed Red Holed Column, this wooden trunk with charred drilled holes as well as Blue Column, one of his prints. Both so sensual.
As the years go on I seem to know and recognise the work of an increasing number of artists exhibiting at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, several of whom have featured in previous blog posts.
Kate MccGwire is one such and I was delighted to see that she had won the Jack Goldhill Award for sculpture with Squall, pictured below.
Other pieces which caught my eye included Katie Walker’s Fragile. I’m not sure if she’s the furniture maker but the care and craftsmanship of this piece would indicate that it might be. Can anyone help here? Another prize-winner, of the Charles Wollaston Award, was Mike Nelson with this unnerving piece, Untitled ( Public sculpture for a Redundant Space) a prototype for a series of sculptures made for the High Line in New York. Expanded Narcissistic Envelope by Toby Ziegler was humorously displayed with most people nudging past and practically ignoring it. It moved so easily, swaying gently as it was buffeted by the crowds but is a metal structure with some very sharp angles.
but was more interested in examining the less-famous artists in the last room of the show; these painters were really exciting for their handling of materials.
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye creates each painting in just one day according to the information at the show – quite an achievement for the scale of work she can produce. I love the looseness and confidence of her brushwork dealing with the “what” more than the “who”. Celia Paul’s painting is much more heavily worked with compelling intensity.
I have long been an admirer of Paula Rego and was wowed once more by her use of pastels. Look at her treatment of fabric in this piece, particularly the veil.
Jenny Saville specialises in hugely over life-sized representations of the female form in oils. The materiality of her work mesmerises.
Most of my journeys through the City of London are by bike so I’d missed this low-level sculpture outside the prestigious Bloomberg Building, installed in 2017.
My former studio-mate, Amanda Lwin, is one of the artists in this year’s Sculpture in the City and led a tour for Nocturnal Creatures, the arts festival organised by Whitechapel Gallery so here are a few pictures of her work with some of the others we saw.
Her piece, A Worldwide Web of Somewheres is in Leadenhall Market where you can also find I’m Staying by Shaun C Badham.The Adventurer by Gabriel Lester thoughtfully includes seating Michail Pirgelis sliced a section of an Airbus 300 for his piece UNIVRS then we came across Tracey Emin’s Your Lips Moved Across My Face hidden away in a narrow alley. These were only a few so visit the website to see more.
I know it’s a sign of climate change – I’ve even stopped checking my weather app – but I do love it when you can plan an evening out and know it’ll be warm and dry. This was the case for East Wall at the Tower of London, part of LIFT festival.
A collaboration between East London Dance, Hofesh Shechter Company, Historic Royal Palaces and LIFT , the evening celebrated the variety and diversity of East London. Hofesh Schechter’s trademark percussion instruments stood at the back of the stage, ready to accompany the different young amateur dancers. One of my favourite pieces was Three, choreographed by Duwane Taylor (I’m a fan of Krump.)There were 6 pieces in all, exploring migration, the immigrant experience and the history of East Londonculminating with an exuberant finale where the Band of the Irish Guards joined the other performers in the moat.all overlooked by a sole archer and the ever-present plane passing overhead.
Here are some of Ross’s beautiful brushes – these are not actually intended for use.
and the trolley selection of materials to make our own.Another trolley set up for ink production with avocado ink on the boilHere’s my first attempt at brush-making: a multi-branched combo that began disintegrating almost immediately with use as you can see.It has to be said I was quite hard on them so once I’d broken off the limbs drew exuberant dancers using a concentrate of oak gall ink. Contact Modern Eccentrics for info on more of their courses.
It’s exciting that 15 Clerkenwell Close by Amin Taha Architects , will be open for this year’s Open House London Weekend. It’s built on the site of an 11th century Norman Abbey which stood here till the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century and now houses the architect’s office as well as flats and a small public garden. I cycle past Barrett’s Grove, N16, another project by the same practice, on a regular basis and am fascinated by the use of brick as a covering for the entire structure, including the roof. The actual structure is cross-laminated timber (CLT) and won the RIBA London Award 2017 and RIBA National Award 2017.
I’m not sure this will be open during Open House London but you can see both buildings close up from the outside as shown above.