Friday, 23 December 2011

Last minute Christmas Card!

I'd decided that this year I wouldn't have the time to make any Christmas cards. But, well you know how it is - two weeks to go and I think 'That's plenty of time' . . . . what!!

So last Saturday I cut some lino and got to printing, pronto.
Making a plate for the snowflakes.

Impatiently waiting for them to dry - I positioned a heater underneath which did help a little.
Sunday morning and making the proofs for the second plate while listening to Coope Boyes and Simpson. Being 'guarded' by Rufus, who likes to snooze in the doorway so he can pretend to keep an eye on the world and young Flynn who is much happier sitting outside keeping an eye on the path to my shed, so he can be the first to welcome any visitors.

Hanging up to dry on Sunday morning.
I took them all into the house and propped them on the radiators to dry off over night!

Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas and all the things you'd wish for yourself for 2012.

Friday, 16 December 2011

An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street

I last mentioned this project  back in August, where has the summer gone!? It is so nearly Christmas. . . . now I sit with two small dogs curled up beneath my desk and listening to a Cold Play concert.

My trusty little wooden press.
These few images show me putting together my ideas for An Inventory of Al-Mutanabbi Street.
Family grief lent a bitter edge to my thoughts for this project which grew out of hurt and death. I thought of all those that lost loved ones and the fragility of life and the strength of a family to endure such loss when it is out of time. The project is both a lament and a commemoration of the singular power of words; words said, words not said, words remembered. . . .

The targeted attack on this 'street of the booksellers', such indiscriminate brute force to maim and kill, is ultimately futile. 

Books and libraries have been destroyed countless times, since 48 BC with the destruction of the Library of Alexandria, through Nazis Germany up to and including al-Mutanabbi Street. But, books will persevere because of the people who make them. 

And, as reliable as the turning of the seasons more poets, writers, artists and philosophers will bring their ideas into the light. 

My root goes deep,
far deeper than any History.

I belong in this place;
belong to this place
So pull me up, and
discard me even

and always a little bit of me
will continue into the light.

although the children
of my children’s children
will not know my name,

still, I remain
like cherry blossom,
falling gently

into a clean blue sky.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman

I went with my friend Diana to see The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, a Grayson Perry curated exhibition at the British Museum

He sets his new work alongside items, from the BM's collection, made by unidentified and anonymous crafts people. He uses these objects as a way of scrutinising a range of themes connected with our notions of craftsmanship and pilgrimage, ranging from holy relics, magic and shamanism to identity and contemporary culture.
Oh, and motor bikes. . . . .
Alan Measles' stunt double enthroned.
My absolute two favourite pieces. The delightful Our Mother and Our Father. Both pilgrims on the road of history, carrying the weight of many different cultures and conflicts . . . and, er, pretty much the kitchen sink in the exemplification that is, Our Mother
Tomb is well worth a visit, although I must admit to feeling a little envious that Perry could rummage at will through the museum's collection. The exhibition continues until the 19 February 2012

The BM is stuffed so full of goodies it's always worth a sketchbook trip, and the building itself is interesting. An impressive use of space, the Great Court in the BM is the largest covered public square in Europe, enclosed under a spectacular glass and steel roof.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Advent calendar for grown ups!

Now the children are grown and flown the nest buying an advent calendar isn't quite the same (calendars are just tooo cutesy) and anyway, I certainly don't need extra temptation to eat chocolate. 

But how could I resist this Lovely Letterpress advent calendars from Hazel Grainger.