Friday, 10 June 2011

And then these are just cool...

I wonder how you get to the point where practicality isn't an issue - I'm forever compromising creativity for achievability. Funding? Who knows....

Rocks and crosses

Can you tell that I've done some diary shuffling and decided to preserve the allocated 'art time' - small as it may be - in my week? 4 or 5 posts in one day, after a month of silence? Irritating? Possibily. But at best it will be a week before I can check in again ... so it's now or never.

I went to the Saatchi Gallery yesterday - only briefly, admittedly. I had wanted to go and see Tracy Emin at the Hayward Gallery but that requires pre-booking and I hadn't pre-planned. Furthermore, though the £12.00 will no doubt be well worth paying, this week I wanted to put Mike first and treat him to dinner, and when you're a volunteer you can't do dinnner and £12.00 art exhibition. But I deffiantely made the right decision - sacrifice and love are closely linked and I love Mike a lot.


There was one piece of work at the Saatchi gallery that I just loved. I didn't work hard' at the works, yesterday which in some ways I felt a bit quilty for. They say the more you put in, the more you get out - and that is deffinately true of viewing art too.

But luckily for me, there was once piece that I had to put very little into and got very much out of.

It's really hard to capture in a photograph (I also noticed that a lot of people in galleries do all their viewing through camera lens! wierd!) but I want to introduce you to it anyway, so I'm going to try.

So, where the photo fails the artwork is that when you look at the photo the first and only thing you see is the rock. On the top of the rock, however, there is a tiny paper cross, balanced prefectly. You might be able to spot it on the close up:

The room is full of the 'found rock's and yet, somehow, when you walk in the room the first thing you see is the tiny cross.

I don't want to talk about the piece a tremendous amount, but I did want to introduce you to it. Well worth a visit for that room alone.

Save the Date

The evening of the 4th August will be the opening night for an exhibition of work funded by the YMCA and made in conjunction with New Hope Trust and the council in Watford.

It should be a great night and truly stoked for the exhibition - so get the date in your diary. More information to follow.

Memory B(L)anks

Memory B(L)anks

I have some recent work in Crewe at the moment!

I realise that the opening night was yesterday, but if you are in the vicinity you should deffinately pop in on this show - it's a gud'un, and well worth a visit. You've got until the 17th June, so go go go!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Too excited to sleep

Firstly - Sophie Ronson, arts development officer in Watford, is the most patient lass ever - dealing with chaotic artist's is no easy task. I'm so grateful for your patience, lovely Sophie.

Secondly.... Upcoming exhibition in Chesire - more info to follow:

Thursday, 3 March 2011

more pics - lighting is everything

Not sure I could be more chuffed with these - JACK-flipping-POT!

Going to chat with my practical problem-solving friend Bob Wallington tomorrow to see if he can help me work out how to ues lighting with these objects. I only lit them short term to get the pictures - but obviously a hot light in a flammable 'box' = fire hazzard. Where there is a will, surely there will also be a way.... But I'm smart enough to know I'm going to need help to find it.

So that's one of the next obstacles. Also I need to decided how to organise the boxes - which will depend a lot on the space they go in. Should I seal them or not - and if I do, where will the light source enter them etc etc?! Lots of questions.

more from March 3rd

little break through

So, I can't actually upload any more photos onto my website. I'll need to do something about that. But for now, I'll put photos on here.

Been to the studio today. Ended up spending the time very differently from how I had anticipated spending it.

Last time I left the studio, I left the work in progress looking something like this:

When I got there, of course... *sigh*... of COURSE, it had all collapsed on itself and it looked like this:

You sort of have to laugh - because I knew it would happen and yet at the same time was devo-ed that it had happened. I think last time I was there arranging them all precariously I knew that the inevitale architectural failings were to become 'another day's problem' - and today was that day.

So the last few months of hard hard work have, so far, surmounted to THIS! this pile of messy muslin and PVA and varnish. raaaa.

Never fear, though. There is always something to be made of nothing...

Not far from the space I work in, there is a mannequin in a sleeping bag - a powerful visual reminder of just how fragile a commodity home is for some people.

Don't you think that these boxes, now that they collapose into themselves a little bit, mimic sleeping bags? Does that sounds like nonsense artist's waffle? - probably yes - but also can you not see what I mean? it's exactly like the crumbling properties of a sleeping bag (and in some cases a pillow) - maybe this is project is just starting to get interesting!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

where the heart is...

Where the Heart is…

Fiona Hughes

Removing cardboard box from muslin cast

For over four years I have made artworks responding to and exploring issues that challenge the conventional notions of home. Gaining the Young artist community development grant presented a first opportunity for me to root the development of a new artwork in the community and in other people’s experiences of Home.

The donated monies resourced materials facilitating the development of a new artistic process in response to the fragility of home. Using Vaseline, PVA glue and varnish I produced a technique for casting cardboard boxes in muslin. The translucent fabric casts of card boxes translate mass produced everyday objects associate with home (though associations of moving house or ‘living out of’ cardboard boxes) into individually crafted, structurally flimsy - but significantly more interesting - replicas of boxes.

An early example of the translucent qualities of the muslin cast of a cardboard box

The funding presented an opportunity to run a two hour workshop teaching the process to 6 participants, including two members of staff, at the Haven Day Centre with New Hope Trust in Watford. For the first 20-30 minutes participants produced pencil drawings on the muslin. The drawings reflected the participant’s personal experiences of, and associations with, Home. The ‘mindless’ process was conducive to seemingly therapeutic, informal conversation about our individual experiences of home as fragile. I then proceeded to teach the participants the technique for making a muslin cast of a cardboard box.

The workshop was a great success; each participant commented on how they enjoyed the project. The unusual sculptural technique meant that individuals who don’t consider themselves good at drawing and more traditional art forms were able to gain a sense of achievement and pride in their ability to produce sculptural art. This will be greater enhanced when the completed artwork, comprising elements produced by the participants, is exhibited professionally in Watford. A number of the participants have frequented my studio since the workshop to watch the development and progression of the finished

In studio arranging the cast objects produced during workshop, funded by Young Artist community development grant, at the Haven Day Centre in Watford

The image below is a study to illustrate the vision for arranging and exhibiting the cast objects. I am experimenting with using each cast box in a similar way that a child uses building blocks or Lego bricks with the aim of contrasting idealistic childhood perceptions of Home with the participants and my own adult experiences of Home.

An example of some of the casts produced during workshop at Haven Day Centre