visual arts

Random Is the New Black

april-272We have found more clay pipes by the Forth and Clyde Canal - here is one of the nicest pipes, if not exactly the most intact.. Notice also the rather interesting shards of china in the background. We've identified one piece with the Willow Pattern but the rest remain elusive. Interestingly we've found tiny bits with lettering (be still my beating heart!) and other bits with what looks like fishing huts.

Swine flu has been confirmed around 12 miles from us. I'm expecting an outbreak of panic here which will involve people looting tissue paper, tinned soup, hand soap and cans of lager from our local supermarket. In other words, I'm not worried, although my mother might be once she realises how close I live to Monklands Hospital (i.e. not very close but in the same country). As a Dane I feel obliged to inform you that pork products are perfectly safe to eat. Mmmm, bacon.

Only one random link today: Vidders Talk Back to their Pop-Culture Muses.

"For decades, Americans sat in front of their televisions and watched — just watched — their favorite shows. (..) But one group of fans has interacted with their favorite television shows for more than three decades. Vidders, as they're called, make unauthorized underground videos using clips from the shows. Each vid compiles dozens of clips from various episodes, all set to a song."

To be perfectly honest, I've seen a handful of these fanmade vids and most of them are .. not very good. The formula goes something like this: one plaintative love song - say, Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love". Then take the lyrics and pair with with your fandom of choice  - so, when Leona bleats "Time starts to pass.." you insert pictures of Captain Kirk/the Doctor/Six looking at a watch. Lather, rinse, repeat .. But unsurprisingly there are some mindblowingly good vids out there. This is the best I've seen.

PS. Happy birthday to regular commentator and offline compadre, Darth Ken. I love you, man.

Do Not Feed the Culture Vultures?

Glasgow does visual arts so very, very well and every year we get the added bonus of a four-day art fair. Guess what? It's that time of year again.. Today we went to the Glasgow Art Fair and enjoyed ourselves tremendously. Last time we went, we nearly ended up buying a Lucy Campbell painting (specifically one extremely similar to this one). We both liked its fairytale qualities and I felt strangely comforted by its Philip Pullman-ness. Today I'm glad we didn't buy it. I think Campbell has her definite strengths but I think they lie within the realm of illustration rather than painting.

This time the Art Fair was visibly affected by the recession. Saturday afternoon was simply not that crowded and quite a few vendors confided that they were having a tough time shifting anything. Interestingly this year also saw galleries from Spain, Vietnam and the Czech Republic trying their luck. Diversifying or maybe the stands came cheaper this year? The Vietnamese stand was spectacularly crap, incidentally.

Ever the pop culture aficionado, Dave spotted Carl Moore's work immediately and was very, very taken with his Animals Who Want To Be Other Animals series as well as the Robot Dreams series. I'm not sure about the robots, but I loved the Animals series too.

Proving that I have way more taste than money, I headed straight to Jonathan Wolstenholme's watercolours (the cheapest one was £2,900 - that's a lot of sweaters!). The website does not do them justice, but try looking at The Descent of Books with its clever, humourous details or Murder in the Library which ticks all my boxes. Wolstenholme's watercolours may not be cutting edge or setting the art world on fire, but, gosh, they'd look nice in my imaginary library.

And for any woolshop/yarn shop (however imaginary), what about a few David Blyth prints? We had a good natter with David M. of Peacocks Visual Arts (who represents David Blyth), which made a nice afternoon even better.

On days like these, I just love living here. I really do. Art and beauty nourish my soul.