It’s been a while

Against the tide

Against the tide

Shocked that I haven’t posted anything since July last year, or updated the Artworks section to include all of my last 15 months output. Take it as a consequence of the the realities of life as a self-representing artist. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are my main media platforms, and attractive to me because they seem to require less consideration (yes, I agonise over every word, and knowing that it’s unnecessary doesn’t help 🙂 ). Anyway, I will update this site over the next month, and for now here’s a painting I completed last July.

Against the tide fits into a new series I’ve been working on, Pathways, and will feature in my next exhibition, in July. The painting is a shout out to anyone who feels disconnected in an everchanging, bewildering and often hostile world. You are not alone.

Advertisements

KurbArt done, looking ahead.

Well, it took longer to hang than we expected, but the Little Kelham Urban Art Gallery is now hung. 13 murals, 12 painted and one made of hand crafted tiles, 7 of them mine. It was certainly an interesting journey completing this one, and stretched me massively as both an artist and project manager.  I’m very happy with the result, and feedback suggests that the local residents are as well. You can find out more by visiting kurbart.com

After such an intense period working on a single project I’m now looking at what to do next. Our hold on the gallery remains tenuous, so I’m looking elsewhere for an exhibition. For Those In Peril.. has returned from it’s sojourn in the Industrial Museum, where it went very well, so I’ll be looking at Liverpool and Glasgow for possible venues. I’ll also be continuing to develop the Pathways series, as the basis for my new show. Meanwhile, I’ve continued to play around with colour, and a very limited palette. My latest work is in 3 blues, one yellow and titanium white, and I’m rather pleased with the result. Hope you like it.

Blue remembered hills (after Houseman)

Blue remembered hills (after Houseman)

Playing with colour

Mythago Wood (absorbing) 36pc

Mythago Wood (absorbing)

I have always been entranced by myth, and take great delight in wandering through the remnants of the vast woodlands that used to blanket the British Isles. I am also an avid reader, and occasionally am inspired to respond to works that I find particularly powerful. So last week I decided to tackle a subject that has long engaged me, and play with a colour balance that I use less often. I also thought I’d work on a different surface, having become interested in the challenge of using palette knives on an unyielding base when painting the steel utility cabinets in July and November.

Mythago Wood is a novel by Robert Holdstock, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys dark fantasy. In it, the woodland is timeless, measureless and jealous of its boundaries. Here I have shown it in it’s full power, fighting back against human encroachment, and ultimately absorbing our endeveaours – as indeed is inevitable, surely whilst we are capable of inflicting grievous damage, we will destroy the conditions of our own sustainability well before we destroy all life?

For Those In Peril.. Book now available

 

They’ve arrived 🙂 Very happy to say that the first print run of the book of my last exhibition has now arrived. A5, 200gsm silk finish paper, hardcover, casebound, 60 pages with 27 pictures. I’m really happy with the result, they look and feel like the quality production I hoped they’d be.

The book includes images of all paintings and sculptures in the show, a gallery shot, and all the text that accompanied the artworks at the show (short ‘excerpts from letters home’ that serve as explanation) plus a short history of convoy PQ17 and the overall background to the arctic convoys operations.

The first 50 will be signed and numbered, and they are available direct from me, at £15.00 plus £2.50 postage and packing (UK only first class untracked). For international orders please contact me for a quote.

You can order copies by email. I accept paypal payments and will email you back a link to follow for payment.

(jlpaw@blueyonder.co.uk)

 

 

Back on the street

Battle of the giants final40pc

Battle of the Giants

The requistioning of horses during the 1914-18 war gave Sheffield’s industry a considerable problem. The horse was still the main means of transport, including that of moving goods and industrial plant around the City. One company came up with an unusual solution to the problem; Thomas Wards, a scrap dealer, leased an elephant from a menagerie in the city, and used her to help transport metal scrap and machinery around Sheffield, a vital contribution to the war effort. The elephant, Lizzie, was reputed to have overturned a steam traction engine, and I have depicted the aftermath of this, and placed the event in front of the Sheffield Tramways power station that is now the site of Kelham Island Industrial Museum.

In the 1980’s I worked for a community murals organisation in North London. We created murals in schools, hospitals, and a railway station, great fun and I learnt a lot. Now, 29 years later and I’m doing the same again, and loving it. I had been wondering for a while how my current, industrial inspired style would work as street art, and have  been given the opportunity to find out thanks to an exciting initiative generated by the Kelham Island Community Alliance (KICA Facebook page).

The Kelham Island Arts & Cultural Heritage Trail started as an anti-graffiti measure, with a particular focus on telecommunications cabinets (those green steel boxs that have become such a feature of street furniture). It was recognised that taggers were less likely to spray over street art, and so a project to generate murals on all 27 of the cabinets was born.

The brief calls for artworks reflecting the cultural, environmental, industrial and social history of the area, and the individual boxes are sponsored by local businesses. The cabinet I painted is sponsored by a company called The Suit Works, who have a very positive approach to tackling unemployment (a subject very dear to me) – check them out Suitworks website

The Suitworks are a social enterprise, and were able to sponsor the cabinet due to support from Jerry Ibberson, whose family were Sheffield Cutlers, at the Violin Works in the centre of town Brief history of Ibbersons.  In recognition of this, I have include a Violin in the painting, propped up in the bottom R/H corner.

Waterwheel

Waterwheel

Being a 3d work, I had and interesting time coming up with a cohesive design. One side panel references the River Don, the power source that enabled the growth of Sheffields industry.

BOTG Tram end

Sheffield Tram on Mowbray Street

The other shows a Sheffield Tram coming down Mowbray Street, appropriate given that the central panel shows the power station that generated electricity for the tramways network in the city.

So far three cabinets have been completed, and you can see them below. From left to right the works are by me, Simon Wigglesworth Baker, and James Croft. I also have a commission for a 4th, and we expect more to be completed over the next year. An exciting initative and one that I’m proud to be part of. I would like to thank KICA for the opportunity, and once again the Suitworks and Jerry for making it possible.

The first 3

My, Simon’s and James’s cabinets brightening up Ball Street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Busy August

Skye from Gairloch

Skye from Gairloch

Only half way through the month and I have so much on. Got back from the Scottich Highlands at the end of July, after a week of fanastic sunshine while it rained in most of the rest of the UK 🙂 This painting of the North-Eastern coast of Skye was done from a plein air paint sketch I did standing outside our tent at Big Sands in Gairloch, a lovely place, and one we hope to move too.

Sadly, I got back to discover that we have lost our gallery, Gage. This has been an integral part of our studio collective for 5 years, but now the landlord has taken it back for redevelopment – the harsh reality of cheap rents in an emerging area 😦  I am searching for a suitable replacement for the gallery, and attached arts education space, but there is a shortage of run down industrial property in the area, so we may have to move.

My recent show, For Those In Peril.. was a success, and I am looking for another venue to house it. I’ve got some interest, so I hope to be able to share some more good news with you soon (fingers crossed). Meanwhile I’m busy producing work to fill my stall in our marquee at Sheffeld’s Art In The Gardens event. This takes place over the 1st – 3rd September in the Botanical Gardens, and is always a fun event. This year I will be doing a series of landscapes, and Skye from Gairloch is the first of these. In addition I’m organising a pop-up art show to help promote a local club, to coincide with Nether Edge Farmers Market on the 17th September, and then helping put together the KIAC stall at Kelham Island Industrial Museums ‘Down By The River’ event on September 24th. And I think August is busy 🙂

 

 

 

Last day of the show

exhibition2

Last day of my exhibition today – For Those In Peril..’ at Gage Gallery, Ball Street, Sheffield S3 8EN 11am – 6pm. 205 visitors to date, which is good for a show in the second floor of a factory complex in Sheffield’s industrial hinterland, and I have really enjoyed watching the way viewers have engaged with the show. The response has been fantastic, with ‘Powerful’ and Moving’ the most common comments in the visitor book, and seeing people taking the time to consider each piece, with an average gallery stay of 30ish minutes has been very gratifying . My most positive memory of this show though will be the two women who spent a good 5 minutes in front of each of the 24 works, talking. Naturally this got my curiosity. When they finished their tour, the younger one came up to me and explained that they were from Russia, and she had been translating the text accompanying the works for her Mother. She went on to say that they had been visiting a local street market and popped in on spec, and how happy they were to stumble across an exhibition about a subject that is well known and still valued in Russia, because it was the last thing they had expected. Made my day 🙂 Just have to find somewhere else to house it now.