Sunday, 27 January 2019

Solo show at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists - 11 February to 31 March 2019

My etchings are at the framers and I'm excited and nearly ready for my solo show at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists Gallery, St Paul's Square, Birmingham, B3 1SA.

All my prints in this exhibition are etchings but the subject matter is quite varied.  This is because I've been working with two poets, not to illustrate poetry but to create art that is inspired by it.

Here is an excerpt from Jane Seabourne's beautiful poem about trees...

Advice for Walking in Woods
‘Place the flat of your hand
on the first tree you meet
when you go through a wood.
Lay your life-line over
the bark. Let it cross-hatch.
Hold till you feel a bond.’…

I love trees too and I love the idea of laying your life-line over the bark and cross hatching and bonding with the tree.  I created this etching 'Through the trees'

Last year, I heard Emma Purshouse perform her poem about flamingos in captivity and was struck by the humour and the poignancy of the words

Flamingos in Dudley Zoo

…‘The pond by the gates, the faces,
The chair-lift soaring overhead,
us sky-watching, pale with envy.’…

To research for this poem I went to the zoo one cold, windy Autumn day. I went straight to  the flamingo pool near the main gate and it was empty! It started raining as I started to search for the temporary location of the flamingos.  I huddled as close to the building as I could to start drawing.  Of course they were moving, so I was drawing a head here, a leg there… Then the keeper arrived with two tubs of food and they plunged their heads into the tubs leaving only one view to draw!   Satisfied by their food, they preened their feathers, tucked their heads in and fell asleep.  Luckily, I had drawn enough heads, beaks, legs and bodies in my sketchbook and managed to use these to create my drawing.  This was the basis for my etching shown here printed in black ink and then re-printed with coloured inks.