Saturday, 28 March 2020

the home residency and lumpy soup


I wish you all well  and I hope you are all coping in this difficult time. Artists are often solitary in their studios and the current online creativity is fantastic. I however should be a tad more careful what I wish for. I honestly don’t think that I am responsible for this outbreak but just a while ago, I dreamt of being able to have just two weeks solitary time in the studio and was planning how to achieve this. I wanted time to think, draw and mull over ideas for a new project and be away from all distractions. After a dash to the studio for supplies a few days ago I am now working from home,  the ‘new normal’ will be here for a while, we possibly, probably face several weeks, maybe months of isolation.  As I write I am waiting to hear the outcome of several applications I have made before lock-down.  Meanwhile, I am delighted that I was asked to take part in the Valley of Vision exhibition in Shoreham,  an outdoor show in late June so there is a faint chance it will go ahead. In preparation I have been working with paper,  the food blender has been requisitioned (it makes food taste bleurgh, so all soup will be lumpy from now on) and I am using pulp to create textures on the stiff paper I usually use. I spent yesterday in the front garden masked up for the fumes painting 'Bizkarroi'
 
At home I am tackling the enormous list of jobs as long as my arm, but I suspect I shall not be dealing with those with much enthusiasm!
A slightly altered version of this article will be featured in the Royal Society of Sculpture weekly bulletin


Sunday, 2 February 2020

This Stuff Matters

It has been a fine start to 2020 with a recorded discussion that I took part in with three other sculptors. 'This Stuff Matters' brings together myself, Gillian Brent, Jill Gibson and Sheila Vollmer. We recorded a far reaching and insightful discussion about our sculpture and our careers, with nearly 150 years of experience between us and we have seen huge changes. I shall be transcribing and editing the recording and this will be available on our website  https://www.stuff-matters.co.uk  We also managed to drink a lot of tea, the food was terrific and we had some lovely guests in the evening. Later in the year, we will all come together for a weekend event in Cullercoats near Newcastle in October, more news to follow as we progress.
 Jill Gibson photographs of her sculpture
 L_R My sculpture 'Clymdych', ceramic and wire, Gillian Brent, mixed media, Sheila Vollmer, (wall mounted) wood 

 My sculpture 'Fraster', bronze

 A view through 'Clymdych' to a Sheila Vollmer

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Instantloveland and in print

Highly flattered I was, to be asked to contribute to the website www.instantloveland.com . This is a dialogue forum for abstract art, examining and debating the diverse forms of art practise. I am indebted to the extremely patient editors John Bunker www.johnbunkerartist.com and Matt Dennis. As I chose to write about a visit I made many years ago, to an open studio event, (and it was very very many years ago!!) there were some extremely interesting discussions had about the subsequent changes in the art world once I submitted the first draft. Food for thought for me certainly. This was a challenging project but ultimately very rewarding. Enjoy!

 https://instantloveland.com/wp/2019/10/07/eye-opener-alexandra-harley/

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Centenary show at the City Lit!!






 It gives me great pleasure to have been selected for the inaugural exhibition in the brand new City Lit gallery space. The City Lit is celebrating its centenary this year and the very fine photographer Dominic Harris made a proposal to photograph staff, ex staff and students when they are not in college. It is a fascinating insight into the other lives we lead when we are not at work. I have been very happy teaching here for quite a number of years and I have some brilliant students. Dominic asked if he could come over to my studio and as I am not that keen on having my photo taken, I kitted myself up in my chainsaw togs as a disguise. All the photos of those of us who have taken part are on a loop  screened on one wall.  'Cyttan', a small stone carved sculpture  will be on show right through until December

My photo with Cyttan in one of the display cabinets

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

serenaded by 'bubbles'

I am loving being back in the studio after a summer break. However, getting there when the football is on is a nightmare, as West Ham play at the Olympic Park and my studio is next door - the other side of the tracks. I spent the day pottering about, drilling holes, trying things out, painting sculpture and just taking stock, all the while serenaded by the fans in fine voice. I am all for a bit of community singing but finding myself joining in was a tad disconcerting. The repertoire includes the first verse only of oldies but goodies, 'I'm forever blowing bubbles' is every other song. Other delights include -'It must be love', 'Come on Irene/Eileen(?)' 'Runaround Sue' and 'Sweet Caroline'. I have absolutely no idea why these songs are so significant and perhaps more importantly, whether it will subliminally affect my sculpture!
 Work in progress

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Summer shows



I was delighted to have 'Vinculum' selected by Greville Worthington, Chair of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, for the Royal Society of Sculptors Summer exhibition. The show is on until 14th September at the RSS HQ, Dora House.








108, Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 3RA

https://sculptors.org.uk/whats-on

Meanwhile my very fine chum Chris Wood, a phenomenal print maker, invited friends to exhibit in the excellent Yellow Edge Gallery in Gosport. Two of my mono prints were selected. We had a fine turn out including the mayor in all her finery. It is a great venue and I was in excellent company. Enough of all that socialising - back to the studio for a while!!

https://yellowedgegallery.com/




very bright and difficult to miss!

Monday, 18 March 2019

another fine day in the foundry


This was a perfect day to spend at the beautiful foundry that Terry has set up in Cambridgeshire. 

We built new sand boxes ably assisted by 2 dogs,

 admired cobwebs
 3 men and a box

 emptying the kiln

 firing up the crucible
 warming up

Polly checking what we are up to
 and a very fine pour - results next week!