Arts & Crafts bedroom at Blackwell

P3130614

Last Autumn Blackwell opened a recreated Master Arts & Crafts bedroom inspired from  designs by Hugh Baillie Scott, Blackwell’s architect, interpreted by contemporary designers. The items of furniture and other objects on display are very typical of the Arts & Crafts style.

The oak bed has been created for the room from a actual design by Baillie Scott from the Pyghtle Works catalogue printed in 1901.

P3130615

P3130616

Griet Beyaert at Blackwell

P3130608

On Monday we checked out of our B and B in Keswick, and after picking up supplies for our stay in Kentmere, we drove to Blackwell. We couldn’t get access to the cottage we’d booked until late afternoon and a visit to the Arts and crafts house near Bowness is always enjoyable.

The current exhibition features works by a young artist who works in glass – Griet Beyaert. The main exhibit was The Light Within – a “site-responsive glass, sound and video installation” created in conjunction with Paul Miller – working  collaboratively as The Glass Cyphers.

In addition there were a number of works by Griet strategically positioned around the house – suspended from the ceiling, standing on furniture and window sills

placed by the artist to draw further attention to the beautifully carved wooden interior and stained glass windows that root Blackwell in its Lakeland location.

P3130623

P3130602

The works were abstract sculptural forms made from glass, a medium I’m interested in given that my first job was working for a major glass manufacturer.

P3130618

P3130620

I thought that they were very attractive. They rather reminded me of delicate sheets of ice and snow.

P3130604

 

P3130629

P3130630

The Light Within was located in the Oliver Thompson Gallery on the first floor, it’s

a multi-layered video projection-mapped onto sculpted glass works and accompanied by a soundscape.

A photograph can’t do justice to the installation – we thought it was very imaginative and effective

P3130610 (2)

William Blake at Tate Liverpool

P3020513

Satan smiting Job with boils

Tracey Emin’s bed was being shown as part of an exhibition which is meant to explore the connection between this controversial work and the paintings of William Blake.

According to the Tate

This new display affirms Blake’s Romantic idea of artistic truth through existential pain and the possibility of spiritual rebirth through art, shared in the work of Tracey Emin.

I have to say I found it difficult to see any real connection – if there is one it is rather tenuous. But it was great to see a significant collection of magnificent prints and drawings by Blake, most of which I hadn’t seen before “in the flesh”, displayed together in Liverpool. A real treat.

William Blake is something of a hero of mine. As well as a visual artist – a painter and printmaker – he is also well known as a poet. He was a political radical – a supporter of the French Revolution – and a religious visionary.

 File:William Blake by Thomas Phillips.jpg

(Picture source : Wikipedia)

He was also an innovator, developing a printing technique known as relief etching and used it to print most of his poetry. He called the technique illuminated printing and the poetry illuminated books. Many of the works on display in the exhibition were created using this process.

This is just a small selection of them

P3020509

Pity (c 1795)

This image is taken from Macbeth: ‘pity, like a naked newborn babe / Striding the blast, or heaven’s cherubim horsed / Upon the sightless couriers of the air’. Blake draws on popularly-held associations between a fair complexion and moral purity. These connections are also made by Lavater, who writes that ‘the grey is the tenderest of horses, and, we may here add, that people with light hair, if not effeminate, are yet, it is well known, of tender formation and constitution’. (Tate website)

P3020514

The Body of Abel Found by Adam and Eve c.1826

This work shows Adam and Eve discovering their dead son. His brother Cain, the murderer, flees the scene. Despite his evil deed, Cain, appears as an ideal male figure. (Tate website)

P3020515

Nebuchadnezzar 1795–c.1805

 

P3020516

The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy (formerly called ‘Hecate’) circa 1795

Enitharmon is an important female character in Blake’s mythology, playing a main part in some of his prophetic books. She is the Emanation of Los, and with Los gives birth to various children, including Orc. Although symbolising spiritual beauty and poetic inspiration (some critics have argued that Blake’s wife Catherine was the inspiration for the character) she is also used by Blake to represent female domination and sexual restraints that limit the artistic imagination (Tate website)

“Sprung a Leak” at Tate Liverpool

P3020470 (2)

I called into Tate Liverpool during a day out in Liverpool last week. I hadn’t been for a while so there was plenty of new exhibits to see.

Something different seemed to be going on in the ground floor gallery so I thought I’d have a look. And it certainly was different. It was

a “multi-dimensional work featuring two humanoid robots and a robot dog”

by half-Belgian, half-American artist Cécile B. Evans, currently based in London, who .

No paintings or sculptures on display but instead the room was filled with video screens and in the middle of it all two robots, plus a robot dog, whizzing around and performing a three act play

P3020502

P3020504

Interviewed in the Guardian

“In its simplest form,” says Evans, “it’s an automated play about a collaboration between machines and humans against external forces that affect their wellbeing … There’s a coup, there’s an incident at a pool party, and then everyone dies.”

P3020489 (2)

Human characters were represented by three digitised pole dancers – the Users – and a beauty blogger with hands but no arms.

P3020501 (2)

P3020486

The work took the form of a three act play

“about a collaboration between machines and humans against external forces that affect their wellbeing … There’s a coup, there’s an incident at a pool party, and then everyone dies.” (Guardian)

It ran for 18 minutes and then the robots repositioned and the play re-run.

P3020506 (2)

It wasn’t exactly a straightforward play – the dialogue was rather abstract but it seemed to be about the loss of liberty in society – there’s a character called Liberty in the play – very appropriate given what is happening in the world at the moment with all the worrying  Populist and Nationalist  developments. For me, another theme was how society is becoming more and more automated with humans becoming ever more dependent on machines. Perhaps these two trends are linked?

It was an interesting work that makes you think and entertaining too – watching the robots whizz around. Worth seeing again if I get the chance