Category Archives: art and the arts

Mark Lawson talks to Gilbert and George

Gilbert and George are probably best known for their similar appearance and demeanor but you may not know much about their lives or their work.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

They have been a huge influence on many artists and musicians and are very rarely interviewed.. so it was lovely to see Mark Lawson talk to them about their lives, work and routines. Mark seemed a bit star struck and this adds a nice almost reverential air to the interview.

Well worth a watch.. and if you haven’t come across Gilbert and George before there is more on their website about them and their work – be warned – they like swear words! <a href="http://www.gilbertandgeorge acheter viagra pharmacie ligne.co.uk/” target=”_blank”>http://www.gilbertandgeorge.co.uk/

Henry Moore – Arena documentary

Buried deep in the archives on the BBC website are a collection of wonderful old films and documentaries including this one about the sculptor Henry Moore.

This was an Arena programme broadcast to celebrate Moore’s 80th birthday and is a collection of several films collated by John Read who interviewed and filmed Henry Moore six times over a 28 year period.

There is a decidedly old fashioned and almost reverential tone to the programme but it is a times a beautiful ‘fly on the wall’ documentary and a wonderful insight into the life and work of Henry Moore.

henry moore arena documentary

His huge sculptures can be found all over the world but many of his large pieces are actually not far from us at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield.

I think my favourite part shows the laid back attitude of Henry Moore. He goes off for lunch on his bike while a team and a crane are trying to move an enormous sculpture out of the workshop. It breaks in various places and Moore returns to find chaos and panic – his response to months of work being damaged was beautiful – ‘it can be mended’ 🙂

More old Arena programmes can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006pn88

And there are a huge number of photos of Henry Moore sculptures on flickr for your perusal.

 

In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg

I love In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg.. 45 minutes a week on BBC Radio 4 and you know you will always learn something new!

The thing that amazes me most about these programmes is how Melvyn seems able to ask pertinent question regardless of the topic. He is surrounded by people who have spent years studying a particular subject and he always sounds like he knows what he is talking about whether it is the history of Mali, The Salem witch trials, X-Ray Crystallography or Rumi’s poetry.
Only once have I heard him flummoxed.. and must confess I was too.. so have a listen and see what you think about this classic discussion about Bertrand Russell and his work on Analytic philosophy.

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the influential British philosopher Bertrand Russell. Born in 1872 into an aristocratic family, Russell is widely regarded as one of the founders of Analytic philosophy, which is today the dominant philosophical tradition in the English-speaking world. In his important book The Principles of Mathematics, he sought to reduce mathematics to logic. Its revolutionary ideas include Russell’s Paradox, a problem which inspired Ludwig Wittgenstein to pursue philosophy. Russell’s most significant and famous idea, the theory of descriptions, had profound consequences for the discipline.

Have a browse through the comprehensive A-Z with all episodes broadcast since 1998 and I’m sure you’ll find something that takes your fancy.. from the A of The Abbasid Caliphs to the Z of The Zulu Nation’s Rise and Fall.  

The Fragile Framework – Climate Change

The Climate talks in Paris are currently going on .. and I came across this cartoon by Richard Monastersky and Nick Sousanis  on the Nature site which summarises past talks and what they are debating.

I am writing this in a week when floods, rain and strong winds have devastated parts of Northern England. In Honister Pass in Cumbria 341.4 mm (13.4 inches) of rain fell in 24 hours. Floods are also affecting Chennai in India and parts of Norway.. but nobody seems to be making the link between this abnormal weather and the talks in Paris. Climate is already changing.

Click on the images below to go to the cartoon or see the Nature website.

Eyes as Big as Plates

Well.. Eyes as Big as Plates is an artistic venture which could also be called  Old People With Things On Their Heads .. that really is it.  A fantastically quirky and captivating set of pictures that I love.

Eyes as Big as Plates is the ongoing collaborative project between the Finnish-Norwegian artist duo Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth. Starting out as a play on characters from Nordic folklore, Eyes as Big as Plates has evolved into a continual search for modern human’s belonging to nature. The series is produced in collaboration with retired farmers, fishermen, zoologists, plumbers, opera singers, housewives, artists, academics and ninety year old parachutists. Since 2011 the artist duo has portrayed seniors in Norway, Finland, France, US, UK, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Sweden and Japan and Greenland added to the list in 2015.

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Eyes as Big as Plates # Bengt II (Norway 2011) © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Each image in the series presents a solitary figure in a landscape, dressed in elements from surroundings that indicate neither time nor place. Here nature acts as both content and context: characters literally inhabit the landscape wearing sculptures they create in collaboration with the artists.

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Eyes as Big as Plates # Astrid II (Norway 2011) © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

As active participants in our contemporary society, these seniors encourage the rediscovery of a demographic group too often labelled as marginalized or even as a stereotypical cliché. It is in this light that the project aims to generate new perspectives on who we are and where we belong.

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Eyes as Big as Plates # Agnes II (Norway 2011) © Karoline Hjorth & Riitta Ikonen

Don’t know about you but I really love that picture of Agnes 🙂

To see more like this check out the carousel of images or the Eyes as Big as Plates blog for their latest adventures!

Colouring and mandalas can reduce stress

I came across an article recently in the Huffington Post Coloring Isn’t Just For Kids. It Can Actually Help Adults Combat Stress. It appears that colouring, and especially colouring symmetrical patterns like mandalas, can help reduce stress.

For most of us we need to use our left brain more in our working lives.. this governs areas like verbal and written communication, logic, organisation and analytical thinking, whereas, the right brain is much more about patterns, colours, sensory input and intuition.  See here for a good summary of attributes for left and right brain from about.com websitte – but it real life there is a bit of overlap for most people. We need to use our right brains more for colouring and concentrating on colour and patterns and  this seems to switch off the left brain – if you struggle to calm your mind to meditate then why not try a bit of colouring instead.

pattern colouring Image from http://www.patternsforcolouring.com licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons LicenceWatch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

You might be surprised to hear Carl Jung was a big fan of mandalas and saw them as a graphical representation of the self more info here in an article on Jung and mandalas.

Mandalas are symmetrical patterns that exist in all cultures and go back thousands of years. The word mandala comes from the sanskrit word for circle but mandala type patterns can be found in all religions and cultures. In our everyday  lives you can see madala type patterns in many objects such as floor tiles, fabric, plate patterns and church windows like the Rose Window at Durham Cathedral.

mandalas I found the images above on http://printmandala.com/ where you can download many different mandalas. So..why not print a couple off now and do some colouring!

If you prefer the idea of a proper colouring book there are a lot more available for adults than you might think. Here are a small selection I found on Amazon.I quite understand many people have issues with Amazon and prefer to shop elsewhere. If so, have a look at Alibris which is like Amazon but nicer and full of independent booksellers.

// Amazon.co.uk Widgets

This was originally posted on the North Craven Networking blog.