Senin, 31 Mei 2010

Hockney Posters

David Hockney was on born 9 July 1937 in Bradford, Yorkshire. Painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer, who is currently based in Bridlington, Yorkshire, although he also maintains a base in London and Los Angeles. An important contributor to the Pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the twentieth century.
I've always been a fan of David Hockney's work, through all the changes in style and exploration of colour and form applied to canvas that he has pursued over the years. Posters and prints of his work probably run into the hundreds by now, and I really like them. Here is a random selection:

Minggu, 30 Mei 2010

Mark Hearld

Mark Hearld was born in York in 1974, where he continues to live and work. Hearld studied illustration at Glasgow School of Art followed by an MA in Natural History Illustration at the Royal College of Art.

Animals and plants have remained a constant source of inspiration to him, and are his most popular subjects. He has been greatly influenced by Picasso's style of spontaneous drawing; increasingly though it is the Englishness of Edward Bawden, Eric Ravilious and John Piper which has absorbed his attention, above all in his lithography and linocuts. He also produces unique paintings, collages and hand-painted ceramics.


Jumat, 28 Mei 2010

View House, Argentina

View House, designed by Mark Lee of Los Angeles-based Johnston Marklee Architects and Diego Arraigada of Diego Arraigada Arquitecto, based in Rosario, the finished result is a generous 300 square metre home.

The intention was to maximize the relationship with the terrain, and to achieve this the curved façade is punctuated by a series of generous windows, deeply recessed to provide solar shading and a place to sit. Carefully sited so as to create views that are unsullied by neighbouring houses, the scale of the windows is also deceptive, effectively shrinking the perception of the house's overall size.

Inside, the aesthetic shifts and the space literally opens up. Thanks to white plastered walls, elegantly formed to accommodate curving walls and ceilings, and multiple levels, the interior is a labyrinth of vistas, slopes and unexpected reveals, all the way up to a roof deck. It's also smooth, cool and calm, in stark contrast to the rough concrete texture of the exterior.

The architects arrived at the final form by interpreting local planning demands their own way, dismissing the conventions of front and back to create an object that is read in the round, a piece of simple geometry intersected by basic forms. Not only has the house created an enhanced environment for the owners, but arguably improved its neighbours's views. Few structures are so aptly named.

Rabu, 26 Mei 2010

Tate Modern

So Tate Modern is 10. Happy Birthday. One of my favourite London destinations; the trick is to get there late morning, take the lift to the 7th floor and start with lunch in the restaurant with fantastic views over the river and St. Pauls, then work your way down through the galleries and end up in the most comprehensive art bookshop in London.

Tate Modern in London is Britain's national museum of international modern art and is, with Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool, Tate St Ives, and Tate Online, part of the group now known simply as Tate.

The galleries are housed in the former Bankside Power Station, which was originally designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the architect of Battersea Power Station, and built in two stages between 1947 and 1963. The power station closed in 1981. The building was converted by architects Herzog & de Meuron and contractors Carillion, after which it stood at 99m tall.

2000: Louise Bourgeois Maman, I Do, I Undo, I Redo

The collections in Tate Modern consist of works of international modern and contemporary art dating from 1900 onwards. The Tate Collection is on display on levels three and five of the building, while level four houses large temporary exhibitions and a small exhibition space on level two houses work by contemporary artists.

2002-3: Anish Kapoor Marsyas

The Turbine Hall, which once housed the electricity generators of the old power station, is five storeys tall with 3,400 square metres of floorspace. It is used to display large specially-commissioned works by contemporary artists, between October and March each year in a series sponsored by Unilever. This series was planned to last the gallery's first five years, but the popularity of the series has led to its extension until at least 2012.

2003-4: Olafur Eliasson The Weather Project

2005-6: Rachel Whiteread EMBANKMENT

2006-7: Carsten Höller Test Site

2007-8: Doris Salcedo Shibboleth

2008-9: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster TH.2058

Senin, 24 Mei 2010


Having posted a blog about Copenhagen a few days ago I thought I'd follow it up with another, and little known part of Denmark - Greenland. In terms of area, Greenland technically makes Denmark one of the world's biggest countries, though we don't think of it in those terms. I haven't been to Greenland but I have flown over it, and it was the only time I've seen great icebergs floating around the shores.
Some of the photographs here show that Greenland has a beauty of it's own - even this aerial picture from Nasa is extraordinary:

Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically associated with Europe (specifically Denmark-Norway) for about a millennium.

The Atlantic Ocean borders Greenland's southeast; the Greenland Sea is to the east; the Arctic Ocean is to the north; and Baffin Bay is to the west. The nearest countries are Iceland, east of Greenland in the Atlantic Ocean, and Canada, to the west across Baffin Bay. Greenland also contains the world's largest national park, and is the largest dependent territory by area in the world. However, since the 1950s, scientists have postulated that the ice sheet covering the country may actually conceal three separate island land masses that have been bridged by glaciers over the last geologic cooling period.

Greenland is, by area, the world's largest island that is not a continent. It is the least densely populated country in the world. It has a population of 57,600 (July 2009 estimate), of whom 88% are Inuit or mixed Danish and Inuit. The remaining 12% are of European descent, mainly Danish. The majority of the population is Evangelical Lutheran. Nearly all Greenlanders live along the fjords in the south-west of the main island, which has a relatively mild climate. Approximately 15,000 Greenlanders reside in Nuuk, the capital city.

 Native Inuit photographed in 1917

All towns and settlements of Greenland are situated along the ice-free coast, with the population being concentrated along the west coast. The northeastern part of Greenland is not part of any municipality, but is the site of the world's largest national park, Northeast Greenland National Park.

About 81% of Greenland's surface is covered by the Greenland ice sheet. The weight of the ice has depressed the central land area into a basin shape, whose base lies more than 300 metres (984 ft) below the surrounding ocean. Elevations rise suddenly and steeply near the coast.

In 1979, Denmark granted home rule to Greenland, with a relationship known in Danish as Rigsfællesskabet (Commonwealth of the Realm), and in 2008 Greenland voted to transfer more competencies to the local government. This became effective the following year, with the Danish royal government remaining in charge only of foreign affairs, security and financial policy.

Minggu, 23 Mei 2010

Day out in London

What fantastic weather this weekend during our mini-heatwave. Yesterday Pauline and I had the opportunity to meet up with most of the family in London. A long day - we left home in Tunbridge Wells at 8.45am on Saturday morning and arrived back home 12.45 am on this Sunday morning - but a great day. We met our son Daniel with our grandchildren Benjamin aged 2 and Madeleine aged 1, our daughter Nina and her fiancé Paul at Waterloo.

 Thames Clipper catamaran that can reach impressive speeds along the Thames

In glorious sunshine and blue skies we all boarded a Thames Clipper water bus at the London Eye and journeyed downriver beneath Tower Bridge and the Tower of London as far as Canary Wharf.

The family on board the water bus

Canary Wharf was pleasantly quiet on a Saturday - lunch en famille at the Wharf:

Daniel has the biggest single pizza I've ever seen

Back at Waterloo we parted company with Daniel and the grandchildren and took a bus journey across the West End to Nina and Paul's flat in St Johns Wood where we chilled out reading the papers. In the evening Nina and Paul took us out for a lovely meal at the 5* Landmark Hotel in Marylebone:

A memorable day.