Tag Archives: Art

Mixed Media Monday

First of all, The Jazz Show went down a storm in my immediate circle; good feedback there. It was broadcast yesterday afternoon at 4pm – a return to form. I had been worried about playing music that was a bit more contemporary, up to date and…. well … not really the Jazz I love.

I am a massive fan of the Progressive and Spiritual Jazz that was in London in the late sixties / early seventies. Those guys had chops… well, here is the show:

And, I got this video for Kathryn’s Valentine’s gift.

I asked Charlie Chuck to send a personal message. I reckon a box of chocolates would have done the job but this was the best – Cheers Charlie!

I was in a bit of a flap because the video did not arrive until 2pm Valentine’s Day but Edie helped put my mind at rest. Lad must have been snowed under with requests. And I’ll tell you that!
Ijo Pona - AB07D066 E37B 4F27 9F39 E93F8D87F61F 1 105 c

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Andy Must Get Field Recording Again

Andy must get field recording again; it is important for him.

Other than speaking about myself in the second and third person, I, Andy B*, have a fondness for Field Recording – I have had a few successes with it, being reviewed positively in The Wire.

To motivate me, I set all sorts of schemes – this is one of them…Ijo Pona - sound map

iIt is a website called A Sound Map Of Harrogate. I collect the audio heritage fo the town and try and present it to anyone who has an interest, which at present is a series of Bots from China.

The thing that is holding me back from it is that I struggle to get outside; not due to work commitments (although that plays a big part) but due to being prone to loafing. I enjoy a loaf and this getting outdoors lark is a bit counter intuitive to it.

S’pose I could make a sound map of my flat?

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A Review: #OutThereTogether

Hi, I am Andy & I’d like to talk about Open Country and their show #OutThereTogether. Why? Because it is genius, that is why – but, first I have to state a case for it. I admit I am biased when it comes to ‘this sort of thing’ because I do ‘this sort of thing’ as a hobby. Yes, I stand in fields and woodlands to record the Dawn Chorus. The show in question broadcasts on Harrogate Community Radio every Sunday at 2pm.

The act of recording the natural world, the countryside and the animals that inhabit it is called “Field Recording.” Field Recording is a form of Slow Media. I am a massive fan of Slow Media. But where the hell did Slow Media start?

Field recording (the act of recording the natural environment) can trace its roots back to ethno-musicology. As soon as there were portable recording devices, people were in unmapped Borneo and up the Amazon looking for elusive nose-flute playing locals. Then there were also the folk who recorded the the natural world. And, that is where Open Country and #OutThereTogether come in.

See, in 2009, Norwegian television screened a seven-hour film of an unedited train journey from Bergen to Oslo. The programme had its roots in experimental art such as Andy Warhol’s 1963 work Sleep, a five-hour film of a poet sleeping, but by taking “slow media” to small-screen audiences, the Norwegian train journey paved the way for “slow TV”, a new genre intended to offer a break from the relentless pace dictated by much of digital life.

In 2015, the brilliant BBC Four Goes Slow series included a real-time “portrait of the making of a simple glass jug” and an uninterrupted two-hour boat journey down the Kennet and Avon canal. Later that year, the channel paid tribute to slow media’s Scandi roots with a broadcast of a reindeer sleigh ride across the Norwegian wilderness.

While television pioneered the genre, it is in radio and podcasts where the slow media movement has really gathered momentum. One of the most notable recent examples is Walking, a podcast in which the American writer Jon Mooallem steps out into the woods near his home, on Bainbridge Island near Seattle, with an audio recorder wrapped in a sock. Listeners hear the crunch of gravel, the creaking of gates and twigs snapping underfoot, but Mooallem himself stays largely silent. Naming the podcasts one of its best of 2019, New York Magazine said: “The sheer banality of the recordings both clears and focuses the mind.”

While sounds of nature make an obvious choice for slow radio (a la #OutThereTogether), Davey says soundscapes imbued with the hum of human activity resonate just as much with audiences. In one episode, a correspondent takes a walk across Tokyo to capture the sounds of gaming arcades and a baseball batting range. In downtown Nashville, motorbike engines roar as listeners catch muffled snatches of street-side conversations and the sounds of Dolly Parton drifting from bars.

Slow media producers are largely absent from their creations, but some of the most beautiful moments occur on #OutThereTogether when Tom breaks his silence. The thing I’ve found really moving is the sense of the person holding the microphone. Hearing someone moving through a landscape, or opening their window. A lack of narrative leaves listeners free to choose their own meaning. Some may tune in for a sense of solitude. For me, it feels more to me like standing with someone. Cheers Tom & Open Country.

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Art + Beer At The Mercer

Women On Tap At The Mercer

Well, I am fresh back from my third venture out’ in four days – I am all the better for it. I attended the Women On Tap event, Art & Beer At The Mercer.

What was it? It was an idea I had never really considered before – these gifted individuals were pairing beer with Artwork. Artwork that had been submitted to the Mercer for the Harrogate Open. Did it work, though?

beer at the mercer

The idea was that, from the 150 artworks on display, four of the individual artworks submitted to the Open would be paired with a beer by a gifted-girl-gang who’s taste buds are far more developed than mine. However, this blog post is not a critique of the beer I drank. Nor is this blog post a critique of the (awesome!) artwork on display – this blog post is about what I got from the event.

To start of with, I was thrown out of my comfort zone – I am not accustomed to being challenged when it comes to beer; it is the key to the heart and I like WD40. I tried different beers that I would not neccessarily have chosen to sip had I been in a pub. Nicola B. lucidly guided you through what to expect from each beer and accepted feedback. I am very grateful for this – I do not know what to look for in tasting notes. All of the beers, bar one, were new to me and that was worth coming for alone.

My sum knowledge of beer is that it is wet and it makes your legs do funny things if you drink too much. Nicola stood there for a swallow’s flight, holding the attending crowd in the palm of her hand as she explained why she had chosen the beer in question for us to try. Women On Tap were pairing artwork with beer!

And here is the bite – by doing so, Nicola had become the artist people had paid money to see. The Mercer is holding the open until January and I thoroughly recommend that you head down there to see the exhibit – but, the gallery is open until January – we were there for an interpretaion of the art through beer.

There were some gifted artists who’s work was on display to explain the process behind the craft of their art and the inspiration behind the craft. This was not a dry accademic exercise but an inspirational Have A Go!” speech. I loved it.

More of this, please!

View of the mercer

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There Is An Ongoing Art Event @BiasHarrogate

Bias Harrogate Art Auction

Last night was such good fun. And, now I am the richer for friendship and I have bagged myself a print of a fantastic painting by John McClenaghen! I will try and gloss over the dismal failure we all face at the hands of Pound-Shop-Mosley and his Yahboo politics. Today only, I will be quiet and I am not going to rise to defend all of the people who he threatens, but, I will Lactose the Intolerant if I get the chance. We voted; I will leave it at that.

After exercising my constitutional right, I hot-footed it to 17 Cold Bath Road for 7pm. The shop I visited was Bias. Bias Harrogate is a woman-led independent clothes shop & I help out every now and then with a bit of design and I sometimes help with their website. So, if you want to see their website please visit www.bias.store.

I was not there for the elegant clothing, I was there because there was an Art Event on the night. Four leading artists, who all have a local connection, have donated a piece of their artwork for a friend, Rachel, and the Bias Team to raise funds for Saint Michael’s Hospice. Tony Brummell Smith has donated a signed limited edition print of Al Ponte Antico’ which hangs in the Hotel Venice in that fabulous town. Alan Coulson has donated the signed artist’s proof of his great portrait of Honest Thomas,’ which featured in the National Portrait Gallery BP Portrait Award exhibition in 2017. John McClenaghen kindly donated Field Diffraction” and Kitty North donated Moonlit Night.”

The main event took place on Thursday 23 May at a ticket only Private Viewing, taking place from 7pm and 9pm. There were nibbles, beer art and friends — it was a hearty do. The paintings are still showing in Bias and there is the opportunity to buy them by bidding — If you are aesthetically curious head to Bias and check out the Art. It’ll make your day & all proceeds go to Saint Michael’s Hospice.

Kathryn joined us after looking after a hound (Milly) and I had to break it to her that I had bought a print of a painting by one of the artists featured in the Event. Thankfully, she loved it! Thankfully, the beer had not worked it’s magic yet and it was not one of the main pictures being sold off — but — a smaller print. Separate from the main, featured images yet still raising money for Saint Michael’s Hospice. I really got a good look at the works on display. Including the main attractions’ there were several prints commissioned by Maiden Bridge Art Gallery to mark the Millennium. The print I purchased was a millennium print called Flying Colours August” by featured artist John McClenaghen.

You might want to see the artwork on display at bias. To whet your appetite — please head over to the Bias Harrogate blog HERE and you will be able to see pictures of the pictures. It was a really good evening — normally I feel like a fish out of water in the company of polite society … normally I drink too much and start cracking inappropriate jokes. However, I always get such a warm welcome at Bias that they put me completely at my ease. And, I am sure you will receive just as warm welcome when you visit to see the artworks.

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Art Gallery

I thought I would write up a bit about what happened today — Kathryn has gone to bed and it is not yet time for me to hit the hay. It is times like these I feel a deep calm — a sense that all is well with the world — I have my meds to take and a restful night (hopefully) to look forward to. But, what did I do today? We went to Saltaire.

Me and Kathryn went to Saltaire with Scoob & K-Lo. Karen was booked for a Mongolian Dance class. To be honest I was a bit in the dark what the dance class would involve. However, Karen is a seasoned regular on the dance scene in Yorkshire and I was confident she would take it in her stride.

We went to their place for midday and drove in their Fiat 500 to Salts Mill. I quickly called into a pie shop for nourishment (pork pie — 4.75/5) and then we went to Souk. Every time there is a get-together of Middle-Eastern Dancers there is always a specialist market where there are the costumes associated with the dances are sold — there were some there priced at £475!

Next stop was Salts Mill — we worked our way down from the top to the bottom. There were still the David Hockney paintings (marvellous!) on display and we stocked up on a few books.

The books I got from the bookshop in Salts Mill were Norlisk, by Grigoriy Yaroshenko and a copy of Alice Rawsthorn’s Design As An Attitude’ — high brow stuff that is probably a bit above me.

Norlisk is a photo-essay on Industrial Decay in post-Soviet Russia. It is the photography equivalent of a poetry chapbook. It looks like something that I can keep returning to. Design As An Attitude’ could shake me up a bit a designer?

Karen then went to her class and me, scoob & Kathryn settled ourselves in Fanny’s Ale House. It was a great pub that had escaped the gentrification that had happened to most of the town. It was a good pub with good beer.

I ended up drinking a bit too much and made a tit of myself in the car on the way home, but, Karen was very understanding — Kathryn is curled up in bed and that is where I will be heading now.

Thanks for reading x.

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We Visited A Luminarium

Kathryn Backhouse

Me and Kathryn visited the Luminarium that was displayed as part of Harrogate International Festival. A Luminarium is a sculpture that you walk through to be moved to a sense of wonder by the colour and light. It was sort of somewhere between being in a womb or a cathedral. But fun.

Luminarium in Harrogate

The luminaria was designed by company founder Alan Parkinson. They are inspired by natural forms, geometric solids, Islamic and Gothic architecture. Each new creation is a maze of winding paths and inspiring domes where the visitors may lose themselves in sensory bliss.

Luminarium in Harrogate

There was ambient music playing and crowds were kept low. We only had to cue for 45 minutes to get in. Cues were up to 2hr long earlier in the day.

We went with Scooby & Karen. I told Scoob about it and they invited us to join them when we went along. It was then back to theirs. We had a few beers.

Kathryn has started to use the app Untappd — she documents everything she drinks. There is a link to the photos here

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A Peasant’s View Of Art

Kathryn had the day off work today — so we decided to pop over to Leeds to take in some culture. The City centre Gallery had benefited from a refurb and we were pleased to see that Joseph Beuys was the artist featured in the ARTIST ROOMS in the gallery. Not that I knew much about him before I arrived.

Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) was one of the twentieth century’s most important and revolutionary cultural figures, who changed the look and meaning of sculpture forever. A political and social activist and educator, Beuys believed in the healing power and social function of art. He saw creativity as central to all aspects of human existence, declaring that everyone is an artist’.”

I appreciate I may not be the most qualified of chaps to comment on the artist, Beuys, output. So, if you have anything different to say please leave a comment in the footer of this post. However, I went to an exhibition and this is my blog — so I will write about the exhibition.

Josephph Beuys

But what did I make to the above art and, inevitably, the artist’s take on life: I loved it. I believe Beuys was trying to merge the Scientific and the Spiritual through his sculptures and, personally, I think he challenged the way people see the world after being exposed to his art.

I know it has for me.

The materials he used were not the most palatable of choice for me — lots of materials that set my teeth on edge: felt & fat being two choice examples. But I love the symbolism of what he was hoping his viewer would get. Like Shakyamuni’s finger pointing towards the moon, the works I saw in Leeds today spoke of wider memes and counterpoints to the global psyche of the latter part of the twentieth century. I actually, for the first time in my life, think I got an art exhibition!

Beuys was instrumental in the founding of the German Green Party and used his profile as an artist to speak out for the disenfranchised and dispossessed. He actively campaigned for environmental issues and befriended a coyote. Were his works aesthetically appealing? No. In short, I believe his point was to provoke and administer a revolution of the individual. To overthrow our self-imposed rulers and set our selves free to be who we want to be.

After a bit of research into Beuys when I got home I read this about his choice of the before-mentioned materials: in 1942, Beuys was stationed in the Crimea and was a member of various combat bomber units. From 1943 on he was deployed as rear-gunner in the Ju 87 Stuka” dive-bomber, initially stationed in Königgrätz, later in the eastern Adriatic region. On 16 March 1944, Beuys’s plane crashed on the Crimean Front close to Znamianka. From this incident, Beuys fashioned the myth that he was rescued from the crash by nomadic Tatar tribesmen, who had wrapped his broken body in animal fat and felt and nursed him back to health:

Had it not been for the Tartars I would not be alive today. They were the nomads of the Crimea, in what was then no man’s land between the Russian and German fronts, and favoured neither side. I had already struck up a good relationship with them and often wandered off to sit with them.” — Joseph Beuys

Was Beuys an artist or a revolutionary … or a healer? I cannot answer that & I will leave the answer to those who knew him best. Either way, his work has left an impression on this peasant. I see him as someone who used the tools at his disposal, what he was good at, as a way of effecting long-lasting social change. Whether he was successful or not, I doubt it — but it has made me want to take up the baton for improving the self for the sake of others.

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The Art Of Pattern

Kathryn had the day off work today — so, I took time off from web design to do something” with my wife. We decided to visit the local art gallery, The Mercer. There was a retrospective for a deceased artist, who I had not really heard of at all — to find out that it was a textile artist … well, I cannot name another textile artist … her name was Shiela Bownas.

Shiela Bownas, I believe, was based up near Skipton for the majority of her years and she was somewhat a bit of an invisible’ designer. In that: if you described her as a lost’ designer you would imply that she was once well known. Unfortunately, Bownas did not get much credit for her art during her lifetime having sold on her designs to Liberty of London and Crown Wallpaper.

“The Art Of Pattern” – The Shiela Bownas Retrospective @ The Mercer, Harrogate

The collection that was housed in The Mercer stretched from the 1950-70’s. My personal favourite was the very colourful post-war years. I have a glicée print of one of her designs from that era as a souvenir. It was purchased on my first scouting of the exhibition to see if Kathryn would like it. We returned -Kathryn loved it! The glicée print is framed having been with a picture framers for a week.

“The Art Of Pattern” – The Shiela Bownas Retrospective @ The Mercer, Harrogate

I believe the collection is the personal property of a Chelsea Cefai — who bought a collection of textile drawings at auction to decorate the house she had just renovated.

As ever, the staff at The Mercer were welcoming and polite and the exhibition exceeded expectations. We then hot footed out of the gallery into the autumnal weather — it has been a bit of a funny autumn but still pub.

“The Art Of Pattern” – The Shiela Bownas Retrospective @ The Mercer, Harrogate

“The Art Of Pattern” – The Shiela Bownas Retrospective @ The Mercer, Harrogate

“The Art Of Pattern” – The Shiela Bownas Retrospective @ The Mercer, Harrogate

Katht1ryn went to Oxfam and I head over to Major Tom’s Social for a pint. I quickly set up a tab and Kat joined me — she was drinking a fruit beer that was a collaboration between Wylam Brewery and Brew York // I was on the Stonecutter Pale.

Major Tom’s, Harrogate

Both Pints seemed good — Kat stuck with a half and I went and had a few. Pizzas were ordered and we pegged it through the rain, with my trousers gradually slipping off my hip, into the night.

It is rare that Kathryn and I get to do stuff together — it is either my health or prior commitments that stall progress. We must make the best of our time together before anything happens — seize the day and all that.

And, today — we seized it with both hands.

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