In early July 2015, Random Spectacular No. 2 contributors Ultramarine played live on Northey Island, a National Trust property in the Blackwater estuary, off Maldon, Essex.
Although the island is generally leased to private tenants, once a year the Trust takes back the island for Castaway, a wild camping experience.
Music has always been an important aspect of the Castway weekends and this year Ultramarine (Ian Cooper and Paul Hammond) performed a live set (accompanied by saxophonist Greg Heath) which included Decoy Point, a track from their 2013 album This Time Last Year, which was inspired by the Blackwater landscape.
You can listen to three of the tracks performed live below.
Thanks to Ultramarine's Ian Cooper and LTM's James Nice for the photographs included here.
Opening on 2nd July 2015, 'Tonight Rain, Tomorrow Mud' is the second solo exhibition of David Cass' work at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh.
Cass’ 2013 solo show ‘Years of Dust and Dry’ was a great success where he transformed the gallery by installing some 200 found object based paintings which spoke of loss, decay and time.
As well as artworks that describe his travels over the last two years, Cass' newest work is inspired by the devastating floods which swept Florence in 1966 and Paris in 1910. He uses these historical events as point of focus to tackle the extremes of drought and inundation.
“I began creating these artworks late in 2013: 47 years after the flood which claimed at least thirty lives in Florence itself. I first visited Florence in late 2010, on a Royal Scottish Academy scholarship. I’ve returned several times since 2010, and my artistic response to the city has gradually developed. Inspired by artist James Hogg’s set of letters written from Florence during November 1966 (published in Dear Eddie & Popp by S.A.C.I.) this series of studies are as much an attempt to introduce a new element into my practice as they are explorative responses to the history of this catastrophe.”
Created with semi-hardened vintage paints, on antique papers and framed (in most cases) in antique frames ‘Tonight Rain, Tomorrow Mud’ features paper-based artworks, created in Almería, Florence, Lucca and Paris.
Earlier in the year we were visited by our friends from Country Living, along with our photographer and friend Cristian Barnett.
Some of Cristian's photographs appeared in the April issue of Country Living but several more are published in Country Living Modern Rustic which is available from magazine stands now.
I was lucky enough to attend the opening of the major show of work by Eric Ravilious at Dulwich Picture Gallery, curated by James Russell, but the show deserved a second visit at a slightly quieter time.
I’ve always found Ravilious' work totally absorbing, whether his watercolours (which are the focus of this exhibition), his lithographs and wood engravings or his designs created for ceramics, glass and other commissioned work.
On my recent second visit to the exhibition it became so much clearer to me that these watercolours were made by a printmaker and designer. There's a sharpness and a clarity to the objects in his compositions and the palette is perhaps purposely restricted. Closer inspection reveals Ravilious is creating textures and patterns in the same way that he might when creating a lithograph.
It's hard to single out one single painting but a firm favourite would be 'Ship's Screw on a Railway Truck' (1940). Not a promising subject perhaps. The sculptural propellor gleams out from the blue and grey landscape. The top left had corner is a beautifully composed scene of ship moored by a curved harbour and tree which in itself would make a perfect engraving or motif on a Wedgwood plate. In the foreground there's a playful pattern of footprints in the snow and in the grey sky above, soft white snow flakes and diagonal marks depict this bleak winter scene in the same way that Ravilious might have drawn on a lithographic stone.
James Russell has brought together watercolours of landscapes, interiors, still lifes and Ravilious' work as a war artist too. There’s much to see that I think a third visit is definitely on the cards.
'Ravilious' is at Dulwich Picture Gallery until 31st August 2015. Visit their website for full details.
And find out more via curator James Russell's website.
Those visiting Mark Hearld and Emily Sutton’s recent Open Studio event in York will have had a sneak preview of the new hand painted ceramic slip cast horses that Mark will be creating for his exhibition at York Art Gallery when it re-opens on the 1st of August 2015.
Mark will be curating and creating The Lumber Room: Unimagined Treasures which will feature objects from across York Museums Trust’s collections, including oil paintings, works on paper, taxidermy and social history.
Mark will also create new work in response to the objects including individually decorated ceramic slip cast horses made in response to the Leeds Horses in the collection.
We’ll be posting further details about the horses and Mark’s exhibition closer to the opening - do sign up for our e-mail newsletter if you’d like to find out more.
In the meantime, you might like to take a look at Mark's fabric and wallpaper designs for St Jude's.
We're just about to head off to Bergen for a few days for the opening of a new exhibition of work from long time St Jude's collaborator Alex Malcolmson.
In Møte over Nordsjøen (Meeting over the North Sea) Alex will be exhibiting a new series of box works and birds alongside the work of Shetland based painter Ruth Brownlee and Bergen based sculptor John Audun Hauge.
The exhibition runs from 18th April until 10th May 2015 at Galleri Allmenningen, Bergen, Norway.
Compass Rose Alex Malcolmson
Vega Alex Malcolmson
Ship Spirit Alex Malcolmson
Hail Showers approaching Spiggie Ruth Brownlee
Grey Sky Clearing, West Yell Ruth Brownlee
Monday 27th April 2015 sees the opening of two exhibitions at Edinburgh's Open Eye Gallery from our friends Brita Granström and Mick Manning.
In Sea Salt and Sour Dough, Brita will present a series of paintings capturing intimate, everyday moments inspired by her home life and the landscapes of the Scottish Borders. Playful and charming paintings which reflect her creativity in all aspects of her life.
'Sweden and the British Isles feature strongly in my paintings; environments that are always changing, never still. Painting on location both indoors and outdoors in all weathers produces images that, for me, encompass and celebrate themes of hope, humanity, life and mortality.’
For his Beasts of Scotland exhibition, Mick Manning has created a series of unique pochoir prints, created using hand-cut stencils, stippling and block printing.
Born in Yorkshire, Mick studied at Bradford, Newcastle and then the Royal College of Art. Having spent a number of years teaching artists including Mark Hearld at Glasgow School of Art, Mick now devotes him time to his illustration projects and printmaking activities.
Both exhibitions run from 27th April to 11th May 2015 at Open Eye Gallery, 34 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 6QE.
Rescuing The Washing Brita Granström
Vintage Plates Brita Granström
The Letter Brita Granström
Parrot Tulips Brita Granström
Setting The Table Brita Granström
Peregrine Over Edinburgh Mick Manning
Golden Eagle Mick Manning
Grey Seal Mick Manning
Lurcher Pup Mick Manning