Connemara: In the footsteps of Charles Lamb

After spending a weekend in Carraroe, I can see why the artist Charles Lamb spent his life there painting scenes of everyday folk working in Connemara.

I spent time by Loch an Mhuilinn (Mill Lake) which was stunningly beautiful and very peaceful. It was brilliant to be able to climb down to the lakeside, due to it being very low after a Summer of drought in Ireland, and listen to the waves lapping the shore.

Here's a few pics I captured over the weekend:

Loch an Mhuillinn

Mike TV

Film maker Mike Andrews was back filming me at work in my studio for his documentary. It was a chilled out day. I like to just get on with it and paint away. I think this works for Mike too!

Look out for news about this short film very soon.....

Mike sent the above photo to me today. I love the angle he took it from. It is great to have pics of me working.

Spray Paint x 9!

Chris Burden

Back in 2006 I surprised my wife with a trip to Paris the day after she finished her finals. It was an amazing trip - we stayed in a small hotel that had been recommended on the George Hook radio show. It was in a great location near the Jardin du Luxembourg (where, rumour has it, Hemingway shot pigeons for his dinner when he lived in Paris).

We had a super time in Paris, whiling the time away in small bistros and drinking wine and eating lots of cheese in-between visiting museums and art galleries (my favourite was the Picasso Museum but I also enjoyed the Musee d'Orsay).

We also made a visit to the Georges Pompidou Centre to appreciate both the architecture and the art. We saw both Kandinsky and Pollock in the Pomidou Centre along with work by an artist that stuck with both my wife and I for years to come, even though we couldn't remember the artists name.

Over the years after our Paris trip we would discuss the art we had seen and in particular the films of that artist who "put wooden ladders in a room that had a plastic coated floor which was then flooded with water while an electric current was sent through the water - all while people stood on the ladders". We each had different thoughts on this work but we agreed that we thought it was something to do with the fragility of life and how we are all in our general lives at all times very close to death by the situations that we put ourselves in. I don't know if this was actually the artists intention to convey this message but that indicates the subjectivity of art - this is what my wife and I got from it.

The other piece we saw was what we now know is called "Shoot". This involved the artist being filmed while he was shot on the arm by someone. Whoa!!  You can not believe how this piece stuck with us. Many a time I mentioned this art work to friends in discussions about modern art and what is art. It certainly got the conversation going!

Anyway flash forward over 10 years and I am browsing Netflix. and up pops a recomendation for me. It is "Burden" about artist Chris Burden. I click in and not long after I realise it is about the artist above that I had seen all those years ago in Paris. I had never known his name!

Click here for the trailer for "Burden"

It was interesting to watch all about "Shoot" with a fresh perspective but it was also brilliant to see all of his work beyond the two pieces we had seen. In particular, the much replicated "Trans-fixed" where he was suggestively crucified on a Volkswagon Beetle which was extremely thought provoking for me.

Watching this documentary brought me to a new level of appreciation and understanding of this artist. I began to understand that what he was working on is performance art and that it was very much based on ideas and activities rather than creating art work for the commercial art market. It is about making art for art's self. What a noble ideal.

Read more about Chris Burden here.

Christmas is coming....

Christmas is coming and we are all beginning to think of gifts for our loved ones. Most of us have that one hard to buy for person in our life. They are generally someone who has everything and they cause lots of stress as we fret over what to get them.

Worry no more, as I have the perfect suggestions of what to buy for the hard to buy for. 

ART!

Who doesn't love art? And even if someone has lots of art they always want more!

So if you make the decision to buy art this Christmas do check out my online store here.

Or get in contact with me and we can arrange a convenient time for you to call to my house and have a look at a particular piece that you have an interest in. I will serve mince pies and mulled wine (well it is Christmas!) while you peruse my work.

Send me an email if you want to have a look at my artwork and remember I also sell prints!

 

 

 

Basquiat at the Barbican

A while ago, I heard that there was going to be a major Jean Michel Basquiat in The Barbican Centre and immediately started making plans to get to London to see it.

We booked tickets online for the exhibition and then booked flights with Aer Lingus. It suited us best to fly from Dublin on an early morning flight and then return home later that day.

When we landed we went straight to the train station to take the Heathrow Express in to Paddington Station. From Paddington we walked to Baker Street stopping for breakfast on the way. After eating, we were back on our way and took the tube to The Barbican Centre.

I had been telling my wife about two Banksy artworks that had appeared before the exhibition opened (see more here) and we decided to go for a look before we went in to "Boom for Real".

The Banksy's make quite a statement as you happen upon them on your way to The Barbican and it was pretty cool to get up close to his work.

Banksy at The Barbican

As you can see the work has been covered in perspex in order to protect the painting. Probably a good idea given what has happened some of Banksy's other works.

We took the obligatory selfie and excitedly went on our way to the main show.

When we arrived to the exhibition entrance there some security measures in place. They weren't terribly onerous - no bags (even small handbags) were allowed in to the show and of course photography wasn't allowed.

So in we went and thoroughly immersed ourselves in Basquiat for the next 2 hours.

It's hard to express how much I enjoyed this show. It was honestly one of the best exhibitions I have been to. The amount of Basquiat's work that had been gathered together in one space was phenomenal and the way it was displayed drew you in to his genius in a way that I did not expect. In some ways it was very overwhelming and nearly beyond my comprehension. 

All in all it was "Boom for Real"

Afterwards we walked a lot of London - we headed to the Gherkin, which I was very much impressed by, and then on to the Walkie Talkie Building (20 Fenchurch Street) and then found a Christmas market down near London Bridge.

After a nice lunch with a great view of London Bridge, see above, we decided to make a quick dash to the Tate Modern taking in Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on the way.

Our visit to the Tate really was a quick one but we got to see lots of amazing art including lots of Rothko's (a whole room full!), Kandinsky, Pollock and Picasso. Incredible!

After a full and busy day of art it was time to make our way back to Heathrow airport where we had time for a drink at a bar before our 8pm flight home.

All in all a top day!