Thursday, 26 May 2011

Current Inspirations...

Ellen Fullman: The Long String Instrument

Other Minds Festival, 2002. Photo: John Fago

Perusing the ever-inspiring Fluid Radio, I stumbled across this gem. Composer, sculptor and sound artist Ellen Fullman began developing her Long String Instrument in the early 80s. With seventy wires running anywhere between 50 and 200 feet long, Fullman's rosin coated fingers bow across the ""walking drone" instrument", creating complex and intriguing resonances with each movement. I am not the best at describing musical endeavors so I will let it speak for itself; watch Fullman's performance at the Berkeley Arts Museum here.

Allyson Mellberg Taylor & Jeremy Taylor

Allyson Melberg & Jeremy Taylor - "Guinea Up" - Walnut ink and egg tempera

Well, perhaps these two shouldn't be listed as a "current" inspiration as they are more of a constant source of inspiration. If you don't already, follow their blog if you are interested in creating homemade dyes, non-toxic artist materials & organic gardening. These are subjects I have become more invested in recently, especially as I stopped painting with my once-adored oils as the turpentine would give me tremendous headaches (years later I still find it hard to be in the same room as an open bottle of the stuff) and suffered a reaction to a household chemical last week where-in a strange rash began creeping up my hands and arms. Luckily for us, Allyson and Jeremy are compiling their invaluable knowledge within a book on the subject of non-toxic & ecologically friendly artists materials, which should hopefully be available at some point soon. The collaborative piece above is currently on show as part of the husband & wife art makers exhibition Happily Ever After, at the Together Gallery in Portland, Oregon.

Kiki Smith - Prints, Books & Things
Another of my favourite artists creeping up again. I saw this book in the Pompidou Centre during our recent trip to Paris but couldn't afford the €50 price tag, instead I immediately searched for it in the library when we returned home and have since renewed it twice already. Often thought (wrongly) as being primarily a sculptor, this book showcases Smith's large body of print work from her first ever screenprint to current works and an 8-page piece created especially for the book. It is easy to spend an afternoon lost in page after page of awe-inspiring, delicate work spanning themes of anatomy, femininity animals and nature. Check out the interactive MoMa site where you can view prints, videos and see Kiki's step-by-step print process.


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