Tag Archives: rose strang art

Thoughts on people and culture …

‘Damascus Rose 3’. Mixed media on 36×36″ wood panel

My recent article about creative exploration of the way we view a people and its culture was published on Bella Caledonia today, link – http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2017/03/10/roses-of-the-world/

It’s great to add my voice to the creatives who contribute to Bella Caledonia –  an online publication that was launched in 2007 by Mike Small and Kevin Williamson (now also a supplement as part of The National).

It became hugely popular in the run up to 2014’s Scottish independence referendum, offering an alternative to mainstream media, and an interesting mix of in-depth opinion and culture alongside politics.

They increasingly encourage contributions from a variety of thinkers and creatives –  and my article coincides with a general interest in exploring ideas of identity and nation; a subject that has recently dominated headlines, most recently with Melanie Philips’ controversial (and inexplicable!) Times article which offered up some suspect ideas on what constitutes a nation. (I’d link to it but there’s a Times paywall – you can explore Bella’s response here  http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2017/03/07/authentic-nations/)

I’ve always been resistant to art that coincides with a certain political stance or party, and still am – my recent series was a visceral and emotional response to the situation in Syria, also my attempt at a creative take on the way propaganda influences our view of a nation, or a people and their culture. Ultimately though, the inspiration is landscape for me creatively, and I can’t wait for the upcoming trip to the Isle of Harris in May – peace and inspiration beckon!

Blue series day 5

'Blue 3'. Mixed media on 20x16" canvas

‘Blue 3’. Mixed media on 20×16″ canvas

'Blue 2'. Mixed media on 20x16" canvas

‘Blue 2’. Mixed media on 20×16″ canvas

'Blue 4'. Mixed media on 20x16" canvas

‘Blue 4’. Mixed media on 20×16″ canvas

These are the latest versions of the blue series (Number 2 is finished). The rest are still in progress and I’m now collaborating with composer/cellist Atzi Muramatsu on the series. We’ll be responding to each other’s creative progress which will feed into the final results of paintings and music. As always I’ll post results of our work here via video and images.

It’s a pleasure as always to work with Atzi, who collaborates across many art forms including dance – we’re buzzing with ideas at the moment! You can view/hear Atzi’s work Here and Here

Also, this video shows our most recent small collaboration..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzMVjho3LXs

 

 

‘North’ cello piece

As mentioned a few days ago, my friend, the composer/cellist Atzi Muramatsu, offered to create a musical response to his favourite paintings from the Snowscapes series. He emailed his music piece to me a few days ago and I’ve had time today to put together a two-minute video montage (below)

I love the way Atzi’s music draws me into his response to the paintings,  often re-inspiring ideas. In this case I’m inspired to play around with black ink – allowing subtle effects to happen with salt and ink, suggesting space and depth through layers and transparent glazes.

Hope you enjoy the video  – ‘North’…

 

 

Cockenzie Power Station: 2 Paintings

'Cockenzie Power Station, 26th September 2015'. Mixed media on 17x11" wood panel

‘Cockenzie Power Station, 26th September 2015’. Mixed media on 17×11″ wood panel

'Watchers (Cockenzie)'. Mixed media on 17x11" wood panel

‘Watchers (Cockenzie)’. Mixed media on 17×11″ wood panel

These are the two finished works in response to Cockenzie Power Station which was demolished at 12 noon on the 26th of September this year.

It was a coal fired power station launched in 1967, run by the nationalised Scottish electricity board then by privatised Scottish Power, classed as inefficient in 2013 then decomissioned.

People lined the east coast shores on the 26th to watch it come down, and luckily I got a call from a friend who was driving out there. I knew it would be a good photo opportunity but only decided to paint it later.

Watching my video afterwards, I realised I’d captured the sound of waves, as I was just a few feet away from the shore, and I liked the way the sounds of explosion along with ‘oohs’ and ‘aah’s from the crowd faded into peaceful, lapping waves.

This is my video of the event…

The towers, reflected in the water, then vanished, seemed like seismographic recorders. The waves like time-markers or markers of disruption, lapsing into peaceful silence. I wanted to reflect these ideas, and played around with effects on a wood panel until it felt right. I liked the way the reflection of the towers began to resemble a seismograph, which is why I made the towers appear less real, more like graph needles or markers of time.

Lastly here are a few photos of people watching on the shore or from the sea..

P1280615 P1280603 P1280620

 

 

Cockenzie Day 5

'Cockenzie Power Station, 26th September 2016'. Mixed media on 17x11" wood panel

‘Cockenzie Power Station, 26th September 2016’. Mixed media on 17×11″ wood panel

Today’s version of Cockenzie Power Station. I’m a bit more happy with this, but the light’s fading so it’s hard to tell. Tomorrow’s the last day I have time to paint for a while, so I think it’s almost there, it had better be!

I was sorry to miss the Demarco European Art Foundation’s exhibition of Romanian Artists yesterday. Romania commemorates the holocaust on the 8th October and yesterday was the preview evening of the Romanian artists Richard Demarco has worked with over the decades.

The exhibition is still on at Summerhall in Edinburgh, so drop in if you’re nearby. I hope to see it in the next few days. There is sure to be fascinating work there, often by artists responding to Romania’s often troubled history from past to present, including Neagu, Horia Bernea and Ion Bitan. It’s an inspiration to see the Demarco Foundation’s continuing committment to presenting the work of artists across Europe.

You can view more info about the exhibition Here

Yesterday was also my mum’s birthday and the day an asteroid ‘SKIMMED’ (Daily Express 🙂 ) past the earth at 45, 000 miles ph, missing us by a mere 25 million miles!

New works

P1280696I’m just laying down the base colour on these 17×11 inch wood panels for two new paintings I’m creating, inspired by the moody seascapes and atmosphere of the east coast. I watched Cockenzie Power station being demolished last weekend and I wanted to express ideas of change and impermanency.

The dark background is because I’ll be layering over subtle mid-grey tones mixed with gesso and marble dust, then scratching through the top layer to create forms and lines. At least, that’s the plan! Things always change in process.

These should be finished by the end of next week, then I’ll be submitting them for the RSA in Edinburgh

 

Prints

Mounted print. 5x5 inch print in 10x10 inch mount

Mounted print. 5×5 inch print in 10×10 inch mount

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mounted Prints (selection). 5x5 inch image in 10x10 inch mount

Mounted Prints (selection). 5×5 inch image in 10×10 inch mount

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'North II' Giclee print 8x4.5 inch giclee print

‘North II’ Giclee print 8×4.5 inch giclee print

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'North Berwick, Autum'. 14x9.5 inch giclee print

‘North Berwick, Autum’. 14×9.5 inch giclee print

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

'North - Transmigration'. 12x12" giclee print

‘North – Transmigration’. 12×12″ giclee print

'Stormy Sky, Lindisfarne'.  20x16" giclee print (slight damage)

‘Stormy Sky, Lindisfarne’. 20×16″ giclee print (slight damage)