Thursday, 28 August 2014

Lifesize Amy Winehouse statue arrives Camden 14 September!

The now familiar Back to Black cover image
photographed by Mischa Richter 
As a HUGE Amy Winehouse fan I was delighted to hear that a statue of the singer is to be erected in Camden, her own patch of our fair capital.

Expected to arrive on what would have been Amy's 31st birthday on 14 September, the life sized bronze by sculptor Scott Eaton, will make Camden a must-visit location for music fans everywhere.

Interestingly, Scott Eaton's website says there are currently no public images of the statue's final design. Images produced to date were apparently for planning permission only and no-one knows the precise design or location of the finished bronze!  

Hard to believe it's already three years since Amy died on 23 July 2011 aged just 27. Her multi award winning album, Back to Black, with one of the best photos of Amy ever taken (by Mischa Richter) on the cover, remains my favourite album, like, for EVER!

Monday, 18 August 2014

Florentijn Hofman's Big Rubber Duck disappears in China floodwaters

Florentijn Hofman is the chap who specialises in massive, mainly animal sculptures. We've posted about his fun work in the past and admired the way it brings people together.
You may remember the post about his Rubber Duck Project. 
Having been a success around his native Netherlands & Western Europe, the huge yellow foul is turning up in harbours around the world as a part of major festivals and exhibitions.

Big Rubber Duck deflates in Hong Kong harbour, May 2013

In Hong Kong the Big Rubber Duck deflated, in Taiwan it exploded 'in unexplained circumstances' and now in China's Guizhou Province the popular bird, seen by some 4m people in one month, was swept away by floodwaters.

The Big Rubber Duck in Guizhou, China, before it was swept away by floodwaters, July 2014

Apparently the BRD was taken by the tsunami that caught the area unawares so that despite being tethered to an enormous, anchor-like, underwater stanchion weighing some 10 tonnes, the bird was swept out to sea and destroyed.
Poor Florentijn Hofman. Poor Big Rubber Duck. The project, which brings joy and delight to the populous wherever it appears, has not experienced the best of luck on its recent Asian travels.

BRD in Osaka harbour, Japan, in 2009
Whether the extreme conditions that appear to befall BRD can be attributed to climate change or very bad luck is probably only known by Hofman's insurers who are in all likelihood the only people not to have been disappointed by these occurrences.
We wish Hofman, Big Rubber Duck and the continuing Rubber Duck Project all the luck in the world and hope this event brings an end to its nautical misfortunes.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Shaun the Sheep to follow Aardman's Gromit on major art trail!!

Shaun the Sheep
Aardman is at it again! Some time ago I blogged about the Bristol 'Gromit' trail and now, having just been voted the nation's favourite children's TV character, it's Shaun the Sheep's turn to shine!

The Gromit trail around Bristol was tremendously successful, visited by 
some 1.2 million people!
Shaun first appeared in Wallace & Gromit: A Close Shave, in 1995. Such was his character and popularity that in 2007 he was given his own TV series. Now he's to appear across Bristol and London in his own major public arts trail to again raise funds for the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.

Shaun the Sheep as we're more used to seeing him, from Aardman

It's anticipated that up to 120 giant sculptures of Shaun will appear across the two cities, decorated by artists and celebrities. Yesterday Aardman creator, Nick Park, launched the project, which looks FANTASTIC!!! 
Another element of Aardman's 'Grand Appeal' for the Children's Hospital, the project is called Shaun in the City and will be taking place across the two locations in 2015, London in the spring and Bristol in the summer. 
Following the Gromit Unleashed trail, the sale of Gromit sculptures raised £2.3m for the Children's Hospital and even greater things are hoped for the sale of the Shaun the Sheep models after Shaun in the City
Look out for lots more news and great pics of Shaun's flock in colourful action in the months to come!

The first Shaun the Sheep sculptures for Shaun in the City, launched yesterday, 8 August.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

My Chelsea experience at Parallax Art Fair!

Parallax Art Fair at Chelsea Town Hall
Phew! The Parallax Art Fair last weekend was amazing! And exhausting! It poured on Friday evening, which made transporting watercolours treacherous, especially since parking was almost impossible - even the local NCP was packed.

Lizzy,still putting up paintings
at the private view!
Squeezing into a tiny Pay & Display spot around the corner, Max and I had only an hour to get everything into Chelsea Town Hall and to put up all the paintings in my designated exhibition area.

Two hours later we were still at it! I'd prepared a scaled drawing of the space but the paintings seemed to hang higher than expected. I wasn't the only artist who discovered this. With no time to re-hang, I believed my pictures couldn't be viewed at their best :(

Lizzy with cousin Graham Barker & art agent, Celia Purcell
With no time to make adjustments, Max and I dashed for the car. Thankfully the place we were staying was nearby. With less than an hour to get ready for the evening's private view I wondered if I could possibly make it in time. Somehow I did it, fishnets, high heels and all, and we cabbed it back to Chelsea Town Hall arriving just a few minutes late.

As my hair frizzed in the heat and humidity of the exhibition space, something I'd have to get used to over the next two days (take a portable fan if you're attending Chelsea Town Hall, people!), I wondered anew if exhibiting at Parallax was such a sensible idea. 

Sandra Blaz, interested in a future commission
Then the lovely London art agent Celia Purcell came walking towards me, wide smile on her face, and I relaxed. I'm always pleased to see her because she's particularly enthusiastic about my 'quirky style'. She loved my exhibited drawing of ‘Notre Dame’ and wants me to paint more for inclusion in her own exhibition nearer Christmas! Celia, I will, I will!

Saturday - before the rush!
Over the two days of the Art Fair many lovely guests from around the world visited my stand and YES! On Saturday I sold my painting, ‘Girl on a Motorcycle’. That made the event for me! The cute watercolour references the 1960s, Vespa scooters and Marianne Faithfull in 'Girl on a Motorcycle' and has long been one of my personal favourites.

Lizzy with Bruce Withington in his Chelsea garden, with 'Girl on a Motorcycle' - SOLD!

Bruce, who purchased the piece, had bought his son Ollie along to the Art Fair. It was Ollie who spotted the painting and wanted it for his bedroom wall. Ollie also happens to be the name of a character in ‘Made In Chelsea’ and I told Bruce how I adored the programme and would love to have my own Chelsea experience. Just like that Bruce invited Max & I to his Chelsea home for Pimm's & strawberries! What a great guy!

Loving my Chelsea experience and totally star-struck (Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys' fame lives a few doors down the road) Bruce took us on to the Phoenix Geronimo Inn, which also features in ‘Made in Chelsea’, where he treated us to cocktails. This fabulous chap gave me my own wonderful Chelsea experience, so thank you Bruce, you're an art lover, thoroughly lovely man and a star!

Parallax Art Fair underway and already there are lots of visitors

Plenty to see & much to talk about!

Artist Bozena Czyz with her work

A closer look
So much to take in across Chelsea Town Hall

Heading home
Silent contemplation. Will she, should she?