Mary and Colin (Ben’s adventurous aunt and uncle, remember their first visit) were in Glasgow for a weekend getaway and they invited us to visit for the day. This was my first visit to Glasgow and it was too short (another post about our visit).
We had a flurry of art at GoMA, they had an exhibit by the artist Nikki de Saint-Phalle. The art had a very familiar quality to it, I had seen this before and then it hit me- Ms. Saint-Phalle’s art is featured in the fabulous fountain at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. My favourite is the spitting lips!
(Full lips are a theme)
(Mary and Ben reading up on the exhibit)
(Colin, a man after my own heart- straight to the video)
(Shadow and colour- nice!)
(We are so arty)
We hit the trendy art and music venue The Arches for lunch- we had some great giggles and tasty food- a ground pork and haggis burger for Ben and a spicy veggie burger for me.
Glasgow is supposed to be the place for concerts and art but it is a city also renowned for the unhealthy influence on its residents- it is called the Glasgow Effect and makes me relieved we live in Edinburgh.
I am keeping you guessing this week with posts of both home and away. Today we have another home post, which could also be categorised as away as it comes from a visit, my first, to Glasgow.
Have you ever high-fived a celebrity? I am guessing my brother Charlie probably has, also my brother John, he waited in long lines for the autographs of Greg LeMond and Brad Pitt (the latter comes with a story which has gone into the sister-vault where it will remain), these were probably not the traditional up-top versions, more of a respectable handshake. My friend Chloe met Mick Jagger- did they high-five (not a euphemism), she has a photo to prove it, but I cannot find the link to her blog?
I have not, but I got pretty close at the Gallery of Modern Art- Glasgow or GoMA on a pre-travel visit. Captured below are two people who Ben and I would have down lowed, too slowed, had we had the opportunity. A Swiss artist with an Italian name, Alberto Giacometti and author of everyone’s favourite and true French classique Le Petit Prince and the name of the airport in his native Lyon,Antoine Saint-Exupéry.
More to come from GoMA later this week! Hint- more of our museum visit which is linked to our former life in France. Is it a sign?
Here we are, January 2, 2013- what did you get up to today?
This week I wanted to share some some of our fun photos from Christmas- they are mostly of food. Except today’s photos are of festive ornaments Ben made for our tree at his weekly ceramics class.
I am partial to the skull and crossbones in Santa hats- these will decorate our future trees.
More on Ben’s mad ceramics skills in the coming weeks- he is so talented.
Based on my clues- did you guess where I was yesterday?
I was in London, just for the day.
Being American does not always have its benefits- I was required to drop my documents at the Brazilian Consulate in person. It was a total of nine hours on the train for forty-five minutes with the friendly Brazilians. If all goes according to the plan, I will have my visa in early January.
I was tucked into bed by midnight!
Ben’s parents arrive this afternoon- let the celebrating begin.
The Edinburgh Art Festival is happening as I type. This is such a fab time of the year to live in Edinburgh. During the month of August there are loads of free workshops to join.
I was a bit late looking at the calendar of events, but I was lucky enough to find a photography workshop which ran last Saturday at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.
It was run by the Contemporary Ary Exchange and Kate Martin, who has such an interesting background and visible passion for the arts and making them accessible to everyone. This was evident in the theme of the workshop- Photography Workshop for Sighted People. I am sighted so it was perfect, right?
Kate’s ‘photographers in residence’ and our workshop leaders were Rosita McKenzie and Andrew Follows who are visually impaired. Rosita is completely blind and Andrew is blind in one eye and suffers from tunnel vision in the other. Rosita and Andrew are working photographers and have an joint exhibition Through the Looking Glass, Dimly in Edinburgh at the moment.
Right from the start Kate, Rosita and Andrew made me feel very comfortable and explained that we would have the opportunity to experience what it was like for them as photographers.
We used sim-specs which replicate different visual impairments. The photos of the objects were taken while I was wearing the tunnel vision spectacles (reproduces a speck of vision in a void of darkness) and hazy vision (hazy vision with light scatter and glare and variable visual acuity). The amount of concentration to focus what little vision I had remaining on the objects was remarkable. I had a vague idea of Andrew must feel- of course, I could remove the sim-specs and review my work.
To add to the challenge, for the second session, I worked with Rosita outdoors. I was blindfolded and relied on Brian, whom I had only met that morning, to be my eyes and guide me around the yard of the ECW. Before we began, Rosita explained to us how we should lead a person with a visual impairment, you have to have trust in your leader, something which I had to develop quite quickly with Brian and vice versa.
Through Brian’s descriptions of the location, I knew the areas I wanted to photograph and he carefully led me to where I needed to go. You have to rely even more heavily on touch to ensure you can get the good photo. Rosita also told us to use the sun and where it was hitting our faces to position ourselves when taking the picture- an excellent tip.
You can just snap away and there is no such thing as a ‘bad’ picture.
What a fantastic experience. Now when I take photos without my sim-specs or blindfold, I try to incorporate some of the top tips from Andrew and Rosita.
Hope your weekend is going well. We are enjoying some wonderful sunshine and some unusual ‘heat’ and humidity- you should see my Southern Belle hair- very voluminous.
To give you a preview, this week at Turning Over a New Leith it is going to be festival week. A fun way to see what we have been exploring and seeing during this period of cultural overload. Ahh, August!
See you on Monday.
You’ve got to love a post with a rhyme in the title.
This is a guest post. Buffy is on the road, OFFLINE, incommunicado, :X. She asked me to distract you from the void that appears when she doesn’t post.
Ceramics, pottery, clay it all comes down to this malleable and finite stuff that comes out of the ground and once were done with it and you cook it, really cook it, it’s basically stone and can last for ages.
There’s something permanent about it that contrasts really well with it in it’s plastic state and it’s hella fun to get your hands dirty.
Back in the day, I did this at school, making ashtrays, always ashtrays, what do kids make now at school? Iphone caddies?
At school we had a teacher, Abdo Nagi, a Yemeni guy whose dad made wooden locks for a living (a dying craft right there) and got taken in by some British diplomats and ended up becoming a potter with a studio in the garden of his adopted British family and teaching us. He smiled a lot and brought a big lump of porcelain in for us. Nice guy. He taught me sgraffito which I loved.
You can see some of his work here.
Flash forward to the present day, I took a ceramics course, but joined a bit late and my Lisa Bonnet-esque teacher would not let me have a go at the wheel in just the 5 sessions I had. So I dug out my knowledge of slab building. Score, slip, join, smooth repeat. The last session was a bit like watching a movie on the last day of school, but not as scary as watching the animatronic version of Lord of the Rings.
We tried Raku, which is fun and fast, which is unlike most ceramics, where the process is: wait a day for it to dry, glaze it, let that dry, wait for it to be fired next Tuesday, wait a day for the kiln to cool down, not for the impatient.
Raku is done in a dustbin with a canister of gas. When your pot is red hot and glowing from within you throw it into another bin full of sawdust… magic happens when the sawdust catches on fire. It cools down in 10 min and you place your work in a bucket of water.
The smoke and flames do weird-crazy-cool stuff to the glazes. Herewith, the pictures.
ECA… Having some fun at the Edinburgh College of Art degree show. Thanks Kirsty MacDonald for Kinetic Drawing no. 31!