Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Love Reliquary II Part 2

More reliquary work. So, the oak was bent, like most natural wood will be. Oak is a heavy dense wood but can have a dry and flaky texture that can split and change shape, especially as it dries. For the base of this artwork I needed a level surface, but also I wanted to stop the bark falling off over the years/centuries. Perhaps that's inevitable, but how can I minimise this?

I could inject glue, but adding more materials can cause more harm than good, as it will introduce new stresses. Generally, the simpler the better. I first cut and stuck a piece of 3mm MDF to the base, this will hold the thing together should it think about flaking. MDF is one of the most stable wood composites, it holds its shape really well. The base still wasn't flat though, that MDF curved inwards to mirror the bend of the oak, which isn't bad, it needs a tight fit to bind it. A second flat piece is needed, and some filling in the gap, so I stuck a second piece on, with wood filler between. Perhaps tile glue might have been a better choice. All fillers have different properties. Some more dense, some contract, some more flexible, some more adhesive. I went for a plain filler, as it was dense and reasonably heavy (for the base of a heavy object, this can be important). After sticking, I had a flat base...

Then I painted the edges of the MDF to mimic the look of the bark. The MDF is recessed a little, so that even if plain black or a neutral hue, it would look okay, this part will hardly be seen, yet, I thought it would be nice to mimic the bark a little. I used acrylic paint and more wood filler to add texture, although this time I used lightweight glass based filler which is less dense and has a foamy texture.

While doing that I stuck the doors together, checking that the paintings fit inside. The edges of these are all rough and uneven. I'll sand them all flat. Sanding the inside is tricky though, or nigh on impossible to get right with my equipment. For this we can set dreams of perfection aside, although there are many decoration opportunities.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Love Reliquary II Part 1

The Love Reliquary was my first cabinet artwork, that is it was mostly woodwork, with painting added. It took so many months to make and all new techniques. The result was good, but very rough around the edges. It was extremely delicate, had 200 leaves of 24 karat gold all over it, and was so delicate that it's only been shown in public once...

It had some successes as a work of art and craft, but many failures. Some crucial elements were missing or lost (such as the poem on the front) the paintings were difficult to remove without risking damage, and the base was crude in appearance and function. So, two years ago I started work on a second cabinet. It will contain the same paintings as the original work...

The last two years have been tumultuous. The artistic successes of 2012 led to some acclaim in 2013. I exhibited around the country more in 2014, but that was a little like a solitary travelling salesman. I showed in London from August onwards, fell in love for the first time and spent all of 2015 coming to terms with the end of that, and was forced to severely limit painting due to lack of space. The only growth of that year was in live performance, piano playing, and exhibition experiences with two solo exhibitions including my first in London, and three months helping to manage an art retail space. All of those things were the best lessons in the business of exhibiting art and putting on a show.

This year marked my 10th year as an artist. I can barely learn more in craft or exhibition experience (piano playing excepted!). Now it's time to focus on producing the greatest works. My ambitions have rarely been greater. I wish I had the time and money to enact them all (donations welcome, and/or an orchestra or museum!), but I will enact those I am able to enact!

And so time to re-visit The Love Reliquary. The start is the simplest of forms, a plain chunk of wood which will form the base. The first reliquary was largely pine and plaster coated with epoxy casting resin. The new one will be M.D.F. with resin-cast doors and solid brass hinges.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

ArtsLab S1 Ep.13

ArtsLab with Mark Sheeky
Series 1 Episode 13
Broadcast Wednesday 23 December 2015, 4pm to 5pm GMT.
Special Guest Gordon Scott.

Aaron Copland, Fanfare For The Common Man (1942)
The Bolshoi, Away (1989)
The Light Crust Doughboys, Pussy, Pussy, Pussy (1932)
Beethoven's 7th Symphony, 2nd Movement Extract (1811) (to the words of I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor)
Leonard Nimoy, The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins (1968)
Gordon Lightfoot, If You Could Read My Mind (1970)

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You can listen live during the broadcast on:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

ArtsLab S1 Ep.12

ArtsLab with Mark Sheeky
Series 1 Episode 12
Broadcast Wednesday 16 December 2015, 4pm to 5pm GMT.

Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 7, 2nd Mtv. (1811) (to the words of Europe: A Prophesy by William Blake)
Tangerine Dream, Tyger (1987)
Ralph McTell, Streets Of London (1969) (to the words of London by William Blake)
BBC, The Theme From Grandstand (1958) (to the words of I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor)
Tony Banks, Forever Morning (1979)
Chuck Berry, Roll Over Beethoven (1956)
Mark Sheeky, The Old Woman And The Windmill (2013) (to the words of The Garden of Love by William Blake)
Sarah Brightman, Who Wants To Live Forever (Trouser Enthusiasts Cybernetic Odalisque Mix) (1997)

All past ArtsLab programmes can be listened to here:

You can listen live during the broadcast on:

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

ArtsLab S1 Ep.11

ArtsLab with Mark Sheeky
Series 1 Episode 11
Broadcast Wednesday 9 December 2015, 4pm to 5pm GMT.

The Move, Fire Brigade (1968)
The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Paralyzed (1968)
Abba, Mama Mia (1975) (to the words of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen)
Lana Del Rey, Kinda Out Of Luck (2010)
David Lynch, Strange and Unproductive Thinking (2011)
Tony Banks, A Curious Feeling (1979)
Herb Alpert: Spanish Flea (1965) (to the words of The Fly by William Blake)
Sparks, Amateur Hour (1974)
Cosmic Chicken, Space Art (2013)
Andrew Gold, Lonely Boy (1976)
Christopher Cross, The Arthur Theme (1998)

All past ArtsLab programmes can be listened to here:

You can listen live during the broadcast on:

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

ArtsLab S1 Ep.10

ArtsLab with Mark Sheeky
Series 1 Episode 10
Broadcast Wednesday 2 December 2015, 4pm to 5pm GMT.
Recorded Interview With Nik Bizzell-Browning.
Live Phone-In With Elena Barbiero.

Renaissance, Cold Is Being (1974)
Philip Glass, Metamorphosis One (1989)
Nik Bizzell-Browning, File Under Jazz Punk (2015)
Nik Bizzell-Browning, 11 Dimensions, (2015)
Nik Bizzell-Browning, Piano Trio #2 (2015)
Tony Banks, After The Lie (1979)
Kate Bush, Dali (1975)

All past ArtsLab programmes can be listened to here:

You can listen live during the broadcast on: