The purpose of art …
… is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. So said Pablo Picasso. Well listeners, if we stretch that analogy a little further and consider the wealth of art of all kinds that goes on here in Swindon we can find ourselves washing the dust off our souls in a veritable ocean of creativity – much of which has featured at various times on Born again Swindonian. I’ve posted about Ken White and Second Mouth. We’ve had guest posts from Beatrice about being Out of the Centre and the fantastic Free Art Fridays. Not forgetting of course Artsite and the Postmodern. I popped in there today too and met Lynette Thomas who works with mosaics. I ended up buying a piece of her work and having a good old natter with the lovely people in Artsite. Lynette has created a wonderful mosaic homage to the Magic Roundabout a couple of pictures of which are in the gallery below. I like it. I want it. Don’t give me any other… I find myself drawn to mosaics. Earlier this year I bought a mosaic piece from another of the artists at Artsite which now has pride of place in my garden. Maybe I was a Roman in a past life? Anyway…
This year too I’ve learnt of the existence of David Bent about whom I really need a blog post. And of course there’s the small but perfectly formed Museum and Art gallery in Old Town with its terrific art collection. So who needs the Guggenheim?
A few months or so ago art work by Caroline Day started appearing on my Facebook timeline. I started sharing it on the Facebook page for Born again Swindonian – an act that resulted in a lovely guest blog post from Caroline in which she explained all about the work of the Old Town Garden’s art work. So today it was a great pleasure to finally get to meet Caroline, up in the town gardens and to see some of her lovely works first-hand as part of the Old Town Garden’s Little Big festival and Swindon Open Studios art event. I like her work very much. Many of her prints have interesting juxtapositions of photographs of the band stand and even her children set against drawings of flowers.
Two artists I also had the pleasure to meet today were Terry Humphries and Susan M Carr. Susan is, amongst other things, a ‘Plein Air’ artist. A little bit of internet research reveals that ‘En plein air’ is a French expression meaning ‘in the open air’. It’s used particularly to describe the act of painting outdoors. “Artists have long painted outdoors, but in the mid-19th century working in natural light became increasingly important to multiple schools of art.
The Barbizon school of France was of particular influence on the Realists, who focused their work on everyday subjects versus prominent figures. These Realists inspired the Impressionists, whose style included visible brush strokes, ordinary subject matter, and an emphasis on light in its changing qualities.
The popularity of painting en plein air increased in the 1870s with the introduction of paint in tubes, which replaced the task of grinding and mixing dry pigment powders with linseed oil. It was also during this period that the “Box Easle “, typically known as the French Box Easel, was invented. This development increased the ease and portability of art supplies, making treks into the forest and up the hillsides less intimidating and more appealing to those looking to paint new landscapes.” Read more here: http://www.telluridepleinair.com/what-plein-air Their work also was lovely and I purchased a couple of lovely large postcards featuring the bowl in the gardens and the bandstand and cafe.
So listeners, the Swindon Open Studios weekends might be over now but all these artists (and there are more I’m sure) are here – living and working in Swindon. An artist isn’t just for Christmas – they are here all year round. And you don’t have to walk and de-flea them. So if any of their work attracts you then seek them out! 🙂
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