All posts by Alan Beckett

Tate St Ives Okie Pieski

Currently on exhibition at the Tate St Ives is the Sami, Finnish artist Okie Pieski. Tate St Ives Okie Pieski Outi Pieski (born 1973) is a Sámi visual artist from Finland whose paintings, collages and installations employ traditional handicrafts such as the tassels of Sámi shawls to depict the light and landscapes of the far north. In 2017, she was honoured with the Fine Arts Academy of Finland Award. Born in Helsinki in 1973, Outi Pieski is the daughter of a Sámi father and a Finnish mother. She was raised in Helsinki where she attended the Visual Arts School and the Academy of Fine Arts where she graduated in 2000. She also studied at the Sámi Education Institute in Inari. Her paintings are frequently framed with the tassels of traditional Sámi shawls. She has also employed yarn, branches and ornamental quilts to enhance her works. She has recently sought to emphasize light … Continue reading Tate St Ives Okie Pieski

Dimbola Isle of Wight

Dimbola was the home of the celebrated Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron at Freshwater Bay Isle of Wight. Dimbola Isle of Wight This a a view from the cafe looking out over Freshwater Bay Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) was a British photographer known for her pioneering work in the field of photography during the 19th century. She is best known for her portraits of celebrities and famous figures of her time, as well as her artistic and highly dramatic style of photography. Cameron began her photography career in her late 40s after receiving a camera as a gift from her daughter. She quickly developed her own unique style of portraiture, characterized by soft focus, close cropping, and intricate lighting. Her images often featured allegorical and literary themes, creating a sense of drama and emotion in her work. Cameron’s most famous … Continue reading Dimbola Isle of Wight

Everyday Essential Aesthetics – Natural

This is my interpretation of the essential elements that we need to survive. Sun, light, earth, time, wind, coal, clay, flint, glass and air even. And so it goes on. There are 16 elements here all drawn digitally and combined together using Adobe Photoshop. After all, what’s the point of IT/AI if we can’t use it to enhance our lived experience? Everyday Essential Aesthetics – Natural Everyday essential aesthetic refers to the style or look of items or products that are commonly used or needed on a daily basis. This aesthetic typically focuses on simplicity, functionality, and practicality while still maintaining a visually pleasing and cohesive appearance. When it comes to clothing, everyday essential aesthetic often includes basics and timeless pieces that can be easily mixed and matched, such as plain t-shirts, high-quality jeans, classic sneakers, and comfortable sweaters. The … Continue reading Everyday Essential Aesthetics – Natural

Everyday Essential Aesthetics-Created

This is my interpretation of Everyday Essential Aesthetics-Created. How could we live our modern lives without these essential yet usually overlooked or hidden items? Everyday essential aesthetic refers to the style or look of items or products that are commonly used or needed on a daily basis. This aesthetic typically focuses on simplicity, functionality, and practicality while still maintaining a visually pleasing and cohesive appearance. When it comes to clothing, everyday essential aesthetic often includes basics and timeless pieces that can be easily mixed and matched, such as plain t-shirts, high-quality jeans, classic sneakers, and comfortable sweaters. The colour palette is usually neutral and versatile, including shades like black, white, grey, navy, and beige. In terms of home decor, everyday essential aesthetic is characterized by minimalism, clean lines, and practicality. It may involve decluttering and only keeping items that serve … Continue reading Everyday Essential Aesthetics-Created

Monuments

Theft. Treasure Hunt. The survival of western cultural civilisation. Oh, and George Clooney… Monuments Hear the story at The ARC Winchester. Monday 18 March 2024. 17.30 – 19.00 Booking for this free event is essential: www.art-tales.org/free-lecture Why were these works considered so wonderful and important that they became victims of the looters of the French Revolution and the Nazis, to appear as sublime prizes in formidable places of honour? Why are they thought to be amongst the greatest works of art ever produced in the western world? Why have film directors such as George Clooney been so inspired by their story that he produced and starred in ‘The Monuments Men’? This is the story of Hubert and Jan van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece and Michelangelo’s Madonna of Bruges. How they were made, when they were made and how. What is so … Continue reading Monuments

Everyday aesthetics 11 – Wheat

Wheat is one of the oldest cultivated grains and has been a staple food for human civilizations for thousands of years. Everyday aesthetics 11 – Wheat The cultivation of wheat began around 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, which includes parts of modern-day Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. It was a key factor in the development of agriculture and the transition from a nomadic lifestyle to settled communities. Wheat is a cereal grain and belongs to the Triticum genus of the grass family. There are different varieties of wheat, but the most common types are hard wheat, soft wheat, and durum wheat. Each variety has different characteristics and uses. The composition of wheat can be divided into three main parts: the bran, germ, and endosperm. The bran is the outer layer of the wheat kernel and is rich in fiber, … Continue reading Everyday aesthetics 11 – Wheat

Everyday aesthetics 10 – Water

Water: I need it for my tea and coffee, flushing the loo, washing my socks, cleaning my teeth and above all for my hot water bottle. Everyday aesthetics 10 – Water Seriously though … Water is of utmost importance for life on Earth. It is an essential resource that is needed by all living organisms to survive and thrive. Here are some key reasons why water is important: Survival: Water is crucial for the survival of all living organisms. It is necessary for hydration, maintaining body temperature, and carrying out important bodily functions. Without water, humans, animals, and plants would not be able to survive. Agriculture: Water is essential for agriculture and food production. It is required for irrigating crops, maintaining livestock, and sustaining the overall agricultural ecosystem. Adequate water supply is necessary for ensuring food security and preventing famine. … Continue reading Everyday aesthetics 10 – Water

Everyday Aesthetics 9 – The Pencil

The history of pencils dates back thousands of years. It is believed that the earliest known form of a pencil was used by ancient Egyptians and Romans, who used a thin metal or lead rod to make markings on papyrus or wax tablets. Everyday Aesthetics 9 – The Pencil During the 16th century, a significant development was made in pencil manufacturing when a large deposit of graphite was discovered in Borrowdale, England. This graphite was found to be ideal for writing and drawing due to its softness. The graphite was sawn into sticks and wrapped in string or paper for use. However, unlike modern pencils, these sticks of graphite were held together by string or inserted into wooden holders. It was not until the late 18th century that the modern pencil, as we know it today, was developed. In 1795, … Continue reading Everyday Aesthetics 9 – The Pencil

Everyday Aesthetics 8 – The Spoon

The history of the spoon dates back thousands of years. The earliest known spoons were made from various organic materials such as shells, animal bones, or wood. These early spoons were likely used as tools for cooking and eating. Interesting article in one of the Sunday mags about the equipment soldiers used in the filed from Roman times to the present. The one consistent item was the spoon. For 1000s of years. Where would we be without it? In ancient civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome, spoons were often made from precious metals like gold or silver, and they were seen as symbols of wealth and status. The handles of these spoons were often embellished with intricate designs and engravings. As time progressed, metalworking techniques improved, and spoons made from iron, bronze, and eventually stainless steel became more common. … Continue reading Everyday Aesthetics 8 – The Spoon

Everyday Aesthetics 7 The Chain

An everyday essential – the chain. Taken for granted, seen everywhere, shining or rusty, essential component or merely aesthetic. We couldn’t live without it in today’s modern society. Everyday Aesthetics 7 The Chain One absolutely essential use is the chain on my swing. Where would children and indeed adults be without the garden or park swing? So from the garden to Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s shipbuilding chain, let’s look at its history. The history of the chain. Ancient times: metal chains made of iron or bronze were used in ancient civilizations like Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China. They were primarily used for decorative purposes, such as jewellery or adornments. Medieval period: During the Middle Ages, chains became more functional. They were used for various applications, including restraining prisoners, securing gates, and hoisting heavy loads. The blacksmiths of the time played a crucial … Continue reading Everyday Aesthetics 7 The Chain