Roaming The Arts

Mahatma Ghandhi to Adolf Hitler

This is a stunning piece of art installation presented at Southampton’s Hansard Gallery in September 2022. Mahatma Ghandhi to Adolf Hitler It is in the form of a steam cloud against a darkened background upon which a scrolling image is projected. The image is an historic letter written by India’s Mahatma Ghani just before WWII in a gesture of peace and friendship. The installation is by India’s contemporary artist Jitish Kallat (b 1974). Who refers to Gandhi’s letter as essentially a plea for peace and refers to Hitler as ‘My Friend’. Plenty of space here for contemplation is there not? Mahatma Ghandhi to Adolf Hitler Art-Tales is a magazine blog site following the journeys and reflections through the art world of artist, sketcher, art historian and critic Al Beckett. Merely to amuse, inform and entertain, Art-Tales is aimed at people … Continue reading Mahatma Ghandhi to Adolf Hitler

Gormley and Caro Roche Court

The New Art Centre Roche Court near Salisbury Wiltshire is a breath-taking open air sculpture park set within the dramatic hills of southeast Wiltshire. Gormley and Caro Roche Court It is a pure joy to wander through the gardens against the backdrop of the stunning landscape and enjoy the spaces occupied by the modern and contemporary works of art. In 2019 on BBC Radio 4, Antony Gormley spoke of sculpture changing the real world, being no longer a mere reference to it and no longer dependent upon it. Sculpture doesn’t need a wall, a room or even a label to exist. Its presence occupies its own space and thus it can alter people’s behaviour. Gormley and Caro Roche Court Cast your mind to some of the world’s most dramatic and successful architecture and sculpture. Consider the landscape, the room even: … Continue reading Gormley and Caro Roche Court

Affair of Ice and Arts

Did Jane Morris’s and Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s affair have an influence on the Arts and Crafts Movement? … Affair of Ice and Arts Was William Morris influenced by the Icelander Sölvi Helgason to enhance his designs? … Affair of Ice and Arts Did Morris’s trips to Iceland uniquely enhance his designs and influence the Arts and Crafts Movement? … Affair of Ice and Arts First of all the Players – a whistle-stop … Sölvi Helgason (1820-1895) A drifter, a folk artist, a philosopher, that was Sölvi Helgason. He was born on a farm called Fjall in Sléttuhliíð in the eastern part of Skagafjörður Iceland on August 16, 1820 (and lived to the age of 75 which wasn’t bad for those days in that locality). He is known to have travelled extensively across the island but apparently without the then required legal permissions … Continue reading Affair of Ice and Arts

Davíð Stefánsson Icelandic Poet

Davíðshúis – Home of Davíð Stefánsson Icelandic Poet Davíð Stefánsson 1895 – 1964, was Iceland’s leading poet and novelist publishing many volumes of his poetry. He lived many years in this house in Akureyri northern Iceland and on his death the property was bequeathed to the municipality. Stepping inside is like stepping back in time. The interior has been left a though he had just popped into town for a recital or milk and bread. 1000’s of books adorn the walls. His records are still in place. His bathroom and bedroom are preserved as original as is his kitchen, study and living room. In fact, the only major change is the bed. A single bed replacing his large double bed where upon he ‘entertained’ the many women folk whose company he enjoyed and allegedly the feeling was mutual. Adoring a … Continue reading Davíð Stefánsson Icelandic Poet

Ásgrímur Jónsson Iceland

Ásgrímur Jónsson (March 4, 1876 – April 5, 1958) was an Icelandic painter, and one of the first in the country to make art a professional living. Ásgrímur Jónsson Iceland He studied at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen between 1900 and 1903 and travelled widely after graduation. The subjects of his pictures are mostly the landscapes of his home country, particularly mountains. His painting style is similar to the French impressionists like Corot. Some of his pictures also illustrate Icelandic sagas and folk tales. (Source Wikipedia) Visiting his house in Reykjavik introduced me to this interesting and quite unique artist. Despite being trained in Copenhagen, he retained independent from the contemporary European art scene. He concentrated on recognising the haunting landscape of his native country. A local businessman and entrepreneur and art collector Ragnar Jonsson, said of Ásgrímur: “he did not paint subjects from life, he painted primal energy, the climate and governing sources – … Continue reading Ásgrímur Jónsson Iceland

Majesty of Iceland in Art

Visiting Iceland is always a joy, especially when visiting its outstanding galleries of art and museums. … Majesty of Iceland in Art The National Gallery of Iceland is an excellent case in point. This gallery prides itself on exhibiting traditional works through to modern contemporary and conceptual art. In this article I’m going to simply take a wander through an exhibition I visited recently that looked at requisitions from a local business person and collector Ragnar Jonsson who was most interested in art works depicting the emerging independent state of Iceland. So let’s take a wander … Art-Tales is a magazine blog site following the journeys and reflections through the art world of artist, sketcher, art historian and critic Al Beckett. Merely to amuse, inform and entertain, Art-Tales is aimed at people who simply wish to dip a toe into … Continue reading Majesty of Iceland in Art

Ísafjörður Museum of Everyday Life

This museum is an absolutely unbelievable gem – Ísafjörður Museum of Everyday Life Nestled away in the little Icelandic port of Ísafjörður, one could be excused for walking right by without noticing. But when you do notice – you notice. Maybe that’s why there were only a handful of visitors when we arrived or does that say something about the clientele of the cruise we were on? Best to look at their website to get a really good feel for what this original place is all about. Here it is – just click on the link … We loved the shoe and boot stories. The original owners could be heard telling stories of their experiences with their shoes and boots on display. From young people to fisherfolk, all had their real stories to tell. Just think about what tales your … Continue reading Ísafjörður Museum of Everyday Life

Covid Man & Sturgeon Moon

Thursday August 11th 2022. Late evening to early morning in the UK … Covid Man & Sturgeon Moon A Sturgeon Moon.  Named Sturgeon Moon after the indigenous peoples of North America who fished for sturgeon fish in the Great Lakes when this moon appeared. Apparently it’s one of the rare occasions when the moon is closer to the Earth in its orbit, hence its brightness and size. On this occasion the air was also particularly clear. Framed against the moon is my homage to the Covid pandemic – my ‘Covid Man’ looking down on us in a protective spirt during those difficult times. He is still there watching silently over us, unmoved, untroubled, presenting a presence and occupying a space that would otherwise simply be vacant with nothing to say. The power of sculpture. Constructed from jesomite, he has stood … Continue reading Covid Man & Sturgeon Moon

Reykjavik Iceland Dieter Roth

Visiting a part of the world such as Iceland, you often stumble across something quite unique and inspiring. Reykjavik Iceland Dieter Roth The National Museum of Iceland has always lived up to expectations and our recent visit did not disappoint. Working through the traditional and conceptual, almost as an after-thought, we stumbled across an exhibition of the little known artist and jeweller Dieter Roth. Roth became a world-renowned jeweller following an early career as a commercial artist. He was born in Hannover Germany to German and Swiss parents and spent his early years as a Swiss-German, in Zurich Switzerland to avoid the ravages of WWII. He re-joined his by then, destitute family in Bern in 1947 after his training as an artist and poet. It was his discovery of the artist Paul Klee that inspired him to move away from … Continue reading Reykjavik Iceland Dieter Roth

Iceland Akureyri Picnolepsy Bollason Virilio

Discovered an interesting theory and concept whilst visiting Akureyri Art Gallery and Museum, Iceland – PICNOLEPSY. ( Iceland Akureyri Picnolepsy Bollason Virilio ) I cannot do better than reproduce the text itself from the Museum. So with thanks, the source from Akureyri Museum … When Gustav Geir Bollason began work on Sandtime Psalm of Fading Flowers, he was reading Paul Virilio’s Aesthetics of Disappearance (1991), in which the philosopher describes what he calls picnolepsy, a condition marked by momentary cognitive absences, temporary disconnects. As the picnoleptic flickers in and out of consciousness, they compensate for these ‘epileptic’ discontinuities by glossing over them. Perception is thus a polished version of actual sensory experience – just as our eye stitches together discrete cinematic frames for the illusion of seamless movement. With the acceleration of information and hyperstimulation of modern life, these gaps … Continue reading Iceland Akureyri Picnolepsy Bollason Virilio