Sep 3, 2011

DAY TWO, cycling, the Hornbeam Centre and Helen Alveranga

By Devyani Parmar
I'm slightly ashamed to admit I only lasted for two hours on Mat Schmidt's great cycling tour of the Art Trail (maybe I was too ambitious and should have just done one of his bite sized tours, which are on every evening next week). However, they were a very enjoyable two hours that allowed me to rest my weary feet and see some interesting art. Pictures and more reports from the cycling tour are coming soon. 

We stopped off at the Hornbeam Environment Centre and cafe and the Forest Recycling Project that adjoins it. There were some chuckles at Devyani Parmar's "Has anyone seen my paintbrush?"and I loved reading Sian Collins's photo stories.

Julian Beere's answers to the questionnaire on this blog had made me curious about his Field Studies in Progress and luckily he was on hand to tell us more about it. I don't think I can do justice to the many layers of meaning in this work but here's an attempt. In the wooden box there is some strong smelling honeycomb, sculpted by the bees themselves as part of the honey-making process. This links to a recording of the bees, mixed with a lecture by artist Joseph Beuys on how to make art. It is as if the bees have been inspired by Beuys to do their sculpture. For his piece "How to explain pictures to a dead hare", Beuys covered his head in honey, which is another link. Poetry by keen been keeper Sylvia Plath is on display, alongside a 1947 publication on bee keeping, to provide some context. Field Studies provides a lot of stimulation and there is much to read into.

Dress by Poppy Flynt
Downstairs, at the Forest Recycling Project, Poppy Flynt has given old material a new life by weaving it into dresses. As my compatriots on the biking tour agreed, the pinky one worked very well hung from the skylight and although it is made of rags it has an elegance about it. 

I'm looking forward to the FRP Art Trail Family Day on 10 September, with creative workshops, games, a reuse craft stall and bicycled powered paint spinning! 

Sketch and paintings by Helen Alveranga
The bike tour also made a stop at Helen Alveranga's house to see "Keeping it real" her exhibition of lots impressively observed, "hyper real" paintings and sketches. Helen uses photography to get inspiration for her incredibly detailed, realistic work. She has cleverly displayed some of her photographs, which show nature in all its glory, in the gaps of a long room-dividing screen. The cyclists loved her beautiful garden, which inspires her work.

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