Sunday, 22 November 2015

Clive Bowen ceramicist

An OW working in the field of ceramics recently drew my attention to this fantastic and absorbing 20 minute film of potter Clive Bowen talking about his process and inspirations, from digging out the clay himself at a local stream, to the final outcomes.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

British Library releases huge image database

The British Library has recently released over a million images to the public, following a digitisation project with Microsoft. The images can be found through Flickr, and the BL is keen to get the public to find new ways to 'curate' and organise the vast collection of 17th-19th century scans.

Much more here.

Access the full collection here on Flickr.   I find it best to explore it through the albums already set up.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Lutyens' war memorials gain listed status

The government's Department for Media, Culture and Sport, on the advice of Historic England, recently announced that they were applying new or upgraded listed status to the last few of all of Edwin Lutyens' war memorials, ensuring that all 44 spread across the UK are now protected. Over £2m has also been allocated to the conservation and preservation of these important monuments. While London's Cenotaph is very well-known, Lutyens was responsible for a wide range of memorials across the country, less familiar to most of us.

More details here at the Architects Journal.

One of his less well-known works turns out to be very close to where I grew up - a the simple cross monument found on Lindisfarne/Holy Island in Northumberland, with the island's castle in the background (which he also designed).

Autumn cheer

Take the next few minutes to sit back and enjoy Norman McLaren's 1949 classic piece of animation, 'Begone Dull Care'. A little like Stan Brakhage, who many of you will know about, McLaren's first forays into animation involved actually scratching and staining the film stock itself, to create very direct and technically simplistic animation.

Although his 1952 anti-war animation titled 'Neighbours' (featuring 'pixilation' - the use of live actors as stop motion elements) is probably the more famous of his works, I'm a big fan of the simple cheer provided by 'Begone Dull Care' in its abstract flowing colours and patterns, pulsating to the catchy and extraordinary keyboard skills of Oscar Peterson which it is set to. Enjoy.