Sunday, July 26, 2009

International Garden Photograper of the Year -- Rachel Warne

Well, not exactly. The latest issue of Gardens Illustrated has a short piece on Rachel Warne that caught my eye.

Ms. Warne won the 2nd place in Best Garden Photographer's Association Portfolio Award category for he Autumn Study, part of the IGPOTY -- click on winners, then click on portfolio. The aster, above looks almost hand colored. Here is her artist's statement:

"I wanted to make a study of plants outside their usual environment. The plants were all gathered from my neighbourhood – from the forest, the sides of roads and even someone's front garden. Although they are all dead, photographing them is a way of bringing them back to life."

The back story is that Warne was ill for a time and while she was recovering -- she's fine now -- she collected plant material from East London and brought them indoors and made these wonderful images with a light box. I love the beech, above. Do visit her website, it's quite lovely.
Do you love to put these on your nose in late spring? I do. There's an incredible likeness to a colored pencil botanical in the image above. Reminds me of mouse ears.


Monday, July 20, 2009

The Rambles -- Patrick Dougherty's Stick Art

I recently had the privilege of working on a Patrick Dougherty installation at the Florence Griswold Museum.

"The Rambles" is site specific installation that was so much fun to participate in. There were two shifts per day led by Patrick a self-described "stick artist" from North Carolina and his assistant Mike. Mike had been a volunteer last summer on a piece Pat did in Virginia. I volunteered three days, once at the beginning of the project, in the middle and at the end. I figured that I would get the most out of knowing all of the steps. His website is beautiful and has breathtaking photographs from all over the world. Scotland is a must see.

The photo above is from Day 4, I think. The first day that I was worked, we stripped leaves and made piles while the holes were being dug for the heavier saplings. It was very team oriented at the beginning.

I was quite surprised that they had gotten this far one I worked the second time. Note how the columns are coming together nicely (above). Each day Pat reminds the teams to throw out ideas for a name. This morning googling around, I found a video, produced by the museum, where Pat announces the name of the piece.

I like this little fenestration detail. Toward the end, there is a great deal of neatening-up required.

With one day left, things were definitely coming together. I dropped by afterward and little kids
were running through it gleefully. Grownups react favorably, but sometimes have to ask "what it is". Toward the end of the building the museum was smart enough to ask Patrick to deliver a whoppingly super lecture, but they didn't make a video. I would have loved to have such a remembrance. He showed photographs of not only his art, but the home he built and his garden, where he has benches filled with stick people. Very funny. I'm hoping to obtain some photos of them and will post them. Speaking of photography, I'll be posting some better ones later. These are just Iphone shots.

I cannot wait to see it in snow. Actually I can, I lied. The work above is at the University of Southern Indiana New Harmony Gallery in 2003. (photo by Doyle Dean)


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Urban River Arts -- Portraits of Obama Benefit

My friend DD is on the board of Urban River Arts, a cool organization in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn.

Tonight the 5 month old community art center is holding a benefit from 5-8 pm at Danny Simmons' Corridor Gallery located at 334 Grand Ave between Greene Ave & Gates Ave. There will be music and food (generously donated by local businesses). It sounds like fun -- for kids and grown ups alike. As I poked around the website, successfully avoided getting back to real work, I found that URA has developed relationships with Brooklyn giants (no, not Giants old people) such as the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Brooklyn Children's Museum. BAM, what about you??

Urban River Arts is a community-based, non-profit organization devoted to the artistic, emotional and social development of children and adults, according to each person’s needs. Through individual and group activities that honor creative expression and through partnerships with educational organizations in the neighborhood, students build self-confidence, verbal and social skills, and the ability to express and communicate their deepening understanding of the world through the visual arts.

It looks like fun. Go! It's up through July 25th. Support your neighbors and aspiring artists.