Hockney Smokney!

Hockney Window


Art carnage at the Abbey!

One of the most acclaimed artists of the twenty and twenty-first century has turned his hand to stained glass window design. The early career John Moores painting prize winner has risen to the height of producing a stained panel design for Britain, if not Europe’s most prestigious Cathedrals: Westminster Abbey. Is this iPad engineered, coloured, lead framed transparency really right for the Nations finest Abbey?

Standing dominantly and not overshadowed by the currently undercover, due to maintenance work, Big Ben, we have Britain’s Westminster Abbey. The ten thousand years plus, a centre of worship, hosts memorials, burial sites and caskets for our Kings and Queens, Hero’s of Warfare, Great Leaders, significant artist, writers and poets, in addition to, and the never to be forgotten, grave of the unknown warrior.

In the long-standing tradition of the Church, they have continued the trend of commissioning contemporary artists and David Hockney had brought the latest of his artistry to stained glass at the Abbey. Hockney is considered one of Britain’s greatest painter, making a valid contribution to the Pop Art movement of the 1960’s he continues to paint across a range of subjects from landscape to portraiture. After a successful solo show at the Royal Academy of Arts earlier in the decade, the exhibition travelled to the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao then to Los Angeles where he has a further two studios. Using the latest iPad technology he designed the window for the Abbey.

The intention of the window is to commemorate the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, our current monarch. The window depicts a rural scene and portrays the affection she feels for the countryside. The window was dedicated by the Dean of Westminster, Dr John Hall earlier in the month.

Is this really great contemporary visual arts or have a number of mistakes been made rendering the outcome a national blunder? Was the correct position for a modern panel to be on the left hand of a set of three, the other two being of traditional design? Would it not have been better to have fitted three new modern windows or for the Hockney piece to be in an isolated location? Did Hockney consider the existing Gothic Architecture in designing the panel? In comparison the stained glass in the RAF Chapel fitted just over seventy years ago to commemorate the Battle of Britain, why did Hockney to look to produce glass work more in keeping with its surroundings? Are the bright primary colours set against contrasting secondary tones, not a little too bright to work with a period piece? If we were to relocate the panel to a twentieth or twenty-first century designed Cathedral, the Metropolitan Cathedral in Liverpool would it be a well-designed window? Is there any consideration given to the lead structure is is it just some kind of organic jellyfish-like form surrounded by randomly positioned pods which bear no relation to the framework of the glass?

To be frank, a Hockney disaster and simply artistic carnage to the finest one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture we pride ourselves in having created.

The solution: remove, exhibit as a design error and commission a new artist to produce a panel which will work with, not against this National Treasure.

More about David Hockney

Westminster Abbey

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More Rubbish Cards

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The popular cards are back with some new designs added to the classics which have been flying off the shelves in the well-established collective; Arts Hub on sunny Lark Lane, Liverpool.

For those, all important men that brought us into the World, nurtured are toddler trials and suffered our teenage tantrums we have the essential Fathers Day cards. The familiar chippy fork adorned in Union Jack motifs subsided by a joyful cake eating message take to the shelves. The Red White and Blue of the National Flag always a favourite with Fathers, and never at a better time with the football World Cup looming in the mist.

The all new Snail Birthday card makes and appearance, the colourfully created shelled creature sliding across the card. A bug form which will bring delight to young boys on their Birthdays.

A Feather adorned fork featuring a grand jewel makes a play for our attentions. The purple feathers of poultry finish off silk coated dark forks and show off a new message:

‘To Celebrate, I got you a Posh Fork, lets share a kebab’

A fine purchase to mark new celebrations, exam results, graduation, job promotion and so much more.

Finally, one which the men will like with lashings of Souse humour:

‘For you Birthday, I robbed you a Fork, from the Chinese Chippy.’

The fork displaying the prize signage of the take away restaurants which line the streets of Liverpool. A fun filled, male Humour card to be loved by all recipients.

All new cards are available from Arts Hub on Lark Lane.

Arts Hub

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Rubbish Cards

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Rubbish Cards are the latest greeting card range from Alison Little. The card range literally utilises ‘Rubbish’ for the purposes of celebration. Throw away wooden forks are used in full splendour for the collection. Birthdays are marked using butterfly’s, flowers and flags, the message of eating cake added. A traditional Graduation gown marks leaving home for Uni, the fork for eating pot noodle. It’s counterpart, graduation features a gold leaf variety for use when eating caviar. Rat packs are the suggested food choice for the camouflage leaving for the Army option. The delightfully painted Cat Fork is suggested for feeding the feline traditional tuna. Finishing off with a double fork card marking an engagement.

A delight and a pleasure.

£2.50 each, available from Arts Hub from early April.

Arts Hub

 

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Blackpool puts the Flags Out

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Last Saturday the many holidaymakers and locals of Blackpool showed up they knew how to put the flags out.

Liverpool artist Alison Little took her innovative art workshop Rags Boutique to Retrospective at Backpool’ Winter Gardens. Aunty Social, the Blackpool based Community Interest Company presented Retrospective, the Parasol Parade held at the historic Theatre and entertainment venue. There were an array of acts: flag making to film screenings, puppetry to plate spinning, penny farthings to the ultimate parade. A glorious day was much fun was had by the families which ventured into the spirit of the seaside holiday venue.

Often working around the medium of Textiles, the use of reclaimed materials is key within Alison practice. As a creative professional she has worked on a variety of arts projects including numerous public art commissions: Go Superlambanana’s, Go Penguin and the Horse Parade in Cheltenham. In early 2011 she ran a medium term (6 weeks) Arts Project: Rags Boutique. In this, she secured the funding to run the project which consisted of transforming a disused Retail Unit, the Old Paint Shop (Rapid) in Renshaw Street into an exhibition space and workshop venue. This revolved around the theme of fashion from reclaimed materials and was a great success. Liverpool based, working throughout the UK and on occasions internationally. Her initial degree was in 3D Design in which she specialized in plastics as a medium. This is evident in her current practice around the use of heat-sealed technologies for re-working discarded plastic bags. Her working methods vary from hand painting, improvisation of printed digital media to traditional craft practice, all to the highest of standards. She has run workshops for varies Arts Organizations including the Liverpool Independent Art School, Bluecoat Display Centre and Makefest Manchester.

Retrospect was her first visit to Blackpool as part of her creative practice:

It was an amazing day where a vast collection of flags were made to brighten up the beaches of the North West coast.

Explained Alison. The day saw little creatives come in their masses. Plastic was layered, vinyl was cut, heat applied and flags were assembled to posts. There were many smiles, sequential new experiences combined with some inevitable tears. Every child had a newly created flag to add to their latest sand castle formation.

A Joy, a pleasure and a day of family fun on the Fylde shoreline.

Aunty Social

Winter Gardens

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