Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Sleep Quilt - Fine Cell Work

The Sleep Quilt book cover

Fine Cell Work is a charity with the aim of rehabilitation of prisoners through stitch.  Volunteers go into prisons and teach inmates how to stitch.  This not only gives prisoners something fill the long hours of confinement and a way of making some money in prison, but can be life changing as it can give the stitcher hope, discipline and self belief, which can greatly improve their job prospects upon release.

The author, Tracy Chevalier, became very interested in quilting when she was researching one of her books and is still involved in it today.  She commissioned this quilt and has written an essay in the accompanying book. 

The quilt comprises of 63 squares, each stitched by an inmate who works with Fine Cell Work, giving their interpretation of what sleep means to them.  Whilst it is always interesting to discover how different people interpret the same theme, such as the Bedtime Stories Quilt, which I wrote about here, this quilt is fascinating as it gives an insight into the lives of people we do not normally consider.

 Sleep is something we all need, sometimes it comes easily, other times it is something elusive and it has a massive impact on our lives.  Prison makes sleep harder due to the inescapable noisy and crowded environment, which gives the interpretations an added poignancy.  
This book, which accompanies the Sleep Quilt, has lovely details of all the blocks, along with details of what inspired the maker and the impact of making on them.
It is available from 31 October 2017 and until 16 November 2017, it is being crowdfunded through Kickstarter, so additional benefits are available through this scheme.  All royalties from the book will go to Fine Cell Work.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Musee Rodin, Paris - Anselm Kiefer and trees

Detail of Anselm Kiefer's painting
Whilst in Paris, I was determined to see the exhibition of Anselm Kiefer's work at the Musee Rodin.  I am always fascinated by work by an artist inspired by another artist's work.  In this case, Kiefer was basing his work on some of Rodin's drawings of cathedrals in France.  
Cathedrals of France by Anselm Kiefer
These paintings were huge and really blew me away.   The scale of them and the textured surfaces, neither of which can be adequately shown in a photo were stunning.  I loved them.
As you would expect Musee Rodin is full of Rodin's sculpture - you can see 'The Thinker' in the background of this photo, taken through one of the windows.

Actually, I'm not a mega fan of the Rodin sculptures - but the Museum and the grounds are lovely and I got very excited by the tree bark!

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris

Fondation Louis Vuitton
Last week I was in Paris for a few days whilst going to pick up my work from Galerie de la Place in Auxerre.  The sun shone (unlike at home where the remains of Hurricane Ophelia were bringing rain and wind), and I managed to visit a few galleries.

The Fondation Louis Vuitton is a relatively new museum in Paris.  The building by Frank Gehry was astounding. In fact, I was more impressed with it than I was by the blockbuster exhibition on there of highlights of New York's MOMA.  I could have spent hours photographing different angles of the building, enjoying the reflections and the interplay of reflections, glass, steel and wood.   

There is a permanent installation by Olafur Eliasson, which you can see in the photos - it is the yellow columns.  It was stunning and the shade of yellow was very welcoming, if that is not a strange thing to say.
Olafur Eliasson
My favourite piece of the MOMA show, was the final room - a sound installation by the artist Janet Cardiff.  The sound of choral music echoed up the high walls giving a gorgeous and enveloping sound.

My top tip if you do visit is to book online as they appeared to only have one x-ray security machine and it was very slow for those of us who hadn't booked.

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