I decided to try and get over my assessment blues (Blair Witch Project references firmly behind me - next person to mention it gets a slap!), so I have been distracting myself with art...
Distraction number 1 - 'Can Art Save Us?' at Millenium Galleries, Sheffield (ended on Sunday)
An excellent exhibition looking at the ideas of Ruskin and how his ideas resonate with our current concerns about climate change, struggles between man & nature, etc. I really interesting and varied group of works was on show, by current artists and makers alongside works contemporary with Ruskin.
I particularly enjoyed the work of Kazuhito Takadoi, who stitches with grass onto paper to create exquisite 3D drawings. They cast beautiful shadows in the right light.
Distraction number 2 - Paper cutting workshop with Lu Shengzhong at MIRIAD
Visiting professor Lu Shengzhong is an amazing Chinese paper cutting artist. His work was exhibited in 'Out of the Ordinary: Spectacular Craft' at the V&A.
I had always assumed I was fairly good at paper cutting, having produced a fair few snowflakes in my time, but working with the Chinese scissors on these paper cuts was like learning a new language.
Below are some paper cuts we did with Lu; his is on the left, mine is in the middle and Melanie's is on the right. He was working so quickly it was really difficult to keep up, really hard work, which I hadn't expected.
Below is mine close up.
This one was my first little figure. I thought I was doing okay until we had to tackle the one above!
Despite the language difficulties and the new tools I found this workshop absolutely absorbing. In his afternoon lecture on Chinese Craft, Lu refered to a Chinese lady who had many troubles and sorrows in her life - but she was never miserable. Lu suggested the paper cuts acted as a form of medicine for the soul. Sounds daft but I understand what he means, not just a form of distraction but a way of focusing and controlling yourself...
Hmm, something to think about?