Tag Archives: wabi sabi

fragments of fragments

Saturday 20 September 2014

dear reader, following on from the previous posting, fragments, here are some more fragments* from this mini series, some mounted on black card and some on white watercolour paper:


fragments #34, 3cm x 4.5cm, mounted on 15cm square watercolour card


fragments #16, 4.5cm x 4.5cm, mounted on 15cm square card

here are three more ‘fragment’ collages, shown about three-to-four times their original size:


fragments #05, 3.5cm x 3.5cm


fragments #43, 3cm x 5cm


fragments #54, 3.5cm x 5cm

unfinished texts, prose, notes, poems, etc, are sometimes referred to a ‘fragments’ in literary circles, which came to my attention from reading about the life of Rupert Brooke, a british poet of the early 20th century. he tragically died at the age of twenty seven, a classical ‘adonis’ in appearance, complex, passionate and impulsive in personality, an intellectual and a creative free spirit, mixing with the bloomsbury group and travelling to the south seas in his twenties. i came across an old faber & faber edition of his collected poems in a charity shop and was instantly captivated. it is a shame his work is not more widely known. his life would make an excellent biographical drama.

i was wondering too if seeing many Alfred Wallis paintings** – at kettles yard house, cambridge, then the tide & tide museum at great yarmouth, and most recently at the dulwich picture gallery in london [art and life exhibition]  – has been an influence. i have been charmed and delighted by their purity and authenticity, but it bothered me to discover that when Ben Nicholson wrote to Alfred Wallis, he would ask for more paintings and returned others as they did not sell in london. so, what do artists do with their rejected works?

i keep a large box of painting & printmaking offcuts and discards, assorted snips and fragments of paper and card, and the very smallest scraps and tiny fragments float to the bottom of this often crumpled and rumpled sea of papers. the tiniest of offcuts and insignificant scraps were dredged from the bottom of the box to create these miniature collages, so some parts are very small indeed, only a few millimetres. looking at the two small collages above [43 and 54] they both remind me of trawler boats or barges, and it seems to reinforce a ‘dredging’ or trawling analogy.

i am also interested in the notion of ‘incompleteness’ [and whether this might relate to the aesthetic of wabi wabi], since i am consciously trying to make something new or significant out of this process, as they comprise many isolated [or broken] parts, joining the tiny parts together in a new way. some of it is serendipity, in the small discoveries, discovering a simple harmony and new resonance in things of no real material value.

fragments of fragments.

6 – 28 September 2014
Blackthorpe Barn
Bury St Edmunds
IP30 9HZ

Open daily 10am-5pm

*these miniature collages have been signed, numbered and dated since taking the photographs.

** you can see 160 Alfred Wallis paintings [or photographs of them] that are in public collections on the BBC’s Your Paintings website.

seven ways at wymondham arts centre

Thursday 31 May 2012

wymondham arts centre - seven ways exhibition - jazz green

Four very small paintings in the Seven Ways art exhibition, which has just opened at Wymondham* Arts Centre.

wymondham arts centre - seven ways exhibition - jazz green

My large painting, lichenscape, and some of my wabi sabi relic bowls on display…

wymondham arts centre - seven ways exhibition - farmscape paintings - jazz green

four farmscape paintings…

Seven Ways features the work of seven contemporary East Anglian artists, united by friendship and their connection to the Waveney Valley.

The seven artists in ‘Seven Ways’ are: Nell Close, Clare Cummins, Miles Fairhurst, Jazz Green, Richard Hunter, Dee Nickerson and Julie Noad.

wymondham arts centre - seven ways exhibition

Seven Ways promises to be an engaging and eclectic art exhibition, showcasing the seven artists very different approaches – from gentle observations of country ways, musical elements of still life, scenes of nature, landscape and skies to bold abstract forms and textures of the earth.

The exhibition ‘Seven Ways’ at Wymondham Arts Centre is open daily from 29th May to 10th June 2012: Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sundays 12 noon – 5pm.

wymondham arts centre - beckets chapel

Wymondham Arts Centre is located in Becket’s Chapel, the second oldest building in the town of Wymondham, founded as a chantry in 1174 by William D’Albini, the grandson of William D’Albini who founded Wymondham Abbey. Read more about the history of Becket’s Chapel.

29 May to 10 June 2012

Wymondham Arts Centre
Becket’s Chapel
Church Street
Norfolk NR18 OPH

Update:  some more pictures of the ‘Seven Ways’ art exhibition at Wymondham Arts Centre, closes Sunday 10th June, 2012…

[ceramics by Clare Cummins, paintings by Miles Fairhurst]

[paintings by Dee Nickerson]

[still life paintings by Nell Close]


* A courtesy note from the artist: Wymondham is pronounced windh’um, not wy-mond-ham as might be expected…

not a painting, not a sculpture

Wednesday 7 December 2011

more pictures from the artist’s studio. it’s not a painting, not a sculpture…

wood, bark, abstract art on panel

it’s quite dark in the cave and things dry quite slowly…

wood bark, trees, abstract art on panel

the remains of the day (a previous day, with a knife and fork)…

wood, trees, bark, abstract art sculpture


wood, bark, textural abstract sculptural art


wood, trees, bark, abstract art sculptural


things are not perfect. i won’t waste time with too many focused words today, people like to look at the pictures…

nature, reclaim, change, transience, decay, disintegrate, rot, renewal, trees, garden, prune, cut, lop, fell, fall, crack, axe, sort, stack, season, slumber, lumber, weather, time, rain, cold, drizzling, damp, heat, sun, haze, light, shadows, dark, layers, edges, shifting, shapes, scrapes, textures, crackling, fire, warmth, habitat, shelter, wood, bark, out of the woods, into the cave, art, no landscapes, no people…

i have been working in the evenings, mostly (in the dark cave, away from images of reality). i have enjoyed working on these new pieces although perhaps enjoy is not the most appropriate word in this context. the process of making feels very focused, methodical, mindful, intimate, quiet, intense, as the work begins to take on subtleties of surface and there is some excitement in them coming to a considered conclusion.

i can’t recall a famous artist ever saying that they love what they do. they may speak of passion, determination, a sense of enquiry or curiosity, about scenes & situations, the issues & incidents of life. to simply love art implies unconditional acceptance that everything is perfect (or at least, it feels right), but making art is always a struggle of the will to make meaningful new things, to make them in a way that makes sense (and purpose). however, like the wabi sabi phrase, ‘nothing is ever finished’, making art also feels like a thoughtful, ongoing conversation, the memory of which lingers strongly in the mind long after the event, to be resumed again on another day…

see also the previous post, on making art again

in other news… i have acquired a new book to read, which you might have deciphered from a previous post. i have only read the first few pages, my ears and eyes are very tired…