prints charming

March 30, 2021

There is a beautiful simplicity to Renee Gouin‘s work. “I’m inspired by the process of reduction, paring down objects to the essential form,” says the artist of her printmaking process. In stories, I find myself as drawn to what isn’t in the image as to what is; our imagination fills in the negative space. The channels series is tender and playful, and I love all the details in women in clothes 3. The print below is a favourite; who doesn’t need red shoes?

fromage

March 26, 2021

It’s not just because I love cheese, but Inès Mélia‘s ceramic Brie, Munster & Comté candlesticks are divine. “As I couldn’t paint during lockdown, the idea came to me to use day to day items like the cheese in my fridge to create these ephemeral sculptures,” says the Paris-based artist, DJ and fashion muse. I’d like half a dozen of them to light up at a future fondue party. Pong.

love always wins

March 25, 2021

British-Nigerian artist, Yinka Ilori is known for his bold colours and playful patterns. His large scale installations and murals lift London’s sprits. Most recently, Ilori’s ventured into homewares, with a collection of technicolour trays, tablecloths, mugs and cushions that bring joy to the home. I have my eye on this cheerful rug –– they look like pineapples –– and I think we could all hang a Better Days Are Coming I Promise plate on our wall.

BZIPPY

March 24, 2021

Bari Ziperstein‘s is an artist who is constantly stretching the possibilities of her material. Clay is versatile to begin with, and Ziperstein embraces that. “The transformation of clay and testing its technical limits informs so much of my practice,” says Ziperstein, whose large scale, colour rich vessels stand out in any room. Just look at this acid yellow cubist planter and this giant Yves Klein vase. And what of all the whimsical, wacky vessels below? Her work is bold, irreverent and highly original. “… it’s about creating a new ceramic silhouette with unexpected processes that excites me.”

pandemic pools

March 24, 2021

Once in a while, I’d get to my local pool, cozzie and goggles in hand, only to find that it was closed for maintenance. I was so routined to my thrice weekly swims, that the notification of closure would skip my mind. It was frustrating at times, like tuning in to a television show that’s been cancelled for the week. There was something about seeing the pool empty of water that made me feel sad. Up in Forest Hill, where we walk often, there are so many residential pools that sit empty all winter. Last year, I remember watching one being filled, and feeling genuine glee at the sight. Pools are containers for water, for life; without water, they’re just cavernous holes. Back in December, photographer, David Levene, visited and photographed some of his favourite swimming venues around London. “‘I love swimming,” says Levene, who took to swimming in open water when the pools all shut. “I’m not fanatic or die-hard, but it is impossible for me to ignore the correlation that exists in my life between swimming and general levels of positivity and wellbeing. I find it hypnotic, meditative, and I’ll tend to have my best ideas and inspirations just after emerging from a pool.” For all you who’ve spent a lot of time at a local pool, and who miss your regular swims, Levene’s images may resonate with you. This image here –– quiet, sterile and still –– reminds me very much of what my local pool looked like on maintenance weeks, and what I imagine it looks like today.

round and around we go

March 24, 2021

Have you ever seen a more fabulous kitchen? Villa Bagnan, Biarritz.

A restoration studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. Photograph by Andrew Moore.

Elizabeth Lo follows three street dogs and the Syrian refugees they befriend in her Istanbul-based film, Stray.

The loveliest wedding cake.

Ali Macgraw in Love Story.

Tana Grisaille’s leafy wallpapers.

The surreal and vibrant world of painter, Ophelia Redpath.

Ingrid Bergman in Stromboli by Roberto Rosselini.

turn

March 23, 2021

On Saturday, we sat outside in the sunshine and marvelled at the majesty of Spring. It’s neither beautiful nor bountiful out there, but with every snowdrop, every crocus, every chirp of a bird, comes a tiny sense of triumph. We survived another Winter. And beneath the leaves and dirt and debris, lies the promise of perennials. Of bare feet. Of drinks at dusk. Of bicycle bells. Of possibility. This winter has flown by. Was it the mild January? Or was it that we sledded through February? We did so little, and yet the days trotted on. And maybe that’s just it. Keep it simple. Relish in the small stuff. A beautiful Winter sky. A fresh fall of snow. And Winter finds a way of turning into Spring.

less is more

March 19, 2021

What amazes me about Hildeo Sawada, is how much emotion he’s able to imbue into a piece of wood. His human figures are devoid of detail –– no facial features, hair or arms –– and yet there’s such poise, grace and pathos to each one. I love the Impressionistic looseness of his carving; each one begs to be held. Loved, even. Quiet, restrained –– beautiful.

metalworks

March 18, 2021

Anna Varendorff‘s metal vases look like jewellery, delicate bracelets and earrings on which to perch a flower. I particularly love the ones where the flower completes the circle; those I can picture as much on a table as on a woman’s wrist. There are as many possibilities as there are flowers in the world, but this lisianthus arrangement may be my favourite. I also love the exquisite simplicity of a sprig of green. And one can never tire of the classic tulip.

constellate

March 17, 2021

Some people’s chosen métier begins to constellate as early as five or six years of age. In this poignant short film, a ten-year-old boy in rural South West France, shares his dream of becoming of professional DJ. “In the countryside you can hear almost nothing,” says Benoit. “You feel free….. In my room, I hear nothing but rain and wind.” If he doesn’t make it as a DJ, Benoit says he’ll be a horticulturalist like his Mum. “Or, um … I’ll figure it out later.” The young boy made me think of a documentary I’d watched last week on Instagram’s Ian Spalter, and how his urge to problem solve traced back to childhood. Every year, on his birthday, Spalter’s parents gave him a blank bound book to fill with drawings and ideas. “Ian gravitated towards anything technological,” said his dad. “Whatever technical issues anyone had in the building we lived in, they would come to the door and ask, ‘is Ian home?'” The documentary is one of several brilliant profiles on the Netflix series, Abstract. I’ve only watched a few –– Platon, Ilse Crawford and Tinker Hatfield –– and what I enjoy most is seeing how the dots connect, seeing how early experiences weave their way into the creative process, and into who and what a person becomes. The path is rarely linear, but if you trace it, there always is one.

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