Saturday, March 13, 2010

Greetings from England!

No photos yet....just an update!

Steve and I had a glorious time in San Francisco last weekend visiting cemeteries in the suburban town Colma, otherwise known as the "City of the Dead"; seeing a triple bill by SF Ballet; and going to Napa for wine tastings and a ride on the Wine Train. (Napa also has a lovely, very well maintained, historic cemetery....so I managed to collect loads of epitaphs, make many new grave rubbings on silk, and snap hundreds of sculptural angel images!)

My Monday evening flight to England was canceled due to mechanical problems but I was able to depart the following morning. Thank goodness, we'd scheduled a full day before my ticket to Birmingham Royal Ballet's 20th anniversary show. Prince Charles was even there. (He shook hands with two ladies RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME after the show but before getting into his waiting car!) Mathias and Laura-Jane danced beautifully...and even together during the Carmina Burana segment. The anniversary production mixed top-notch highlights from various productions with company history shown on audio-visual screens between each number. The printed program included photos of staff and dancers....from 1990! Mathias was just two! A few of the dancers were depicted as ultra-sounds. Too cute!

Yesterday evening and this afternoon I saw different casts perform The Sleeping Beauty. Okay, I'm partial. Yesterday was tremendous....Mathias danced the principal role, Bluebird. Laura-Jane was the Fairy of Song. Everything was spectacular. This afternoon, Laura-Jane was Little Red Riding Hood; Mathias was in a waltz and a garland dance. They both have several other parts....depending on the cast....and there's something like six casts.

On Thursday I went to Nottingham and met fellow fiber bloggers, Julie and "Guzzisue". It was simply great to spend time with people interested in fiber and stitch, color and detail, inspirations and fascinations, artistic passion and creative drive. Julie even knew where TWO immaculately kept, historic graveyards were. They were so fantastic that I returned Friday morning to cover six, half-yard lengths of silk in crayon grave rubbings. I nearly filled my notebook with epitaphs and took a couple hundred more angel images. (Obviously, I worked quickly....because I had The Sleeping Beauty that evening!)

I've also sought out inspiration at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. First, I saw about eighty to one hundred objects from the recently discovered Staffordshire Hoard. Found in July of last year, it is an amazingly large collection (over 1500 pieces) of 7th - 8th c. Anglo-Saxon gold, often with very detailed garnet cloissonne. Then, I went to the Gas Hall for the West Midland Open art exhibition. Steve and I saw the last show two years ago. (It's a biennial!) I was quite taken with the three framed pieces of layered paper by Anna Lorenz; a three-part piece called Dog Coat Coat (Disquise for a Dog on the Run); Matthew Moore's clever Art Detector VI (mixed found objects that included a plastic water pistol attached by metal hosing to a mechanical/medical gauge box and a black power source with red and green tiny lights for "good" and "terrible" art); Anne Guest's Moth-er Fokkers (cyborg moths....just fantastic!); and Carl Jaycock's Obsolete Youth.

Okay...so the one I like BEST was undoubtedly the Dog Coat Coat; but, like the others above that lack an Internet link, there was NOTHING available about these artists in the provided catalog or that I could find on the Internet. The dog piece was spun and crocheted dog hair....made into a "disguise".... a "tail cover", a mask with ears and holes for the eyes and a plastic nose, and a suit with a collar and crochet covered buttons....all hanging on handcrafted, twisted wire hangers. From start to finish, this was a brilliant work. If anyone knows more about this talented fiber artist, send me a message! I'd like to see more of her work!

I also read, cover-to-cover, my first issue of the SAQA journal....totally awesome....full of great articles and new opportunities to explore.

I'm flying home very, very early on Monday morning....back to a mountain of custom picture framing work and the looming deadline for the Decision Portraits' exhibition. I still need plenty of "models" to volunteer sharing their "decision"! Please click the link above to see the list for future work....or suggest another decision.

4 comments:

Greg said...

You are quite the traveler. It sounds as though you're having a wonderful time. Can't wait to see photos.

Bill Evertson said...

Travel is always great for inspiration. It looks like you're coming home with with plenty of source material.

Julie said...

It was wonderful to meet you Susan and I really enjoyed our day. The ballet sounds magical! What a wonderful experience. I shall look forward to seeing your photographs. I hope you have a safe flight home.

Wanda said...

This is a great "update" post! The program depicting the dancers in 1990 sounds very sweet! I'm glad you had a great time in both SF and in England. Looking forward to pictures of the kids (can I still call them "kids"???) when you get the chance!