Monday, 30 November 2015

Sedona sketches

Recently, I was in Arizona and I had a chance to visit Sedona  and go hiking in the hills surrounded by red rocks formations. The views were stunning, in particular with the contrast between the rocks and the evergreen vegetation. On the way up, I had time for two quick sketches.

A few photos I took along the trail.

Many artists are working in Sedona.

Red rocks and the cowboy artist – sculpture by Clyde “Ross” Morgan – October 2002

This sculpture is a tribute to Joe Beeler, one of the founders of the the CowboyArtists of America in 1965. This organization was founded in Sedona by four western artists: Joe Beeler, Charlie Dye, John Hampton and George Phippen. An annual show is now held each year in Phoenix.

Monday, 23 November 2015

The Sprites by Frank Lloyd Wright

The Sprites (fairy or elf), architectural sculptures, were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1914 and sculpted by Alfonso Iannelli to be placed in the Chicago’s MidwayGardens , an amusement park that was demolished in 1929. 

The same Sprites are dotted around the Arizona Biltmore hotel in Phoenix (Arizona – USA).

Albert Chase McArthur was the architect for the hotel and Frank Lloyd Wright only a consultant on the project for four months in 1928, relating to the masonry unit "Textile Block" construction.

One of the Cottages showing the "Textile Block" pattern.

Because of Wright’s fame, owners of the hotel have stressed his participation in the project and reinforced the association of the place with Wright. A good example of this is the late addition of the "Saguaro Forms and Cactus Flowers" Stained glass window.

"Saguaro Forms and Cactus Flowers" Stained glass window after Wright’s design

Wright designed this as a magazine cover for Liberty Magazine in 1926. The stained glass window was fabricated by Taliesin students and installed during the 1973 hotel renovations and restoration.

The swimming pool with building designed by the architect Albert Chase McArthur

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Mural in Cambria Bridge Road – Swindon (England)

The mural, completed in October 2015, was created to celebrate next year’s 175th anniversary of the Great Western Railway’s start in Swindon.  There are still many landmarks in Swindon from the time steam trains were built there.

The Visual Drop, a local artists’ group, created the mural in collaboration with The Railway Kids. It features celebrities and landmarks from Swindon.

Clever transformation of a concrete post at the end of Cambria Bridge that become a Tardis (from the Doctor Who TV series).

The link between Swindon and Doctor Who comes with the singer and actress Billie Piper, who played the Doctor’s assistant Rose Tyler and was born in Swindon.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the engineer extraordinaire who built the railway line from Bristol to London (not only the train engines, but also the buildings and bridges) and so many other things. Daniel Gooch was the first Superintendent of Locomotive Engines on the Great Western Railway from 1837 to 1864 and its chairman from 1865 to 1889.

The suffragette Edith New was born in Swindon on March 17, 1877. Behind her, you can see a man lettering in the G.W.R. sign. This is probably a reference to the local artist Ken White still living and practicing his art in Swindon, who started as a sign painter for Great Western Railway (see below for more information on him).

The Octobus mobile youth project

The community TV station Swindon Viewpoint 

The artist Ken White features in good place in this mural, which makes sense as he painted back in 1976 “The Golden Lion Bridge” mural in Fleming Way, the most famous mural in Swindon. After that, he painted many more murals that you can see on his website. This mural launched Ken’s career when the pharmaceutical company Bayer featured it in a poster advertising campaign.  Richard Branson then contacted Ken and asked him to design some murals for Virgin. Ken even designed the flying lady logo for Virgin Atlantic.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Lille Renaissance 2015

Renaissance 2015 by Lille3000 is a series of events and art exhibitions in Lille (North of France), with giant sculptures dotted around the city centre.

Breathing Flower by Choi Jeong Hwa in the courtyard of the Hospice Comtesse

A very clever inflatable moving sculpture with air moving the petals of the lotus flower.

Fruit Tree by Choi Jeong Hwa at the Vieille Bourse

Choi Jeong Hwa was born in 1961 in Seoul, where he works today. He is the figurehead of the Korean “pop art” movement. You can see more of his work on his website