Abracadabra

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Last night I pottered over to my friend Camilla‘s private view at the Here Gallery. Unfortunately I got there quite late, which meant that I missed seeing some friends but there was a silver lining because I got to go to the pub with Camilla and a few people afterwards.

The show is called Abracadabra and features work by three different artists – Cindy Jaswal, Claire Platt and of course, Camilla Stacey. It’s a fun little show and well worth a look if you’re in the Bristol area. Interestingly, the show came about after the artists met through the internet – yet another example of how artists can find and develop art opportunities online.

Camilla is showing some of her series of reglazed found porcelain figures against a background of hand made wallpaper. She hunts for little figures in charity shops and then re-paints them with gold lustre glaze and then re-fires them. The glaze seems to make the figures heavy and sometimes slightly melancholic because it’s not a bright gold but more of a dull, thick colour that seems to pull the light into the figures rather than reflecting it. She also had a set of white figures in varying states of decrepitude that she’d cast in plaster. She gave me a little head with a missing nose, which I’ll be putting in my cabinet of curiosities. I hadn’t seen this work before, so I was interested in how it was coming along but I was sad that Camilla hadn’t shown any of her excellent drawings.

Camilla Stacey
Camilla Stacey – Virgin Mary

Claire Platt trained in Bristol but now lives and works in London. She’s showing a large group of her embroideries, drawings and ceramics based on human anatomy. I liked these a great deal, they’re shown in a big group and I love the way they work together. A lot of the pieces have gold thread, are encrusted with sequins or are shown in mirrored or gilt frames – it could be tacky but somehow it really works.

Claire Platt
Claire Platt – Installation View

I was a bit naughty and bought myself an early birthday present – one of the most abstract drawings (you can’t see it clearly but it’s the little blue rectangle on the bottom left). Claire, if you happen to read this, I’m thrilled to have got one of your pieces but both Camilla and I think you’re drastically underpricing your work!

If I’d had the money, I would definitely have bought one of Cindy Jarwal’s exquisite ink drawings too. Sadly, although they were very fairly priced at £100, they were just a bit out of my reach – one of the downsides of being an artist is that although you’d happily buy art, you don’t usually have much of a budget for it. I’m not showing Cindy’s work in this post because she asks that people don’t reproduce it without permission but you can see more of it on her Flickr or her website and it’s gorgeous so I strongly encourage you to hop over and have a look. Her style reminded me quite strongly of my own Diary Project drawings, so it’s not surprisingly that I liked them so much. They were my favourite things in the exhibition and I may just have to go back and see if I can buy a piece in instalments. I don’t buy that much art – usually just one or two pieces a year – but I know that I’ll absolutely kick myself if I don’t get one of these.

I am an artist & purveyor of obsessive projects based in Hebden Bridge, England. My work involves the accretion of large numbers of small objects - pins in fabric, knots in string or hundreds of envelopes - to make sculptures that deal with fragility, loss, repetition, obsession and time.

4 thoughts on “Abracadabra

  1. I surprised myself by not doing drawings for this show- I think that’s why it took me a long time to actually feel connected to it, right up until the last moment I felt like I was installing someone else’s work. Thanks for the write up and it was nice to go to the pub with you!

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  2. I surprised myself by not doing drawings for this show- I think that’s why it took me a long time to actually feel connected to it, right up until the last moment I felt like I was installing someone else’s work. Thanks for the write up and it was nice to go to the pub with you!

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  3. It was great to spend some time with you as well, I don’t see enough of you now that we’re not working at the gallery together.

    It’s funny how shows come together, I always seem to start out thinking I’m going to do one thing and end up with something totally different.

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  4. It was great to spend some time with you as well, I don’t see enough of you now that we’re not working at the gallery together.

    It’s funny how shows come together, I always seem to start out thinking I’m going to do one thing and end up with something totally different.

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