Tuesday, 5 June 2018

5 in 5 - June 2018 - The South Asia Collection Museum In Norwich

Welcome to '5 in 5' where on the 5th of
each month I post 5 photos that I have 
taken in 5 minutes.

Last week I visited the 'Turn A Page Book Art Fair' in Norwich and one of my exhibiting friends told me of a place I might like to visit, just round the corner. What I discovered was a hidden treasure!  The building was built as an indoor skating rink in 1876 (this was a surprise in itself) and it was worth visiting just for the building itself. 

But once inside I was immediately transported to the far east, and amazed at the displays and diverse collections on view. Part shop, part Museum, I wondered how I had never heard of The South Asia Collection Museum before, and was very grateful for my friends tip off. The skating rink was not long lasting, and the over the following years the building was used as a Vaudeville Theatre, a temporary home for the Salvation Army, storage for tinned meat, and a warehouse for a building manufacturer. Philip and Jeannie Millward purchased the Rink in the early 1990's and renovated it, making it what it is today. I thoroughly recommend a visit if ever you are in Norwich, and it was the perfect place to take 5 photos in 5 minutes. But before I share these, let me quickly show you the building itself:

Some of the exhibits are large pieces of architecture and furniture.

Upstairs you could look across and admire the beautiful beams and wooden ceiling. Back on the ground floor I set my mobile timer and got my camera ready:

This teakwood spinning wheel was used for winding bobbins, for fabric weaving.

I was excited to see antique wood blocks, used for the printing of fabrics.  I had to add these to the collection I bought in India!

And it was lovely to see examples of dyes used and printing in the museum section.  Upstairs the shop sells fabric and linens as well as clothes. Again everything was beautifully laid out and it reminded me of a recent visit to Liberty's in London.   

Other interesting things I found was this collection of padlocks.  I thought of the beautiful doors I had seen in India that were architectural works of art in themselves. 

This bowl of goat bells attracted me too. So much of Indian wares are beautifully decorated and detailed. 

I could have stayed longer, browsing and admiring the exhibits. But I had gone to Norwich for the Book Art Fair and still had more to see; and so this hidden treasure will be a place to visit again. 

Meantime I look forward to using my new wood blocks. I have a workshop planned 'Inspired by India' where we will be printing our own fabric and Khadi Papers to make book covers, and making a book. I'll be back to show you these another time. 

For now, I invite you to join me in this monthly photo challenge. This is what you do: 

1.  Choose a location.

2.  Have your camera ready.

3.  Set a mobile timer for 5 minutes.

4.  Take as many photos you can until the time is up.

5.  Choose 5 photos to download and share by using the link tool.
   You have until the 25th of the month to add your photos.  

If you want to know more there are details here.

And one more thing - when you use the link tool, please click on your post title.  This will show the web address. Please right click, copy and paste this as your link.  This will take readers directly to your '5 in 5' blog page and be easier for them to find.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you have had some recent good discoveries of your own.

Celebrating 5 years!! 

Next month this monthly photo challenge will be celebrating 5 years! That's a good reason to mark the occasion and I would love to hear any ideas that you may have. Please leave a comment below and I will be back with more news and updates soon. 

Saturday, 5 May 2018

5 in 5 - May 2018 - Down by the Pond

Welcome to '5 in 5' where on the 5th of

each month I post 5 photos that I have 
taken in 5 minutes.

With my mother in hospital it has been a stressful couple of weeks and so today I took the opportunity to visit a local garden. Spring has finally sprung, with splashes of colour and the trees a vibrant green. It has been a long wait. 

Down by the pond, I took up my camera. A reflection is always hard to resist. 

And as I stood there, camera poised, the air was filled with bird song. I looked around and spotted a blackbird high in the branches of a nearby tree. The song of a bird always gladdens my heart and capturing a photo made the moment even more special.

Then, as I started along the path, I came across huge pots of beautiful ragged tulips. The bright pink and purple petals were a feast for the eyes; a splash of cheer after weeks of cold, grey weather. 

And at the waters edge I came across a pair of geese with their newly hatched young. Like me, they were enjoying the sunshine, only I didn't have time to sit and bathe in the warmth as my timer was set!  

Meanwhile the parents kept a beady eye on me, but I kept my distance as I didn't want to disturb them more than necessary.

It's always good to have a zoom for times like this!

Thank you for popping by, and to everyone who took part last month. I love to see your themes and photos, so if you are inspired to get out your camera and join me in this monthly photo challenge here is the plan:

1.  Choose a location.

2.  Have your camera ready.

3.  Set a mobile timer for 5 minutes.

4.  Take as many photos you can until the time is up.

5.  Choose 5 photos to download and share by using the link tool.
   You have until the 25th of the month to add your photos.  

If you want to know more there are details here.

And one more thing - when you use the link tool, please click on your post title.  This will show the web address. Please right click, copy and paste this as your link.  This will take readers directly to your '5 in 5' blog page and be easier for them to find.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

5 in 5 - May 2018 - Melanie

Melanie is my friend who lives in Australia and she loves photography.  Every month since the start of this challenge Melanie has taken part in this monthly meme and as she doesn't have her own blog I post here. I love that we have found a way for her to take part, so over to you Melanie:

"Here is my effort for an April 5 in 5.  The photos got taken on April 5th but only now am I sitting down to look at them and pick out my five for my 5 in 5 submission.  On April 5th I had a visit to the McLaren Vale wine area which is just half an hour down the road from us.  The McLaren Vale area has over 70 cellar doors and over 160 vineyards. Just before Christmas a new icon for the region opened its doors.  It is known as The DArenberg Cube and can be seen for miles around. It is more than just a cellar door even before entering the cube the outdoor speakers present one with sounds produced by a weather station and maybe the sounds represent the emotions of the vines.  There are five floors to the Cube  Inside there are museum artefacts, a sensory room with 44 different smells to inhale, a video to watch, an art collection to look at, an interesting mirrored stairwell and of course a tasting of the wines.  The glass  tasting room on the top floor has outside balconies with amazing panoramic views.  One can see the sea in the distance and get an idea of the extent of the vines. The toilets with their fake foliage are also worth a visit especially the mens where the  urinals cause you to smile.  You can read more about how the cube came about at the following link: https://www.darenberg.com.au/the-experience/darenberg-cube-experience  The photos I took on the outside before entering.  There are two photos of outside sculptures.  The one on the left hand side is known as Floating Figure, made from 5mm Corten steel.   The photo next to Floating Figure is the Cube as viewed form the car park area then the second sculpture included is known as Banksia it is  also made from Corten Steel.  It did indeed look like a banksia.  There are actually 30 outdoor sculptures around the grounds.  My top photo on the right is of vines near the Cube and the bottom right photos is a section of the entrance.

This visit to the cube was not my first.  I first visited shortly after it opened then in January we have friends from the UK visiting so we took them and this month I went with our daughter who was on a flying visit form England.  She arrived on Easter Monday and left on the Friday so visiting the Cube was squeezed in on the Thursday.  Certainly an experience worth doing and since opening its doors it has become one of the most popular with an estimated 1,00 people a day visiting over the summer months.    Thought Id include a photo I took while checking out the mens toilet on an earlier visit :-

Well I will say bye for now and hope you enjoy the outside views of DArenberg cellar door".

Thank you Melanie for sending this post!  It looks an amazing place to visit and I can see why this new venture is so popular. The men's toilets are certainly novel and if these are an example of what else you might see, a fun day is in store!

There is still time to add your own 5in5 photos this month so if you would like to find out how to join in, please go to this months post for details.  

And more about this monthly photo challenge started can be found   here.  Thank you for visiting and to everyone who contributes, it wouldn't be the same without you! 

Thursday, 5 April 2018

5 in 5 - April 2018 - The Sketchbook Project

Welcome to '5 in 5' where on the 5th of
each month I post 5 photos that I have 
taken in 5 minutes.

The Sketchbook Project is an annual event and this year I decided to participate. Artists are sent a book which you complete in any way of your choosing using a few basic guidelines. The book is then returned to Brooklyn, US and becomes part of a travelling exhibition and permanent library. I was excited when my book arrived and was pleased by the small size, as I had made up my mind that in order to meet the deadline I would need to work within constraints. I set myself a goal which I explained on the back page of the book:

"I can be a perfectionist and chose this opportunity to participate without pressure or expectation.  There are things in the sketchbook that I would do differently another time, but I have given myself permission to let it go. This was a good experience and learning for me, because sometimes high expectation can stop me starting or mean that I did not enjoy the process so much because I undo or redo in search of getting it right. This time I achieved this by letting go, and I enjoyed making this sketchbook and accepted that good is enough!

I chose a quote as my theme as I wanted a connection to flow through the pages, and these words were meaningful to what I wanted to achieve and where I am in life".  

So let's take a look:

I have a few more details to add and then it will be posted back to Brooklyn. I'm glad I took part, it has been an opportunity to be playful and I used a range of mixed media techniques including stamping, paint, pens and ink, collage, grunge paste, stencils and texture. Thank you for looking, and maybe this will inspire you to take part next year.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Book Art Day

Last week I went to London for The Society of Bookbinders Book Art Day. Would you believe that my friend Ruth came all the way from the Isle of Bute to join me?! I was super impressed by her intrepid journey for this one day event and it made the day even more special.  
The event started with an illustrated talk by Tracey Bush. In 1995 Tracey made a series of books connected to the River Thames and I really enjoyed hearing about stories and process behind these. Her latest book 'Dusk' is a beautiful work, each page carefully hand printed and hand cut out. This book was awarded the 2017 J.Hewit 'Excellence in Design' in the SOB International Bookbinding Competition. It's easy to see why when you see and handle the book.  You can see this and other books by Tracey on her website.   
Around the room were a selection of other book artists and it was lovely to see the wide range of techniques and designs.  Enjoy a few photos, and apologies to the artists - I was so engrossed in talking, looking and taking the occasional photo that I didn't make notes to attribute.  

One of my favourite stands was an Iranian lady who made journals using Photoshop and mixed media. And Dizzy Pragnell, who I met at Turn the Page in Norwich last year. Her fruit and vegetable books still continue to amaze me. I mean, really! Can you believe each page is a cabbage leaf?!   

I realised when I got home that I did not take photos of all the books that I admired, but that's okay. The ones I have show the diverse and colourful collection that was on display, and it was lovely to meet the artists in person. 

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Meaning Making - an exploration with ink and poetry

Last year I signed up for an online course called Meaning Making : Inspired by Poetry with Lendon Noe.  It took time for me to to start as I wanted to set aside several days of uninterrupted time, and snow days last week were the perfect opportunity.  I won't go into detail about the content as it is a paid course and Lendon talks about the course in the video included on the link above; but I will say how much I enjoyed Lendon's relaxed and professional presentation and the course content. Some of her ideas were new to me, and  that's always a good thing because I like to be stretched and to try something different. And this was.

I decided to be open to the experience and go along with the ideas suggested by Lendon, although I struggled to get excited about the theme of apples.  'Just see it as process!' I told myself. And with the table covered in inks and mark makers I made myself comfortable with the lap top set up.

Each of the 6 videos include a different stage or technique, so I took regular breaks to try these out. I didn't take photos throughout as I wanted to get into flow. And the idea of apples? These provided a good focus and starting point, and an idea I will use in future. But for now, let's look at some of my pages. They are not meant to be works of art - for me they are play, and practice pages.  I will be making them into a resource book  and on the back of each page I have written the technique and general approach - because I know I won't remember in time to come!  

Let's get started: 

A selection of my tools. I enjoyed using the pipette and stick. I have yet to master the home made cola pens and need more practice and experimentation.

I treated myself to Sumi ink and brushes but never got round to using these. As the project is work in progress these can come out next time.  I also used a restricted range of ink colours on these experiments so I will be more bold then too.

One of our tasks was to draw and take photos of apples, and below is one that I printed to use as a collage. Other photos were image transferred and I discovered Lendon's technique was quick and easy,  although in fairness she warns this has variable results. Anyone who does image transfers will know this is the case, although I have generally been lucky. 

One of my pages with ink background, this was created by 'mopping up' surplus ink and water from the master page. Some of the pages  became quite wet after spritzing with water and moving the colour around and I love getting two pages from one. Interestingly my favourite fluid was my homemade walnut ink, the colour was rich and stable and also colourfast. I will certainly make more walnut ink this year.

Lendon encouraged the use of poetry and apples in our work. These were more mopping up pages that worked well as a background for text. I liked this poem and the little boat is part of an apple.

I have since decided that some red ink will add to this page, so I will come back to this.

After a while I began to feel more loose and playful.  I also started to use my own ideas, and here I cut an apple stencil out of a sheet of acetate.  It also worked well as a template.

When you look at a cross section of an apple the seeds look like a small star shape, so I also cut a small stamp out of foam to print onto the pages. 

I experimented on different papers, and sketching apples too. I loved Lendon's suggestion for how to do this and I would love to be more confident and loose, so I will practice more in future.  I'm glad that I was open to the theme of apples as they are  quite easy to draw and offer lots of variables such as shapes, sizes and colours, and ways you can cut them. I may even continue with this theme a while longer, while I experiment more and get familiar with different mark makers and inks. Meantime I have a big pile of papers and backgrounds to work on more, and while other people were out on their sledges or negotiating treacherous roads, I enjoyed the snow days, warm indoors!

Thank you for popping by. And if you have encountered some difficult weather days, I hope you could make the most of them too. 
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