I have to admit I’d never heard of Sophie Ryder before but I am on the mailing list for Lakeside Arts which covers Djanogly Gallery (based on the University of Nottingham campus) and I was intrigued by the photos of her work so I made a mental note to go visit and as is often the case with these things didn’t actually get around to it until it was in its last week (it closed on 12 March).
Ryder is known for her large scale sculptures of animals including her own invention called the Ladyhare and the classic minotaur future. This exhibition focused on some of her smaller pieces, which gives you an idea of just how large her bigger sculptures must be! They are stunning and one of the things I was most intrigued by was the inclusion of extra details in the sculptures like cassettes and smaller sculptures within bigger ones.
I didn’t take any photos of the drawings on display, mostly of her own dogs which were incredibly lifelike, but what I did photograph were her wire drawings – these were created by manipulating a mesh of twisted wires to create flattened images on the wall. They were brilliant and I was able to get very close up to them to admire the skill involved in creating such a large piece of art.
Some of my other favourites included this minotaur seeing itself in a mirror and this minotaur with the Ladyhare.
A bit odd yes, but lovely and I’m glad I made the time to visit. You can find some more photos here.
Back in May I went to the Wallace Collection to visit the Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts exhibition. In collaboration with New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art this exhibition, which finished recently, focused on how 18th century French art influenced Disney animators, particularly for the original Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. I enjoyed the exhibit, particularly the hand drawings of the transformation of Cinderella’s dress from rags, and the audioguide which was included in the £14 for adults admission price was really well done. Somewhat inevitably photography wasn’t allowed in the exhibition. Photography is allowed however in the Wallace Collection itself, which is free to enter.
Just by the Leadenhall Building in London were a series of sculptures of heads. Made of aluminium they are the sculptor’s exploration of Greek, Roman and Egyptian traditions for the 21st century. They were part of the Sculpture in the City programme, an annual sculpture park that uses London streets as its gallery. You can learn more about the programme and this year’s sculptures here. The heads are currently on display at Hauser & Wirth Gallery in Somerset.
This abstract female face is by Glasgow born Bruce McLean and can be found outside 199 Bishopgate in London. Created in 1993 the title apparently refers to Glasgow’s “aye-aye” greeting. Made of steel it really is a fun addition to the surroundings.
The main reason I wanted to visit Glasgow last October was to go to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and it turned out to be an even better experience than I’d been expecting, in fact I ended up spending most of the day there. The building itself is beautiful inside and out, designed in a Spanish Baroque style in red sandstone by John W. Simpson and E. J. Milner Allen and opened in 1901.
Glasgow is renowned for its impressive street art and while I didn’t go on one of the many walking tours of the artwork available I did take some time one afternoon to seek some of them out. A few of my favourites are below.
The above, unofficially titled St Mungo, is probably the one I’ve seen the most shared around social media but it really is a stunning piece and definitely worth seeing in person to take in all the details close up. Completed in 2016 it’s by the artist Smug.
Another one of Smug’s work is this beautiful wildlife scene overlooking Ingram Street car park. Tricky to pick a favourite but the badgers are particularly adorable. I love the way it looks like you’re peering through holes in the wall.
Created for his 75th birthday by the artist Rogue One this is a great portrait of Billy Connolly that you can find in Osborne Street.
Another one of Smug’s works is this image of a girl with a magnifying glass not far from Glasgow Central Station.
You can find more photos of Glasgow’s street art here.
The Royal Academy of Arts is based in Burlington House, a 17th century mansion. Construction began in 1664; the plot of land had been given to Sir John Denham, Charles II’s Surveyor of the Office of Works, as thanks for his loyalty to the King. Renovations to the exterior and interior took place over the years with the third Earl of Burlington in particular inspired by Italian architecture.
Back in September I attended my first Open House London weekend which was fantastic and I managed to see everything I wanted to and more. The one place that I absolutely wanted to visit was the Foreign and Commonwealth Office building so I headed there near its opening time and after a brief security check I got in without having to queue – not the situation when I left as the queue then was starting to skirt around the building.
Back in June I went to Liverpool for three nights. The main reason for my visit was to go to the Terracotta Warriors exhibition at the World Museum (more of which in a later post) but the first place I visited on arrival in the city was The Walker Art Gallery. One of the largest collections of artwork outside London it began in 1819 when the Liverpool Royal Institute bought 37 paintings from the collection of local philanthropist William Roscoe.