How are you all? The weather in Hereford is terrible this year! It’s cold, dark and rainy, feels more like February than glorious October. But let’s not despair. Art is the best way to get rid of the doom and gloom, and luckily, here at Vanadian Avenue, we are never short of it!
If you missed the first part of our review of the h.Art festival, please click on the link below:
We also have good news for those of you who live in the West Midlands and would like to participate in the artist market next year. It was announced few days ago, that the next edition of h.Art has been confirmed and will take place on the 7th – 15th of September 2013. The call out for artists and craft makers has already started so contact the organizers to book your place right now. The h.Art festival board is also looking for venues, if you own a good spot, let them know as well! The main goal of the festival is not only to promote the art, but to give the local business a boost and help the members of the public to (re)discover the county.
You can place your adverts for free on the official webpage:
But lets us focus on the artists again. The festival is the celebration of human creativity and skills. Herefordshire has long been known as the craftsmen’s heaven and once again it was confirmed to be true. In addition to the creators introduced in the previous entry, we have selected a few more that just cannot be missed. All of them have had a strong impact on the artistic scene of the city and established themselves as leading forces in the rural cultural revolution.
Jo Dewar – contemporary textiles and wire art
Her website: http://jodewar.com
More information: http://www.wgdc.org.uk/designers/textiles/jo-dewar.html
Jo Dewar’s art is probably the most innovative we have ever seen. Would you believe that her creations are made with just colourful enamelled copper wire, various textiles and paper? The idea for wire art was introduced for the first time in Italy during the 1960’s and became known as the “Arte poverta” – “The art of the poor”. Italian art students manipulated the wire into necklaces or earrings and sold them to the tourists to make additional income. Despite the humble beginnings, wire art has now become incredibly popular and fashionable. Wire knitting is not as easy as it would seem, as it requires a lot of strength and dedication. Jo added a lot of “Britishness” to the Italian roots: apart from jewellery, she makes jugs, teapots, plaques, candle holders and fruit bowls. A proud member of the Worcester Guild of Designer Craftsmen, Jo Dewar is a truly unique maker!
Helen London– silversmithing with a soul
Her website: http://www.helenlondon.co.uk/home
More information: http://www.craftsingloucestershire.co.uk/classes/hlclasses.htm
Our next guest, Helen London is Jo Dewar’s exact opposite. A jeweller as well, Helen represents the traditional school of jewellery-making. She is a silversmith and designer, specializing in creating items that could easily be worn on the red carpet or during the visit to The Buckingham Palace. Helen learnt her craft at the London Guildhall University and later studied at the Bishopsland Educational Trust in South Oxfordshire. Her skills are widely recognized, and helped her to secure numerous exhibitions and loyal clientele.
Helen is also a successful teacher and co-operated with many cultural and art organizations in the UK and abroad. In her spare time, she runs jewellery making classes for others where she teaches the art of filigree wire work. If you’d like to make a ring in a day, contact Helen and she will show you how! Helen swears she loves her work and we love it as well! It is simply stunning. Don’t you agree?
Alison Evans’ stand on the market was located right next to Helen London’s and there was a good reason for it. Both ladies are not only precious metal workers but also long-time friends and collaborators. Just like Helen, Alison is the graduate of the prestigious Bishopsland Educational Trust in Oxfordshire. She is an active member of Alloy Jewellers collective that holds a permanent exhibition in The Courtyard Centre for the Arts on Edgar Street in Hereford. Alison takes the inspiration for her art from nature. Birds, leaves and flowers are recurring themes in her silver jewellery and the silverware she makes. Alison’s design is very elegant, a bit traditional but with a modern twist. It can please both – tradition lovers and contemporary art admirers.
The main force behind Glass on Glass is Elaine Mason, a glass maker and designer. Elaine recruited her family members and friends to help and now the project is truly a family affair! In 2008, Elaine travelled to Corfu and discovered the kiln-formed glass making method. She fell in love with the luminous and clear effect and decided to try to do it herself. For her work, Elaine uses only recycled glass: everything from old windows, tomato sauce jars, milk bottles to potato puree tubes or used glass crates. The glass comes from local businesses who happily supply the artist with all glass objects they no longer use.
It is a wildly known fact that Mal and Rita are crazy about cats. We were absolutely delighted to spot the three-piece red dip dish decorated with a picture of a black cat. This is a purrfect dish for Halloween snack! If you’d like to make your own dish like that, please contact Elaine. She is running a weekend glass-making classes in her studio in Allensmore near Hereford.
Garry Jones – your one and only cartoon sculptures
His website: www.garry-jones.co.uk
More information: http://www.craftanddesign.net/magazine/210/garry-jones.php
It was a love at first sight. We met Garry Jones, Welsh born artist and Midlands resident of 30 years, when he was busy sculpting a cat. Yes, you heard us right. He was the only artist on the whole market, not only selling and displaying his work but actually creating! He had his hands dirty with clay and talked to the crowd of buyers and passer-by’s with a rare passion. Self-taught genius, Garry is great animal lover. He says he owes everything to the animals, they are his inspiration, his best friends and companions.
We had a long conversation with Garry about his art, starting his own business several years ago after leaving his secure day job, dogs sculptures and his admiration for sheep and … hens. He told us, he was a dog-person rather than cat’s but found a great pleasure in sculpting a feline. He even joked that it’s a good sport or else he would forget how the cats looked like. We can hardly believe anyone is capable of forgetting a cat, but we have taken a detailed picture of the cat-in-the-making just to be sure. It looks great to us!
Garry Jones is an award winning artist that specializes in what he calls “the cartoon sculptures”. His main goal is to make his audience smile. To receive a comical effect, he incorporates unusual objects into his art like an old front door with a cat flap, rusted car parts, wood fence and even a bathtub. He portrays mostly domestic animals but he gives them a lot of human characteristics. Garry also likes to play with words. Cleverly twisted titles give certain well known phrases, a completely new meaning.
Outside of the h.Art festival, the artist market is organized twice a year: in April, just before the Easter holidays and in mid-December.
If you would like to meet any of the artists described here, your next chance in Hereford will be on the 8th – 9th of December 2012.
We will be there so watch out!
Have a good weekend and come back soon.
We are not done yet!
All the best
Mal and Rita D.
EDIT – 2013.01.09
As promised, we have paid a visit to the Winter Artist Market on the 9th of December 2012. Sadly, the market was limited to 8 stalls only and was largely ignored by the public. Truth be told, it was one of the coldest days we have had this winter in Herefordshire and the weather was not encouraging to shop, still there was little to write about. We have stopped by Garry Jones’ stand hoping to speak to him but unfortunately he was gone and his friend was looking after his art. Not our luckiest day, yet we managed to take few pictures of his newest creations. The cat sculpture has now been finished!!
The scratching kitten sculpture was not the only new one in Garry’s portfolio. A massive (nearly 110 cm tall) installation with a dog jumping through a window, impressed passer-by’s and art lovers.
Mr Jones has also started sculpting another installation – we cannot wait to see what it will look like once finished. It will be probably shown during the spring market in April.
Have a good day!
Rita and Mal xxxx