I've made a contribution the John Blanke project - A contemporary Art and Archive project celebrating John Blanke the Black trumpeter to courts of Henry VII & Henry VIII. You can see the project.
I imagined John Blanke as a fellow diaspora musician and parent, I feel his life as if he is a member of my family. I identify with his courage and strong spirit in requesting the same pay as his fellow white trumpeters. Sometimes even unbeknown to ourselves, our courage for the sake of our family and self dignity, causes us to make positive action that moves us out of our comfort zone. This kind of action I believe, can makes a difference not just in our life, but ripple into other's lives, far into the future. I identify with this in my own life.
My triptych reflects this feeling I wanted to create a timeline from past to present. I made a study of a contemporary artist and close friend as the face of John Blanke to further make this connection.
To see my triptych in oil and my John Blank portrait in black and white - keep abreast of the project Johnblank.com
My second exhibit at Taplow Court. I entered the drawing and the oil painting Given the size of them there was only room for one, the drawing was chosen. Thanks to the patience of CLAIRE ROLLINSON the curator, It has been hung with Perspex covering it. I attended most of the conference and met some amazing people from varying work ethics and religions, all contributing in some way of transforming conflict in our world.
So great to see my artwork still up at Love Gift Vegan restaurant in Brockley. Maya Matanah's gorgeous vegan Caribbean food only she can prepare is irresistible. Great to see my work in situ
At the Guildhall Art Gallery , London presenting Eric Huntley with my double portrait of him and his late wife Jessica Huntley along with a framed study for the portrait, at the celebratory closing session of No Colour Bar: Black British Art in Action 1960 to 1990
I was so nervous about attending the viewing but my nerves where quickly eased by the very friendly reception I received. From being given my exhibitor’s badge, finding my drawing and discussions with fellow exhibitors every one was welcoming and enthusiastic, all were keen to help and very willing to talk about my work and the work on display.
The exhibitors were varied with several well experienced hands who’d exhibited before, while there were quite a few newbies like me. The latter being recognizable by their very big smiles! All in all, all the exhibitors seemed to have been delighted, having been selected.
There was as slight panic when, at first, I couldn’t find OK despite its catalog entry. I was relieved to find that the exhibition was on two floors and I was on the wrong one for OK.
I found OK on the first floor, in a linear hanging with a number of other drawings creating a very pleasing, balanced group.
As the shows title indicates – Open All Media – there were oil paintings, water colours, gel pen works, charcoal and pastel drawings , ceramics, stoneware, oak, ash graphite. To my eye the quality was consistently high. There were many beautiful figurative and landscape works, I was particularly struck by the quality of the seascapes – a subject close to my heart.
And prices varied from a few tens of pounds upto £4,000, for the record OK is £1,000.
As to why RBSA accepted my work , I can only quote (with a little smile :- ) from the exhibition catalog:
The criteria [the RBSA] uses to assess the work submitted includes its impact, originality, technical skill, effort and presentation, items can also be accepted as being ‘good of its type’. [The voting Panel made up of RBSA Members and Associates] sees all the works submitted by each artist together before voting on an individual work.
OK made it while Serene or Storm ? didn’t
So what next ? The wait for the phone call to say it’s been sold? I await that call with very mixed feelings! And now my home is becoming settled, to get on and complete a great body of work.
So excited yet a little sad that I’ve had a piece accepted by The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) for their Open All Media exhibition.
This is a first, for my work to be accepted for exhibition, to be on display for sale with the work of other artists. I am particularly pleased to have been accepted for exhibition at the RBSA as it has such a long and illustrious history dating back to the mid nineteenth century.
The piece they accepted was OK my pencil drawing of a great favourite of mine the artist Oskar Kokoschka.
Oskar Kokoschka(1886 –1980) the Austrian artist, poet and playwright portrays my pencil style. After seeing OK's work at his centenary exhibition at the Tate Gallery, London in the 80's my idea of what was "possible" changed - seeds were sown for finding my own style.
Yes, I am excited but a little sad as I’ve become very close to OK having spent so much time with the drawing, I feel very attached so it’ll be with some reluctance I am letting it go. Nevertheless this is great chance for my work to be seen by a wider audience – a chance I could not afford to miss.
So I am off to the private viewing this afternoon more details to follow!
It's my intention to complete a minimum of 2 very large paintings 6ft by 4ft explaining the Basics of Nichiren Daishonin's Buddhism. A year ago I began a large composition in this theme called "Beginnings" but I was unhappy with my drawing technique. I needed live models but couldn't afford to pay for them. I was also unsure of my genera. I seemed to move between surrealism, a kind of cubism, and portraiture in one canvas!! What I was trying to say was getting lost in my inability to hold a composition together. So I returned to pencil and painting studies "Finished Unfinished " "Isha's sister" and "The Boat - to be published here soon" are the successful pencil studies that took me some time and enabled the development of my own pencil technique/style "Oskar " is the result.
I'm now developing some lino cuts - these are freeing me from the intense fine line drawing. (I will post when finished.) Once I have finished the lino cuts I'll return to painting and sketching models (I'll find the cash or beg friends) before combining all these techniques into my first large composition "Beginnings"