Sunday, 23 June 2013

The Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield

On Friday, I went on an Art Fund trip to the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. I hadn't been to either of them before and thoroughly enjoyed both, though I could have done with more time for a better look round.  I saw all I could in the time available, though!

Hepworth Wakefield
While the Hepworth Gallery concentrates on the work of Barbara Hepworth (you probably guessed that bit), it also has far more than I'd expected by other artists, which was a bonus. A couple of large spaces were dedicated to an exhibition by Haroon Mirza; part of this consisted of works borrowed from the gallery's collection and arranged:

Haroon Mirza installation from the front

And from the back
I have to say, I think incorporating a piece by Henry Moore into your own work is cheating a bit.  I preferred his work that didn't borrow quite so heavily from others:

Haroon Mirza light installation
There were also major exhibitions on William Scott and Post-War British sculpture and painting, but neither of them allowed photography, I'm afraid. You're just going to have to take my word that they're well worth seeing.

Some other items, on loan from York Art Gallery, could be photographed, such as this wonderful painting by John Piper:

Stair Hole, Lulworth, by John Piper
Onto the Hepworth pieces. There were some limited restrictions on photography, but most items were fair game.  I wasn't very good at taking a note of what's what, though, but just try and appreciate them as a whole.

Smaller sculptures:


Larger works:

The magnificent Winged Figure:

Winged Figure, Barbara Hepworth

You don't get any sense of scale in the photo, but it's absolutely huge; this is a full-size aluminium model for a piece on the exterior of the John Lewis building in London.

And all together:

One of the most interesting galleries covers how Hepworth worked, with her tools and equipment:

It showed how she would carve blocks of plaster to give the forms she wanted and which could then be cast in bronze, or working with metal mesh, which would then be covered with hessian and plaster:

This piece was intended to show how bronze pieces were then given an oxidised finish, but I just liked the colours:

Next time: the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

100% silk velvet: the results

A quick update on the kitchen: it's coming along well and is on schedule, though the mess is still indescribable.  The messy, building phase should be finished at the end of this week, happily, though there's still a fair amount of work to do after that.

But back to silk velvet.  So far, I have found three suppliers of pure silk velvet, across three continents.

Firstly, Oh So Elegant in Australia.  I ordered a small amount of fabric from there for a test piece a while ago, and it was very nice indeed, though quite a light weight - more a dressmaking fabric than upholstery weight, but still good for smaller items.  They were very nice to deal with, too, and sent my order promptly.  Their velvet is currently Aus $100 a metre.

Next, Delectable Mountain Cloth in America.  This firm was recommended by several people, but I have to admit to being a little disappointed.  I contacted them to ask if they supplied silk velvet; they confirmed that they did, in an upholstery weight, but didn't keep it in stock and would need to order it in, at around US $200-$400 a yard (they weren't more specific).  So far so good, but when I asked for further information - how wide is it?  Can I order swatches? - I didn't get any response at all.  I've chased a couple of times, but they're still to get back to me.  Disappointing.

Finally, back to Europe, and Prelle in France.  Prelle are manufacturers, not just suppliers, though they do sell directly too.  They produce both silk and silk/wool blend velvets, in quite a heavy weight; the silk velvet is £274.60 per metre (I suspect that's converted from Euros), and the silk/wool is £280.  They're very nice to deal with, extremely helpful, and supplied quite large swatches at no cost very quickly.  There is a downside, however, in that their velvets are only 64 cm (25") in width, which may not be suitable for larger items, and means that it's even more expensive than it looks.

This is all the information I have so far, but if anyone knows of any other suppliers, I'd be very happy to add them to the list.