Colourful fields

With My Heart in My Mouth

Once up near the top of Mynydd Llangorse on this second part of my walk on the hills above Cwmdu in Wales, I stopped for some lunch. The food wasn’t the only thing in my mouth though, as I watched a hang glider and glider apparently so close to each other that I thought a collision was almost inevitable.

With my heart in my mouth I watched as the glider and the hang glider circled to take advantage of the thermals. Having witnessed an actual collision of small aircraft a few years ago where the occupants died, I had those memories flooding back to me and was seriously concerned for those above me. Continue reading

Pen y Fan – The Big Picture

Having posted about focus and time, here is some physical photographic evidence of me “adjusting my focus” and “allowing the time” to stand back and look at the “big picture” – enjoy the view of Pen y Fan from Brecon, the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons, South Wales.

Pen y Fan from Brecon

Pen y Fan from Brecon

Allowing Time

Following my re-focusing photos in yesterday’s post, I would say that time is also needed to see different view points and understand a given situation. 

In slowing the shutter speed and giving time for the water to flow past, the bike becomes clearer – and all because a little more time was given. I try, these days, not to get into a panic if there doesn’t seem to be enough time to do everything – there is only so much you can do.

Bike in Water

Bike in Water

What’s the point . . . of focus?

Some of my recent work has taken me to the town of Brecon in the Brecon Beacons, South Wales. The photos below, which I took one sunny day after school, remind me of the need not only to stay focused on the task at hand, but also to adjust that focus to ensure that I can see and understand more of what I am doing and what is going on around me.

River Honddu

River Honddu

Keeping Things in Perspective

Keeping things in perspective seems to me to be so important. In order to do this I often have to adjust the angle at which I look at things and take into account the current circumstances. Standing back and being more objective can often help but this is not always easy to do.

My main strategy for doing this is walking – and that, of course, is where StillWalks came from and, I hope, may be able to take others as well. With this is mind, I have decided to feature my StillWalks “Welcome” video this week.

Swansea Bay Sea Wall

Swansea BayPhotos taken and adjusted on my iPhone 5c. Check out StillWalks on Instagram for more of my iPhonography.

This week’s featured StillWalks video is the introductory welcome video to the StillWalks website. On this you will meet me and see just a little of what goes into making a StillWalks video.

You can use the Donate button below to help StillWalks. Pay how much you want and receive a high quality download of this week’s featured StillWalks video. DVD Collections are available to order in the StillWalks Shop.

Paypal button

StillWalks – Lakeside Walk

Here is the video then, if you have not already watched it – Lakeside Walk.

Switch off your phone, put everything else aside and relax for 6.5 minutes to the sights and sounds of a walk alongside the lake at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

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Digital Barbs

Working in digital print was, perhaps, a natural outcome of the fact that during the design and weave projects I ran with schools, I discovered that I was able to help teachers with some of the problems they had with their PCs when ICT (Information Communication Technology) was being pushed in the curriculum.

I bought a second hand Apple LC III computer in the early 1990’s and a new and exciting world opened up to me. To cut a long story short, it wasn’t long before I was running interactive digital media projects in combination with design and weave. These included communal large scale digital prints. This was something I had built up some skill with over a period of time and training as well as through liaison with printers.

The barbs kept coming back and in these two giclée prints on canvas, I was aiming to bring together a number of different thematic strands I have worked with over the years. Interpretation of the image and its different elements is entirely open.

These works are available for sale. There is only one other print of “Waves” and “Waves 2” is entirely unique. Anyone interested should contact me.

You can find further information on school projects and much more at Design Fibre ICT

Waves

“Waves” 95 x 125 cms Giclee print on canvas

Waves detail

“Waves” detail

"Waves 2"  100 x 130 cms  giclee print on canvas

“Waves 2” 100 x 130 cms giclee print on canvas

Now and Then – looking back on my work.

Sticking with the theme of conflict, this piece has, perhaps, become more personal again (see previous posts this week for context). The patterns from printed DNA are still there but the barbed wire is also becoming more personal. StillWalks development is not far off!

Woven from the back – as a tapestry artist, I have usually woven my designs from the front. Design development continues, for me, throughout the weaving process and working from the front obviously facilitated this. However, “Now and Then” had to be woven from behind and I think the reason is obvious – perhaps this piece, more than others, has indeed got my personal DNA within it!

This work is available for sale – anyone interested should contact me.

"Now and Then" - 78 x 69 x 20 cms

“Now and Then” – 78 x 69 x 20 cms

Now and Then - detail

“Now and Then” – detail

Conflicting Arguments

The theme of “Conflict” in my work began to broaden over the years. My two previous posts (Dialogue and The Conflict of Working with Metal) illustrated my work as it related to a specific situation, that of the troubles and peace talks in Northern Ireland at the turn of the  century.

The conflict in this piece is more personal and more general. The barbs still represent conflict but relate more now to the world stage rather than just Northern Ireland.

By now I have also become more interested in the physically contrasting  textures of the two materials, metal and wool, and how they interact. The pattern in the weave relates to the paper prints you sometimes see of DNA and it is this that relates to the personal element of conflict.

People often ask whether the barbs were inserted during the process of weaving or pushed through afterwards . . . it was the former. The barbs would significantly have damaged the weave if they had been inserted afterwards and, yes, there is blood as well as “sweat and tears” in this as well as other tapestries I have made. Don’t be concerned though, they were only minor scratches (for the most part) and a few rips in clothing!

This work is available for sale – anyone interested should contact me.

Conflicting Arguments

“Conflicting Arguments” 85 x 120 x 10 cms

Conflicting Arguments

“Conflicting Arguments” 85 x 120 x 10 cms

Conflicting Arguments

“Conflicting Arguments” – detail

Dialogue

Dialogue is essential – no argument an ever be resolved without it. No matter how much fighting goes on, the argument will always be resolved through dialogue.

The peace talks in Northern Ireland 14 or 15 years ago were the original inspiration for my work with barbed wire in weave (see yesterday’s post).

“Dialogue” is another piece of work I made using the contrasting textures of wool and steel. The rods on which the weaving and barbs are suspended, wobble and waver if touched, and represented for me, the delicate, no, precarious nature of the situation in Northern Ireland at the time. It could be said that that precarious situation has continued to exist there, albeit to a lesser extent.

This work is available for sale – anyone interested should contact me.

Dialogue

“Dialogue” 215 x 211 x 45 cms

Dialogue detail 1

“Dialogue” detail 1

Dialogue - detail 2

“Dialogue” – detail 2