Posts made in November, 2015

OLSA: Road to Santiago exhibition

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in Discussion, Exhibitions | 0 comments

OLSA: Road to Santiago exhibition

Delighted to hear that my work has been accepted for an exhibition at Saffron Walden library in 2016. It happens that the dates offered coincide with the time I was actually walking the Camino in 2011 – so that feels poetic. I am looking forward very much to working on more images for this exhibition and also providing some information about the Camino pilgrimage about which I knew very little before I planned to go. It is easier to start with the destination – the Cathedral of St James in Santiago de Compostela – which houses the shrine of the apostle of St James. I have attached one photograph which we took when we delightedly arrived after our 100 km (70 mile) walk through Galicia  in north west Spain.   It was interesting to hear the story on the news yesterday that the monks at Glastonbury had possibly exaggerated the stories attached to their monastery to encourage pilgrimage – which was a great source of income for towns in the middle ages. It is clear that the medieval rulers of Galicia  promoted the story of the burial of St James in Galicia – requiring miraculous transport of his body from The Holy Land –  to help support a   deprived area of Galicia. However it came about the pilgrimage to the cathedral of St James, is a great inspiration and time of reflection for many – including those without formal religious belief. The name of the city is very poetic – St James of the Field of Stars (compostela) and the city itself a jewel of medieval architecture....

Read More

Santiago de Compostela: photostencils

Posted by on Nov 14, 2015 in Discussion, News | 0 comments

Santiago de Compostela: photostencils

This is another photo stencil from the Camino walk, showing one of the beautiful cottages in the villages that are all along the road. The pilgrimage to the ‘field of stars’ (said to be where the body of the Apostle St James is buried), was promoted  in the middle ages as a way of bringing money and trade to a remote area.  The Middle Ages were a time when pilgrimage was very common and there are many routes to Santiago from all parts of Europe.

Read More

Santiago de Compostela: screen prints.

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Discussion, News | 0 comments

Santiago de Compostela: screen prints.

I have been thinking about Santiago de Compostela recently as I am working on a number of images from my pilgrimage there with my daughter in 2009. Livs had just finished her GCSEs – I had just had treatment again for SLE and was hopeful that I would have a prolonged remission – it was not to be, but I did not know that when I set off. It was a wonderful trip – beautiful surroundings, gentle climate, spending time with Livs with an overarching purpose (reaching Santiago on foot) and meeting so many happy people. I have a number of photographs from that trip that I have used to create photo stencils and I am working on more. The richness and happiness of that time has lingered in my mind. The picture at the top is of succulents that grew by the roadside in all the rural areas. They were fantastically hardy and grew out of walls and roof tiles as well in the roadside. A photostencil is created by coating a silkscreen with photoemulsion and then exposing an photo- image (with strong contrasts of black and white) against it. Often it is necessary to work into the image. I will explain more...

Read More

Caravaggio: inspired by writing

Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Discussion, Uncategorized | 0 comments

I heard a short story (not yet finished at a writing group) which centred on a Caravaggio (1571-1610) painting of The Beheading of St John. I was very pleased to be introduced to this painting though, of course, the subject matter is very shocking and the killing depicted in graphic detail. Sadly there are modern resonances and this gives it an particular edge. The depiction of the shocked bystander, said by some to be Herodias, is very lifelike and to me, represents us, horrified at the callous way the executioner goes about his task and the ghastly way the life of a good man is ended. It seems that Caravaggio was an aggressive man, difficult to get on with and violent and died at a young age (approximately 38 years old) as a result of the delayed complications of injuries sustained in a fight. It is astonishing to me what he accomplished in his lifetime particularly considering his erratic way of life and his need, periodically to be on the run from the law – at least once after committing murder. Then there is the picture of Salome with the head of John the Baptist which I shall now rush to see at the National Gallery  He did seem to want to depict the more violent episodes in the Bible, like the beheading of Goliath and of Holofernes by Judith. Once again it is interesting to see how an artist’s style changes, what he focuses on in the same story at different points in his career. Very pleased to be reminded to look at Caravaggios’s work...

Read More