Illuminations and Idols

It's been a looooooooong time since I wrote a blog post. I promise to do better. Really. I've even put a reminder on my phone! I've always got a lot to share, so I really do promise.

Back in October 2018, my friend Victoria asked if I'd like to be involved in 'The Light Parade'. It would involve making sculptures that lit up, to parade along a route in Chelmsford town centre with members of the public who had also made lanterns.

I've worked on projects with Victoria before so of course I said yes! It involved me working with a group of schoolchildren from the Cathedral School, coming up with ideas and making the sculptures. The children loved the idea of making a beach with a dolphin chasing a fish through the waves. Easy, right?! Did I tell you I have a fish phobia? hmmmm...and that there was a normal sized door to get the 'beach' structure out of? We're not called 'creatives' for nothing you know, so we decided we needed to make individual waves to be carried/worn by individual people, plus a dolphin and a fish.

To make the structures, we had to soak the willow whips in a bath to make them soft and pliable. We then had to manipulate them to make a 'cage' structure like the one below (not a dolphin!)

Once the cage was made (holding the joints with tape, string and glue gun) the structure had to be covered with a special type of tissue paper that won't fall apart when wet, and lights had to be fitted (with a battery pack on the outside to turn on and off) See below (still not a dolphin!)

Getting closer.......a fish!

A dolphin!

Once this was all fitted, we were good to go!

A dolphin, a fish and some waves, and lovely smiles. There were lots of other structures and lanterns and lots of people - I got so busy, I forgot to take pictures of the actual parade! Suffice to say, everyone had a great time.

So who is my art idol? If I put this image up, I have a feeling you may guess......

I can't remember when I fell in love with Van Gogh, but it was from a young age. Yes, I know it's passé but I can't help it that everyone else loves him too. BUT I've never seen his paintings in REAL LIFE! So when my friend Anna asked if I wanted to go to Tate Britain to see the EY exhibition-Van Gogh and Britain I couldn't contain my excitement! (I know it doesn't look like it here-too many people around for me to squeal!) To get up close and see his brush strokes felt like I was almost touching his hand. It was incredible. And I learnt so much from looking up close-the way he used the colours, the way he layered his paint so thickly in some places the painting was almost 3D and just made a few marks over the initial colour wash in other places-I would never have known that without really looking closely.

And just look at the way he uses colour!

Now you can see why I idolise him, can't you?

I felt such emotion being around his paintings, and these 2 made me sad. In just 2 years, he had gone from a bright, hopeful young man with perhaps a twinkle in his eye, to a gaunt, haunted figure whose eyes look as though they can't bear to look at the day. He was in a mental hospital by this stage, and one year later, he had died.

I love his use of colour, his purposeful brush strokes, his view of the world. I wish he had the acclaim he has now when he was alive.

Thanks Vincent-you are loved.