Sunday, 4 September 2016

Exhibiting at the Great Wall

I have just had my first solo exhibition in China and right next to the source of my inspiration! I am so proud that in just over 11 days studio time and quite a few nights in my room, I made something like 55 paintings and then set up a show in two hours with the help of my hosts. 

This photo shows me with one of the pivotal pieces I exhibited which is called 'Mosaic Mountain,' and which is based on my walk up to the Great Wall. While others took the chair lifts I wanted to walk. It took me about 45 minutes and I thought about all the people across the centuries who walked up that mountain and their lives and footsteps became patches and shapes of colour. This painting also extended an approach I had begun on raw canvas a day earlier and with both of these pieces I mixed different mediums: acrylic, ink, collage, pen and marker pen. They are both 54 by 40 inches and I hung them from nails by string in my show.

 In this photo you can see that I laid my large paintings on rice paper on tables. It was not the best way to see their shapes and colours but I had limited time. In the background you can see several of my works on watercolour paper hung by clips from string! Right behind them through the window you can see the Great Wall strung like a garland along the mountains - as this next photo will show.


My canvases were along two walls; the larger ones together and two smaller ones by some Windows. I also had some more watercolours hung from two black bamboo screens.

I had spent the previous night thinking how I could hang these pictures as it is not easy when work is on raw canvas and stuff is unframed.


It is always positive to make a show because it gives you an overview of the various strands of thought - though I don't like to be too cerebral about something that rests on a lot of mystery - and I could see where elements had gone forward and which ideas I will develop in the UK. 

Preparing for my show near the Great Wall of China

Today I carried all my work back down the road from my studio in the village (not far) and have sorted it into two sections; to hang and not to hang. As I have limited time to hang the work and generally people get bored after seeing 20 paintings I am only showing 20: 6 on canvas, five on rice paper ( large) and 9 or 10 on watercolour paper. I wish I had had the chance to do the really large painted I envisaged before I came but ordering a stretched canvas was going to take too long. I am posting a photo of me in the studio with 'Mosaic Mountain,' and the rice paper painting I made yesterday called 'He worked in the field under the Mountain,' and another of my 'Fiona's China Journey.'




Preparing for China Exhibition

On a day when the rain is torrential I am busy doing a painting on rice paper in my room - too wet to go up the road to my studio - and listing the works that will go in the show tomorrow when I set it up. Roughly it will be the six works on canvas, two of which will hang like tapestries, plus about 10 (of 36) on watercolour paper and possibly 5 of my 11 on rice paper. How I will hang it all remains to be seen! It will require some creative thinking! For this post I am adding a couple of rice paper works and one on watercolour paper.




1. 'The Moon illuminated the Mountains and the Corn-creatures
2. 'Fiona's China Journey.'
3. 'China Poem.'