A Private Viewing

The Capsule Poster

The Capsule Poster

I went to an exhibition at the weekend in a super little private gallery in Norfolk called The Capsule.

The Capsule Extension Gazebo

The Capsule Extension Gazebo

The very talented and very lovely daughters of my dear friends John & Kate were invited to exhibit some of their fabulous work in The Capsule and it is their exhibition that I went to see.

John adding the finishing touches

John adding the finishing touches

Jess and Millie are also the grandaughters of Pam and Neal French’s and you can see how they are so talented. It clearly runs in the family.

Getting Ready

Getting Ready

Their work is brilliant and hugely diverse.

Checking everything over

Checking everything over

It is done with nearly everything you can think of to create with – pens, pencils, crayons, paper, cameras, ipads, paint, clay and many more. I really think they could make art with just about anything.

ready for the viewing

ready for the viewing

The exhibition is a collection of just some some of their stuff

Millie's photos

Millie’s photos

Both girls are hugely busy and enthusiastic artists. Millie loves photography and Jess loves ipad art but their talents spread across everything they try.

Jess's ipad art

Jess’s ipad art

And their work has such charm and freedom of expression.

Jess's Clay Sculptures

Jess’s Clay Sculptures

I loved it all.

and the people came

and the people came

The entire day was a delight

Jess and Millie talking to visitors

Jess and Millie talking to visitors

Setting up, chatting to those viewing the exhibition and watching the girls pieces being so well received made for a super atmosphere.

viewing and chatting over a drink

viewing and chatting over a drink

The interest was phenomenal and I hope it has encouraged them to carry on with even more lovely work.

Millie talking through the work

Millie talking through the work

They were so professional in their dealings with people, it was wonderful to watch and I’m sure they learned some valuable lessons.

Jess talking through some orders

Jess talking through some orders

I imagine it would be quite daunting for such young talent to put themselves out there but they seemed to take it very much in their stride and rose to the task wonderfully.

and they keep coming

and they keep coming

Their talent is endless!

in the fading light

in the fading light

It was a completely lovely exhibition.

Millie's street lamp ipad art

Millie’s street lamp ipad art

It looked like the girls had a great time and there were lots of visitors to chat to about their work.

Night Sky

Night Sky

The interest was keen and a lot of their pieces were sold.

riverbank

riverbank

Their sales were across the exhibition; some originals and some limited edition prints which will be despatched to their supporters soon. The sculptures were just about sold out and I don’t think they went home with much.

a lovely lady in her finery

a lovely lady in her finery

I am myself, the the proud owner of a few of their pieces and I am delighted with them.

cute croc

cute croc

So, people, you saw it here first!

Watch this space because I don’t think this is the last you will see of these super talented young ladies.

a very happy Millie

a very happy Millie

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Neal French

walking figure

walking figure

We had the greatest of pleasure in accepting an invitation to a private viewing of Neal French’s latest exhibition that took place in Norwich during October of 2014.

pin ups

pin ups

pin ups

pin ups

We have been to his viewings a number of times before so we knew we were in for a treat.

We aren’t fortunate enough to own much of his work yet although we do have four lovely verdigris wall plaques from the early 90s that represent the four seasons and we love them.

His figurative sculptures are, however, what he is best known for and they are completely wonderful.

the shopper

the shopper

the shopper

the shopper

All of the pieces are taken from life studies sketched into his sketch books in prolific numbers or they are inspired from photographs taken while he and his wonderful wife Pam’s have been on their travels.

the gymnast

the gymnast

He regularly has commissions whether they be The Grosvenor Group for a West End installation, a bakery organisation installation of Figures on a roundabout in Spalding, a group of figures outside a village hall or a private piece in someone’s garden.

A lot of the commissions are life size and wonderful for it but it was lovely to browse through these smaller bronze and ceramic figures that formed the most part of this most recent exhibition.

female figure

female figure

female figure

female figure

They are all exquisite, made all the more lovely when you can see the thumb prints from his hand workings before they are cast and captured but also because some of the subjects are known to us.

Having spent a little time with the gentleman himself (who would not be as prolific or as well organised as he is without the endless and terribly important support of the marvellous Mrs French, Pam), the pieces come alive as he accompanies discussions about them with a fascinating back story.

Added to all of this (as if there needed to be more), he is an incredibly lovely, rather interesting and very talented man indeed.

All of his work is fabulous and all fabulous for many different reasons but my favourite from this exhibition is by far Shopper.

Marvellous!

cappuccino

coffee break


tourists

the fabric tree at the national

the fabric tree at the national

We are very lucky living in London.

Everything is here and I love it.

the centurion at 'the savoy'

the centurion at ‘the savoy’

There are wide open spaces, incredible amounts of wildlife, galleries that are free to enter, ever evolving architecture, a busy river, a comprehensive transport system, more restaurants than you can shake a stick at and some of the best tourist attractions there are in the world.

I spend a lot of time in London at meetings and on sites but I am guilty, like most London residents, of not taking advantage of anywhere near enough of the amazing things that sit on my very doorstep.

classic scene of parliament from the south bank

classic scene of parliament from the south bank

As usual this is only put to rights when we get visitors who want to take in the sights.

JC’s sister and her other half joined us for a weekend a few weeks ago.

the wonderful london eye

the wonderful london eye

And it gave us the perfect chance to soak in some sights.

We don’t see them often enough and it is a real shame as we get on really well. The boys used to hang around in the same groups when they were troublesome teens and JC’s and his sis have been pretty close in the past.

Both ‘kids’ were bought a weekend away by JC’s mum for Christmas. A great present that took us off to the gorgeous countryside along the Thames in Oxfordshire and theirs brought them down to London to see us.

the under side of the hungerford bridge

the under side of the hungerford bridge

We saw the inside of a few pubs & coffee shops but we did lots of walking. Even though it was bitterly cold, it gives you plenty of opportunities to stop off for something to eat or a warming drink. We had a great time wandering along, chatting, sight seeing and generally catching up while soaking in the surrounds.

London is very small really and if you aren’t in a hurry, you can link up with some fantastic sights and catch a few more besides if you look out.

some urban art (this changes almost daily)

some urban art (this changes almost daily)

There are lots of surprises.

And it is constantly changing (whether through your perception of it or actually changes).

You should look up too, there are some wonders and delights above the eye line that lots of people miss in their mission to get somewhere particular but a wander and a gander is to be recommended.

the courts of justice (constantly featured in the news unfortunately)

the courts of justice (constantly featured in the news unfortunately)

Some of your discoveries may not be quite along the lines of what you expect as I found at the royal courts of justice where some eejit had grafittied my name (nearly). Great fun for a photo but a real shame to see it.

grafitti by one of he doors at the royal courst of justice

grafitti by one of he doors at the royal courst of justice

Especially when there is some incredible graffiti around the city that has become a tourist attraction in itself.

beyond here lie dragons

beyond here lie dragons

We covered miles and caught up loads as well as seeing some bits of london that we haven’t seen for a very long time and enjoyed some of the great things that it continues to offer.

 

I can’t actually wait to do it again.

some delicious street food in the piazza

some delicious street food in the piazza


wildlife photographer of the year

"taking flight" flamingos on a salt lake by Paul Goldstein

every year the wildlife photographer of the year comes to the natural history museum and it is a must see.

"the charge" by Eric Pierre

being a bit partial to some wildlife photographer myself even it we are talking totally different leagues, it makes my appreciation of it far greater I think.

"snow hare" by Benjam Pontinen

Some shots are so incredibly difficult to get.  Equipment isn’t as key as patience and sometimes a huge amount of luck.

"illusion" by Stefano Unterthiner

that is not to say that each one of the incredible images that we saw in the recently finished 2011 winners exhibition wasn’t technically incredible and that technical skill truly comes into it, it’s just that sometimes luck gives you the hand you need to make the difference.

"territorial strut" by Ross Hoddinott

some of the images come into the category of under 14s which always blows my mind.  HOW? when someone is so young, do they manage to achieve such brilliance when it should be the domain of the greatly experienced?

"fading beauty' by david maitland

These photographs which I took of the postcards we brought home that depict some of our favourites from the show do them no justice what so ever and the originals really must be seen to appreciate just how fabulous they are.


couple

couple by alan stone

we were very fortunate to get some money at Christmas. Along with this, wedding gift money and some that we put aside every month or so, we are slowly investing in interesting pieces of art that we like.  None of them are real collector’s items but we love them and think they are perfect for our home.

couple by alan stone

We have seen Alan Stone’s work before in the art gallery shop in Barnard Castle but we finally got around to buying the piece we have been admiring for quite a while.

It is called ‘couple’ and is now hanging on the chimney breast in the dining room of our house in the fens. It seems perfect to use money that has been given to both of us or as part of wedding gift. Ironically, however, although the piece depicts a couple of trees, with a couple of rooks in them and we are a couple, the setting is a steep hillside not unlike those where we both come from but nothing remotely like our home in London or the area in which our house sits which is below sea level on the fens and is flatter than flat!


too many freaks……..

too many freaks not enough circuses

our friends Mark and Vicki bought this fabulous picture (great find V!!) for JC’s birthday last year from a maker on folksy. It is a lovely combination of artistic talent and recycling. It hangs at the bottom of our stairs which are open onto our dining room.

It is a great talking point but never has it’s message been more appreciated than one Friday night recently, when after supper (and just a few glasses of wine), we (husband, sis & I) started reminiscing about our favourite tunes. Needless to say it involved the 80s, the 90s, more wine and some questionable dance moves.

My teenage niece, who was with us (but not drinking wine, I hasten to add) doesn’t seem to be very appreciative of, or feel any benefit from our delighted reliving of all things good and musical from our younger years. She neither contributed to or supported our singing efforts and awesome dancing skills!! (as you can imagine).

I’d go so far as to say that she wasn’t remotely impressed and generally spent the whole night either nodding towards the afore mentioned picture in a meaningful way or making disparaging comments on FB about it. She was actually irritated which just fuelled our delight in our endeavours and we found that even funnier than any of the dodgy tunes.

It was weeks ago and we are still talking about it and that is because it was clearly THAT GOOD!!