Saturday, 10 May 2014

A Night at the Opera

Arthur, Juls and I had a fantastic time a couple of weeks ago when we went to see and hear Ed perform with the Birmingham Opera Company in their latest amazing production! The piece, directed by Graham Vick, was by Modest Mussorsky and was given the title 'Khovanskygate: A National Inquiry'.

It all took place in the 'Freedom Tent' in Cannonhill Park in Birmingham and was quite an experience! The audience were guided and moved around by opera members during the performance, making us feel that we, too, were part of the action and, very fortunately, we were almost always near Ed, partly out of sheer luck and partly by design!

Ed's first guise  -  as a revolutionary.

 I was especially pleased to be very close to Ed during his solo  -  he had told me roughly the pattern of where he would be placed for his solo part as 'Golitsyn's messenger' and then, asked by Juls, one of the company kindly told me exactly where Ed would be, so I was right by the platform Ed was on at this time! His voice rang out so well - he was ever so good!

As 'Golitsyn's messenger''.


A couple of shots of Ed in his policeman's role.

This is Ed in the final scene of the opera  -  a rather terrifying one in which lots of the characters  -  the 'believers' and this included Ed  -  committed mass suicide. To show this, the cast actually put plastic bags over their heads  -  a risky business, being an opera singer!

I'll look forward to seeing more of Ed in opera and  more of Birmingham Opera Company's fascinating productions!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Hospital exhibition and painting

My solo exhibition in Oriel Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor was set up at the beginning of this month and, as a former Art Therapist who believes in the therapeutic value of art, it is a great pleasure for me to have my work available for patients, visitors and staff alike.

The gallery is situated in the main entrance foyer of the hospital and, as with the Cloisters Gallery by the refectory in St Davids Cathedral, these spaces are open to members of the public, including while exhibitions are being hung.

A view across the foyer -  people coming to and fro had lessened considerably by the time this photo was taken approaching mid morning.

 Hanging an exhibition alongside members of the public changes the dynamic of the empty gallery space and of the relationship between exhibitor and spectator. Early morning in the hospital is a busy time and many people were coming and going as the exhibitor before us, jeweller Karen Williams, took down her work and we started to unpack mine. It was a pleasure to meet Karen and then, as we began to get my work in place, passers-by took a moment or two to look on with interest. In the cathedral, whole conversations had taken place while pieces were being hung but the nature of visitors to the hospital environment reduced these interactions to smiles and a few words.

Another difference between this and my cathedral exhibition was that, this time, Arthur and I were not alone in hanging the work but turned out to have the assistance of not one but two people!  I had put forward my proposal for the hospital exhibition through Gwynedd Arts Forum and we met up with Gwawr Wyn Roberts, Forum Community Arts Development Officer, when we arrived at the hospital. Shortly afterwards, we were joined by a member of the hospital's technical staff who had come to help hang the exhibition and, with Gwawr also lending a hand, everything was achieved surprisingly quickly despite the fact that the display area included five boards and two cabinets, so many thanks to both!

An early visitor  -  finishing touches were being put to the exhibition and it was already attracting attention! I have also now been contacted by visitors who have said how much they enjoyed the exhibition  -  this is much appreciated!


Self by another of the display boards with my piece, 'Light and Shadow on the Mountain, Moel Offrwm'.

Two views of the main cabinet.
This is a detail of the smaller of the cabinets. It was quite difficult to photograph this cabinet because of all the reflections on the glass doors but I thought that myself captured in the mirror tiles whilst taking the photo was rather amusing! The little concertina book was made particularly with this cabinet in mind and the mirror tiles placed under and behind the book worked really well in allowing all aspects to be seen by spectators.
Finally, I had a very enjoyable day yesterday in my studio painting in acrylics on a linen canvas. I love my stitching but I also love painting, writing music, writing poetry . . . in short, I enjoy many aspects of the creative process!
Now I need to go to do some admin  -  this needs to be done, too!