Archive for ‘Findings’

September 29, 2013

So this is where the notebooks from the Nomadic Studio retrogressively start.

I didn’t really know about blogging at the beginning of this journey, but with the acquisition a five and a half tonne truck I hope to blend various sketchbooks and document the adventure from now. Because  this particular journey started in 2009 posts will be reasonably chronological from then but will also be peppered with contemporary posts as events occur. From here-on-in this blog will track findings from the Nomadic Studio, contain posts from the Studio Kitchen diary and follow my, Sarah Poland’s,  current exhibitions.

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It started with an idea; romantic, exciting, practical, poetic certainly. I’d completed a year long series of paintings titled Either Side of the Night, shown at Belgrave St. Ives in October 2008 and promptly let go of my studio in Cornwall with the intention to save on studio rent while I come up with the next step. It was a wonderful studio, five minutes from the sea, a dream I’d say and perhaps a bit daft to let go of. But I felt that something else needed to happen. That something, galvanised itself into an idea for a travelling live-in studio. To allow me to travel and work. More precisely, to travel up to the Highlands where I grew up, from Cornwall where I had spent nearly ten years, and a have a space of my own in which to stay with the ability to move when inclined. If I had to batten down and hide out a storm, hey it wouldn’t matter, it wasn’t a waste of a holiday, after all I could still be working away and time would not be limited.

Next to decide was what and how big, having already decided on a luton box truck and preferably a Mercedes (I seem to have been converted), I had a first glance at Ebay to see what was there. And there it was, a five an a half tonne ex-removals lorry with a few days to go on the auction!
Bid now! No, wait and come in at the last moment. So I waited. I actually had no internet access, visited a boyfriend in Devon (deep in a valley with no internet) who’s invaluable help I had enlisted, and we had to find a friend in town.

Sweat sweat. Quick time’s running out. Only half an hour to go. I haven’t looked at anything else. Is it the right thing? It is rather larger than I had anticipated. It is a great vehicle though. Dive in, bid…connection slow… ‘Congratulations You are the Highest Bidder’, ‘You have won Mercedes 609d Luton Box Truck’  WOOWOO!

So it was just like that. Although I’m still not sure why they say you’ve ‘won’ it, but never mind. On the train we went to Leamington Spa; duvet, dog, lists of things to check on the vehicle and a lot of excitement in hand. The first night ever was spent in Worcester City by the canal, I felt as though we were a part of a folk song.

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MyVan

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Here the Nomadic Studio was born.

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May 11, 2012

Flower Train

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My maternal grandparents were a part of the Cornish flower trade and worked a small-holding  near Falmouth in Cornwall growing flowers and sending them up the line, on the train to London. My grandfather would take my mother with him to Perranarworthal train station and drop the flowers on the London train and her onto the Falmouth train, to go to school. Sweet williams, amenomes, daffodils and violets are all flowers which I associate with my grandparents and with Cornwall.

Their names Joan and Roger Stonehouse, and in their memory, have sparked, or rather I’d like to say sparkled, a theme in my current flower painting titles. Each flower provoking a memory or thought of a person and thus, the painting being named after or for them. Sometimes it may be their favourite flower, it may be a pot of flowers which I borrowed, as in ‘Billy’s Geraniums’. Or in my grandparents’ case, because they grew them; ‘Joan’s Amenomes’, ‘Flowers for Roger’.

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Cornwall’s flowers in my Newlyn studio.

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In an exhibition titled ‘Naming Spaces’ at Newlyn Art Gallery, the artist Jyll Bradley included the work ‘Flower Train’. Her photography is so intensely rich in colour that, to me, they are almost like paintings.

She created a photographic series of inside flower grower’s workshops and also created a series of posters shown on rail platforms between Penzance and London – named after the now-defunct overnight trains carrying fresh flowers to market.

This is a youtube video with her talking and interviewing flower growers about the flower trade.

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link to Jyll Bradley’s show at Newlyn Art Gallery

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link to Jyll Bradley’s Flower Train images

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May 4, 2012

Heart stones

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Saturday on the beach, within half an hour (of not really looking), I found five heart shaped stones.

Walking again in the evening, north to south, west side the sea, I came across a collection of line quartz which someone had gathered from the beach the previous day and left in the littoral zone, it was still there even after the tides had been and gone. I moved them about to form a heart shape; an offering to the sea, to nature, to life, to the universal love.

Walking on, seconds later, I throw a stick, look down and see a palm sized white quartz heart.

I debate with my self whether to throw the stone back into the sea; to return the gift, have I already taken enough?

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For now, I put it in my pocket.

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Sunday
The sea has now taken the gift of quartz pebbles arranged in a heart shape, perhaps to make into new hearts and send them on.

I find a quartz heart.

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Now I see hearts everywhere. Even in chewing gum on the pavement.

This evening I’m thinking I must have found enough heart stones now and am feeling the love of the present moment as I walk the beach again with my dog.

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I’m not looking! Honest I am not looking for heart stones.

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I look down and there is a very large belly sized heart stone.
I pick it up and carry it close to my body to take the weight.

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I will put it with the other large heart stones which I found this year; around the vegetable and flower garden. Let them know they are loved, let them grow.

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May 3, 2012

Master printing:

                                                      …video of a master printer at work…

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May 1, 2012

Night Bathing

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Geese fly over at dusk. taking photos as the light fades. stars start to twinkle.

It’s dark now but for a nearly full moon, which is rising behind me.

Drawing with charcoal in the darkness I can barely see the marks, I can’t make out any softness on the paper.

All dark on the ground and the bath is dark but for the fire to the side and under.

The bath down by the stream in the damp valley in west Wales.

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The wood-smoke both illuminates and obscures, adds a lighter tone to the dark areas above the fire and below the sky.

More stars are out now. looking cool white.

A satellite slides across the sky.

Silent wind and full tumbling stream.

If there was a little wind, what few leaves there are would make the stars go out sometimes. on and off.

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May 1, 2012

Moon drawing

                                              …drawing a dancer using a camera with an un-timed long exposure and no tripod

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May 1, 2012

Moon drawing

                                              …drawing the bath using a camera with an un-timed long exposure and no tripod

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May 1, 2012

Moon drawing

                                …wandering through the woods drawing using a camera with an un-timed long exposure and no tripod

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March 23, 2012

looking up about the colour yellow and wondering about blue pools and
the starry night with the ships winking on the horizons …

March 21, 2012

Today I shall live by the sea…

Looking across the horizon west last night and towards Strumble Head, the half moon shines on the sea and is then engulfed in a cloud that it makes black in the dark blue sky. The sea is a grey blue and the moon’s reflections dance on it like a hologram separate to the waters surface. The holographic silver shapes become vertical; lift, tilt and dance.