Saturday, 28 February 2015

Huws Jackowski Nash and Long

Marged Pendrell
November 2014

When I first heard about the Re-Take/Re-Invent project I went online to have a look at the National Museum of Wales’s Collection. A date had been set for a visit to the museum on Dec 12th but as it has such a big collection I decided to have a good look through at the works that might not have been on view on that day.

I do remember going to the opening of the new gallery in the National Museum in 2011 and being particularly excited by the work of Richard Long –‘Blaenau Ffestiniog Circle’ that was commissioned for this inaugural  show.



However, I decided to keep an open mind about my choice of work at this initial stage and identified the following to focus on, in particular during my visit.

Bethan Huws-‘Boats’(2000)

Andrej Jackowski –‘Standing Train’

David Nash-‘Table with Cubes’

Rodin-‘Illusions Fallen to Earth’ and ‘The Earth and the Moon’


All these works can be viewed on the National Museum of Wales website.


December 2014

I enjoyed researching the above works, which are all in my working journal, and realized there were a number of concepts I could follow. I decided at this point to e mail Bryony Dawkes the Partnership Projects Curator at the museum and found out that, apart from the Rodin works I would have to arrange with her to view the Huws and the Jackowski works as they were in storage. Both the Nash and the Long works were also in storage but ‘off site’ so that would be difficult within the time limit. I settled for the above two works and arranged to view these the day prior to the group visit as I felt that I needed more than one day.


December 11th

Met with Bryony Dawkes at the NMW in Cardiff  who had kindly brought both the Jackowski work and Bethan Huws ‘Boats’ out of storage and installed the latter work within the store room . I was very grateful to her for doing this and enjoyed looking at them both, in particular Bethan Huws’ work, which involved an intricate installation process.

 For the remainder of the day I was able to, not only view all of the Rodin pieces, which were so impressive, but allow myself to wander through all the galleries responding to the vast collection.


December 12th

Met up with the other members of staff who had travelled down from N.Wales and spent an excellent day, not only discussing the project but having the opportunity to view the Contemporary Art galleries that were, at that point, closed to the public.

I was particularly drawn to Max Ernst’s –‘Summer Forest’ but found that I didn’t get the same response from looking at the paintings as I did from walking amongst the Sculpture in the galleries. The physicality of these works excited me.

There was a lot to absorb and I needed time to reflect. I took a number of photographs and notes of my experience and decided to let it all sift and settle.

The one constant work that stayed with me above all else was the Richard Long –‘Blaenau Ffestiniog  Circle ’which although I wasn’t able to view this time around I was supplied with a couple of excellent images of the work by Bryony Dawkes .I was also able to talk to her about the installation process that is involved in such a work.

I must admit that I felt a bit guilty that Bryony had gone to lengths to get the two requested works out of storage for me and I might not use them. However, there were a number of ideas that came from both and which I feel, I will  return to at some point.


Working Process Begins

January 2015


My decision has been made. There are so many ideas behind the Richard Long’s work- ‘Blaenau Ffestiniog Circle ‘that excite me and which I am curious to take further.
...............continued on Marged Pendrell page

Joanna Evans page updated

Have started to experiment with monoprint, using thin Perspex, water-based inks, rollers;

Also trying out various thin papers such as:

Thin, hand-made paper from Nepal, ordinary tissue paper, brass-rubbing paper and some thin, quite tough ‘paper’ from a friend.
..........continued on page

Jane McCormack page updated

coninued on page

Thursday, 19 February 2015

John Hoyland

Noëlle Griffiths has chosen to work with the painting

‘Ligeia’ acrylic on cotton duck; 244x216cm; 1978 by John Hoyland (1934-2011)


Image 1: detail of cover ‘John Hoyland’ by Mel Gooding, published by Thames & Hudson © 2006

 Friday 12 December 2014

I leave Hafod y Llyn listening to owls hooting, dark, pre-dawn.

7am:  Oakley Arms is busy, four buses engines running, people waiting in the dark – a transport hub, a metropolis! – a world away from my sleeping family up the hill.

7.15am:  we set off to Cardiff, Wanda and I with Andrew driving.  We are diverted into Newtown due to flooding.  Swollen rivers, the Wye with waves like the sea.

11.15am:  we arrive at the National Museum of Wales in time to meet everyone for coffee and bara brith.  There are twelve of us at the Museum.  Bryony unlocks doors.  I wander amongst paintings - the large ‘Ayres Rock’ painting by Michael Andrews, acrylic on canvas glowing as you enter – I pass brown traditional portraits, religious paintings, landscapes, Impressionist gems, Cezanne, Monet, Daumier.  Then we go into the closed gallery being re-hung.  Past Gwen John, Sickert in Venice, many I didn’t have time to look at.  The second gallery alive with 20th Century paintings of colour and non-realistic subject – Patrick Heron, Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon, Karl Weschke, Ceri Richards, Keith Vaughan, Brenda Chamberlain, Ben Nicholson, Ivon Hitchens, Adrian Heath, Graham Sutherland.  Time to sketch and look at a few.


Image 2:  Noëlle sketching ‘Brown Harbour’ by Terry Frost at National Museum of Wales, 12.12.14

.....continued on Noelle Griffiths page

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Karel Appel

I saw a painting – unknown artist, unknown sitter, Italian school, Renaissance. Hilariously described as ‘the earliest known example of a Welshman holding a leek’.


Since the leek looked more like a shrivelled old spring onion, a vista of possible re-inventions appeared before me. So the mis-identification of vegetables has been going since Renaissance times – rich pickings!

Frivolous though. But I may return to the wrong vegetable.

And there was a Rodin sculpture. It might be a John the Baptist, not sure. But this is his hand

I have a predilection for officious exhortations not to do something. There’s a general ‘Don’t do anything at all’ feeling about this hand.

Just stop it!
It’s safer! This has possibilities. It’s up my street. Actually my own street is pretty underpopulated so far as possibilities are concerned to be honest. It interests me very little.
The JUST DON’T thing is appealing though and quite a good motto to live by. You could JUST DON’T almost anything, except breathe maybe, except briefly while underwater.
The world is precarious enough.
That’s why I admire the determined stride of Zobole in a confined space.
I go past a small Michael Andrews painting of a couple in bed,
an Augustus John of a woman in a hat

a David Jones elephant in a room
a picture of two sisters. Sisters are intriguing, the way they don’t look like each and the way they do.

On the other hand – do I care?

....Continued on my page, Gilly Thomas

Porpora and Harrison

Whilst studying the NMW websites I became inspired by dogs, healing dogs in particular.  From further research got on to Aesculapius, the Greek God of medicine, then snakes, which are also associated with healing – hence the ‘rod of Aesculapius’,  a snake entwined staff, which remains a symbol of medicine to this day.

The work I intend to make will be in the form of some large mixed-media drawings and monoprints on the theme of healing animals, mainly dogs and snakes, plus smaller drawings and studies in mixed media.

Furthermore, out sketching by lake found interesting lichen  - peltigera canina (DOG lichen), which used to be considered a cure for Rabies.

Also discovered there is a genus of plants named after Asklepias/Asclepias (the Greek form).  One is ‘Showy Milkweed’  from the DOGbane family Apiaceae.

Since October have been keeping Jotter, which contains all my research, so far, and rough drawings of dogs, snakes, lichen, etc. 

My chosen paintings are:
‘Still Life with a Snake, Frogs, Tortoise & Lizard’  by  Paolo Porpora.  1617 – 1673.

‘The Llanharan Hunt’  by  John F. Harrison.  1840.

 Joanna Evans

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Clough and Morandi

John Renshaw: 12th December 2014

Notes made during my visit to the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff.


The following random notes and collected references were initiated during the gallery visit. I was simply searching for clues regarding a possible source for my planned visual excursions. I also made further notes on my train journey home. These were simply quite random thoughts and inevitably somewhat imprecise. They have since been expanded  (with the support of additional of references and quotations) .I hope they will continue to reflect my thoughts and intentions as things progress.


How do I select a specific work of art from which to draw inspiration? 

Form (i.e. visual appearance, material qualities etc.)

Content, Context, Process?

Distinctions between subject and content?

The issue of an artists  ‘personal style’?

Perhaps the method of handling and managing the medium of paint is an important issue?

‘… as far as I can see, an artistic medium is the only thing in human existence that has precisely the same range of sensed feeling as people themselves do...’ (Motherwell cited in Terenzio 1992, p139 - Terenzio S. (ed.) (1992) The Collected Writings of Robert Motherwell, Oxford; Oxford University Press.

 A transcription is not a copy


The problem of describing the process of making a painting remains challenging:


“ Verbal description stops visual mediation in its tracks - and the more brilliant and profound that description is the more deadly in its effect in freezing or arresting the instinctive flow of the purely visual thinking which, in the painter, first produces the painting and, in the spectator, lies at the heart of his experience of the painting ‘ (Patrick Heron - The Shape of Colour rep in  “ Concerning Contemporary Art - The Power Lectures 1968 - 1973 ed. Bernard Smith Clarendon Press. Oxford 1975. P.157).


The challenge is not a question of ‘copying’, but a question of interpreting and responding to the work of another person. Process might appear a particularly significant issue here? Responding entirely to the ‘visual’ evidence may suggest the need to compromise. Thus it may certainly prove necessary to challenge or test ones established personal visual vocabulary.



".......... When you've done something a lot, it gets built into your arm, and wrist and just comes out - in the way you might use a certain phrase habitually, though in wholly different contexts". (Robert Motherwell - interview with David Hayman 12 & 13 July 1988. from 'The collected writings of Robert Motherwell' edited by Stephanie Terenzio. Oxford University press 1992. ISBN 0-19-507700-8.)


‘…when you paint you don’t choose to paint the way you paint, how you make a shape or a form. You are compelled to make it that way because it reflects your nature and you are therefore able to recognise it as being true, and then you leave it that way’ (Sean Scully in interview with Dr. Hans Michael Herzog 1999, see exhibition catalogue: Timothy Taylor Gallery, London – no pagination)


Towards the end of the days visit to the gallery I discovered paintings by Giorgio Morandi and Prunella Clough. I have found the work of both artists to be of particular interest over a number of years. The Morandi in the collection was a particularly good example. The painting by Clough was quite an early work and, although a strong image, it had been her more recent paintings that I have always found to be more significant.
This post continues on my page..

Picasso, Daumier and Robert Adam?

16.1.15 - 30.1.15

After some indecision, I think I am off the mark? I have decided to respond to the project so that it is in line with my current preoccupation....that is monuments,you will have seen some in Haus of Helfa,in fact the whole collection was basically to do with that theme.I expect that the work will be realised in the form of paintings drawings constructions...... and will be very much a reaction to,rather than transcriptive.I enclose some images for reference,one of which is a three dimensional realisation ,in part,of Picasso s painting Monument to the French fallen(I think !) no 4. I may still ask for a reaction from the staff and maybe visitors,maybe a post card to me giving their reaction to a piece of work in the collection. The work I am interested in is Picasso ,two vases,Artist and model Daumier Lunch in the country. The Chamber Organ case designed by Robert Adam.

Gareth Griffith.
Continues on my page.