Tuesday, 21 October 2014

As Autumn approaches: Support & spend!

©Deborah Baker Acerasterus
Series: In Paradiso 
(Her works are on display at the William Morris Gallery till 2 Nov)

As Autumn sets in I susceptible to being in a ponderous mood as everything around me changes, the temperature dips, the nights draw in and the colour on the trees fade to warmer tones of red, orange & brown. This reflective time makes me appreciate the summer but also look forward to cosy nights in, interspersed with many nights out as openings, art fairs and exhibitions spring up all over London and beyond. One thing always occurs to me, how do I fit all this in? Answer, you don't! 

See what is interesting to you & you can't go far wrong. Thinking about Christmas & all those possible purchases, why not take time to support your fellow creatives by buying their work or supporting their fundraising campaign? 

Emily Allchurch (right) with Manchester Art Gallery curator Natasha Howes 
See the project & fundraising campaign here

I hear photographers woes mostly, but it applies to all disciplines - they need more support and yet they never expect to reciprocate when they get it themselves? Why is this? Are we all just selfish? Have we given in to the prevailing 'look after #1' attitude? I would like to think that the creative world is better than that. Why preach about art without supporting it with action yourself? 

The usual excuses comprise of:

#1 "I have no money."
(We never do, but there is always enough for a pint or a glass of vino for a fiver down the pub, ahem...) 

Just think that £5 could support a campaign to fund a commission by a great artist for the greater British public and anyone who visits or see's the work on tour.

Series: Scents of Caramels
Gelatin silver print - hand printed by artist

#2 "Nobody ever supports me."
(Wonder why? Don't give to receive & you might be surprised with the results - the most generous people are generous with their time as well as their money & always pay it forward...)

#3"There's so much out there I can't choose."
(Try! Is there an artist you have admired, always wanted a work by but couldn't afford - fundraising usually offers rewards of work in Limited editions much cheaper than a large work - perfect)

Why battle this when it could be so much easier...

So back to Christmas shopping

Yes I know it's October, but there is a reason to think about this early. Most artwork is made to order, so it doesn't happen overnight. With photography even if the print is already done it may need signing, possibly framing, mounting, authenticating with a certificate, delivering between printers & framers then onto the client… So 3 - 4 weeks isn't that long to wait with all things considered. Also most framers don't work weekends, may have a ton of jobs on with all the art fairs at present & winter shows coming…so GET IN EARLY!

Passiflora - Plate 85
The cost of a work can be paid for in more than one instalment usually, then goods received when paid for in full. Remember, you can buy a vintage 1932 Karl Blossfeldt photogravure for as little as £90 or a contemporary photogravure from £350 by Hendrik Faure. For £500 a stunning Deborah Baker print (small size) or large for £1000 on aluminium - reverse perspex mounted! See them on display at the William Morris Gallery till 2 Nov. I could go on…

Laura's bird
For the price of a jacket & a pair of jeans you could own a real limited edition (by this I mean less than 20 in an edition - truly limited) which (if cared for properly) will last a lifetime not just till the seams wear out or it goes out of fashion. You can share this with your friends, family and beyond through all the channels out there - also with fellow collectors. 

Series: Lion Farm Estate

Why not band together & share a work. I know people who share the costs of larger works with friends & rotate the collection each having a work or number of works for 6 months then swopping over. As the collection grows they start to buy their own as well. This encourages others, everyone benefits! Before you ask - they drew up a straightforward legally binding contract so that no-one can sell unless prior agreement is made by all concerned & insurance is covered by everyone too. 

Series: Hidden Identities: Unfinished 

If this sounds too complex why not just start with one work, pay bit by bit (that is how I bought my first limited edition print - Edition of 3 in the smaller size) A print of the same photograph in the large size is part of the National Media Museum's collection, I'm pleased to say. (I found this out long after my purchase) It's the journey, not just the destination. 
Your instincts. But also enjoy it. You could deliberate forever & regret it. Buying emerging talent now and getting in early before prices rise makes sense. If a new series comes out by an artist you love dive in quick. Artists like the wonderful Lottie Davies have a new series Quinn which is still ongoing, but with her track record assures us that it well worth investing in. Her work recently made a splash at a Christies auction, selling for much more than anticipated. Buy now before the price becomes unattainable. Her Viola As Twins for example, is now available only as an AP so don't miss out! The AP is the most treasured therefore priced accordingly. This means that no more are available afterwards…

Series: I shall say goodbye with my strengthening love for you, forever and ever

Saving money:
Buying several works as prints only, then having them all framed at once can cut out multiple delivery costs. See if the framer can do a good price for more frames, they usually will. Framing them all at the same time can also mean that you also have the option to match them up to fit in a room together. The money you save can go on buying more works instead! 

Remember if you buy two or more works from one artist you can often get a discount. The more you buy the better it gets usually as printing/framing costs can come down with multiples.   

Images from her Adolphe Valette research

Be Part of something:
Adding your name to a project will show solidarity but also should fill you with pride to be part of something great. Spread the word through Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram etc…and as the project is completed be happy to be part of its success. Remember, if you later have a project of your own to fund you already have grateful people on side to be part of the journey again. It never gets old. 


Positive + action = good vibes/cosy feelings
Don't tell people how artistic you are without getting creative with your support. Wingeing never got anyone anywhere. People like to be around a good women & men that are positive & upbeat. That enthusiasm always bolsters support & camaraderie. Keep moaning & friends soon begin to avoid you. We all know life is tough, so lean on each other without squashing your/their drive to do better. 

Ok. Don’t panic. Don’t panic. It’s only a VISA bill.

Put your money where your mouth is:
Swop one evening meal for a donation - have beans on a baked spud instead - go on just for one night! 
Hold back the wine/beer for one night for a cosy night & some cocoa.
Think of a person who would love something truly exclusive & limited who you would love to treat!

Make your enquiries now while it is on your mind & make the it the best end to the year ever!

Series: Somerset Stories Five Penny Dreams

Enquiries for L A Noble Gallery: hello@lauraannnoble.com

See all of the L A Noble Gallery artists here.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Personal reflections on William Morris & 'In Paradiso' by Deborah Baker

Book cover of new publication In Paradiso by Deborah Baker
Available for the special price of £30 during the exhibition (£40 thereafter)

The first time I became aware of William Morris was a little pack of gift cards I received as a present as a teenager. They were a selection of his patterns, repetitive, natural & somewhat old fashioned to me at the time. His work takes maturity to appreciate, I know that now. The cards were useful as thank you's for gifts at birthdays & Christmas, but that was as far as my thoughts went back then. Without any contact with his work (I was living in my hometown of Manchester at the time) it was of no importance to me. 

The Morris Room at the V&A 

Then I was to encounter him again years later walking into the Morris Room at the V&A & falling in love with it at first sight. The pressure to live in minimal surroundings, free from clutter or homely touches rarely transfers to reality. This room - & subsequently his furniture, politics & associates in the arts -  made me think of alternatives to the crisp white walls & trendy furniture we are supposed to be striving to live amongst. 

Presenting ourselves online through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & all the rest of the social media options as having amazingly happy lives where we are always out with friends enjoying ourselves, in glamorous locations with fancy food & drink is a facade, a perpetual press release to the world.  

Why not allow for alternatives, to be somewhere where patterns with all the tangled aesthetic complexity of Morris can be quietly studied, reflected upon & absorbed. The profundity of a visual a statement is often found when the image does not reveal itself all at once. Powerful images rarely deliver in seconds, sometimes they can take a lifetime to appreciate as we mature & find more within them, as our own experiences in the world grow so does our eye for meaning. Morris' work remains timeless & popular as ever for the simple reason that it is carefully studied, using the already profound certainties of the natural world as inspiration to weave layers of humanity into each design. (See the selection still available here)

I have fond have memories of patterned wallpaper or frilly doilies on furniture, tiny ornaments grouped on windowsills or in dark wood cabinets. In them lie homely comforting memories of places where care was taken to surround themselves with pleasing things for themselves, not to show off to others (as the monetary value of such things weren't high) but to enjoy & treasure. 

In this age of post-modernism where do we go? Conceptual art can often lack aesthetic & decorative art vice versa. Finding the balance of meaning, emotion, passion & avoiding pretension is the battlefield we cross when we enter into the domain of the arts. But when we find it, oh what joy there is to be had. 

I found this in Deborah Baker's work - currently on display at the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow - her raw emotions are transformed into poetic visual feasts of nature. 

©Deborah Baker Betulanimbusi
Courtesy of L A Noble Gallery

When embarking on the creation of her garden it seemed futile to just record each stage as the plants were continually growing & changing, the seasons transforming their appearance in perpetuity. With this in mind her response as an artist was to depict this growth by making the plants 'breathe' through the fracturing & movement infused into her aesthetic. The leaves in Betulanimbusi seem to burst out from the land skyward, exuberant & free. 

©Yayoi Kusama “Leaves”-1954

There is an obsessiveness, repetition of forms, spectral wonderment in a  fractured assemblage of photographic imagery which operates on many levels, just as a painting does, layering each shape amid the planes of colour built up in intricate detail. Well known doyen of the art world Yayoi Kusama's explorations of the natural world dance amongst the vibrant colours of her palette in her early work pictured above. Her compulsive style of working is in itself a therapy to Kusama. The therapeutic effect of both Baker & Kusama's work extends to the audience that views it. (If you have chance to watch the documentary on her do, it may surprise you a lot)

Whenever people come into a room with Baker's pictures they always become quiet, reflective & calm. In breaking down natural elements without completely removing the recognisable plants within her work, Baker doesn't merely record, she recreates the feelings of being in a garden, with all senses alert to receive the visual dance of the living with a reverence of the past.

©Deborah Baker Pruneucalus

I am the happy owner of one of her works, which fills the long gap in the view from my bedroom window of the cherry blossom that comes & goes so fleetingly each spring. 

©Laura Noble Cherry Blossom April 2013
All rights reserved 

The movement in her work through the multiple layers of light, dark, form take you into the picture & beyond its physical borders to a psychological space somewhere between waking & dreaming. When I look at Pruneucalus I am sometimes filled with lightness of being, sometimes it understands my dark self too. 

It is this dichotomy that renders her works longevity.They are not just pictures of plants, trees & flowers, they are filled with the fears, hopes & dreams of life where words fail to express. 

In Paradiso Folded cards in 3 designs also available 

In Paradiso will be on display from 3 September - 2 November 2014 (click for all info)

To accompany the exhibition the Limited Edition book In Paradiso (500 copies), including essays by Laura Noble and Nancy Ann Roth will be available to purchase for the special price of £30 for the duration of the exhibition, (RRP £40). Deborah will be signing copies of her book on 3 October.
Wear a work of art

3 crepe de chine scarves of immense beauty & delicacy are also on offer, each in an edition of 50 only, they measure 100 x 150cm & hang like a kimono when worn loosely around the shoulders.  £240 each

In Paradiso book:  Deluxe Limited Edition of 10:

Available to buy within a slipcase complete with a print of Raouliexigu, priced at £200 each

In Paradiso will be on display from 3 September - 2 November 2014

Transport: Walthamstow Central (Victoria line and national rail) or Wood Street (national rail)
Please note that there is limited pay and display parking available on site