Homage to Hannelore Baron

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There is something raw and deeply absorbing about Hannelore Baron’s multi-layered work. Found materials are combined with enigmatic text and abstract figures in her collages and box constructions.

The work suggests both the condition of entrapment and the possibility of release, no doubt informed by her early traumatic experiences of war in Germany in the 1930s. Unlike Joseph Cornell, her box assemblages are not wrapped — or trapped — in the air of poetic-romantic longing. Baron’s boxes and notations insist that the human spirit can persevere, however damaged.

 

 

 

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Hannelore Baron website: http://www.hannelorebaron.net/

Seeds of Change

Cardiff Print Workshop members are making prints in response to the theme of the Chapter Arts Car Bootique, and the Diffusion photography festival, which is Revolution. It was suggested that we do a ‘Homage to the protests of 1968’ (50 years ago next year) using posters from that time as inspiration: simple lino prints in stark black or red.

I struggled to know what to do for this theme, and also with lino cutting which I have only done once or twice. It’s a different way of working – very precise and bold, and it takes a while to work out what you need to leave and what to take away for tone and contrast.  I decided to make something in a folk art style, inspired by both the physical : the joy of growing my own food at my new allotment, and the metaphysical : planting the seeds of new ideas, visions and dreams. After all, every revolution must have started this way.

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Plant seeds of change

Through the Paper Window

Lea Sautin, who is also a member of Cardiff Print Workshop, has an upcoming exhibition at Theatre Mwldan in Aberteifi, Ceredigion. Lea’s work explores the themes of language, translation and perpetual transformation within the storytelling tradition of Wales. She is fascinated by the evolution of the ancient tales of the Mabinogion, from their fluid oral and performative origins to a fixed written manuscript, eventually leading to illustrations of the tales told in their own unique visual language. Lea uses a chain of processes (print to sculpture to photography) to reflect the evolution and alteration of the stories themselves.

I’m looking forward to seeing Lea’s exhibition, which opens 29th April until 18th June.

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Lea Sautin’s sculptures

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The Language of Birds

The Green Language is a term used among Renaissance alchemists and mystics to refer to the Language of Birds, which was thought to be a divine and mystical tongue in which all true knowledge could be articulated.

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In Old English, the word for poet is scop, connected to the Old Norse skald, with the implication of both seership and also the verb scapan, which also means to shape, to create, to form.

“In writing a poem, as in building a boat or fixing an engine or mapping a river or treating a broken heart, we give ourselves to something else, which is not us. To do so helps to make us whole.”  Robert Bringhurst, The Silence That is Not Poetry

This is somehow true of all heartfelt creative accomplishments. Anyone who has been deeply immersed in creating knows how the rest of world fades away and reality blurs at the edges. Time becomes irrelevant and the process leads us on a journey that is almost beyond our will.

Sylvia Linsteadt speaks of how, although poetry is beyond language, it uses words to “allow the embers of being to kindle through us, that we might gather them in our pockets and warm ourselves with the remembrance that all things are in us, and we are in all things.”