Friday, 10 December 2010

Open Studio Event

I meant to post about this earlier in the week, but have been so caught up in getting ready for it I completely forgot.

Tomorrow - Saturday 11th December - the building my studio is in, is open from 10am to 4pm to all comers. As well as me, there are about a dozen other artists all displaying their work for visitors, so there should be something for everyone.

If you are in the area, please do call in and say hello.

And if you come early enough, you might even get a mince pie




View WASPS Artists Studios in a larger map

Friday, 26 November 2010

2011 Calendar Book - Maggie in Print

I'm almost embarrassed to admit the levels of excitement I'm experiencing.

I've just received a copy of my calendar book for 2011. Seeing my work in print seems like yet another journey to fantasy land.

With no small amount of work contributed by my husband, Kim (all of it, really... well... at least I chose the images), we have put together a handy 7 inch square Calendar Book with 1 page per month - each accompanied by photographs of my artwork (photos also taken by that wonderful photographer, Kim Ayres - nothing like a bit of nepotism).

You can preview the calendar book by clicking on the widget below. And if you click on the small square with the arrows in it on the bottom right corner, you even get a full screen view.



If you are interested in buying one (or many) of these ideal seasonal gifts, then click on this link:

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1730219

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Once Upon a Time - the Making of an Artist's Studio

I have a newsletter which goes out monthly - or at least that is the intention - and for each one I usually put a video together connected with that month's theme.

This month's is about the new studio and as it ties in with  my last blog post (Making a Studio), I thought I'd post it here too.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Making a studio

For me, the words "artist's studio", are filled with all the glamour and romance which I wouldn't readily attach to myself.

And yet, in this space I seem to be inhabiting a fairytale existence which embraces me every time I cross over the threshold. I do not want this fantasy to dissipate, so I take time to absorb the magic and allow myself to feel like the kind of artist who would naturally reside here.

As well as all the creative accoutrements you would expect to find in such a place, there are several other necessary additions which I find facilitate the artistic muse:

Radio- always tuned for BBC Radio 4

CD player- assorted music:  Opera for drama and tears
                                           Folk for the soul and for sighs
                                           Anything for dancing

 Huggable mug for tea or coffee depending on the hour

Chair for contemplation and the need to sit back and survey both inside and out

Books, any books for reading or for dreaming

With all this gloriously in place, I am in my own fairy story.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

A Studio of My Own

I had forgotten what it felt like to have a space entirely for me, without reference to my lovely family.

Joyous. Thrilling. Intoxicating.

My virgin studio has two generously large Georgian windows- the light gloriously sublime, reflecting possibilities around the high, white walls and ceiling. It begs me for expansive, bold canvases to honour its space and begin its legend. The floor is bare board and ready to be spilled and spattered upon.

Oh the sense of excitement and liberation!

Here lies the scene of my new agenda- my expression of self and the abandonment of apology for being less than.

It feels like I've been waiting all my life for this heady time, where my story can be rewritten, defined anew by the very existence of a studio of my own.

Joyous. Thrilling. Intoxicating.


Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Regaining my voice

It could be deduced from my last post, that my erstwhile screaming induced a subsequent tide of family trauma and illness in which I lost my voice. I hadn't yet got into the blogging habit, and so sharing here was not foremost in my thoughts.

With large sighs of relief, big enough to fill a sky-soaring hot air balloon, complete with human cargo and accompanying paraphernalia, family life is settling down and better health is trickling through.

September is here and I am transfixed, misty eyed with mellow fruitfulness as I contemplate the slow calming of the seasons while the year begins to wind down. In contrast, for me Autumn has always meant a time of fresh beginnings, renewed intentions and the drive for change.

However, a year ago I was propelled into limbo when my mother died. She was 89 and had lived with dementia for many years. I thought all was for the worst and no hope would enter here. But 12 months on, with a slow passing of familial stresses to some haphazard emotional resolutions, at last I am comprehending the enduring nature of spirit that drives me, and I am grateful to Mum for that.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Not Whining But Screaming

I’ve always been surprised by the way other people see me, especially by their use of certain adjectives: “mild-mannered”, “passive”, “easy-going”, “laid-back”. – On the outside, squishy, sweet, amorphous marshmallow, it seems, while on the inside... a raging, ranting banshee, a fire disgorging dragon, a hardened, steely warrior or a possessed uncontrollable spirit capable of metamorphosing the elements in order to have her will obeyed.

That disconnect between internal and public persona probably exists for most of us, I suppose.

But now, quiet, un-self-confident Maggie wants to stop the background whine of “It’s not fair!” (can’t you just envisage the petted lip?”). I want my voice to grow and connect my sense of injustice to the public universe.

Change does happen. We don’t have to accept the power and drive of the capitalist market to sell us a vacuous myth- the insubstantial veneer of youth and beauty and therefore “acceptability” at an unacceptable price, both on our pockets and more insidiously on our sense of well-being.

Let us scream and proclaim our outrage in full voice.

I’m screaming.

Scream with me.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Spring Fling 2010

There are 3 things that without fail I will cry out as it gets closer and closer to Spring Fling, the Artist's Open Studio Event in SW Scotland this weekend:

"I'm not going to have enough work finished in time!"

"What if nobody comes?"

"What if people think my work is rubbish/a joke/not worth looking at?"

This will be my 3rd year and so far, in reality, it's been a grand experience. And so far, none of the above has arisen (at least no one has been harshly critical to my face).

Most of my work is made in isolation, so it's always good to meet people who are interested in seeing what I do, and gauging reactions.

If you're in the area this weekend, do take the time to pop in and introduce yourself.


"Curve" - a sculpture in plaster, scrim and acrylic - click on the image for a larger version

Thursday, 20 May 2010

It's Personal - guest blogging on my husband's site

While my husband, Kim, has been blogging for nearly 5 years, for me it's an entirely new experience.

So as a way to introduce me to the people who frequent his blog, he suggested I do a guest post on his site.

Because one of the things about his writing style that has always struck me is his openness, I decided to write about the deeply personal approach I have to my art.

Do pop over and visit:

http://kimayres.blogspot.com/2010/05/maggie-ayres-its-personal.html

and feel free to comment or feedback to me your thoughts

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Anticipation

The idea of "Acceptable Flesh" has been fermenting in my mind for quite a time.

I announce it here as if it were some bold new venture, on which I have just alighted. In truth it is, of course, a simultaneous thread that has edged and woven through all my work to date – social constraints for both mind and body are inextricably linked.

In 2007, I made an artwork called “Bound”, which was inspired by a piece of writing by my husband, Kim. In many ways it encapsulates the direction of “Acceptable Flesh”

Click here to see the original story

Plans for this body of work seem to grow daily, and with excited anticipation, I envisage a large quantity of textured pieces on canvas, and free hanging installations. Sculpture dominates largely too, with forms based on the body and corsets.

I have some interesting ideas for black and white photography, which at the moment leave me amazed and hugely daunted at their concept.

Over the ensuing months I will be collecting audio interviews that will be edited into a sound installation.

My vision is that "Acceptable Flesh" will become a kind of immersive experience, rather than a superficial tour of a gallery space.

Friday, 14 May 2010

First post

Acceptable Flesh

Society has always used the shaping of the body to create an ideal the majority struggle to attain.

In today’s market such messages are insidious and never subtle. We can only ever fail to measure up to the surgically enhanced, and the digitally altered images, streamed to us, demanding an impossible conformity.

“Acceptable Flesh” is a planned new body of work where I will set out to explore the conflict between this impossible societal norm, and the need for authentic self-acceptance.

Using a variety of media, from paint, textiles and canvas, through to sculpture, photography and sound, I will be examining experiences of inhabiting bodies deemed less than acceptable.

To follow the progress of “Acceptable Flesh”, and even have your say - comments and contributions are very welcome - please join in and/or sign up for the newsletter at:

http://www.maggieayres.co.uk/