Sophie de Streel and Josua Dahmen
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Sophie de Streel and Josua Dahmen
Monday, March 26, 2012
Concerning his artistic technique, he already experimented with conceptual photography when he was an undergraduate student at UBC. It is only in 1977 that he produced his first back-light photo transparencies. His main sources of inspiration were the French poet, Charles Baudelaire and the French painter, Edouard Manet. Wall’s main objective was to recreate masterful paintings into photos. With the technique of back light, he tried to bring these masterpieces into new life. During the 1990s, Wall began to judge his work as a means of connecting film and literature with art. He started taking his pictures in the way of a Hollywood movie with large sets built for the occasion, gathered costumes and hired models. The outcome was a perfect representation of the natural world.
“The Destroyed Room” is Wall’s first major work. He wanted to reconstruct the past in a photography. It depicts the violence of modern life in comparison with the ancient times. He explains that it emerged from a re-encounter with nineteenth-century art. The picture depicts a woman’s ruined room (everything is destroyed, the furniture, the floor,..). He took his inspiration from the painting "The Death of Sardanapalus” by Eugène Delacroix (1827). It represents the Assyrian monarch committing suicide with his slaves and wives after setting on fire his own city because he did not want his enemies to have his goods. The red in both the original painting and the picture represents the violent passion and the loss of control. What differs from Delacroix’s work is the absence of any characters or actions on the photography although the chaotic spread of colour and objects puts some energy in it and reminds of a recent past.
Jeff Wall is a key-icon in the art-scene for three reasons. First, he made Vancouver known by helping defining the so-called photoconceptualist paradigm. Secondly, he wrote and published many essays on the work of his contemporary colleagues such as Ian Wallace, Dan Graham, Rodney Graham,… Finally, he very often takes Vancouver’s natural beauty, urban decay and industrial featurelessness as sources of inspiration.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Smith started in the fashion industry with menswear collections which made him earn an international fame. Nowadays there are no less than 12 labels of the brand: Paul Smith, Paul Smith London, Paul Smith Jeans, PS by Paul Smith, etc. The women’s collection was formed in the 90’s, followed by the children’s one. With more than 200 shops and 500 wholesales, Smith’s products are now available in different parts of the world namely Antwerp, Paris, Dubai, Tokyo and Las Vegas."I give classics just a little kick" is his own motto. Paul Smith is indeed a traditional British designer with British cuts, but he always adds a colourful touch with his worldwide famous multicolour stripes.
Smith’s touch can be found in many other items: furniture, perfume, cameras, cars, and all kinds of unexpected objects such as cricket balls, the Lasonic i931 (a boom box) and lastly the London 2012 Olympic Games stamps. Not surprisingly, the man is still interested in sport but with a different approach. His contribution to sport item’s design is huge.
He has already participated to different kinds of projects such as the design of a bottle for Evian, of a Triumph motorbike, or the creation of suits for the footballers of Manchester United.
In 1991 he was recognised as an icon of the fashion industry when he got the distinction of Royal Designer for Industry given by Royal Society of Arts. This price rewards the designers for their contribution to the benefit to the nation, for their aesthetic value and design excellence. He was knighted by Queen in 2000 as Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to the nation’s fashion industry.
Being a very active man, Paul Smith is not only a name, but a talented designer and retailer as well as a photograph. At the moment, this talented artist is one of the main designers of the early 21st century and will probably not stop surprising us.
“You can find inspiration in everything (and if you can't, look again)”
In 1884 Octavia Hill, an English social reformer, tried to save the beautiful manor house Sayes Court. The owner wanted to give it to the nation, but no organisation existed to accept the gift. This laid the foundation of the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty.
The charity was founded with the aim to support and to maintain monuments and sites of public interest. It operates in England, Wales and Northern Ireland but not in Scotland. The Trust’s symbol, a sprig of oak leaves and acorns, is supposed to have been inspired by an ornamental moulding of Alfriston Clergy House. This rare 14th-century house was the first building to be acquired by the National Trust in 1896. A century later the National Trust has become the biggest charity of this type in Europe and the second biggest landowner of the UK. Only the Crown possesses more land.
The National Trust is an independent charity, which raises 70% of its income from visitor’s income, lotteries, donations and legacies. The other 30% of the costs are financed by membership subscriptions. British people who are keen on gardens, old castles and cultural activities can become members of the National Trust. They will have to pay a fee – £53 for an annual membership. However, people can directly donate to the organisation or support a specific project; this is what they call ‘current appeals’. Last but not least, the only way to really get involved in the activities of the National Trust is to volunteer. There is a huge list of possible tasks: working as a gardener or as a visit guide for example. The UK has quite a lot of charities, which are present in each and every aspect of social life. This implies a lot of rivalry, which is the reason why the National Trust uses 11% of its annual budget for publicity and communication as well as for the recruitment of new members.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
His first paintings shared fundamental features with the cubist tradition but in 1932 he switched towards a kind of surrealism. His first notable work, Crucifixion, was exhibited at the Mayor Gallery in 1933. The following year he decided to run an exhibition in the basement of a friend’s house but it didn’t meet the success he expected. Profoundly affected by this failure he decided to destroy most of his paintings. However, he continued painting during the Second World War as he was exempt from military service because of asthma. It was only after the war that his works became well-known to the large public.
In 1944, his work Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion revealed the themes that would characterize his future works, such as the mutilated imaginary, anxiety, alienation, and so on. By 1950, he developed a new method which consisted in using photographs taken mainly from newspapers to create his works of art. One of the most famous examples in which he used this particular technique is the Study after Velázquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X (1953). In this deformed version of Pope Innocent X (1650), Bacon represented a screaming pope whose voice is silenced by the dark drapes, which tries to convey the frustration and the pains of the human being.
In the 60’s, his popularity increased thanks to his retrospective at Solomon R. Guggenheim’s Museum in New York (1963) and to the publication of his catalogue raisonné. In 1964, he met his lover George Dyer, of whom he made several paintings. From the 70’s onwards, his artistic talent became better known around the world with exhibitions in places as far apart as Marseilles, Madrid, Caracas, Mexico and Tokyo. Most of his paintings from that time were mainly triptychs with less aggressive and shocking images.
After a period when many of his close friends passed away, he decided to paint portraits of himself since he had – according to him – "nothing else to do." Study for a Self-Portrait – Triptych (1985-86) resulted from this series of self-portraits and engages in expressing the marks that age and time leave on the body and on the spirit. From an artistic point of view, this work differs from his former ones inasmuch as he used lighter-colours and as he placed his figures more at the centre of his painting. He died of a heart failure on 28th April 1992, in Madrid.
When speaking about pudding, the first thing that comes to mind is a kind of dessert. But in the case of Yorkshire Pudding, it is rarely served as such. Made of milk, flour, eggs and salt, it is usually basted with gravy to accompany roast meet.
As its name indicates, the Yorkshire pudding originated in Yorkshire, a historic county of Northern England. The first reference to this dish is to be found in a book of 1737: The Whole Duty of a Woman. The people made use of the fat in the dripping pan to cook a pudding. The recipe was the same as now, but it was then called dripping pudding (“dripping” comes from spit-roast meat). Ten years later, it was renamed “Yorkshire pudding” by Hannah Glasse, a famous English cookery writer of the 18th century, in her book The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. The popularity of the book was such that it spread the word of the Yorkshire Pudding. The two versions were the same, except that the one of 1737 was flatter than the puffy version known today. And this is apparently an important thing. Actually, in 2008, the Royal Society of Chemistry edited a ruling concerning the Yorkshire Pudding. This professional association of the United Kingdom then wrote that “a Yorkshire pudding isn't a Yorkshire pudding if it is less than four inches tall”.
Nowadays, this particular type of pudding generally accompanies the main course. It goes well together with roast beef, chicken or any dish with sauce. Gravy (meat juice) is actually considered by the British as the best accompaniment to the Yorkshire Pudding. Traditionally, however, it was eaten with onion juice as a starter. It is often said that it was in order to stuff the guests with something cheap so that they would eat less of the more expensive dishes that followed. Sometimes it is also served as a snack with jam or with jam and ice cream, in the common understanding of “pudding”.
Last but not least, you can here find a recipe by the famous cook Jamie Oliver:
Ingredients (12 puddings)
- 3 eggs
- 115 g plain flour
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 285 ml milk
- 12 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Whisk the eggs, flour, salt, and milk together really well in a bowl to make your batter. Pour the batter into a jug, and let it sit for 30 minutes before you use it.
2. Turn your oven up to the highest setting, and place a 12 cup muffin tray in the oven to heat up for 5 minutes.
3. Place 1 tb of oil in each muffin hole, and put the tray back into the oven and heat until oil is very hot.
4. Open oven door, slide the tray half out, and carefully pour the batter into the muffin holes.
5. Close the door and cook for 15 minutes without opening the oven door.
6. Serve immediately.
Now that you know more about Yorkshire pudding and that you are in possession of the recipe by the famous British chef, you can finally try the staple of the British Sunday lunch yourself.
Caroline Laurent & Sophie Trigaux