Blindfold – a 1/8th life-size male figure study in oil clay and metal armature with plumbing piping support, a technique suitable for moulding and casting in bronze.
Mary Blair’s wonderful designs for ‘It’s a Small World’ formed the basis of one of the most beloved of all of the rides at Disneyland. I learned recently, that within Disney Imagineering, the ride is referred to as the ‘Rainy Day Project’ as this was the concept behind Blair’s colourful graphic treatment of the environment – imagining a mother’s cut-paper designs, created to amuse her children during inclement weather.
I returned to one of my favorite events here in LA, the Day of the Dead festival held in the impressive surroundings of Hollywood Forever Cemetery. This year I was more focused on photography (if you excuse the pun), shooting the spectacle on behalf of the organisers, rather than getting dressed up myself, which was great fun last year.
As the event was held early this year , (I suspect to avoid coinciding with Halloween parties) it was incredibly busy, a sensory experience – so many people with their own twist on the calaca costume, fun sparkly confections to buy, tasty morsels to sample, parades, and entertainers on a flamboyantly dressed stage. As the only cemetery in the US to hold a Day of the Dead festival, art exhibits inside the cathedral, rituals and dance performances on the lake,and altars nestled amongst the tombs and gravestones celebrate the unique location with both reverence and the spirit of fun. The community altars ranged from really moving dedications to ancestors or the military to cleverly humorous subjects including the dear departed dinosaurs, and demoted planet Pluto…
A selection of images are up over on my photography site
At a fun little ceramics workshop this weekend in Laguna Beach, I was introduced to American Raku, a style of ceramics that has ties to 16th century Japanese tea ceremonies.
Low temperature glazes are used with a really hot quick firing and ‘reduction’ time in a container with flaming newspapers and sawdust, a process allowing lovely random effects, encouraging the artist to relinquish control of the finished article.
With these little vessels, I was inordinately excited to see how the glaze turned out… I love the unpredictable colouring and the crackling pattern, reminiscent of something perhaps long lost and unearthed.
With this makeover I wanted to create a room with a warm and exciting feel, I used Yoruba and Ashanti West African-style fabrics with pieces from North Africa and threw in some vintage finds for an eclectic room full of colour and texture.
I have spent a lot of time in North Africa as I am half-Moroccan, and my home growing up was filled with West African art as my parents travelled there often, so a cosy room with these influences makes me feel both at home and inspired.
I love waking up to the punchy pink colour every morning, after painting this room I discovered this honeysuckle shade is the 2011 Pantone colour of the year!
I hope to add some of my West African art treasures from back home when I get hold of them. I also plan to display some enlarged photography pieces of mine and my husband’s – particularly some images from the souks in Marrakech, for centuries a meeting place of cultural influences and trade between Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.
I came across an exciting fabric find at a yard sale, turns out the lady selling it had Yoruba heritage, and the pieces are vintage. I plan to make a runner or bedspread together with the yards of Kente and wax print fabric I acquired downtown at Ashanti Fabrics.
Selected production stills from an independent film short produced on location in the Hollywood Hills.
I documented the filming on set at a private residence often rented out for location shooting as a ‘castle’ with amazing views to the Hollywood sign and downtown Los Angeles.
The storyline, set in modern day, involved a murder mystery at a twenties-style themed dinner party. Directed by Rob Wood, with Dessil Basmadjian as Director of Photography.