Poppies: WAVE installation Southend-on-sea

Poppies:WAVE installation is one of two installations on tour around the UK in 2017 as part of the 14-18 NOW WW1 centenary art commissions.

Following on from the installation: Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in 2014, artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper have now created Wave and Weeping Window. 

Shoeburyness is one of only two locations where the Poppies:WAVE installation can be viewed with a backdrop of the sea. The location was chosen as Southend-on-sea saw one of the first air-raid attacks on the UK during WW1 and Shoebury Garrison played an important role in the design and testing of artillery guns. 

Wave and Weeping Window are made up of thousands of hand made ceramic red poppies. The tour in 2017 includes Derby, Belfast, Cardiff, Hull and Plymouth.

Poppies:WAVE is at Barge Pier, Gunners Park, Shoeburyness, Southend-on-sea and will be on display from 12th April to 25th June 2017. For more information go to www.1418NOW.org.uk/poppies

SEVEN artist collective

I’ve been attending Creative Journal workshops held @MetalSouthend, since 2015. In January 2017, a small group of seven artists, who had attended these workshops, decided to form a creative sketchbook collective, called SEVEN.

As part of the Creative Journal workshops we had been invited to exhibit at the Village Green Festival in 2015 and 2016. We had all enjoyed the experience so much that we were keen to explore other exhibitions.

Locally there is an event called the Leigh Art Trail (LAT), which in 2017 will be its 20th year. The trail takes place in shops and venues in and around Leigh on Sea in Essex. To celebrate the 20th anniversary LAT were keen to increase the number of venues and to invite more artists. SEVEN got together to submit our application and we were successful!

We are now getting the creative juices flowing in our bi-weekly creative sessions…

In the first session we began with quick 1 minute sketches that we can use to develop further work…

Here’s a taster of how the work is progressing…

SEVEN will be exhibiting at the Leigh Art Trail 2017 in the Planet Leasing venue.

You can follow SEVEN on Twitter and Instagram.

Mandala mosaic garden table

When I went to a local junk shop to buy a mid-century sideboard, I spotted another glass-top garden table. I do love these. I don’t think they are much to look at in their original state but they are perfect for adding a touch of mosaic decoration!

As the table was circular, I wanted to create a mandala-style design.

I began by placing tiles around the edge of the table to create a border, varying the colours with each row. I then located the centre of the table, divided the circle into eight segments and began to fill out the pattern; playing with different shapes, sizes and colours to develop contrast and balance in the pattern.

I always like to use broken mirror in my work; I love the way light reflects on the broken pieces. The effect is magnified when the table is in the garden as it mirrors its surroundings and twinkles in the sunlight.

Once I’d finished cutting the mirror pieces and positioning all the mosaic tiles, I used a tile adhesive to stick each piece down.

The next step was to grout the tiles. I prefer to use a dark grey grout, rather than white, to give a dramatic contrast against the colourful tiles.

I used a powder grout that when mixed with water becomes water and frost resistant. I mixed it to a slightly fluid solution and used a palette knife, making sure the grout filled all of the gaps.

Once the grout had begun to set I used a damp cloth to wipe over the tiles to clean off the excess. The grout was left to dry overnight and then I polished the tiles using a clean cloth and scraped off any excess grout from the edges of the tiles.

This is the finished table…