Artist in the Spotlight Time for Reflection and Contemplation

“It is not so much where my motivation comes from but rather how it manages to survive.” – Louise Bourgeois
“To be an artist is to believe in life.” – Henry Moore
“I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.” – Frida Kahlo
“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” – René Magritte
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

‘The Weather Project’ Installation art by Olafur Eliasson

Continuing to stick with my London theme, I would say one of the most memorable pieces of installation art I’ve ever seen was ‘The Weather Project’ in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. I had been in a meeting all day, and decided to walk back towards Waterloo Station via Tate Modern. Coming across this enormous ‘sun’, and looking at how it affected people in the building had a profound effect on me. I have since heard other people say the same. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it feels like a privilege to have seen it.

Mr. T. Green - 16-05-2020

This short clip gives you a feel for it:

‘The Ancient of Days’ by William Blake, 1793

‘The Ancient of Days’ by William Blake, 1793

Continuing my accidental ‘London’ theme, we come to London-based artist and poet, William Blake, who created his own mythology.

In the mythology of William Blake, Urizen (the ‘ancient of days’) is the embodiment of conventional reason and law. He is usually depicted as a bearded old man; he sometimes bears architect's tools, to create and constrain the universe.

As an illustrator, Blake designed and created his own books.

He created a new technique so that he could incorporate the text of his poems into the pictures he’d made and print them together.

The pages he created are known as ‘plates’. ‘A Poison Tree’, shown here, is Plate 49 in ‘Songs of Experience’ (1794)

In this plate, Blake appears to be illustrating events in the final stanza of the poem.

Mr. T. Green - 27-04-2020

‘The Lady of Shallott’, by John William Waterhouse

Here’s another great painting you can see in London, at Tate Britain: ‘The Lady of Shallott’, by John William Waterhouse. So, who is she? Waterhouse, the Romantics and Pre-Raphaelites often turned to great literature for their subjects. Read on below:

‘The Lady of Shallott’, by John William Waterhouse

The painting is based on a poem which is based in Arthurian myth: Alfred Lord Tennyson's four-part poem 'The Lady of Shalott' tells the story of a young medieval woman mysteriously imprisoned on an island near Camelot. She must weave a colourful web and only watch the outside world through a mirror. If she looks at Camelot directly, she will be cursed. If you want to know what happens… Read the poem by Tennyson here:

Mr. T. Green - 30-03-2020

Supper at Emmaus (Caravaggio, London)

Whenever I go to the National Gallery, I always end up in front of this painting.

Caravaggio painted it in 1601; he was an absolute master of light.

The painting depicts the moment when the resurrected but incognito Jesus, reveals himself to two of his disciples (presumed to be Luke and Cleopas) in the town of Emmaus, only to soon vanish from their sight (Gospel of Luke 24: 30–31).

Of course, I find the narrative interesting. But what mesmerises me is the sheer sense of movement; the hands which seem to shoot out of the painting towards you; the genuine shock of the disciples.

It is a thing of beauty. - Mr T Green - 22-03-2020

Inspirational Sculpture

I was looking for a picture of an amazing sculpture that I saw years ago in the National Gallery. I thought it was by Degar – of a young girl leaning backwards on a swing. The only point of contact was through her foot, the chains of the swing were just hanging from the air. I haven’t found it in an internet search.

But this sculpture caught my eye! It is apparently in Sedona USA. - Ms J Laurence -20-03-2020

Graciela Iturbide

‘I think that any photographer is an investigator. Photography is a pretext to know the world, to know life. To know yourself.’ - Graciela Iturbide

I love Iturbide’s ability to value everything she sees around her in her daily life. The ability to stop and really look with the inquisitive eye of a young child; allowing her to dream and wonder. - Mr Fox Joyce 18-03-2020

Edgar Degas

I love Degas’ collection of paintings showing dancers warming up and rehearsing for a performance. The candid style of painting is appealing to me because we get a glimpse into the dancers’ world. Degas highlights the beauty of the moment and not the finished article - Ms C Clarke - 17-03-2020


What I admire most about Mandy Barker's art work is her ability to make 'something' out of 'nothing'. It is her ability to reflect on her surroundings and make art work that inspires us to think and reflect on the impact we have on our own environment over time - Mr Fox Joyce - 16-03-2020

Grinling Gibbons (1648 - 1721)

My father works in wood for a hobby and introduced me to this artist, though I only really became aware of Gibbons' fame when Windsor Castle suffered a huge fire in 1992. There was a worldwide call for master craftworkers of sufficient ability in all types of materials and techniques - textiles, wood, stone etc. - to repair the damage. Even if you think 'oh, it's just wood' - imagine the patience and care you would need to replicate any of this! Working from the outside layer inwards and downwards, without damaging anything you've already carved in place ...

Gibbons came from an English family, but he was born and educated in Holland. Very little is known about his early life, but his incredible talent for carving soon got him noticed after he moved to England. At the age of about 19 he lived in York, where he carved the 'King David Panel' below:

After being introduced to Charles II, he rapidly became known as 'the King's carver'. Gibbons worked principally in lime wood, although he also sculpted in stone. Horace Walpole was fascinated by his carvings and had several examples at his London house, Strawberry Hill. This life-size 'lace' cravat in limewood is currently in the Victoria & Albert Museum:

Mrs McAleer - 25-01-2021



My favourite artist is Banksy, and this is my favourite piece of artwork that he has done. The colours work really well together and help the concept that the heart balloon is hope and the rest is sad and miserable. (This also makes me laugh as my dad think he has met Banksy.)

Thank you Orla S


Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami makes weird, colourful and disturbing pieces of artwork. I was lucky enough to get to an exhibition called 'The Octopus Eats It's Own Legs' in Vancouver. This is my favourite piece of artwork in that exhibition as it is different and creative. You are curious as to how he came up with these ideas and what the background story of this.

Thank you Orla S


Created with images by RhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist - "untitled image"