Saturday, 13 September 2008

It's about time for another post!

Well it's been a while. I've been rattling around doing far too much - as usual!

Alien Surfaces has been and gone, although some prints are still on display at Transreal . The images are still online at madeleineshepherd.co.uk - and and the digital ones are still for sale at ImageKind (see panel on the right). Lots of positive feedback gained and interesting contacts made. There were even a couple of blogs with posts about it.

Fantasy author Brian Ruckley came to see it and liked it enough to mention it on his blog. What was slightly odd was that his post also covers another exhibition, on the history of printing in Scotland, and my uncle has been involved in some of the work in that show. Brian thought it was spooky but I reckon it's just another manifestation of the fact that Edinburgh's the optimum size for networks to interconnect. It probably also shows why he writes fantasy and I read hard science fiction (when I make the time).

The knitted sculpture (above) would not have happened without the assistance of Hugh Griffiths and he's written about it on Geeks with Pointy Sticks. Thanks again for the number crunching, Hugh, and for the picture of the tapir!

I'm now hatching plans for next year - watch this space. Actually it could have quite a lot to do with space...

Mike and I went to a lot of shows at this year's Edinburgh Festival. He's written about them all on his blog so I'll link to that rather than repeat it all. There's a bunch of photos on my Flickr account that covers some of the stuff and some odd things we've seen around town over the festival period.

There were a couple of things I got to that Mike couldn't fit in. First off I spent a day with the Edinburgh Art Festival celebrating the work of Alexander Hamilton. He had two exhibitions of stunning cyanotypes during August. The most recent was a collection drawn from his visits to the site of Millais' portrait of Ruskin at Brig O'Turk. After a morning workshop in Alexander's studio (see left), we had a field trip to Brig O'Turk in the Trossachs. The weather was appalling which was apparently very appropriate, simulating the weather experienced by Ruskin et al.

We rushed back to Edinburgh, fortified by the artistic ambiance and the coffee and cake in a nearby cafe, just in time to get dry enough to attend the reception at the National Portrait Gallery. At the morning event I met Sian Hughes, a fellow textile artist, who sensibly stayed dry in Edinburgh for the afternoon and, among other things, went to Alien Surfaces to see the one cyanotype I had made for that show. It's now hanging above the door in our study and looks well there, diagonally opposite Mike's collection of works by the author who inspired it - Jack Vance.

The other kind of major thing this festival was getting my accreditation as a freelance photographer at the book festival. I was able to add Terry Pratchett to my Bestiary of Authors portfolio this year and will soon have enough new faces for a second exhibition. I also got the opportunity to officially point my camera at Sean Connery and Murray Grigor as they launched Being a Scot. The book seems to consist of their thoughts on being a Scot as told from Connery's point of view and is full of interesting photographs including one by myself. The publishers contacted the James Clerk Maxwell Foundation for an image of the slides that Maxwell used to found the principle of colour photography. The foundation asked me to take the photo and it's on page 76.

I'm getting back into my knitted and crochet things just now and will have a stall at the next Arts Market at Out of the Blue in a couple of weeks - and I'm looking forward to a holiday visit to my brother in Greece. More of that stuff another day.

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