You cannot see the white border around this central part, as it has merged with the website surround.  Quite apt really!

I am hoping very much that my application for the AA2A Artists Access to Art College Scheme which is hosted by Kingston University School Of Fine Art will prove worthwhile.  Today is the deadline.  That could be the beginning, or the end line I suppose for me.

I went to Kingston University many years ago, studying  Literature  and some History too. Wow, it would be great to get into the Library again, amongst other things.  The Printmaking Department looks great. 

I wrote a poem recently.  Haven’t written one for ages, so here it is:

 The hen
 
I feel the structure of her wings – an
oily smell – an apparently disconnected neck.
 
Alive?  Yes… With red, floppy, external tongues…
Clapping a throaty, inner, sound.
 
She struggles to get out the clucks,
out of my hands, and flaps air 
around us.
 
The strained express; We try to fly,
but gravity pushes us down.

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 The colour areas of the mural have come along, and I have had some good weather.  One day of last week was crazy….The sun kept popping in and out, and I not only had short, sharp, showers of rain, but some hailstones too!  This made me very glad to have the bubblewrap protective layer…It also meant that I could carry on painting even in the rain, as it was so light and transparent that it didn’t get in the way at all, and I had plenty of light.  It even took the chill out of the air…All in all, it made quite a cosy working environment!  

I’m going to avoid sharing an image of the design for now….mainly because even when the main linear elements are done, the mural won’t be in it’s final state until the cartoons have reaped their havoc with it!  The image here shows most of the main colour areas.  The remaining area (the ships base) will be carried out during the next stage of painting, with a couple more enthusiastic children to assist with the process.  I will post some images of the children working soon, but consent is needed first before publishing on the internet.

The Mural

The mural design is based loosely on the work of the painter
Piet Mondrian.    Over time, his painting
developed  away from the  representational  becoming increasingly more abstract.  He narrowed down the elements of the image
further and further until in the end he produced   geometric paintings which were comprised of
coloured rectangles intersected and divided by a flat grid of black lines.   Mondrian’s importance in art history lies in
his development of “pure” abstraction.
The mural design shows two sailing ships; one on the left, which heads
straight towards the viewer, and one on the right, which is perpendicular to
it. The ships are arranged like this to symbolise Nelson’s battle tactic for
the battle of Trafalgar; instead of conducting the battle so that his ships
approached the enemy ships face on, (as was the more common, traditional,
approach) he decided to get his ships to approach the enemy ships from a right
angle, perpendicular to the enemy ships. This meant they could break into the
enemy lines, cutting off and overwhelming the enemy centre and rear, before
their vanguard (leading ships) could turn and assist.

Because schools are ever changing, constantly growing and
developing communities, I felt it was important to suggest a sense of process
in the mural and this is  suggested in
the ever increasing oval shapes, which start small from the right hand side,  and get bigger near the front of the ship:  Trafalgar is a place of growth and
development, of each person’s potential having the opportunity to become
realised more fully, and of having the structure and  support needed in order for that to happen.  I have also depicted in light grey an
indication of the underlying grid on which the design was constructed, in order
to suggest the idea of a work in progress.

Some of the children’s cartoons will liven the whole thing up!

An important part of
the project will be educational input with regard to the reasons for and value
of using ecologically friendly paints, and in particular the unique qualities
of silicate mineral paint, which has been developed over the years into a very versatile and exciting paint.  I would like to thank
Keim Mineral Paints Ltd, in particular for their prompt and helpfully delivered technical
support, and the provision of information  and printed and presentation materials , all
of which have been particularly helpful  in enhancing the educational dimension of the
project. The mural will be coated with the Keim anti-graffiti coating, which is just what I was looking for.
I would also like to thank Mike Wye and Associates for technical advice and assistance. Cornish Lime were also helpful in this respect.

Colour areas of the mural in progress

Well, this Tuesday was another fine day with respect to the weather (unlike today!).   The wall we are painting the mural on is thankfully not exposed to direct sunlight in the mornings, which means we don’t have to worry about the paint drying too quickly. Not really an issue for this layer, but when we do the colours it could be.   On Tuesday, myself and my team of two boys and two girls from Trafalgar  painted the first layer of BEECK Quartz Filler, a bridging primer, over the surface of the wall.  I couldn’t have done it without them, and what a great team they were.  We talked about the paint and the ingredients, and the children loved using the paint.  They loved the smell, which is like toothpaste, and as we were using the bottoms of plastic milk cartons as containers, the paint was then referred to as “milk”.  They even missed some of their playtime and wanted to carry on for the rest of the morning! We had a great time.  Ideally I would have liked the wall to be rendered first, but this was not allowed, and would have cost more money too.  The bridging primer does give some smoothness to the surface, but it’s still quite uneven.  However, having seen several other murals on the net with silicate on brick,  this doesn’t worry me, not for this simple design anyway.

Such was the enthusiastic response that I realise, with hindsight, that the children’s painting shirts were not really sufficient protection, (!!) and I just hope those parents will forgive me for their children coming home with evidence of their painting activities still intact on their clothing.  I think it should come out easily though…there’s no acrylic or anything which would make it hard to get out of clothing.  The children also wore rubber gloves and goggles for protection (I’m not sure the goggles were really that necessary, but they looked rather scientific!)  I’ll post some images up soon.

By the end of the morning the whole area was covered.  Everyone worked really hard and enjoyed the process.  Amazing work!  Over the half term I’ll be marking up some of the design and then some of the children will help me with the colour areas.  The paint takes a good 12 hours to dry enough for a second coat, and it seems to take a couple of weeks to fully harden, (based on samples at home) but there’s no rush.  I’ve worked out the colours, apart from one which I can’t decide on.  I’ll be painting the design on a smaller scale on paper over the half term and post it up here soon.  I’m also thinking about some activities that the children might like to participate in related to colour theory and design, which can be used if required by the school.

Images below inserted at a later date!

mineral paint mural in primary school by artist jenny  meehan

trafalgar junior school silicate mineral paint mural

mineral paint mural in twickenham trafalgar junior school

 

silicate mineral paint mural twickenham artist jenny meehan

trafalgar junior school silicate mineral paint mural by artist Jenny Meehan .. Characters are copies of some of the childrens artwork produced in a drawing workshop tutored by John T Freeman, who then  placed and transferred the drawings onto the mural

trafalgar junior school silicate mineral paint mural by artist Jenny Meehan .. Characters are copies of some of the childrens artwork produced in a drawing workshop tutored by John T Freeman, who then placed and transferred the drawings onto the mural

trafalgar junior school silicate mineral paint mural by artist Jenny Meehan .. Characters are copies of some of the childrens artwork produced in a drawing workshop tutored by John T Freeman, who then  placed and transferred the drawings onto the mural

trafalgar junior school silicate mineral paint mural by artist Jenny Meehan .. Characters are copies of some of the childrens artwork produced in a drawing workshop tutored by John T Freeman, who then placed and transferred the drawings onto the mural

 

Back from West Dean, and other holiday trips here and there, to find the publicity information for “Muybridge In Kingston” on my doorstep.  Very glad to see it too, as I had no knowledge of the “John Lewis Art Prize Photography Competition” which is one of many events going on as part of this focus on one of Kingston’s most innovative people.  Events at the Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston Museum and the Tate Britain, look very interesting and varied, and I will certainly be going to some of them. 

I also just had to enter the “John Lewis Art Prize Photography Competition”.  Though I am focusing on my painting, I do periodically return to my camera and computer, and as the John Lewis competition has its focus around the John Lewis building in Kingston, how could I resist?  My “John Lewis Partnership Foundations 1987  inkjet artwork (which was displayed at the Stanley Picker Gallery “Kingston Contemporary Open” Exhibition in 2007) beckoned me once more.  But to use something I have worked on in the past in a new way is much more exciting, and it’s one of the joys of being an artist…taking something old and making it new in some way. 

But time!  It’s so tight!  A bit like last time around…inspiration comes fast and thick…sometimes pressure can help things along a bit.  I started working today at around 12 noon and now the print is delivered to the Gift List Department at John Lewis, Kingston.  I am very grateful for the fact that I invested in a printer recently, and also that I had some inkjet paper to hand.  It’s hard financially, and always a struggle to work out what is a worthwhile investment…one which will be useful…but looks like past purchases have come into their own this time around, as I would not have had time to get the image printed elsewhere…not exactly as I required it.

The image is called “Years Go By – John Lewis Partnership Foundations 2010” and gets its title from one of many thoughts I had while creating the piece.  Because it contains parts of the previous “John Lewis Partnership Foundations” image  (in the picture frame and the screen) I felt I had to include this in the title.  My awareness of the rapid passing of time as I worked on it, especially with the deadline date being tommorrow, was something I wanted to include, and the passing of  time is also referenced in the image through the text in the store about beds! 

Because the events going on focus on the work of Muybridge, a figure from the past, and a creator of images (both still and moving) with the camera,  and the competition has its focus on the John Lewis Kingston Store,  to use my own past photographic work by bringing it forward in time and setting it within the John Lewis Furniture Department seemed like an interesting way to set up lots of new visual and conceptual  relationships.  I was thinking about people planning the interior of their homes, thinking about the planning involved right from the outset of creating  a new building, (even so far back as the first lines drawn by an architect), thinking about a blank piece of paper…the problems we all have with dimensions….(mine was the my image looked great square, but I wanted it to work on A3, as that was the format for the competition).  People choosing furniture also have to think about how objects fit into physical spaces.  I gave the figure from the 1987 image of the building’s foundations a prominent place in the image…I quite like the relationship between him and the lady at the top right who is looking at a selection of pictures and wondering no doubt which to choose.  I guess I am also hoping that my image will be chosen as part of the John Lewis Art Prize Exhibition which runs from the 8th September at “The Place To Eat” in John Lewis Kingston.  Only time will tell!!!

More information on Events which are part of the “Muybridge In Kingston” 2010 http://www.muybridgeinkingston.com/event.php

Here is my entry…

Entry by Jenny Meehan for the "John Lewis Art Prize" 2010, part of the Muybridge In Kingston events

This is another chapter in the story started by my first image of the foundations of the John Lewis building in Kingston. First image 1987, this one created in 2010. Interior of furniture department was taken last year I think from memory.

And here was the image which was shown at the Stanley Picker Gallery in 2007 as part of the Kingston Contemporary Open Exhibition…

Image of 2007 artwork "John Lewis Foundations Partnership" Jenny Meehan

Just put together a little video of a selection of my drawings from 2008 – 2010.  Do take a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQnLHf8qlJ4

I have much to explore with drawing, and I am rather taken up with painting at present, but I am planning to use my sketchbook more, and I am hoping that over the Summer I will produce many more sketches and drawings which hopefully I will at some point put to use in a painting or two.  Drawing interests me in that it is one  way of developing visual awareness and sensitivity and it is  an extremely valuable discipline.   I learnt lots of different approaches during the time I spent life drawing, and I want to experiment with them over the Summer, out of doors, at West Dean Gardens, where I am repeating the excellent “Landscape and Figure Painting in Oils – The British Tradition” tutored by John T Freeman.

http://www.jamartlondon.com/

Take a look at my website!

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