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Archive for the ‘art exhibits’ Category

Not everyone can say they spent the 4th of July with Virginia Woolf. But Kathleen Donnelly and I can.

Three years ago, on July 4, 2017, Kathleen and I spent a day together in London. While there we visited a life-sized wax figure of Woolf on display in the foyer of the Virginia Woolf Building at 22 Kingsway at King’s College. It was installed Oct. 21, 2015, by artist Eleanor Crook.

Gaining entry

We were not able to walk right in, however, as entry to the building is secure. However, a kind security guard allowed us inside after noticing us standing out front with our noses pressed against the window. There, we were able to look around and take photos of the wax figure and the exhibit that surrounds it.

The location is significant, as Woolf was a student at the former King’s Ladies’ Department where she took classes in Greek, Latin, history and German between 1897 and 1902.

The Virginia Woolf display in the Virginia Woolf Building at King’s College, London, is straight up this set of stairs on the left.

The life-size wax figure of Virginia Woolf in a wardrobe of her own installed in the foyer of the Virginia Woolf Building at King’s College, London.

The Woolf figure holds a copy of “A Room of One’s Own” with a Vanessa Bell cover.

One panel in the Woolf display in the foyer of the Virginia Woolf Building at King’s College, London

A quote on a panel in the Woolf display in the foyer of the Virginia Woolf Building, King’s College, London

 

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One day walking round Tavistock Square I made up, as I sometimes make up my books, ‘To the Lighthouse’ – Virginia Woolf.

That quote is the inspiration for an illustrated pamphlet published last month and created by artist Louisa Amelia Albani. Titled A Moment in the Life of Virginia Woolf: A Lighthouse Shone in Tavistock Square, the booklet visually reimagines this ‘moment’ on a summer afternoon in London’s Tavistock Square in 1925.

To do so, it uses Woolf’s own words from her letters and diaries, along with excerpts from To the Lighthouse (1927).

I ordered a copy of Albani’s pamphlet last week. It hasn’t arrived from London yet, but I did get a thank you email for my order directly from Albani — an unexpected but lovely treat.

Art exhibit too

The artist also has an online art exhibition with the same title. The exhibit includes more than a dozen pieces based on Woolf. Many of them are already sold, so if you are interested in an original piece of art connected to Woolf, take a look now.

Below is a video of the project that the artist has posted on YouTube.

 

 

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A new exhibit, “Virginia Woolf Was Here: Mapping Mrs. Dalloway,” will be on display at Amarillo College’s Southern Light Gallery in Amarillo, Texas through April 1.

Adriane Little shares the process she used to create “Virginia Woolf Was Here: Short Stories” as part of her presentation at the 28th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf at the University of Kent in Canterbury in 2018.

The photographic retracing of Mrs. Dalloway’s walk through London is the work of Adriane Little, a lens-based conceptual artist and educator from Kalamazoo, Mich., who has presented her work at recent Annual International Conferences on Virginia Woolf. That includes her 2018 presentation on  “Virginia Woolf Was Here: Altered Books” in which she combined Woolf’s words with water from Woolf sites.

About “Mapping Mrs. Dalloway”

“I walked the streets of London and photographed along the path that Mrs. Dalloway walks in the novel. These are the same streets that Woolf herself walked countless times,” Little said in a news story at Myghighplains.com.

She said her “intention was not to illustrate the novel, but instead to use stream of consciousness in capturing the images. This mirrors the literary strategy of the novel.”

The exhibit is free and open to the public.

More mapping

Little, on Instagram as @adriane.jpeg, is not the only one to map out Clarissa’s path in the novel.

In 2011, a group of scholars devised the Mrs. Dalloway Mapping Project, a series of interactive, annotated maps of London that serve as a guide to the novel. The  maps show the paths that Clarissa, Peter and Rezia and Septimus follow over the course of the novel. The project is the creation of Adam Erwood, London Lamb, Jasmine Perrett, Anjaly Poruthoor and Manoj Vangala for an English class at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

This Map of Fictional London is available from the Literary Gift Company

 

 

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Fifty ceramic plates decorated with images of famous women through the ages, from Sappho to Greta Garbo to Virginia Woolf. That describes the Famous Women Dinner Service painted by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant between 1932 and 1934 that is now on display in the Outer Studio at Charleston.

The series includes 12 dancers and actresses, 12 writers, 12 beauties, and 12 queens, each painted on plain white Wedgwood, in addition to a set of period women and two portraits of the artists themselves. The women are surrounded by bold patterned borders, with Duncan as the only man in the series.

History of the dinner service

Bell and Grant painted the dinner service for Kenneth Clark, the art historian and director of the National Gallery, and his wife Jane. As a friend and patron to Bloomsbury artists, he owned a large collection of their work. The dinner service the Clarks commissioned was made up of 140 pieces and was one of the largest commissioned works produced by the Bloomsbury artists.

Charleston

The service remained a part of the Clark household until a 1956 move to Saltwood Castle. Remarkably, it had already survived the Blitz and numerous changes of address before it went missing.

Historians considered the dinner service lost for nearly 40 years. Last year, officials at the Piano Nobile Gallery were shocked when one of its clients admitted to having the entire set, which was quietly returned to the UK.

It is now owned by The Charleston Trust, thanks to the support of Piano Nobile, generous grants from the Heritage Lottery Memorial Fund and Art Fund, and donations from a circle of remarkable women.

The artistic process and feminist philosophy

The dinner service forms an impressive testament to Bell and Grant’s close working partnership at Charleston. They carefully researched each woman they chose, basing most of their paintings on photographs and portraits.

The design, which places women at the center of the conversation, was left to the discretion of Bell and Grant; the two artists did not need final approval from the Clarks.

The exhibit information at Charleston notes that, “The final 48 famous women make an intriguing and unexpected list, one that demonstrates Bloomsbury’s understanding of gender equality” and “anticipates feminist politics.” As Bell noted to Roger Fry in 1932, the project “ought to please the feminists.”

The research

The series features women with “an overlapping strength of character,” according to Hana Leaper, who has completed groundbreaking scholarship on the series. Her scholarly work  has been followed by closer scholarship dedicated to the individual plates.

This research was published in print for the first time last year as From Omega to Charleston: The Art of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant 1910-1934 . The book was produced in partnership with the Paul MellonCentre for Studies in British Art.

Four years earlier, in 2014, curatorial interns at Charleston discovered preliminary sketches for the plates and posted the findings of their research on the Charleston Attic blog. The initial designs were carried out on round scraps of paper and card in pencil and ink.

When the Literature Cambridge course on Virginia Woolf’s Gardens ended last month, I was among the students who took a coach trip to Charleston, where we viewed the entire collection.

Very little is known about women,” wrote Woolf in 1929. “The history of England is the history of the male line, not the female. Of our fathers we know always some fact, some distinction. They were soldiers or they were sailors; they filled that office or they made that law. But of our mothers, our grandmothers, our great-grandmothers, what remains? – Virginia Woolf, “Women and Fiction,” 1929

This figure greets visitors to the Famous Women Dinner Service exhibit on display in the Outer Studio at Charleston.

Overall view of the Famous Women Dinner Service at Charleston

Plates depicting actresses in the Famous Women Dinner Service

Plates depicting writers in the Famous Women Dinner Service. The Vanessa Bell plate is in the second row from the top, far right.

More notable women in the Famous Women Dinner Service

Various famous women from throughout history are depicted in this selection of plates from the Famous Women Dinner Service.

The Virginia Woolf plate in the Famous Women Dinner Service, which was hand-painted by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant between 1932-1934.

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In 2017, Ane Thon Knutsen combined her love of Virginia Woolf and her love of typesetting with her project A Printing Press of One’s Own. The two came together in her hand-set volume by the same name, which she debuted at the 27th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf at the University of Reading that June.

Now she’s at it again, this time with a massive installation titled “The Mark on the Wall,” which runs Jan. 22 – Jan. 27 at Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo.

The free exhibition is a part of Artistic Research Week 2019.

Ane’s project

In this practice based PhD. Ane Thon Knutsen reflects on how the material process of typesetting colours the way one thinks about words and the physical materials of literature, from within the practice of typesetting itself.

The results of this research will be presented as a massive installation, an adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s “The Mark on The Wall” (1917). “The Mark on the Wall” is the first story Woolf wrote whilst teaching her self to typeset. The prints will all appear in one installation, filling a huge room.

Knutsen’s adaptions of this short story represents a new way of reading Woolf as a typesetting author. Knutsen reflects on and lives out how thoughts materialize in the world, in a pendular process between the mind and the body. In this installation Knutsen is translating the story from the pages of the book to a room of one´s own.

Knutsen will also be showing previous adaptions of “The Mark on The Wall” simultaneously at Oslo National Academy of The Arts.

See a time-lapse video of the printing process

As Ane says, “This (time-lapse video) documents every minute of the three months it took me to reprint and translate “The Mark on the Wall” to 1828 A3 posters, setting it word by word with moveable type. The whole short story can be read on the door in the centre during two hours and 18 minutes.”

About Ane

Ane Thon Knutsen (b.1984) is a designer & artist living and working in Oslo, Norway. She specialized in letterpress printing and her artistic practice can be placed in-between graphic design, conceptual letterpress printing and performative presentations.

Ane is currently a PhD- candidate in Graphic Design at Oslo National Academy of The Arts. In the project A Printing Press of One´s Own, she is researching Virginia Woolf’s practice as a self taught typesetter and publisher through experimental graphic interpretations of the short story “The Mark on the Wall” (1917).

“The Mark on the Wall” installation in photos

Below are photos of her work on the exhibit that Ane shared with Blogging Woolf.

“900 massive meters of prints are up!” is the comment Ane included with this photo on her Facebook page on Jan. 18.

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