The Kinetic Xylophone

A ball rolls down a mile-long ladder of wooden steps, which are in fact the keys of a giant xylophone, hidden in the forest in Kyushu, Japan. As it trips down the staircase, the ball plays the notes of Bach’s famous Cantata 147 – Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. A gentle rejoicing melody for Christmas. This film was made in 2012 to advertise Touch Wood mobile phones.

Frames of reference

A Winter Windowland

It’s like a compilation album with hits from all your favourite artists. They just take a bit of finding. And whilst you’re looking you might discover something new, something previously overlooked. You might even need to come inside and look around. But quick, it’s getting late. Continue reading “A Winter Windowland”

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Just Like Trees

Skinny. Frail. Feeble. Twigs. Using the weakest part of the forest, this is a story of beauty and strength like you’ve never seen it before.

For a 2020 pro bono campaign with the American Forest Foundation, KSV recently partnered with London-based mixed media artist Chris Kenny to use his Twig Saint creations to humanize trees and the threats they’re up against.

American Forest Foundation

Chris Kenny

Frames of reference

Seven Trees For Seven Sisters

This optimistic little painting was given to me by Christopher Corr. I’d told him about my idea to put seven trees on the roof of the new tower at Seven Sisters in Tottenham. Seven Sisters got its name from a sacred grove of seven elms that grew there in the seventeenth century. Christopher was very enthusiastic, but it has proved more difficult to convince the tower’s owners of the benefits of having trees on their roof. What follows begins with a Twitter thread I first posted in March 2019. Continue reading “Seven Trees For Seven Sisters”

Frames of reference

Offertorium

One of a collection of new videodances created to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Mark Morris Dance Group.

It features Lauren Grant who has been dancing with MMDG since 1996, and who I first saw perform with them twenty-one years ago at Sadlers Wells.

Offertorium / Mark Morris Dance Group

Frames of reference

Deacon Hill

We left the car on Great Green by the Motte & Bailey pub in the village of Pirton, not far from our previous walk to Kingswalden Park, attracted back again by the promise of more green lanes and Hertfordshire hedgerows. We left the village and straightaway we were on the Icknield Way. Continue reading “Deacon Hill”

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Selborne

Selborne was the perfect rendezvous, being halfway between London and Salisbury. We came down and Howard Phipps came up and we met in the middle, in a field just off Gracious Street, the car park of the Gilbert White Museum, where we transferred the contents of Howard’s car boot to ours, in preparation for his exhibition in the Rowley Gallery window. But not before a lovely sunny walk around the outskirts of the village. And this map, embedded in the vicarage wall, dated 2 June 1953, is as old as I am. Continue reading “Selborne”

Frames of reference

Forest Burning

A big new painting from Jelly Green. A big new fierce angry painting. A painful painting. It hurts to look, but I’m dazzled by it, I’m caught in its headlights. Jelly has found her subject and she’s not going to avert her gaze, she confronts it, rubs our noses in it. This is our future if we go on blindly supporting the ever diminishing returns of consumer capitalism. Continue reading “Forest Burning”

Frames of reference

100 Days

#100

Earlier this year, on May 23rd, Jonathan Gibbs embarked on an ambitious series of small works, a hundred meditative variations, one every day for a hundred days and each one posted regularly on Instagram. He was inspired by the 100 Days Project, an initiative started by Emma Rogan in 2011 to repeat a simple creative task every day for the duration and to record each day’s efforts. Continue reading “100 Days”

Frames of reference

Kingswalden Park

This was another summer walk, back in July when it seemed like whenever we were not working we were walking. Walking had become our substitute for going out to the cinema, the theatre, music gigs, galleries, restaurants, shops, markets. Sometimes while out walking we might risk visiting a pub, but only if we could sit outside. Covid lived inside. Today we parked on the village green at Preston in Hertfordshire, beside the Red Lion pub. But its door was closed, its garden was empty and there was no public convenience. I needed a tree. I could think of little else, winding the village paths out to pasture and greatly relieved to find this welcoming field maple. Continue reading “Kingswalden Park”

Frames of reference