The Lisson Gallery at 27 Bell Street in London is presently home to a fascinating and wonderful collection of sculptures by Ai Weiwei, cast iron facsimiles of tree roots grubbed up from the Amazon rainforest even before the latest round of Bolsonaro inspired deforestation wildfires. Melancholy mementos of ancient trees untimely ripped and castaway via traditional Chinese craftsmanship. Continue reading “On Bell Street”
Drawing in the Jungle
For years now, each spring, Jelly Green has found refuge in the rainforest. She gradually realised she was developing an allergic reaction to the pesticide-sprayed fields of her native Suffolk, and so she escaped to the tree-clean air of Brazil, Sri Lanka, Borneo and New Zealand. The paintings she made there can be seen at Gallery@Oxo from the 4th to the 7th of April. The exhibition is called Devour. The paintings are delicious. Come and see and devour them with your eyes. Continue reading “Devour”
I’ve been listening to the CD version of this concert all summer. My head is full of these songs. We saw Gilberto Gil in concert in June but missed Caetano Veloso. We could have seen them both together when they toured this show but I realised too late. I mentioned it to my daughter when she phoned from Brazil. Dad, she said, I’m in Salvador and I just saw them perform a free open-air concert! Now I imagine I was there too. This is my holiday video. I’m away from my computer right now. Back soon.
Oil paintings and watercolours by Jelly Green and bronze sculptures by Freddy Morris in the Rowley Gallery window throughout May. It’s a meeting of kindred spirits. Both artists are woodlanders, each in their own way exploring the beauty of the trees. Both have been artist-in-residence in various treehouses. Jelly has painted in the rainforests of Brazil and Borneo as well as in woods closer to home. Freddy loves to forage for fallen branches, looking for shapely specimens to cast in bronze. Continue reading “Tangle”
Here’s a reminder of the great Brazilian percussionist Naná Vasconcelos, who died too soon last week aged only 71. I was fortunate to see him once, performing with Don Cherry and I heard him many times on recordings by Codona, Talking Heads, Jan Garbarek, Egberto Gismonti, Pat Metheny, Caetano Veloso, Laurie Anderson and Penguin Café Orchestra, as well as many albums under his own name. He was a master of the berimbau, a single-string percussion instrument, the soul of Capoeira.
Susie Freeman & Liz Lee: What Once Was Imagined
This summer I visited São Paulo to install a new work at Oscar Niemeyer’s OCA pavilion in Ibirapuera Park. The exhibition INVENTO is best described as a science museum designed by artists. Created by matching significant scientific advances from the past 150 years with artists whose work acts as a response to each invention, I used thousands of medicines in packets to make a giant Amazon mantilla which illustrates the development of pharmaceuticals from plants to pills.
The exhibition runs until October 4th after which we hope to mount What Once Was Imagined in a venue closer to home. Continue reading “What Once Was Imagined”
In February 1990, I took a plane from the beautiful and vibrant crazy beach city of Rio de Janeiro via Sao Paulo to the futuristic capital city Brasilia. Located in the savannah, centrally placed in the country, the shape of the new city is designed to look like an aeroplane. It was laid out by Lucio Costa, the father of modern Brazilian architecture who in turn chose Oscar Niemeyer to realise the poetry and optimism of the new Brazil. Continue reading “For Oscar Niemeyer”