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By: Gabrielle Naptali
One year, cycle. After many years supporting & encouraging others in the arts, I've prioritised, it's my turn.
Usual dilemma? Juggling 3 days paid arts sector working with freelance work.
Clay bodies & surface the media, realised initially in drawing & collage & photography.
Inspired by space & surroundings. Discovering at the center of many layers, a moments peace.
NB Procrastination - enemy of time.
# 20 [7 March 2012]
It's been sometime.. Life has done that thing that it does on occasions and the universe has taken me by the hand and led me 'Over here..!'
The key to all this as I am discovering has been with me all the time. The problem is that we look outside ourselves for salvation when the answer is always within.. Having said that, sometimes it takes 'another' to point this out to us.
To trust ones instincts and tune into the energy that is life, that gives life, is where one cannot fail to find happiness. RIGHT HERE if we spend enough time returning to RIGHT NOW. Becoming present in every day to day situation and receptive to what the world wants to give us.
My newest sculpture PRESENCE (FLOW) for Scarborough Hospital Maple Garden - funded by HAFNEY and ACE has been installed and receiving lovely feedback. The piece aims to enable the viewer to experience true peace within the contemplation of the work. To bring a mental and physical resting place for those who find themselves using the hospital as patients, families, visitors or staff. The garden is in the early stages of development but the sculpture and the spring sunshine are really bringing about a beauty to the space. May it bring to the visitors, just what they need!
# 19 [24 October 2011]
Reflecting over the past year or so - things are really picking up. Hooray!
Two weeks ago I installed another private courtyard garden commission - relating to the landscape and beautiful setting of the coastal village of Robin Hoods Bay - Rise, very pleasing as they love it! And on the same day I resited a piece from the Sculpture Garden up to newly opened The Rathwaite Hall 5* Hotel which lies in an incredible setting within a valley and newly restored historic gardens on the Whitby to Sandsend road. Special thanks to their incredibly helpful Master Gardener Steve Little. The piece, Half Eternal is quite statuesque from the huge balcony but looks much further away in photos..
Two weeks later and I've been recovering from a serious bad back with two days almost completely immobile.
Well I'm back and need to get back into the studio to complete another private commission -Fold. For a beautiful hidden hill garden here in Scarborough on the South Cliff. Slight drawback is that the plinth is already installed (not ideal) and is Victorian in style.. There was quite a lot of huffing and puffing during the designing but all being well it should be fired and making the lady happy in the next two weeks.
To cap that, I was approached in the summer to make a double height piece for Scarborough Hospital Maple Garden. A new garden for the enjoyment and relaxation of patients and their families as well as hospital staff on their breaks and a place where people can talk and breathe in some fresh air that flows down from the vale of Scarborough and the hill tops of Raincliffe Woods. The designs are nearly complete and I should be able to begin that next week, all being well! The working title is Flow or Ebb and Flow, it refers to the tides but also the human energy and the natural change of seasons. How often do we moan about having the wrong weather? Stuff happens - if we tune into ourselves and the natural rythms and cycles of the earth, a great deal of stress might be avoided. Note to self: stop resisting and let go! The trees aren't sad when autumn comes... Thiswork to be installed before Xmas!
I have also taken on a large scale series of 5 mosaics for Gladstone Rd Infant School here in Scarborough. The primary of which I attended when I first arrived in the town aged 9.
I think there may be another project blog about to start for this as this one? Well it's for the clay work. My true love.
# 18 [6 September 2011]
The results of North Yorkshire Open Studios have been both uplifting and reassuring. More names added to the mailing list and more works sold by far than last year. Some commissions have come in and one newly installed. Their testimonial is worth posting here, they are so pleased with the work!
"We’ve now got all of the pieces up, and they look amazing. I really can’t get over how fantastic the sculpture in the garden looks in particular. I spent all of Sunday in the dining room with both doors open, reading Sunday papers and just gazing at the beauty of it – its truly stunning. It really does look at home and fits completely.
Thanks, Gaby, for all the love you’ve put into it. You can rest assured that it has a very happy home. I can’t telly you how chuffed we both are."
New commissions underway for two private gardens and a charitably funded local hospital's peaceful garden.
Works that are 'in your face' may be trendy but we all certainly need the inner peace in our lives, that I aim to bring with my works. It is my strong belief that;
'each one of us has an innate desire (an aspiration) to seek happiness and to overcome suffering'. - Dalai Lama
The inner calm that I find in the making is what I can offer as it shows through to the viewer in the sculptures.
# 17 [26 July 2011]
James Rush web designer and photographer and I talk about my work, background and influences with photos by James of some of my pieces.
# 16 [7 June 2011]
North Yorkshire Open Studios is here for the second time and very suddenly it seems! The garden is about 3 weeks further on than last year so really flushed with an amazing quantity of flowgloves and the rich mix of colours makes me feel a bit like a painter!
A new piece of work is installed, I've called Time Limited - it refers to that point in time where we suddenly become aware of caring. So it's dedicated to all those that care!
The origins of the name are from the multi layered word 'race'; origins, species, waterway, contest and descent.
Smaller pieces a development of the South Street Gallery; Glyphs have evolved from a visit to the British Museum and the Around the World in 100 Objects exhibition. I found the fragments of incredibly ancient parchment astonishing and intriguing - these precious and fragments that could disintegrate at any moment, held secrets of the origins of ourselves. Even though I could not read them the marks and impressions captured my imagination. Once again I am reminded that everything is ‘time limited’. I have now a series of these and the marks and impressions are now creeping onto ‘stone like forms…
# 15 [17 March 2011]
The garden is starting to wake up! Daffodils are coming out, the crocuses are nearly over and the frogs have spawned (although many fewer than last year). We have been clearing part of the wooded area at the top of the hilly garden and uncovered ancient steps and a 1930s plinth! Who would believe that there already existed the plinth for this years sculpture? Its going to have to be good! Open Studios in June will be the launch for it..
Starting Point, my permanent series of 12 stained porcelain tiles at Woodend Creative Artspace, Scarborough and the talk I did to launch it went down well, despite my nerves! And I've had lots of compliments so all good there.
All the 6x4 'postcards' sold straight away at South Street Gallery (bargains tho') so I'm making a few more.. They are just drying out. More clay is needing to be made for the piece that froze to be remade, so I must get on.
Blogging at least once a month should keep up on the news from now on... x
# 14 [31 January 2011]
After experiencing frozen clay work before Christmas that resulted in a couple of disastrous firings (a miserable nightmare!) - things are looking up again :)
*I have been selected for the second year for North Yorkshire Open Studios - happening on 10,11,12,18 and 19th June I will be making new sculptures for the garden and lots of new works for the sales event.
*6x4" special purchases can be had at South Street Gallery in Scarborough if you get there early for 17th Feb ('hot cakes' is the phrase!)
**And the best thing! The first firing for my permanently sited site specific tile installation Starting Point was a GOOD one! I will be launching the work on Friday 18th February at 12.30 with a talk in front of the piece at Woodend Creative Artspace, The Crescent, Scarborough in the Conference Suite - the event is part of Coastival festival 18-20 Feb 2011
# 13 [6 October 2010]
Exhibition @ electric angel gallery 8 Oct – 24 Nov 2010
Resolutions: represents decisions I have made in my search for balance that have been brought about through practical and thought processes enabling inner shift.
Boundaries and borders, intersections and connection points are necessary, where times change and sections separate, in order to evaluate beginnings and endings.
"At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,..."
Excerpt from TS Eliot; Four Quartets, Burnt Norton.
I use simple form to frame the clay’s natural qualities while light and shadow enhance the flaws and the physicality of the surface. Inspired by natural environment and personal experience my work aims to engage the viewer with the fragility, strength and beauty of the layered porcelain and intimacy of its surface as it responds to the other clays in the process, all evidence of clays memory.
# 12 [7 September 2010]
Landmark - Scarborough
Crescent Gardens Arts Trail 11.09.2010 entry is free
A site specific wet clay installation using eight different clays.
The simplicity of the title belies the complexity of its meaning. As part of the Crescent Gardens Arts Trail, all of the artworks are ‘landmarks’ but for my needs, the word brings together two important strands*
*The presence and importance of the mature Gingko Tree that I understand has not been identified within the gardens but as a species remains one of the world’s most ancient trees.
*The original Geological Map of Britain by William ‘Strata’ Smith in 1815 who conceived of the Rotunda Museum, Scarborough. His map used colour for the first time to identify areas of different geological strata and demarcate the land.
Clay is of the earth, mud, but its strength, versatility, beauty and fragility remain as relevant today as at any time in its history.
The clay image will break apart as part of nature’s processes returning to the soil in a short space of time.
Now all done and waiting to be unveiled by James from Electric Angel on Saturday morning. Hears hoping it doesn't get tampered with in the run up..
The picture here is a sneaky peek!
Have a great weekend x
# 11 [13 July 2010]
For those of you who want to see more of my work and experience, I now have a website which you can use to buy works, contact me or arrange visits to my Sculpture Garden in sunny Scarborough.
Thanks for reading! Gaby
Edinburgh College of Art BA(hons) Ceramics 1996. Mature student.
Crescent Arts, Scarborough: Studio holder, solo show Touching Earth 1997 - Exhibition Officer, ran Youth Arts Outreach project.
Too many jobs including lecturing, community artist, youth work & teacher training.
Various national/ regional exhibitions selected & groups shows.
Mental health & arts NHS. Festival of Youth Arts Officer, then Connecting Youth Culture - Artist Coordinator, recruitment, development of artists & service.
Exhibition - Crez 2007 - Ceramic & video installation - NoitulovE
2008 Managment training & Flying Start business programme.