Go Wild Gorilla trail goes live!
The trail was due to go live on Saturday 27thJuly. The idea was that Jersey would wake up to the gorilla sculptures out in the wild across the island. To achieve this, people worked hard on the Friday night to ensure that all of the gorillas were on their plinths overnight ready for their big day! I went to see where my gorilla ‘Rotchi’ would be for the trail and had to take this photo of the plinth all ready for his arrival! The plaque was also there. I still can’t believe my name is on a plaque in Jersey – I’m so thrilled!
I spent the evening watching vans go past, wondering if they were transporting gorillas to their new temporary homes. I was lucky enough to be watching as a gorilla was unloaded from its van and placed in Liberation Square in St Helier! Having been involved with the project, it was extremely exciting to see it all unfolding on the Friday evening! At about 10.30pm as I was on my way to my hotel after dinner, I decided to go to see if Rotchi was already in his spot on the ‘Route du Nord’ in St John. It was completely dark but I was too impatient to wait! He was there and looking totally magnificent!
The trail has proven to be extremely popular and at the point of writing this blog, the Go Wild Gorillas App recorded that the gorilla sculptures had received 113,430 unlocks in total! Absolutely incredible as the trail has only been live for just under 3 weeks! I have added photographs and a video of Rotchi onto the Galleries page of my website. You’ll see the beautiful spot he has on La Route Du Nord in Jersey. He has the most stunning view of all 40 gorillas – an observation also made by a reporter on ITV channel news!
If you’re in Jersey, please do go and visit Rotchi and tag me into pictures on instagram (@amybourbonart) or twitter (@amybourbon). I’d love to see them!
It’s just over a week until my paintings can be seen in an exhibition at Poole Museum so here is a small insight into the artwork produced for the residency. The second painting (image details below) is 1m70cm square.
The painting was developed through thin layers built up onto the canvas surface. The canvas was primed and painted whilst stretched and stapled to the wall – this allowed me to really push the thin layers into the canvas to encourage the development of a sense of depth to the work. I wanted this painting to be more colourful and celebratory, having developed the previous painting after experiencing Poole on an impressively stormy and awe inspiring day. I was absolutely soaked, but it didn’t stop me from fully taking in the scene! As a result, the first painting reflected the power of the sea (in feel, not in a literal way), using darker greens and bold strokes to develop darker areas of depth on the canvas surface during the early stages of production. The celebratory feel of the work was set out from the very beginning when I was faced with blank canvas and a sudden urge to throw yellow at it – what joy! The painting developed from there, carefully maintaining areas of yellow, whilst obliterating other areas of yellow with pale washes, bold gestures depth and detail. The photos below show areas of the work both during production and upon completion. I have showcased every possible method of mark-making and surface development, creating a sense of depth, texture haziness, sharpness and what I like to call controlled and uncontrolled drippiness! Oil paints are full of possibilities and it is these possibilities that were so important to my creation of this artwork.
My inspiration for the work was every aspect of Poole Quay from the impactful Anthony Caro sculpture through to details on passing boats, shapes formed by ropes on beautiful ships and interestingly shaped cracks in the pavement seen from the viewing platform of the ‘Sea Music’ sculpture. Every aspect of an environment becomes a potential source in my artwork, however small or seemingly inconsequential. It is these details that really form an environment and create the unique atmosphere of the place. It is equally difficult for me not to be inspired by the sounds of the scene; the curious sounds coming from the factories on the other side of the Quay, the shouting of the people working on the boats travelling to and from Brownsea Island, the bustling chatter of the tourists taking in the scenery and most importantly for me, the open and joyous sound of seabirds calling overhead. As a lover of the sea, that sound is incredibly emotive to me, impacting on my mood and in turn, how I respond to the environment.
The exhibition opens with a private view on 21st October and can be seen right through to 7th January. I will be showing 2 large scale oil paintings shown on free hanging swathes of canvas, alongside 4 framed drawings (pencil, pen and ink with a hint of watercolour). Please go and see the work if you can! For anyone unable to visit the ‘Sea Music’ exhibition, I will include images of the work and the exhibition in a future blog.
I will also be running an oil painting workshop in November – check here and on twitter (@amybourbon) for details.
I have had many responses via twitter asking for more information on my art residency at Poole Museum.
The focus of the residency is the stunning Anthony Caro sculpture on Poole Quay entitled ‘Sea Music’. The sculpture is his only site-specific commissioned work in Britain and acts as a focal point for the Quay. It has recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and undergone a significant refurbishment. I was appointed as Artist in Residence by Poole Museum, in partnership with Arts Council England. My aim is to celebrate the conservation of the sculpture through the application of my art practice.
I intend to study the sculpture as well as the environment it occupies, collecting source material not only from the sculpture itself but also from the ever-changing scenery of Poole Quay. My work will develop through photography, sketching and writing at the scene, culminating in larger-scale oil paintings developed in my studio. I will continue to post blogs on this website as well as through twitter, detailing the various stages of production – watch this space!
I will be available for a chat at a pub evening in Poole on 3rd October – keep an eye out for details! My finished artworks will be displayed in an exhibition at the museum from the 21st October. I will also be running a ‘Make Sunday Special’ workshop on oil painting at the museum. The event will be fun and experimental so please come along! I’ll keep you up to date with more information on twitter (@AmyBourbon) and on my website blog!