Rubbish Shadow Art by Tim Noble & Sue Webster

By ‘rubbish’ shadow art, I mean made from rubbish, not terrible – because this stuff is amazing! Artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster have taken shadow art to another level – using pieces of rubbish and junk to make some amazing pictures.

The duo also have created more artwork with lights, paint and other mediums, but it’s the shadow-art which stands out for me, because of how cleverly it’s put together, and the fact that the objects used look nothing like the end shadow result. You can see more of their shadow art on their website, or here.

I love the detail in their work – right down to strands of hair, facial features and shapes of clothes – which something that shows how delicate this art is, despite the medium used to make it!

rub1rub2 rub3 rub4 rub5 rub6All images belong to Tim Noble & Sue Webster

Queens, Knights and Dodos – Martin Brown’s Fantasy Art

I’ve stumbled across the wonderful Martin Brown‘s beautifully detailed paintings (not to be confused with Martin Brown the illustrator!), which look amazingly colourful, and have some seriously beautiful characters who look both  magical and eerie. I love how these appeal to the fantasy genre, adding leprechauns, elves and dragons among ordinary mice and dogs; and grands Queens and Knights in Elizabethan style dress and fairy-tale-esque glamour.

I’ve been trying to find more images by this artist, but haven’t had much luck, but the ones I have see are just amazing – definitely an inspiring artist.

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“Physician steal thyself” – A Doctor Disappears

Richard T. Kelly’s ‘The Possessions of Doctor Forrest‘ implies, at first, a straightforwardly ordinary, although puzzling tale. The novel’s central character is a Scottish cosmetic surgeon, who, from its very opening, has gone missing – much to the concern of two of his closest friends. And the clues he has left behind are sparse, leaving not much insight into his lifestyle, the people he loved, or the possible reasons for his disappearance. But this is a horror story, and one which creeps up on you slowly, and Kelly creates a eerie atmosphere which leaves both the readers and the doctor’s friends unsure about what has happened, but very aware that something is very wrong. drforrest

Always throughout this nove, is some form of reference to an Other, a supernatural influence in the story, which the grounded best friends are unable to accept with their sceptical minds, yet they are unable to ignore that fact there are surreal acts at play which cannot simply be explained away. As they begin to delve into their old friend Doctor Forrest’s life, they begin to realise how his personality is but a mere mask for his real feelings and intentions, and hides a persona they never knew.

And of course, as with these revelations come the Faustian motif – as life, youth and eternity which are constantly being examined are valued, so is emphasised the price that needs to be paid – a theme of life and death which are always inevitably coupled. Doctor Forrest’s secrets and his thirst for more in life are slowly unravelled, layers of which lie with the various encounters he has with people and with relationships he has with not only them, but with the journeys he takes to reach his ambitions.

And of course, as with these revelations come the Faustian motif – as life, youth and eternity which are constantly being examined are valued, so is emphasised the price that needs to be paid – a theme of life and death which are always inevitably coupled. Doctor Forrest’s secrets and his thirst for more in life are slowly unravelled, layers of which lie with the various encounters he has with people and with relationships he has with not only them, but with the journeys he takes to reach his ambitions.

Without giving too much away, suffice to say that Doctor Forrest and his companions are slowly drawn into the world of mystique, darkness and the supernatural. And just as the disappearance of the doctor is not explained away simply, nor is his descent into his final destination any less complex. There are familiar gothic literary devices peppered throughout, the use of landscape to create an eerie atmosphere, the symbolism of blood, the theme of isolation throughout the novel, and so on.

The Possessions of Doctor Forrest is not a novel which rushes, it builds up tension gradually, reflected through the prisms of each narrator’s concerns, as family-men, career-men and as spiritualists. While the settings are of a modern landscape, that of present-day Scotland and London, the behaviours of the characters and the feelings which are emanated feel classic and timeless – that of the idea of sin, of wanting to live forever, of love and of what it means to be man. This novel harks back to the styles of classic novels, that of Dorian Gray, Dracula and Frankenstein, where the quest to be something greater is bound up with not only the spooky supernatural, but the premise of man’s fallacy and the inevitability of choices which must be made.

Or, as one blogger summed up:

 “The Possessions of Doctor Forrest” wears its learning lightly, and creates something dark, modern and terrifying from it. Brilliant.”

Catherine Bertola – ‘Everything and Nothing’

Modern artist Catherine Bertola takes an interesting concept of using rubbish, dust and over-looked dust by making them into beautiful pieces of art displays. I visited the British Museum a while back and saw some of her work displayed throughout the museum in a beautiful display of pretty flowers, shapes and delicate, 3D art.

This artwork is made solely from dust, glue and similar mediums , which is a novelty in itself, which was something which was displayed both brazenly yet also covertly throughout the British Museum walls. Although examples of this artist’s piece appears elsewhere in the museum as well, in all cases it seems to be hidden away so that there is a suggestion that the focus is not on this artwork, but rather, the concept itself. And because it is a contemporary display, it does not really fit into many of the categories that the Museum sorts itself with; therefore it is hidden on walls, behind a bench, around corners. The irony behind this artist’s work though, is that it is made up of ‘throwaway’ items which has then been put back up on walls and in the public gaze, seems a little fazed here, since there is not enough attention given to here. This serves to show then, what is seen as ‘normal’ and perhaps acceptable, and what isn’t.

I’m not sure how many people would be open to this type of art being displayed in the home, especially due to the materials used, but it does make you think about the concept of traditional art, its uses and how beauty can be found in even the most unexpected places.

Made from from dust, paper, glue and varnish:

Found in an empty tower block:

Painted surface:

Made from household dust and pva glue:

Made using dust, soap, polish:

All images belong to Catherine Bertola