Monday, 11 January 2010

The Angel of the North

Nuno in snow

Nuno close up

Making the detail

The laying of wool on silk

Silk side up, in snow

For the winter Solstice I had a blog give away. Caio Fernandes of Mien Welt was one of the winners. I was pretty stumped as to what to make Caio that would suit his tastes and also his climate. I'm guessing there is not much need for a felted hat or scarf in Brazil during summertime!

Eventually I decided upon the iconic landmark 'The Angel of the North' by Antony Gormley. I am from the North East so it is a representation of modern art from my home land. It is a sculpture. I often see a sculpture waiting to be made when I look at Caio's work. Angels are symbolic of Christianity which is very important to Caio. To me, the Angel of the North feels like a different type of angel. An Angel devoid of any specific faith, instead, representing hope. This is reinforced by the sapling trees growing around the hillside. The Angel reminds me of Daedalus and Icarus from the Greek mythology.

Its funny how public modern art is received. When this was first erected, I hated it. I think many people perceived it as tasteless and a waste of money. In my minds eye, the angel was originally silver and rusted with time, which made it beautiful. Now I love it. The Angel of the North has become an institution. Happy couples get married at its feet. You can even download oragami or knitting patterns of the angel for free.

Another reason for choosing to make a nuno felt representation of one of Antony Gormley's pieces of work, was that Caio lived in London. Antony Gormley may be better known for 'The Fourth Plinth' project in Trafalgar Square. The project lasted 100 days and invited the public to take to the plinth for an hour each, thus the plinth would be occupied 24 hours a day for 100 days.


lynne h said...

ahhhhhhhh... i think caio will love this. i do... : ) xo

martine frampton said...

I love this. the angel is one of the most public works of art ever, I drive past regularly as my ex and now my sons live nearby and I am always impressed by it.
thanks for sharing

Delphyne said...

Jasmine, that is just gorgeous and your intent behind it shows just what a caring and sensitive woman you are.


Caio Fernandes said...

i am touched .....
this is a beautifull work , i will enjoy very much to have this piece being part of my life , that seems to be geting better fron now one !!

i understand very well the early feeling you had about the public art , i feel this way lots of times here in Sao Paulo , someones i learn to like with the time , some ones not ...
in a small town 2 hours fron Sao Paulo the mayor spent something like 300.000 pounds with a sculpture and the cityzens made it be returned ... it happened this week .
i am glad you like your angel ... it this is wonderful .

wow !!!
i am axious now to see it closer :)

thank you dear Jasmine .... your heart is a lesson to me !

Manon Doyle said...

Caoi will absolutely love this piece!! I love it!!

Ginga Squid said...

That is beautiful!
I've driven past it a few times when living in the UK. Bet it looks awesome in the snow too.

Assayya said...

this is absolutly lovely:)))

Shadow said...

this is great! even more beautiful are the thoughts that have gone into this!

La Dolce Vita said...

thanks for including your thought process about the piece and your interpretation of the "angel" it is just wonderful!

Karin Bartimole said...

Oh Jasmine this northern angel is wonderful!! and definitely displays great open armed hope to me - fully embracing, loving hope.
xoxo Karin

Joei Rhode Island said...

I have only seen one picture of The Angel ... associated with much criticism at the time. I am so glad it is seen in a more positive light now. Your interpretation is right on! and I recognized it at once! Wonderful Jasmine

Jasmine said...

Thank you Lynne. Your book arrived this morning just as I was heading off to the post office with Caio's parcel. I like the fluidity of giving and receiving xx

Martine - Good to see you again. I hope your sons are enjoying their studies in Newcastle. Its a great town to be a student in.

Delphyne - Thats kind of you to say :) I had a lot of fun making it. Its odd the things you pick up when you teach yourself, and also the things you miss out on. Only with learning Nuno did I read about slamming the almost finished piece repetitively onto a surface, and then later when reading a book on how to make hats, I read that this is called fulling and speeds up felting. I think I have been doing things the hard way. Hopfully felting will become easier for me now. Are you still planing to tke up felting? xx

Caio - I'm glad you like it. I'm not sure what made me think of this for you, but when I did it felt like exactly the right theme for you! I posted it today. The postal strikes are over now (I think), and the weather is easing up so it shouldn't really take any longer than a week to reach you, although, I posted two parcels to America, and one to Hollnd lst Tuesday and Thursday, and I don't think any have arrived yet.

Manon - Thank you xx

Ginga - Nice to see you over here. So you know the North East :) Snowy pictures seemed apropriate right now. A lot of my friends in Northumberland and Newcastle were snowed in last week. Silly how such a cold country does not know how to prepare for snow. For the first week or to everything stops. Schools close, businesses shut early. Madness!

Thank you Assayya x

Shadow - Its sweet of you to say. For me, the most fun in selecting presents for people is choosing them something that they will love (I don't always get it right) :)

Caterina - Thank you. I wanted to explain this a little more so that Caio would understand why I chose to make this for him. Also, my blog is a little like a creative diary. Sometimes when I look back over it, I see things I forgot all about. Its fun :)

Karin - We could all use some hope xxx

Joei - I'm glad you like it. I took your advice and thinned my prefelt by half. That combined with using water at a lower temperature, cutting shavings of olive soap into a owl of boiling water and whisking it until the soap disitergrated (something I read in a hat making book) and rolling the nuno around a rolling pin instead of inbetween a reed mat, made a huge difference. I made this in much quicker time and it has nuno felted so well. I'm really pleased with it :)

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

i saw you at acornmoon and had to stop by to see what's going on and say HI.....what beautiful work...

lovely blog....i
l will
be following you along the way..

more later

Crafty Green Poet said...

This is just wonderful, I love how the harsh metal lines of the real thing become fuzzy felted lines in your work....

Brian Miller said...

an angel of it. nicely done.

Julia said...

Hello there

Whilst browsing blogland this morning I stumbled upon your blog - I love your felt work, and I think your angel of the north is amazing.

Nice to meet you today,
Sending love
Julia x x x

Anonymous said...

I am embracing the concept and the image of the Angel of the North!
The Angel is reassurring and comforting.


lettuce said...

knitting patterns of the angel! wow i must check them out.

this is just wonderful jasmine, your work gets better and better!