In April and May 2019 I enjoyed the usual opening of my studio, with Open Up Sheffield. This was followed by a fascinating trip to northern Spain to look at palaeolithic art in the Basque country. This region between the Cantabrian mountain range and the sea has some of the most spectacular caves. We visited about eight, including the famous Altamira facsimile which is very close to the original cave. It is now opened very occasionally to the public. Just by way of a contrast we also visited the Gulbenkian Centre for Modern Art, with its magnificent architecture and use of modern materials.
In early September my friend and I flew to Alderney in a six seater plane. It is the nearest island to the French coast in the Channel Islands. It has its own unique character, in part due to the wartime enemy occupation. The evidence for this is still integrated into the landscape, with bunkers now used for studying wildlife by the school children and visitors. Spectacular coastal walks and roaring tides provided us with small sketchbook material.
So it is now the roller coaster year 2020. I had already made the decision before the virus hit, to move on after eleven years of opening my studio.
My website may be going quiet for a while, but it’s business as usual in the studio.
I will be using Instagram under the name @small_worlds_artist to post photos of my latest small models, Brigantes, Celtic and materials work, and my years of sailing artwork.
.. there will be less text but with a very long storyline which I am endeavouring to photograph. It’s hard to believe I have done so much work over the years even though a lot has been weeded out!
Do join me in the quiet isolation of a small yacht sailing around the Celtic Sea.
See some of the small table and wall models I make searching for the history of materials. There is also the problem of recycling and concerns with our oceans.
There are many interconnected threads which make this study so interesting.
I will occasionally write up here as well.
So it’s 2019 already and the next Open Studio is upon us. This year I’ll be opening both weekends as follow 11am to 5pm
- Saturday 4th May
- Sunday 5th May
- Monday 6th May (Bank Holiday)
- Saturday 11th May
- Sunday 12th May
Information about Openup2019 is now online at https://openupsheffield.co.uk
My listing on the Openup site can be found here: https://openupsheffield.co.uk/open-up-artists-2019/christine-rodger/
Find me on Instagram @smallworldsartist
If you have any questions please drop me an email at email@example.com
My work this year explores materials, natural and manmade; their seductive beautiful qualities; how they decay, and some of the cultural, historical and geographical contexts. Much has changed in my lifetime and I have appreciated the benefits of new technologies, medical advances and travel opportunities; I welcome the new ideas these generate.
During my sailing years along British, French and Mediterranean coasts, I was very aware of environmental issues, particularly the impact of plastics and toxic waste. Plastic as containers and packaging are light and in so many ways a cheap and practical solution, but they also present a bigger problem. Distribution by air and water as microplastics is all too easy. Marketing thrives on rich colours and type. So seductive. So slow to decay, if at all. Recent climate changes are highlighting the importance of much more awareness and collaboration if our fragile ecosystems are to be maintained.
I am hoping for some exciting conversations at my Open Studio this year. Before then I have several trips to London planned for more research.
The last twelve months have flown by, my Open Studio in May was once again well attended with some fascinating conversations and also some sales.
In June I travelled to the Italian Alps to learn more about the Iron Age rock art at Valcamonica. This has been found all the way up the wide glaciated valley, the two main sites show schematic figures and animals, some which are believed to be maps. Our guide said the whole valley still contained much more waiting to be excavated. We then travelled to the Austrian border to see Otzithe well preserved natural mummy of a man who lived between 3400 and 3100 BC,he was found in the glacier by two climbers.
After the long hot summer,which was wonderful but not very conducive to doing much work, I was ready for Naples in early September. What a wonderful crazy city it is, so unlike others I have visited over the years. Modern Naples for all its similarity to Rome, has a very earthy unique street life.
The trip was mainly to look at the historical sites around the Bay of Naples, where the rich Romans had their villas – I got to see the elegant museum in Naples and the exquisite mosaics from Pompeii, and to visit the remains of early Roman hot springs. What impressed me most were the layers of history from the Greeks and Etruscans which linked up with my trip in 2016.
Most of the autumn and early winter has been spent at leisure studying this rich collection of impressions.