Category: Artists I love

Honor Freeman

Honor is a wonderful Australian ceramicist.  I had the pleasure of knowing her while I lived in Adelaide, SA, where we worked together at the JamFactory.  Her quiet works make you see the ordinary things in your life in a new light. She states that – thoughts of preserving, measuring and marking time’s passing occupy the work during the making.

I have one of her porcelain light switches, which I love.  She used to be a sneaky street artist, sticking them around the city to confuse passers by.  But I really love her tupperware series, which are possibly her best known pieces.

Humble objects are given the spotlight with Honor.  Used soaps, sponges, tea stains and tupperware – common house-hold items, never looked so good.

I know she’s made a lot of work in 2012, her profile at Sabbia Gallery (where these images are from) is very informative.  Although I’ve not spoken with her in many years now, I hear things with her and her newly grown family are going great.  For more information about the lovely Honor – take a look at Sabbia or on the Australian ceramics website.

James Turrell

Is one of my favourite artists. When I went to his Minamidera arthouse on Naoshima Island, Japan, it was one of my best art experiences ever.  And then again to a skyspace in my home town Canberra, Australia. To be all consumed by his work is a wonderful feeling.  (I’ll talk more about Naoshima later).

James Turrell is primarily concerned with light and space.  He works with how light changes throughout the day and night and the colour associated with all these different times.  But it’s very sophisticated, I feel I will not be able to do him justice in a few short sentences, so I will add some links for further information if you are intrigued. (And well you should be!) He usually builds some kind of structure that encloses the viewer to ‘control’ the changing light.  But he has many exhibitions and light rooms in galleries also.

“My work is about space and the light that inhabits it. It is about how you confront that space and plumb it with vision. It is about your seeing, like the wordless thought that comes from looking into fire. “— James Turrell

Pretend you’re sitting on a bench in an outdoor building that has a large hole in the roof and you’re looking up – this is what you would see.

The two images above are from inside Turrell’s newest work “Skyspace” in Sarna, Sweden.  He’s made many skyspaces but they are all different.  As you can see the two images are vastly different in colour, but the space in which you stand to view the circle of sky is only lit with natural light.  No other lights are there. So depending on the time of day you go there, you might experience your own unique combination of colours…  This I love.

Doesn’t the mere fact that your experience might be colours that no one else has seen yet, make you feel special?  How he plans these spaces and paints and constructs them so specifically is beyond me.  But when you stand or sit in there for long enough and the colours change, it is a calm, relaxing, peaceful and happy experience.

I think Turrell is best known for his work in progress, Roden Crater. He acquired the crater in 1979. Located outside Flagstaff, Arizona, Turrell is turning this natural cinder volcanic crater into a massive naked-eye observatory, designed specifically for the viewing of celestial phenomena.  Awesome.

Ellen Luckett Baker

Ellen Luckett Baker is an American fabric designer for Moda, with her collection, Quilt Blocks, just released in April 2012.  It’s her first collection of fabrics and I just love them.  I am going to try buying all of it.  It’s great to see such a nice non floral collection (even though I really do love florals too). Each design was hand-drawn digitally to give the collection an artistic, handmade quality.

Ellen also writes a great crafty blog called thelongthread, full of good tutorials and inspiration.  I can’t wait to make shorts, little jewellery gift bags and some cushions.

Anu Penttinen

Anu is an amazing glass artist who lives and works in Helsinki, Finland.  I was lucky enough to go to school with her for a few years while we were in University and I always enjoyed her work.  Over the last decade she has progressively developed into an incredible artist/designer and I covet most of her pieces – especially her latest coloured bowls.  Anu founded her company Nounou Design in 2003, initially concentrating on unique art glass. The selection now includes a wide variery of glass items from art glass to smaller decorative objects and tailored gifts. All items are hand-made by Anu in the Nuutajärvi Glass Village, Finland.  To me her work is distinctly Scandinavian, a design sense I wish you could learn, but I think you have to be born with.