Artist and Master of the Crafts ! Doug Cocker’s Swamp and Meadow

I do not have a Fine Arts trained  eye but I know a good craftsman when I see one…

Doug Cocker’s exhibition “Swamp and Meadow” is at The Art Park @ The House for an Art Lover Glasgow and its full of beautifully hand-crafted objects.

I am not familiar with the work of Doug and I did not get the whole meaning of “flowering pasture” and so … on but I was left marvelled with the beautiful master craftsmanship with which Doug handled the wood, metal, leather and twine. His work is reminiscent of that of the great craftsmen of yesterday. I can imagine the wood been caressed and shaped by old tools on a workbench that smell of fresh herb and the sound of an old radio in the distant background. On the floor some fine grain sandpaper discarded mixed with wood shaving.

For me Doug’s exhibition is a whole come back to the basic, hand made it is … slowly and beautifully.
Ok when you look at the objects they are sculptures and I could not identify a single one of them on the “Swamp” but if you look quickly you feel you are facing a wall of old tools, objects, made in the country, something local no? Tangible, rare in today’s world…Is that not what Doug meant to do ? Because that is what I see… I can just about close my eyes and hear the wind in the willows in the background.

I loved the slowly achieved paint finishes and combinations of shapes of the 16 squares of the “Slow Years”. I spend my  a good deal of my working life looking at faded paint finishes in refurbished centenary buildings. Time is a great achiever of faded looks. Slowly rubbing down crimson in pale pinks and colored layers of different era merge in an harmony of colours complimenting each other in complete chaos. Doug’s squares marvelled me and I would have been standing there taking every detail in for hours … But the gallery was closing ! I had to go.

But I will be back and I hope you visit too. The exhibition is on in The Studio Pavilion @ The Art Park – The House for an Art Lover. Glasgow.

I hope you enjoy it.



Betty xx

Make Love not War ! Explosion of pattern and colours on Peter Bevan’s flower bombs !

I was brought up in the 60’s at the sound of “make Love, not war” with long hair Hippies and the colourful “flower power” but its a long time ago ! There have been many wars since Vietnam and many pacifists movements of all sorts. I had forgotten about the whole thing until I saw Peter Bevan Flower bombs in The House for an Art Lover last week end.

 I never make it to private views always busy working or travelling so when I was casually invited a bit last minute to the preview of Bevan’s exhibition I went along unprepared, not even knowing the name of the artist exhibiting. Little prepared was I for an explosion of asian patterns and bright colours… The flower bombs are an amazing site… And immediately I felt in love with them.

 From a bomb they only have the shape, they are made of clay and are entirely covered with surface decoration, repeated patterns imprinted in the clay before it is fired. A low surface decoration, paisley patterns, small geometrical flowers, palmettos and others repeated in a neatly fashion like if Peter had crocheted a cover for his bombs. I guess when happy with the surface he coloured them in bright colours and created a toping for each of them… big bright flowers !

 The overall effect is unique and made me feel happy. I felt myself slowing down when walking past so I could take it all in.

Each flower bomb looked like an old sculpture like the ones I have seen in temples all over the Far East, those objects you can’t quite identify as they are part of another culture but which you can’t stop admiring with their slightly faded decoration sign of time going by.

Each flower bomb is like beautiful sign of peace and love !

Peter Bevan started making “Flowerbombs” and “Seeds Landmines” as a result of the vicarious experience of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Syria through the television and Newspaper reportage to disperse his horror over the violence of these conflicts. Like many during the Vietnam war Peter decided to take beauty over violence. I think the Hippies would have liked “Flowerbombs”

The bombs are only a part of the exhibition, it is called “Bodies, mountains and bombs” and is a retrospective of Peter Bevan’s work. During the month of February 2016 Peter will be running a class in “low relief surface decoration tiles” in Glasgow, you can get the details and booking details here

Peter Bevan is an artist working in clay, he trained as a painter at the Royal College of Arts in London Between 1968-71 and taught at the Glasgow School of Arts, but he started to make sculpture after visiting India in 1989. His medium is modelled clay and kill fired into ceramic with surface finished in various media.

The exhibition is in the Studio Pavilion Artpark, House for an Art Lover Glasgow between the 24th of January and the 21st of February, Tuesdays to Sundays between 11am and 4pm.

Its a must to visit !

Love ! Betty xx