"Peccadilloes" by Amanda Eliasch at the Doyle Devere Gallery, 3rd November 2011

The Doyle Devere Gallery in Notting Hill is to host an exhibition by Amanda Eliasch, the accredited playwright and artist, on 3rd November 2011. Entitled “Peccadilloes”, the exhibition will showcase her collection of neon art pieces, all of which are based on the cartoons of Ms Eliasch’s dear friend, art collector Kay Saatchi. The pieces highlight the many facets of the seven deadly sins; images of select pieces from the exhibition can be seen throughout this text.

Ms Eliasch began her early years as an artist at the Royal Academy for the Dramatic Arts, The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, and the Moscow Theatre before eventually turning her talents to photography. She has also released three books – British Artists at Work in collaboration with Italian Vogue editor Franca Sozzani; Made By Indians and Made By Brazilians, featuring work by Enrico Navarra; and the poetry book Cloak and Dagger Butterfly (with the follow-up, The Sins of a Butterfly, to be published soon).

Ms Eliasch’s other works include her dramatic black and white prints, showcased in four exhibitions across London to great acclaim, and playwriting her first work As I Like It, which ran for two weeks at The Chelsea Theatre in July 2011.

Beyond her artistic work, Ms Eliasch is of course an adored style icon in her own right, having become a dazzling and enigmatic fixture at fashion shows in New York, Paris and London. She currently splits her time between a carefully curated townhouse in Chelsea, a residence in Paris (where the similarly rebellious artist Tamara de Lempicka once lived), and her home in Beverly Hills, previous occupied by legendary actress Janet Leigh.
3rd November 2011
Doyle Devere Gallery
30 Ledbury Road
W11 2AB


Donate a Memory Day at the Museum of Brands, 26th September 2011

Notting Hill’s fantastic Museum of Brands is hosting the Donate A Memory Day on Monday 26th September 2011, a free event for senior citizens.
Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, older local residents are being invited to come down to the museum on that day and talk about their memories and past recollections. Volunteers – with the help of a digital “memory bank” – will be on hand to capture all visitors’ thoughts. With the museum home to a fascinating collection of thousands of items (including toys, sweets and fashions from over the years, right back to the Victorian era), visitors may well be prompted to recall memories from the items they see and it is the personal stories attached to these items that the Museum would like to collect.

Neil Ridulfa, the event co-ordinator says, “We can find out when a product was first sold and by whom, but what are much more interesting historically are personal accounts. The older one becomes, the more valuable one’s memories are to historians. Coming along to Donate a Memory Day means your 20th century stories will never be forgotten. In any case, it will be a lot of fun going back over childhood memories.”

If you are over 60 and would like a free visit to the Museum of Brands for Donate a Memory Day, please book in advance by calling 020 7908 0880 or by emailing info@museumofbrands.com. Admittance on the day is by booking only.
Donate a Memory Day
10am – 4.30pm, 26th September 2011
Museum of Brands
2 Colville Mews
Lonsdale Road
W11 2AR

Urban Birding events with Notting Hill author and broadcaster, David Lindo

David Lindo
Notting Hill-based author and broadcaster David Lindo is holding two great urban birding events in West London this Friday and Saturday.
Friday will see him take part in the Friends of Wormholt Park Weekend, leading a Kid’s Bird Walk with local schoolchildren to show them birds, nesting sites, bugs, creepy-crawlies and more. Taking place from 1pm to 3pm this is an open event, so anyone is free to join!
On Saturday, Mr Lindo will be hosting a presentation and book signing at the Idler Academy on Westbourne Park Road, and also taking participants on a bird watching tour of Notting Hill. Tickets for this event cost £12.50 and can be purchased direct from the Idler Academy. Drinks and nibbles will be available.
David Lindo, a Notting Hill resident, has just recently published his first book, The Urban Birder. Mr Lindo regularly features on BBC1’s The One Show and contributes a column to every issue of BBC Wildlife, Bird Watching and the RSPB’s Birds. He also has a lively and informative website (and blog) on bird watching which has a very dedicated following.
The Urban Birder covers much of David Lindo’s experiences in bird-watching (and more besides), from seeing Greylag Geese and Common Buzzards by Wormwood Scrubs, to being threatened by air-rifle toting youths and criminals, to his work on the Tower 24 project for Peregrine falcons to roost in. There is plenty for both keen bird-watchers and others amongst the adventures that Mr Lindo recaps in his book – humorous, surreal and bizarre – so do make sure to pick up a copy!
Kid’s Bird Walk
1pm – 3pm, Friday 9th September 2011
Wormholt Park, Shepherd’s Bush, W12 0JH

Urban Birding
12pm – 2pm, Saturday 10th September 2011
Idler Academy, 81 Westbourne Park Road, W2 5QH
More on David Lindo and his recently published book The Urban Birder can be found on his website: www.theurbanbirder.com

Interview with Notting Hill artist Rachel Glittenberg

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the upcoming gallery show by Notting Hill-based artist Rachel Glittenberg – her first solo show in London – that will take place at the Ice House Gallery in Holland Park.

Rachel very kindly agreed to answer a few of my questions about the show, her paintings and her other work and collaborations – read up on the interview below. Interspersed in between the questions and answers are some more of Rachel’s beautiful paintings – be sure to also check the previous post on her show for some more images of her work.
Rachel Glittenberg
Finally, do be sure to visit Rachel’s show – titled Embracing Beauty in the Realm, it will be held at the Ice House Gallery, Holland Park, W8 from 10th to 25th September.
I was very interested read that you gave up your full-time job after 14 years to make the brave leap into the art world! What inspired you to start a whole new career? (If you don’t mind me asking, what was your previous profession?) I have worked in Market Research for the past 14 yrs as a Senior Project Manager. I had originally studied a BA and MA in Fine Art and Arts Administration and worked in the area for a while after graduating but then became disillusioned with not earning enough money, so I went in to an office environment and got a bit too comfortable. I picked up my art work again 2 years ago to this month actually, when I split up with my husband. We are back together again now, but the pain of the break up and leaving my marital home brought back my desire to draw. I am now so grateful for that awful time in my life as I now see it provided me with the raw energy and emotion that I obviously so needed to get back in to my work.

What is your background in art? How or why did you become interested in art and want to become an artist? I have always drawn since I can remember and would always be drawing as a child and teenager. It’s not something I can describe so much, it’s more just a feeling in me that I have that I must produce art work. I am unhappy if I am not doing this. I think drawing and painting keeps me connected to myself and the world around me. I studied Fine Art at Wimbledon School of Art and The University of East London and my MA at the University of East Anglia.

You mention that you’re based in Notting Hill, and your first London gallery show is at the Ice House in Holland Park (a wonderful venue!) in September – it must be very pleasing to have this exhibition so close to home, so to speak. Do you have any particular hopes or expectations for your first London gallery show? It is very exciting for me to be able to put on this show. I have had shows in the past but this is my first solo one. As far as expectations go, I can only put the work in and then let go, the results of the show are not in my hands as it were. I would love this show to be a platform for my work to help get it out in to the art world and public domain. For me, it’s already a success in that I will be able to show more people what I do, and what I love doing.

The exhibition is titled “Embracing Beauty in the Realm” and features flower paintings that symbolise relationships and their ever-changing nature. What was your inspiration for this exhibition? I have been doing some inner work on myself recently and because of that my life has changed a lot. Some of my close relationships are really changing. New relationships are blooming, others are moving away, some are undergoing transformations. Only one thing is for sure, they are all constantly flowing. My new work encapsulates how I see these events, as a cycle, akin to the seasons, a part of nature, which is why I have chosen to paint flowers. Flowers symbolise birth and death. Their life cycle is like my relationship cycles. New relationships being born, many out of old ones that have died, so in this case, death is something to celebrate. I find I only want to cling on to the old though, as it’s more comfortable. This is a very personal journey about letting those old notions go.

I also believe flowers are so exquisite to look at they deserve a 2nd and 3rd glance, which is why I fill my canvases with stunning flowers – to encourage the viewer not to be afraid to consider and linger upon some of the more beautiful and fragile aspects of their own lives and relationships. Taking a moment every now and again to notice such occurrences is invaluable, as it reinforces our one-ship with nature and our roots on this earth with ourselves and others. We cannot hold on to them, only accept and celebrate them as part of the inevitable flow of life. I believe these are the things that make us so unique and work to enrich and confirm our very existence.

You specialise in oil painting, producing some wonderfully vivid pieces. What is the background or reason for primarily using oil for your paintings? I love the freedom of using oils, they take ages to dry which means you can play around with the paint whilst it’s on the canvas. You can also mix them with different painting mediums to thin them out or thicken them up which changes the texture and look of the paint. I like their versatility, oh, and the smell!

I understand that you often choose nature or people as the subject matter for your work. Would you ever think about using the beautiful surroundings and green spaces or (sometimes beautiful, sometimes not so!) people of Notting Hill for your work? Oh, I do already. My inspiration comes from all over the place. It’s important that I go out and about to parks, exhibitions, to look at other artist’s work, to meander down Portobello etc, because this is where all my ideas come from – every day life. The beauty in everyday life, hence, Beauty in the Realm being the title of my new show.

For private commissions, you can also produce a photo album that shows the process behind the painting – which I think is an amazing idea! How do you produce these – in the sense, how much or how many steps of the process do you show? As I am creating a commission, I will photograph it at the end of each session. I will then produce a book full of fabulous images of the painting. It’s lovely to have a record of an artwork coming together in this way, something that can be kept for years to come. I think it adds an extra dimension to the painting itself.

Could you tell me a little more about the art workshops and classes that you run, who might they be suitable for? I run Art Taster Workshops, which are for adults at beginner/intermediate levels. I go through the basics of creating a painting from start to finish. I show you how I find my inspiration and ideas, the creative process of these concepts, and how I start to bring them alive on the canvas. I will also show you how to use different types of brushes and palette knives to create varying effects and illusions. The end result is to complete a painting and have fun in the process. This workshop is suitable for all sized groups or one on one tuition.

And about The North West London Art Trail that’s taking place at the beginning of October – how will you or your studio be participating? We are now called ArtNW10. We are a collective of artists from 5 studios in the North West London area who are putting on our first Art Trail on the 1st and 2nd October. We will be opening up our studios and have also included the local community to join our trail, so people can visit galleries along the way and get discounts in the local restaurants and bars. We will also be having a fabulous event where we sell anonymous postcards of original works of art for very affordable prices. We are very lucky to have had some great sponsors for our first year. We hope it will be a very exciting event that will put North West London art on the map.

What other exhibitions (or perhaps work) do you have upcoming that you could tell me about? After this show, I will be focussing on the Art Trail exhibition, I am also going to be painting a mural and have some private commissions I need to start, so it’s all go. I feel very blessed to be able to do this.

Read more about Rachel and her work on www.rachelglittenberg.com.
Thanks very much to Rachel for answering these questions and also for giving permission to use images of her work here.