We are up to £3025 as of today on the crowdfunding platform – not bad, but really hoping for the campaign to gather more momentum at http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/capability-brown-sculpture
I found myself flagging in energy as my hometown was attacked last Saturday evening…
Creating a lifesize statue of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown seems a very worthwhile endeavour – but of course when horrific events happen, it is natural that people everywhere (including myself) feel the shock and the philosophical/social issues raised by them prime over all other considerations – at least until one decides that joie de vivre must again surface as the very best remedy against grief.
So as an artist I say:
I am so chuffed that the Duchess asked me to be involved in her work to implement lost plans by ‘Capability’ Brown for Belvoir Castle… which led to me creating a Belvoir obelisk indicated by Brown for the Belvoir landscape… which led me to find out there is no statue of Brown in England (I was so informed by leading Brown expert historian John Phibbs)… which has now led me to spearhead a campaign to raise funds for a lifesize bronze sculpture of Brown to be gifted to the nation.
Our idea was that the people of the nation should gift it – just as public artwork was almost always funded by public subscription in the 18th century. The campaign was started 3 nights ago and has already raised £2,900 of its £50,00 target!
Tonight… exciting book launch of Her Grace’s new book:
CAPABILITY BROWN & BELVOIR – £35.00
Capability Brown & Belvoir – Discovering a Lost Landscape
The new book by The Duchess of Rutland with Jane Pruden
*Our books are signed by Emma Duchess of Rutland
Photographs by Nick Hugh McCann
Forward by Alan Titchmarsh
Life on the Belvoir Estate as artist-in-residence continues to be full of creativity with the recently aired “Alan Titchmarsh on Capability Brown” a great success (in which I played a very small but fun part, creating a Peacock Obelisk for the Duchess).
Meanwhile, my husband Joe Caneen AKA the Video Whisperer has been working on a crowdfunding video for my latest project, a Lancelot “Capability” Brown Memorial Statue Campaign. It will soon be ready to upload and launch – how exciting!
In tandem I have been conducting historical research into Brown’s likeness (looking at the two paintings of him by Nathaniel Dance and Cosway), studying 18th century clothing for men in the countryside, exchanging e-mails with the Brown Advisor (historian John Phibbs), roughing out a small maquettes of Brown (just to work out stance and gesture), seeking backing in various forms (the Duchess of Rutland has said she is on board), working out perks and pitch.
I have also played around with his likeness to see what monochrome (which the statue will be) would look like…
What a monochrome Brown statue might vaguely look like…?
Will crowdfund to gift the lost-wax whole figure, heroic size statue to the nation via… the National Trust or Historic Houses Association? And hope to have one or several copies in bronze resin touring the great estates where Brown wove his magic as the greatest landscape architect of Britain’s 18th century.
It is happening here on the Belvoir Castle Estate – the magic has begun. We installed the Belvoir Woodhenge (yep, title changed from Log Henge to Wood Henge) a couple of weeks ago…. (an installation of 40 beams by Belvoir High School students and 6 Primary Schools in the Vale of Belvoir, Leicestershire – a collaborative work with artist-in-residence Laury Dizengremel)
And we are hosting the 3Rs Sculpture Symposium starting tomorrow – see http://sculpturepark.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/3rs-reclaimed-recycled-raw-day-minus-1/ ….
Tonight I came across the following paragraphs in a 2008 post by an Australian artist called Lauren (aka “She Sees Red”):
“The sad thing is that visual art (and other forms of art, methinks) isn’t built on a sustainable business model. Well, not here anyway. There is no easily quantifiable outcome, product, turnover, cash flow data or even staffing procedure. Each artist runs his/her business as best they can, based on the practice. Not the practice based on a common business model, and the whole industry flows on from there. Money doesn’t come first – it’s product or idea and then fitting finances to it. And, unlike graphic design and architecture- the most financially self-supporting of the creative industries – the hourly rate just doesn’t feature. If you try to fit a standard billing idea to arts practice, most artists are working pro-bono 100% of their time. Can you imagine if lawyers did that?
Having said all that, I like that art is outside of regular, commercialised modes of engagement. It provides a detached viewpoint for analysis and also contributes an ‘exit’ within society – a shining light away from supermarket shelves and a long list of unanswered emails.”
I second Lauren’s viewpoint. Most days I very much like that sculpture is outside the regular commercialised mode of engagement. I wouldn’t trade my art practice for a “day job” most days. But sometimes… geez, sometimes it is hard to lift one’s artistic spirits out of the financial calamities that an artist’s life often entails. Except for those who know how to sell themselves well. This morning I visited a small art foundry off the beaten path right next to Melton Mowbray. It’s run by a couple of sculptors who seem to have their “s…t” together with regards balancing artistic expression and finances. Do I envy their “commercial” success? Absolutely! Two newspaper articles and one magazine article about my work/doings in the last month (across two different continents) unfortunately do not necessarily translate to commercial success or viability. What does work best for me is at all times ensuring that I wear not only an artist’s hat but also some sort of sales hat! I dare not forget the lessons learned over the past 30 years.
So here’s to increased viability for all arts professionals in 2011 – and that includes “me”!
Happy New Year 2011!
Helping to get the year off to a good start for me as artist in residence for Belvoir Castle & Estate is an article about the Trail of Belvoir and this artist residency which just appeared in the Lincolnshire Life magazine of January 2011, available online…
Of course if you are in England, and you have a chance to see the magazine itself, then do so as it contains another photo than the one shown in the online article.
On that score, it is always interesting to see a physical article about art / artists in a newspaper or a magazine. A friend from Montana recently sent me by post a copy of the newspaper article which appeared in the Great Falls Tribune and of course is also has lots more photos of the artwork than its online counterpart. That article is here at http://www.greatfallstribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=201012120304 .
On a more urgent note… anyone who studies or teaches fine art or design in the UK (from secondary school to college / university level), please contact me as soon as possible on 01476 879071 as I need to get the “call for artists” message out to as many art students as possible about the opportunity to enter the sculpture competition before its 31 January 2011 deadline. Details of the competition which will lead to selecting artists to contribute to a rural sculpture trail called Belvoir “3Rs: Reclaimed, Recycled, Raw” are to be found on this blog posting https://belvoirartist.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/sculpture-competition-uk/ while the full guidelines for the sculpture competition and an entry form are here: http://www.laurydizengremel.com/Belvoir/Belvoir_3Rs_Reclaimed_Recycled_Raw_Sculpture_Trail.html