Group Activities 2018

December 12th saw the group gather at Helen's home for the final meeting of 2018. Andy began by sharing his perspectives on the Art of Propaganda: a wide-ranging, evocative, sometimes deeply-troubling appraisal, through time and place, of the influence of art in conveying messages, true or otherwise, to an impressionable public. Subsequently, with Art in Advertising, group members illustrated how art has been used to influence the buying habits of the nation, with examples including Cheret, Silk Cut, Apple, Loaf, Vidal Sassoon, Keeping Mum, Escher and Dior.

On 8th November, with the trees still ablaze with autumn colour, the group met to share perspectives on War in Art. As has become typical of these 'bring-and-tell' sessions, subjects selected were diverse and eclectic, themes ranged from Boccioni to Delacroix, Goya to Nash, Dacia to Crimea, lancers to spitfires, WWI to Viet Nam. Absorbing, if difficult, subject-matter.

On 11th October, our largest-ever gathering visited Margaret and John MacDonald's studios in Seafield, Ayr. We were given a warm and generous welcome, after which they provided us with insights into some of the key processes used in the creation of their eclectic art - from sketches, drawings, paintings and printing to ceramics, jewellery and etching.

On 13th September, members of the group met at Moira and Sandy's home to 'bring-and-tell' ideas and examples of art being reflected in fashion. This proved to be a very colourful and tactile session, with themes and movements ranging from scarves to kimonos, Hermes to Pucci, Degas to Frank Gehry, the origins and impact of lapis lazuli, along with the Pre-Raphaelites and Arts and Crafts.

On 16th August, several group members visited the Jupiter Artland sculpture park near Ratho, Edinburgh. Established 10 years ago, the park features a variety of visually and cerebrally stimulating pieces, including works by established artists such as Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor, Andy Goldsworthy and Charles Jencks, with intriguing titles like 'Suck the Neck', 'The Light Pours Out of Me' and 'Life Mounds'.

On 14th June, the group were both led and hosted at her home by Jean, for a final session on the Visual Elements, this time focusing on form, texture and pattern. Numerous 2 and 3 dimensional examples were presented to illustrate these elements from Jean's personal collection of artefacts, including paintings, castings, mouldings, carvings, sculptures, vases, jewellery, embroidery, textiles and clothes. Theory brought to life and made fascinating.

On 10th May, the group met at Helen's home, for a second session on the Visual Elements led by Jean. She highlighted ways of creating tone and shape in art, showed an interesting selection of tonal and pastel drawings by various artists, and supported the group in a lively practical exercise in the use of pastels. In focussing on the use of shape and negative shape, Jean rounded off a most enjoyable session with a lighthearted homework task.

On 12th April, the group travelled to the Dick Institute in Kilmarnock for the Pop Art in Print exhibition, a touring collection of seventy works from the V&A Museum, London. The Pop artists took their imagery from popular culture - Hollywood films, pop music, advertising, magazines and comics, postcards and packaging - and elevated the everyday to the status of fine art. The day was organised and coordinated by Joy, whose clever programme both helped to elicit our views and feelings on the exhibits and to take us back to our personal memories of that era - 'what did we wear, which bands did we listen to, which festivals/protests did we attend?'

On 8th March, the group met at Moira and Sandy's home for a business meeting to discuss and agree a programme for the coming year. Some Mad March Ayr activities, devised and led by Margaret and Moira followed, resulting in much head-scratching and mirth.

On 8th February, the group met at the Tesco Community Room for a session entitled A Practical Insight into the Visual Elements, prepared and delivered by Jean McCreath. With the focus being on colour and tone, Jean illustrated this through the work of numerous artists from across the ages, before having us experience this for ourselves using cards and paints. Messy, but very enjoyable!

On 11th January, a few members, who had managed to avoid the cold, flu and other ailments, attended the Tesco Community Room for a session enticingly entitled Joy's Tall Tile Tales. Ceramic tiles were brought to life by Joy Gladstone, with a presentation on their 'what, why, where, when, who and how' while illustrated with numerous examples from her eclectic personal collection.

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