Thursday, 23 April 2009

Waterloo Park and Alex Johannsen's 3 monkeys #blognor09

As fate happened last night I got a call from my friend Alex Johannsen in Glasgow. We were chatting about a new public sculpture she has been asked to put in Norwich. So I said ow I could write about you on my blog, she told me the dates of her new Exhibition in Glasgow art fair in Georges square from the 23rd and to the 26th of April. 

So I hang up and google Alex to find a pic of her latest Chihuahua dog sculpture with removable saddle and hat and I find this picture on flickr taken by Leo Reynolds. Underneath the picture is a list of comments saying, Who made this sculpture? and Leo went all the way to the city records office to find out.
It might be a good idea for the artist to get some sort of credit next to the sculpture as they do suffer from blood, sweat and tears making the art and once its installed, suddenly the artist forgotten.
Alex use to live in Norwich and trained at Lowestoft Art college with a great teacher called Val
who still runs art classes in Lowestoft.
Alex grew up on a chicken farm in Suffolk and after art college she got a job in Bristol at Aardman productions making Wallace and Gromit
In Norwich she had a studio at the Warehouse artists studio where she worked with the Kiln. The studio was very cold in winter and the kiln was too small etc. 
She moved to Glasgow where there really big on supporting artists. There she has a big shared studio with other ceramic artists and enormous kilns to make lots of work. There is also a cafe at the studios and they even have an Artists Union up there and special insurance and transport company to move the work to gallery's around the country, plus heaps of promotion. Her work has come on leaps and bounds since the move. 
We really miss Alex in Norwich, she is a good laugh and enthusiastic and passionate about art and the world.
Alex has settled in Glasgow now and has a lover, dog and allotment. It would take quite a bit of effort to get her back to Norwich. Maybe if the council had given her a bigger kiln, heated studio, a team of apprentices, promotion of her art and herself, insurance, an artist union and a warm reception, she might have stayed in Norfolk.  
Alex is coming back to Norwich in a few weeks for a knees up if you would like to meet her and get her autograph do get in touch.



Wow! A very interesting sculpture, indeed,the kind we don't usually find in haughty big cities. Congratulations on Alex Johannsen and you, of course, Eloise, for your constant concern for art and artists!
A big fan of yours,
Chrys Micha, Greece

Eloise O'Hare said...

Thanks Chrys Micha from Greece.
You have brought sunshine to Norwich. Its a great day to be put on a big screen in city centre.
Eloise from Norwich xx