ARTists ARTiculating ART

Norman Warwick meets

ARTists ARTiculating the ARTS

At the time of writing, this article was intended to be a collection of views celebrating the visual arts-scene on Lanzarote. However I have learned a sad and salutary lesson today and can no longer be so blasé as to think that everyone in the world, nor even everyone on Lanzarote, agrees with my view that the visual art is a vital and beautiful aspect of community. 

The sculpture ‘Pescador con Marlín’, which is located in the roundabout located between the Charco de San Ginés and La Marina de Arrecife, dawned this Monday deteriorated, ,in appearance victim it appears, of an act of vandalism that has split the cane of the famous ‘old’ Lanzarote (Gregorio Fuentes) who starred in the book by Ernest Hemingway, “The Old Man and the Sea”.

Photos included in this news item show the obvious difference of the fishing rod on the day of the inauguration and its status in this week.

Local Police sources say they do not have any report that there has been an act of vandalism, so it is unknown how the sculptural group has deteriorated.

It should be remembered that the work, carried out by Jorge Isaac Medina, was inaugurated last March of this year

The spectacular large-format sculptural ensemble, reaches 7 meters in height, is made of iron and steel on a concrete base, and is made up of the fisherman, in his boat, face to face with the marlin and between the waves, which gives the whole work a great plastic beauty. A real duel of titans, whose protagonist is the Lanzarote Gregorio Fuentes.

Meanwhile, we return to our original and far more uplifting weekly column, though we do look forward to bringing news of any charges to be faced by apprehended miscreants

We first introduced Maria Christen Carayona to these Lanzarote Information pages when she was ´caretaking an exhibition in a beautiful church on the marina rubicon in Playa Blanca, earlier this year. . It was January and the setting was spiritual and there was a grace about the way the art work was displayed. A collection of work about how the arts and sciences enjoy an inextricable synergy was being proudly overseen by Maria for the French artist Jacques Honvault, anf after showing my wife and I around and explaining one or two particular exhibits she helped me arrange an e mail interview with the artiost which subsequently appeared on these pages and in my weekly column for Lanzarote Information.

For the rest of this month, Christine, is ´looking after another exhibition in that same glorious setting, again for an artist who ´does not live on the island and seems to prefer to deliberately work under the radar. this exhibition is very different from the one we had previously seen, being a collection of large sized abstract paintings, created in a way that had some of them seeming to seen through a soft curtain, and some wonderful smaller paintings on pieces of found driftwood.

Situated in the beautiful Marina Rubicon of Playa Blanca, the idyllic venue, La Ermita (left) is a typical picturesque Canarian Chapel. It boasts a grand wooden entryway, impressive vaulted ceilings and attractive coloured leadlight windows. To the outside of the chapel you’ll find a delightful spacious courtyard which provides plenty of stunning backdrops – ensuring you can capture many photographic memories of your magical day. Perfectly located, La Ermita is close to a lovely bar & terrace where you and your guests can relax and enjoy a cocktail whilst soaking up the magnificent views across the Marina Rubicon and out over the Atlantic Ocean, before heading off to continue your day at your chosen reception venue.

Introducing Claudie Huppe

The exhibition, by Claudie Huppe, runs until the end of October and enjoyed a fantastic inauguration event which we reported in an article entitled The Worth Of Works Of Art, published on 5th October 2022 and that is still available in our easy to negotiate  archives of more than 750 articles.

Claudie was born on Sunday 17th April 1964 in Hamburg. Even in her early youth she showed great artistic talent, She is a multi disciplined artist with a passion for painting, photography and design. She is inspired by the work of internationally known portrait photographer Jochan Blume, famous for the JFK shot, I Am A Berliner. 

After gaining her diploma Claudie moved to the emerging city of Berlin in 1991. Subsequent long-stay visits to England, Ireland and New York  influenced her artistic expression. Her work now covers a wide artistic spectrum, which she has now exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions, and that is clearly evidenced this month in her solo exhibition  in the Ermita in Marina Rubicon Playa Blanca.Lanzarote.

Claudie first visited Lanzarote in 2007 and that visit had produced some far-reaching and positive consequences. The island became a great inspiration for her work with its fire, lava and tides. She has since then created many abstract, acrylic paintings dusted with sand and ´lava ash´ and she also painted on what she calls ´tidal woods´ that washed on to the Lanzarote coastline.

These are pieces of driftwood which Claudie paints on creating marriages that reinforce the character of both parts,  whilst at the same time creating something new, and rendering. each piece into a unique artwork. 

You can learn more about Claudie´s work by visiting the exhibition before it closes at the end of October. However, if you are unable to do so check out www.calla-artwork.de

So, we now had reason to learn a bit more about this lady, Marie Christine Carayon (right) who does so much work behind the arts scene here on Lanzarote, care´taking exhibitions by artists such as Jacques Honvault, the author of ConSciences, on his incredible quest to capture scientific happenings through a collection of photographs.

Currently, though, Christine is managing a fantastic exhibition of abstract art and objets trouvee work by Claudie

Supported by those whom writers call the ´five bums at the bar´, ( just write row of five of the letter W above a straight line across a page and you should see why they are so called !).

Messrs Who, What, When, Where and Why each had a couple of questions for Christine.

The who, what, when, where, why of Marie Christine Carayon

Mr. WHO introduced himself and asked: You were so helpful to Sidetracks and Detours when we met earlier this year at another exhibition you were looking after, and you introduced us via telephone and e mail to the artist Jacques Honvault. Now we see you taking care of another exhibition for another artist. You obviously love what you do, and you obviously love art, and you seem to interact with arts and artists in a quite unique way. The Honvault exhibition was one of artistic photography seeking to explain scientific happenings, and yet this current exhibition is about abstract paintings mainly on a huge canvas and also some intriguing pastoral paintings on driftwood and objets trouve.

Christine So, WHO is Marie Christine, do you think? Please tell us a bit about her.

Who am I?  I have been a lover of art since my childhood My father loved art and I learned a lot with him. I have always worked near works of art,.. especially painting

And WHO are the artists you work with?.

The artists I like are mostly abstract painters who work with oil painting. I am a little classicist but I also like the sixties era. For example, though, Jacques Honvault is an exception. That was the first time I worked with photographic exhibits and it was eye-opening.

Mr. WHAT interrupted with the question, what interests you most about art.

What interests me in art has nothing to do with whether the artist is known. I need to feel his energies and feel that his work has a Soul. I never investigate their curriculum. It is not important for me. I like or I do not like

Mr. WHEN jumped in to ask Maria Christine Caryona when she first considered herself to be an artist.

 I finally realized my great love for art the day I was able to open my own Gallery. There my dream is made reality

Mr. WHERE commented on the special atmosphere created by this former church serving as a Gallery and asked Christine whether it is her favourite ´gallery´.

Here in Lanzarote is La Ermita ! It makes me happy. I feel energies and the works of art can be highlighted here.

It is difficult, though, to select favourite galleries. There are so many beautiful galleries in the world to exhibit works of art but Art is the creativity of an artist and creating works of art is very difficult. If the artist works on the basis of meditation in his paintings one can feel those energies and meditations.

Mr WHY brought the interview to a close with his usual $64,000 question of why do you do the work you do?

My great desire would be for people to come to love art and understand and to realize the work and suffering of artists who have to work in other professions they do not like to be able to realize their dreams.

He had a secondary list of question, however, on behalf of all his colleagues.

Who are artists seeking to please, what is it about art that pleases us, when does an artist know they have succeeded in doing that, where does art take the viewer, literally and figuratively, and why does the world value art so highly that this month should see an LS Lowry painting, Going To The Match, selling for in excess of ten million pounds.

With all those questions one could talk about art for hours. But when contemplating a painting because I want to understand it better, I usually find it needs no explanation.  It simply needs to be !

We have discussed a few time on these pages the opinion of singer-writer Iris DeMent (left), who apparently feels we should not question, but should instead let the mystery be. As a writer, critic, messenger or whatever the heck I should be described as (the term arts-blogger would serve just fine), I often find myself in the act of ´murder to dissect´ that Wordsworth described in The Tables Turned. That was a poem in which a teacher advised a studious pupil reading for extra learning after class, to instead go out into the streets and fields and just live life and learn from it.

I mentioned in our recent Sidetracks And Detours feature, entitled Worth Of Works Of Works of Art, that writer Tony Brady and I together recently visited The Secret Places Of Lanzarote, an exhibition at Julio´s Tap Room Bar in Costa Teguise running until the end of November. We looked at the exhibits from almost diametrically opposite viewpoints. I was The Grand Inquisitor I suppose, asking questions of every shadow, and Tony was the Aesthetic, relaxing in the warm glow of being in the presence of beauty. (yes, but what is beauty?)

Adriyana Hodge, in her own words.

Sidetracks And Detours put a similar set of questions to Adriyana Hodge (shown right with assistant Rebecca) about her photographic collection of The Secret Places of Lanzarote, showing at Juliuo´s Tap Room Bar in Costa Teguise until the end of November. as we had to Christine. We have reported on this excellent collection previously on these pages and I found Adriyana´s work so enchanting and intriguing at the same time, that I just knew I wanted to interview her and when I did so her auto-biographical responses certainly added a fascinating insight.

You have introduced yourself as a Nude Art photographer. So WHO is the Adriyana Hodge who describe herself in that way?

I am totally fascinated with human body expressions since a young age, I am finally recently when I started modelling for various local and foreign photographers. I had so much fun doing it and exploring the possibilities, from both perspectives of model and photographer. It fulfilled me more than a night tout. I was able to capture the same through the art of my nude photography. People were always noticing my height and posture and used to comment that I should be a model. But at the time my free spirit took me on other adventures of life until, as I gained more self-confidence posing and learning what works and what doesn’t, the waterfall of ideas started flowing. I was also taking random photographs, and discovered that I I have a natural eye, but at the time I didn’t know where I was going with it all. Thanks to the lockdown (of which I’ve spent 6 months in South Africa with my family, who on my return, came back to Lanzarote with me), I suddenly had so much time on my hands and I knew exactly what I was going to do with it. I was on a photo shooting mission and on the way to create my first of many projects, which I named Body Poetry. I believe that there is poetry in every body expression.

I was actually born and bred in Croatia where I had one absolutely amazing and enriched childhood. As a child I travelled with my parents all around the Adriatic coastline from where my name also originates. But at the beginning of a war in former Yugoslavia, my family and my boyfriend at the time, emigrated to South Africa where I married, had two children and eventually divorced. South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world but unfortunately it is full of crime, violence and cruelty. One has to be sharp minded and street wise in order to succeed or even survive.

Being a single mom of two I had no choice but to develop these traits. Second to my family, faith and spirituality were my pillars of choice. Giving up was not an option. I have gained various business skills over there which helped me establish my independence and the ability to support myself and my family. The twenty-two years spent in South Africa were tough but also, spiritually, very rewarding.

Eventually I’ve met an Englishman whom I married and we moved to Portsmouth UK to be near to his family. I didn’t understand a word they were saying at first but it was a new life adventure for me and my girls. We loved summers but hated winters. We needed the
sunshine and I wanted us to move back to South Africa or somewhere where there is sunshine all year round. After we separated, I moved to Lanzarote where my girls had already relocated and we are still here today. During the lockdown I have also broughtmy mom, my sister and her two little girls from South Africa. I feel joyous and fulfilled today, living within my loving family of seven. Although chaotic at times, we never fail to give support to each other in everything that we do .. or don’t do! Many friends on the island refer to us as a wolf pack. Funny enough, a prefix of our family surname translates to a “little wolf” in Croatian

Living on the island of Lanzarote has inspired me to capture not only some unique places around the island but also the unseen emotions throughout the human body. The vibrant colours, unusual landscapes and rough texture of the island supporting the delicate skin, unseen emotions and internal power of a person gives me realization of my vision. The exact perception of somebody, is what I want to capture and show them how they shine. It gives me the greatest pleasure to see the instant transformation of an individual and the building up, or addition to, their self-esteem and self-confidence. They, themselves, are able to see their own spirit through my photographs and are often in awe. After all, our body is the only object we really fully possess. I have been blessed to discover how many people are blown away with my photography and how many can see the same magic in them as I do. I was not expecting them to appreciate my visions to that extent.

And WHO then, is Adriyana the artist responsible to? Her ´team-mates´and support group or prospective purchasers, her models, the exhibition venue-owners, the press, the critics or even simply to your final product?

My pillar of strength is my family of course. I also feel a great sense of responsibility to them and this gives me my “fuel” at the same time. A reason to be happy and make others around me happy. I do love my own work and the final selection is always difficult. My family give me the most honest critique so I always ask for their help and advice. They seem to enjoy it, too,  as it appears that they are having a very daring mother, sister, daughter, and this “fuels” them too. I am not quite sure what my friends think but I have been getting their utmost support so far.

Most visitors to the exhibition will be intrigued by the obvious development that has taken place between Poesia Corporal, your book collection of photographs and poems, and Secret Places of Lanzarote with some works from the former being repeated or re-interpreted in this exhibition.

WHAT prompted you to develop the work that way?

As I mentioned before, I do love my work and some of the photographs are just too good to be put aside. Lots of them are so much more beautiful in colour and it would be a shame not to showcase them. So Secret Places of Lanzarote is a kind of  an “in-betweener” of my main projects (said this with a smile on my face).

WHAT is it that draws you to art in general and what is it you seeking?

Curiosity killed the cat, they say. I wonder what it will do to me… I am loving what I’m doing and I can see improvements in my own work and I am curious to see where all this is leading me to. Bigger and better or will I change the course at some point? Being a graphic designer, I am also enjoying the variety of things that I can do with the same photographs. Besides the poetry project I am also designing decks of oracle and tarot cards. This ties in so well with my spirituality and the positive messages I’m able to portray to the world (or people that are into cards haha)

WHAT do you value most in art, its aesthetic or its meaning?

Both are equally important to me.

That you were so helpful to us as members of the media and also  diligent in the answers and advice you offered to members of the public visiting the exhibition it seems very obvious how much you love not only the arts, but also like-minded arts lovers.

I appreciate all the creators and I believe that we need more of these. I also appreciate those who love the arts as there is that special bond between us, you could call it spirituality, meditation or prayer, that connects us.

WHEN did you first realise your love of the arts.?

Since I was a child Art has been my favoUrite subject since primary school. My father was an artist and my mother is very artistic in everything that she does. I have learned a lot of handy stuff from her.

WHEN can you enjoy an exhibition in which you are involved, or can you only do so when it is all over and has been successful?

Oh no I enjoy it straight away! I enjoy it together with everyone else by being there, seeing how others enjoy it, answering all the questions about my photographs, places and models, mingling with people, friends and family and just seeing all the smiles around me.

The first time we met was at a very buzzing opening night, but I have also visited privately ON another two or three times since then, and on each occasion I have found people enjoying a drink in the tap room
and engaging in conversation with customers about photographs they obviously foundvery powerful. It was as if a non-traditional gallery environmentallowed the photographs to communicate in a way that might not have been able to in a more prohibitive atmosphere.

Well, that tells me that it is a success!

WHERE are the other galleries you have exhibited in that encourage such interest.

I have never exhibited in a gallery yet. My very first expo was at a famous restaurant in Teguise, La Galeria, second one at Latelier, restaurant in Costa Teguise and now this one at Julio’s Tap Room in Costa Teguise. My work is also displayed at the gift shop Lanzastil in Teguise and their sister showcase shop in Costa Teguise as well as in the restaurant  Finca Florida in La Florida.

WHERE  do you and the artists you and the models who sit for you and how do you first come into contact with each other, and do those models and staff who work with you all know each other know each

Many of my models are my friends and family and then their friends. I also sometimes advertise on facebook groups and instagram if I’m looking for a model for a specific theme. Sometimes I also approach people if I find that they could be interesting for my camera. 

I come from England, more specifically from Salford near Manchester, the home of the late painter LS Lowry, who was not too much revered in his life time. He painted working class people, often depicting them in what was called matchstick men fashion, but earlier this month one of his works was auctioned and for ten million pounds.

That would be a bonus haha!! Can I start looking for my new house now already?

WHY do we value art so highly, do you think?

Money wise? I think it is up to the artist how far they want to take their art to be exposed. In my opinion, as I mentioned before, there is a very strong bond or connection between art and spirituality. The artist meditates as he/she is producing their art. They are expressing their feelings and emotions whilst doing it, often guided too. They are directly connected to their Higher Selves and there is a self-acknowledgement, self-approval and self-allowance to just be who you truly are in that moment. The bliss that is felt during creation is transferred into their piece of art and this creates their “soul signature” which is very much noted by the viewer and cannot be denied. It is a state of trance. The same as Bethoven’s 7th symphony, 2nd movement. 

WHY do you work so hard to bring people to art?

I don’t! This is my joy

Secret Places of Lanzarote is proving to be Adriyana´s most successful expo so far, and she offers us one final comment alluding to that fact.

It is so delightful to find something I can enjoy doing for years to come and I am happy to share it with the world.

There is a number of excellent bespoke art galleries here on the island. Here at Sidetracks And Detours we frequently mention on these pages, and Cic El Almecan, The Castillo de San Jose and The Yellow House, all in Arrecife.

A bit further North, in Haria, there’s an underground art exhibition centre in the Plaza de la Constitución in the centre of the town, with an A-board outside constantly advertising details of the current artist and exhibition.

Almost every town on the island such as Yaiza, Puerto Del Carmen and San Bartolome has a Casa Del Culture that often doubles as an exhibition room and concert hall.

We have attended a number of inaugural events at The Lanzarote Art Gallery (left) and we are grateful for their Art Space that informs and invites us through newsletters and Press releases. We think of it as perhaps the island´s most prestigious  independent galleries and the venue exudes elegance at those inaugural events, with its fine out door space for mingling and checking out the incredible sea views or cooling down with a chilled white wine before stepping into the always beautifully lit, sensibly spaced and perfectly placed high quality art work.

Sidetracks And Detours also receive a regular press release through their Art Space that introduces new the artists the Gallery work with. This week, we have been guided towards two artists we were not previously familiar with.

Bea Bianchi (right) , Architect / Visual Artist / Personal Coach Academic experience in various fields forms the foundation from which Bea Bianchi builds her expression. His work expresses a constant inner evolution since he maintains a conscious look before it. He works from vulnerability with which he generates concepts that emerge from his passion and creates playful encounters of intuition in the relationship between color and composition. Hence, his abstracts generate powerful connections. Bea has participated in exhibitions in Argentina, Italy, France, USA, Korea and Spain. She was also selected for the Biennale della Fianza in 2019 and the Buenos Aires Biennial of Contemporary Art 2022.

Nyornuwofia Agorsor, left) : (B. 1983) is a Ghanaian Painter. She is also a Musician (Vocalist, Instrumentalist, Songwriter, Composer and Performer). Being largely an autodidact, she supplements her skill with studies at the studio of Kofi Agorsor. Being so accessible, Nyornuwofia’s friendly, almost jovial canvases readily disperse their poignant messages without the dizzying pretensions and trappings of the adult world. She believes in the essence of quality family moments and spends a great deal of her time sharing both artistic and academic knowledge with her kids. Her work largely dwells on the African Knowledge System of education where the mind of a student is trained and tuned to bring out the creative genius in every soul. She also believes that “There is an urgent need for Africa to change its servitude system of education which does not encourage practicality and training of the minds that will bring out the creative generative minds in our societies who will exploit and add value to our human and natural resources”. Nyornuwofia is the lead Vocalist of the Agorsor Band. 

type The Lanzarote Art Gallery into your search engine

The Sidetracks And Detours management team is  eager to fly soon to mainland Spain to see The Adsubian Gallery. which is top of our list of places to visit. We are already enchanted by web site photographs of the gallery and its charming, village setting. The Gallery keeps us informed of their events, from exhibitions to workshops to arts courses

And then, of course, there are the non-traditional galleries here on Lanzarote, and surely, too, around the world; Ermitas such as that at Playa Blanca Marina Rubicon, and the tiny Ermita in Tias.

It is very evident on a small island like Lanzarote that behind a great artist there is often a great team., all of whom are deserving of all the support we can give them.

Meanwhile Sidetracks And Detours thank Maria Christine Carayon, Claudie Hoppe and Adriyana Hodge for the brilliant work they deliver in contributing to the vibrant arts scene here on Lanzarote, and we also thank The Adsubina and The Lanzarote Art Gallery. We should include under that blanket of thanks a mention to the Ayuntamientos who always include us in their monthly press releases about forthcoming events in their particular part of this small island.

If you would like to compare and contrast all this with multi million pound venues such as The Lowry Theatre And Gallery in the UK remember that posts on the LS Lowry Festival in-print last week are still available at my daily blog at https://aata.dev/

I was delighted to bring that festival to a close with the news that the LS Lowry painting, Going To The Match was bought at a Christies auction on 19th October by The Lowry Gallery for £7.8 million in a purchase that should ensure the painting that inspired the songs Pictures Of Matchstick Men by Status Quo, Matchstalk Men And Matchstalk Cats And Dogs by Brian and Michael and the sadly overlookeed song, Cup Finals Ever Night, by my own group Lendanear forty years and more ago, remains available to be viewed by the public.

British author Anthony JM Brady (left) , who reviewed Adriyana´s Secret Places Of Lanzarote on these pages, takes a somewhat solipsistic aesthetic´s view of her work, and of art in general, whereas i always want to know who are the people on the cnavas, what the artists trying to say, when in history, or the future, is the work set, where is the artist looking from and why has the artist chosen this viewpoint.

Our mutual frieind Rita Schmid, who has collated an anthology of poetry called Thoughts And Feelings (right), offering her poems in English and Spanish. She paints picitures with her words, but she is also a quite incredible doodler. The first time we met she showed me what she called her notebook, but was actuially a giant diary full of aphorisms, sketches and diagrams, moments and memories, all thought-provoking and beautiful to look at.

I guess it matters not WHY we love art, What really matters is WHAT we learn from it and HOW it makes us feel.

There must be many Sidetracks And Detours readers around the world who love visual art and who regularly visit small galleries the rest of us haven´t heard of yet, to see the works of artists as yet not widely known to the rest of the world. If you are such a reader, we are asking for your help, and in return we will bring the name of the galleries you visit and the works you see, and their creators to a wider audience. It doesn´t matter where in the world you are, if you send us a brief ´review´of what you have seen, we will do our very best to publish it and contextualise the piece with our ethos here at Sidetracks And Detours of ´levelling up´the arts´.

Simply send your review in English if possible, but we can translate any language these days so long as we know what language it is, (so please tell us !) A word docement attached to an e mail will do nicely. If you would like to be attributed, (and why wouldn´t you?) please include your name and a brief biography and a jpeg photograph if you wish.

We will follow our down sidetracks & detoprus wherever they lead, but if you can include the address of the gallery and a short description of its location we would be deolghted to share that location (wherever it is in this world), with our readers, (wherever they are in this world).

our e-mail address is normanwarwick55@gmail.com

Let´s get people talking about the arts !

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