Loïs Cordelia: Blog http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog en-us Lois Cordelia Buelow-Osborne loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) Mon, 09 Apr 2018 00:12:00 GMT Mon, 09 Apr 2018 00:12:00 GMT http://www.loiscordelia.com/img/s/v-5/u875263028-o416941054-50.jpg Loïs Cordelia: Blog http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog 120 120 Where do you go to buy giant Ducks? Let's Go Quackers! http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/4/where-do-you-go-to-buy-giant-ducks-lets-go-quackers Follow @LetsGoQuackers

Ten giant Ducks will form part of Let's Go Quackers, a fun family-orientated art trail coming to Ironbridge in Summer 2018 and then moving to Southwater, Telford to coincide with Telford's Carnival of Giants event, bringing smiles to visitors young and old alike, and raising valuable funds for local charities (Severn Hospice and the Jayne Sargent Foundation). The trail is the idea of local resident Julie Ward, who has worked tirelessly to bring her dream to life, successfully securing an impressive bid from Telford & Wrekin Council's Pride in Your High Street fund to ensure that the trail goes ahead.


Each of the Ducks will be hand-painted by an artist, either working to their own design, or in collaboration with local school children or students and others who have submitted a design for one of the Ducks. The trail organisers received an overwhelming 750+ design submissions for the 10 Ducks. It was an extremely difficult decision to choose just 10 designs to appeal to every age group and to reflect the local history and heritage of Telford and Ironbridge. The full list of artists includes: Nicky Meecham, Jenny Leonard, Donna Newman, Alicia Hollis, Traci Moss, Jackie Coyle, Shropshire Fine Art, Lois Cordelia, Lizzie Moretti and Megan Evans.


Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia will travel to Telford in April 2018 to paint a steampunk-fairytale inspired design onto one of the Ducks: Once Upon a Fairytale. Lois is very excited to have been chosen as one of the artists for Let's Go Quackers, and to be bringing her design to life for the trail. The steampunk theme of her design was partly inspired by the history of Ironbridge and Telford and their links with the Industrial Revolution, and partly by the distinctive steampunk-style goggles of the Duck statues themselves. Combining a quirky mix of imagery in her characteristic black silhouette style on a rich antique gold background, Lois hopes her design will appeal to trail visitors of every age-group, allowing them to spot lots of fun and unexpected details.

Note:
Once Upon a Fairytale is currently still available for sponsorship (in part or as a whole) by a local business or individual. Sponsorship packages start at only £160 per single board, or £1200 to sponsor the whole Duck, which will be prominently sited in Ironbridge, World Heritage site, for 8 weeks of the first part of the trail, then moving to Southwater, Telford (the heart of Telford), outside Telford’s Shopping Centre, to showcase the Ducks further linking to the Carnival of Giants event also celebrating Telford’s 50th Anniversary. The trail will attract many visitors. If you or your business are interested in having your name, logo and message on a billboard attached to the plinth at the base of the Duck and supporting this exciting venture in aid of fantastic local causes, please don't hesitate to contact Julie Ward: info@letsgoquackers.co.uk or 07966520537.


Above: Sneak preview of Once Upon A Fairytale ... Lois is not allowed to reveal the full design until the trail goes live. Watch this space...!

The timing of the trail is very apt: Telford celebrates its 50th year in 2018. Telford is named after civil engineer Thomas Telford (1757-1834) who engineered many road and rail projects in Shropshire. It is often known as "the birthplace of industry". Today, Telford is the largest town in Shropshire and one of the fastest growing towns in Britain. Nearby Ironbridge is located in the heart of the Ironbridge Gorge and takes its name from the famous Iron Bridge that crosses the River Severn. Opened in 1781, the Iron Bridge was the first major bridge in the world to be made of cast iron.

Julie Ward's idea for Let's Go Quackers was originally inspired by seeing the 2013 Wild in Art trail GoGoGorillas. She said: “I wanted to do something like this ever since I first saw the gorillas on social media, but I didn’t dare hope it would be possible.  When news of the High Street Fund was announced I knew this was my opportunity to make it happen.  To qualify for funding, the idea had to be innovative, engaging and have a bit of longevity.  It also needed to show that there would be wider benefits for the community and for others.  I really believe the ducks will be all of these things.

“My next job was to source the ducks. Where do you go to buy giant ducks? When I was looking around I heard about some 9ft ducks that were for sale in a charity auction after being part of an art trail in Liverpool.  My bid secured the ducks and proceeds went to Macmillan.

“My plan now is to get business sponsorship for each duck and work with local artists, community groups, schools and others to submit fun designs to decorate the ducks that reflect Telford. The most important thing to me is that they bring fun to our community, visitors to Ironbridge and smiles to everyone’s faces.”




 Let's Go Quackers is not Lois Cordelia's first Duck related venture. She previously created a unique trio of "duck-transformations" for the Grand Norwich Duck Race 2017 (raising funds for Break children's charity), using Duck-tape, cable-ties, galvanised steel wire and other utilitarian materials to sculpt miniature figurines onto the backs of large rubber ducks. The Ducks and their riders took part in the duck race in August 2017 in Norwich, staying afloat and upright thanks to their heavy ballast of engineering bricks strapped beneath them!






 

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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) art artists ducks engineering fairytale industry ironbridge jayne sargent foundation julie ward lets go quackers lois cordelia severn severn hospice shropshire steampunk telford trail wild in art http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/4/where-do-you-go-to-buy-giant-ducks-lets-go-quackers Mon, 02 Apr 2018 23:27:14 GMT
Norwich Malka Event raises £1300 for Norwich Refugees http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/3/norwich-malka-event-raises-1300-for-norwich-refugees A heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make our third Malka-inspired fundraiser (Norwich, Sunday 4th March 2018) such a beautiful, memorable and successful event: together, we raised around £1300 for the vital work of the Norwich Refugee support charity New Routes, a vibrant local charity working to settle and integrate refugees.

The richly varied programme included live acoustic music and singing by The Fire Doves, a number of traditional circle folk dances with live accompaniment by zesty band Zaramo (including Norwich-based singer Sebastiana Black, whose haunting vocals bring the little girl Malka's journey to life in the film), a number of acoustic songs with guitar sung by Salman Toheed of Blasian, a reading of two poems by an Egyptian Norwich resident, an introductory talk by New Routes, a double screening of Malka (with and without subtitles), an exhibition of the artwork featured in the film and live speed-painting by Lois Cordelia, and a generous buffet of finger-foods and cake.

At its official launch in Ipswich in April 2017, the Malka film raised more than £1000 for Suffolk Refugee Support. Malka is a short non-profit film that aims to reach out to the public and promote empathy and understanding of refugees, seen through the eyes of a child. A second fundraiser event at the Angel Cafe in Diss in July 2017 raised more than £600 in addition for the Hoxne based charity Next Stop Symi which takes vital supplies to trapped refugees on the Greek island of Symi and elsewhere. During Autumn 2017, the film was selected for screening as part of three international film festivals, including  the Symi International Film Festival in Greece, Woodengate Film Festival in Maramures County, Romania, and the Documentaries Without Borders Festival in Delaware, USA.

Below: Circle Dancing, led by Stefan Freedman




Below: Zaramo in concert: Birgitta Campbell fiddle, Sebastiana Black vocals, John Firmin accordion, Kim Redshaw djembe. Norwich, March 2018.

Below: Zaramo in concert, with Stefan Freedman



Below: Lois Cordelia (Malka visual artist), with some of the artwork for the film, and two fresh paintings completed during the Norwich fundraiser.


Below: The mother and child painting chosen by the winner of the silent art auction.


Below: More live acoustic music by Salman Toheed of the Blasian band


Below: Zaramo in concert: Birgitta Campbell fiddle, John Firmin accordion, Kim Redshaw djembe, Sebastiana Black vocals. Norwich, March 2018.



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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) acrylics art blasian ceilidh circle dance cut-paper dance east anglia exhibition film fundraiser ipswich live art demo lois cordelia malka music new routes norfolk norwich paper-cutting portraits refugee support refugees sebastiana black speed-painting stefan freedman suffolk zaramo http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/3/norwich-malka-event-raises-1300-for-norwich-refugees Sun, 04 Mar 2018 23:56:44 GMT
Malka Celebration Sun 4th March: fundraising for Norwich Refugees http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/2/malka-celebration-sun-4th-march-raising-funds-for-refugees-in-norwich A short film called Malka, dedicated to refugee children (2017, dir: Stefan Freedman) is continuing to raise valuable funds to help refugees in East Anglia and far beyond. Following its screening at two very successful fundraising events in Ipswich and Diss last year, Malka will be the focus of a third event at Harford Community Centre in Norwich on Sunday 4th March 2018 (2.00 pm - 5.00 pm). All proceeds will go to New Routes, a vibrant local charity working to settle and integrate refugees in Norwich.

The event will feature a double screening of Malka (with and without subtitles), followed by a concert of live music by The Fire Doves, an exhibition of the artwork featured in the film and live speed-art by Lois Cordelia, a reading of two poems by an Egyptian Norwich resident, a varied buffet of finger-foods and cake, and an opportunity to take part in a number of traditional circle folk dances with live accompaniment by zesty band Zaramo. Zaramo includes Norwich-based singer Sebastiana Black, whose haunting vocals bring the little girl Malka's journey to life in the film. The afternoon will also feature an introductory talk by New Routes.



Date: Sunday 4th March 2018
Times: 14.00 - 17.00.
Venue: Harford Community Centre, Hall Road, Norwich NR4 6ET
Tickets: £10 for an adult or £5 for a student. Refugees and Asylum-seekers are welcome for a nominal £1. Advance tickets can be purchased from Kate O'Rourke komorourke@gmail.com or 01603 662842. Tickets can also be purchased on the door if places are still available.

 

At its official launch in Ipswich in April 2017, the Malka film raised more than £1000 for Suffolk Refugee Support. Malka is a short non-profit film that aims to reach out to the public and promote empathy and understanding of refugees, seen through the eyes of a child. A second fundraiser event at the Angel Cafe in Diss in July 2017 raised more than £600 in addition for the Hoxne based charity Next Stop Symi which takes vital supplies to trapped refugees on the Greek island of Symi and elsewhere. During Autumn 2017, the film was selected for screening as part of three international film festivals, including  the Symi International Film Festival in Greece, Woodengate Film Festival in Maramures County, Romania, and the Documentaries Without Borders Festival in Delaware, USA.

Below: The visuals for the Malka film were created as mixed media illustrations by Lois Cordelia, including a blend of acrylic paintings, brushpen, paper-cutting and drawing, layered digitally.


 

Above: Musicians including Sebastiana Black and Stefan Freedman performing a live concert during the Ipswich Malka fundraiser in April 2017.
 

Music
The music for Malka features the distinctive voice of Norwich-based Czech singer Sebastiana Black, accompanied by a haunting mix of sounds created by various ancient musical instruments including the sackbut, shawm, bass viol and bowed psaltery. Musicians Stefan Freedman, Adrian Lush and Andy Mapplebeck are all Ipswich-based.

Below: Czech singer Sebastiana Black (lead vocals)

Below: Left to right: Andy Mapplebeck, Stefan Freedman, Adrian Lush, Lois Cordelia, January 2017. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.


Above: Left to right: Andy Mapplebeck, Stefan Freedman. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.

Above: Stefan Freedman, Adrian Lush. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.

Above: Stefan Freedman. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.

Above:  Left to right: Andy Mapplebeck, Stefan Freedman, Adrian Lush, Lois Cordelia, January 2017. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.
 

Lyrics

Malka

(dedicated to refugee children)

Storm winds whistle in the sky
Birds cry, flying helter-skelter
Malka, walk a little more
Though your feet are sore
While there is still some light to guide us
Sorrel soothes our tired feet
Lovage we can eat
Look out for somewhere they won't find us

"When will we be going home?"
Malka, our future is unknown
Each day we'll be moving on
Till the danger's gone
We're following a road to freedom
Sing once more your favourite song
Keep your spirit strong
Hold all your dreams until you need them

"When can I play with my friends?"
Malka, so many paths were taken
Strangers, unfamiliar words
Like migrating birds
That vanish over moonlit mountains
Some day in another land
We'll dance hand in hand
We'll wash our feet in sparkling fountains


Storm winds whistle in the sky
Birds cry, flying helter-skelter
Malka, walk a little more
Though your feet are sore
Tomorrow we'll have better weather
Soon we'll stop and build a fire
Burning with desire
That one day there'll be peace forever

© Stefan Freedman


 Artwork
Ipswich-based artist Lois Cordelia began creating the artwork for Malka in May 2016. Over the following 6 months, she assembled a series of more than 60 visuals, inspired by Stefan's lyrics. Lois's mixed media illustrations combine painting, drawing, paper-cutting, brushpen, photography and digital effects, layered together to heighten the emotional intensity of each image.

One of the challenges that Lois faced was how to convey both the traumas and the aspirations of the young girl, Malka, in ways that touched people's emotions without being unbearably painful to watch. The film hints at the trials and hardships that Malka and her mother endure, but also plants seeds of hope for a brighter future.

Lois wanted her pictures to have a universal appeal, hence her depictions of Malka embrace various ages and different nationalities. She also emphasises the value of using creative activities as therapy for refugee children, suggesting how the young girl could express her memories of trauma through her own paintings. Remembering how to paint as a child was an important part of Lois's journey following in the footsteps of Malka.





Above: "Circle of Dance, Music and Art" paper-cut artwork by Lois Cordelia

Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia will perform a live speed-painting demonstration as part of the Sunday 4th March event in Norwich, painting along with the live music, to evoke the spirit of the film. Much of the artwork that Lois created for the Malka film will also be on display. A silent art auction running throughout the afternoon will raise additional funds for New Routes, as will the sale of Lois's greetings cards featuring the above "Circle of Dance, Music and Art" paper-cut artwork design. Two silent auctions of Lois' paintings for Malka have so far raised more than £500 for refugee support charities.

Below: Lois Cordelia performs live speed-art during the Ipswich Malka fundraiser in April 2017.



"Malka" is a short film (less than 5 minutes's duration) dedicated to refugee children everywhere, evoking the journey of a young girl refugee, Malka, and her mother across wilderness and hardship in search of safety. The film features haunting acoustic music and lyrics by Stefan Freedman, accompanied by atmospheric mixed media illustrations by Lois Cordelia. The film in its entirety can be viewed here. Public sharing of the film is encouraged.


Responses to Malka

The film has already been circulated widely on the Internet and social media, inspiring a wealth of heartfelt and emotional responses, such as the following:

 

"Fascinating, astounding, haunting, very beautiful. An amazing venture for a great cause. A phrase that springs to mind: 'a modern Gesamtkunstwerk' of real beauty."
 

"I love this video. Through it I have felt the plight of refugees in a way that no amount of other media coverage could have done. Well done to all who have been involved in making it."
 

Malka director Stefan Freedman remarks: "The feedback from many people is passionate, nuanced and strongly affirming. My brother's (face-to-face) was the most surprising of all to me. He said that of all the creative projects over the years this one had gone furthest. Emotionally powerful and professionally impressive."

 

The development and future of Malka

Stefan Freedman was travelling on a train a few years ago when the idea for Malka first came to him. The music that began to flow together in his mind was originally inspired by a traditional Bulgarian folk tune. Stefan shaped his own lyrics to fit the music, evoking the words of a refugee mother to her young daughter, Malka, seeking to reassure her in the midst of unfamiliarity and confusion.
 

In Stefan's words:

"MALKA is the name of a seven year old girl. She is fleeing from extreme danger, looking for refuge. The inner world she inhabits - feelings, images, fears and hopes - is as real and viscerally present as the external one. She and her mother are the focus of a short (four and a half minutes) animation in which Malka represents refugee children everywhere.

"Her name means 'little one' in Bulgarian, and in both Arabic and Hebrew means 'queen'. The name came to me spontaneously while I wrote the song and only afterward I discovered the meanings.

"Today with an unprecedented number of displaced people seeking refuge, the media is full of stories about 'the refugee crisis'. This fuels fear and protest. Nations are putting pressure on other nations to take more refugees while negotiating to reduce their own intake. 

"So the popular perception is one of grave uncertainty and risk, of facing a human tsunami. A 'refugee problem'. We become defensive and completely lose sight of the individual adult or child - unwillingly caught up in events they would never have chosen. The aim of this short film is to enchant viewers and evoke a feeling of understanding and empathy. The viewer is given glimpses not only of Malka's nightmarish memories, but of dreams and hopes that sustain her through hardship.

"My hope is that the film will open up the question that perhaps knowing or supporting even one person or family seeking refuge will be a rewarding experience. The short film has been used as a focal point for successful refugee fundraisers in collaboration with Suffolk Refugee Support."

(- Stefan Freedman, February 2018)

Stefan is a teacher of traditional, sacred and circle dance, travelling worldwide to lead workshops and other events incorporating live music and displays. His dances use evocative music from all continents.

 

Thank You
Stefan and Lois wish to extend heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in making all the fundraiser events a success, including all musicians and support, everyone who attended and bought tickets for the events, helped out with catering, promotion, press, radio and media coverage, ticket sales and facilities, sold copies of Malka on DVD, gave talks, assisted with transport and set-up, and everyone who bid in the silent auction. Special thanks go to Joanna Carrick for agreeing to co-host the launch event at Red Rose Chain, and to Madeline Lees and the Angel Cafe, Diss.





 

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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) acrylics art dance exhibition fundraiser ipswich live art demo lois cordelia malka music new routes norwich portraits refugee children refugees speed-painting stefan freedman http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/2/malka-celebration-sun-4th-march-raising-funds-for-refugees-in-norwich Fri, 09 Feb 2018 20:17:38 GMT
Green Man straw sculpture installed at Akeman Pub, Tring http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/12/the-akeman-oakman-and-the-green-man Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia was recently involved in a pioneering art project to transform a vast stockpile of discarded plastic drinking straws into a meaningful sculpture for Oakman Inns and Restaurants, inspired by topical campaigns to #BanTheStraw and #TrashPlastic. Lois's finished sculpture of a giant Green Man has now been installed in its new home: the beautifully refurbished Akeman Pub in Tring, Hertfordshire. The commission is one of several Lois has completed via MyArtBrief, an innovative online art commissioning platform that connects artists directly with clients. Lois has swiftly become the "most commissioned artist" at MyArtBrief since she joined in February 2017.

Belinda Boyd, writing for Oakman Inns, reports:


The Akeman, Oakman and The Green Man
A decade of happy memories provides a small gift for planet


7th December 2017: One of Tring’s favourite pubs, The Akeman, will be celebrating its tenth birthday this month as the first of what has now become a major force in the Pub Industry, Oakman Inns.

The Akeman recently underwent a major refurbishment and an extension into the shop next door providing a new wood-fired pizza oven in the extended open kitchen, more seating in the enlarged restaurant and two cosy ‘parlour rooms’ with a dedicated servery - which have all received many favourable and admiring comments from their regulars. One change has been the display of a large and unusual wall sculpture of a giant Green Man, commissioned by Oakman’s CEO, Peter Borg-Neal, which is made from tens of thousands of plastic straws.



A Green Man is a sculpture or other representation of a face surrounded by leaves, branches or vines. It was originally known as a Foliate Head and was commonly used as a decorative architectural ornament. Green Men are frequently found in carvings on both secular and ecclesiastical buildings, and in 1939 inspired Julia, Lady Raglan to produce a paper “The Green Man in Church Architecture” where the term “Green Man” was first used, later to become the preferred label. Prior to that, green forested figures came with a variety of names and formed a variety of European cultures. Lady Raglan’s work was invaluable in establishing the Green Man as a legitimate object of historical and anthropological study.

Peter Borg-Neal’s commission was prompted by seeing evidence of the appalling and direct impact of discarded straws on so many sea creatures, and he decided to ban single-use plastic drinking straws from all 20 of their pubs to mark Earth Day 2017 (22nd April). However, this meant he had a stockpile of over 60,000 unwanted plastic straws – which he could hardly throw away!

Peter said: “We take sustainability seriously in our business, and having seen a tragic video of a turtle with a straw embedded deep in its nose, we became the first pub group to #BanTheStraw in the UK, which has inspired other pub groups to follow suit. Sending our stock of plastic straws to landfill was not an option so we decided to find an artist to refashion them into a sculpture that epitomised Oakman Inns’ culture.”



Ipswich sculptor, Lois Cordelia, was commissioned to design and create a wall-mounted sculpture which incorporates several tens of thousands of the unwanted plastic straws, threaded, woven and bunched together on a sturdy frame of steel wire. Lois said: “It was a privilege to work with Oakman Inns on such an unusual and pioneering brief, which came to me through the innovative MyArtBrief website. From my initial thoughts of creating a giant Oak tree out of the straws, the Green Man evolved to incorporate not only oak leaves but many other distinctive elements of native British fauna and flora. People's
response to this creative 'upcycling' has been overwhelmingly positive.”






The Green Man theme is intrinsically linked with Oakman Inns and its name. According to some sources the first recorded use of “Ake Man” suggests that the name was a personal or even a nickname for a hard man, one as strong as oak. The surname as Oakman or Okman was occupational for a forester or perhaps a charcoal maker.

The arboreal theme continues throughout the group, as Oakman also owns The Akeman Inn in Kingswood, near Bicester and the soon-to-be redeveloped Royal Foresters in Ascot. The company also owns four Beech Houses, designed to be relaxed casual dining and drinking pubs and The Cherry Tree in Olney, which opens next Spring after its conversion from a Care Home.

The Akeman in Tring is not only the first pub in the widely acclaimed group, but is also managed by Peter Borg-Neal’s son, Éamonn, who started work in the pub as a kitchen porter as a 16-year-old. Peter said: “I started working in the pub trade in exactly the same way. You have to start at the bottom and if you run your own business, you have to know and understand how to do every job. I am so proud of Eamonn and where he is today.”


Ban the Straw campaign:

To mark Earth Day this year (22nd April), Oakman Inns was the first UK pub group to ban all single-
use plastic straws from their pubs, offering instead a biodegradable alternative on request. Quickly
branded as #StrawsSuck, more pub and restaurant groups have joined them and it has even
become the subject of legislation in some US States.


 

About Oakman Inns:
The company was founded by entrepreneur and CEO Peter Borg-Neal. The first Oakman Inn was The Akeman in Tring in 2007, which quickly won an award for outstanding design and conservation work, with which the pub group has become synonymous. The multiple award-winning company established the new concept of the ‘modern public house’ and has successfully transformed both historic and modern buildings into contemporary spaces that have a strong sense of identity and integration within the local communities that they serve. Offering a high standard of food, drink and service ‘The Oakman Collection’ comprises 20 contemporary Inns with letting rooms and ‘all-day’ pubs across Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands. The Four Alls in Warwickshire is closed for refurbishment and will open along with three new sites in the first half of next year.

The pub group is proud of its reputation for looking after its growing team. They have developed a specially designed training and career development academy called ‘Oakmanology’ to help each individual to be the best they can be.

In November, they were the first pub company to receive the Princess Royal Training Award for training excellence and won the British Institute of Innkeepers’ National Innovation in Training Award (NITA) for Best Casual Dining Training Programme. Ranked 8 th in the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For 2017, it’s the highest rated hospitality company in the List. Over the last four years, the group has also won seven Publican Awards.


 

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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) akeman art ban the straw green man lois cordelia my art brief oakman inns plastic sculpture http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/12/the-akeman-oakman-and-the-green-man Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:11:06 GMT
Free-fall: Art from Poetry and Poetry from Art http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/11/free-fall-art-from-poetry-and-poetry-from-art Ekphrasis is a Greek term referring to a creative process in which one art medium relates or responds to another. Poet and artist Karen Dennison's recent compilation Free-fall is an exploration of this idea, in which visual art inspires poetry, which in turn inspires visual art, and so on.

Free-fall is a continuation of the chain of responses in the Book of Sand and Blueshift pamphlets. It begins with a poem in response to Blueshift’s final piece, Disappointment, by Sam Smith. This poem was given to an artist to respond to, whose artwork was given to a different poet to respond to and so on, resulting in a sequential series of poetry and art.

Lois Cordelia is one of a number of visual artists whose work features in Free-fall. Lois created this mixed-media illustration, "Reveal the Secret Night", in response to Karen Dennison's poem "This Tree", incorporating an intricate paper-cut design. Lois's illustration then inspired the poem "Changeling" by Rosie Sandler, and so the ekphrasis continued to evolve between visual art and poetry.



Free-fall features poems by Oz Hardwick, Pam Thompson, Karen Dennison, Rosie Sandler, Alex Toms, Caroline Davies and Kerry Hammerton, and artworks by Hannah Willow, Tara Pandey, Lois Cordelia, Sam Smith, Julia Watson, Heidi Jukes and Karen Dennison.

"A long time in the meticulous making, this very, very beautiful collection of words and pictures, lovingly curated by Karen Dennison, is a thing of beauty. Treat yourself."

It is available to buy for £5 per copy via Karen Dennison's website: https://kdennison.wordpress.com/free-fall/



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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) anthology art cut-paper ekphrasis free-fall karen dennison paper-cutting poetry http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/11/free-fall-art-from-poetry-and-poetry-from-art Fri, 24 Nov 2017 00:09:27 GMT
Naval themes inspire NutCrackers for Portsmouth Historic Dockyard http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/11/naval-themes-inspire-nutcrackers-for-portsmouth-historic-dockyard The not-to-be-missed Victorian Festival of Christmas returns to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard next month, running for three days only from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd December 2017 (daily 10.00 am - 5.00 pm), with a stunning centrepiece trail of 12 giant nautical themed Nutcracker statues. In addition, the festival boasts a bustling Christmas Market of more than 150 stalls selling hand-crafted items and curiosities, and the chance to watch and sing along with traditional Victorian street performers and musicians, as well as lots of other exciting and fun-filled activities for all the family.

The Nutcracker trail is presented by Wild in Art in association with Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and will consist of 12 giant soldier statues, each one inspired by a nautical brief, celebrating key historical figures, ships or themes, brought to life by artists including Deven Bhurke, Donna Newman, Jess Perrin, Lois Cordelia, Megan Evans and Rachel Blackwell. Most of the statues have been painted on-site at the Dockyard. #NutcrackersOnParade

After the festival finishes, some of the sculptures will be auctioned off for NMRN, a registered charity run by the National Museums Royal Navy, while others will be displayed in the grounds of the museum at the historic royal dockyards.

Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia's Nutcracker design responds to a brief called "Poor Powder Monkeys". The so-called Powder Monkeys were yong boys (aged about 10 - 14) who were recruited into the navy in the 1800's and exploited for their small size to run and fetch gunpowder from the ship’s hold and carry it to load the artillery guns onboard warships. Their job was demanding and dangerous. Lois's design features a collection of dramatic silhouette vignettes telling the stories of the daily life of the powder monkeys. On the back of the Nutcracker, Lois has painted an evocative portrait in sepia tones based on the most famous photograph of a powder monkey, dated circa 1864.

Lois travelled to Portsmouth in November 2017 to paint her design onto a blank Nutcracker statue. Being a speed-painter, Lois completed the entire paintwork in about 8 hours.

#NutcrackersOnParade




"Poor Powder Monkeys"

















Miniature #NutcrackersOnParade :-)

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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) art christmas monkeys" nutcracker portraits portsmouth historic dockyard portsmouth harbour powder speed-painting victorian festival of christmas wild in art http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/11/naval-themes-inspire-nutcrackers-for-portsmouth-historic-dockyard Thu, 23 Nov 2017 20:28:11 GMT
Elmer: Imagination Can Take You Anywhere http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/11/elmer-imagination-can-take-you-anywhere The much loved children's book character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is approaching his thirtieth birthday in 2019, and to celebrate this, Andersen Press have teamed up with creative event producers Wild in Art to present Elmer's Big Art Parades 2019. There will be Elmer trails in several UK towns and cities in the Summer of 2019, including Ipswich.

Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia was asked to paint one of the early pre-launch Elmer statues. Lois called her fairytale-inspired design "Imagination can take you anywhere". The fairytale theme is appropriate, as Andersen Press is named after Hans Christian Andersen.

Three Elmer statues including Elmer the Patchwork Elephant (painted by Michelle Turton), "Astronaut" (designed and painted by Mik Richardson) and "Imagination can take you anywhere" (by Lois Cordelia) were unveiled on 25th October 2017 during St Elizabeth Hospice's official Ipswich "Big Reveal" event. The Ipswich Elmer trail is the much anticipated follow-on from Pigs Gone Wild 2016 and will continue to raise vital funds for St Elizabeth Hospice.


Above: Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia beside her Elmer design for Elmer's Big Art Parades 2019



Painting Elmer the Elephant for Elmer's Big Art Parades 2019


Below: The official unveiling at Ipswich Town Hall on 25th October 2017.





Mik Richardson's "Astronaut" and Lois Cordelia's "Imagination can take you anywhere"



Work in progress series

How many elephants can you spot? :-)







Lois's 17 month old niece Matilda came to visit and kindly let her Aunt borrow her Elmer books and toy. Here she is with her Dad, inspecting progress :-)








 

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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) acrylics andersen press art elmer the patchwork elephant elmer's big art parades fairytale ipswich lois cordelia pigs gone wild speed-painting st elizabeth hospice suffolk wild in art http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/11/elmer-imagination-can-take-you-anywhere Thu, 23 Nov 2017 18:27:52 GMT
Nasty Women : Architecture Exhibition, London 26 Oct - 18 Nov http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/10/nasty-women-architecture-exhibition-london-26-oct---18-nov ** Opening Night: Thursday 26th October, 6.00 pm - 9.00 pm - All welcome! **

Anise Gallery London are delighted to be joining the global Nasty Women art movement for its next exhibition: "Nasty Women : Architecture", which runs from 26th October to 18th November 2017. Set up by female artists in New York last year, the name was derived from a comment Donald Trump made to Hilary Clinton. The movement has since organised a number of exhibitions and events with the aim of raising awareness of women’s rights and raising funds for women's charities around the world.

Our Nasty Women : Architecture exhibition is being co-curated by Aesthetica Art Prize Winner and V&A digital resident Rachel Ara and art writer Issey Scott. With an all female exhibition of work inspired by architecture, we are hoping to raise funds for South London Rape Crisis. Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia joins a small number of female artists whose work has been selected for this show, including Carla Gannis, Sophie Neville and Hannah Honeywill.

In keeping with Anise Gallery's established ethos of curating and promoting architectural art work, the exhibition will showcase innovative work that takes its inspiration from architecture, geometry, the urban environment and infrastructure. Proceeds from the sale of artwork will be split between the artist and the South London Rape Crisis charity.

Lois Cordelia will exhibit a collection of about 100 of her recent life drawings, each one superimposed on the pages of a book of architectural photography. The original book is called "The House of God" and features photographs of sacred spaces: churches, cathedrals, temples, mosques, synagogues, shrines, and so on). The male and female life sketches in the book seek to re-establish the sacredness of the naked human body - often considered indecent in the context of religion and societal norms - by superimposing it over the architecture of places of worship of every culture. Hence, it ties together the exhibition's architectural theme with the Rape Crisis charity, working to re-empower rape victims and represent a journey into healing after the body's violation through rape.

Lois Cordelia runs a life drawing group in her hometown of Ipswich, along with friend and life model Kaz Garrad. Lois has filled a number of books with life sketches in this style, working over photography of architecture, space, the planet earth, ancient megalithic monuments, shipwrecks, and so on. Lois also runs a monthly interfaith Art and Spirituality forum in Ipswich.

Nasty Women : Architecture runs from 26th October to 18th November 2017 at the Anise Gallery, which is located along historic Shad Thames just past the former Design Museum building and opposite Conran’s head office. It is situated near to Bermondsey Street, the home of the Fashion and Textiles Museum and White Cube and within 5 minute walk of the fantastic Maltby Street Market.

Opening Night: Thursday 26th October 2017, 6pm - 9pm.
Exhibition runs: 26th October to 18th November 2017
Gallery Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 11.00 am - 5:00 pm
Address: Anise Gallery, 13A Shad Thames, LONDON SE1 2PU - scroll down for map.








 

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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) anise gallery architecture art life drawing lois cordelia london nudes rape crisis sacred space http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/10/nasty-women-architecture-exhibition-london-26-oct---18-nov Thu, 19 Oct 2017 16:21:31 GMT
Now on Ebay: Jane Austen portrait, proceeds to Ark Cancer Centre Charity http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/10/now-on-ebay-portrait-of-jane-austen-raising-funds-for-ark-cancer-centre-charity Happy bidding!

A portrait of celebrated English novelist Jane Austen, painted in the space of 60 minutes during the
Sitting With Jane BookBench auction in Basingstoke last month is now listed on Ebay, in a bid to raise valuable funds for Ark Cancer Centre Charity. Ipswich-based artist and speed-painter Lois Cordelia whose BookBench design "Look Upon Verdure" fetched the second highest bid of the evening at £6,750, based the portrait on one of a few surviving depictions of Jane Austen, in celebration of Austen's recent appearance on the new ten pound note. Lois painted live while talking with visitors to the auction.

The portrait (acrylic on canvas) measures 23 x 16.5 inches and is signed by the artist. The Ebay auction will run for 10 days, ending 13th October. Please bid generously, as all proceeds go directly to the charity.


The listing can be found here:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/152727956395?ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT&_trksid=p3984.m1558.l2649



Sitting With Jane was one of numerous events this year marking the 200th anniversary (2017) of English novelist Jane Austen's death. Each BookBench in the trail was painted by a professional artist to feature an Austen inspired design, sponsored by the generosity of local businesses, and located on public view at various locations in and around Basingstoke for ten weeks over the Summer. Presented by Wild in Art and Destination Basingstoke, in association with Festival Place, the trail has raised more than £100,000 for the charity to date.

 

Photo credit: Adrian Lovell

Lois Cordelia's BookBench design "Look Upon Verdure" fetched the second highest bid of the evening at £6,750
. Thanks to the generosity of Laura and Matt at The Topiary Salon, Lois's BookBench will remain in Old Basing near Basingstoke and will still be on view to visitors. Appropriately for a beauty salon, the BookBench is not only decorative but also functional.




Below: Laura and Matt Haystaff of The Topiary Salon with Lois Cordelia and "Look Upon Verdure" at the auction, 15th September 2017. Photo credit: Adrian Lovell


Photo credit: Adrian Lovell
Sitting With Jane BookBench Auction, Basingstoke
Photo credit: Adrian Lovell
September 15th 2017
Photo credit: Adrian Lovell
Sitting With Jane BookBench Auction, Basingstoke
Photo credit: Adrian Lovell
September 15th 2017


Photo credit: Jason Curtis


"Look Upon Verdure"


Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia had her design "Look Upon Verdure" chosen for the trail and travelled 150 miles to Basingstoke in February to paint it onto a BookBench. Lois took 4.5 hours (interspersed with breaks!) on Tuesday 28th February to transform the blank white BookBench, using acrylic paints, lots of metallic and iridescent colours and a large brush. She had also prepared her own paper-cut stencils of two quotations of Jane Austen, illustrating her love of Nature, in which Lois set herself the special challenge of imitating Austen's handwriting and even her signature (as it appears on her will - see below). Jane invites us to pause in our hectic modern lifestyles, sit with her on a bench and rest our eyes on nature, gardens and greenery: “To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment.” (Jane Austen, Mansfield Park)

Lois's BookBench was on public display in the middle of the village of Overton, near Basingstoke, from 17th June until 31st August 2017.

 
 

Follow: @LoisCordelia @SittingWithJane @JAusten200 @Basingstoke #SittingWithJane @Ark_Charity
 


Above: Lois with Clare and Amanda from De La Rue



Below: Lois created her own set of paper-cut stencils to evoke the beautiful handwriting of Jane Austen, including this interpretation of Austen's signature.

Below: Lois uses her own hand-made paper-cut stencils to transfer Jane Austen's quotations onto the BookBench.

"Look Upon Verdure"#SittingWithJane teaser: using my own #papercut #stencils to evoke #JaneAusten's elegant #handwriting :)
"To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment."
Sitting With Jane - Wild in Art - De La Rue plc - Basingstoke - Festival Place @JAusten200 #LookUponVerdure

Lois' design "Look Upon Verdure" has been generously sponsored by De La Rue, whose headquarters are located near Basingstoke.

The trail has encouraged visitors to explore both well known and less frequented parts of north Hampshire, from beautiful villages and rural landscapes that have scarcely changed since Austen's time to modern visitor attractions, landmarks and great shopping.

Meanwhile, Lois Cordelia is very excited to have recently secured her fourth Wild in Art commission, which will remain top secret until the big reveal on 25th October 2017... Stay tuned! :-)









 

]]>
loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) acrylics ark cancer art auction basingstoke jane austen live art demo lois cordelia portraits sitting with jane speed-painting wild in art http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/10/now-on-ebay-portrait-of-jane-austen-raising-funds-for-ark-cancer-centre-charity Wed, 04 Oct 2017 16:51:44 GMT
Giant Green Man sculpted out of discarded plastic drinking straws http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/9/giant-green-man-sculpted-out-of-discarded-plastic-drinking-straws Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia has undertaken some unusual commissions in her time, but among the most challenging to date has been her recent opportunity to create a giant Green Man sculpture out of tens of thousands of discarded plastic drinking straws. The commission is one of several she has completed via MyArtBrief, an innovative online art commissioning platform that connects artists directly with potential clients. Lois has swiftly become the "most commissioned artist" at MyArtBrief since she joined in February 2017.

Oakman Inns

Lois was commissioned earlier this Summer by Oakman Inns and Restaurants to transform their vast stockpile of black plastic drinking straws into a work of art. Oakman Inns is a UK based pub company who place great emphasis on sustainability, hence they have recently taken the pioneering decision to ban all plastic drinking straws from their business, inspired by a number of recent media campaigns to #TrashPlastic. The plastic straws have been replaced with paper ones, and only upon specific request from customers. Meanwhile, rather than place 60,000 plastic straws into landfill, Oakman Inns chose to commission an artist to refashion them into a meaningful sculpture.

The Green Man theme is intimately linked with Oakman Inns. Two of their pubs are named The Akeman, which is another name for "Oak Man" or "Green Man". The Oakman Inns logo is an oak leaf. Lois's Green Man sculpture will eventually be located at The Akeman Pub at Tring in Hertfordshire, following its refurbishment later this Autumn. Being a lover of trees and Green Man imagery, Lois engaged wholeheartedly with the spirit of this brief and went on to complete a wall-mounted sculpture incorporating several tens of thousands of the drinking straws, threaded, woven and bunched together on a sturdy frame of steel wire.


Straw Sculpting in progress - early stages






The Green Man

The piece features a traditional Green Man face surrounded by oak leaves as well as a host of intricately detailed smaller sculptures that depict distinctive elements of native British woodland flora and fauna: fern fronds, dandelions, fungi, blackthorn, grasses, swallowtail butterfly, dragonfly, and even a spider's web, suggesting the immense web of interwoven biodiversity supported by the Oak tree. The predominant green and gold colour scheme is inspired by Lois's visits to see the famous Green Man carvings on the ceiling bosses of the Norwich Cathedral cloisters.

The theme is reminiscent of one of Lois's best known papercut works: Gaze of the Green Man (2015), which has inspired a number of poetic compositions and was also published in the first edition of acclaimed US journal A Beautiful Resistance, which has subsequently featured several of Lois's papercut designs. The original framed papercut of Gaze of the Green Man is currently on display at the beautiful family-owned Sugar and Spice Mediterranean Bistro in Llandrindod Wells. Jess and Paul who own Sugar and Spice have also been inspired by this project to insist on banning plastic drinking straws from their restaurant.

Below: Gaze of the Green Man, scalpel papercut, 2015
Gaze of the Green ManGaze of the Green Man"Gaze of the Green Man"
Scalpel paper-cut. Approx. 40 x 50 cm. April 2015.
The Green Man looks away from the viewer with a poignant, wistful expression. The spider's web hints at the fragile interconnectedness of Nature. A dandelion clock implies transience, but also proliferation. A butterfly suggests rebirth.



Lois's first experiment in straw sculpture was to create this giant Dragonfly, which seems to evoke a prehistoric age in which such large insects were perhaps preyed on by small carnivorous dinosaurs.





The spider's web is a recurring feature in Lois's artwork, representing the interconnectedness of all things. Weaving her own web out of plastic drinking straws has only deepened Lois's existing respect for spiders! Meanwhile, the butterfly is an enduring symbol of transformation and rebirth, which seemed especially appropriate for a sculpture that transforms plastic rubbish into art.




 

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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) akeman art commissions drinking straws eco art green man lois cordelia my art brief oakman inns pagan plastic recycle reuse sculpture trash plastic http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/9/giant-green-man-sculpted-out-of-discarded-plastic-drinking-straws Mon, 18 Sep 2017 23:51:48 GMT
"Look Upon Verdure" raises £6,750 for Basingstoke Cancer Charity http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/9/jane-austen-bookbench-raises-6-750-for-basingstoke-cancer-charity Friday 15th September witnessed the grand finale of the widely acclaimed public art trail Sitting With Jane, with 24 unique Jane Austen inspired BookBenches being auctioned at the Ark Conference Centre in Basingstoke, to raise valuable funds for Ark Cancer Centre Charity. Presented by Wild in Art and Destination Basingstoke, in association with Festival Place, the trail has raised an impressive £95,700 for the charity.

Sitting With Jane was one of numerous events this year marking the 200th anniversary (2017) of English novelist Jane Austen's death. Each BookBench was painted by a professional artist to feature an Austen inspired design, sponsored by the generosity of local businesses, and located on public view at various locations in and around Basingstoke for ten weeks over the Summer.

 

Photo credit: Adrian Lovell

Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia, whose BookBench design "Look Upon Verdure" fetched the second highest bid of the evening at £6,750, also performed a live speed-painting demonstration during the evening, creating a portrait interpretation of Jane Austen in the space of 60 minutes, in celebration of Austen's recent appearance on the ten pound note. The resulting painting on canvas will be auctioned separately via Ebay in the coming few weeks to raise additional funds for
Ark Cancer Centre Charity - watch this space for details!

Thanks to the generosity of Laura and Matt at The Topiary Salon, Lois' BookBench will remain in Old Basing near Basingstoke and will still be on view to visitors. Appropriately for a beauty salon, the BookBench is not only decorative but also functional.





Below: Laura and Matt Haystaff of The Topiary Salon with Lois Cordelia and "Look Upon Verdure" at the auction, 15th September 2017. Photo credit: Adrian Lovell


Below: Lois's 60 minute speed-portrait of Jane Austen will be auctioned via Ebay in the coming few weeks.


Photo credit: Adrian Lovell
Sitting With Jane BookBench Auction, Basingstoke
Photo credit: Adrian Lovell
September 15th 2017

Photo credit: Adrian Lovell
Sitting With Jane BookBench Auction, Basingstoke
Photo credit: Adrian Lovell
September 15th 2017


Photo credit: Jason Curtis


"Look Upon Verdure"


Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia had her design "Look Upon Verdure" chosen for the trail and travelled 150 miles to Basingstoke in February to paint it onto a BookBench. Lois took 4.5 hours (interspersed with breaks!) on Tuesday 28th February to transform the blank white BookBench, using acrylic paints, lots of metallic and iridescent colours and a large brush. She had also prepared her own paper-cut stencils of two quotations of Jane Austen, illustrating her love of Nature, in which Lois set herself the special challenge of imitating Austen's handwriting and even her signature (as it appears on her will - see below). Jane invites us to pause in our hectic modern lifestyles, sit with her on a bench and rest our eyes on nature, gardens and greenery: “To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment.” (Jane Austen, Mansfield Park)

Lois's BookBench was on public display in the middle of the village of Overton, near Basingstoke, from 17th June until 31st August 2017.

 
 

Follow: @LoisCordelia @SittingWithJane @JAusten200 @Basingstoke #SittingWithJane @Ark_Charity
 


Above: Lois with Clare and Amanda from De La Rue



Below: Lois created her own set of paper-cut stencils to evoke the beautiful handwriting of Jane Austen, including this interpretation of Austen's signature.

Below: Lois uses her own hand-made paper-cut stencils to transfer Jane Austen's quotations onto the BookBench.

"Look Upon Verdure"#SittingWithJane teaser: using my own #papercut #stencils to evoke #JaneAusten's elegant #handwriting :)
"To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment."
Sitting With Jane - Wild in Art - De La Rue plc - Basingstoke - Festival Place @JAusten200 #LookUponVerdure

Lois' design "Look Upon Verdure" has been generously sponsored by De La Rue, whose headquarters are located near Basingstoke.

The trail has encouraged visitors to explore both well known and less frequented parts of north Hampshire, from beautiful villages and rural landscapes that have scarcely changed since Austen's time to modern visitor attractions, landmarks and great shopping.

Meanwhile, Lois Cordelia is very excited to have recently secured her fourth Wild in Art commission, which will remain top secret until the big reveal in October 2017... Stay tuned! :-)









]]>
loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) acrylics ark cancer centre art basingstoke bookbenches de la rue destination basingstoke jane austen live art demo lois cordelia overton portraits sitting with jane wild in art http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/9/jane-austen-bookbench-raises-6-750-for-basingstoke-cancer-charity Mon, 18 Sep 2017 18:43:22 GMT
Malka film selected for International Film Festival in Greece http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/9/malka-film-selected-for-international-film-festival-in-greece An Ipswich-based film collaboration dedicated to refugee children, Malka, by Stefan Freedman and Lois Cordelia has been selected for screening as part of the Symi International Film Festival in Greece between 18th to 22nd September 2017.

 

At its official Ipswich launch in April, hosted by the Red Rose Chain, the film raised more than £1000 for Suffolk Refugee Support. Malka is a short non-profit film that aims to reach out to the public and promote empathy and understanding of refugees, seen through the eyes of a child.


A further fundraiser event at the Angel Cafe in Diss in July raised more than £600 in addition for the Hoxne based charity Symi which takes vital supplies to trapped refugees on the Greek island of Symi and elsewhere. A third fundraiser event is planned for Norwich next February.



Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia performed two live speed-painting demonstrations as part of the April launch evening, painting along with the live music, to evoke the spirit of the film. The Malka launch also featured an exhibition of some of Lois' artwork for the film. Two silent art auctions of Lois' paintings for Malka have raised more than £500 for refugee support charities.


"Malka" is a short film (4 m 52 s) dedicated to refugee children everywhere, evoking the journey of a young girl refugee, Malka, and her mother across wilderness and hardship in search of safety. The film features haunting acoustic music and lyrics by Stefan Freedman, accompanied by atmospheric mixed media illustrations by Lois Cordelia. The film in its entirety can be viewed here. Public sharing of the film is encouraged.

Responses to Malka

The film has already been circulated widely on the Internet and social media, inspiring a wealth of heartfelt and emotional responses, such as the following:

 

"Fascinating, astounding, haunting, very beautiful. An amazing venture for a great cause. A phrase that springs to mind: 'a modern Gesamtkunstwerk' of real beauty."
 

"I love this video. Through it I have felt the plight of refugees in a way that no amount of other media coverage could have done. Well done to all who have been involved in making it."
 

Stefan Freedman remarks: "The feedback from many people is passionate, nuanced and strongly affirming. My brother's (face-to-face) was the most surprising of all to me. He said that of all the creative projects over the years this one had gone furthest. Emotionally powerful and professionally impressive."

 

The development and future of Malka

Stefan Freedman was travelling on a train a few years ago when the idea for Malka first came to him. The music that began to flow together in his mind was originally inspired by a traditional Bulgarian folk tune. Stefan shaped his own lyrics to fit the music, evoking the words of a refugee mother to her young daughter, Malka, seeking to reassure her in the midst of unfamiliarity and confusion.
 

In Stefan's words:

"When Adrian [Lush] first urged me to record 'Malka' it was simply because he felt it was an exceptional song. We liked the idea of putting it on YouTube to share with friends.

"Once Lois started producing artwork, so captivating and emotive, I realised that the narrative needed exactly the right voice with an equal power. So delighted that my first choice vocalist, Sebastiana, was willing to come from Norwich to record with us.

"Once finished, the creative project seemed to merit an 'unveiling'. ... The unofficial one (for friends) was at the Ipswich Quakers on 17th March 2017, and the official open-to-public one was at the Red Rose Chain's Avenue theatre on 28th April. Combining the first public showing with a talk from SRS, entertainments and a meal - as a fundraiser for refugees - seemed to follow on naturally. I can't now recall who first suggested it or when, but how could it have been otherwise? Malka seems to have a life of her own!

"I couldn't in my wildest dreams have imagined the event raising over £1,000 for SRS. Very thrilled about this result. Big heartfelt congratulations to all involved.

"What happens next? The Malka video has the potential to serve in three ways. It touches people and creates empathy (even people like my brother who generally is not sympathetic with the refugee cause!). The artwork and music contain nuances, symbolism and many layers which provide an excellent stimulus for discussion. And as we've discovered and proven it can be the focus around which effective fundraising can be arranged." (- Stefan Freedman, May 2017)

Stefan is a teacher of traditional, sacred and circle dance, travelling worldwide to lead workshops and other events incorporating live music and displays. His dances use evocative music from all continents.

A smaller follow-up fundraising event is already scheduled for Sunday 16th July 2017 (17:00 - 19:00) at the Angel Cafe in Diss, Norfolk.

 

Thank You

Stefan and Lois wish to extend heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in making the fundraiser events a success, including all musicians and support, everyone who attended and bought tickets for the events, helped out with catering, promotion, press, radio and media coverage, ticket sales and facilities, sold copies of Malka on DVD, gave talks, assisted with transport and set-up, and everyone who bid in the silent auction. Special thanks go to Joanna Carrick for agreeing to co-host the launch event at Red Rose Chain, and to Madeline Lees and the Angel Cafe, Diss.






 

Music
The music for Malka features the distinctive voice of Czech singer Sebastiana Black (based in Norwich), accompanied by a haunting mix of sounds created by various ancient musical instruments including the sackbut, shawm, bass viol and bowed psaltery. Musicians Stefan Freedman, Adrian Lush and Andy Mapplebeck are all Ipswich-based.

Below: Czech singer Sebastiana Black (lead vocals)

Below: Left to right: Andy Mapplebeck, Stefan Freedman, Adrian Lush, Lois Cordelia, January 2017. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.


Above: Left to right: Andy Mapplebeck, Stefan Freedman. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.

Above: Stefan Freedman, Adrian Lush. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.

Above: Stefan Freedman. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.

Above:  Left to right: Andy Mapplebeck, Stefan Freedman, Adrian Lush, Lois Cordelia, January 2017. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.

Lyrics


Malka

(dedicated to refugee children)
 

Storm winds whistle in the sky
Birds cry, flying helter-skelter
Malka, walk a little more
Though your feet are sore
While there is still some light to guide us
Sorrel soothes our tired feet
Lovage we can eat
Look out for somewhere they won't find us

"When will we be going home?"
Malka, our future is unknown
Each day we'll be moving on
Till the danger's gone
We're following a road to freedom
Sing once more your favourite song
Keep your spirit strong
Hold all your dreams until you need them

"When can I play with my friends?"
Malka, so many paths were taken
Strangers, unfamiliar words
Like migrating birds
That vanish over moonlit mountains
Some day in another land
We'll dance hand in hand
We'll wash our feet in sparkling fountains


Storm winds whistle in the sky
Birds cry, flying helter-skelter
Malka, walk a little more
Though your feet are sore
Tomorrow we'll have better weather
Soon we'll stop and build a fire
Burning with desire
That one day there'll be peace forever

© Stefan Freedman


Artwork
Ipswich-based artist Lois Cordelia began creating the artwork for Malka in May 2016. Over the following 6 months, she assembled a series of more than 60 visuals, inspired by Stefan's lyrics. Lois's mixed media illustrations combine painting, drawing, paper-cutting, brushpen, photography and digital effects, layered together to heighten the emotional intensity of each image.

One of the challenges that Lois faced was how to convey both the traumas and the aspirations of the young girl, Malka, in ways that touched people's emotions without being unbearably painful to watch. The film hints at the trials and hardships that Malka and her mother endure, but also plants seeds of hope for a brighter future.

Lois wanted her pictures to have a universal appeal, hence her depictions of Malka embrace various ages and different nationalities. She also emphasises the value of using creative activities as therapy for refugee children, suggesting how the young girl could express her memories of trauma through her own paintings. Remembering how to paint as a child was an important part of Lois's journey following in the footsteps of Malka.





 

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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) acrylics art film festival ipswich lois cordelia malka music paper-cutting portraits refugees stefan freedman suffolk suffolk refugee support symi http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/9/malka-film-selected-for-international-film-festival-in-greece Thu, 14 Sep 2017 22:42:07 GMT
Your chance to bid! Jane Austen BookBench Auction Fri 15th Sep 2017 http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/9/your-chance-to-bid-jane-austen-bookbench-auction-fri-15th-sep-2017 Following on from the widely acclaimed public art trail Sitting With Jane, 24 unique Jane Austen inspired BookBenches will go under the hammer during the official auction in Basingstoke on the evening of Friday 15th September 2017, to raise valuable funds for Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

This unique free public art trail has marked the 200th anniversary (2017) of English novelist Jane Austen's death. The BookBenches have each been painted by a professional artist to feature an Austen inspired design, and were located on public view at various locations in and around Basingstoke for ten weeks over the Summer.

Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia designed and painted one of the BookBenches (scroll down for more details), and will be speed-painting live during the auction at The Ark Conference & Events Centre, Dinwoodie Drive, RG24 9NN Basingstoke. Her resulting painting will be auctioned separately in the coming few weeks to raise additional funds for
Ark Cancer Centre Charity - watch this space for details!

 

"Look Upon Verdure"


Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia had her design "Look Upon Verdure" chosen for the trail and travelled 150 miles to Basingstoke in February to paint it onto a BookBench. Lois took 4.5 hours (interspersed with breaks!) on Tuesday 28th February to transform the blank white BookBench, using acrylic paints, lots of metallic and iridescent colours and a large brush. She had also prepared her own paper-cut stencils of two quotations of Jane Austen, illustrating her love of Nature, in which Lois set herself the special challenge of imitating Austen's handwriting and even her signature (as it appears on her will - see below). Jane invites us to pause in our hectic modern lifestyles, sit with her on a bench and rest our eyes on nature, gardens and greenery: “To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment.” (Jane Austen, Mansfield Park)

Lois's BookBench was on public display in the middle of the village of Overton, near Basingstoke, from 17th June until 31st August 2017.

 
 

Follow: @LoisCordelia @SittingWithJane @JAusten200 @Basingstoke #SittingWithJane @Ark_Charity
 


Above: Lois with Clare and Amanda from De La Rue



Below: Lois created her own set of paper-cut stencils to evoke the beautiful handwriting of Jane Austen, including this interpretation of Austen's signature.

Below: Lois uses her own hand-made paper-cut stencils to transfer Jane Austen's quotations onto the BookBench.

"Look Upon Verdure"#SittingWithJane teaser: using my own #papercut #stencils to evoke #JaneAusten's elegant #handwriting :)
"To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment."
Sitting With Jane - Wild in Art - De La Rue plc - Basingstoke - Festival Place @JAusten200 #LookUponVerdure

Lois' design "Look Upon Verdure" has been generously sponsored by De La Rue, whose headquarters are located near Basingstoke.

The trail has encouraged visitors to explore both well known and less frequented parts of north Hampshire, from beautiful villages and rural landscapes that have scarcely changed since Austen's time to modern visitor attractions, landmarks and great shopping. Now that the trail has finished, the BookBenches will be auctioned off on Friday 15th September 2017 to raise much needed funds to support the vital work of Ark Cancer Centre Charity. The trail is presented by Wild in Art and Destination Basingstoke, in association with Festival Place.









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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) acrylics ark cancer centre art basingstoke bookbenches cut-paper hampshire jane austen live art demo overton paper-cutting sitting with jane speed-painting wild in art http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/9/your-chance-to-bid-jane-austen-bookbench-auction-fri-15th-sep-2017 Thu, 14 Sep 2017 16:20:16 GMT
#BirdWhisperer Project http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/6/-birdwhisperer-project The Bird Whisperer Project was an idea hatched by Amanda Makepeace and Melissa Gay. Each month several artists from around the world create new artwork from the same reference photo and share it online with #BirdWhisperer. Each artist is free to interpret the source material in their own unique voice. Please visit the Bird Whisperer Project to see all the artists' work and the reference photographs. Note: Reference photos are obtained from public domain or used with permission from the photographer.
 

28th June 2017: Golden-Breasted Starling

Title: "Mirror-Starling"
Size: 41 x 23 cm
Media: Acrylic Mirror-Painting
Completed in about 30 minutes.



30th May 2017 Silvery-Cheeked Hornbill

Title: "Silvery-cheeked Hornbill"
Size: 30 x 30 cm
Media: Silver, white and sepia marker pens on cork tile
Completed in about 20 minutes.


 

26th April 2017: Swan

Title: "Swan Lake Metamorphosis"
Approx. 50 x 32 cm
Scalpel Paper-cut
Completed in about 3 hours




29th March 2017: Flamingo

Title: "Flamenco Flamingo"
Approx. 50 x 50 cm
Acrylic Paint, Brushpen, Paper-cut (Scalpel, Pattern Shears, Hole Punches)

Completed in about 1 hour 30 minutes.


February 2017: Vulture


Lois Cordelia joined the Bird Whisperer Project in February 2017, with the theme of Vulture. Her first #BirdWhisperer artwork was a metamorphosis style creative re-imagining of a vinyl record and sleeve:

Title: "The Eve of the War - 30 Minute Vulture Speed-Remix"
Medium: marker pen on vinyl record and sleeve, 30 minutes, 60 x 30 cm.
Original record: Ben Liebrand Remix The Eve of the War.





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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) #birdwhisperer art birds flamingo metamorphosis mixed media remix swan vulture http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/6/-birdwhisperer-project Wed, 28 Jun 2017 22:27:44 GMT
Look Upon Verdure: Sitting With Jane BookBench Trail goes live http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/6/sitting-with-jane-basingstoke-bookbench-trail-goes-live Sitting With Janean art trail of 24 BookBenches inspired by Jane Austen has officially launched in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

This unique free public art trail will mark the 200th anniversary (2017) of English novelist Jane Austen's death. The BookBenches have each been painted by a professional artist to feature an Austen inspired design, and have been located on public view at various locations in and around Basingstoke from 17th June until 31st August 2017.

"Look Upon Verdure"


Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia had her design "Look Upon Verdure" chosen for the trail and travelled 150 miles to Basingstoke in February to paint it onto a BookBench. Lois took 4.5 hours (interspersed with breaks!) on Tuesday 28th February to transform the blank white BookBench, using acrylic paints, lots of metallic and iridescent colours and a large brush. She had also prepared her own paper-cut stencils of two quotations of Jane Austen, illustrating her love of Nature, in which Lois set herself the special challenge of imitating Austen's handwriting and even her signature (as it appears on her will - see below). Jane invites us to pause in our hectic modern lifestyles, sit with her on a bench and rest our eyes on nature, gardens and greenery: “To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment.” (Jane Austen, Mansfield Park)

Lois's BookBench will be on public display in the middle of the village of Overton, near Basingstoke, from 17th June until 31st August 2017.


 

Follow: @LoisCordelia @SittingWithJane @JAusten200 @Basingstoke #SittingWithJane @Ark_Charity
 


Above: Lois with Clare and Amanda from De La Rue



Below: Lois created her own set of paper-cut stencils to evoke the beautiful handwriting of Jane Austen, including this interpretation of Austen's signature.

Below: Lois uses her own hand-made paper-cut stencils to transfer Jane Austen's quotations onto the BookBench.

"Look Upon Verdure"#SittingWithJane teaser: using my own #papercut #stencils to evoke #JaneAusten's elegant #handwriting :)
"To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment."
Sitting With Jane - Wild in Art - De La Rue plc - Basingstoke - Festival Place @JAusten200 #LookUponVerdure

Lois' design "Look Upon Verdure" has been generously sponsored by De La Rue, whose headquarters are located near Basingstoke.

The trail will encourage visitors to explore both well known and less frequented parts of north Hampshire, from beautiful villages and rural landscapes that have scarcely changed since Austen's time to modern visitor attractions, landmarks and great shopping. After the trail finishes at the end of August, the BookBenches will be auctioned off on 15th September 2017 to raise much needed funds to support the vital work of Ark Cancer Centre Charity. The trail is presented by Wild in Art and Destination Basingstoke, in association with Festival Place.









]]>
loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) acrylics art basingstoke cut-paper de la rue hampshire ipswich jane austen live art demo mansfield park overton paper-cutting piggeswyk scalpel sitting with jane wild in art http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/6/sitting-with-jane-basingstoke-bookbench-trail-goes-live Sat, 17 Jun 2017 01:13:52 GMT
Behind the scenes: Painting a SunBear for Birmingham http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/5/behind-the-scenes-painting-a-bear-for-birmingham Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia travelled to Birmingham earlier this week to paint her latest public art commission onto a giant SunBear statue: Taj Mahal by Sun and Moon, which is generously sponsored by (and will be on public display at) Martineau Place shopping centre in the heart of Birmingham for 10-weeks this summer (10th July to 17th September 2017) as part of a free public art trail: The Big Sleuth.

In her usual 'speed-painting' style, Lois completed the paintwork in the space of about 8 hours, using a large brush and shimmering metallic paints. Additionally, she used her fingernails to scratch into the paintwork to suggest intricate carving and architectural forms, and her fingertips to create characterful transitions of colour, evoking the passage of day and night.

Please note: Lois cannot reveal her design in full until the trail goes live on 10th July, so this article contains only a few behind-the-scenes glimpses of work in progress on her recent speed-painting marathon.



Below (video excerpt): Lois paints part of the design using her fingertips to create a colourful and characterful transition between day and night.
Finger painting part of the design for 'Taj Mahal by Sun and Moon' to create characterful transitions of colour, evoking the passage of day and night

Please note: Lois cannot reveal her design in full until the trail goes live on 10th July, so this article contains only a few behind-the-scenes glimpses of work in progress on her recent speed-painting marathon.

Lois Cordelia’s design for The Big Sleuth is called "Taj Mahal by Sun and Moon" and is inspired by one of the major themes chosen for the 2017 trail to mark the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence as well as Birmingham City Council's Year of South Asian Culture (Utsav). In the context of these themes, the regal, grounded stance and cosmic theme of the SunBear suggested to Lois the monumental motif of the Taj Mahal, which has frequently featured in her speed-painting. Visitors to one of India's best known architectural landmarks often remark that the Taj Mahal is as beautiful by moonlight as it is by day, maybe more so.

The SunBear is Lois's third Wild in Art adventure. She previously completed a golden pig, Pig-geswyk, for her hometown's 2016 trail: Pigs Gone Wild, and a Jane Austen inspired BookBench (for Sitting With Jane, Basingstoke). Lois gains a growing reputation as a "speed-painter", working fearlessly in public, performing live art demonstrations in a wide range of venues. She painted her pig, Pig-geswyk, within 2 days, and her BookBench, 'Look Upon Verdure', in the space of 4.5 hours, talking to dozens of visitors as she worked. Sadly, in the case of the SunBear, the allocated painting space in Birmingham city centre was not on public view, but Lois has recorded her progress via a series of photographs, timelapse and video footage, to be released as soon as the trail goes live in July. Watch this space.

Despite being known as a "speed-painter", Lois comments that she never sees painting as a race against the clock. She simply prefers to work swiftly, painting from the shoulder with a big brush and acrylics to create sweeping lines full of movement and energy, even within an apparently static subject matter such as the majestic monument of the Taj Mahal. Her favourite motto is: Less is more.

Lois's paintings often feature shimmering, iridescent and metallic colours, which catch the light in unexpected ways as the viewer walks by. Her pig Pig-geswyk featured twin townscapes of her hometown of Ipswich, rendered in metallic gold and bronze paints, which aptly earned it the epithet of "Shimmering Pig-geswyk" in the local press. Lois's design for Birmingham's The Big Sleuth similarly features iridescent and metallic paints to evoke the beauty of the "Taj Mahal by Sun and Moon".

Below: Lois Cordelia crouches beside Pig-geswyk, Ipswich, June 2016.

Follow: @LoisCordelia @TheBigSleuth #TheBigSleuth @Wild_in_Art

 

Presented by Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and creative producers Wild in Art, The Big Sleuth will see up to 100 giant bear statues (and bear cubs created by schools and young people) leave their paw prints throughout the city and all over the West Midlands before being auctioned in mid October 2017 to raise money for the charity. The individually designed sculptures (165 cm tall) will appear throughout Birmingham this Summer, inspiring residents and tourists alike to uncover its cultural gems and discover areas they may not have explored before.


Birmingham will be known as Bear-mingham in 2017. The trail goes live on Monday 10th July.

 

The sun bear (Helarctos Malayanus), also called the "honey bear" for its love of honey, is the smallest, least familiar and among the rarest of all bear species, native to tropical forest habitats of Southeast Asia. It is easily recognised by the crescent shaped patch of paler fur on its breast. It is classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Big Sleuth, so named because 'sleuth' is the collective noun for a group of bears, is the highly-anticipated sequel to Birmingham’s The Big Hoot, which attracted more than 800,000 visitors in 2015 and raised over £625,000 in total for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. The term 'sleuth' also refers to a detective, which is most appropriate for an art trail that encourages visitors to explore and investigate their surroundings in more detail.

This second free public art trail is expected to attract thousands of local, regional and national visitors to the city.




 

The Big Sleuth is the second mass-participation public arts event to take place in Birmingham.

Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director of Wild in Art said: “We’re delighted to have some incredibly talented artists involved in The Big Sleuth and we’re so excited to see their creations on the trail this summer. The project transforms streets, parks and public spaces into a fun, free art gallery taking people on a creative journey around Birmingham.”

Elinor Eustace, Deputy Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity said: “The Big Sleuth is really important to Birmingham Children’s Hospital as not only will it bring visitors into our fantastic city from all over the UK, but we also hope to raise over half a million pounds to support the pioneering work we do here every day.”

To find out more visit www.thebigsleuth.co.uk

 

Wild in Art
@Wild_in_Art

Wild in Art is one of the leading creative producers of spectacular, mass-appeal public art events which bring together business and creative sectors with schools and local communities to create a shared experience that supports the host city’s sense of identity, its economy and environment, and showcases its creativity and innovation.

Since 2008 Wild in Art has animated cities across the world including Sydney, Melbourne, Cape Town and São Paulo and created trails for the London 2012 Olympics, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Historic Royal Palaces and Aardman Animations.

Wild in Art events have:

Attracted over 6 million additional visitors to host cities across the UK and worldwide
Contributed over £1.2m to local creative communities
Enabled over £8m to be raised for charitable causes
Engaged over 80,000 young people in creative programmes
For further information about Wild in Art visit www.wildinart.co.uk


Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity
One of just four standalone children’s hospitals in the UK, Birmingham Children’s Hospital is a world leader in paediatric healthcare with over 270,000 patient visits every year.

Delivering some of the most advanced treatments, complex surgical procedures and cutting edge research and development, in recent years the hospital’s reliance on charitable giving has increased as the Trust strives to deliver projects that go above and beyond NHS standards.

As a result, every patient and family at Birmingham Children’s Hospital will have been touched by the hospital’s charity in some way. Whether that is a newly refurbished playroom or ward, a state-of-the-art piece of equipment or even a toy at Christmas.

But the impact of fundraising on patient experience is much more than purely financial – it makes a real difference to the services it provides to children and their families during difficult times, pushing boundaries and improving standards of excellence in research, education, treatment and patient experience in order to provide the very best for the children and families in its care.

For more information on Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, please visit www.bch.org.uk.

 

]]>
loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) acrylics art bears birmingham live art demo lois cordelia martineau place pigs gone wild speed-painting sunbears taj mahal the big sleuth utsav wild in art http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/5/behind-the-scenes-painting-a-bear-for-birmingham Thu, 18 May 2017 22:25:11 GMT
Metamorphosis Speed-Painting for Woodbridge Art Club http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/5/metamorphosis-speed-painting-for-woodbridge-art-club As part of her popular series of speed-painting demonstrations, Lois Cordelia particularly enjoys the challenge of creatively re-imagining an existing canvas, that is to say, not simply obliterating the original image, but exploiting its potential to contribute expressively and aesthetically to a new work. On Wednesday 3rd May 2017, Lois Cordelia performed two live speed-painting demonstrations for the renowned Woodbridge Art Club in Suffolk, painting over unlikely choices of existing imagery on canvas.
For her first demonstration (25 minutes, including commentary), she chose a photographic canvas print of a Buddha statue with candles, which suggested themes of peace, harmony and the balance of light and dark. Hence she decided to paint a woodland scene over it, evoking similar themes.


For her second 45 minute demo, Lois chose a very different photographic canvas print, of colourful and intricately patterned Moroccan bowls. This striking background suggested themes of liveliness and vibrant energy. She swiftly superimposed a portrait of reggae icon Bob Marley, completed within 45 minutes.

Loosely basing her work on black and white photo references, Lois simultaneously reinterprets both the photograph and the canvas, so that the end result is not only a creative fusion of the two images, but also a metamorphosis in its own right. Lois emphasises that this process relies on a fluid, flexible approach to painting, allowing parts of the original image to remain and contribute in unexpected ways.

A photographic series of work in progress is featured below. Special thanks to Iris Howard for taking photographs.

 

Just about to start...









After about 25 minutes:


Next choice of canvas for metamorphosis treatment: Moroccan bowls.


First brushstrokes are the most important...








After 45 minutes:


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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) acrylics art bob marley live art demo lois cordelia portraits speed-painting suffolk woodbridge woodbridge art club http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/5/metamorphosis-speed-painting-for-woodbridge-art-club Wed, 03 May 2017 23:05:05 GMT
Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia paints a SunBear for Birmingham trail http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/5/ipswich-artist-lois-cordelia-paints-a-sunbear-for-birmingham-trail Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia hit the local headlines last Summer for her golden pig, Pig-geswyk, which formed part of the Ipswich Pigs Gone Wild trail. Lois has since gone on to secure two further Wild in Art commissions, including a Jane Austen inspired BookBench (for Sitting With Jane, Basingstoke) and most recently a giant SunBear, which will be on public display for 10-weeks this summer (July to September 2017) as part of another free public art trail in Birmingham: The Big Sleuth.

 

Presented by Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity and creative producers Wild in Art, The Big Sleuth will see up to 100 giant bear statues (and bear cubs created by schools and young people) leave their paw prints throughout the city and all over the West Midlands before being auctioned in mid October 2017 to raise money for the charity. The individually designed sculptures (165 cm tall) will appear throughout Birmingham this Summer, inspiring residents and tourists alike to uncover its cultural gems and discover areas they may not have explored before.


Birmingham will be known as Bear-mingham in 2017. The trail goes live on Monday 10th July.

 

The sun bear (Helarctos Malayanus), also called the "honey bear" for its love of honey, is the smallest, least familiar and among the rarest of all bear species, native to tropical forest habitats of Southeast Asia. It is easily recognised by the crescent shaped patch of paler fur on its breast. It is classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The Big Sleuth, so named because 'sleuth' is the collective noun for a group of bears, is the highly-anticipated sequel to Birmingham’s The Big Hoot, which attracted more than 800,000 visitors in 2015 and raised over £625,000 in total for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. The term 'sleuth' also refers to a detective, which is most appropriate for an art trail that encourages visitors to explore and investigate their surroundings in more detail.

This second free public art trail is expected to attract thousands of local, regional and national visitors to the city.

 

Lois Cordelia’s design for The Big Sleuth is called "Taj Mahal by Sun and Moon" and is inspired by one of the major themes chosen for the 2017 trail to mark the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence as well as Birmingham City Council's Year of South Asian Culture (Utsav). In the context of these themes, the regal, grounded stance and cosmic theme of the SunBear suggested to Lois the monumental motif of the Taj Mahal, which has frequently featured in her speed-painting. Visitors to one of India's best known architectural landmarks often remark that the Taj Mahal is as beautiful by moonlight as it is by day, maybe more so.

Lois' design is generously sponsored by Martineau Place shopping centre in the heart of the city of Birmingham.
 

N.B. Lois's design for The Big Sleuth, "Taj Mahal by Sun and Moon" cannot be publicly revealed in full until the trail goes live in July 2017, but stay tuned for behind-the-scenes glimpses...! :-)

Lois is very excited to be embarking on her third Wild in Art adventure. She gains a growing reputation as a "speed-painter" working fearlessly in public, performing live art demonstrations in a wide range of venues. Notably within the context of Wild in Art, she painted her pig, Pig-geswyk, within 2 days, and her BookBench, 'Look Upon Verdure', in the space of 4.5 hours, talking to dozens of visitors as she worked. Lois will travel to Birmingham on 15th May 2017 to paint her design onto a blank Bear statue and plans to complete the entire paintwork within one day, and the varnishing the next. (N.B. Sadly, on this occasion, the allocated painting space in Birmingham city centre will not be on public view, but Lois will record her progress via a series of photographs, timelapse and video footage, to be released as soon as the trail goes live in July.) Despite being known as a "speed-painter", Lois comments that she never sees painting as a race against the clock. She simply prefers to work swiftly, painting from the shoulder with a big brush and acrylics to create sweeping lines full of movement and energy, even within an apparently static subject matter such as the majestic monument of the Taj Mahal. Her favourite motto is: Less is more.

Lois's paintings often feature shimmering, iridescent and metallic colours, which catch the light in unexpected ways as the viewer walks by. Her pig Pig-geswyk featured twin townscapes of her hometown of Ipswich, rendered in metallic gold and bronze paints, which aptly earned it the epithet of "Shimmering Pig-geswyk" in the local press
. Lois's design for Birmingham's The Big Sleuth will similarly feature iridescent paints to evoke the beauty of the "Taj Mahal by Sun and Moon".

Below: Lois Cordelia crouches beside Pig-geswyk, Ipswich, June 2016.

Follow: @LoisCordelia @TheBigSleuth #TheBigSleuth @Wild_in_Art

 

The Big Sleuth is the second mass-participation public arts event to take place in Birmingham.

Sally-Ann Wilkinson, Director of Wild in Art said: “We’re delighted to have some incredibly talented artists involved in The Big Sleuth and we’re so excited to see their creations on the trail this summer. The project transforms streets, parks and public spaces into a fun, free art gallery taking people on a creative journey around Birmingham.”

Elinor Eustace, Deputy Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity said: “The Big Sleuth is really important to Birmingham Children’s Hospital as not only will it bring visitors into our fantastic city from all over the UK, but we also hope to raise over half a million pounds to support the pioneering work we do here every day.”

To find out more visit www.thebigsleuth.co.uk

 

Wild in Art
@Wild_in_Art

Wild in Art is one of the leading creative producers of spectacular, mass-appeal public art events which bring together business and creative sectors with schools and local communities to create a shared experience that supports the host city’s sense of identity, its economy and environment, and showcases its creativity and innovation.

Since 2008 Wild in Art has animated cities across the world including Sydney, Melbourne, Cape Town and São Paulo and created trails for the London 2012 Olympics, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Historic Royal Palaces and Aardman Animations.

Wild in Art events have:

Attracted over 6 million additional visitors to host cities across the UK and worldwide
Contributed over £1.2m to local creative communities
Enabled over £8m to be raised for charitable causes
Engaged over 80,000 young people in creative programmes
For further information about Wild in Art visit www.wildinart.co.uk


Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity
One of just four standalone children’s hospitals in the UK, Birmingham Children’s Hospital is a world leader in paediatric healthcare with over 270,000 patient visits every year.

Delivering some of the most advanced treatments, complex surgical procedures and cutting edge research and development, in recent years the hospital’s reliance on charitable giving has increased as the Trust strives to deliver projects that go above and beyond NHS standards.

As a result, every patient and family at Birmingham Children’s Hospital will have been touched by the hospital’s charity in some way. Whether that is a newly refurbished playroom or ward, a state-of-the-art piece of equipment or even a toy at Christmas.

But the impact of fundraising on patient experience is much more than purely financial – it makes a real difference to the services it provides to children and their families during difficult times, pushing boundaries and improving standards of excellence in research, education, treatment and patient experience in order to provide the very best for the children and families in its care.

For more information on Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, please visit www.bch.org.uk.

 

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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) acrylics art bears birmingham exhibition india indian independence live art demo lois cordelia pigs gone wild speed-painting sun bears taj mahal the big sleuth utsav west midlands wild in art year of south asian culture http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/5/ipswich-artist-lois-cordelia-paints-a-sunbear-for-birmingham-trail Tue, 02 May 2017 23:32:18 GMT
Ipswich "Malka" Launch raises £1000 for Suffolk Refugee Support http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/5/ipswich-malka-launch The official Ipswich launch of a short film, Malka, by Stefan Freedman and Lois Cordelia has raised more than £1000 for Suffolk Refugee Support. Malka is a short non-profit film that aims to reach out to the public and promote empathy and understanding of refugees, seen through the eyes of a child.


The launch event on Friday 28th April featured a rich and varied programme, including an introductory talk by Ian Stewart of Suffolk Refugee Support, three screenings of Malka with and without subtitles, an exhibition and live speed-painting demonstration by artist Lois Cordelia, and live traditional Eastern European music and dance with an 11-piece band that included all of the original Malka musicians. Stefan and Lois spoke about some of the inspiring stories behind their local creative collaboration, and Lois also donated one of her paintings for a silent art auction. Additionally, there was circle dancing and a generous buffet meal.



The event was generously co-hosted by the award-winning Ipswich theatre group Red Rose Chain, whose ethos closely matches that of the Malka project: "Many of our practitioners and volunteers are those whose lives have been turned around by Red Rose Chain. We believe in change and have created a finely balanced, welcoming and creative environment which nurtures our participants, builds their self-esteem and radically improves their life."



Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia performed two live speed-painting demonstrations as part of the evening, painting along with the live music, to evoke the spirit of the film. The Malka launch also featured an exhibition of some of Lois' artwork for the film. A silent art auction raised £250 (a quarter of the total raised by the event).


"Malka" is a short film (4 m 52 s) dedicated to refugee children everywhere, evoking the journey of a young girl refugee, Malka, and her mother across wilderness and hardship in search of safety. The film features haunting acoustic music and lyrics by Stefan Freedman, accompanied by atmospheric mixed media illustrations by Lois Cordelia. The film in its entirety can be viewed here. Public sharing of the film is encouraged.

Responses to Malka

The film has already been circulated widely on the Internet and social media, inspiring a wealth of heartfelt and emotional responses, such as the following:

 

"Fascinating, astounding, haunting, very beautiful. An amazing venture for a great cause. A phrase that springs to mind: 'a modern Gesamtkunstwerk' of real beauty."
 

"I love this video. Through it I have felt the plight of refugees in a way that no amount of other media coverage could have done. Well done to all who have been involved in making it."
 

Stefan Freedman remarks: "The feedback from many people is passionate, nuanced and strongly affirming. My brother's (face-to-face) was the most surprising of all to me. He said that of all the creative projects over the years this one had gone furthest. Emotionally powerful and professionally impressive."

 

The development and future of Malka

Stefan Freedman was travelling on a train a few years ago when the idea for Malka first came to him. The music that began to flow together in his mind was originally inspired by a traditional Bulgarian folk tune. Stefan shaped his own lyrics to fit the music, evoking the words of a refugee mother to her young daughter, Malka, seeking to reassure her in the midst of unfamiliarity and confusion.
 

In Stefan's words:

"When Adrian [Lush] first urged me to record 'Malka' it was simply because he felt it was an exceptional song. We liked the idea of putting it on YouTube to share with friends.

"Once Lois started producing artwork, so captivating and emotive, I realised that the narrative needed exactly the right voice with an equal power. So delighted that my first choice vocalist, Sebastiana, was willing to come from Norwich to record with us.

"Once finished, the creative project seemed to merit an 'unveiling'. ... The unofficial one (for friends) was at the Ipswich Quakers on 17th March 2017, and the official open-to-public one was at the Red Rose Chain's Avenue theatre on 28th April. Combining the first public showing with a talk from SRS, entertainments and a meal - as a fundraiser for refugees - seemed to follow on naturally. I can't now recall who first suggested it or when, but how could it have been otherwise? Malka seems to have a life of her own!

"I couldn't in my wildest dreams have imagined the event raising over £1,000 for SRS. Very thrilled about this result. Big heartfelt congratulations to all involved.

"What happens next? The Malka video has the potential to serve in three ways. It touches people and creates empathy (even people like my brother who generally is not sympathetic with the refugee cause!). The artwork and music contain nuances, symbolism and many layers which provide an excellent stimulus for discussion. And as we've discovered and proven it can be the focus around which effective fundraising can be arranged." (- Stefan Freedman, May 2017)

Stefan is a teacher of traditional, sacred and circle dance, travelling worldwide to lead workshops and other events incorporating live music and displays. His dances use evocative music from all continents.

A smaller follow-up fundraising event is already scheduled for Sunday 16th July 2017 (17:00 - 19:00) at the Angel Cafe in Diss, Norfolk.

 

Thank You

Stefan and Lois wish to extend heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in making the Ipswich launch event a success, including all musicians and support, everyone who attended and bought tickets for the launch event, helped out with catering, promotion, press, radio and media coverage, ticket sales and facilities, sold copies of Malka on DVD, gave talks, assisted with transport and set-up, and everyone who bid in the silent auction. Special thanks go to Joanna Carrick for agreeing to co-host the event at Red Rose Chain.






 

Music
The music for Malka features the distinctive voice of Czech singer Sebastiana Black (based in Norwich), accompanied by a haunting mix of sounds created by various ancient musical instruments including the sackbut, shawm, bass viol and bowed psaltery. Musicians Stefan Freedman, Adrian Lush and Andy Mapplebeck are all Ipswich-based.

Below: Czech singer Sebastiana Black (lead vocals)

Below: Left to right: Andy Mapplebeck, Stefan Freedman, Adrian Lush, Lois Cordelia, January 2017. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.


Above: Left to right: Andy Mapplebeck, Stefan Freedman. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.

Above: Stefan Freedman, Adrian Lush. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.

Above: Stefan Freedman. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.

Above:  Left to right: Andy Mapplebeck, Stefan Freedman, Adrian Lush, Lois Cordelia, January 2017. Photo credit: Tony Mounter.

Lyrics


Malka

(dedicated to refugee children)
 

Storm winds whistle in the sky
Birds cry, flying helter-skelter
Malka, walk a little more
Though your feet are sore
While there is still some light to guide us
Sorrel soothes our tired feet
Lovage we can eat
Look out for somewhere they won't find us

"When will we be going home?"
Malka, our future is unknown
Each day we'll be moving on
Till the danger's gone
We're following a road to freedom
Sing once more your favourite song
Keep your spirit strong
Hold all your dreams until you need them

"When can I play with my friends?"
Malka, so many paths were taken
Strangers, unfamiliar words
Like migrating birds
That vanish over moonlit mountains
Some day in another land
We'll dance hand in hand
We'll wash our feet in sparkling fountains


Storm winds whistle in the sky
Birds cry, flying helter-skelter
Malka, walk a little more
Though your feet are sore
Tomorrow we'll have better weather
Soon we'll stop and build a fire
Burning with desire
That one day there'll be peace forever

© Stefan Freedman


Artwork
Ipswich-based artist Lois Cordelia began creating the artwork for Malka in May 2016. Over the following 6 months, she assembled a series of more than 60 visuals, inspired by Stefan's lyrics. Lois's mixed media illustrations combine painting, drawing, paper-cutting, brushpen, photography and digital effects, layered together to heighten the emotional intensity of each image.

One of the challenges that Lois faced was how to convey both the traumas and the aspirations of the young girl, Malka, in ways that touched people's emotions without being unbearably painful to watch. The film hints at the trials and hardships that Malka and her mother endure, but also plants seeds of hope for a brighter future.

Lois wanted her pictures to have a universal appeal, hence her depictions of Malka embrace various ages and different nationalities. She also emphasises the value of using creative activities as therapy for refugee children, suggesting how the young girl could express her memories of trauma through her own paintings. Remembering how to paint as a child was an important part of Lois's journey following in the footsteps of Malka.





 
 

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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) acrylics art circle dance dance film ipswich live art demo malka music portraits red rose chain refugees stefan freedman suffolk suffolk refugee support http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/5/ipswich-malka-launch Tue, 02 May 2017 16:39:26 GMT
Cake, Coffee & Live Art, Blakenham Woodland Garden, Mon 1 May 2017 http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/4/blakenham-woodland-garden-mon-1-may-2017 Anna Matthews of La Tour Cycle Cafe, Ipswich, will continue her popular series of pop-up coffee-shops at the stunning Blakenham Woodland Garden (at Little Blakenham, 4 miles north west of Ipswich) over the Bank Holiday weekend: Sunday 30th April and Monday 1st May 2017, as part of the National Open Gardens Scheme (NGS).

On the Bank Holiday Monday 1st May, she will be joined by Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia, who will perform live speed-art demonstrations throughout the day.

Covering 6 acres, Blakenham Woodland Garden is a glorious combination of traditional English woodland and many exotic trees, flowers and shrubs, planted over a period of 50 years, as well as Chinese rocks and landscape sculpture. From early daffodils and drifts of bluebells to rare magnolias and camellias, the garden offers an ever-changing pattern of colours and scents throughout spring and early summer.

What more idyllic backdrop could you want for enjoying your cake and coffee, with the chance to watch live art in progress, too - hope you can join us! There will also be garden plants for sale.

Location - see map below for directions:
Blakenham Woodland Garden
Little Blakenham,
Ipswich,
Suffolk IP8 4LZ
Date: May Bank Holiday Weekend (Sunday 30th April and Monday 1st May 2017)
N.B. Live art demonstration will be on the Monday only.
Live art demo times: 10.30 am - 3.00 pm
Pop-up coffee-shop: 10.00 am - 5.00 pm

Admission: £4. Children: £2.

Sunlit Woodland (35 minutes speed-painting)Sunlit Woodland (35 minutes speed-painting)Acrylic on board
80 x 60 cm. 11th February 2017

Woodland Night Sky (40 minutes speed-painting)Woodland Night Sky (40 minutes speed-painting)80 x 60 cm
Oct 2016
Acrylic on board

Below: Lois Cordelia (Ipswich artist) and Anna Matthews (proprietor, La Tour Cycle Cafe, Ipswich) have previously collaborated on a number of community-inspired creative art projects.









 

Blakenham Woodland Garden
Little Blakenham,
Ipswich,
Suffolk IP8 4LZ

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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) acrylics anna matthews art blakenham woodland garden bluebells ipswich la tour cycle cafe little blakenham live art demo portraits speed-painting spring flowers suffolk http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2017/4/blakenham-woodland-garden-mon-1-may-2017 Tue, 04 Apr 2017 21:42:32 GMT