Loïs Cordelia: Blog http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog en-us Lois Cordelia Buelow-Osborne loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) Wed, 20 Jun 2018 22:31:00 GMT Wed, 20 Jun 2018 22:31:00 GMT http://www.loiscordelia.com/img/s/v-5/u875263028-o416941054-50.jpg Loïs Cordelia: Blog http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog 120 120 #LetsGoQuackers trail continues until 19th August http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/6/lets-go-quackers-trail-continues-until-19th-august Donate: Let's Go Quackers Follow: @LetsGoQuackers

Ten giant Ducks are continuing to bring smiles and win the hearts of visitors young and old alike in Shropshire. The popular family-orientated Let's Go Quackers has suffered a series of unfortunate vandalism setbacks since it launched on 5th May, but thanks to the restorative efforts of 'Duck doctors' and the valiant support of local fans, the art trail is continuing in Ironbridge, Shropshire until 8th July 2018, before relocating to Southwater, Telford from 15th July until 19th August (coinciding with Telford's Carnival of Giants event). The Ducks will then be auctioned in September to raise 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 is hand-painted by an artist, either working to their own design, or in collaboration with local school children or students and others who 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 Duck artists includes: Nicky Meecham, Jenny Leonard, Donna Newman, Alicia Hollis, Traci Moss, Jackie Coyle, Shropshire Fine Art, Lois Cordelia, Lizzie Moretti and Megan Evans.

An excellent and richly illustrated blog by writer Tilly Horseman discusses in detail each of the ten Ducks, their surrounding points of interest and the trail route of Let's Go Quackers through the World Heritage landscape of Shropshire.

Ross Minton has also created a brief vlog of Let's Go Quackers with the help of his young daughter:


Miniature Replica Ducks

A number of the artists will bring miniature versions of their Duck designs to life: Dr Duck by Nicky Meecham, C-Elli-Brate by Traci Moss, Coalbrookedrake by Donna Newman, and Once Upon A Fairytale by Lois Cordelia (see below). The miniature Ducks will be auctioned in addition to the ten giant Ducks, raising additional funds for Severn Hospice and the Jayne Sargent Foundation.

Watch this space for auction news, coming soon...!


Donate: Let's Go Quackers Follow: @LetsGoQuackers


Once Upon a Fairytale

Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia travelled to Telford in April to paint a steampunk-fairytale inspired design onto one of the Ducks: Once Upon a Fairytale. 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.

Photo credit: Marian Byrne. Used with kind permission.

Photo credit: Marian Byrne, June 2018. Reproduced with kind permission.

Photo credit: Marian Byrne. Used with kind permission.
Photo credit: Marian Byrne, June 2018. Reproduced with kind permission.

Photo credit: Marian Byrne. Used with kind permission.
Photo credit: Marian Byrne, June 2018. Reproduced with kind permission.

Photo credit: Marian Byrne. Used with kind permission.

Photo credit: Marian Byrne, June 2018. Reproduced with kind permission.
Photo credit: Marian Byrne. Used with kind permission.
Photo credit: Marian Byrne, June 2018. Reproduced with kind permission.

Photo credit: Marian Byrne. Used with kind permission.
Photo credit: Marian Byrne, June 2018. Reproduced with kind permission.




Lois Cordelia with Once Upon A Fairytale, April 2018





Trail Map: Ironbridge 5th May - 8th July 2018


Photo credit: Julie Ward, May 2018, reproduced with kind permission.

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.

“The most important thing to me is that they bring fun to our community, visitors to Ironbridge and smiles to everyone’s faces.”

Donate: Let's Go Quackers Follow: @LetsGoQuackers




 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 auction ducks ironbridge jayne sargent foundation lets go quackers lois cordelia public art severn hospice shropshire southwater speed-painting telford trail http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/6/lets-go-quackers-trail-continues-until-19th-august Tue, 19 Jun 2018 19:50:43 GMT
"Bee-You-ti-ful" Bee celebrates life-changing theme of adoption http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/6/-bee-you-ti-ful-bee-celebrates-life-changing-theme-of-adoption Bee in the City is a free public art trail coming to Manchester this Summer, featuring a swarm of about 100 giant Bees, located all over the city, each one hand-painted by a different artist. The trail runs from 23rd July until 23rd September 2018. Wild in Art and Manchester City Council are bringing together Manchester’s communities and businesses in the creation of this stunning trail.

Ipswich artist and 'speed-painter' Lois Cordelia travelled to Manchester in June to paint her design Bee-You-ti-ful onto one of the giant Bees. The design is generously sponsored by local adoption agency Adoption Counts. The design celebrates the power of adoption to transform a child's life into a beautiful world full of love, creativity and imagination, as any child should have.

Clare Riley of Adoption Counts saw Lois painting part of her Bee design at the painting space in Manchester. She remarks: “It was amazing to watch Lois at work, drawing illustrative families and incorporating the words of some of our adoptive parents into the design. She really captured the essence of what we do; creating happy families, empowered throughout their adoption journey. Adoption Counts is very proud to be sponsoring, or should we say, adopting our very own Bee in the City Bee and look forward to unveiling her beautiful artwork on 4th July to celebrate our one year anniversary.”

Coco Chanel once wrote: "Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself", reminding us to simply be true to ourselves. Even the word 'beautiful' contains its own instruction: 'Bee-YOU-ti-ful'. Follow your heart, make a bee-line for the things you love - just like a bee flies to find nectar.

Following the end of the trail, the Bees will each be auctioned off to raise valuable funds for good causes.

The design features Lois's characteristic silhouettes. Below: a couple of small excerpts. N.B. the full design cannot be revealed publicly until the trail goes live on 23rd July. Watch this space!



Short video clip of work in progress on a tiny part of the design, using a Posca marker pen to add fine details.


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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) acrylics adoption adoption counts art bee in the city bees childhood children fostering lois cordelia manchester paper-cutting public art trail silhouettes speed-painting wild in art http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/6/-bee-you-ti-ful-bee-celebrates-life-changing-theme-of-adoption Tue, 12 Jun 2018 23:25:46 GMT
Speedpainting from Sheffield to Monte Carlo! http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/6/speedpainting-from-sheffield-to-monte-carlo Bangers and Cash, the UK's first art road show banger car rally is set to travel from Sheffield to Monte Carlo this September.

A number of rally car teams will take on the challenge, navigating the 1219 mile route in a car worth £650 or less - but each of these cars will also have a very special feature: its bonnet will have been hand-painted by an artist featuring a unique design inspired by the rally. Bangers and Cash will help tackle youth homelessness by raising valuable funds for Sheffield's youth housing charity Roundabout, providing shelter, support and life skills to young people (aged 16-24). Prior to setting off on their travels, the car bonnets will all be exhibited at a prominent location in Sheffield during August 2018.

Ipswich artists Anne-Marie Byrne and Lois Cordelia are very excited to have had their designs selected for inclusion in the art car rally. Anne-Marie and Lois both frequently paint designs for public art trails around the UK - they met and became friends through Pigs Gone Wild 2016 in Ipswich. Anne-Marie's rally car bonnet design is called Van Go (sponsored by Hanbury Group) and features her delightful adaptation of Vincent van Gogh's swirling style of painting to evoke the excitement of the car rally. Lois's design Imagination Can Take You Anywhere takes its inspiration from a famous quotation of Albert Einstein: "Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere", and celebrates themes of travel, transport and progress - at whatever speed - conveyed via dramatic silhouettes on a brightly coloured backdrop.

Lois's rally car bonnet has been generously sponsored by Steve and Carol Morris of Signs Express Sheffield, whose granddaughter helped choose the design from among those shortlisted. Lois has a reputation for being a 'speed-painter', working with a big brush, sweeping strokes and unusual canvases (often three-dimensional), but this is her first time to paint a design onto a rally car: speed-painting takes on a new meaning! But progress is more important than speed - especially in ending youth homelessness - and so the design depicts not only swift movers and high flyers but also those who move slowly and modestly, like the snail, or those who travel via the power of imagination and curiosity, like an astronomer observing the distant stars.

Lois will travel to Sheffield in late June 2018 to paint her design onto the bonnet of a red Ford Focus, ready for inclusion in the rally.

The Route

The Bangers and Cash car rally will start in Sheffield on Friday 21st September 2018, with the first overnight stop being in Brussels, Belgium. On Saturday 22nd September, the teams will travel from Brussels via Luxembourg and Strasbourg, to Lucerne, Switzerland. On Sunday 23rd, the rally continues via St Gotthard's Pass, Lugano, Lake Como, and Monza to Milan, Italy. On Monday 24th September, the teams will reach the grand finale of Monte Carlo itself, before going on to celebrate and enjoy a well-earned rest in Nice, France. On Tuesday 25th, the teams will head home towards Sheffield.

Following the rally, the car bonnets will be sold at auction in October to raise additional funds for Roundabout.

Below: a small excerpt of Lois's design Imagination Can Take You Anywhere featuring Lois's characteristic silhouette art style. N.B. Lois cannot reveal her full design publicly until the exhibition opens on 1st August.
Bangers and Cash Artist packBangers and Cash Artist pack

And (below) a teaser of Anne-Marie Byrne's rally car bonnet design: Van Go (sponsored by Hanbury Group)






Roundabout




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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) acrylics art bangers and cash charity lois cordelia monte carlo rally cars roundabout homeless sheffield signs express sheffield silhouette speed-painting http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/6/speedpainting-from-sheffield-to-monte-carlo Tue, 12 Jun 2018 20:01:27 GMT
Night Owls of Bath at Herschel Museum of Astronomy http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/5/night-owls-of-bath-at-herschel-museum-of-astronomy A flock of 80 giant Owls is coming to the World Heritage city of Bath this Summer, forming an exciting free public art sculpture trail: Minerva's Owls of Bath. The trail of quirky Owl designs, each hand-painted by an artist, will attract thousands of visitors of all ages to the city while helping to support and promote local businesses and charities. The Owls, which represent super-sized versions of the Little Owl species, will appear perched all over the city from July until September.

The name of the trail is a reference to the Goddess Minerva, to whom the temple of the Roman Baths was dedicated when it was built in 1 AD. The owl was a sacred symbol of Minerva, Roman goddess of Wisdom, and is featured in the stone temple pediment at the Roman Baths Museum.

Award winning BBC TV Wildlife presenters Michaela Strachan and Chris Packham have become official 'Owlbassadors' for the trail. Chris Packham will also be painting one of the Owls himself, helping to raise funds for the UK Little Owl Project. The scientific name of the Little Owl is Athene noctua, which neatly links with Minerva, Athene being the Greek version of the Roman Goddess.

The trail will raise funds for several local charities: the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, the BANES Carers Centre, the Roman Baths, and the UK Little Owl Project.

Follow: @OwlsofBath #OwlsofBath

Night Owls of Bath: the Herschels

Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia has been commissioned to paint her design "Night Owls of Bath: the Herschels" onto one of the giant Owl statues. Lois's design is inspired by two historical 'night owls' of Bath, astronomer-musicians William and Caroline Herschel, whose home in New King Street is now the Herschel Museum of Astronomy.


Above: William with his telescope - a small excerpt of Lois's design, which features her characteristic silhouette depictions of the Herschels in the style of Georgian period cameo portraits. N.B. Lois is not allowed to reveal her full Owl design until the trail goes live in July! Watch this space...

Lois's Owl design celebrates William and Caroline Herschel's extraordinary contribution to the nocturnal pursuit of astronomy. William accidentally discovered the planet Uranus in 1781 using a homemade telescope in his back garden. At the time, he thought he'd discovered a star and named it after King George III, but this proved so unpopular that he renamed it “Uranus” to match the other Roman and Greek planetary names. William first moved to Bath in the mid 1760s when he was appointed as organist of Octagon Chapel. His sister Caroline joined him there a few years later, and they worked together building telescopes. William is credited with the discovery of several moons of Uranus and Saturn, seasonal variation in the Martian polar caps, and infrared radiation.

The Herschel Museum of Astronomy has kindly agreed to host Lois while she paints her Owl on Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th May 2018 in the beautiful setting of its Georgian period back garden (where William discovered the Planet Uranus).

Address: Herschel Museum of Astronomy, 19 New King Street, Bath BA1 2BL
Open to the public: weekdays 1-5 pm. N.B. Lois's live painting demonstration will take place on Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th May 2018, 1 pm - 5 pm.
Please see the Museum website for admission charges and other information.

Lois's Owl has been generously sponsored by Mogers Drewett Solicitors of Bath. Lois writes: "I am over the moon to be painting an Owl inspired by the stars for Minerva's Owls of Bath, and am very grateful to Mogers Drewett for sponsoring my design, which will be my 8th public sculpture trail piece to date. Like many artists, I am often a night owl. I love painting night skies using shimmering paints and swirling brush strokes. To be painting my astronomy inspired Owl in the very spot in which William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus in 1781 will make this brief residency at the Herschel Museum of Astronomy extremely meaningful and special for me."

N.B. Lois is not allowed to reveal her full Owl design until the trail goes live in July! Watch this space...

Did you know?
The collective noun for a group of owls is a "parliament" of owls.






 

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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) acrylics art astronomy bath goddess minerva herschel museum live art demo minerva's owls roman heritage romans speed-painting http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/5/night-owls-of-bath-at-herschel-museum-of-astronomy Tue, 22 May 2018 17:14:27 GMT
Ipswich Hospital "Blossometer" shows Blossom Appeal progress http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/5/ipswich-hospital-blossometer-shows-blossom-appeal-progress The Ipswich Hospital Charity launched its ambitious Blossom Appeal in October 2017, with the aim of raising £2.5m to build a new dedicated breast cancer care centre at Ipswich Hospital. The appeal has so far raised just over £100,000.

A new 'Blossometer' in the form of a blossom tree decal was installed last week on the wall of the main Outpatients entrance at Ipswich Hospital, and will serve henceforward as a life-affirming visual record of the total sum raised to date. Every blossom represents an amount donated to the appeal. The tree silhouette was jointly designed by Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia and Matt Denton of Signs Express Ipswich.

Lois's mother Erika received successful treatment for breast cancer at Ipswich Hospital 18 years ago, and so it felt particularly meaningful for Lois to contribute a tree silhouette to help support the new breast centre project.

For more information, please visit the Blossom Appeal website. To donate, please click here.

 




Above: Lois Cordelia beside the new Blossometer, May 2018. Photo credit: Angela, used with kind permission.


Blossom Appeal LOGO CMYK with Safe ZoneBlossom Appeal LOGO CMYK with Safe Zone

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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) blossom appeal blossom tree blossometer breast cancer breast centre charity decal fundraising hospital ipswich ipswich hospital lois cordelia silhouette suffolk http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/5/ipswich-hospital-blossometer-shows-blossom-appeal-progress Tue, 22 May 2018 14:53:22 GMT
Malka makes London Film Festival Debut, Sun 27th May 2018 http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/5/malka-makes-london-film-festival-debut-sun-27th-may-2018 An Ipswich-based art-music-film collaboration dedicated to refugee children, Malka, by Stefan Freedman and Lois Cordelia, which has already been screened as part of international film festivals in the USA, Greece and Romania, is about to make its London West End debut after being selected as part of the London Rolling Film Festival on Sunday 27th May 2018.

Tickets to the film festival are free but must be booked in advance, and the audience will vote for their favourite film on the night. The event takes place from 12 noon until 6 pm on Sunday 27th May at Phoenix Artist Club, 1 Phoenix Street, London WC2H 8BU. The afternoon will include screenings of a number of shortlisted films, interviews and Q&A sessions. The winning film will be announced at the end of the evening.


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. At its official launch in Ipswich in April 2017, the Malka film raised more than £1000 for Suffolk Refugee Support. It has gone on to raise similar amounts at further fundraiser events in Diss and Norwich, for the Hoxne based charity Next Stop Symi which takes vital supplies to trapped refugees on the Greek island of Symi and elsewhere, and the Norwich Refugee support charity New Routes, a vibrant local charity working to settle and integrate refugees.

During Autumn 2017, the film was selected for screening as part of three international film festivals: the Symi International Film Festival in Greece, Woodengate Film Festival in Maramures County, Romania, and the Documentaries Without Borders Festival in Delaware, USA. The London Rolling Film Festival will mark Malka's UK film festival debut. Meanwhile, Malka has also been chosen for screening during the Films for World Peace film festival in Washington DC.


 

"Malka" is 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 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.
 

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, Red Rose Chain, Madeline Lees, the Angel Cafe in Diss, and Harford Community Centre in Norwich.






 

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.





 



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 asylum seekers dedicated film international film festival ipswich lois cordelia london malka music paper-cutting portraits refugee children refugee support refugees sebastiana black speed-painting stefan freedman suffolk http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/5/malka-makes-london-film-festival-debut-sun-27th-may-2018 Fri, 04 May 2018 16:22:09 GMT
Let's Go Quackers! Ten Giant Ducks come to Ironbridge http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/5/lets-go-quackers-ten-giant-ducks-come-to-ironbridge Donate: Let's Go Quackers Follow: @LetsGoQuackers

Tomorrow, Saturday 5th May 2018 sees the launch of Let's Go Quackers, a fun family-orientated art trail for Summer 2018. Ten giant Ducks will be displayed on the high street of Ironbridge, Shropshire (5th May - 8th July) and then move to Southwater, Telford (from 15th July) 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 has been 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.


Donate: Let's Go Quackers Follow: @LetsGoQuackers


Once Upon a Fairytale

Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia travelled to Telford in April to paint a steampunk-fairytale inspired design onto one of the Ducks: Once Upon a Fairytale. 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.








Trail Map: Ironbridge 5th May - 8th July 2018


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.

“The most important thing to me is that they bring fun to our community, visitors to Ironbridge and smiles to everyone’s faces.”

Donate: Let's Go Quackers Follow: @LetsGoQuackers




 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 fairytale ironbridge jayne sargent julie ward lets go quackers public art trail severn hospice shropshire steampunk telford http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/5/lets-go-quackers-ten-giant-ducks-come-to-ironbridge Fri, 04 May 2018 14:55:30 GMT
Faces in the Leaves of Sherwood Forest: Hoodwinked 2018 http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/5/faces-in-the-leaves-of-sherwood-forest-hoodwinked-2018 Britain's most familiar and best loved garden bird, the Robin, is notoriously antisocial, not only towards other bird species, but also its own. However, Nottingham will witness a round of Robins flock to its streets this Summer as part of Hoodwinked 2018, capturing the playful spirit of local legendary outlaw Robin Hood. This free public art trail is presented by Nottingham City Council in partnership with creative events producers Wild in Art and charity partner Nottinghamshire Hospice, for whom the Robin symbolises hope after the passing of a loved one.

Ipswich artist Lois Cordelia has been commissioned to paint one of thirty-three Robins after her design entitled Green Man of Sherwood Forest was chosen to be sponsored by Benoy. Graham Cartledge CBE of Benoy writes: "We are delighted to show our support to Nottinghamshire Hospice, a very well-deserving local charity. The Hoodwinked initiative will attract visitors and locals alike, encouraging people in our community to connect through creativity - something that is at the heart of what our designers do at Benoy." Lois has recently explored the theme of the Green Man in a variety of unusual art mediums, including paper-cutting, creative cartography, and upcycled plastic straws. Now she is preparing to paint the Green Man onto an unexpected canvas: a giant Robin statue.

On the subject of her involvement in the Nottingham art trail, Lois remarks: “Have you seen faces in the leaves of Sherwood Forest? Many folklorists claim that the legend of Robin Hood is derived from the ancient image of the Green Man, or related figures such as Jack in the Green or Robin Goodfellow (Puck). No surprise that Robin Hood is clothed in Lincoln Green. The mischievous outlaw could be hiding in any disguise! Speaking as a Wild in Art addict, I can’t wait to start painting my Robin for Hoodwinked. It means a lot to be part of this (my seventh public art trail), and I’m very grateful to Benoy for sponsoring Green Man of Sherwood Forest. I often link the Green Man with the legend of Robin Hood in Lincoln Green in my artwork. My partner Jason (appropriately also an archer) has kindly agreed to model for the Green Man.”



Lois will travel to Nottingham later this month to paint her design onto the Robin statue. She will be working in a public painting space in intu Broadmarsh. Lois welcomes an audience of all ages while she paints, so don't be shy - come along on Monday 14th May circa 10.30 am - 4.00 pm, watch, ask questions, and be inspired! Please note: the full design of each Robin cannot be revealed until the trail goes live on Saturday 7th July 2018, but you can catch a sneak preview of work in progress on some of the Robins if you drop by at the painting space.

Follow: @Hoodwinked2018

Location of the Painting Space:
intu Broadmarsh
Lister Gate, Nottingham NG1 7LB, on the ground floor next door to Made in Nottingham.






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loiscordelia@gmail.com (Loïs Cordelia) acrylics archery art exhibition green man hoodwinked ipswich live art demo lois cordelia nottingham nottinghamshire hospice portraits robin hood robins sherwood forest speed-painting wild in art http://www.loiscordelia.com/blog/2018/5/faces-in-the-leaves-of-sherwood-forest-hoodwinked-2018 Fri, 04 May 2018 14:14:03 GMT
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! :-)









 

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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! :-)









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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