Art for Peace in Syria: Reflections and Visions. 12 — 15 May 2017

This work is in response to the current situation in Syria working in collaboration with MASS (Medical Aid and Support for Syria). The exhibition will be held in St Peter's Church, Burnham. The aim is to raise funds to help set up a medical centre.

My starting point for this latest body of work is inspired by the short film "The Flower Seller of Aleppo", which can be viewed on YouTube here.

Beginning with some words spoken by Abu Ward, the father of the flowers: 'The Essence of the World is a Flower', and researching the symbolism of flowers in Syria, Jasmine, Orchids and Roses being the most popular, especially Jasmine, regarded as the national flower of Syria.

For most of the last five years there has been a small oasis of colour and life amidst the destruction and grief of rebel-held Aleppo. It's the garden centre, which has supplied plants, blooms and foliage to people in that part of the city throughout the war.

Jasmine, The Essence of the World is a Flower I

Orchid, The Essence of the World is a Flower II

Rose, The Essence of the World is a Flower III

Lily, The Essence of the World is a Flower V

Visions of hope for the future.

As seen in/as featured in The World of Interiors magazine.


MONA LISA Arts & Media Windows Walls & Wishes and the Olympic Angels 2012 Visual Arts Project Ikeda Hall

SGI-UK Taplow Court Buckinghamshire, May – Sept 2012

MONA LISA Arts & Media have been facilitating the Windows Walls & Wishes 2012 Arts Project in the Burnham Cluster of Schools since 2009, engaging professional artists to work with children and young people after school hours. The ideas for the work have been inspired by the rowing events taking place at Dorney Lake Rowing Centre and the natural world. We are located very close to Burnham Beeches and the Rowing Centre. In April 2011 we held an interim exhibition in Burnham Park Hall where we exhibited the work we had carried to that point e.g., sculptures, visual arts, film, photography and Burnham Olympic Flag. The exhibition (one day only) was attended by approximately 250 people. During the workshops in schools, it was noted, that where there were groups of children with Special Educational Needs they particularly benefited from working closely with professional artists. It helped them with their concentration span, communication skills and being able to take part in non-academic activities. The ideas for the Olympic Angels project has been developed out this work and also through discussion with schools and artists.

The Olympic Angels Visual Arts Project working with schools, youth groups and churches facilitated by MONA LISA Arts & Media. Each group includes 10 – 15 participants aged between 9 – 15yrs. This project is inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Values:- Peace, Unity, Respect, Friendship, Courage, Determination, Aspiration, Inspiration, Endurance, Excellence.

The groups are working with Rhonda Fenwick, Gina Martin and Lynda Cornwell to help participants generate ideas and concepts about angels which then will be created as angel sculptures and installations. The finished works will be installed in various locations in Burnham, Taplow and Dorney e.g., Taplow Court, Burnham Beeches, Cliveden, St Mary Magdalene Church Bovney, St Peter’s School Burnham, St Peter’s Church Burnham and St Nicolas’s School Taplow. These will form an arts trail around the area which is part of the Legacy of the 2012 Games.

“To have this opportunity of working with MONA LISA Arts & Media and the artists involved in the Olympic Angels Project, Rhonda Fenwick, Gina Martin and Lynda Cornwell, provides deep inspiration for the students. It is what art education and teaching is all about as it helps to develop creative thinking, broaden horizons and is a real eye-opener into the world of art. Working with the artists has enabled students to generate ideas, images and forms inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic values; this has been an enriching experience for them...”

Andy Holt, Head of Art, Burnham Grammar School

“There is "The Angel of the North" and soon we will have "The Angels of Burnham". Very much looking forward to seeing the final result!”

Igan Hayati, Burnham Resident

“The children have been so focused during the Angels project, they have explored, created and worked using a range of materials. They have gained new knowledge in different types of art and artists which has created a new enthusiasm for art that has spread beyond the group lucky enough to participate this project”

Nicola Green, Yr 5 Teacher, St Nicolas’s C of E School Taplow


Diamonds are Forever

St Peter's Church Burnham - 2 June to 7 July 2012

An exhibition of works by local artists, Rhonda Fenwick, Gina Martin, Lynda Cornwell, Claire Rollinson, Andy Holt as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Facts About Diamonds:

All natural diamonds are made of the same material as the charcoal you burn on the grill or the graphite in the pencil you sketch with. Carbon atoms are bonded together in groups of four in a pyramid shape called a tetrahedron. Each link is equal to every other link in size. This formation of the atoms gives the diamond its hard structure. Diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring substance known to man.

Diamonds are formed deep within the Earth: between 100 km and 200 km below the earth's surface. Diamonds form under remarkable conditions.

The temperatures they are formed at are about 900 - 1300 C in this part of the Earth's mantle where diamonds form. The pressure is between 45 - 60 kilo bars. (kB) 50 kB = 150 km or 90 miles below the surface 60 kB = 200 km or 120 miles below the surface. Diamonds are carried to the surface by volcanic eruptions. The volcanic magma conduit is known as a kimberlite pipe or diamond pipe. We find diamonds as inclusions in the (rather ordinary looking) volcanic rock known as kimberlite. The kimberlite magmas that carry diamonds to the surface are often much younger than the diamonds they transport (the kimberlite magma simply acts as a conveyer belt). To ensure they are not converted to graphite, diamonds must be transported extremely rapidly to the Earth's surface. It is probable that kimberlite lavas carrying diamonds erupt at between 10 and 30 km/hour (Eggler, 1989). Within the last few kilometers, the eruption velocity probably increases to several hundred km/hr.

All natural diamonds are at least 990,000,000 years old. Many are 3,200,000,000 years old (3.2 billion years) how do we know this? Age: from Carbon dating? No! C-dating only works for very young carbon. You need to use other radioactive decay schemes (e.g., uranium-lead) to date inclusions in diamonds. Inclusions used for dating are around 100 microns in diameter (0.1 mm).

The word "Diamond" comes from the Greek word "Adamas" and this means "unconquerable and indestructible. Diamonds worn in ancient times were believed to promote strength, invincibility and courage.

There are white dwarf stars in space that have a diamond core. Biggest diamond known in universe weights 2.27 thousand trillion trillion tons which is 10 billion trillion trillion carats, or a 1 followed by 34 zeros.

The ancient Greeks believed that diamonds were splinters of stars fallen on the earth.

Diamonds - Words of Inspiration:

“A diamond is a chunk of coal that never gave up its work”

Henry Kissinger

“As the earth dies your spirit will bloom; as the world fades your soul will rise and glisten. Amongst the dehydrated crevices of a desert earth you will stumble upon your diamonds; in between the dry skulls and cracked bones you will find your sapphires”

C. JoyBell

“Angels are like diamonds. They can't be made, you have to find them. Each one is unique”

Jaclyn Smith

“Invest in the human soul. Who knows, it might be a diamond in the rough”

Mary McLeod Bethune

Diamonds were nothing more than carbon, but carbon in a crystal lattice that made it the hardest known mineral in nature. That was the way we all were headed. I was sure of it. We were destined to be diamonds!”

Alan Bradley, The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag


Food for Thought

Exhibition of works by Rhonda Fenwick and Inge Du Plessis - 17 February to 5 April 2012

“We do not live by bread alone” ...

Being present to the moment, being still, responding to space and time, creating work inspired by this process. Being unafraid to commit images to paper that have found their way beyond my preconceptions. The unknown quantity is where it takes me and as the “thing” emerges it accedes to its non-logical self. It is something, it is nothing. The work has been born out of the essence of the soul and that is what it is about... my inner soul. Art and life are inseparable. This is soul food.

Rhonda Fenwick

 

When I started this series of women and consumables, I was viewing the subject of the rich and complex relationship between women and food from a rather more cynical perspective.

I was interested in the all-consuming role food plays in women's lives; from the constant, often weary acquisition and preparation of food for the family, the inescapable, mostly fraught personal relationship we have with food, to the overwhelming and insistent presence of food in the media.

I started painting the sitters and then added the food separately afterwards. In this process, however, the rich relationship between sitters and painter changed the dynamic for me and involuntarily changed my attitude to a far more empathic portrayal of women and the Sustenance with which we surround ourselves. Although I tried to steer clear of the paintings being straight portraits and rather used the sitters as role players in a quiet narrative. I found that the quite intimate and vulnerable act of painting these dynamic women very positively influenced my creative process.

Inge Du Plessis

 

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