Sunday, 2 March 2014

Sparks: Groping for some hoping.  (haha.)
Religion used to be one of the only reasons to commission art. Not so much now. We all know certain religions are in decline in the western world. Worship takes place at the alter of 'www.', pilgrimages file out to the retail parks, Gods and Goddesses preach in magazines, on big & small screens. Highly debatable on the 'whys' and 'wherefores' but I guess most would say the technological revolution and Darwin theory were the catalysts for the god mutiny, the rationalists took over. And I guess it stands to reason that it is human nature to want something to believe in, somewhere to hang our spiritual hats, (otherwise life is just too scary) so we created more gods- filled the old god shaped holes with new plastic gods. (In a Neil Gaiman, 'American Gods' kinda way.) 
Oo er.
But I'm not attempting to dance with the big boys/girls (Lucifer, God, Gaia, Buddha etc.) This isn't about religion. It's barely even about faith.

I'm still struggling to understand my own thoughts, so communicating this isn't easy...I'll have a go: If you're going through a really tough time, and people say 'stay positive', 'don't give up hope', 'have faith', well...what if you don't have faith and never have? Where do you find that resource from? How does an atheist/agnostic keep the faith? How does a rationalist find the magic? Rationalists believe in reality, protons, neutrons and particles, but the further you delve into the sub atomic level of all things, the more renegade, sporadic, alien and less like reality everything appears. You may as well be Paul Daniels. Gandalf. Afterall, reality is only a perception of reality. But I guess if you're a rationalist you'll have already rationalised this point and will be a rational magician.
Paul Daniels. Naked.

Nature? I live in the countryside, my partner, a farmer, breeds sheep. I respect nature with every inch of my being. Nature takes risks, it has had billions of years to make it's mistakes, take chances, relies on serendipity, coincidence and trial and error to create it's masterpieces, it continuously evolves moving towards an infinite something/nothingness. Nature could easily be the personification of a goddess in creation terms, (and one could argue always has been) but nature has a seemingly capricious tendency to do whatever the hell it wants! It serves no man or woman! I can respect it, but the rationalist in me knows I can't trust it. 

In people? Shaky ground. I don't think it's healthy to project onto one person, or a group of people, to put belief and trust in them, lay your dreams at their feet- it's a hefty burden for anyone to carry. Conversely, people can and will believe ANYTHING. So there's a twisted power/abuse thing waiting to happen. The blind person goes- 'I believe that you will heal me...' and the other person goes 'I believe that you believe I can heal maybe I can heal you...maybe I'm a healer!' I mean, you don't want to end up on a cross. Hmm. So if I can't look for hope from a god, goddess, nature, other people...where can I look? 

Me? Yeah, I could do that. I can ask myself, 'what use is hope?'

Hope keeps us going. Without it, we grapple with acceptance, and that's a whole other blog. 'What does hope look like, how does it feel'? I have experienced hope, I can remember what it felt wasn't a warm place to be, it wasn't a happy place, pretty dim wasn't a desolate place though. All mystery and beauty...there were shapes and colours... and a long journey...I could see something in the distance...

'Before the Light', preparatory sketch, coloured pencil on paper, Rhea Sherriff- Hammond 2014.
I now refer to my plastic god that I substitute in for karmic guidance from time to time, DJ Chris Stevens (KBHR!), 'Northern Exposure':

"I've been out here now for some days, groping my way along, trying to realize my vision. I was concentrating so hard on the vision, I lost sight. Come to find out that it's not the vision, it's not the vision at all. It's the groping. It's the groping, it's the yearning, it's the moving Kirkegaard said so well, 'the self is only that which it is in the process of becoming.' Art, same thing."

Life, same thing. And what do I see? Light. The thing that got us from the 'primordial slime' to here. Not the Sun though, the Sun is too big, devouring- I mean light like the stars. Yes, like that one that you see at the end of the tunnel. And the same one you used to look for as a kid at bedtime, under the door. The glimmer of hope, the yang in the yin, the afterglows, fireflies, fairy lights, the L. E. Ds on T. Vs, the sparkles in spider's webs and worlds created in dew drops. I can see them and that's where I'm heading.

That's what I believe in. Sparks. And when they happen, everything can change.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Privatise, Private Eyes. June 2013

Work moving in a different direction, a good one. This piece, and 4 others like it ( The Private Eye Series © Rhea Sheriff- Hammond, 2012) all serve as my starting point and 'line drawn in the sand'. Quite a few completed now. I'm happy about it. Everything feels simpler. More sincere, honest.

Sometimes you just have to cut the shit and re-evaluate.
Shovelling up the ashes of my former self...I do this for the love.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Dirty Pretty Things- press cuttings

The Bridlington Free Press

The Bridlington Free Press

The Whitby Gazette

The Yorkshire Post

Thursday, 1 November 2012


So last minute crammming once again to get new works finished for new exhibition next week. It's dirty. It's pretty. It's a thing. It's called Dirty Pretty Things...we're very witty. Here's a smorgasbord of blurb including where to find us and the thinking behind it, feast your attention span on this:
D I R T Y  P R E T T Y  T H I N G S

12th November – 23rd November 2012
The Spa Bridlington | South Marine Drive | Bridlington | East Riding of Yorkshire | YO15 1EA

Become tangled in a lyrical web of themes in an exhibition of mixed media and multi narrative artworks, exploring innocence and experience, from two of Yorkshire’s freshest contemporary female artists.
'Kaboom', oils and mixed media on canvas, Rhea Sherriff Hammond, 2012.

One year on and Rhea Sherriff-Hammond and Leanne Broadbent unite once again to trounce their highly successful show ‘Malice In Wonderland’, by bringing us ‘Dirty Pretty Things’, (The Spa Bridlington, 12th – 23rd November 2012, ). As a collection of works, Dirty Pretty Things explores the contrasts and parallels of innocence and experience. The really terrifying thing about innocence, about newness, about immaculate linens and impeccable reputations, is their volatility. The fear that one day, it just won’t be like that anymore; a let-down may not be imminent, but is to be expected at some point. Precariously balanced on a knife’s edge, one mistake and its identity is shattered. It becomes sullied; the stained tablecloth, the scuffed knees under the pretty party dress, the kid that found the lighter, the innocent prank that went wrong, the shadows after the bed time story.

Taking influence from children’s folklore and fairy stories, contemporary consumer culture, cartoons and concepts of sullied innocence, Rhea and Leanne explore common childhood fears, feelings and fantasies, juxtaposing salvaged fabrics, and threads with realist oils, acrylics, household paints and sketching, to create a mixed media exhibition that is engaging, entertaining and lyrically expressionistic.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Gearing up for Saltburn Arts Fair on the 5th August. I got a delightful little stall where I'll be selling prints, cards and originals and you'll be able to see me working on a new piece!

Pre-fabric, post paint!

Three half finished and this one just waiting for fabrics and acrylics. Productive week! Even though it's killed me.

Framed Prints @19 restaurant, york...

Framed Prints- fresh from the framers! These are now on show and available to buy from the gorgeous Nineteen Restaurant - York!