♦ Itty Bitty Art Committee ♦ Created by Sophie Ashcroft and Beverly Cottrell

Monday, 11 January 2010

The Henry Moore Institute Offers Us a Lift!

Today we braved through the snow and slushy ice to visit The Henry Moore Institute to enquire whether they had a tiny space where we could exhibit the artwork created by our Itty Bitty Art Committee.

A friendly fellow called Bruce, who works as a security guard at the gallery showed us two lifts to hold our exhibition. One was a lift for the disabled and the other was a teeny tiny lift, which apparently was meant to hold six people...

The guy behind the reception desk said he could get us permission to exhibit in this lift if we send him an email and he would forward it on to the manager. It would be great to get this space... so we better start cracking!

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Here's Some Inspirational Videos


"Glue Network, Jedidiah, and Flexfit collaborated with Artist's: Kelli Murray, Tommii Lim, J Shea, Serge Gay, Blaine Fontana, and Joshua Clay to create a live art mural at MAGIC. The mural was called HOPE FARMERS and sold to the CEO of Kangol. A large percentage of the money raised will go to the Las Vegas Chapter of StandUp For Kids"

Wind from UPPERCASE gallery on Vimeo.

"A polaroid photo developing on a windy summer's day."

Library House from Multistory on Vimeo.

"Multistory asked 200 children what they wanted to see and do in their new library. They wrote and drew their answers on tiny cardboard houses."

I enjoyed the first video of the live art collaboration. It is interesting how the artists can work comfortably together to create a grand final mural, what also caught my attention was how one artist painted an image and another artists expanded from it, but keeping the same theme in mind.

I hope to combine myself in these types of projects - it would be an educational, creative and fun experience!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Two Dimensional Barcode!

Oooh! There is a way in which you can keep updated with the Itty Bitty Art Committee Blog on the move... It's the Two-Dimensional Barcode! It's becoming widely used to access direct links to web pages via your mobile phone by scanning the barcode with your phone!

It is done by taking a photo of the barcode with the camera on your phone, however you need the application to make the whole process work! I downloaded the application for my BlackBerry Curve 8520 from www.scanlife.com and it's FREE! Also creating your own barcodes to link to your own blogs and websites can be created free, but an account needs to be set up which is quick and simple.

This is how the process of scanning the two-dimensional barcode works...

* First download the ScanLife application to your phone from
www.scanlife.com. Click on the tab 'Download' and you will go through a short process of selecting your phone type and receive download instructions.

You will need to visit the given web link through your mobile internet to download the application. Once downloaded the application should appear installed on your phone, either in your Applications or Downloads. Mine was under downloads. Click on the icon to access and you'll come up with this loading screen.

*This is the next screen that will appear giving you six options to choose from. 'Scan', 'Settings', 'History', 'Share ScanLife', 'Help' and 'About'.

Choose 'Scan' to get cracking with the barcode scanning!

*The screen will then appear as you are taking a photo. Hold up your phone to the barcode, making sure you have the barcode at the centre of the photo. Also make sure the barcode is about over an inch wide - just like the my photo.

All you need to do is take the photo!

*Your phone will then process the image from the data in the teeny barcode! Sometimes your phone may fail to recognise the image. My phone did this a lot on my first tries but that was because I wasn't taking the image of the barcode correctly. Just keep retrying! Some people said that it is beneficial to have a phone with auto-focusing. My phone doesn't have auto-focusing and it works fine.

*This loading screen should appear and a delightful tune should play once you are successful! Your phone should now be connecting to the internet and directing you to your desired link!

Now you can surf our Itty Bitty Art blog which will look all Itty Bitty on your phone!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

The Incredible Gum Painting Man!

After another evening session of browsing the internet I came across a street artist who I remember seeing several years ago in the high street of Barnet, Greater London. It's the chewing gum painter man! Well, his name is actually Ben Wilson and he was a Barnet resident but his teeny chewing gum works are all over London. So far I've only seen the ones in Barnet. At first I thought they were colourful stickers... well at least it brightens up the grey concrete of London!

"I'm just going to keep going and see how far I get," said Mr Wilson, who started his quest at the Hadley end of High Street, Barnet. "I use acrylic paint and varnish, then I've got a little burner to dry it. I've done different pictures cups of tea, elephants, flowers I do requests as well. Often I just draw whatever takes me on that day." Ben Wilson, Painting a Gum Trail, 2004, thisislocallondon.co.uk

Flickr Images: flickr.com

His chewing gum paintings grab your attention, and because they are so small and on the ground you have to bend over to look at them, making the people following behind you stumble into you - I have to admit that has happened to me a couple of times! The gum paintings feature images of people, places (where the gum is painted), animals, local facilities and landmarks. You could even request a piece of gum to be painted for you and he will print your name, that's only if you were lucky to meet him! He is recognised as a local legend in Barnet, everyone that I met in Barnet know of him...

"‘I know a lot of the shopkeepers, road sweepers and local police. As I walk down the street, every few steps I think of a picture I have to do for someone. I have all this in my head, which make me feel closer to the place and the people.’ He hopes his work will encourage in others an awareness of their surroundings and give children a sense of connection with their local environment – something he believes fewer people have these days." Art On Chewing Gum, 2006, rawvision.com

He was known to the local police who accepted his unique street artwork. They even requested him to paint gum that featured their emblems!

Another Flickr Image: On the streets of Muswell Hill.
T.S.G. stands for Tactile Support Group. ie. The Police also make requests. Cool!

"I'm not defacing the pavement, it is more sensitive than that. I don't want to get in people's faces I'm not a graffiti artist. You get so many reactions from people, their reactions are so different, but rarely are they negative."Ben Wilson, Painting a Gum Trail, 2004, thisislocallondon.co.uk
However there has been information that Ben Wilson was apparently arrested for his street gum paintings. This is information from Flickr from people who seem to know Mr. Wilson that was posted 32 months ago. They claimed that his paints and kit were confiscated from him and he was released from custody. One comment said...
"..he has done pics for some police before now that have happened upon him in other parts of town so it's not like the Establishment is all jobsworth, it's just sad that some patrolling officers can't see that Ben is Added Value to a community and not a vandal or a threat."

If this news is true it is very unfortunate. He has been doing these gum paintings since 1998 and he made it clear to the authorities of what he was doing, and he also got the community of London involved, which I think is a great achievement! His works are colourful and a joy to see, he is certainly a great value to the community. I hope he's out there with his acrylic paints and blow torch creating more awesome gum paintings!

"We'll see," he said. "I'm just going to keep drawing and see where the momentum takes me." Ben Wilson, 2004.

Monday, 4 January 2010

I've been a Stumblin'

Oh how I love Stumble!

I've been on the hunt for some inspiration and have come across so I've had a leetle bundle of leetle design and art goodies!

Teeny tiny design innovation. Business cards look a wee bit better when they're 3D
From Troyka advertising agency

Hello Mr. teeny tiny book ring.
From Ana Cardim

A wonderful little service from Leaf cutter design
lea at desk
Founded in the San Francisco Bay area The World's Smallest Postal Service sends out teeny tiny letters and cards for a mere $8
WSL items
Glorious don't you agree?

And of course an obligitory mention of these chaps
Slinkachu, Installation and photography work from the London based artist that has recently gained a fair few more fans with the release of a book an a series of exhibitions (which are sadly, mainly in London).

More inspiration will be spilling onto here soon. I (Sophie) may be off too Manchester city art gallery to have a look around a surrealist exhibition I've been wanting to see for a while. I also had a look on The Urbis's website and didn't really find anything that really caught my eye but I'll have an explore anyway, extra art can't hurt.

After again having a nosey around the Manchester Gallery site I found this The Mini Art Club and started getting very excited with images of Synadoche New York style exhibitions only visible with magnifiers. Sadly the mini was in regards to the artists, children (not 'little people') very tempted to still go along...

Wonder if they'd let me in if I said I was pregnant.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Hangers for Art!

I have just been doing a bit of browsing on the internet when I came across this unique way of hanging artwork and photographs...

"This Itty Bitty Hanger is so sweet! It measures almost 7" wide and 3 1/4" high from the bottom of the tag to the top of the hanger. . It has a centre portion with label. The finish is a antique speckled brown. It has two clips on it for hanging your ATC, photos or whatever inspires you."

I think it's quite a nice idea, especially with the Itty Bitty Art committee collaborative project if the space is in a locker with a rail! Their vintage style has a lot of appeal to it... they cost $3.25 USD and there is only one in stock!! They are also selling a dozen of these beauties for $35.50 USD.

Esty is an interesting site where people sell their crafts in their little online shops. You can find unique items from jewellery to clothes! Have a look: http://www.etsy.com/

Some ideas from Bev...

Some spaces which could be considered for the itty bitty art gallery:
  • lift
  • locker
    (both Sophie's ideas!)
  • cabinet
  • shed
  • book shelf
  • a cove - in a wall, in a desk...


Back at my home down South my house is full of plants that my mum places on the window sills, and cactuses which she also places there for a deterrent (it seems to work, but results in me getting prickled by the damn cactuses whenever I open the window). A deep set window can be made into an exhibition space. The window sill could display three dimensional works and paintings could be hung... plus it is a small space! People usually hang artwork on a wall, but how about a window? What effect does it make?

About the desks with the coves... I had these desks in the library at my secondary school for private study. A small space like this could easily accommodate a few little artworks. It looks very personal and there is enough space for two people to look into the cove, and there is only one angle you can view the exhibition. The surrounding walls block out all other distractions which focuses the attention to what goes on in that cove! I have to admit I quite like the desk for it's privacy, but they are quite a rare find!

There could be plenty more spaces out there, so if you have any wonderful ideas, feel free to let us know!

♦ Itty Bitty Art Committee ♦ Created by Sophie Ashcroft and Beverly Cottrell