Yesterday was the first Drawing Tuesday of 2017 and 10 of us turned up at the British Museum ( must be all those New Year resolutions about drawing more...) We had a very convivial lunch spread over 3 tables, but first the drawing . The venue was room 91 , the shadow puppets, which were wonderfully intricate, colourful and diverse but after my visit to the BM in December, I knew I wanted to spend more time with the vessels and prints next door in Room 90
This display was the print 'Winter Soderstorm' by Gunner Normann with various baskets by Finnish artist Markko Kosenen. I loved the combination of the delicately observed trees in the lithograph with the vessels made of the material of the subject matter.
The notes on the construction of this birch bark basket were informative about the use of white birch asymetrically woven so the outer white part of the bark was inside. It really glowed. It was challenging to draw, I kept getting lost, but persisted. So many ways it could be represented, I got involved in the quality of the edges, it would be interesting to have a go drawing it on a larger scale.
After such a labyrinthine subject , I turned my attention to the more substantial vessel made from layer upon layer of birch bark which was then hollowed out, very satisfying to attempt to capture it's combination of fragility and solidity.
This exhibition is so well thought out , every object and print so pleasing, that I'll definitely be making a repeat visit. That could not be said for 'South Africa' Art of a Nation ' which I visited after lunch. I wanted to like it having very fond memories of a plant conservation work trip there several years ago but was underwhelmed. It was just too broad with tribal artefacts mixed up with contemporary art, neither a historical or an art exhibition but a mish-mash. The African gallery downstairs is far more interesting.