Denise Wyllie’s Open Studio: Fete De L’Estampe 2018

FETE DE L’ESTAMPE: This France-wide art festival of print work has, at its essence, open studio exhibitions of lithography, screen-printing, wood and linocuts but there are also workshops, conferences and print work demos alongside the 300 or so participating studios. East Finchley visual artist and filmmaker Denise Wyllie is the sole representative of the UK and admitted it’s the first time she has presented an open studio of her work in her immediate working (and living) environment.

Artist, printmaker and filmmaker Denise Wyllie

I had no problems locating her East Finchley studio. It was the one draped in French and UK flags! A celebration of this entente cordiale between our nations in the promoting of art processes she has mastered as an established, award-winning artist.

  I’m admiring the art on show. Notice the tree shapes (explained below)

A conversation with Denise Wyllie about the source of her creative inspiration enlightened me about the distinctive shapes thrown by the trees that are a signature of her landscape series. The peculiar twists of the branches are common to Japanese prints and paintings because of the practice of binding and supporting them as they age or are damaged by the elements. This causes them to grow in new directions – not as nature first intended, but with a helping hand forming expressive, angular shapes that catch the eye and evoke a particular emotional response when captured in the tonality and light of the artist’s palette.

Exterior of Denise Wyllie’s back garden studio

Since opening her studio to the public on May 26, the steady footfall has kept her on her toes. This summer festival has attracted familiar faces from the exhibition circuit but also some neighbours and locals have been introduced to her work for the first time.

Interior of Denise Wyllie’s open studio

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The Murder Express

IMMERSIVE THEATRE & DINING: There was a touch of Murder on the Orient Express  about the Murder Express. Is it theatre, is it a pop-up restaurant, is it a train? There was fine dining but few restaurants before have ‘popped up’ with the lavish attention to detail and period grandeur of this immersive dining experience presented by award-winning creative collective Funicular. Check out my review. https://whatshotlondon.co.uk/murder-express-theatre/

 

 

Impromptu Right Royal St James Park 5k

RUNNING – 5k: I was supposed to run the Virgin Sports Hackney Fitness Festival 5k today but couldn’t find it even though it’s in my area and I used to play football there (Hackney Marshes) as a kid! First time I’ve ever missed the starting time for a run. I blame Google Maps! To make up for it I had a right royal 5k of my own around St James Park as tourists celebrated the Royal Wedding.

 

Kew Gardens, Temperate House and Palm House 2018

KEW GARDENS: The £18 million restoration of Temperate House, Kew Gardens has been in the news recently. I visited to see what else is going on at this botanical wonderland, which was once King George III’s backyard. Check out my article

Sci Fi London 2018

FILM FESTIVALS: Jedis & stormtroopers outside ‪Stratford Picturehouse‬ ‪for Sci-Fi London‬ for the UK premiere of Chimera starring ‪Henry Ian Cusick‬. Great evening and entertaining film. I also met ‪Star Wars‬ editor Colin Goudie. We had an interesting chat about his career & Hollywood editing.

With Colin Goudie, editor of Star Wars: Rogue One

Five London Bookshops Worth A Visit

BOOKS: I recently visited a number of London bookshops for a browse and was surprised at the history and character of some little known and famous names alike. Here’s my top 5 list. https://whatshotlondon.co.uk/five-london-bookshops-worth-a-visit/