Pandaji's Blog

Art, research, education

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Spitalfields Life blog post!

Check out this Spitalfields Life blog post… 🙂

Many thanks to Delwar Hussain.


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Brick Project

We were given raw, readymade bricks by the artist and told to carve them, based on the idea of identity.

I used three bricks to make a face that originally had a tongue sticking out!! This got broken off almost immediately. It was a bit rude and probably looks better now!! The cigarette butt (that someone has stubbed out on its cheek) also makes it look tough.

The “never be sharp, never be flat, always be natural” was what my mum drew in my autograph book. Does anyone under the age of 50 even know what those are?? Do kids nowadays have them still?? I wanted to put it on a brick so that I could commemorate her and also because the message is a good one.

This diagram of an eyeball was created by one of my students who has made many eyeballs, usually in bowls and in great detail. Carving the brick to this degree of accuracy is a real achievement. This brick has an educational aspect as well as portraying a beautifully drawn diagram.

This wheel was carved by a man who used to be a wheelwright, one of those professions that very few people now know how to do.

I made this one because there seemed to be so many bricks, and the students had done as many as they could. I did this very quickly without too much thought, and now i like it because it truly shows my love of cycling.

All of the bricks have improved with natural aging and weathering as the carved areas have been defined by earth and moss.

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Lifelong Fable of the Long Life Label: some insights

The George Tavern exhibition space

David Fried and Manda Helal


On view through March 10, 2011

The George Tavern

373 Commercial Road, London  E1 0LA

Tel: 0207 790 7335

The exhibition space is a room in a building with heritage status, so a wooden framework has been constructed across the ceiling for work to be hung from. This structure inspired me to include work that could be shown alongside Dave’s paintings. Creating the work in different places and putting it altogether in my small living space meant I had been physically close to it, and it felt gigantic, so initially I was concerned that it would be dwarfed by the huge size of the room.

In keeping with the tradition of serendipitous findings, I came across loads of chain two days before hanging the show!! Special thanks to Brian from Glickman’s hardware store in Watney Market who has helped me out for my thirty three years of living in the East End. While bemoaning the disappearance of all the fishing tackle shops, he declared himself to be a fisherman and provided us with his end-reels of really strong monfilament line.

dcpb and Redhead

After hanging the work, it felt like a lot of things I had been doing for years had come together—a life long fable of collage. Amazing to see it all in an uncluttered, dimly lit environment. What I had thought was humorous turned into something more scary. The heads especially have that effect. Unlike at home where they are hung close together and can’t move, in this space they are never still. It was when people started commenting on the effect they had on them, I realised that I had made something startling. An image of the redhead on the invitation was enough for one person to decide not to come and see the work. The beads and found objects blend so well together that people couldn’t distinguish between the metal and ceramic. They tapped the work to find out!!

South wall view

We did not specify who had made what, and I was surprised when friends and family—who I thought had seen the work before—were asking whose work was whose. The paintings and ceramics compliment each other, and the exhibition feels like a single installation. It is wonderful to get some feedback, especially from strangers. Somehow it means more if someone you don’t know appreciates the work.

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Mud Larking

Collage Jug

One of my favourite pastimes is mud larking. I mostly do this at Thames beach and Medway Estuary. Over the years I’ve found many interesting things washed up on the shores of the rivers. A couple of years ago, I made some ceramic 3D collage from found shards and other objects that were last century’s rubbish, including beer bottles, a jug, and jars. Some of these items are containers, others are completely non-functional.

Collage Lidded Vessel

Collage Teapot

Collage Angel