Sunday, 24 March 2013

Grinling Gibbons - genius.....

For a long time now I've fantasized about being able to do 'proper' woodwork, you know, a bit of joinery, maybe some furniture, that kind of thing. I love looking at the amazing work Peter Follansbee does and I toy with the idea of buying some wood chisels and booking myself onto a wood carving course, but like most of my high intentions, they fall on rather stoney, infertile soil and I blame lack of time or money or both instead of apathy.

I can be a bit of a prima donna when it comes to achievement. Take the time I first listened to the 16 year old Robin Pecknold sing his St Vincent Street EP, I simply cried and asked, "what is the point in ever writing a song - I can never top that?" Well, just imagine how I felt then when I watched the BBC documentary about Grinling Gibbons.

I had heard of Gibbons but knew very little about him or his work but after seeing some of his incredible, unbelievable carvings I feel like putting away my tools and never looking at a piece of wood again. You just need to watch it folks.

I am a huge fan of trompe l'oeil type painting (the technique involving realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions) and can really admire and appreciate the skill that goes into producing this kind of art. Well, Gibbons takes this conceit to its limit - watch the show and just look at the cravat he carved, imitating needle lace from wood - just amazing!!

I'm not sure how I missed this documentary, I guess the BBC didn't advertise it very well, but I stumbled across it by accident while browsing iplayer. If you have an interest in wood work, carving, art, history or just beautiful things, it's a must see. But be quick, it ony has 6 days left.

1 comment:

  1. It was part of a series of 3, I've watched them the first time - my tools went for a fair price on EBay. Don't watch them if you want to carve again,