Miles ‘Mosaic in Blue’
Sculptor Guy Portelli discusses his latest work and reveals news of an upcoming new Arts Hub in Tonbridge
“I have always been interested in the relationship between art and music, not only the fashion and the politics, but the rhythms, pulse, harmony and discord that is both present in art and music. Over the years this fascination has taken me across the world and into the homes of many great musicians and even on to the BBC’s Dragons Den.
My latest sculpture, inspired by the tracks on ‘Kind of Blue’ by Miles Davis, is a new departure for me, it is the creation of an art work based on an album. The album itself being an exploration of the modal scale and a Japanese art form, where the artist can only apply paint once onto the paper and there can be no alterations. Forced to be spontaneous, the artist must paint on a thin stretched parchment with a special brush and black water paint in such a way that an unnatural or interrupted stroke will destroy the line or break through the parchment. Erasures or changes are impossible. These artists must practice a particular discipline of allowing the idea to express itself in communication with their hands in such a direct way that deliberation cannot interfere.
Widely considered as the greatest jazz album, ‘Kind of Blue’ has been in my collection for many years and I have enjoyed revisiting it in an academic way and finding a new way of illustrating my musical interest.
I became aware of the beauty of the handwritten staves while researching another project, and realised that the musical notation was a form of artistic communication that spoke a language to many people. I selected one solo from each of the musicians, and replicated them on to the panel, and this acted as a framework that all the other images could hang on.
Many of the great musicians of the day performed on the Kind of Blue sessions which took place in April of 1959, the whole album being recorded in just two days. I have incorporated the portraits of all the musicians: John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley and Bill Evans among them.”
This sculpture was on show with the Royal Society of British Artists at the Mall Galleries in London during April. Guy Portelli is currently exhibiting in Japan and Dubai as well as working with Richard Collins in creating a new cultural hub for Tonbridge. They will be launching the Escape Art Centre in the Old Fire Station Building, from the 21st of June 2021.
For more information about Guy Portelli and his work go to www.portelli-sculptor.co.uk
Miles Mosaic in Blue sculpture;
right: Guy Portelli with sculpture, both photos by Rabah Ichadadene; bottom left: Old Fire Station in Tonbridge, soon to be ‘Escape’