A Ison Art

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Blog

Welcome to my blog

     In this blog I hope to tell you a little about my projects and pieces of art I am currently working on and help give you an insight into some of the thought processes behind my work.

By aisonart, Jul 6 2016 02:52PM

The Hen Harrier is number 10 of my endangered species series. Printed to raise money for PTES.


The Hen Harrier is a species that became extinct in mainland Britain during the 19th century. Their extinction then was due to persecution and changes in land use; much the same as today.


After the second world war the Hen Harrier started to recolonise places like Orkney Isles and the Hebrides. Unfortunately within the last 10 years Hen Harriers are struggling to successfully nest in Britain due to the illegal killing by land owners and grouse farmers. A recent government study - the Hen Harrier Framework - has suggested that the uplands of England has the capacity for over 300 pairs of Hen Harrier. This study suggested that the illigal persecutiuon through shooting, trapping and disturbance was the main reason for the hen harriers decline and sadly it seems to be an all too common topic in the news - nests found destroyed, birds found poisoned. This is a protected bird, but still these persecutions take place due to greed and lack of understanding of nature.


Together we can bring about change; help protect this species, amoung many others and help educate people about nature. This is again a species that I have yet to see in England and hope that one day I amoung others are given the oppertunity of seeing them come back and thrive.

By aisonart, Apr 25 2016 05:22PM

For a long time I have had a real passion for combining art with maths to help children and young adults to understand complex theories. I feel that it is essential to engineers, scientists and mathematicians to have experience in art and a strong understanding in how to open up the creative realms in their brain to enable them to think outside the current thinking and solutions. I have been using creative maths to support children at school and found this a very rewarding approach to teaching. I have seen an increase in enthusiasm for the subject that they found tricky and with that I have seen an improvement in grades. You can read more about this in a recent interview I did with Maths Scholars recently. Here is the link


http://teachingmathsscholars.org/news/the-maths-scholars-scheme-interviews-artist-ann-marieison



The other morning I woke to a youtube video which had been created using three of my drawings to teach 2 children about modulo circles. This was amazing as this is how I want my Maths art to inspire the teaching of others.


https://mikesmathpage.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/using-ann-marie-isons-incredible-math-art-with-kids/





On seeing this I recalled a computer program another tweeter had compiled for me after seeing these drawings. A program in which you can alter the combination of numbers to create different patterns. I sent this to Mike and he then continued the lesson with his sons.


https://mikesmathpage.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/extending-our-project-with-ann-marie-isons-art/


I found the way both the boys interacted with the maths differently extreamly fascinating. Considering the young age of the boys, how they understood the modulo circles and looked for patterns to understand what was going on, was incredible. Teaching in this way is not hard and can be done at all levels of knowledge and understanding. In 1997 Bjorn Poonen and Michael Rubenstein solved the problem of how to count the number of times the diagonals of a regular polygon intersect on these images. Teaching Maths in this way creates a more enriched understanding and love of numbers and is exactly how I want my art to inspire others.










By aisonart, Mar 7 2016 02:42PM

The Large Tortoiseshell butterfly and the Water Vole are numbers 8 and 9 of 20 charity lino prints. The idea behind these charity prints is to raise money for PTES to help protect Britains species of wildlife, hoping to prevent their populations becoming critically low or even extinct. Sadly the Large tortoiseshell butterfly has suffered severe decline and there have been less than 150 records since 1951. Even though the numbers have always fluctuated, it is now considered to be extinct in Britain and any sightings are considered as released from captivity or migrating species from Europe. This same Butterfly was considered common in the south of England during the victorian times. The reason for such serious decline is considered to be due to climate change, a pest or dutch elm disease causing dieback of their primary food source. I live in hope that this species starts to re-populate the British Isles so we might all get to see this splendid butterfly native in our own country.


The water vole on the other hand hasn't quite become extinct in Britain, but it is worringly close to becoming so. It has been the fastest declining mammal in Britain within the twentieth century. A lot of this decline is due to intensive farmimg practices and the invasion of American Mink in the 90s. PTES are currently conducting a survey on the population of the Water vole. Here is the link


https://ptes.org/get-involved/surveys/countryside-2/national-water-vole-monitoring-programme/


If you are lucky enough to see a water vole logging it with them would be a geat oppertunity to play your part in helping protect the species from further decline.


Sadly, I have never seen either of these species, but I live in hope of someday living in a world where these creatures are flourishing.



By aisonart, Mar 1 2016 11:53AM

To survive cold winters Barn owls need to be successful in hunting a regular food supply, this is particularly hard when there is snow cover. While recently many parts of the Britain has experienced mild winters, during the 20th Century there was actually a weather trend of increasing numbers of winters with over 20 days of snow cover on the ground, making it really hard for the owls to hunt. Along with this increase of severe weather they have to battle with the loss of food due to changes in farming and reduction of field margins this therefore means there is less prey available. Sadly their traditional nest sites in hollow elms have been lost by elms disease and old barns have collapsed or redeveloped, leaving fewer nesting sites for these amazing birds. Luckily the Barn owl has had a lot of puplic support from places like the Barn owl foundation and the populations have stabilised over the last few years.


Sadly the story of the stag beetle is not quite so positive. The Stag Beetle is the UK's largest beetle and is found in the south east. It prefers oak woodlands, but can be found in gardens, hedgerows and parks. The larvae depend on old trees and rotting wood to live in and feed on, and can take up to six years to develop before they pupate and turn into adults. The adults have a much shorter lifespan: they emerge in May with the sole purpose of mating, and die in August once the eggs have been laid in a suitable piece of decaying wood. The cleaner woodlands, gardens and parklands means there is less and less habitats suitible for the life cycle of the stag beetle and the population. The People's Trust for Endangered Species is leading a number of programmes to raise the profile of this insect, and have now organised two national surveys to find out more about stag beetle distribution and behaviour. https://ptes.org/campaigns/stag-beetles/



By aisonart, Feb 4 2016 06:16PM

I have been trying really hard to keep up with my Chraity lino prints over the last couple of months, but have failed to blog about my progress. I completed numbers 4 and 5 a while ago, here is a little bit about why they feature in my 20 endangered species lino print series.


Number 4 is the Cuckoo - The cuckoo spends its summer in Britain and winters in Africa. They rely on their host species of bird and time their arrival into Britain with their hosts breeding season so they can parasitize their nests. Since the 1980s cuckoo populations have decreased by a whopping 65%. No one knows why their has been such a rapid decline, but the change in breeding season for their host birds (the Dunnock, Pied wagtails, Meadow pipit and Reed warblers), the reduction of prey and their long migration route will all contribute to its decline.


I spent a long time in my childhood hearing these birds on woodland walks with my family. I never really saw one properly until I was well into adulthood. Luckily all my children have heard and seen several cuckoos, an experience that will becaome less and less common as future generations grow up.


Number 5 is the Hedgehog - The Peoples trust for endangered species have recently released a report into the decline of hedgehogs. Here is a link to the report


http://www.bto.org/sites/default/files/u12/state_of_hedgehog.pdf


Rough estimates show that there were around 30million hedgehogs in Britain in the1950's and 30 years later, in the 1990's, only 1.5 million. with a reduction of around 30% in the last 10 years. This is a massive reduction in population size. Again the reasons for this rapid decline is still relatively unknown, but is seen to be due to intensive agricultral practices resulting in loss of field margins, pastures and hedgerows. The fragmatation of urban areas for them to go also has a huge contribution. PTES is doing a wonderful job in helping understand their decline and have set up 'Hedgehog street' helping to improve gardens to make them more hedgehog freindly.


Hedgehogs are iconic British mammals which everyone loves and adores. Children and adults love finding them in their gardens, but this is less and less likely to happen. I haven't seen one in Britian for over 8 years. We all need to act to help support charities like PTES which are doing their best to support the wildlife that are struggling because of our lack of understanding and often our neglect.


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