Sunday, 9 July 2017

Lunar Caustic Chapter II Begins...

It may seem that I have been very quiet lately and indeed I have been. The months seem to be flying by and we are already half way through the year, the Summer is in full swing with festivals and delights to be consumed. But as quiet as I have been, much thought has been playing in my mind. With two projects being worked on over the summer, the fruits of my labour will be released later in the year and early next. But what excites me greatly is the opportunity for me to work on a new chapter of Lunar Caustic as the archive grows, so does this series. With every new image, an opportunity to re look, revision and recreate new works that blur the gaps between the years and flourish the series. 

I am delighted to now have the new archive, safe at home and ready to be edited! With a new selection of 350,000 images, it will certainly be a new journey, but one that I am so excited to be running through once more. Today the archive was opened and such amazing imagery has already been found. Some truly tender shots, intermixed with the array of weddings, lovers, babies, holidays and an abundance of portraiture. Each folder I open, my eyes widen and my inspiration grows, it is wonderful to see how the archive provides such a mix of visual stimulation. I've already edited over 17,000 this afternoon and this week will see many more put through my conceptual scrutiny. I await the next folder with bated breath and know this new chapter will truly add to the series. Inspired once again!


Monday, 29 May 2017

Guye, Pol Roger & Mackie, Blank

       
One of my highlights during the PhotoLondon week is getting the all the exhibitions that I've been meaning to get too and revisiting the ones that I loved so much, I just can't get enough! That was certainly the case in the wonderful Irma Blank exhibition Life Time, at Alison Jacques Gallery; Since the late 1960s, Blank's singular production has focused on the recording of time as gesture. In her drawings and paintings time is inscribed as a material record of life through the material traces of the artist's labour. Located between drawing and writing, the work evokes the space of the book but encompasses paintings on canvas and paper, screen-prints and drawings in pastel, pencil and ink. 

Irma said, "Writing is the home of being. I free writing from sense and highlight its structure, its skeleton, the nude sign, the sign that is such and does not refer back to anything but itself. It refers to the energy reserve, to the initial drive, the source-giving urge, the desire to reveal itself, to emerge from the secret, closed place of night."


I was delighted to manage to make the last day of Christina Mackie's new show, Drift Rust at Herald Street Gallery which closed on Sunday 22 May. I absolutely love Mackie's practice and this exhibition certainly did not disappoint. She has such an astounding ability to understand and present materiality in it's purest form, here is an excerpt from the press release, "Materials resisting catergorisation from her studio are assembled in momentary synthesis as the viewer encounters sculptural sequences, video projection, ceramics, watercolours and oil paintings...Resisting the traps of rational systems of classification and narrative containment, she encourages associative leaps rather than resting on, or seeking, any single objective truth. Visual and cognitive meandering on the part of the viewer is prompted and encouraged."

This intermixed with meeting new and old friends, sipping Champagne and taking in gallery meals, adventures off to Peckham 24 and making plans for future projects, to me, is really what those fair weeks are all about.


Post PhotoLondon 2017

So May is nearly over and another month has passed. The crowds have been and gone and the city gets back to business as usual. This year saw the third edition of PhotoLondon at Somerset House and with this still young and establishing fair, a collection of works and rooms that at times work wonders intermixed with a commercial maze that does little to inspire or attract. What I always find so interestingly difficult is the sheer volume of work that is exhibited. Whether over or underwhelming, with so much imagery surrounding us on a daily basis, entering a fair like this demands a clarify of the visual mind, that I feel is almost impossible to have in our current cultural climate. For me, such fairs always present us with a problem to resolve at the first hurdle; how to consume when you have already been consumed?

I think what is also very important to note is that for the last two years of this three year venture to date, the city in which the fair is held is changing in ways many thought wouldn't or couldn't be possible. The socio-political landscape is shaping our future in a way I personally didn't believe would happen so quickly. We are now living in historical times, quietly, softly, passively watching and waiting as the next wave crashes over upon us and we all reappear, half drowned and dazed, but carrying on our daily lives. I had hoped for a gentle sheer, a nod to this in the work that was exhibited but I must admit, this work was somewhat missing. Maybe it is too close, but I was surprised to see a distinct lack of work that engaged on this level, when last year Wolfgang Tillman's Brexit Posters where so beautifully pinned. 

For me, some of the most stunning imagery was found within the 2017 Pavilion and especially in the new gallery editions to the fair this year, of which these Alison Jacques and Victoria Miro were two. The sensual, poetic and tender moments presented at Victoria Miro with works by Issac Julien and his work entitled Looking for Langston (1989/2017) which is currently showing at the gallery until the end of July. The large scale silver gelatin prints hung in the booth empowered. These images intermixed with the tender, exquisite small prints by Francesca Woodman made for one of the best booths at the entire fair. 
Closely positioned was Alison Jacques whose Robert Mapplethrope's and Catherine Yass prints. A huge fan of both artists it was wonderful see the large scale Mapplethrope's, seductive and sensual with the harder, high saturated and process based Yass'. A very clean, considered and sharp booth that was a pleasure to see. 

This years edition was undoubtedly an improvement from the previous years and with the new Matt Collishaw exhibit uusing the latest VR technology to restaged Fox Talbot’s pioneering 1839 exhibition of photography through careful digital reconstructions, it brought both old and new technologies to the same stage without 'that' need to question, digital vs analogue. It will be interesting to see what the next year brings.  

Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Feminine Heroic - The Paris Review

In times with so such political unrest, with misogynistic themes and phrases rife, it is always so comforting to see women take the rains and steer so hope and humanity back into our mysterious, troublesome ways. I am very pleased to have, (although a small contribution) an image of mine representing some key values and themes in an article about "The Feminine Heroic", written by Megan Mayhew Bergman.

A little excerpt from the article here, "Perhaps some early eremitic women, as devout as they might have been, were not running toward Christ but away from life as it had become. If they needed relief, respite, communion with the divine, or a chance to play the protagonist of their own lives, they had to take great risks to claim it.

Times of hardship often demanded women step outside gender roles, such as the expansion of the American frontier, which resulted in heroic, physical pursuits by women. Willa Cather’s Alexandra Berson in O Pioneers! is independent and entrepreneurial. The world wars gave women opportunities to serve as nurses, ambulance drivers, and fighter pilots. The painter Romaine Brooks presented her iconic image of the heroic feminine in 1914: La France Croisée depicts her lover, Ida Rubinstein, as an ambulance driver, the city of Ypres burning behind her."

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

24 Hours In Antwerp - FOMU & Des Artist

 
 
Thursday saw the opening of the new Braakland exhibition at FOMU, Surface Tension: Breaking The Plane Of The Photographic Image. Sadly I could not attend the opening, but travelled on Friday for a flying visit, just 24 hours to see the show, the sites and sample the delights Antwerp had to offer!

First stop of this whistle stop tour was at FOMU to see the show, meet one of the wonderful curators, fellow friends and collectors. The Museum certainly does not disappoint. A former warehouse, converted into a stunning exhibition venue; multiple floors, all with stunningly high ceilings that provide an inspirational backdrop to a conceptual curation. Here is a little excerpt from the press release.

The photographic image exists largely on screen or in flat two-dimensional form. As photography progresses and the synthesis between fine art practice and lens culture merge, the photographic image itself establishes itself in flux between the praxis of de-materialization and three-dimensional representation. The surface of an image is often a great starting point for considering how to liberate the photograph from its previous nominal flat state into a state of object-hood.

After our private tour, off to experience the delights of the city and what better way to start then with an Antwerpen Institution, Des Artist; a wonderful Brasserie that shares in a look and feel of many of the Parisian establishments, but with a warmth and generosity that I found, it seems to be very Antwerpen. Sampling the traditional dishes with the array of Belgian beers, it certainly was the best way to start off the evening. As the evening progressed, we sampled the delights of the city (the many extraordinarily designed bars) and enjoyed until the early hours, all intermixed with old and new friends. 

A huge thank you to all at FOMU and also to Stieglitz 19 for their warmth and generosity. 


Sunday, 5 March 2017

New Exhibition - Surface Tension At FOMU Antwerp - Opening Thursday 9 March At 18:00


I am very please to announce that my collaborative series, Lunar Caustic, will be part of an exciting new exhibition, Surface Tension, curated by Brad Feuerhelm at FOMU, Antwerp's Foto Museum opening this Thursday, 9th March at 18:00, part of the Braakland initiative. 

The photographic surface is generally conditioned towards flatness. This exhibition works with artists who are considering the surface of the image as a starting point to investigate what a photographic representation is, was and can be. Photographic surfaces are destroyed, built up, and worn to create completely new images. Participating artists: Sofia Borges, Brad Feuerhelm, Melinda Gibson, Petra Kubisova, Thomas Sauvin, Ruth van Beek, Thomas Vandenberghe & Daisuke Yokota.
More for information, please visit their website - http://www.braakland-fomu.be/surfacetension.php?lang=en

Thursday, 2 February 2017

New Editorial - Ambit Magazine - Issue 227

 

I am delighted to say that my collaborative series "Lunar Caustic" with Thomas Sauvin has been selected by Darren Warner, part of his take over for the new issue of the wonderfully inspiring magazine, Ambit. Our contribution is amoung some astounding artists that include, Alex Crocker, Sam Windett, Ryan Mosley, Caroline Achaintre, John Finneran and many more. You can even download one of our artworks for the next two months from their website here - http://ambitmagazine.co.uk/download-artwork

Ambit is a London-based 96 page literary and art magazine that features poetry, prose and art. We strive to feature fresh voices and visions from across the world, placing first-time writers alongside giants of the scene. Started in 1959 by the London paediatrician Dr Martin Bax, the magazine helped discover and establish Edwin Brock, Carol Ann Duffy, JG Ballard, Eduardo Paolozzi, William Burroughs, Fleur Adcock, Liz Berry and Sir Peter Blake among others. 

In these changing times, it was truly wonderful to be part of the launch night on Tuesday, where young poets performed their pieces with artistic onlookers and listeners. It seems in these changing times, poetry is increasingly becoming an important outlet for vocal frustrations, love, loss and life. Language is so important in the era where fiction controls fact.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Happy New Year - Welcome 2017

So the new year begins, and I must say what a beautiful start to 2017 I have had. I have a feeling that this year is going to be different, full of many adventures with much hope and positivity. Only six days in and the hope I draw on, is from all the great people in my life who share the same values. I see that there is strength in humanity, even in times of great turmoil and that although the journey is full of ups and downs, when we truly believe, we can join together and try and push for change. Because to try, is to open your mind to new things and be educated by others; 2017 is surely that for me.

December saw a wealth of inspiration and I was delighted to have worked on a special commission with the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, so as the new year starts, I see the final artworks in the context they were produced for, in the Oton programme magazine. It was an absolute pleasure to work with Shahin, Sina and of course all at the Tonhalle. In the coming months I hope this collaboration will grow, exciting plans dance in the background. 

The year has started well and projects are well on their way with  many more in the balance, so do watch this space for news, updates and invitations to exhibitions throughout 2017.

Blog Archive