Tuesday, 16 May 2017

THE TOY BOX: FROM POP TO PRESENT


I'm pleased to announce that two of my sculptures, 'Magnet' (the middle piece, of the three images below) and 'Baby Kit', will be appearing in this Summer's 'The Toy Box: From Pop to Present' exhibition (curated by Jason White) at the Civic in Barnsley. The show runs from Saturday 29th July to Saturday 23rd September.


The show looks at contemporary artists and designers who use toys as a theme, and my work will feature alongside that of Eduardo Paolozzi (whose current show at the Whitechapel gallery is probably my favourite Whitechapel show so far), KAWS, Jimmy Cauty (English artist and musician, best known as one half of the duo The KLF, co-founder of The Orb and as the man who burnt one million pounds.), Ron English, Jason Freeny, Sarah Graham, Joe Simpson, Laura Keeble, the Campana Brothers, Fyodor Golan, Freya Jobbins, Fabric Lenny, Steve Lovatt, and JulieNewton.

The Civic is a gallery and theatre space in South Yorkshire, which hosts touring exhibitions from regular partners such as V&A, Hayward Gallery, Royal Photographic Society and Fashion & Textiles Museum, as well as their own curated exhibitions.


Here's a bit more info about the show, that I shamelessly lifted direct from the gallery's website -

" A well-crafted toy can be a conduit for learning and for nurturing creativity. A toy can also inspire feelings of nostalgia or recall memories of a childhood long gone.

In The Toy Box we will introduce to you artists and designers that have all used or have been inspired by toys in their own professions, either through a sentimental affection for the past or as a medium for telling stories about the present. The exhibition will explore the ways in which Pop Art informed movements such as Photorealism, Pop Surrealism and Street Art, and will showcase artists that have turned the notion of what is collectable art on its head by creating designer ‘art toys’.

Families will be invited to contribute to an art installation that evolves throughout the length of the exhibition. Aided by the help of artist Fabric Lenny, they will be inspired to design and create their own toy robots. Empty plinths and building blocks will be available for young children to build and display their own creations. As will bespoke gallery trails and worksheets, created especially for the exhibition.

National Curriculum Art & Design Key Stages 1 and 2, and elements of Key Stage 3 will explored throughout the exhibition’s engagement programme." 

THE TOY BOX: FROM POP TO PRESENT
THE GALLERY@
29 JULY – 23 SEPTEMBER
Gallery | FREE ADMISSION
Open Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm (last admission 4.45pm)
http://www.barnsleycivic.co.uk/whats-on

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Oli Postcards 2017

I've just completed a set of four original, mini artworks for this year's Oil Postcards; the secret postcard sale in aid of the Oli Bennett Charitable Trust. Set up on a similar model to the RCA Secret postcard exhibition and sale, the Oli Postcards event exhibits a range of original A5-sized (a much larger postcard size than that of the RCA Secret) artworks, all created and donated by artists. The postcards are then sold off to the public at £50 each, to raise money for charity. The secret element of both sales being that the name of the contributing artist is written on the back of each postcard, so the purchaser only knows the artist's name once they have bought the work.


Previous contributing artists have included Sir Peter Blake, D*Face, Patrick Hughes, Susie Hamilton, Faile, Jonathan Yeo, Anita Klein, Luke Frost, Guy Denning, Peter Jones, Remi Rough, Sandra Chevier, Josie McCoy and MOMO.
As the authors of each artwork in the event are to be kept secret until the point of sale, I've included images here of two of my postcards from the previous Oli Postcards, which took place in 2015. The only clue I'll give about my donations to this year's sale is that there's are lot more colour this time around.
 

The charity was set up to commemorate the name of Oli Bennett, a young man killed in the World Trade Centre attack of 9/11, and to provide funding and grants for young people with business ideas, many of whom are from underprivileged backgrounds.
The sale takes place on 22 June 2017 (18:00) at Ashburnham House, Westminster School, Little Dean's Yard, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3PF.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Chronica


As some of you may remember, a couple of years ago I provided the artwork for the cover of Scenes of Mild Peril, a fourteen track , live-in-session CD/DVD, by the band, The Scaramanga Six. Well, those Northern music monkeys are at it again - this time bringing out a concept album called 'Chronica', the name of a mythical and dystopian island where life is hard and society is reduced to base behaviour and the populace crave superficial fixes. Like a kind of possible near-future Britain, I guess - although, if the The Jeremy Kyle Show is any indicator, it looks like we're virtually there already. 


Once again I've been tasked with providing the artwork but this time the album, as well as being available on CD, will also be coming out as a gatefold sleeved, heavy-duty 12" vinyl. So for this one I'll be producing three artworks - ones for the front and back cover, and a double sized piece for inside the gatefold sleeve.


Rather than go for a literal illustration of the themes behind the album's concept and aspects of the song lyrics (which I thought might end up looking a bit obvious or clumsy) I decided to create something that hopefully captured the sense of alienation that this dystopian environment would foster. My initial thoughts were of something akin to a contemporary take on Bosch but with a touch of Cronenburg. With this starting point in mind I then turned to a collection of line drawings that I'd made (used to adorn the outside of my recent sculpture, Tattooed Tumour Box) of a sprawling flow of biomorphic creatures and machines, and decided to adapt some of them for use on the album's artwork.


I've already finished the artwork for the front of the cover, and here you can see it alongside some of the early production stages. As I have a fondness for working with found materials I decided to paint the album artwork on a piece of vintage plywood packing crate (courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum), which I had collaged with more old found materials. Obviously the image will be cropped down for the album cover but I thought that I'd leave the designer of the cover enough scope work in any necessary text.

For more info on the The Scaramanga Six check out their website or Facebook page.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Component Tower (work in progress)


My usual modus operandi for constructing a sculpture is quite simple - I have an idea (or ideas) for a sculpture, mull it over until I have a rough image in my mind's eye of how it might look, thrash out a few sketches to work out the logistics of construction, make a final sketch, then go about making the sculpture. But for my current work in progress (working title, Component Tower) I'm adopting a different approach; one that's a bit more playful and experimental, but which I'm finding a little slow going as it pretty much goes against everything that I'm used to when it comes to making art. 


For this piece I'm not thinking about the end result, and how it will look, but am just concerning myself with constructing a series of individual 'components' from various found materials, and then finding a way of merging together these elements to create a unified whole - and seeing what form that whole eventually takes. For me it is very counter intuitive, and I'm constantly having to force myself to just go with it, and not try to pre-empt the end result, but it's not easy, which explains the slow going.   


The upside of this way of working is that it generates chance connections and new pathways of thought. The process of trying out different configurations for these seemingly disparate elements (when trying to work out the best way to piece them together) is that it throws up interesting new forms and associations; associations that I might not have arrived at had I been working in my usual manner - to the sets of rules that my practice had begun to lay down for me.


Friday, 16 December 2016

Merry Xmas One & All

A few Christmases ago I thought it would be a nice touch to hand-make the cards that I send out to friends, and now it's in danger of becoming a bit of a tradition. This year I made a small number of charcoal drawn and acrylic painted cards. Being hand-made, each one is slightly different to the next one. So to wish you a cool Yule and a fantastic 2017 I thought I'd share one of the cards with you.


MERRY XMAS!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Moon Drawings

I've recently been working with a new material (well, new to me) - resin. I originally bought it for use in a sculpture project but I got curious about how it would work as a drawing or painting material, when used in conjunction with charcoal and acrylic paint. To get a feel of the material I chose a simple theme, the moon, and started a few experimental drawings. The lunar theme came about after chatting to one of my collectors, James Dyer, about his 18 month-old daughter, Darcy, who is obsessed with the moon. Apparently the four important factors in her life are mum, dad, gran and moon - the latter presumably viewed as a person in its own right.


This first piece is called 'Darcy's Moon Ladder', and is a mixture of charcoal and resin on paper. For the lower section of the piece, containing the loose ladder structure, I adopted a more frantic and child-like approach to drawing, which I found quite primal and liberating.
Charcoal and resin are an interesting mix to work with - depending upon the order and how you apply them, it can sometimes work like a drawing, and at times the process can take on a more painterly aspect. The resin lends the charcoal a depth that you wouldn't necessarily get with a traditional charcoal sketch. That isn't immediately obvious in this images so I've included a photo at the bottom of the post that shows a cluster of drawings, where the sheen is more clearly evident. I'm a big fan of very dark (as in not much light) works (a great example being the early prints of someone like of Ana Maria Pacheco) where I, as a viewer, am forced to search out the details - so I am looking forward to pushing this process further, and producing even denser, darker pieces.
Another great thing about working with resin and charcoal on paper is that, until it sets, the resin is continually shifting so it's possible to scrape into it, creating new highlighted areas and textures. Although, because of this temporary state of entropy, you have to keep an eye on, and rework certain areas until the resin dries, as the line work you do is constantly wanting to melt away.


This second piece is the more experimental of the three I'm showing here. It even retains a fragment one of the disintegrated Nitril gloves that I was wearing when I created it - disintegrated because towards the end I'd abandoned drawing with charcoal or brush, and was frantically scraping the charcoaly resin mix with my gloved finger tips. Even before I picked up a charcoal stick or resin brush I screwed up and then unfurled the paper (stapling back together any tears) so as to give myself a nicely creased, non-flat surface to work on. I eventually plan to work on more screwed up pieces that will be rigid from much thicker coatings of resin.


Although simpler, and less worker, I am really happy with this third piece, which retains whole fragments of charcoal sticks that broke up under the heavy-handed drawing process. One of the discoveries that I made, and an effect that I greatly like, is the evidence of the small pieces of charcoal and powdered charcoal trapped in the resin, slowly travelling down the paper.


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Stonewall Art Auction & Party

On Thursday night myself and the art journalist, Holly Howe (AKA Hollytorious), had a great time at the Stonewall Season Closing Celebration, held at the Tanner Warehouse on Bermondsey Street, London. The party marked the end of the ten day Stonewall Season festival, which celebrated LGBT life and culture at over 70 events across 15 different cities in England, Scotland and Wales.


I was there because I was one of over fifty artists who had donated work for the live auction, which took place throughout the evening.

 
It was great seeing so many stars turn out to on the night to support the LGBT equality event. In attendance were style guru Gok Wan, drag legend JodieHarsh, Years and Years frontman Olly Alexander, X Factor alum Seann Miley Moore, X Factor’s Saara Aalto, fashion designer Gareth Pugh, Emmerdale’s Alicya Eyo, and choreographer Brian Friedman (admittedly I had to be told who most of these people are as I don't have a TV, and am somewhat out of the celeb spotting loop).


My two highlights of the night were getting to chat to one of my favourite actors, Andrew Scott (probably best known for playing Moriarty in Sherlock, although I'm very much looking forward to seeing him as Hamlet at The Almeida, next year), and discovering a self service, Mister Whippy-style ice cream machine - I had three 99s (would have been more but they ran out of flakes).

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Halloween Print Sale

This year I didn't do a print sale during my birthmonth (that's right – whereas most people celebrate their birth-days, I'm a little greedier), so to make amends I'm offering a 20% discount on my Swirly Skulls prints (aww what the hell! - I'll extend it to all my prints on paper), to coincide with my favourite time of year, Halloween. Although, to be honest I should probably have thought of posting this a little earlier, so I'll set the sale period till the end of November.


If you would like one of my screen prints at 20% less than the listed price just check out the range here and drop me a line at wayne@waynechisnall.com

Happy Halloween folks!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Stonewall Season - Charity Auction & Party

From 1-10 November Stonewall will be hosting Stonewall Season, a series of events that celebrate LGBT life, culture and people - culminating in a Closing Celebrating event that includes an art exhibition and charity auction at the Tanner Warehouse on London’s fashionable Bermondsey Street. The theme for the Stonewall Season is #ByMySide.


If anyone would like to come along to the closing celebration, the evening will begin at 7:30pm with a champagne and canapé reception. There will be an exclusive art exhibition comprised of one-off pieces, created exclusively for the night by some much-loved artists including Marc Quinn, Maggi Hambling, Henry Holland, Gareth Pugh and many more. Throughout the evening you can enjoy more drinks, fantastic food, entertainment and music too – including a set from DJ Jodie Harsh.

Each of the bespoke works of art (including my charcoal, acrylic and resin piece, titled 'Together') will be included in a silent auction on the night. I will post more details about this at the start of the Stonewall Season, once the works appear online.


Tickets are limited and available for £149 - book now to avoid disappointment!

For more information and to book tickets online, please visit www.stonewallseason.org.uk or contact the Events team on 020 7593 1875 or events@stonewall.org.uk.  

Alternatively you can click here to book your tickets.

If you can make it to the closing celebration, I look forward to seeing you there. If not, I'll have a little boogie on your behalf.

Stonewall Season Closing Celebration 
Thursday 10th November (7:30pm - 11pm)
Tanner Warehouse
50 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3UD

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Tentacled Dreadnought

When I was handed one of C.F. Martin and Company's rather lovely Dreadnought acoustic guitars by art collector and guitar aficianado, James Dyer, and instructed to do whatever I wanted to it, I was, at first, a little apprehensive. As much as I love working on bits of old wood and other pre-existing materials, when presented with something so beautifully made, and perfect as it is, it can be a bit daunting when asked to add to it – especially if that addition renders the object in question unfit for its original purpose; although, sometimes it's that meddling with the expected that art uses to help us to question the world we know around us, and which we often take for granted (not that I'm necessarily making any such grand claims in this case).


Another daunting aspect of being given free rein on any project is that there are no boundaries to help focus the mind. So I decided to look to some of my recent work and drew inspiration from a couple of paintings that I had done on pieces of antique wood, salvaged from some of the Victoria and Albert Museum's old packing crates. The piece that I especially drew inspiration from was my Tentacle Touch Teddy painting, which was exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum's latest Vamalgam show.


To achieve the effect of the tentacle emerging from inside the guitar I first had to create an additional wooden section that partly filled in the sound hole (on which to paint that section of the tentacle) – thus rendering it pretty much useless as a musical instrument, but hopefully transforming the Dreadnought into an new art piece in itself.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Stonewall Charity Auction – Work In Progress

I'm currently working with a new material (well, new to me), and whenever I get to play with a new technique or material I get quite excited, and often frustrated, as I work out what the materials can do, and how far I can push them. This new material is resin. I originally bought it for use in my sculptural work but for now I'm drawing/painting with it, and am working on a body of charcoal and resin drawings on paper, and charcoal, resin, and acrylic paintings on paper. It's fascinating stuff to work with and, depending upon how you combine or use the two or three materials on the paper, the resulting outcomes are incredibly diverse and often less than predictable. So far I've produced around ten new pieces – but I'll post about them some time soon.


For now I'm working on a piece for a charity auction organised by the leading LGBT equality charity, Stonewall. From 1-10 November Stonewall will be hosting Stonewall Season, a series of events that celebrate LGBT life, culture and people, and it will culminate in a Closing Celebrating event that includes an art exhibition and charity auction.


The theme for the Stonewall Season is #ByMySide. And as you can see, I've cleverly avoided being clever, and drawn two figures holding hands whilst standing side-by-side. I'm not quite sure why the figures ended up looking like skeletal aliens – I think that I was trying to approach the drawings with an economy of line.

As I'm still finding my way with the resin, and to reduce the amount of time I have to spend stretching paper, I'm working on three different versions of the drawing on one piece of paper (and will choose the most interesting one for the auction, once they are all completed). The drawing/painting on the right of the photo is at it's finished stage, as I don't want to over work it, but the other two are works in progress so will probably end up looking very different.


I rarely post images of works-in-progress – not because I don't want to give away any of my processes, but because I feel that a lot of works-in-progress just look like bad art. Maybe it's an ego thing.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Creative Debuts – Artist of The Day

I'd like to say a big thank you to the wonderful team at Creative Debuts for making me their Artist of The Day, and featuring my work right across their social media platforms.

Sun Worshippers #1
Creative Debuts are a London-based group set up to champion emerging artists and designers, and offer a free global platform for creatives to sell, showcase and rent artwork. They have an exhibition space at the Black and White Building, right in the heart of the terribly hip Shoreditch triangle – a venue where I have previously exhibited my artwork.

Mutant Nail Heart

As well as having my own dedicated page on the Creative Debuts' site, and their Tweet shows images of several of my artworks, the group's Facebook page featured my 'Mutant Nail Heart' sculpture, saying this about it -

“Wayne is well known for his sculptures, with "Mutant Nail Heart" being a prime example. This piece is a carved wooden sculpture influenced by the minkisi artefacts of Africa, comprising of carved wooden totems that have had nails and other metal items hammered into them. As a result Chisnall created a similar artwork but that had a powerful presence derived purely from its adornment of carefully selected nails and screws- showing a ritualistic side of everyday life and the physical embodiments of the personal belief systems we all create. 

Check out Wayne's amazing Creative Debuts profile:www.creativedebuts.co.uk/artists/wayne-chisnall
Facebook: Wayne Chisnall's Artwork” 

Kitchen Blue

Check out Creative Debuts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and at their own website.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Hugly and The Missing Carrots

It's been a few months since I last posted about Hugly and Friends, and a lot has happened in that time. To recap, the project started out as a crowd funded venture between myself and two friends, Sam Frith and Ian Hamilton, with the overall aim being to encourage children to engage more in outdoor activities. The initial stage of the project was to produce a children's storybook that also doubled up as a cookbook, whilst providing seeds and instructions for growing one of the ingredients that forms an integral part of the story. I'm happy to say that we met our £8000 target (largely down to the hard work put in by Sam and Ian, whose commitment and infectious enthusiasm for the project pulled in backers from all walks of life) which enabled us to complete the first stage of the project – namely the production of our first book in the Hugly and Friends series, Hugly and the Missing Carrots. (now available through our Hugly and Friends website, and through Amazon).


The characters in this and future books are based upon cartoon creatures that I created, which Sam (who also inks the artwork) and Ian then took as the raw material to build the stories with, and create personalities for. Although Ian and Sam basically created the world of Hugly and Friends, it soon became apparent that something also was needed, which is where the fourth member of our team came in – writer, Gemma Appleton, who took the initial idea/draft and gave it her magic touch.


It took a lot of work to get this first book to the point where it was ready to go to the printers (self publishing a children's book is definitely a learning curve) but we all pulled together, and although I'm sure that later books in the series will be a bit more polished, we are pretty pleased with the way it turned out – and feedback from parents, children, and businesses has been amazing.


As I mentioned earlier, a lot has happened since my last blog post about the project, so I'll fill you in on it – although you might also want to check out Ellie Spanswick's article about our project, as it features conversations with both Sam and Ian, who share their thoughts on the potential negative impacts of too much screen time in their children's lives. Yes, I know, we're all starting to sound like our parents!

Me, admiring the Sweet Peas at River Cottage (photo by Holly Howe).

Right from the start there was support for our project from TV chef/environmental campaigner, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall so it made perfect sense that we would have our book launch at his River Cottage HQ on the Devon Dorset boarder. The event went amazingly, with a band playing, locally produced food and drinks available, and it was attended my nearly 100 adults and children.

Myself, Sam and Ian, at River cottage (photo by Holly Howe).

As well as a fantastic book launch, our project has received an amazing amount of publicity. Vanessa Feltz gave the book an outstanding mention on the 'Gardeners Guilt' section of her BBC Radio 2 show. Sam and Ian, along with Sam's two young daughters, were also interviewed this week on Penny Smith's Talk Radio show. This, plus various newspaper articles, has helped spread the word of what we are trying to do, and now we have our book stocked in places such as The Eden Project in Cornwall, Kew Gardens in London, the Rare Breeds Centre in Kent, and two-star Michelin chef Simon Hulstone's Torquay restaurant, The Elephant. Interest in our project seems to be growing by the day – in fact we have been offered a free stand at tomorrow's Vale of Glamorgan Agricultural Show, by our generous hosts, Philip Vowles and his daughter Gail.

Vanessa Feltz, on her BBC Radio 2 show.

To keep up to date with what's going on with the Hugly and Friends project please feel free to checkout our Facebook page, and to get hold of a copy of 'Hugly and The Missing Carrots' you can either go to our Hugly and Friends website or order it on Amazon.