Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Oli Bennet Postcards 2015



I've just realised that I never got round to posting images of the four large postcard-sized works that I did for the Oli Bennett Charitable Trust, that went on sale during the Anonymous Art Fair in June.


In keeping with most of the charity postcard events that I donate to, the work that I made for the Oli Bennett show related to the project that I was working on at the time – namely, my Tattooed Tumour Box sculpture.


As I'd mentioned in previous posts, in the process of working on my Tattooed Tumour Box sculpture I ended up generating lots of sketches. I then reproduced select elements of a few of these, as carbon drawings, to created the Oli Bennett postcards.


Monday, 20 July 2015

Summer Salon Show (23 July - 16 August)



As I mentioned in my previous post, this Friday sees the private view of the Parallax Art Fair in Chelsea, London (RSVP to privateviews@barlowfinedrawings.com by 21st July if you'd like to get on the guest list, or click here for free tickets for Saturday and Sunday entry to the art fair), where I'll be showing some of my recent series of playful mini paintings and drawings.


However, if you'd like to see more of my work from this series then you are welcome to pop along this Thursday to the private view of the Summer Salon exhibition at the Candid Arts Trust in Islington, London (and on Thursday 6th August for the private view of part two of the exhibition - featuring new work by even more artists - as well as myself). There's no need to RSVP to this one – just turn up, and feel free to bring along friends.


Most of the pieces that I will be showing are based upon elements of my sketchbook work. Originally conceived as a limited run of mini artworks for the Rob Pruitt's Flea Market pop-up project which took place during the opening week of this year's Venice Biennale, I've decided to continue the series to offer an affordable entry level for those wishing to buy or start collecting my work.


Whereas the majority of my original artwork (paintings and sculptures) tend to run between the £1000 to £12000 mark, the nine pieces that I'm showing at Summer Salon show are priced around £200. Each of these paintings and drawings are executed on 20 x 15 cm blocks of 1.8 cm thick plywood, and originally designed to hang as wall plaques. However, for the Candid show I've mounted them all in white box frames, which I think looks equally as splendid.


Summer Salon (exhibition part 1)

Candid Arts Trust 3 Torrens Street
Islington
London EC1V 1NQ
First Floor Gallery / Free admission


Private View: Thursday 23 July (6-9pm) 
Exhibition open: 24th July - 2nd August (12-6pm)


Sunday, 28 June 2015

Parallax Art Fair - London - 24th-26th July



From Friday 24th - Sunday 26th July I'll be exhibiting a selection of my new wall-plaque paintings and ink drawings at the Parallax Art Fair. The fair takes place at the Chelsea Town Hall, Located on the famous King's Road, London.


Entry to the fair is free (click here for tickets), and if you would like to join us for the private viewing on the Friday (7:30-9:30pm) please RSVP to privateviews@barlowfinedrawings.com by 21st July to get on the guestlist.


Most of the pieces that I will be showing are based upon some of my more playful sketchbook work. Originally conceived as a limited run of mini artworks for the Rob Pruitt's Flea Market pop-up project which took place during the opening week of this year's Venice Biennale, I've decided to continue the series to offer an affordable entry level for those wishing to buy or start collecting my work. Whereas the majority of my original artwork (paintings and sculptures) tend to run between the £1000 to £12000 mark, I will be selling these hand-drawn and hand-painted 'Taster Menu' pieces for around the £100 to £200 price range.


Parallax Art Fair, Chelsea Old Town Hall, King's Rd, London SW3 5EE

Friday 24th July: Private View, 7.30-9.30pm
Saturday 25th July:  11am – 5pm
Sunday 26th October: 11am-5pm.

For Private View RSVP: privateviews@barlowfinedrawings.com by 21st Jul.


Parking and travel info.

Local Bus Routes: 49, 11, 19, 22, 211 319

London Underground: Take the Circle or District line train and alight at Sloane Square. Cross the pedestrian crossing outside the station into King’s Road. Keep walking straight down the King’s Road for approximately 10 minutes; the Chelsea Old Town hall is located on the left hand side opposite Sydney Street.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Tattooed Tumour Box (with working drawings)



There's been quite a gap between this post and my last Tattooed Tumour Box progress report but I'm pleased to say that work on the sculpture/3D drawing is finally complete. I started constructing the piece last year when I planned to build and enter it into the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2014. Although I managed to make all the interconnecting box sections of the piece well in advance of last year's submission deadline, I soon realised that the 'tattooed' element of the piece wasn't going to be fully achievable in time (as hard as I tried).


As with most of my artistic projects, I underestimated just how long the drawing side of the work would take. There are several reasons for this. One being the fact that all the drawings are quite intricate and time consuming to develop from scratch, especially since I planned for all the elements to have their own unique qualities whilst still looking like they could coexist in the same universe. Couple this with the fact that, put together, all the forty four separate planes of the sculpture's components add up to a much larger surface area than one might expect, I now clearly see why the piece took so long to complete – although, admittedly, once I missed last year's deadline, work on the piece slowed down for a while whilst I worked on other projects.


Another reason that the drawing process took so long is that each sketch had to be done four separate times – firstly worked out as a pencil sketch in one of my sketchbooks, then traced in ink onto tracing paper, thirdly, transferred onto the sculpture using carbon paper and drawing over the image on the tracing paper, and finally there would be the time consuming task of inking in the carbon ghost image on the sculpture's wooden surface.


Initially, I started off the drawing process by rendering elements of miscellaneous found objects, and morphing them together but once I got into the flow of it, and started to really develop a feel for the world that my drawings evolved from, I mostly abandoned the use of existing source materials, and opted for the freedom of simply making it all up.


To give you a little insight into the multiple processes that I lovingly went through (often whilst working through the night, till five or six the next morning) constructing Tattooed Tumour Box this last year, here are a few of the pencil sketches, tracings, and inked-in sections of the sculpture's surface.


Incidentally, the sculpture is made up of cut-up pieces of antique packing crates, sourced from the Victoria and Albert Museum where I work part-time. You can even see sections of old labels, stencilled numbers, and part of the lettering of “V. & A. M.”, branded into the wood in a charming early twentieth century typography.


There are lots of drawn elements of the piece that I've especially enjoyed creating, and one of them is the underside of the base section of the sculpture, and therefore probably the part that is least likely to be seen. So I thought that I'd give it an airing here. As the circular hole in the centre is for the insertion of the pole that makes up part of the work's metal stand, I thought that I'd make it a feature of the overall design, and incorporated a sphincter element to the drawing. The sigils which appear within to outer ring reference occult interests as well as being a tribute to the flamboyantly entertaining comic book writer, Grant Morrison.


To see a larger selection of the drawings that I made in the creation of Tattooed Tumour Box please feel free to check out my Oodles of Doodles blog

Friday, 29 May 2015

Secret Postcard Season


It seems that the trend for secret postcard shows in aid of worthy causes (as popularised by the Royal College of Art's RCA Secret) has been going from strength to strength. Already this year I've done a 'lodda work for charidee' (apologies to those too young to remember, or not British enough to get the Smashie and Nicey reference) and taken part in a few secret postcard exhibitions.


The latest one, that I've just made four large postcard-sized works for is the Oli Bennett Charitable Trust, whose Anonymous Art Fair, this year, takes place on Thursday 18th June. For full details on how to buy a work from the sale click here. As the work on sale is supposed to be anonymous, I can't yet show you what I created, so here's one of my pencil drawn postcards from a previous Oli Bennett show.


This year, for the first time, the Royal College of Art held two RCA Secrets; one at their Dyson exhibition space in Battersea, London, and a second one in Dubai, during Art Dubai, the leading international art fair in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Unfortunately I wasn't able check out RCA Secret Dubai myself but I did manage to lift an image of part of it from the Artslant article by Danna Lorch. Almost the same as going there – right? As the artists invited to take part in this year's RCA Secret were given the usual three postcards for the London show, and just one for the exhibition in Dubai, I'm guessing that the latter was a little smaller. Although, the chap who bought my Dubai piece (a bit of a 3D postcard this year – as you can see) emailed me to say that unlike the London show, where some people camp out days, if not weeks, beforehand, there didn't seem to be much of a queue when he arrived half an hour before the start of the sale. So, maybe if you're one of those RCA Secret regulars, desperate for a piece by one of your favourite artists, you should consider a Dubai holiday next year – one that coincides with Art Dubai. Just a thought!


Like the works that I did for both of this year's RCA Secret shows, the postcard that I made for the Welling School Secret Postcard Show (image below) was also based upon one of the many drawings that I developed to cover the surface of my latest sculpture, Tattooed Tumour Box; a piece that I've been working on for the best part of a year (on and off), and which I finally finished today. As soon as I get some descent photos of it I'll put them up on the blog.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Art Flea Market & The Love Guru of Venice


Photo by A+A Gallery.

For me, the fun and frolics of the Venice Biennale are over as I'm now back in my London studio, working on my next project. But I'd like to thank everyone involved in the Rob Pruitt's Flea Market (the students of the “22nd Course in Curatorial Practices and Contemporary Arts” at The School for Curatorial Studies Venice, curator Tommaso Speretta, everyone from A plus A Gallery, the artists taking part, everyone who came along, and Rob Pruitt himself) for making it such a fun event to be part of.


As is the case with all of the Rob Pruitt's Flea Markets, wherever in the World they happen to take place, each one is its own, unique beast – an amalgam of the various artists taking part, at a particular location and time. This incarnation of the RPFM brought together music, food, performance, parties, interactive events, and artists selling their wares. Amongst the artworks on offer were paintings, books, portraits, bags, sculpture, photographs, badges, and bizarre miscellaneous items. For my part, I was selling prints, paintings, drawings, and screen printed tote bags.


Me next to RPFMV poster. Photo by Holly Howe.


Here's my 'inner-selfie' with one of my favourite characters from the RPFMV - Guru Jimmy, introduced to me by the talented artist, James Ostrer.


Bye, bye Rob Pruitt's Flea Market, Venice. Photo by A+A Gallery.

Rob Pruitt's Flea Market, Venice
'A plus A Gallery', San Marco 3073
E press@aplusa.it
T 00 39 041 277 04 66
www.aplusa.it

Friday, 1 May 2015

Rob Pruitt's Flea Market, Venice – New Work


In a few hours I fly off to Venice for the preview week of the 2015 Venice Biennale. As mentioned in my previous post - I'm taking part in the Rob Pruitt's Flea Market.


And as I also mentioned, I was hoping to produce a set of cotton tote bags, screen printed with an Italian-themed design (my tentacled version of Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man) in time for RPFMV.


Well, I'm glad to say that they arrived from the printers in plenty of time, and I'm happy with how they turned out. The colour range for the totes is quite impressive so I've had my design printed up on a set of 17 different coloured bags – including natural, bright red, graphite grey, black, olive green, bottle green, pink, classic red, cornflower blue, cranberry, French navy, Kelly green, lime green, royal blue, purple, sky blue, and white.


In the short time since my last blog post I've been working on a few new drawings and paintings, for sale at RPFMV. So here are a few of them.


So if you happen to be in Venice for the Biennale's preview week, pop along and say hi. And if you'd like to see more of the work that I've created for the event then please feel free to check out my Oodles of Doodles blog.


Rob Pruitt's Flea Market,
Venice 'A plus A Gallery', San Marco 3073
5th - 8th May 2015 (open 12-8pm – free entry)

E press@aplusa.it
T 00 39 041 277 04 66
www.aplusa.it

The project is organized by the students of the “22nd Course in Curatorial Practices and Contemporary Arts” at The School for Curatorial Studies Venice, and curated by Tommaso Speretta.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Rob Pruitt's Flea Market – Venice Biennale



To say that I've been looking forward to the opening of this year's Venice Biennale (and the party/private view week that precedes it) is a bit of an understatement, but now I have even more reason to be excited about it – even if it does mean that I won't be running around and checking out as quite many events as much as I'd like.


Coinciding with the preview week of this year's Biennale, the A plus A Gallery will be hosting the Rob Pruitt's Flea Market, Venice. And I will be taking part. In fact, I've pretty much been spending the last two weeks, working all through the night on new pieces for the event. I've been creating wooden wall plaque paintings and drawings, mostly based upon my sketchbook work – all of which will be for sale at the RPFM. Sticking with the Italian theme, I'm also having some tote bags, featuring my DaVinciPuss design (my take on Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man drawing), printed up especially for the event. They should be arriving from the screen printers any day now, so I'll post an image of one of them as soon as I get my mitts on them.


The first time that I became aware of the American artist, Rob Pruitt, and his internationally-travelling flea market project was in 2009 when he did a Christmas Flea Market at the Tate Modern in London. It was loads of fun and featured stalls by well known artists such as Tracey Emin and YBA, Gavin Turk, as well as those by lesser known artists. I bought a few pieces of artwork, including a couple of sweet, David Shrigleyesque drawings on blocks of wood (yes, that's where I stole the idea. Of drawing on bits of wood – not the drawings themselves. What do you take me for) by Jimp.


So here we have a few of the pieces that I've already created for the RPFMV, but if you'd like to see more then please feel free to check out my Oodles of Doodles blog.


Rob Pruitt's Flea Market, Venice
'A plus A Gallery', San Marco 3073
5th - 8th May 2015 (open 12-8pm – free entry)
E: press@aplusa.it
T: 00 39 041 277 04 66
www.aplusa.it

The project is organized by the students of the “22nd Course in Curatorial Practices and Contemporary Arts” at The School for Curatorial Studies Venice, and curated by Tommaso Speretta.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Ricoh Test Prints


Back in the olden days (late 1980s/early 1990s), before the joys of the internet, and when terrorists would thoughtfully give you a few minutes warning before blowing shit up, I used to work as a technical illustrator for Ricoh - a Japanese manufacturing company. For four years I hand drew (no-one even knew what a digital camera was back then) the illustrations for the assembly manuals that were used to build their photocopiers – something that definitely helped hone my technical drawing skills, and which still influences much of my drawing style today.


By chance, one of my old Ricoh colleagues came across a mention of my currency project and suggested that I pop up to the Ricoh facility in Shropshire, and check out the latest technological advances at their printing research and development department. This seemed like too good an opportunity to turn down so I procured some 100% cotton paper (the closest to actual banknote paper, that I've so far been able to find – real banknote paper being a 75%cotton, 25% linen mix, with a few extra fibres thrown in) samples from G F Smith and caught the next train from London up to Shropshire.


At this point I've not yet started working on the designs for my first banknote (a 10 Chig note), as I'm still finishing off my Tattooed Tumour Box sculpture, which has itself been put on a temporary back-burner whilst I create some new work for next month's Rob Pruitt's Flea Market project, as part of this year's Venice Biennale – but more on that in a later post. So, in the absence of any new currency designs, what I took with me to Shropshire, to test print on the cotton paper samples, were images of some of the customised currency paintings that I'd been playing with - which I originally made just to give me an insight into the flow and form of existing banknote designs.

Once at Ricoh, I was introduced by the engineer, Jason Dale, to some of the amazing things that their latest printers can do. I'm particularly interested in the fact that each note can be printed with an individual serial number, and in a clear ink that has inspired me to consider creating secondary designs that can be over printed on each side of the eventual banknote. So it's probably good that I didn't get round to designing my currency before I saw what the Ricoh printers were capable of.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Secret Revealed (RCA Secret 2015)

As this year's RCA Secret has now been and gone, it's safe to reveal which pieces were mine. Although, to anyone who's familiar with my recent work, or drawing styles in general, it probably wasn't too difficult to spot my entries.


This year I submitted 3D postcards; as I've often done in previous RCA Secrets. This time they were in the form of hand-made plywood boxes, covered in black ink line drawings.


The drawings are based upon the ones that I made for my current on-going sculpture/drawing, 'Tattooed Tumour Box'.


All the drawings are a mixture of objects and bits of random materials (that I collect for potential use in my sculptures), morphed together with forms that I just make up.


These first three postcards are the ones that appeared in the London RCA Secret show, whilst the fourth one appeared in the RCA Secret Dubai.


Here, to give an all round view, I've Photoshopped together the five illustrated sides of one of the four postcards.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

RCA Secret – London and Dubai


Seeming to come round faster and faster every year, this year's RCA Secret (or to give it its more recent, sponsorship name - 'Stewarts Law RCA Secret') is almost upon us.


For anyone who doesn't know what the RCA Secret is, it's basically an annual exhibition of postcard-sized artworks, the sales of which, go to help support students of the Royal College of Art in London, UK. What's the 'secret' part of it I hear you ask... well, I was just about to get to that. The postcards all get displayed anonymously at the RCA's Battersea exhibition space in the Dyson Building (and on-line), then go on sale nine days later; and it's only after the postcards have been sold that the identity of the responsible artists (sorry, that sounds a bit like an oxymoron – maybe I should have said 'artists responsible') are revealed. Or just click here for the official description of what the show's all about, and how to register to buy.


I've exhibited work in the RCA Secret's annual postcard exhibitions for over ten years (I think – not quite sure when I first entered), and most years I've done something a little different from the previous year's submissions. Sometimes I do drawings, sometimes I'll show paintings, and occasionally I submit 3D work. As it's a secret I'm not even allowed to give a clue as to what this year's work might be (heaven forbid that I should reveal anything before the 21st March), so here's some images of my postcards from previous RCA Secrets.

 
Most years I make three postcard-sized works for the show but this year I've made an extra piece as RCA Secret is going international, with RCA Secret Dubai. As well as going to the College’s Scholarship Fund, helping talented students at formative stages in their careers, sales from this second RCA Secret show (which runs from 18th to 21st March) will also contribute to establishing and running RCA courses in Dubai, which will in turn nurture emerging local Dubai talent.


Back here in London, the RCA Secret exhibition opens to the public on the 12th March, with the sale itself taking place on Saturday 21st March (8am-6pm). If you want to guarantee getting at least one of your top twenty postcards then I suggest getting in the queue very early (some hardcore souls start queueing the night, or days, before the doors open for the sale) or win one of the first fifty places in the queue via the RCA Secret raffle.


Royal College of Art, Battersea
Dyson Building, 1 Hester Road, London SW11 4AN

Exhibition 12–20 March, 11am–6pm
Late opening Thursday 19 March until 9pm
Sale Saturday 21 March, 8am–6pm (exhibition closed to visitors)