Monday, 30 November 2009
Here are a few detail shots of my sculpture, The City, that I will be showing in this Thursday's 'Botanists of the Asphalt' show. If you would like to come to the show please RSVP to the curator, Stephanie Pochet, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by ringing 07966 244138.
Botanists of the Asphalt (Part 1)
Private View - Thursday 3rd December (6.30 – 9.30pm)
Exhibition Runs - 4th December to 5th January
The City Arts & Music Project, 70-74 City Road, London EC1Y 2BJ - 0207 253 2443
Sunday, 29 November 2009
It was a close call but I've just managed finish my latest sculpture, Book Tower II (Nostalgia For a Childhood That Wasn't Mine), and deliver it to KALEID Editions gallery before the hand-in deadline expired. Although there are some similarities to my original Book Tower sculpture, this one has a more open structure and I decided to make the top section entirely out of interlocking books. None of them are glued together. As with a lot of my work, this one relates to my interest in nostalgia. Only this time it is a constructed or fake nostalgia - a nostalgia for a childhood that wasn't mine. The books that I chose to use mostly originate from the 50's or 60's and suggest a comfortable middle-class (and naively racist, judging from the Gollywog book) white family life - with titles like Enid Blyton's Famous Five Have a Smashing Time Doing Whatever They Do (or something like that) and some dusty old text books.
Anyway, below is the info that I lifted from the press release. Hopefully I'll catch up with a few familiar faces at the opening this Tuesday.
Unique Artists' Books
2-24 December 2009
Private View: Tuesday 1st December, 6-9pm
KALEID is proud to announce an exhibition first: a group show dedicated to unique artists’ books.
The exhibition will bring to life ‘the aftermath of an accident between a trolley car and a newspaper kiosk', recalling Maud Lavin’s description of Johannes Baader’s original exhibition Das Grosse Plasto-Dio-Dada-Drama. Drawing inspiration from Baader’s original architectural feat, fifty pieces have been selected for their originality and conceptual response to the traditional book form.
KALEID curator Deeqa Ismail challenges the viewer to consider not what a book is but what a book can be. Reaching out to an international network of artists, exhibition highlights include:
Samantha Huang’s deformation of the found book is a rejection of the literal reading. Neglected by past owners, the book is conscientiously destroyed in order to disseminate its physical potential back into the public domain. Liz Jackson’s minimalist interventions draw attention to the physicality of the paper. Her demarcation of the edges transforms the book into a sculptural form, opening it to new ways of reading whilst hiding the true content of its pages. Finlay Taylor’s buried, decomposed and subsequently exhumed books that are transformed into unique pieces by worms and mollusks whose digestive journey offers a personal account of subterranean history. With his Dictionary Story, Sam Winston seeks to transcend the visual limit of language. His wild transformation of words into abstract form creates a style that pushes the boundaries of typography and the letterpress. Pete Williams’ 12ft Tower, made from rescued scrap wood and woodcuts, has been assembled in defiance of the material’s destruction. The installation as a focal point in the gallery, offers its ledges, nooks and crannies for the imminent arrival of fifty unique books.
For more information and images contact Deeqa Ismail at the gallery: deeqa(at)kaleideditions.com - KALEID editions (artists who do books). Unit 2, 23-25 Redchurch St, London E2 7DJ. 07852134825
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Next week looks like being a bit of a busy week for me as I have three shows opening in three days. And I’ve just realised that two of them open on the same night. So it looks like I’m going to be running between two different openings on Thursday the 3rd December. One is ‘Tate the Biscuit’ in Shoreditch Town Hall basement and the other is ‘Botanists of The Asphalt, Part 1’ at The City Arts and Music Project, just off Old Street tube station. Luckily they are both within a 5 minute walk of each other. Actually, all three shows are within a few minutes walk of each other and in East London’s art Mecca that is Shoreditch.
The first private view which opens at Kaleid Editions on Redchurch Street (near Brick Lane) starts at 6pm on Tuesday 1st December. For this show I will be exhibiting a small tower sculpture made out of old books and mounted on wheels (I know - a bit of a motif of mine). I’ve not yet completed the piece so I don’t currently have a photo of it but I will post one just before I deliver it to the gallery on Saturday.
Details for all three shows can be found to the left of your screen, under ‘Upcoming Shows’. So, if you would like to come along please do. The only one that you need to RSVP to is ‘Botanists of the Asphalt’ which you can do at Stephanie@thecamplondon.com or by contacting Stephanie Pochet on 07966244138.
Saturday, 21 November 2009
Congratulations to Cade Newman who correctly guessed which were my three postcards in this year’s RCA Secret show. A prize (probably a drawing or a small painting) will be winging its way to you shortly. The exhibition numbers were 821, 1007 and 1713.
Although, I would have awarded an extra special prize to anyone who had got number 1700 (bottom left) which was entered under my alias - Chig.
I’ve already had some fantastic feed back from people that I met in the crowd at the RCA Secret and who I gave free prints to (see my earlier post ‘Free Art’). One person was pleased to receive a print, especially since one of my postcards (which she managed to buy) was first on her list. And considering the quality of the art on show this year, I’m very flattered that one of my pieces was on anyone first choice list.
I've finally managed to catch up on all the sleep that I missed from working through the night, last night, to get all the Swirly Skull mini screen prints done in time so that I could hand them out free to all those dedicated art lovers queueing up for this years RCA Secret sale at The Royal College of Art, London (damn, that was a long sentence). I plan to do a very limited edition, larger version of the Swirly Skull at some point in the future, as well as a limited run featuring a block of 9 skulls (each skull being the same size as the ones I gave out today) but I'll keep you posted on that - I need to find a new studio first.
Last year I handed out stickers to so this year I thought I'd do something special and I created 400, signed and editioned, postcard-sized screen prints - just for the RCA Secret punters.
It had been a long time since I last hand printed a set of screen prints myself and I had forgotten how much fun it was. I must also say a big thank you to screen printer and clothes designer, Chris Hall (check out his new range of street wear at the Sunday 'Up Market', off Brick Lane, London) for preparing the screen for me, for all his technical advise and for use of his screen printing equipment. Much appreciated.
Sorry to all those in the crowd that I wasn't able to get to. Unfortunately I arrived a few minutes too late to reach people at the very front of the queue, as the doors had just opened and everyone was understandably eager to get inside.
As usual at the RCA Secret event, everyone was feeling excited and chatty - and it was great to see a few familiar faces from last year. Because I got there a little late I missed out on catching up with some of the regulars camped out at the front but it would be good to catch up with some of you and find out how you did.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Here are three details from the three postcards that I have in this year's RCA Secret. Hopefully I've made it hard to guess which ones in the show are mine but if you think that you have worked it out then why not email me their correct exhibition numbers - and the first correct answer received before the sale starts on Saturday 21st November will win a prize. I'll probably send the winner a small drawing or something.
So if you think you know the answers send me an email marked 'RCA Not So Secret' (including your name, address and the 3 correct numbers) to email@example.com - before Saturday 21st November 2009.
To view the entries on-line go to - www.rca.ac.uk/secret
or check out the show in person at -
Royal college of Art
London SW7 2EU
020 7590 4186
Here are some photos from Urban Junkies’ recent Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) party at The Bathhouse – a wonderfully decadent and subterranean club located in Bishopsgate churchyard, London. Billa/Ian Baldwin’s photos (some of which are seen here) capture the feel of the night beautifully – although the Cazadores Tequila cocktails also probably had something to do with how we were all feeling. As you can see from the pics, my new Swirly Skull design made an appearance - in the form of a couple of masks - which was a last minute attempt at fancy dress. Fortunately the very talented Sarah Jordan was on hand to administer suitable Day of the Dead inspired face-paint. So after we eventually got our faces painted (which nicely hid the cuts and bruises from when I fell off my bike) the Swirly Skull masks were discarded, but judging from the amount of photos that they appear in they seem to have been passed around like battens a peculiarly macabre relay race.
To see more photos of the night check out the Urban Junkies link (http://www.urbanjunkies.com/london/party-pics-archive-09/1106-cazadores-dia-de-los-muertos.html) and to see more of Billa Baldwin’s fantastic photos check out www.billabaldwin.com.
Saturday, 14 November 2009
Well, it's that time of year again and the Royal College of Art has just thrown its annual 'thank you' party for all the artists who have contributed to this year's RCA Secret - the once yearly exhibition of "original postcard-sized artwork, donated by internationally acclaimed artists plus up-and-coming graduates from the Royal College of Art". Aside from it being a chance to get a preview of the thousands of works on show, the party is always a good opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new artists. And the free drinks and goodie bags don't go unappreciated either.
Every year I try to do my postcards in a different style from the previous year. This time I've gone for pencil drawings but have done them in slightly different styles to each other. Last year I posted images of my entries here on my blog, before the sale opened - a little bit naughty some would say. Although, for anyone who had already seen my blog and my prints, it was pretty obvious which ones were mine. So this year I'll make it a little harder. Just before the show opens I might post a small detail of one or all the cards and see if anyone can work out which ones are mine. Damn - I could even give a prize to the first person who gets them all right.
All the cards on show go on sale (priced £40 each) on Saturday 21th November 2009 - but get there early as some of the hard-core collects have been known to camp out days, if not weeks, in advance. You can purchase up to four cards but you have to register first - either at the exhibition, at their website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
However, if all goes to plan (fingers crossed, as I might have left things a little too late to have everything ready in time) I should a little surprise for those queueing outside on the opening day.
The show is open to the public from 13th - 20th November 2009, 11Am-6PM (19.11.09 until 8PM). For further info check out www.rca.ac.uk/secret.
Royal college of Art
London SW7 2EU
020 7590 4186
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Well, it looks like I’ve got to look for a new studio. The warehouse that I’m currently living and working in, in East London’s Bethnal Green, is about to be re-developed.
I suppose that this is just part of the ongoing cycle of the art community migration. The artists move into the run-down parts of the city and take over the disused industrial units because they are cheap and offer lots of space to work in. Then cool cafes, bars and galleries etc sprout up around them and finally the property developers make everything look lovely and expensive – and the artists move onto the next cheap and undesirable location.
At least I have until the end of the year (the end of January at a push) to find a new space to live and work. So if anyone out there knows of a suitable location (as you can see from the photo of my current place, I’m not going to be disappointed if the new place is not exactly a show home), preferably in or close to East London, please let me know about it.
I can be contacted at email@example.com. Cheers.
On a different note - congratulations to Jakob and everyone else who worked on 'Scratch' (see the post below). The film looked amazing and I was pleased to see that my sculptures not only made it into the final edit, but were there in the opening scene. I even saw a postcard for one of my exhibitions strategically placed on a wall next to the main character in one of the scenes - nice touch guys! It was also pretty amazing to see my name roll down a full sized cinema screen during the closing credits. Now that's not something you see everyday.
Sunday, 8 November 2009
This Tuesday sees the premiere of 'Scratch' by Norwegian director, Jakob Rørvik, at Ciné lumière, The Institut Français du Royaume-Uni, 17 Queensberry Place, London (Box Office: 020 7073 1350). The film is set in and around the London art scene and a few of my sculptures were used in one of the scenes, set in The Jago Gallery on Redchurch Street. So, I suppose I'm going to have to wait until Tuesday to see if any of my work survived the cutting room floor.
Here's a brief synopsis of the film (lifted from Institut Français' website) -
Lena, a young art student obsessively follows and takes pictures of a charismatic drifter, Sol, as he makes his way through a series of sexual encounters with artists on the periphery of London's underground art scene. When Sol discovers her, the project turns on its head. Fascinated by her odd behaviour, Sol is now the one to follow her. Young Norwegian directing talent Jakob Rørvik weaves a delicate haunting romance as Sol and Lena gradually expose each other's dreams, fears and lies.
UK/Norway | 2009 | col | 35 mins | dir. Jakob Rørvik, with Viktoria Winge, Luke Treadaway, Patrick Kennedy, Montserrat Lombard | cert. 15 | UK premiere
Saturday, 7 November 2009
This month I will be participating in the PARK ART FAIR INTERNATIONAL © GENEVA 2009. You find out more about the fair at this address - www.pafi09gvagb.blogspot.com or by contacting the organiser directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
DETAILS FROM BLOG:
Exhibition Dates: 19 - 28 November 2009
Parking de Villereuse
Adddress: angle rue de la Terrassière et rue de Villereuse
Private View : 19 November 2009 at 6:00 pm (18:00h)
The PARK ART FAIR INTERNATIONAL © GENEVA 2009 is wide away from a classic fair concept, and invites the visitors to discover and enjoy this juried exhibition. It is an exceptional wide spectrum from the new generation of artists, providing art lovers, collectors and experts, with a unique opportunity to see and buy high-level art around the argument "art 100% original artists 100 % art "
The PARK ART FAIR INTERNATIONAL © GENEVA 2009, ideally situated on the "Rive Gauche" in the heart of Geneva, invites you to discover this incredible, new, out of classical exhibition in Switzerland... Geneva, this little big international city, with international organizations, multinational companies, banks, day skiing trips, museums and.... chocolate, offering a very cosmopolitan spirit!
Friday, 6 November 2009
Here's the Channel 4 News item about the 'Cultural Olympiad', the artworks and artists choosen to represent the UK at the 2012 Olympics. If you watch all the way to the end, you'll see John McIlduff and Brain Irvine being interviewed about their Nest project and my Junk Metal Nest drawing used as the closing image. I'd also like to thank Kate Watkins for finding the link for me. Cheers Kate.
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
This time, for the Saatchi Showdown I've decided to enter my Spidey Segments painting - the piece from which my series of Spidey Pods prints originated. The Saatchi Showdown is a regular on-line competition where artists enter an image of one of their artworks and the public get to vote on the ones they like best. The work on show is always a bit of a mixed bag (there's the great, the good and the not so good) but it's an interesting way of getting your work seen by a wider audience and of seeing what people have been up to. To check out my entry and to see what other artists have put up why not go to this address -