Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Exhibit for Link Exhibition 29 November 2011

As I'm going for minor heart surgery in two weeks time I have had to conceive and construct my exhibit for the up and coming exhibition at the Link at the end of the month.

This is based on the renal system and involves found objects and a nod to Victorian taxidermy and the collections of surgically removed body parts that are pickled in formalahyde.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

new collages

These are two collages that I have made to suggest kinetic sculpture and material feeling.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

ceramics IV and possible glass sculpture

After leaving the ceramics to dry out for a few days (over the weekend) and because the kilns aren't fired up everyday, the most successful pieceas have been put into the oven. They are going to be bisqued and because they are just test pieces, They won't be fired twice or have a glaze put on them. I just want to have some practise with the medium and then when I am more advanced..I'll begin with glazing etc...

As there is another exhibition in the pipeline for the the Link that incorporates the whole third year, I am thinking of trying glass instead of wood for the material for my two new sculptural pieces. I am working on architectural maquettes for proposed living quarters. I am interested in architecture and the models for conceptual buildings and been looking into Gordon Matta-Clark and other more contemporary sculptors/architects.

I have been making and experimenting paperboard spatial sculptures and after discounting a whole bunch of them, I have finally decided on just concentrating on two. I think using glass would be a hard process and such a process that will be fraught with many difficulties. It may be something to think about for my end of year/degree show.

Review in The Mancunion

Free for All (Part 1) showcased the best of the festival’s open submissions. The varied and eclectic works were pieced carefully together by curator Emily Songhurst, comprising an Aladdin’s Cave of viewing. There was video installation, painted portrait, photography, sculpture, interactive sound-art. And all in one barren, concrete vacuum; divided into a complex of almost-rooms, maze-like that encaved the works and created a semi-private capsule for each artist. There were nooks to be discovered, perfect for the deeply personal pieces that were on display. If there was an overarching theme this was it – soul-bearing. Some of it was confusing, some of it bad (in my opinion) and some of it funny – which is rare. I craned to read the small print of a ‘sculpture’s title – the miniature pram with tubes coming out of it feeding into big bourbon bottles – ‘Wet Nurse’, and laughed. Apart from small titles, the smallest photographs overtook the whole rest of the show. Ines Elsa Delal’s photographs: personal, beautiful, and almost missable – the man handing us our beers hit it in one – ‘they got me’.

We had heard tell of the polystyrene balls before we entered room 2. But fortunately the anticipation did not breed disappoint when we finally peeled back the curtains on Child’s Play and skated off in our polythene shoes, tiny, packaging filler balls underfeet. I laughed for the second time, and raced off like a kid in a candy shop. That is, until I ran into the sweet shop installation which presented a disconcerting choice: to take a sweet out of the jar or not. What kind of person am I that I didn’t take a sweet? I think it says more about what kind of child I was, but that child is clearly still master puppeteer of at least some of my actions. From exciting, to contemplative this room threw up a whole load of sweet nuggets for the audience to chew over whilst moonwalking on polyballs. The tone of the exhibition was reset when the monkey-bar on tree trunks installation in the centre of the room, a piece by Sonny J. Barker entitled Gemini, was explained to us. It charted the death of the artist’s twin in his childhood, and just like that the fantasy of being a child splintered away from us. So much of childhood is about loss. And childhood in hindsight can often be seen only in negatives; landmarks thrown into relief by the pain they caused. But childhood is really the least of the issues facing you in Child’s Play. The use of a theme is a jumping off point for exploring how different artists, and therefore different people, interpret the same thing. And this itself is a jumping-off plank for how art documents the human experience. Is art itself child’s play? And if so does the exhibition subvert or add to this notion of art? Like most ‘good’ art, the room created more questions than it answered. And, much like childhood, the more I reflect on Child’s Play, the more disturbing it appears to be.

A wise man once said that art ‘is supposed to make us confront things’. And a lot of the stuff that needs confronting isn’t palatable, or fun to look at it. Some of it is. The Piccadilly Place free for all presented us with a wide scope of reality, as much of it from the art as from the people looking at the art. We were bumped up cheek to wall with people of all brush-strokes and veins of art but the thing we really looked at was ourselves.

This was the review of the show that I was involved in for the Free For Arts Festival 2011..the reporter/reviewer was Phoebe Chambre.

Exhibition in the Link

I happened upon a call out for work to be exhibited at the Link Gallery between Manchester School of Art and the Chatham Building for the dates of 21st and 28th October. As I was fine-tuning the log installation and redsigning the constellation, I decided to submit this and wait if the work was accepted, it was.

For two weeks I filled a sketchbook with floor plans and other designs and felt that I should move away from the Gemini constellation that was used for Piccadilly Place and came up with a new version in response to my brother's death. My brother died when he was three by a drunk driver, a fact that has caused waves through the famikly since it hapened. This installation is based on what I perceived the family dynamic was like at such a fraught time. It was a little cathartic working on this particular piece of work.

I brought my mother to the exhibition and waited for response to the piece and then over scones and tea, I awaited her feedback. What she said was that she understood my loss and that she thought the monument was in tune with her own grief. She liked it, or that is what she said to me. This piece is the most personal and emotional work that I have carried out and is symbolic of what is to come. I think this is a great endpoint for the monument and will look fabulous on top of a hill.

In conversation with another artist, I am going to plant these logs on the moors of Darwen between 10 December to 14th December in honour of both installation art and the lunar cycle of the Winter Solstice. Stonehenge is usually perceived as a solar circle but in reality it is based on the lunar concept. It is based on the passage of the full moon and the re-birth of the seasons.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Transparent Process-Untitled Gallery

There is another exhibition at the Untitled Gallery at the back of the Quaker's Meeting House in Manchester. It is lodged somewhere up a back alley in the middle of Albert Square and the Midland Hotel. It is hard to find but worth a visit to experience what a 'non-scene' gallery looks like. The Metallicaesque branding is a little crap to say the least and it belies the quaint and titchiness aspect of the gallery. The gallery is what I assume what used to be a storage room that is about 20 feet in length and 5 foot in width. The room is stark and is painted in the usual and obligatory whitewash. There is no natural daylight with having no windows and is light adequately enough with strip lights.

I have been in here before sometime at the the beginning of summer to see a non-descript illustration exhibition that I have almost forgotten but was taken in by the ambience of the room. That was what made me go to the place on a very autumnal night with the wind and rain drenching the street. I peeked into the gallery and went straight to the bar for the complimentry white wine, smiled and nodded to the extras and went back to the show.

The artist that was showing is Namhee Kwon, a Seoul installation artist who works with light and site specific ideas. She previously had a show in London with the same work in 2010 and now ahd the chance to travel up here and have a go in Manchester. She is pleasant enough and I had quite a good chat with her and I asked about the process and costings of the pieces that she had made.

As you can see, the light installations are very minimal and in the vein of Naumann and of course, Tracey Emin. I think Kwon's work is very subtle, and not in a patronising way and very ethereal. They have an almost dreamlike-papery aspect to them and are very effective. This gallery would look abysmal if it was presented with salon style paintings and with being so small, these lights looked perfect. with the work being minimal, it opened the gallery up and made the viewer focus on whatever perceptions entered the subconscious. It made the room a piece of art instead of having art on a wall and the room being an avatar for the work.

I am interested in neon work and would love to make just one piece to show that I have been able to fulfil the process. As stated by the artist, the process in much cheaper in South Korea than it is over here with quotes starting at £200- for one word.. I will do some neon work though but in just time.

There was three more pieces of work which included photocopies of tickets from some shows but they seemed to be fillers for the room. They did gel I suppose but the only drawback is that she should've kept with her instinct and just show the light-work. Too much fluff in a show can be distracting and with the light-work being refined and minimal, that should have been enough. In all though it was a fine way to distract me from the pouring run on a wet Friday night.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Ceramics III

Here is phase three of my pet project using clay. After a chat with some other students, I found out that I maybe doing something wrong and being a little light-fingered with the pressing and slipping so I was shown a new way to form my work. This involves using lomger pieces of slab in a way that it stops cracks at joints etc.. The main image above shows one of the wraparound formations..

Also, I have been in correspondence with a graffiti artist who works with elevated designs and he is interested in setting up collaborations with like minded artists and after a few messages, I have entered the group with a potential exhibition at the end of the month..

The other phottographs show the reationships and dimensions that my models will have with life-sized people.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Ceramics II

So my first foray into ceramics wasn't exactly successful.. The maquettes weren't even fired yet and was only drying out before being fired. The fell apart at each junction. What I didn't do was not make/use any slip and not enough 'worms' to gel the pieces together and this was the reason for the cracking and falling apart.

It is a learning curve and this is my first attempt at ceramics in some time and we can't all find success at the first hurdle. I stuck around the workshop for a few hours and made two more maquettes, one about the same size as the last and another smaller one. Hopefully this time they will stick and become kiln ready.

I have started some research but hands-on is the best way forward. You can read Wikipedia and other sites until you're blue in the face but getting the sleeves rolled up and having clay under your fingernails (and having 'some' knowledge) is the key.

new Road-Side Marking

This is a more refined and retuned aspect to my ongoing archive of road-side markings. I think this photography has more of a minimal edge to it and is alot more defined.


I have started my new project which is now going to be ceramics based. I've bought a large block of earthenware/red clay from the ceramics department and the project is now well under way. The hands-on part is the accumulation of work that was started way back in April this year and has filled up at least five work books and I have procrastinated for so long, well I did do three exhibitions since the inception and now the creative process has now begun.

Maquettes have been made out of stiff card, I am staying away from cardboard for now due to technical difficulties, and after deliberation are now being used a moulds. I am quite happy with the two that constructed but they are un-fired as of yet and will be keeping a close eye on the process.

I am thinking of using clay as a process due to pliability, cheapness and general aesthetics of the medium. I haven't used this material since college and only as a sideline when I needed to refill the batteries. So as stated above, If my excursions in the ceramics department become fruitful I may venture into the porcelain world. This stuff IS expensive put still, it is cheaper then wood and will look fantastic as sculptural pieces/architectural models.