Saturday, 15 August 2015

Solo Exhibtion-Assemblage Work

Exhibitions in the Corridor

We have had several exhibitions within the Corridor this couple of months of which we showcased Estonian art by Marta Suuster, an installation involving work concerning the 20th anniversary of the M65 extension protests by Kerris Casey-St. Pierre, a solo exhibition of assemblage by Sonny J. Barker, an open landscape exhibition with paintings, collage and photography curated by Jonathan Hughes and a solo exhibition by Hughes himself.

Suuster's work involved portraiture and she used a lush twenties inspired palette and a very smooth brush style. The subjects in her paintings all looked natural until you start focusing and I think they resembled what body dysmorphia look like to someone. Her pencil work, which formed the second part of her exhibition was delicate in hand.

Casey-St. Pierre's installation had artefacts, photographs by Adrian Arbub and other reportage photographs from her personal collection, poems by Lee Tree and several newspaper cuttings as well as natural soundscapes recorded from the area. I do remember the protests that happened in 1995 due to the M65 extension and the cuttings down of ancient woodland. It was emotive seeing people who I used to socialise with, some of which have died. I enjoyed her installation.

My exhibition coincided with the three day Countryside Comes to Town festival that we had at the Bureau. I made over twenty assemblages from found wood, signage and older assemblages that I have shown but didn't really work. It took 3 months to collect and build the work with some using sounds and kinetic aspects.

The landscape exhibition entitled All Around Us was a mixed bag of paintings, photography and collage. There was eighteen artists who exhibited such as Hughes, Valerie Savchits, Julia Entwistle and Lewis Oldham. I really liked Oldham's body landscapes, for me they were the highlights as this is the work that I am mostly fond of. I thought the exhibition was a success in that it brought more established and out of town artists into the building.

Hughes's solo exhibition Doodlism is up at the moment. This work is portraiture in the style of the poster/paintings of Picasso and are very vivid in colour and guttural in technique. I think they counterbalance the pristine aspects of selfies that are on social media were multiple apps can be used to make a bad photo good. I think they make a great collection and the next step for his work is Croatia.

Marta Suuster

Kerris Casey-St. Pierre

TOP Lewis Oldham-All Around Us
BOTTOM David Winning

Jonathan Hughes

sofa doodle

sofa doodle

Just because sometimes a little drawing becomes magical.

Where do I start

The piece of work that I sent to the MMU for their Exclusion project at the LINK Gallery wasn't accepted as it was deemed to offensive and not right for the exhibition, which is a kick in the teeth as it was and is still a good piece of work. The work, which is identical to this that was sent to the Windrush Initiative in Preston as part of the Black History Month is still up and is being talked about daily.

The Windrush Initiative is a collection of black memorabilla from old records, images, collecting tins, books, artworks and artefacts that chronicle Black History. I feel proud that my work is still relevant and being used as part of this exhibition.

Best place to start is the Blackburn Print Festival I suppose. This was a journey in the making with having to be cancelled and then have a slight return. There was the typical handicrafts that are found at every crafty vintage fair and some photography but there was some stand out pieces. Aaliyah Hussain from Manchester produced some Bauhaus inspired prints, quite a few Londonesque linoprints and some work from local artists. I included two of my A0 Aphorisms that I did two years previously as my Insults Squared were deemed too offensive, again. This was strange though as there was a wall of plastercast vaginas up on a wall and a room where the artist, Claire Doyle was performing and plastercasting her vagina. Her work was called Modify My Vagina which was highly conceptual, quite good but odd for a Print Festival. I did a meet and greet in my studio and sold a little bit of work.

My second prose, [to shoot the bore], is finished now and I have bound, packaged and numbered each edition that is five in total and tried to sell these at the Fair. I have to work on how to to get the prose out to a larger market.

I have started several projects which range from photography, larger aphorisms and now in control of the Blackburn Film Club all of which I'll talk about individually.

[to shoot the bore] - Fourth edition

[to shoot the bore] - one of the covers

Modify my Vagina - Claire Doyle PrintFest

Yves Leather - PrintFest



Thursday, 9 April 2015

Work for MMU

I was given a link to a potential exhibition at MMU in Manchester at their Link Gallery. The only information I got was Cultural Identity and with half finished work in the studio for Black History Month, I decided that I could enter that. The work was and still is based on three base insults that you can call someone. I call the piece 'Insult Squared' and to call it as it is, 'Nigger Queer Cunt'.
As it was part of BHM and was shown partially there (Nigger Queer), the concept still rings true that each time each word is said it is like a punch to the system. I have black relatives and friends and know the damage that the 'n' word causes and being a gay man myself, the 'q' word is still felt with every punch and kicking that I have had to endure all my life. I have even been called 'Queer Cunt' several times so this piece is highly offensive and deeply personal.
I have used a typewriter as that each word has been typed as coarse as possible and sometimes are illegible. I feel that this has been an endurance piece emotionally and physically. I hope that the curators of the exhibition see through the offensiveness and see the piece as a viable piece for the show.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Exhibition @ the Corridor

The Body's Journey after Death. An Exhibition by Rianon Francis

Rianon Francis is a multi media artist who has worked with a range of media including drawing and painting, collage, found objects, collected items and assemblages as well as photography.

She has looked at religion, folklore, cult and ritual and has been drawn to how society copes with death. Rianon makes collections and currently makes amulets and talismans as well as 'matchbox art'.

This series of photographs stems from a project exploring how in Britain we 'process' the body after death. The artist spent time in a number of funeral parlours and then returned with a camera to capture the objects used.

Rianon Francis

The Transient Aspect of Life.
I chose to add these large scale to Rianon's exhibition to add the fluidity of life and death. All is moveable and malleable in life and everything is connected.

Sonny J.Barker


News, etc

I have been residing in St Johns' the Evangelist for about a year now and it has become the Bureau-Centre for the Arts. I am part of the CIC that runs the centre and now an unpaid Director of Art and the artist-in residence. We aim to bring art and music as well as dance and workshops to the old cotton town of Blackburn.

It has been quite a good process but now we have amenities to pay for, we need to put on more events and at the moment, the live events and club nights are the biggies...I need to get more art in to make some money.

I'm still making work. I feel it is more text/collage based though. I have been working with braille and simple words but would like to complete textural aphorisms that could be tread by the blind and look good as collage. I have used words such as the five senses and they look ok as stand alone art pieces.

For last months ArtSPACE we had a BBC initiative called Get Creative which is a year long project to get the arts pushed onto the community. We had a full day event with varied activities, I organised the much later event ART AUCTION. This was a rushed few weeks collecting work from local and regional artists. There was collage, sculpture, painting and photography. I selected a collage that I am working on called 'The Measure of Purity' which is a Malevich inspired piece based on social media and vacuous narcissism. A young guy bought my work which was nice. and quite ironic.

I have produce the second part of 'the first waves of nothing' which is titled 'to shoot the bore'. 'to shoot the bore' is produced as a pamphlet book which is displayed differently than the previous one but that could change. I have already sold a copy of the pamphlet/book and need to make some more for the Blackburn PrintFest.

Blackburn PrintFest is the focus of my attention at the minute. This is the first of its kind in Blackburn and I need to stock up on the pages of the book. The 'bore' book is still in it's editing phase though so I need to get typing quick to get to the endpoint. I do have an idea with some carbon paper that I have acquired though that I need to experiment with.

Pixel Lust II has just finished and I exhibited five framed 8-Bit Dot Matrix pencil studies but when the art sale came, I think my work was too expensive or just too complex for Blackburn. I feel like I'm wasting my time at the moment but I will persevere.

I'm in a strange position at the minute. My studio in Manchester has been condemned due to fire safety and general neglect and I have moved most of my things into the Bureau and been given a much larger space but I don't feel part of the Blackburn is Open thing. BiO is a initiative to get art into disused places but I seem to be sidelined several times and have to swim against the tide, which believe me is quite hard.

On the plus side, I have been given a good little Sony videocamera that Im going to use for my monologue videopiece based on 'the first waves of nothing'. The filming for this will start real soon and I think I might just have the right guy to perform it. Also Liz n' Lils, a little vintage tearoom in Blackburn, have shown me around their top floors and given the onus to film/photograph the place as I deem fit. Which is really good of them.

I have been playing with pictorial collage again and trying new techniques. My studio is full of clippings and this has kickstarted my 'Dead Rockstars' series. Together with taking over Blackburn Film Club and playing with collage, this is where I am at the moment.

Sunday, 1 February 2015


I am involved with a fabulous group called ArtSPace where we invite artists to be featured artists and to have their own shows. These photographs are taken from the featured artists shows.