Our blog’s should give clear information on whatever research, experimentation and other related activities such as visiting exhibitions etc. However, this does not mean, a word by word of minute by minute coverage, but rather, what we consider the most important, salient points that contribute to ideas or have the most impact on our work and artistic journey.
As can be seen, its been busy, but an informative period, casting my net far and wide while trying to keep our own exhibition at the forefront of what I do, although, its not always easy to prevent being sidetracked. Starting to collect ideas, things seen, that I, we can change here and there, with my own work in mind, as these ideas clarify I will be more specific and detailed in description.
I went with year 3 and our tutor Nigel Grimmer to London for visiting a great selection of galleries.
1.First we went to visit The Photographers’ Gallery near Palladium Theatre in London and exhibiton of photographer Saul Leiter (1923-2013) and his pioneeing role in colour photography.
2.Then we went to Lisson Gallery
‘Drawing is both physical entity and intellectual proposition in ‘Line’, Lisson Gallery’s group exhibition, guest-curated by Drawing Room. Fifteen international artists – whose works span seminal artworks from the late ’60s through to performative and site-specific pieces made especially for this exhibition – take their various lines for a walk off the page to intermingle in the three-dimensional space of the gallery, extending via sound into the atmosphere and reverberating via action and memory across time.’
‘For his debut at Lisson, Akomfrah is presenting three new film installations, alongside a series of large scale photographs related to the works. The first work, The Airport (2016), is a three screen film installation which recalls the work of two filmmaking greats: Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) and Theo Angelopolous (1935-2012). The film’s narrative, complete with sweeping shots of the landscapes of Athens and Southern Greece, contemplates the significance of empire, and the ghosts which linger in our collective consciousness – both physically through architectural ruins and metaphorically through the traces and personal histories of previous generations. The film’s elastic sense of time, where characters from different eras and generations encounter one another references Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Angelopolous’s technique of employing constant movement between camera, characters and locations is also reflected to poetic affect.
The second work Auto Da Fé (2016), which translates as Acts Of Faith, is a diptych that looks at migration through the lens of religious persecution. Presented as a poetic period drama, the film presents a series of eight historical migrations over the last 400 years, starting with the little known 1654 fleeing of Sephardic Jews from Catholic Brazil to Barbados. As the film develops, we are presented with tale after tale of populations being displaced along religious lines, right up to the present day migrations from Hombori, Mali and Mosul, Iraq. Religion, persecution and migration are, it seems, old and continuing bedfellows. The work was filmed on location in Barbados, but the landscape is deliberately anonymous, reflecting the universal nature of these stories.
The third and final film Tropikos (2016), transforms the landscape of the Tamar Valley in the South West of England into a sixteenth-century port of exploration on the African continent in order to reveal the deep-rooted and darker history of the river and the UK’s role in the development and proliferation of the slave trade.’
3.Josh Lilley Gallery:
‘New Builds is an exhibition of four American artists who compress sculptural, painterly and collage instincts into photographic space.
Daniel Gordon photographs elaborate still lifes in vibrating patterns. Pitchers, fruit and flowers are built from photographs of pitchers, fruit and flowers, then built into studio sets. The scenes are tuned in Photoshop for heightened effect, reaching toward pure graphics at times, while the crunch of the paper seam always remains, keeping the hand present and the exotic space physical. Matt Lipps’ three-dimensional collages of archival photographic reproductions create expansive new taxonomies of visual culture, precisely staged and lit, scholarly but brimming with narrative. In John Houck’s iterative History of Graph Paper works, photography combines with rephotography, making reproductions share the frame with their subjects, generating uncanny, dreamy space that has experienced no digital manipulation. Anthony Lepore created a studio inside his father’s bikini factory in Los Angeles, developing from there an ongoing series of photographs that reflect on the processes of manufacturing, the banality of labor, the creation of fantasy and the (sometimes literal) ties that bind.
New Builds is conceived as a photography exhibition that breathes, flexing around the idea of the rectangle pigmented with chemicals. It is a show about contemporary image-making that does not fixate on the implications of the screen and dematerialisation of photographic imagery, but instead chews on the material and the object, the stuff of photography. Philosophically these artists take the approach that object and material lead into concept, not the other way round. New Builds invites discussion about the contemporary photograph in the physical world rather than the contemporary photograph’s relationship to virtual space.’
4.The estate of Jo Spence is represented by Richard Saltoun Gallery:
‘Photographer Jo Spence’s breast cancer diagnosis in 1982 stimulated her most famous work, A Picture of Health, a series of photographs documenting her journey from diagnosis to treatment. The work is a response to the myriad of emotions she experienced, in particular the helplessness of being a patient in the hands of the medical profession, the fear of the unknown, and the anger at the injustice of the diagnosis. The camera, in essence, became her therapist and she termed the body of work that arose as phototherapy.
The work can make uncomfortable viewing but is the logical response of a feminist artist who was deeply committed to women taking control of their lives and their bodies. Initially a member of the East End based collective of women photographers, the Hackney Flashers, Spence’s earlier work exhibited this interest in the empowerment of the female through the medium of photography.
Spence is a remarkable artist who used her work to redefine the traditional role of women. Since her death in 1992, she has been the subject of a numerous national and international exhibitions, and is found in many important contemporary art collections around the world.’
5.The Show Room and the work of Rana Hamadeh, Maquette from ‘The Sleepwalkers’, 2016
6.Pace London Gallery:
‘Pace London is pleased to present The Calder Prize 2005-2015, an exhibition exploring the enduring impact of Alexander Calder through the work of six contemporary artists. The exhibition will be on view from 4 February to 5 March at 6 Burlington Gardens and will feature the work of Calder in conversation with the six laureates of the Calder Prize to date: Tara Donovan (2005), Žilvinas Kempinas (2007), Tomás Saraceno (2009), Rachel Harrison (2011), Darren Bader (2013), and Haroon Mirza (2015)’
7.Royal Academy Schools exhibition ‘Premiums’-Interim Projects
The Royal Academy Schools is a contemporary school of fine art at the heart of the Royal Academy. Former students include J. M. W. Turner, William Blake and John Everett Millais, all the way to rising stars like Turner Prize nominee Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Eddie Peake, Catherine Story and Matthew Darbyshire. Almost 250 years after its foundation, today it continues to be the only art school in Britain to offer a free, three-year postgraduate programme to promising artists.’