Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

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It’s weird, but sometimes the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is the thing that makes me feel most Scottish! That’s not because there’s a bunch of Scottish memorabilia in it – far from it! Instead there’s an impressive collection of artworks ranging from Francis Bacon, to Andy Warhol, to David Hockney, to one of my favourite artists Samuel John Peploe (part of the Scottish Colourist movement). Having lived abroad most of my life, there are moments where I struggle to find places where I feel truly at home or have a strong connection with. This Gallery has become one of those places of nostalgia. I remember visiting it for the first time when I was seventeen, living back in Scotland for the first time. Sixth Form was what I’ll call my ‘art awakening’; the period in which I realised what kind of art I wanted to be making (Barbara Kruger was a key influence at this point). So the combination of this revelation along with several art trips to this Gallery during that time have made it a very sentimental place for me. 

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This of course is partially due to the sheer beauty of the place. The gallery’s architecture in itself is stunning (I think it’s safe to say I have a crush on Edinburgh architecture!) and the lush greenery surrounding it only enhances the feelings of tranquility. As does the presence of water, which on a beautiful sunny day like last Friday, sparkles and dances in the light. 

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Walking around this landscape is an incredibly serene experience and although it is still relatively central to Edinburgh’s center, the hectic bustle of the city seems distant and far removed. Almost as if you are stood in an art filled bubble of peace. This swirling blend of land and water can’t help being viewed as an impressive Land Art piece, which for me brings to mind the works of Richard Long and Robert Smithson with his iconic ‘Spiral Jetty‘. 

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In the grounds there’s also works by Henry Moore, who in my opinion is the father of all sculpture. His ‘Reclining Figure‘ series, one of which is pictured above, was a huge inspiration to me at the time I discovered it. I was and still of course am, fascinated by the blend of abstraction and figuration; by the way in which he has designed his pieces to allow the eye to travel smoothly along the figure. Barbara Hepworth is another sculpture pioneer who I greatly admire and on my list to one day visit is the Yorkshire Sculpture Park! Although I greatly enjoy modern art, I also love stepping away from it and looking to older masters. Particularly given my interest in the human body; there is nothing more exciting than exploring how body art has evolved throughout the decades.

Benedict Drew

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I think it’s say to say that Benedict Drew’s wacky installation was by far my favourite work in The British Art Show 8. Exhibited within the Talbot Rice Gallery, Drew’s work is the definition of transforming a space into something completely new and exciting. What had been quite a clean cut angular-looking gallery space prior to my entry into this room, was soon turned upside down as I entered Drew’s work. I was instantly transported from the traditional gallery layout to what felt like a psychedelic sci-fi space. I was in awe. Sound pulsated heavily across the room; I could feel it in my core and reverberating through my entire body. There were headphones placed on the table which of course I reached out and tried on only to find that they amplified the sound that was already echoing around the room. It was almost like an electro heartbeat and instantly made me feel like I myself was a part of the piece.

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The utilisation of the architecture within the work furthered Drew’s success as I felt the gallery dissolved and blended into the installation to the point I felt fully consumed by the piece. Just like this installation, Drew’s practice spans a wide range of media including sound, performance, video and various other forms. He often creates chaotic and absorbing environments that pulsate with life, drawing in the viewer and providing them with a multi-sensory experience. Although there was a lot to take in when I viewed Drew’s work, surprisingly it was not overwhelming. Installations such as this have that risk factor; bombard your audience and your work is often lost on them. Yet Drew defied this by carefully distributing the pieces, creating a walkway for the viewer to enter and navigate their way effectively through his work. The shapes I was met with and the colours that were used all complemented and blended with each other allowing the human eye to adjust to the bright colour palette that was present. 

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When I got to the back end of the installation I was greeted by large, cinematic screens. Drew’s attention to detail was plain to see with the modern white speakers contrasting to the excess of cables wrapped believe it or not, in tinfoil. Drew took a domestic everyday item and turned it into an art piece that distracted nicely from the ridiculous amount of cables that all his technology requires. It also furthered my reading of the sci-fi elements. It was not just the detail in the cable layout, but also in the stands of the screens. Instead of being a dull conventional black they were a lime green that instantly caught my eye (probably due to the fact I seem to have developed an unexplained love for lime green). 

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According to The British Art Show’s text accompaniment to this piece, Drew was articulating “the horror of the modern world” through this work. Through his multi-media approach he explored this horror thoroughly! It was impossible to ignore the screens that bombarded you as you approached, an obvious reference to our screen culture of today. There was sound that shook through your bones, the way music does in a club. Colours and structures clustered everywhere in excess alluding to our material and consumer culture. There was no escape in this whimsical and all-consuming environment; the pace of it drew you in and refused to let go much in the way that modern day life does. 

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Yet in among all this technological-based motifs I was surprised to view what looked like mud puddles on screen. They were very anthropomorphic and alien given their electric colours, yet I half expected a David Attenborough voice over mixed up DJ style to come on!  It would not have surprised me, as this work was a constant succession of surprises – and puzzles. There was one area of each screen which had a shell attached to it and a spot light which remained the same colour despite the constant shift in imagery. I could not for the life of me figure out how Drew had managed this! 

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There was not a moment of boredom in this space. Despite this being the first piece I saw of The British Art Show, and despite me witnessing several other works that day, this was the one I could not stop thinking about. I couldn’t get this psychedelic experience out of my head. Partially I think because I was both impressed and fascinated by how Drew had used technology and created such an absorbing work. But also partially due to the elaborate colour scheme – I myself almost wanted to start glowing and blend into the work! I think it’s safe to say Benedict Drew succeeded in captivating his audience, whilst also posing some challenging questions concerning modern life today. 

British Art Show 8

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We had an art trip to Edinburgh on Friday to see the British Art Show 8. I felt like a school girl again being on the bus with everyone. Let’s just say I’m not a morning person when lacking my usual caffeine intake! It was lovely to get away from Newcastle to a city as stunning and creative as Edinburgh. I am completely in love with the city and it’s architecture, everywhere you look there is something new to absorb, especially when the sun is shining and dancing across the beautiful buildings. The gallery buildings we were visiting, such as The Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh (pictured above) are visually captivating enough in themselves – and that’s before we’d even seen the work in the show itself! The British Art Show takes place every five years and is an exhibition that tours nationally to show the most current contemporary art in the UK today. It hosts a broad variety of artists all of whom work across various media. The theme of the British Art Show this year was materiality and how we approach it both virtually and physically in contemporary art. 

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Initially I misread the text accompanying the exhibition and took it to mean the theme was materiality alone and was consequently disgusted by the ridiculous excess of screens. Not joking, there were more video works in that show than I’ve probably witnessed in my life! In my outrage at this approach to materiality I felt disillusioned by the entire show, until I came to realise my mistake. However, despite the theme being an exploration of materiality across the real and the virtual, I did find the predominant selection of video works quite difficult to absorb. Drifting from screen to screen to screen did start to feel slightly repetitive and exhausting. This is the problem with an excess of video in a gallery setting. You walk in at the wrong time or half way through and the narrative is entirely lost on you! In some cases this approach to viewing video is a success, in other cases it is far from that. Half the time you have no idea of the duration so you are forced to decide when you leave or if you stay and then of course you have all the social pressures of that situation in a gallery setting. You don’t want to be the first to leave the art work, or you don’t want to hurriedly get up when you’ve only just sat down. It can lead to a multiple of awkward situations. 

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That is why I loved this piece ‘The Common Sense’ by Melanie Gilligan so much. There was no issue of when to stop and start viewing. Given the absence of the conventional dark space for viewing video work, I felt under far less pressure and therefore was more inclined to participate with the piece. Partially because I was fascinated by the technology. I put the headphones on expecting to hear things straight away, but it wasn’t until I was in close proximity to the screens that any sound was audible. As you approached each screen you were greeted by a different segment of the film and it’s audio. Yet as you walked between screens you could hear nothing but silence. It was all done through motion sensor and created a highly intriguing experience. Unless of course you didn’t have headphones, then you just felt lost and disinterested. Being lucky enough to have claimed a pair of headphones, ‘The Common Sense’ seemed like a fascinating dystopian film which I would have loved to have been able to see all the way through!

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Also in The Talbot Rice Gallery was this work by Eileen Simpson and Ben White. In the above image, it doesn’t look like much, apart from being a selection of funky coloured record players. However in reality it was an engaging sound installation that echoed throughout the top floor of the gallery. The records played a compilation of extracts taken from chart hits of 1962 – the final year in which commercial records could be retrieved for public use. It sounded like a hollow and empty kind of disco, like you almost wanted to dance and party but the robotic tone was stopping you from letting loose. 

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Sound installations along with video seemed to be core motifs to the Show. The above image is a gravestone bench by Alex Kane, which was in the room of Laure Prouvost’s haunting sound work. There was a silky woman’s voice reverberating across the room as I sat down, the kind of voice that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. At first I thought the bench was part of Prouvost’s work, until I read the accompanying text. Although the sound installation was a generic address to the viewer, it felt like the woman’s voice was pinpointing and talking to directly to me. Incredibly haunting and eerie enough that I left that room with my skin crawling. Although The British Art Show was less sculpture filled than I’d expected, it was rich in experience. I left each room with new thoughts and feelings racing through my head, different things making me uncomfortable or mesmerising me into staying. Sometimes I feel contemporary art should have the simple title of ‘experience art’, as that was definitely what I felt the British Art Show was; an experience. 

Flora Whiteley ‘Present Continuous’

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Talking more about getting back into painting is actually relevant to another exhibition I saw recently at Vane; Flora Whiteley’s ‘Present Continuous’. Given her cinematic background, her works have elements of film and stage-like set ups, which bring a new dimension to what are otherwise very painterly works. At present I’m not too interested in researching the background to her paintings and all of the concepts she was exploring; I’m simply wanting to look at and appreciate the paintings themselves. Particularly in terms of her use of colour. The above work is the perfect example. Through her pastel hues and soft palette, the cold of winter she’s depicting in the picture comes through to real life. You can almost feel the cold creeping into the gallery space. 

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It’s the same with this piece (see above) as well. The smoke from the girl’s cigarette has that wispy aesthetic of real life smoke. Although it’s a static image, you can see the cusp of energy it carries, as if the smoke could blow out of the painting and into your face as you view it. I think the lack of hard edges enhances this sense of movement. There’s a softness to the painting and a delicacy to the technique. What looks like fairly heavily applied paint is in fact an abundance of layers built up over time. The technique of the painting application varies between dry-brush and more of a solid application of colour. The contrast between the two creates a nice sense of balance within the painting. In some instances we are able to see the linen on which the paint is applied, in others we are presented with purely a build up of tonal work. 

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There’s a real sensitivity in her depictions of the figures as well. Their stances are not too posed, they simply hold themselves. The muted colours of their clothing allow them to almost blend into the background, not occupying too much attention within the piece. The tilted angles of the head, the slight bending of elbows, every element is thought out and all contribute to create a linear direction for the eye to travel round. 

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The scale Whiteley has chosen to utilise complements her figures as well. They are not quite life-size but they have that element of suggestion. You can relate your bodily proportions to the piece. They also allude more to Whiteley’s cinematic background – not quite on the scale of being a cinema screen, yet they are not far from it and have the potential to be one. There were also far smaller portrait paintings, yet I preferred the larger ones as they really allowed me to closely study her technique. 

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I don’t always take photographic close ups of work, as I prefer to have the entire body of the piece to contemplate as I reflect on it. However in this instance I was far more fascinated by close up studies of it all. The way Whiteley had broken up the pieces through angular lines and blocked colours. The shapes she formed through her placement of the figures. The depth created through the variation in colour. There was so much to see and absorb, that standing far back felt like I was missing out!

Jock Mooney Part 2

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Normally I’m quite wary about using or associating art with the word ‘kitsch’. All it encompasses are elements that do not cater to my usual taste. Kitsch to me normally creates associations of tackiness and poor taste – which to excess form the definition of it. Yet that was the word that sprang to mind when I walked in and saw these pieces. For once in my life I don’t mind using the word, as I think it totally works in this instance. Even better, I’m getting the ironic vibes here which means I’m even more comfortable in applying the term to Mooney’s work. I don’t feel he’s done it without the intention of being sarcastic. 

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So Mooney has succeeded in being the first artist to ever have me accept ‘kitsch’ as a good thing. Kudos. Not only that, he’s also managed to incorporate bizarre and seemingly random motifs into his work which I can’t stop looking at. Of course they’re not random at all. He’s got Janus cats for one. The name Janus coming from the Roman god who is normally depicted looking forward into the future and back into the past with his two different faces. This symbolises Mooney’s contemplation of life in this exhibition. Then there are all these cake-like sculptures, which reference certain religious festivals and religions through grotesque formations that in some instances take the form of the severed head of Marie Antoinette. Culture, history, religion are all just some of the components Mooney explores here. It’s all slightly unnerving and creepy, yet the vibrant colours reign it back into the realm of playfulness. 

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What I didn’t find too playful was this floor-based work. I think this ginger bread picnic mat for me was slightly mad. You’ve got severed fingers scattered across it, along with laughing faces who you can almost hear jeering at you. Not sure I fancy eating a cucumber sandwich sat with all that watching me. But it worked very well within the exhibition context, especially given the play on space. It’s really interesting that modern day sculpture is abandoning the plinth in favour of the floor, as it forces the viewer into a direct relationship with the work. Especially with a piece like this, is it a picnic mat or is it a sculpture? Where does art begin and art end? It’s all about the blurring of boundaries and comes back to that idea of exhibitions that are designed to challenge conventional perceptions of artwork.

Jock Mooney Part 1

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Vane Gallery recently had Jock Mooney’s ‘Who Are You and What Do You Want?‘ exhibited. Mooney is represented by Vane so I’m quite familiar with his work through that. This exhibition however was quite unlike his usual stuff as it was far more personal and autobiographical. It is an exploration of Mooney’s joys and fears surrounding life; his hopes for the future and all the whimsical elements of life. I’m not saying this exhibition was totally unfamiliar given his choice of theme as his iconic gruesome figures and lavish colours were of course still present – it wouldn’t be true Mooney without those components! 

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The pieces that caught my attention most were his incredibly intricate drawings. Not only was the detail and patience they must have required unparalleled, but the variation in tone was endless. Mooney really had pushed monochromatic drawing to the extreme. Along with the slightly grotesque swirling knots and fluid shapes, Mooney had also brought in a bit of cheeky humour. Eye-adorned bottoms were a motif in a lot of his drawings and this balanced out what would otherwise have been quite gruesome and curdling depictions. 

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The one above is my favourite as it is a blend of both an action and a reaction. On the one hand you have what looks like a woman’s dress blowing up, the action, and then within that you have the popping eyes in reaction to this occurrence. Very clever. The eyes have that excessive, over-the-top, Tom & Jerry style look to them as well which heightens this sense of amusement. As does Mooney’s playful titles: ‘Avocado Pear-shaped Palm’, ‘Speculative Teetering’, ‘The Curse of the UHT Guacomole Snowman’, ‘The Dysfunctional Rapture of Brassica Bumface’ the list is endless and just so much fun. I think we really get a taste of Mooney himself through the language he applied to his work which is why I personally find the titling of a work crucial. It is the cherry on the cupcake if you like. And although these drawings are fantastic and fun even if they were titled something entirely mundane like I don’t know…’Cereal Bowl’ (yes, I’ve just had cereal), the title does succeed in adding that extra bit of mischief.

Studio

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Every year Northumbria University holds a Fine Art Auction to raise money for our Degree Show. Normally, this takes place in March, however this year we are holding it in December. I am part of the team organising the auction and my role within that team is to gather artwork. This means getting in touch with not only local galleries but also with individual artists themselves. And trust me, there are a lot in this city! It has been very time consuming, but also very rewarding. Normally if the artists are willing to contribute an artwork, I go and meet them to collect it. This involves visiting a lot of artist’s studios, particularly the ones at Newbridge Street. This was where Alexandra Searle held her exhibition (you can see my post about that by clicking here) It’s really interesting to see an artist’s portfolio online and formulate an idea of them and their work in your head and then to actually meet them in person. It’s even better seeing their studios where all the magic happens! So I thought it would be interesting to show you some images of what is currently going on in my studio.

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To be honest, I don’t really know what’s going on in there half the time! I don’t tend to plan things. Yes, I am an organised person but when it comes to art for me there is nothing organised about that. Art is entirely about what is felt. And some days I go in and I just don’t feel it, I don’t feel anything. I practically start to question the point of it all! But then the next day I might come in and have the biggest creative explosion that leaves me as excited as a child at Christmas time! It’s very unpredictable. And I have a love/hate relationship with that fact. I love that you sometimes stumble upon something really unexpected and exciting just by chance. But I hate the days where you are completely dried of inspiration and feel as useless as a chocolate teapot! It’s all just very hap-hazard. But overall it is a very enjoyable experience. It is a whirlwind, it is exciting, it is experimental. 

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I am doing things I never thought I would do with my art. I am discovering artists whose work I have such an affinity with I feel like the book I’m reading is talking directly to me. It’s fantastic and definitely a time I am going to remember. It’s not just the creative explorations you have yourself, it’s the creative energy you have by being surrounded by like-minded people. The studio is never dead. Yes, it’s often empty, but by simply wondering around and looking at everyone else’s work, you can be inspired. Or by running into someone in the corridor, you could have the most simple exchange, but it leaves you reeling with new ideas you feel compelled to instantly scribble down in your notebook. 

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I really don’t know what I would do with my life if I wasn’t creative. Having a pen and a notebook in my handbag is as natural as carrying a purse and mobile phone to me. It can be draining at times to have so much creativity, so many ideas and thoughts swimming round your head, but that’s also the best thing ever. In that moment where you put pen to paper and start to really express yourself, that’s the best moment for me.

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If you fancy checking out our auction website, it’s: http://nuartauction.tumblr.com/

Ken Currie

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Last week I attended a talk followed by a preview of Ken Currie’s work in The University Gallery. Ken Currie is a Scottish artist who’s work predominantly focuses on the human body (yes I know I go on about the body in art a lot, deal with it!). For those of you who are not familiar with his work, prepare to be amazed. His work is haunting, it is eery, yet it is beautiful. It explores themes such as mortality, illness, death, politics, you name it, it’s all there! I have loved his work for years, so when I found out he was doing a talk, I got a bit excited. I lie. I got VERY excited! Not only did I get to hear one of my favourite artists talk about their work, I actually got to talk to him myself and ask all the questions I’ve ever had about his pieces in person! (Yes, I was maybe a little star struck!) I did have this slight fear of meeting him though. What if he didn’t live up to my expectations? What if he as a person affected the way I thought about his art in a negative way? I need not have worried. He was witty, incredibly Scottish and very interesting! 

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The work in this exhibition is very different from what I’ve seen of his previously. It’s more printer then painterly based which is not like Currie at all. It was however very interesting to see his painterly mindset translating across into the realm of print. The way he talked and spoke about his etchings and monotypes was a mindset I could relate to – normally printing is an alien world for me, but Currie made it accessible. As well as discussing everything he had learned in the Glasgow Print Studios, he also went into a lot of detail over who he had chosen to depict in his images. Political activists such as Rosa Luxemburg featured (see below). Currie has always had an interest in history which I think is another reason I am such a fan of his work (yes, you guessed it, I am a history nerd). When he spoke about who was in his portrait, he was also talking how he’d arrived at that particular image. It was purely through repetition. By producing print, after print, after print. Whether he chose the first or last one to display didn’t matter, what mattered was that he had pushed that one image to its absolute limit. When asked how he selected which print to display he said “I think they’re all surprises, that’s why they’re here” Again, a very attractive feature of his art. Pushing it to the point of exhaustion. I in a sense do this too, not to the extent Currie does, but I do drawings repeatedly, just to see what happens as they change every time. As Currie said you have “absolutely no idea what’s going to happen!” Which is the excitement of making art of course. 

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Another thing I find so intriguing about his work is the motif of death. A lot of people shy away from this and treat it as a taboo so it’s refreshing for an artist to address it so directly. Currie’s basically saying ‘shit, we’re all going to die’. Yet he’s also saying that this eventual event, the event of death, is what makes us live life the way we do. If we were here forever would we push ourselves the way we do? Would we enjoy ourselves and value everyday? As Currie did actually say, the inevitability of death “forces us to live in the present”. When I asked him what he was trying to convey through this focus and exploration of such a morbid motif, he said he supposed it was an appreciation of how “fleeting our lives are”. 

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The monochrome colour palette only adds to this sense of the macabre. It’s dark and it’s gritty. It’s haunting. But it evokes something in you. Even if it is just an incredible appreciation for his skills as an artist (seriously, the way he has manipulated ink – stunning!) When I visit an exhibition I want to feel something. I want to walk round and leave thinking about the work. Currie’s does not fail me. I felt uneasy, like every piece was watching me. But I also felt peaceful, because all the works were beautiful despite their dark connotations. And I suppose it’s that delicate balance of beautiful and ugly that make Currie’s work so incredible.

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Hope Stebbing and Oliver Perry: ‘Your World Tomorrow’

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There have already been some photographs of this exhibition up on my blog, but that was for my post about the preview night. This is more about Hope Stebbing and Oliver Perry’s artwork itself. Given the connotations this work carries through the partnership with the Great North Run and the consequent success of Stebbing and Perry, I feel like I am talking about something huge. Something very impressive to the point that I am going to shy away from all the bravado to instead focus on their work in a gallery setting. My happy place. It was unlike any work I’d previously seen in the University Gallery. Normally it’s more along the lines of Norman Cornish style art. So this felt like a statement. Literally! The words form ‘onward”together”as one’. They are bold and they are solid. Yet what I love is the fragility of the welded stands that hold them up. They look so precarious given the solidity of the structured words.

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I suppose part of what was so interesting about this exhibition was how they used the space. Very effectively in my opinion. As you wander through the exhibition, you are wondering through the words. Almost as if you are a character in a book submerged within your own story. I like how they were centered in the room rather than up against the wall, that would be so boring! The lighting in the gallery did wonders for the work as well. Shadows on the floor, on the walls, within the letters themselves. It just accentuated the artwork beautifully. And of course the colours are to die for, subtle yet exuberant. 

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I liked the contrast the large pastel lettering held with the miniature monochrome lettering. Again it demonstrates an understanding of the space; how important the floor is. A lot of people don’t realise this but the utilisation of the floor not only lay with the Abstract Expressionist artists such as Jackson Pollock, but is was also rooted in Korean traditional art. The Korean artists viewed the floor as superior to the wall in terms of a working space. They never bothered with easels instead choosing simply to kneel whilst they worked. I suppose this was linked to the cultural traditions that included the removal of shoes as a sign of respect upon entering somebody’s house. I will dig up my notes and do a post about it at some point as it is all very beautiful and inspiring to learn about. I stumbled across the traditions of Korean art when I was doing research a while back and coincidentally I had been doing most of my work by kneeling on the floor. It’s funny, but sometimes it really does feel like books speak to you. 

Laurence Kavanagh: ‘October’

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As promised here is the post about Laurence Kavanagh whose work I viewed the other night at Gallery North. I wasn’t sure what to make of it initially. My first observation was the lack of colour. The show was entirely  monochrome with the exception of one piece. As a result it was evident that Kavanagh had truly pushed his monochrome palette to it’s limits, using tonal shades of grey I didn’t even know existed! It made me think of the work of John Virtue (see below).

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Virtue’s work is purely black and white as well. In first year I came across him and at the time I was painting colourful landscapes using oil and white spirit. So my work was incredibly liquid based – I was even dabbling in egg tempura. Upon discovering Virtue’s work I decided to remove all colour from mine; something I had never done before. And something I will never do again! It really did feel limiting. Yet at the same time it was incredibly refreshing as it forced me to use far more imagination, particularly in the textural sense. I used pins to poke holes in my paper, impasto paste mixed into my paint, allowed my liquids to become far more volatile and fluid. It was however quite a struggle, especially when you look at how stark and colourless my studio became (see below).

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So I am actually in relative awe that Kavanagh managed to create an entire exhibition in this colour palette without exploding! He too however turns to texture as a substitute for colour. The way in which he folds his paper is incredibly efffective, not only does it appeal to our tactile senses, but it also creates dramatic shadows given the gallery lighting. 

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I think this image above has to be my favourite piece. The little house is just adorable! The paper folds and creases give it an almost child-like quality which I find very appealing. The frame offsets the piece perfectly. People always debate over the importance of framing saying an artwork should be able to stand whether it’s in a good frame or not. I disagree. I think a frame can make or break an artwork. If my work is framed incorrectly it just pisses me off and I feel like the entire work is lost. Slightly over dramatic I know, but when you envision how an artwork should look and it goes wrong, it’s just irritating. However, Kavanagh doesn’t need to worry because his simple and elegant black frames compliment his work perfectly. 

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The exhibition was aesthetically pleasing in terms of its layout as well. I loved when I walked in and was greeted by an almost cinema screen-like sculpture (top photo). This piece is probably most suggestive of the concepts behind his work. He is exploring the correlation between how we view touch in both the physical and visual sense. Taking the two-dimensional and the three-dimensional and using them as a means to explore the relationship between subject and photographic imagery. 

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I like how there is all of this allusion and suggestion of cinema, yet there is a total absence of moving image work. Instead, you have sculptures reminiscent of cinema projectors occupying floor space. Long shadows, spotlights and rectangular shapes all suggest but nothing confirms the cinematic presence. There is an air of expectation in the room, yet the pieces simply hang still and mysteriously giving nothing away. 

Laurence Kavanagh is a Warwich Stafford Fellow and produced ‘October’ through his research into Star and Shadow Cinema.