Saturday, 24 October 2015

British Art Show 8 at Leeds City Art Gallery

Next stop on the Leeds gallery visit route was British Art Show 8 at Leeds City Art Gallery.

"The British Art Show is a touring exhibition that provides a vital overview of the most exciting contemporary art produced in this country. This year, it tours the work of over 40 artists to four cities across the UK."

The exhibition was vast, occupying the whole of Leeds City Art Gallery which had been totally transformed especially for this exhibition. The included artworks range from tapestry, ceramics, sculpture through to audio works and video installations. There seems to be a couple of 'themes' running through the exhibition. The first theme is the tension between reality and the virtual as in the video work The Common Sense, (2014) by Melanie Gilligan which is about 'the Patch' a wearable device which enables emotions and physical sensations to be transferred between people.

On the other hand, the second theme is for artists to be exploring the physicality of objects and materials, often through the use of skilled processes such as weaving, bookbinding and so forth.

A few of my highlights include:

Simon Fujiwara Fabulous Beasts (2015) - vintage fur coats that have been shaved to reveal the patchwork of skin that is usually covered in the fur
Simon Fujiwara Fabulous Beasts (2015)

Hayley Tompkins - who transforms everyday materials through the use of paint

Hayley Tompkins

Mikhail Karikis' film, Children of Unquiet, features a number of children exploring a geothermal power station in Italy. It is beautifully shot, with lots of mesmerising visuals.

Mikhail Karikis

Caroline Achaintre
Caroline Achaintre's hand tufted textiles that sit somewhere between figuration and abstraction

Alexandre da Cunha

Alexandre da Cunha mixes common mass-produced consumer products such as mops and beach towels with industrial materials including metal rods and concrete
Ciara Phillips

I was delighted to find out that Ciara Phillips' work for the British Art Show 8 involved people from my home-town of Mirfield. Along with others from local groups, they collaborated with Ciara to produce a publication based on a 1950/60's newsletter produced by Corita Kent and Sister Magdalene Mary called Irregular Bulletin.