Thursday, 31 May 2018

How do human voices work? - podcast

What makes our speaking voices so distinctive and so recognisable? How can we transform the way we use our voice?


This podcast was produced at the time of the This Is A Voice exhibition at the Wellcome Collection. This Is A Voice is also a book by Jeremy Fisher and Gillyanne Kayes offering 99 exercises to train, project and harness the power of your voice.

In the podcast, Jeremy and Gillyanne join Nicola Davis in the studio along with Steven Connor, professor of English at the University of Cambridge, who has written extensively on the history of the voice, sound and music.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Martha Graham quote

I'm enjoying listening to BBC Radio 4's Book of The Week, which this week is Zadie Smith's Feel Free.

Zadie Smith reads from her latest essay collection where she offers sharp, and sometimes funny, insights and observations on high culture, pop culture, social change, political debate and the personal. Yesterday's edition featured some lessons on the connection between writing and dancing.

Smith mentioned a quote by Martha Graham which I think can apply to many creative people, not just dancers.

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open."



Tuesday, 29 May 2018

BxNU MFA | Graduate Exhibition at BALTIC 39: You Kept Me Vaguely Sane






It is always difficult to create a title for an exhibition of this kind where the exhibiting artists are brought together simply because they are studying the same course, at the same time, at the same institution. You Kept Me Vaguely Sane refers to the thing that kept the students vaguely sane in these unpredictable times, namely creativity.



"In 2016, in his speech before meeting the Queen to relinquish political office, David Cameron thanked his wife Samantha for keeping him vaguely sane. As a group of young artists working together in the two-year period following this event, we find ourselves in a state of flux, living, reacting and adjusting within this aftermath. Responding to this Brexit limbo and the ever-moving political landscape, the thing that has kept us all vaguely sane is the sanctuary of our creativity."




Artists:

KAT BEVAN

ROBERT BOWMAN

ANTHONY CRAMMEN

SIMONE GANDHI

RICARDO LOPES

KITTY MCMURRAY

ALEXANDER NICHOLAS

MURRAY THOMPSON


Thursday, 24 May 2018

Orla Kiely on BBC Radio 4 Front Row




As a fan of surface and pattern design, I was interested to listen to Thursday's edition of Front Row on BBC Radio 4. On the eve of the opening of the first exhibition dedicated to designer Orla Kiely, she was interviewed by Shahidha Bari. Orla Kiely discussed the origins of her work at a kitchen table in Ireland and why she thinks that pattern can make you happy without even noticing.



The exhibition is at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London and is said to "explore all aspects of Orla’s creative output, from lifestyle and fashion ranges to use of colour and detail and the geometry of pattern." 


The exhibition draws "on an archive of over 20 years of work, offering visitors unparalleled insight into her methods and concepts, exploring sketches, mood boards, samples and a range of making techniques."



http://www.ftmlondon.org/ftm-exhibitions/orla-kiely-life-in-pattern/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b39v7b

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Laura White artist talk at The NewBridge Project

Last night I attended an artist talk by Laura White at The NewBridge Project. "Laura White’s practice focuses on a negotiation with the world of STUFF, i.e. interactions with materials and objects, exploring ideas of value, profile, association, meaning and behaviour of materials, individual and collections of objects. Things are explored both as material stuff and anthropological signifiers, that are capable of revealing the human condition - vulnerabilities and capabilities, value systems affected by consumerism and material status, and object/human dependencies. Her works occupy a fluid space, on one hand demanding critical discourse, and on the other their own ambiguous and intuitive logic.


Laura White’s practice is interdisciplinary including sculpture, installation, drawing and photography. Her web site ‘Tenderfoot’ launched in 2017, is an on-line space for exploring materiality through her own writing, forums, events and a curated space where she invites contributions from artists, writers, and makers. White also runs participatory events for example, 'What it means to handle stuff - auto-pedagogy - a course in butchery’, which saw White bring RCA students and staff from Raven Row Gallery London together to learn butchery skills under the guidance of a professional butcher, here looking at what it means to learn a skill and to deskill, the environment we learn in and the groups we learn with and skills we can access both as an amateur and as a professional."



The tone of Laura's talk reflected that of her practice; she spoke with generosity and honesty. It is clear that Laura knows her stuff, and approaches her practice with a great deal of rigour. However, the work is rooted in the everyday, and I find that the familiarity of the materials used helps me engage with the work.



Laura is currently working with a choreographer to explore the body in the work. Up until now the body has physically been absent from the work, but is present through the making of the work. By working with the choreographer, Laura is exploring whether it is too literal to have the body within the material.



Laura spoke about the three elements to her practice:

FIELDWORK - research, out and about, with other people, everyday encounters

STUDIO - playing with materials, investigating materials, processes

WRITING - reflecting on interactions and experiences, sometimes writes site-specifically and then leaves the writing to be discovered in the situation. 



Laura uses her website, Tenderfoot as a place to share her writing. Every three months she invites a guest to contribute to the website. Tenderfoot also shows documentation of workshops that she has done with other people (DIWO - Do It With Others). 

http://www.laura-white.co.uk 
http://www.tenderfoot.co.uk


Monday, 21 May 2018

Bodies publication has arrived

A few months ago I responded to the following Call for submissions for contributions to a zine called Bodies.



My submission was accepted and I have just received my copy of the completed zine. The variety of texts within the publication are unified by a consistent style of imagery. 


Saturday, 19 May 2018

Star and Shadow cinema as part of The Late Shows 2018

Opening the doors to the public during The Late Shows 2018 marks the completion of phase 1 of the huge DIY rebuild of the Star and Shadow cinema in their new location on Warwick Street. Over the past 2 years an immense team of volunteers have dedicated hours of time and put in loads of hard graft in order to make this happen. 


Last night the proud volunteers showed us round. The cinema currently is awaiting a delivery of chairs, but the rest of the space looks great. Artwork has been specially commissioned and the volunteers have creatively reused scraps of OSB board and individually coloured lightbulbs on the ceiling.




The current photography exhibition showcases the work of 4 artists who have each captured everyday life in Newcastle.

The next stop on the tour was the toilets, and these did deserve a look. The walls are covered in a mixture of handmade and donated tiles, creating a homely feel to the facilities.




The second venue space was filled with people enjoying the sounds of a steel drum band, and the cafe was proving very popular. 



It was really exciting to hear about the opportunities to get involved and what is in store for the future. I'm keen to get involved and make the most of the range of facilities available.

"Star & Shadow Cinema is more than a cinema. It is an alternative social, cultural, arts and community hub run by a collective of volunteers."


Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Pre-performance photos

It's hard to believe that it is nearly a week since the preview of THEMSELVES HERE TOGETHER, my current exhibition at The Word in South Shields. As part of the exhibition I worked in collaboration with Sarah Grundy, and they performed at the preview. Here are some photos of us prior to the amazing performance.







Sunday, 13 May 2018

Mock up of audio-visual installation

When I was editing the footage for THEMSELVES HERE TOGETHER, I made a mock up of the 5 screens (one of the walls is so wide that it has 2 projections) to visualise how the footage would work together as a whole. I wanted to create links between the visuals and manipulate the way the audience interacts with the space.  Here are some of the images of the mock up that I created to help me visualise the installation.











Mock up of audio-visual installation

When I was editing the footage for THEMSELVES HERE TOGETHER, I made a mock up of the 5 screens (one of the walls is so wide that it has 2 projections) to visualise how the footage would work together as a whole. I wanted to create links between the visuals and manipulate the way the audience interacts with the space. Over the next few posts I will be showing some of the images of the mock up that I created to help me visualise the installation.













Mock up of audio-visual installation

When I was editing the footage for THEMSELVES HERE TOGETHER, I made a mock up of the 5 screens (one of the walls is so wide that it has 2 projections) to visualise how the footage would work together as a whole. I wanted to create links between the visuals and manipulate the way the audience interacts with the space. Over the next few posts I will be showing some of the images of the mock up that I created to help me visualise the installation.