Sunday, 28 February 2016

Drawings from workshopping performance ideas

Trying out costume ideas for Circus Between Worlds

Given that my original proposal induced horrid feelings of nausea for the performers, I am further developing my ideas for my performance that will be part of Circus Between Worlds in Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art in April. 

I am interested in creating sculptural forms for the performers to wear that a restrictive in some way. 

This funnel shape blocks out all peripheral vision, and impacts on the performers spatial awareness.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

MA & Other Post Graduates 2016 exhibition at the Atkinson Gallery, Somerset

My work, Strut your stuff, is currently exhibited at the Atkinson Gallery, Somerset as part of the MA & Other Post Graduates 2016 exhibition.

Proudly maintaining its ethos of promoting the next generation of artists, the Atkinson Gallery presents the annual MA & Other Post Graduates contemporary art show. Showcasing the work of students who express particularly fresh, innovative ideas, the exhibition reflects the talent and wide range of work being produced in art schools today.

The 2016 MA & Other Post Graduates show promises to be as exciting and diverse as previous years, with artists having been selected from eleven of the top art universities around the country. A celebration of contemporary art, this exhibition provides the public with a unique opportunity to see current work in painting, photography, design, printmaking and sculpture.

The exhibition runs 22 February – 19 March 2016.

For more information please visit

Monday, 22 February 2016

Gareth Hudson - Everything was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt - work II at The Globe Gallery

Following the breathtaking first part to his trio of films titled Everything was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt,  Gareth Hudson had a hard act to follow. Part two fails to disappoint. It is visually stunning, intellectually engaging and emotionally powerful. An amazing experience.

Exchange / Kate Bajic: Lichenology at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh currently has an interesting exhibition about lichen.  Jeweller Kate Bajic has created a range of brooches inspired by her research into lichen. A few of her sketchbooks are also included in the exhibition, offering an insight into her working process and development of ideas.


Sunday, 21 February 2016

Rhythm in Research by Rachel Duckhouse

Rachel Duckhouse is a Glasgow based artist working in a range of media including drawing and printmaking. The complex patterns and systems in nature, human behaviour and the built environment form the basis of her practice.

She makes responsive, research based work that reveals hidden patterns in specific contexts. She uses the physical processes of drawing and printmaking to investigate relationships and flows of energy within real or imagined spaces and situations.

‘Rhythm in Research’ presents screenprints, etchings, lithographs and drawings created in response to several artist residencies and self-directed research projects she’s recently undertaken in Scotland and Canada.

As artist in residence for Watershed+ in Calgary, she worked with City of Calgary water engineers to research and develop a series of drawings and prints describing the complex flows of the Bow River through city infrastructure.

As Associate Artist at Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) she worked with gallery staff to create a series of drawings based on their complex relationships to climate change, within the context of the GoMA building.

Most recently, as part of an on-going research project ‘Multiple//Parallel’, making work based on the geology and hydrology of southeast Canada.

"I'm interested in the patterns and rules that govern the universe as we understand it, from a molecular to planetary scale. I often work in series; posing a question or exploring a concept, devising a set of parameters or rules, and testing out a series of variations on the theme. The result is a set of images that work together to pull and push an idea in different ways. To make just one image would suggest a definitive answer to a question. To make several suggests there are an infinite number of possible answers."

Friday, 19 February 2016

Erwin Wurm: Wear me out at Middelheim Museum

The open air Middelheim Museum in Antwerp features works of Austrian 
sculptor Erwin Wurm in the exhibition, ‘Wear me out’. The 20 pieces on 
display highlight consistent and interconnected topics in the artist’s work, 
such as the body, colour, and clothing: these themes are further developed 
by a new collaboration with Antwerp based fashion designer 
Walter Van Beirendonck as well as  two original projects installed at the 
location’s Braem pavilion. With a contemporary interpretation of classical 
sculptural tenets, the forms and the materials in wurm’s work yield results 
that both examine and push the boundaries of the medium, ranging from 
extremes of permanence and transience. Arranged throughout  the sculpture 
garden, the engaging works are well suited to the interactive site.

‘fat house’ side view (left) and detail (right)
image © jesse willems

‘melting house’
image © jesse willems

Using materials of bronze and polystyrene, wurm gives human-like 
qualities to non-living objects such as houses  (‘fat house’, ‘melting house’),
 boats (‘misconceivable’), and clothing (‘big sweater’). These everyday 
forms are instantly recognizable to the viewer, but striking for their 
transformation in scale and volume. walking a fine line between form 
and formlessness, Wurm also renders the human physique in works 
like ‘big gulp’or  his ‘big psycho’ series. These pieces consistently 
depict unusual postures, examining the sculptural potential of 
revealing psychological mood through body language.
‘big gulp’ (2009)
image © jesse willems

‘big psycho 10′ (left) and
‘big psycho 8′ (right)

images © jesse willems

(left) ‘big pumpkin’
(right) performative sculptures 
by erwin wurm and walter van beirendonck
images © jesse willems

Wurm’s depiction of the body is not limited to durable materials, but also 
flesh and blood. drawing in viewers with colour, Wurm collaborates with 
walter van bierendonck is in the creation of living ‘performative sculptures’, 
or five hired actors wearing oversized costumes made of ruffled tulle, 
whose texture and form explore the human body’s role in transforming 
objects. This new series extends Wurm’s ‘one minute sculptures’, which 
can exist only if an audience member participates: if sculpture  is all 
about volume and space, then anyonecan be an artwork, simply by adding 
or removing clothing and weight.

performative sculptures by erwin wurm and walter van beirendonck
image © gazet van antwerpen / jan van der perre

performative sculptures by erwin wurm and walter van beirendonck
(left) image © gazet van antwerpen / jan van der perre
(right) image © jesse willems

performative sculpture (2011) 

image © elfie semotan / wallpaper

‘knitwear ceiling’
image © studio wurm

The artist uses textiles inside the museum’s Braem pavilion as well, 
creating a gigantic ‘sweater’ by covering the ceiling in pastel purple 
knitwear. On the ground below are a completely new series of 
‘möbeln performative sculptures’, in which the artist converts 
second-hand furniture into hybrid objects that act as performance 
stages: by the artist’s instructions, someone takes on the guise of 
sculpture, around, in or on the artworks on every day of the exhibition. 

performative sculpture
image © studio wurm

performative sculpture
image © studio wurm

The possibilities of sticky notes

Following my recent blog post showing my sculptural experiment with sunflower seeds and sticky notes, a friend sent me the link to this video where sticky notes are taken to the extreme.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Sunflower seed sculptural macquettes - contrasting colours and surfaces

This form began as a flat slip of paper but as I applied the rows of sunflower seeds to the surface, the paper began to curl naturally.

Here I have used black sunflower seeds on one side and white sunflower seeds on the other.

I enjoy the contrast between the natural colours of the sunflower seeds and the overtly unnatural fluorescent post it notes. I also appreciate that the direction of the post it notes is at odds with the direction of the post it note

Sunday, 14 February 2016

MEANWHILE - Newcastle University 1st Year MFA Exhibition

Last night was the preview of the 1st Year Newcastle University MFA exhibition, MEANWHILE...

The exhibition is located in a number of the exhibition spaces within the Fine Art department of Newcastle University.

Each artist has contributed a number of works and a variety of media are used.

Hannah Cooper's manipulation of materials produces beautiful results. Threads of delicate melted glue hang from the ceiling of the Atrium. In the Long Gallery Hannah exhibits a couple of works made from creased paper (the description does not do it justice-watch out for photos in later posts), a paper sculpture with feathers pierced through, and a clay sculpture. There is a sensibility to the way that the materials are manipulated.

Similarly, Mehan Fernando's exquisite photorealist oil paintings are positioned carefully on the smooth  surfaces of the pieces of wood, with the figures aligning with the natural wood grain or markings on the surface. It is hard to be disgusted by the deformed specimens that feature in the paintings because of the demonstration of immense skill in the way he paints. In the Tic Space Mehan has ventured into less familiar territory and installed a number of objects on the wall and a few clay sculptures that resemble spines.

A couple of Anna MacRae's small creatures are sneakily lurking in the Long Gallery and Tic Space, but her larger sculptures occupy the Project Space. In contrast to Mehan's highly controlled and precise oil paintings, Anna's work has a more immediate and experimental appearance. That said, the care, attention to detail and rigorous thought that goes into making the work is evident. The lighting plays a huge part in setting the dramatic scene for the monochrome forms made from materials such as cardboard, parcel tape, foil, latex and paint. The three components have a relationship with each other, taking on different characters.

Pipi Lovell-Smith exhibits a sound work in the Tic Space and has two flat screen monitors playing her work in the Long Gallery. One monitor shows a collaged stop motion animation in which the background scenery resembles a tourist attraction. The action comes from birds flying overhead, a tourist dancing and people taking photographs of the monument in the background. The other monitor has two screens, both showing the same couple in a rowing boat, but from different perspectives. The boat in one of the screens moves from left to right and the boat in the other screen enters the screen on the right and travels to the opposite corner of the screen. Something fascinating happens at the end; a kind of reversal. 

James Joseph Lloyd has a projection in the Tic Space, a painting in the Long Gallery and a painting in the Atrium. I have been used to seeing the two paintings in close proximity to each other in the studio, so they are seen very differently when separated and exhibited in different rooms.    

It is obvious that the group have worked together to curate the exhibition, and the negotiation of space has been carefully considered.