Mixed media (ply, treated pine, gas mask) installation, September 27, 2013
In an effort to garner some inspiration for a series of prints (that will also be transferred onto t-shirts) I’ve been mooching through one of my favourite books; Collage: Assembling Contemporary Art.
It’s a great book for anyone interested in Contemporary Art and Collage, so check it out if you can.
It’s got plenty of artists and examples of their work, but I’d totally forgotten about an artist who was a massive inspiration for my practice when I was at uni. THOMAS DEMAND creates highly technical and elaborate architectural locations and interior structures – using just paper and card. Often creating the illusion of reality, (since his work is made, photographed and then destroyed) meaning the viewer can only see each piece as a photograph.
There is a juxtaposition of mundanity and the uncanny which creates an unsettled reading of the image. The 3D model/structure becomes flat, a plane, an image of a place that was built intentionally to be seen in 2D. It is this denial that makes the viewer aware of a ‘set’; the photograph offers the viewer an answer to what they see as an ‘uncertain reality’, allowing them into the image and a chance to pull apart the illusion.
By Richard Wilson. “The most daring piece of public art ever commissioned in the UK” – www.biennial.com
Why can’t every city have something like this? Go and have a look if you’re around in Liverpool, it’s well worth it.
Last year I took part in two final shows at Unit 3b art space.
One was BOUND and the other was an Archive Show; a collection of works by artists who have been involved with 3b throughout it’s time.
I actually only made one piece of work, but it’s nature was such that it had to stay in situ for the Archive Show, after Bound had finished.
I’ve included a plan view of the exhibition to show how many people were involved and give an idea of the space. My work was a short piece of text that I carved into the wall.
Wed 27th & Sat 30th Oct
When I was, oh, 20? I played in a band called the Round Town Four: Fist Fighting Association, or the RoundTown4 for short. There were four of us; an irascible wiry sparkly blue eyed ginger scot called James; Dave, an American Jew with dark hair, the blackest eyes you’ll ever see, a short babies body and big clumsy hands; Neil, an easy going jazz loving hat wearing fellow who you could imagine would often click his heels together as he walked away down the street; and me. Guitar, guitar, drums and bass respectively. We would all sing. James lilting, laughing and Celtic; Dave loud laughing and slightly out of tune; Neil, quietly laughing; me, strong, sweet sounding and happy. The guitars were wooden acoustics. James’ nylon stringed. Dave’s metal. The drum kit was a snare drum and a high hat and two sticks in a bag. The bass was a little portable amp called a pig nose, with a toffee brown leather skin and a silver pigs nose for an on button. You could plug it in and charge it, then it would be quite noisy for about 40 minutes with my electric bass guitar plugged in out in the street.
We all got on a train at 6 in the morning, took a long pull on a single malt and set off for Hamburg, Germany. We spent a month there, busking in the heart of the Reeperbahn, Germany’s most famous red light district, bleeding our fingers and singing our guts out. I’ll spare you the details. As we went, I took notes, wrote little poems and miniature descriptions. “At the end of the trip, I will write it up,” I said. Dave said, “You should print it as it is.” I did. I wish I hadn’t as they were really private notes. But it was quicker that way. And I can always write it up properly someday.
Now they are shared by the four of us in four matching, nicely bound handmade editions. At the front of each is a check box with 7 spaces. Each time the book is read a tick is to be put in a box. After the 7th tick, it states that the other three must be informed that the final box has been filled. After sunset the following full moon that copy of the book is to be burnt, in the presence of as many of the four of us as are within travelling distance as can make it. I thought they’d all be burnt by now. Happily it’s a hard read. Only for loved ones of one sort or another.
Those books have bound us four together over seas and oceans, from China to New York and back to Sheffield, probably for life.
That’s the story.
For its exaugural project, Unit3b Artspace presents ‘Bound’ – A two-part exhibition, which marks Unit3b’s departure from its premises at Chaucer Yard by celebrating its legacy, current situation and potential nomadic developments. The project is presented through two one night only exhibition previews:
Part 1: Aventures de L’Esprit
Preview – Wednesday 27th Oct, 6pm
Aventures de L’Esprit, a book compiled in 1929 by Natalie Clifford Barney, features an illustration. It is a rough drawing of Barney’s home at 20 rue Jacob, Paris, incorporating her house, garden and the little Doric ‘Temple to Friendship’ she had built there. Crowded within the boundaries of these features, the illustration presents a mass of names, regular visitors to Barney’s weekly literary salon. It is hard to tell which is more favored in this affectionate drawing; the house and garden, with particular attention paid to the temple ‘a l’amitié’, or it’s clientele. Barney’s house did not accommodate all these illustrious scrawled names simultaneously. People come and go, friends visit and depart. Does the salon keep the names, or do the names take the salon with them?
In this show, artistic communities and the spaces they occupy become of central importance. Architectures and objects are replicated and decorations are transplanted. Studios are constructed by unexpected methods and around unexpected participants. Inscriptions are carved, dedications or memorials. Things must make room and rooms must be made; and at the same time, a diagram is drawn, depicting a particular space. Marked as the penultimate members exhibition at Unit 3b, or rather in Unit 3b, and perhaps not of Unit 3b, our Aventures de L’Esprit looks upon places and the people who make use of them.
Work from current members of the Unit3b studio: Stephen Brown, Sam Bunn, Ben Connell, Jamie Crewe, Daniel Fogarty, Jim Howieson and Greg Thomas.
Part 2: The Archive Show
Preview – Saturday 30th Oct, 6pm
A display of works from Unit3b’s past members, exhibitors, collaborators and supporters.
Ashley Acott, Thorbjorn Andersen, Keith Barley, Andy Brookfield, Barbara C. Branco, Robert Brown, Stephen Brown, Sam Bunn, Theo Burt, Darren Chouings, Ben Connell, Faye Cresswell, Jamie Crewe, Martin Elms, Natalie Finnemore, Daniel Fogarty, Jonny Fox, Lesley Guy, Iris Harris, Will Hope, Mark Houghton, Jim Howieson, Siobhan McSorley, Emily Musgrave, Phil Nicholson, Sara Pinfold, James Prescott, Ben Wardell, Angharad Williams + more to be confirmed
(Located behind St. Mary’s church – off Bramall Lane)
A short while ago (ages ago in fact) I took exhibited work at PRISM, in Sheffield.
I like to think of Prism as a nomadic event, it has no base, no home. Travelling around Sheffield it gives participants a good chance to play with their surroundings and make use of unusual/alternative exhibition spaces. Yet at the same time it does have structure. Even though the place/space it is held in may differ, something about the event/night seems strangely familiar. There is always a fleeting sense surrounding Prism; each event only lasts for one night. A collectiveness and at the same time disparateness, a strength and a fragility.
With this in mind I presented a projected image. The image was from my previous piece BRACE.
Let me know what you think, cheers!