DULWICH OPEN HOUSE

It’s the final week of Dulwich Open House. Myself and Hannah Williamson have over 40 works to see, ranging from postcard collages, photograms and paintings. Here are some shots from the show!IMG_8826 IMG_8825IMG_8823 941412_10152868642750503_830406535_n

We are open 11 until 6pm both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. More details can be found at :

http://www.dulwichfestival.co.uk/content/artists-open-house-3

There are many artists who have opened their studio and homes around the area of Dulwich. A map of all the houses can be downloaded from the Dulwich Open House Website.

Here are som close up shots.

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cave of the beautiful horses 5.21 AM 105 °C. Eyjafjallajökull liquid light

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Julian Brown

dwarf-stars-study by Julian Brown

This painting entitled ‘Dwarf Stars’ created by the artist, Julian Brown, intrigues me. I am wondering if this is a colour study referring to the various types of dwarf stars. If I had not looked at the title, the painting would conjure up a landscape in my mind; of interlocking mountains with a sun at the top right.  When I think of dwarf stars, I think about the black dwarf, which is when a star is finally burnt out and becomes a cold rock floating through space. In my pessimistic world, this painting symbolises the end of mankind, the end of earth, as without the sun, we can not survive…. But how can something so sweet and tasty as these paintings mean this………?

I thought I would add an image or two more of Julian Brown’s artwork. Of course you can see even more  at his website:

http://www.julianbrownart.co.uk

He has just been selected for the Marmite Prize this year

“The imagery in my work is very heavily influenced by nostalgic visions of the 1980’s and the folk art from my mother Polish heritage. Both of these worlds have a handmade geometric quality that has a playful and primitive relevance to the world we now live in.”

 The ‘clunkiness’  Brown talks about, in his painterly application of  melted sugary colours, remind me of frosting on cakes and not so much ‘an end of the world’ scenario. Thinking more of cakes, Brown’s artwork is reminiscent of Wayne Thiebaud’s paintings. The aesthetic qualities of Brown’s work are not imbued with a weighty content, but more of a delight of colour; held within geometric forms whose configurations create satisfying rhythms that are fresh, light, and flowing. The shapes float in a bright white nowhere land, clustering into a tidy order, clinging together through sticky paint and playfully fragmenting into a light-hearted disorder upon the canvas surface.

temper bend

CANDA- Julian Brown

echo move

The work has an obvious decorative quality. Knowing that he is influenced by Polish folk art, I decided to look at some examples online. The images that I came across, seemed to have a sense of innocence and cheeriness and were a celebration of all colours of the rainbow.

VINCULUM

Vinculum is Latin for “bond”, which is the title of the above painting. This title completely changes how I view the work, from something flat in 2-D, it suddenly pops out and becomes an interlocking rope or bandage.

red nose day

buccaneers II

This painting entitled, ‘Buccaneers II’, is interesting. I see it as a herd of deer, probably because of the colours  Brown has utilised and also the sweep of the brush strokes give the work a skittish energy; but is it in fact a historic account of a battle between Portuguese and Spanish ships? When I down loaded this particular image from his website, the image was documented as ‘kindling’ which again shifts the meaning of the work or adds another layer to my battle analogy.

I find the art works by Julian Brown are something to ponder upon. There is this obvious child-like aesthetic; an innocent and playful arrangement of shapes and colour, but then the titles just throw up some unanswered questions. I realise how much of my own history, and memories are projected onto the work and corrupt the most authentic interpretation, which is that of the artists. Or is this what it is all about? How fragments from childhood, traces of folklore and tradition, of artefacts and dialogue can be a flitting presence underpinning the work, but by the most delicate of threads; which of course might dance off again, when the physicality of liquidy and joyous paint take hold!

spoof networks

Surface II- The Crypt- St Pancras

The Crypt Gallery, Euston Road, St. Pancras Church, London, NW12BA

Surface II is open from 13th July- 22nd July 2012 and is curated by Fiona Chaney and Louise Harrington

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Louise Harrington, Fiona Chaney, Sophie Cordery, Regina Valkenborgh, Lyndsey Searle, David Donald, Hazel Walsh, Stephen Buckeridge, Juliet Guiness, Sarah King, Sinéid Codd, Susan Eyre, Kelvin Burr, Amy-Louise Watson, Jessie Rayat, Nina Ciuffini, Hélène Uffren,
Jo Lovelock, Sarah Rose Allen, Debbie Lyddon, Susan Francis, Samantha Blanchard, 
Maria Gaitanidi, Cynthia Ayral, Natasa Stamatari, Alexandros Alexandridis 

I went to the opening of Surface II at St Pancras Church today. There is a gallery space underneath the church which has regular curated exhibitions. The show I visited today was a collection of 26 artists exploring the theme of surface.  The gallery itself is an  intriguing surface, with bare walls, arches, passageways and cavernous spaces and some artists had integrated their work directly with the interior.  For instance, artists had used the  walls to project  films upon, which produced an interesting result, as the walls were made up of  exposed crumbling brick work. The footage appeared fragmented and decayed. There was a lot of interesting ideas about surfaces, using painting, photography, performance and installation.

The artwork below is by Susan Eyre. It was impossible not to touch the surface of her work, as the texture was so inviting.

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Susan Eyre

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Susan Eyre- detail

Another artwork that I enjoyed was by Regina Valkenborgh, made with a beer can pin hole camera.

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Regina Valkenborgh

Louise Harrington

Louise Harrington

 Louise Harrington had created this sculptural photograph placed in one of the caverns at The Crypt.

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Fiona Chaney

Artwork by Kelvin Burr; chalky, faded, sanded down surfaces, with pools of colour being revealed in cavities and  diffused and soft mark making over the smooth top layers.

Hazel Walsh

Hazel Walsh displayed a series of images, which looked almost like drawings. They were really beautiful and unusual.

MATT ROBERTS- ALAS- VYNER STREET

 

Matt Roberts Arts, 25b Vyner St, London, E2 9DG

ALAS Summer Residency Exhibition 2012


28th June – 7th July 2012

 I visited the inaugural opening of ALAS  at Matt Roberts’ Gallery. This group show will become a twice yearly event on Vyner Street, happening in June and November. This is an exciting addition to  the  Matt Roberts Gallery annual  Salon exhibitions, consisting of a mixed media show, (painting, sculpture, installation and any 2-D media) as well as the two additional  salon prizes, which specialise in photography and video.

The salon shows and now ‘ALAS‘ are great platforms for contemporary artists to gain valuable exposure of the work and forge new links with other practitioners, galleries and art collectors in London. I spoke to Matt Roberts that evening about his idea behind the  current show. He seems to  have a real understanding and commitment in supporting artists  to  develop their career as successful practitioners.  I really liked his idea of getting artists to work collaboratively in the gallery environment prior to the exhibition, sharing and discussing their development to make a cohesive show. An artist tends to have an isolated lifestyle, so the making of ALAS was a return to the college atmosphere, where peer assessment could be implemented to support the making process, as opposed to merely commenting on finished work.  In addition, each Saturday, a talk or visit was arranged where artists would meet different organisations in the art world to gather contacts and advice.

“After five years of providing artists’ professional development support Matt Roberts has launched ALAS, as a means of sharing knowledge about ways in which artists can gain exhibition experience and exposure for their practice. The ALAS professional development residency consists of over 100 hours of lectures and one-to-one tuition from our team and guest lecturers over a five week period. Successful applicants will be asked to bring 1-2 works in progress which will be completed in our studio facilities and exhibited at the Matt Roberts Arts gallery spaces.”

Exhibiting artists are:

Catrine Bodum, David Chalkley, Hannah Futers, Caro Halford, Kirsty Harris, Karolina Magnusson-Murray, Susie Mendelsson, Hana Melley, Julia Miranda, Moorland Productions, Laurie Nouchka, Araba Ocran, Jane Oldfield, Charley Peters, Paul Stanley, Susanna Thornton, Ventiko, Jemma Watts, Sarah West

Here is a small selection of images from the group exhibition.

Paul Stanley
“Lying awake in my bed as a child I listened to the trains going by on the track that ran behind our street, hoping to make sense out of the white noise of a world that extended endlessly beyond my understanding.”

Paul Stanley
“Through my more recent ‘Pulling at Threads’ series I have been looking closely at how we develop relationships with the images that are personal to us; for example how we understand our own image captured at a point in time such as childhood.”


Jemma Watts “My current work is concerned with the psychogeography of cities, exploring the idea of the sacred and mystical in the modern world, and specifically urban environments. It seems to me that something that is shaped by the will of so many human minds over hundreds of years must have a higher significance.”

Jemma Watts

Black and white photo from the exhibition of Jemma Watts drawings on paper

Julia Miranda


Hannah Futers
My work flows between drawing, painting, photography and constructing sets. These all feed into one another, and are concerned with surface and texture, creating and documenting landscapes, and using time as a medium.

The image above shows a photo of a film by Hannah Futers, except you can not see anything. Her film was in an enclosed space at the entrance of the gallery. In reality, the film is so delicate and faint, you can barely make out  the footage of shimmering of light. I could not capture it properly to illustrate Hannah Futer’s work, but it was so interesting I wanted to mention it in more detail. A visitor was telling her friend about it, so I listened in. She had recorded the flickering colours of light, reflected on the shiny surface of a gallery floor. At first, the film was  abstract and unidentifiable, then a gallery visitor’s feet cross over the reflection. It was subtle, a sublime light, a trace of something, then reality hits you. It feels like the gallery visitor is breaking the silence or the beauty of the piece. It feels destructive and intrusive, except this recording is just an unintentional  by-product of an artwork. Futer’s work seems to play with the idea of authorship, capturing interest in the peripheral areas of an artwork, that the original artist has no control or claim over. Is it now hers for the taking?


An artwork by Kirsty Harris on small sanded down oak panel. The detail in phenomenal. She uses a 10x 0 brush to get  some of these lines, which I never knew existed! Her oil paintings are created using traditional miniature painting techniques and show a contemporary and comical take of paintings from history. They remain faceless, so that the work refers to compositional elements as opposed to making an identifiable portrait of someone. 

David Chalkley- a photo I took of his work in the gallery with  a visitor looking at it- seemingly impressed.


David Chalkley- Creating the piece for the ALAS show
“With this piece I am exploring how time acts upon objects. The objects were mass-produced from identical moulds but time has afforded them different histories. Only when viewing these items as a collection of individuals do the effects”

Araba Ocran- My work has evolved from an exploration of monumentalism. Monumental sculptures are traditionally permanent objects which denote a deed or a person worthy of record; a memorial, celebrated in sculpture and painting. 
My work aims to challenge this concept by my choice of sculptural medium and subject matter

Catrine Bodum- extract taken from her statement- In 2009, during her MA in London Catrine Bodum found her influence in the music of Steve Reich and the Poems of Robert Lax. Bodum felt that there was a dialogue in their work that she could continue into her own work. They worked as a springboard into new ways of building up her compositions. Catrine Bodum has since moved on from working directly in reference to their work.

This is a detail from Catrine Bodum’s work. The painting was made of two parts and this photo shows just the right hand side of the artwork.

Susie Mendelsson
Much of my work is motivated by an exploration of personal memories and the expression of psychological states of trauma and anxiety. Though the sources of my imagery are often autobiographical, my work communicates universal concerns and emotions, especially from a woman’s perspective.

Sarah West
I systematically scavenge the vast array of imagery within magazines and newspapers; consuming, analysing and reacting to chance shots of unpredictable subject and composition.

Detail from Sarah West’s painting.

I really enjoyed the exhibition and you could see that a good  friendship between the artists  had also been created at the opening event. The artists came from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, experiences and disciplines. The exhibition runs until the 7th July so go check it out. More info can be found here.

http://www.mattroberts.org.uk/

http://exhibitionarchives.wordpress.com/artists-exhibiting/

http://exhibitionarchives.wordpress.com/salon-art-prize-2012/

PANDAMONIUM- SIGNAL GALLERY

Signal Gallery, 32 Paul Street, London EC2A 4LB
Opening Times: Tues-Sat 12-6 pm, and by appointment
This exhibition has finished but it was good. I thought the best word to describe the exhibition is tasty, as it was full of riotous colour and texture, mediums and surfaces. The work spanned fine art to graphics, illustration to street art. This is a very cool gallery space with an fun appreciation of eclectic styles. I already have the next show in my diary.

About Signal GallerySignal Gallery was founded in 2007 with the primary aim to promote strong contemporary painting, with a particular emphasis on figurative work. We have developed an interest in all forms of artworks that meet these aims and have discovered a rich and fertile vein of creative talent in a number of creative areas.We now have a number of urban/street artists on our books as well as artists from more traditional art college, illustration and design backgrounds.For us at Signal, the primary focus for our exhibitions is to find artwork that we consider to be exciting and then have fun pushing the boundaries. As a young gallery we feel we can offer a valuable service by introducing our buyers to stimulating new artistic talent, as well as continuing to represent our more familiar established artists.

 

ANNA CAMNER- Dust, Dirt and Dingy Weeds

There is an amazing artist on display at Faggionato Fine Art Gallery. Her name is Anna Camner. She was born in 1977 in Stockholm, Sweden.The exhibition runs:

June 8 – July 5, 2012
Her website is:
where you can see more of her work.
I have taken a few shots and close ups from the exhibition. The art work is  small in size and is painted upon a black primed board.

 

Chris Agnew -The Pomp of Circumstances

Chris Agnew exhibition at Nancy Victor Gallery

On Thursday, I  headed over to the preview of Chris Agnew’s exhibition, held at  ‘Nancy Victor Gallery’ in Charlotte Street, London. (The nearest tube is Goodge Street) I had seen Agnew’s work previously but in a low lit space in Vyner Street. This time, I had a chance to see the intricate detail of his work in the daylight.

 Currently he is residing in Romania where his most recent work has been developed. This  piece also in the exhibition, is an earlier work and is created using resin. Chris explained how this material was tricky to source in Romania, so instead he began to use gessoed boards traditionally used for iconography painting.

 

The following work  is created on these iconography boards, using etching tools to scratch into its surface. Then he works over the surface with oil paint and sand paper to bring out  different tonal areas.

Agnew explores folklore and local legends surrounding a particular place. He described how this mountain depicted, is  believed to be the the site of Noah’s Ark. Because sites such as this, are in far flung places through out the world, Agnew will gather relevant information from the internet, from which to make studies from.

 Societies throughout the world build significance to places, structures and natural landscapes. These places can  evoke both awe and reflection and a sense of a shared communial history. At the same time,  seedy undercurrents of exploitation may be even physical violence, are also drawn to these sites. In Agnew’s work, because they are so beautifully and delicately rendered, they capture an expression of purity and calmness. This sense of reverie is enhanced by the artwork acting as an empty stage, devoid of characters, where the viewer can re- imagine such mythologies.

By creating the ‘actual scene’ in paint, the stories seem completely real and believable, more so than seeing a photograph of the same mountain. Symbols of triangles and stars add to the religious and spiritual associations.

 This painting is about the village of Darvaza, where  Russian geologists  found an underground chamber whilst drilling for gas. The drilling rig collapsed to leave a giant gas filled crater, which was then lit in order to burn off the posionous fumes. However, it is still burning after almost forty years as the supply of gas in the crater is so huge. The place is now accidentally famous as a  ‘gate to hell,’ and a modern day myth has been created.

I absolutely love Chris Agnew’s etched paintings. They are exquisitely beautiful and so perfectly rendered. There is more work to see at the exhibition, such as pencil drawings created using sanded down mechanical pencils, which show almost impossible detail. As a person, he is charming to meet, intelligent and thoughtful about his work both in subject matter and execution. This show is definitely worth checking out. It is open until  6th July 2012

Information from Nancy Victor Website below.

“The Pomp of Circumstances presents a series of works that operate on the understanding that belief systems – be they philosophical, ideological or religious – are largely based on a labyrinth of accidents, mistranslations, pseudo-scientific reasoning and dogmatic entrapment.

In his first solo show at Nancy Victor, Agnew employs the tools of polemical hindsight and sceptical foresight. The drawings and etched panels present us with a variety of curious scenarios including London’s new skyscraper the Shard frozen in Friedrich’s Sea of Ice and the USA’s Pentagon imagined in the form of a Roman dodecahedron – a small hollow object found at various sites around Europe which no-one has ever definitively concluded the purpose of. With multiple references to apocalyptic prophecies and absurd theories, the exhibition pays homage to these seemingly inconsequential components of civilization and insists that they are of paramount importance to a freethinking society.

The complexity of the works themselves plays a crucial role in their narrative; one gets the impression that every detail is essential to the perception and understanding of the whole. The pencil drawings seek to lay all the evidence on the table; every window, brick and garbage chute is presented for the scrutiny of the observer. The idiosyncratic nature of the etched panels consisting of etchings on primed wood, over which oil paint is layered – appears to be a necessary product of the marriage between a resonance of the traditional etching process and the artist’s insistence on the originality of the object.

There is a preoccupation with teleological discourse in the series, in that the subject of each image appears to exist for the sake of a particular end. Even the colourful geometrical forms that intrude upon various scenes, seek to remind us that though the garden may be beautiful, there will always be those that try to ascribe some logic and order to the fairies at the bottom.”

Chris Agnew gained a BA degree in Contemporary Art Practice at The University of Leeds (2008) and a Masters degree in Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art (2010). His work has been short-listed for the Jerwood Drawing Prize (2009 and 2010), The Clifford Chance Post-Graduate Printmaking Prize (2010) and Saatchi’s New Sensations (2010).

Private View: Thursday 7th June, 6-8pmShow: Friday 8th June – Friday 6th July Monday to Friday 10am – 6pm Saturdays 12pm – 5pm