Posts Tagged ‘2010’

Becky Beasley

There is an undeniable irony in dropping dead while digging a hole in the ground. Over the course of more than a year, artist Becky Beasley visited Kingston Museum archives to research some of the many ambiguities in Victorian photographic pioneer Eadweard Muybridge’s life story. The resulting exhibition reflects upon the end of Muybridge’s life in Kingston upon Thames, after his epic experiences in the American West.

Beasley was particularly drawn to references by biographers that, at the time of his death, Muybridge was said to be variously drawing, planning, digging or constructing a scale model of the American Great Lakes in his back garden in Kingston; a story befitting the image of Muybridge as a man of eccentric nature who, even in retirement, instilled the genteel pursuit of gardening with visionary gusto. In the course of her search for the source of the story, the artist arranged to visit the privately owned garden in Liverpool Road, Kingston. Once there, she undertook a photographic panorama of the domestic space as she found it, directly referencing both the technique and format of Muybridge’s own ambitious 1878 panorama of San Franscisco; a rare copy of which is held at Kingston Museum.

The new panorama of Muybridge’s garden is displayed as individual colour postcards on a revolving unit normally used for selling holiday souvenirs. Her document of the garden is presented in this way as a series of removable fragments, viewed by manually rotating the apparatus; inversely emulating the operation of her camera as it recorded the images presented.

Exploring the epic and domestic dimensions of the Muybridge garden myth, a silhouette of the American Great Lakes is laid into the floor of the gallery. Cut from linoleum – invented in 1855 by fellow Victorian Frederick Walton in nearby Staines – the gallery floor becomes a graphic representation and minimal re-enactment of the garden as Muybridge might have conceived it, as well as a vast visual landscape mapping the geography of the exhibition space. Completing the exhibition is a series of large, gelatin-silver prints of black, tabular objects. The linoleum floor templates were re-scaled here to design the metal tabletops. The objects were each rotated in front of a camera to produce distinct views. The aerial view that dominates the linoleum floor is gradually turned into an oblique vision from elsewhere; the decorative shapes calling to mind floral motives, smoke or islands.

Beasley’s visits to the Museum archives and to Muybridge’s garden have fuelled a narrative fantasy about his last sculptural project, allowing her to pair a fiction about him – his gardening project and his death – with a meditation on photography itself. The biographical tale and the reflection on the medium unfold as parallel stories, overlapping not only on a symbolic level, but also through analogies between technical manipulations, such as scale and projection, wetness and photography, the figure and the ground.

The combined elements of Beasley’s exhibition act as a form of eulogy or memorial to Muybridge the man, to his phenomenal career and to the myth of his final great project; the date of his death signifying, in the exhibition title, both the end of his life’s adventures, and the moment his private collection first became public property through his bequest to the town in which he was originally born.

Eadweard Muybridge (Kingston upon Thames 1830-1904) was one of the World’s most innovative photographic pioneers, whose studies of humans and animals in motion played a critical role in the history of photography and the moving image. Muybridge in Kingston is an exciting partnership between Kingston University and the Royal Borough of Kingston that is celebrating and investigating the Kingston Museum Muybridge Bequest. As part of a special programme of exhibitions and events accompanying the first major UK retrospective of Muybridge’s career at Tate Britain, the Stanley Picker Gallery is celebrating his achievements through the eyes of two contemporary artists, Trevor Appleson and Becky Beasley, providing us with 21st Century perspectives on the Museum’s world-class collection.

Becky Beasley is represented by Laura Bartlett Gallery, London and Office Baroque Gallery, Antwerp. Short-listed for the Max Mara Art Prize for Women 2009-11, her work is currently showcased in British Art Show 7. Beasley’s performance lecture in collaboration with the writer Chris Sharp, entitled 13 Pieces, 17 Feet and inspired by Muybridge’s 1878 Panorama of San Francisco, formed part of the events programme of the 10th Serpentine Gallery Summer Pavilion, leading up to her current commission for Muybridge in Kingston.

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Matthew Darbyshire

Matthew Darbyshire’s interests lies in the study and re-presentation of contemporary design that everywhere dominates both public and private spaces.

His assembled objects, gathered from affordable brand-name goods, try to explain why we find these intensely coloured things so appealing and contemporary, and why we use them to project an image of ourselves. His installations are a palette of glowing colours that are familiar to anyone who has visited an arts centre, a retail outlet, or almost any commercial space, reminding us constantly of how our experience of space is subtly manipulated.

Darbyshire’s project as part of Everything Everywhere at Frieze Art Fair 2010, was a re-design of the ticket tent to simulate the feel and design of a popular mobile phone concept store, drawing attention to the general threat such sterile, corporately colonized and non-specific design solutions pose to our culture at large. It was a project intended to question our willingness to surrender our autonomy, within the arts and elsewhere, and for whose benefit are these one-size-fits-all, blandly consensual measures? Darbyshire’s ticketing experience, a flexible design “kit-of-parts”, examined how an audience with varying levels of familiarity with public, domestic and commercial design would react to the displaced yet generic design conventions employed within the structure.

For his Stanley Picker Fellowship, in place of a conventional exhibition, Darbyshire  will be creating a new work for the Gallery that will critically intervene in the design and delivery of the venue’s upcoming capital development programme in 2012.

In 2011 Darbyshire was selected for the 7th edition of the British Art Show, and in early 2012 staged his most ambitious solo exhibition to date at Tramway Glasgow.  Previous exhibitions include Funhouse, Hayward Project Space, London, 2009, curated by Tom Morton; Furniture Islands, Outpost, Norwich, 2009; Nought to Sixty, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. 2008; Blades House, Gasworks, London, 2008.  Matthew Darbyshire is represented by Herald Street, London.

Matthew Darbyshire The Occupants: Contemporary Perspectives on the Picker House 5 October – 24 November 2012

Daniel Eatock

Daniel Eatock’s career has been defined by a series of high-profile commercial design jobs, together with a vast body of ‘self-instigated’ work, that manifest themselves on multiple, often participatory, platforms including his own website as well as  print, exhibitions and performative activity as part of his day-to-day existence.

Eatock has been preparing an exhibition of new material produced during the period of his Stanley Picker Fellowship. The dates, availability of the space and a preliminary budget for the show were all factors agreed in principle with the Gallery, but the remaining decisions – the curatorial premise, potential themes and title, the works to be selected, how and who will be involved in staging the exhibition, and the ways in which the show will reach potential audiences – were all to be made at the time of writing the text for this page.

Starting October 2011, fortnightly meetings between Daniel and Gallery Director David Falkner have taken place to decide upon these and other matters relating to the exhibition development and delivery.  Students and other individuals have been invited to participate in these meetings and others to observe the evolution of the show; making the decision-making process itself the subject of a programme of semi-public events leading up to the final exhibition.

Trevor Appleson

Eadweard Muybridge (Kingston upon Thames 1830-1904) was one of the World’s most innovative photographic pioneers, whose studies of humans and animals in motion played a critical role in the history of photography and the moving image. Muybridge in Kingston is an exciting partnership between Kingston University and the Royal Borough of Kingston that is celebrating and investigating the Kingston Museum Muybridge Bequest. As part of a special programme of exhibitions and events accompanying the first major UK retrospective of Muybridge’s career at Tate Britain, the Stanley Picker Gallery is celebrating his achievements through the eyes of two contemporary artists, Trevor Appleson and Becky Beasley, providing us with 21st Century perspectives on the Museum’s world-class collection.

Trevor Appleson’s ambitious new film and sound installation Dance of Ordinariness, was inspired by Eadweard Muybridge’s famous collotype sequences of human figures in motion. The work was developed through a residency undertaken by the artist at The London Contemporary Dance School, where he invited dancers to reinterpret actions that relate, directly and indirectly, to the various visual narratives that Muybridge himself built into his original motion studies. The resulting film-installation is an absorbing work that combines incidental gesture and choreographed movement to explore the interrelationships between performer and observer, author and human subject.

Although Appleson’s work to date may have informally echoed aspects of Muybridge’s iconic practice – documenting momentary actions and dramatic incidents in semi-staged environments – the artist acknowledges that the opportunity to make work in direct response to the Kingston collection both focused his awareness of these existing parallels, whilst breaking open the possibilities for him to work for the very first time with moving image:

“Looking at Muybridge’s work I was struck by the dramatic devices he employed, the miniature narratives he was telling through the collotypes. Pre-cinema, this must have seemed so radical to audiences…telling stories through sequences of images, taken fractions of a second apart. I started considering the ways in which this might function within my own work, and began to think about introducing a kind of simple choreography of the everyday…”

Trevor Appleson is a self-taught photographer represented by Hales Gallery London. He has recently held solo shows at Hales Gallery and The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and been previously commissioned by The Jerwood Foundation, London. His books ‘Los Loss’ (2008) and ‘Free Ground’ are published by Booth-Clibborn Editions.

An accompanying display of previous work by Trevor Appleson  was currently exhibited at The Rose Theatre, Kingston during the exhibition.

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Julia Lohmann

Julia Lohmann has established a strong reputation for her highly imaginative approach to sustainable product design, through exploring the creative possibilities and materiality of natural and renewable sources.

Lohmann’s designs provoke us to consider the processes that normally go unmentioned between the life of an animal, plant or mineral and the point at which it is made into a design object: whole cow-hides reconstructed into benches that imitate the original form of the reclining animal;chandeliers made of dried sheep stomachs; jewellery and other precious objects made of polished bones salvaged from the banks of the river Thames or decorated with growing colonies of marine bryozoans.

For her Stanley Picker Fellowship,  Lohmann has been exploring the luminosity, colour and structural strength of kelp as a natural alternative to both man-made plastics and endangered woods. Explaining her fascination with the  material, she says:

“Planted around a fish farm, a kelp forest acts as a natural filter, cleaning the water it inhabits. Collapsing fish stocks have left many fishing communities without hope for the future. Translucent, sustainable and strong, kelp is a magnificent material that has not yet been fully explored. Could kelp farming grow into a viable alternative industry?”

Taking samples of seaweed from around the world, including Iceland, Ireland and Japan, the harvested material is re-hydrated and shaped by stretching and pressing. Exploring the way each specimen creates its own distinct surfaces and textures, Lohmann has discovered some surprisingly innovative and alluring new design applications for this most abundant yet under-exploited of natural materials.

Louder Than Bombs – Art, Action & Activism

7 Weeks, 7 Residencies, 7 Ways to Activate Change
In collaboration with the Live Art Development Agency

Art that cannot shape society and therefore also cannot penetrate the heart questions of society, [and] in the end influence the question of capital, is no art.” Joseph Beuys 1985

Over the course of seven weeks, the Stanley Picker Gallery handed over its entire exhibition space to host a series of week-long Live Art residencies. Co-curated with the Live Art Development Agency, London, through an open call for proposals, “Louder than Bombs”: Art, Action & Activism was an ambitious programme of public workshops and live events that focussed on challenging social, political and global issues of the day, addressed through the seven invited artist/activist’s individual working practices and the Gallery audience’s direct participation and responding involvement.

Its title borrowed from a compilation album by iconic anti-establishment beaus The Smiths (in turn borrowed from Elizabeth Smart’s extended prose poem By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept), “Louder than Bombs”: Art, Action & Activism addressed the highly charged political possibilities of Live Art that have been taken to new levels by a new generation of politically invested artists who are blurring the boundaries between art and activism in exciting and engaging ways. “Louder than Bombs”: Art, Action & Activism was developed as an extended element of an wider collaborative research project “The Art of Intervention: The Intersections of Public and Private Memory” between Kingston University and Kyoto Seika University, Japan.

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David Austen

End of Love is a vaudeville performed at the end of the world.

The location is on the stage of a London theatre. There is no audience. There are twelve characters: a dark angel, a betrayed Cyclops, a love torn dandy, a man who has everything, an ancient moon, a pair of petty criminals on the run, a trapeze artist, a homeless man, a lonely astronaut, an imprisoned woman and an aged Jack the Giant Killer.

The film follows a series of fragmented vignettes that, though interrelated, deny any overarching narrative or  feeling of emotional closure. The characters’ monologues reveal  glimpses of  a lonely world of fear and desire, where they wait amidst crushed hopes and the impossibility of romantic truth. As the  actors each deliver their words, there is a sense that the theatre itself has become unmoored and floats untethered through time and space, the drama unfolding inside  the hold of a space ship or ancient sea-faring vessel.

Referencing theatre, literature, expanded cinema and performance, as well as the artist’s personal practice, End of Love is a poetic expression of love’s elusiveness, the non-linearity of time, and fleeting facets of personal memory.

Written and Directed by David Austen

Cast Dark Angel – Vicky McClure / Moon – Liam Smith / Dandy – Joseph Mawle / Petty Criminal Her – Mia Austen / Petty Criminal Him – David Leon / Homeless Man – Paul Anderson / Fat Man – Elliot Cowan / Nobody – Obi Abili / Trapeze Artist – Jenn Murray / Astronaut – David Austen / Prisoner of Love – Mia Austen / Jack – Richard Bremmer

Commissioned by the Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University
In association with the Rose Theatre Kingston
Produced by Partizan Films

Supported by the Stanley Picker Trust and by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

End  of Love publication designed by Fraser Muggeridge  Studio, with original script, extensive productions stills and an essay by Nigel Prince.  Published 2010 Modern Art Oxford and distributed by Cornerhouse ISBN 978 1 901352 49 8

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Martin Westwood

Over the last 10 years Martin Westwood has been making work in multiple formats. From installations to wall-mounted, framed works on paper to sculpture he has idiosyncratically explored, reconfigured and dissembled the machinery, props and imagery of a near-contemporary, bureaucratic, libidinal, administrative and commercial economy. In so doing he has placed his practice within a large network of processes and formalities. These have included repetition, error, compromise, convention and standards.

The formality of repetition has manifested itself as an interest in “printmaking via the backdoor”. For Westwood this involves and is rooted in the establishment of early currency, the stamping of coins, and moves forward to all industrial and post-industrial forms of production and organisation. Herein lies a conversation between profile and material, an organizational idea and the standing reserve of stored potential, a relation between idealism and materialism.

During his Fellowship at Kingston Westwood will utilize the multiple technical resources of the University to produce an ambitious installation work, exploring the human disposition for comparison in establishing value leading to the formation of standardized models that give birth to a reproductive economy.

Ab Rogers Design

Architect Ab Rogers heads a multi-disciplinary design practice that strives to break boundaries, combining interior design, installation, industrial design, branding and communication, by introducing colour and motion and a sense of playfulness into his characteristic style.

Ab always seeks to bring objects to life by playing with materials, function, colour and energy. In such projects as the Rainbow House his vision invests the ordinary with a sense of magic and wonder, and encourages the imagination to roam free. In his retail work, such as the Comme des Garcons store in the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore, Paris, his inspiration comes from found objects, which he brings to life by making them responsive rather than passive. His work is always a mix of the playful and serious, sensual and functional, poetic and pragmatic.

For his Stanley Picker Fellowship at Kingston University, Rogers aims to honour the extraordinary objects of the Picker House by using them to breathe life into a fictional character through the imaginations of a selected group of creative souls and the concept of ‘exquisite corpses’. He and his studio will then deconstruct the design narrative, re order the puzzle pieces and construct an installation to complete the circle of art to life to art.

David Austen

In recent years, David Austen’s work has extended from the worlds of painting, drawing and sculpture into that of film. For his Stanley Picker Fellowship, Austen will be creating an ambitious new film work – “a musical without music, performed at the end of the world” – entitled End of Love. The film continues themes explored in two previous films Smoking Moon, exhibited at Camden Art Centre 2007, and Crackers commissioned for his solo show at Milton Keynes Gallery.