Posts Tagged ‘2011’

Dan Hays

Exhibition Launch: Wed 7 Dec 6-8.30pm All Welcome

We have become habituated to the screen’s presence, not just in the cinema or living room, but on mobile telephones, advertising hoardings and computer interfaces. It has colonised the art gallery, its increasingly high definition and contrast ratio blinding the viewer to its mediating presence. And what about the genre of landscape today, beyond the latest BBC wildlife spectacular, computer simulated Hollywood blockbuster, video game, or Google Earth?

The hi-tech screen threatens to mask an elemental experience of the world with a transparent optical illusion, a virtual window replacing multi-sensory and visceral encounters. Other forms of representation present material and tactile surfaces that offer the viewer flawed equivalents to the vagaries of human perception. For example, the simple anomaly of the photographed sun having the luminosity of white paper; the swirling meteorology of film grain, analogue video, or digital image compression; or the agglomeration, stratification and erosion of paint on canvas over time.

Using low-resolution images of landscape gleaned from the Internet as his starting point, Dan Hays constructs paintings that question the technology-driven obsession with high definition optical verisimilitude, and the passive observer this configures. Connections to the history of landscape painting, between the classical and the sublime, or Impressionism and Symbolism, are not explicit. More, they are shown to be a latent quality of any fugitive frame of YouTube video or crudely positioned ski-resort or traffic webcam. These images tend towards abstraction through disintegration, suggesting a broader sense of longing for something lost.

Hays’ paintings present a paradoxical visual realm where immaterial pixel and physical brushstroke coalesce. The digital screen’s icy crystalline matrix, seamless deliverer of watery flows of information, is rendered by pigmented oily mud on a weave of fabric.

Screen as Landscape is a Research Statement Exhibition forming part of Dan Hays’ Fine Art PhD thesis with the Contemporary Art Research Centre, Kingston University, to be completed in early 2012. Since graduating from Goldsmiths College in 1990, he has exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally. He was the winner of the John Moores prize for Painting in 1997.


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Andy Holden

Andy Holden’s work incorporates a wide variety of media and forms of presentation, from plaster, bronze and ceramic objects, to music, performance and large outdoor sculpture.  Recent exhibitions include Pyramid Piece and Return of the Pyramid Piece  for Art Now at Tate Britain and Chewy Cosmos Thingly Time at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge. He curated Be Glad For the Song Has No End – A Festival of Artists’ Music at Wysing Arts Centre in 2010.

For his Stanley Picker Fellowship Holden developed the exhibition  Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape,  an elaboration in space of the ideas presented in the lecture of the same name. In the lecture staged by  Andy Holden  together with curator Tyler Woolcott, the pair put forward an idea that we can use the laws of physics as they appear in cartoons to help us devise a possible way of understanding the landscape “after the end of art history…a landscape where it seems like anything might be possible, but not everything is, there are rules that begin to emerge as we make observations”. The  Laws of Motion in Cartoon Landscape Lecture was restaged at Swedenborg House, Bloombsbury, in January 2013 to accompany the Stanley Picker Gallery exhibition.

In parallel, Holden continued to develop work that focussed on a key moment in his evolution as an artist; his involvement with the art movement known as MI!MS (Maximum Irony! Maximum Sincerity), which took place in his home town of Bedford in the first few years on the 21st Century.  The movement posited a coupling of Irony and Sincerity, the extreme points of the two poles operating together simultaneously. As it’s manifesto stated: “MI!MS is about the willingness to be lied to and the will to believe!”. As an integrated part of this project, concluding his Stanley Picker Fellowship, Holden staged The Music of Mims with Grubby Mitts band member and the chamber orchestra and children’s choir from Tiffin School, Kingston, recordings of the live event forming part of a subsequent exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection, London in Autumn 2013.

A documentary, commissioned by the Royal College of Art MA Curating students for Resonance 104.4FM, gives a good introduction into the intentions and activities of MI!MS through a series of reflections by many of the original members.

Marloes ten Bhömer

Marloes ten Bhömer’s work consistently aims to challenge generic typologies of women’s shoes through experiments with non-traditional technologies and material techniques. By reinventing the process by which footwear is made, the resulting shoes serve as unique examples of new aesthetic and structural possibilities, while also serving to criticise the conventional status of women’s shoes as cultural objects.

Her research into technology, materials, feet and footwear has resulted in a variety of experimental and conceptual pieces, some of which have been developed into technically sound (wearable) shoes, others which are produced solely as sculptural works. The existence of both directions within her practice generates a layer to the work that comments on the perception of functionality, commerce and production in a larger system. The context within which they sit (in galleries, museums, or in boutiques) challenges the audiences’ preconceptions about the shoe.

Her work is published and exhibited internationally, notably in the Krannert Art Museum in Illinois, Modemuseum in Hasselt, Galerie Lucy Mackintosh Switzerland, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Design Museum Holon, Israel, Spring Projects Gallery in London and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Ten Bhömer was nominated for the Jerwood Contemporary Makers 2010 and the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year 2009 at the Design Museum London”¨and she has been awarded the Creative Pioneer Programme, Nesta Award, the Crafts Council Development Award”¨and the Startstipendium Fonds BKVB.


Recommended Reading:

*Available to view at the Stanley Picker Gallery during the exhibition

*Beukers, Adriaan and Van Hinte, Ed, Lightness: The Inevitable Renaissance of Minimum Energy Structures. 1951-1998 ISBN-13: 978-9064505607
Gordon, James Edward, Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down. 1978* ISBN-13: 978-0306812835
Hans, Annette, Karla Black: It’s Proof That Counts. 2010 ISBN-13: 978-3037640845
*Kirkham, Pat, The Gendered Object. 1996 ISBN-13: 978-0719044755
*Lima, Manuel Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information 2011 ISBN-13: 978-1568989365
Menges, Achim, Material Computation: Higher Integration in Morphogenetic Design Architectural Design 2012 ISBN-13: 978-0470973301
*Quinn, Bradley, The Fashion of Architecture 2003 ISBN-13: 978-1408110584
*Reas, Chandler Casey Form+Code in Design, Art, and Architecture 2010 ISBN-13: 978-1568989372
*Salvadori, Mario, Why Buildings Stand Up: Strength of Architecture from the Pyramids to the Skyscraper 1990 ISBN-13: 978-0393306767
*Scott, Linda M, Fresh Lipstick: Redressing Fashion and Feminism 2006 ISBN-13: 978-1403966865
Spector, Nancy and Taylor, Mark C, All in the Present Must Be Transformed: Matthew Barney and Joseph Beuys 1945-2007* ISBN-13: 978-0892073559
Van Hinte, Ed, First Read This: Systems Engineering in Practice 2007 ISBN-13: 978-9064506437
Wosk, Julie, Women and the Machine: Representations from the Spinning Wheel to the Electronic Age 2001 ISBN-13: 978-0801873133

Martin Westwood

For a number of years Martin Westwood’s work has focused upon reinterpretations of the histories and technologies of print in relation to his practice as a sculptor. Westwood’s interest in renegotiating or toying with the mechanisations inherent in print have gone hand in hand with a fascination with the politics of finance and early money, and the realization of it as an initiating form of print and mass-produced object, through the first stamping of coins.

Following an Abbey Fellowship at The British School at Rome researching the origins of money and currency, the context for his work expanded from the recent past of political-economy towards a wider historical perspective concerning the theoretical and formal implications of economy and exchange. Westwood began to experiment with the development of extruded physical forms as a three dimensional manifestation of print; exploring a rudimentary notion of print as the organisation of formless, inchoate material by ideal, master profiles.

A residency at the European Ceramics Work Centre (EKWC) in Holland and further extensive research as part of his Stanley Picker Fellowship, working within the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture’s specialist ceramic workshop facilities at Kingston University, resulted in the production of new large-scale ceramic works.

These Hands Are Models presents the resulting sculptural forms as considerations of quantification and sculptural duration, measurement and the totem, in an unraveling dialogue within the gallery environment. The new ceramic pieces are presented on customised plinths of stacked walnut-veneered box-section, perforated steel sheeting and smoked glass that assimilate the visual vernaculars and architectures of high-finance and corporate culture. The resulting works sit somewhere between the factory-floor aspirations of mechanization, production and contingent repetition, and the fetishised, conspicuous-consumption of the executive environment.

You can download the accompanying publication, designed by Fraser Muggeridge Studio, with commissioned text by Steven Claydon. The 49-page pdf should ideally be printed in full-colour on A4 paper (with the front and back cover on a different colour paper or card) and comb-bound, as illustrated. The special signed edition of the publication is now sold out.

These Hands Are Models is supported by the Henry Moore Foundation and includes work made in the European Ceramic Work Centre.

Martin Westwood is Stanley Picker Fellow Fine Art at the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture, Kingston University, and is represented by The Approach, London. Recent exhibitions include: Der Menschen Klee, Kunst Im Tunnel, Dusseldorf (2011); Acute Melancholia, Studio 44, Stockholm, Sweden (2010); Comma13 (Hysteresis), Bloomberg Space (2009); Silt Inter Lace, Approach W1 (2008); Prospects and Interiors: Recent Acquisitions of Sculptors’ Drawings, The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, 2008; Martin Westwood, The Approach (2007); Art Basel Statements (2006); fade held Art Now, Tate Britain (2005).

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Ab Rogers Design

“My name is Ernesto Bones and I write to you with a very serious problem only you can help fix. You see, though I am writing to you now, I do not yet truly exist…”

So began the letter sent by Ab Rogers Design (ARD) to 24 different creative protagonists from a range of disciplines, asking each to contribute a short narrative which would combine to bring Ernesto Bones to life.

In a unique game of Consequences, each of the invited contributors provided up to 400 words of text describing one hour of Ernesto Bones’s existence. As the project unfolded, a continuous narrative emerged. The character, and the process by which he came about, is presented in ARD’s new Stanley Picker Fellowship exhibition.

A Day in the Life of Ernesto Bones includes 24 written contributions (in sequential order) from: Sara Fanelli; Heston Blumenthal; Tom Scott; Monica Narula; Jane Nisselson; Ben Kelly; Deyan Sudjic; Michael Elias; David Tanguy; Adrian Searle; Charlotte Cullinan; Miranda Carter; Shelley Fox; Lesley Bunch; Fergus Henderson; Helena Reckitt; Jane Withers; Simon Ofield-Kerr; Aric Chen; Daniel Hunt; Susan Cohn; Andrea Branzi; Michael Connor and John Hegarty.

ARD’s idea for their Stanley Picker Fellowship was inspired by the rules of ‘Exquisite Corpse’, a Surrealist game in which a series of collaborators adds in turn to a drawing or story, so that an unexpected composition emerges from the many continuous fragments. For the tale of Ernesto Bones, each contributor was asked to write a short text describing one hour in a 24 hour period. Each received the last two lines of the previous hour’s text and an image of an object representing one of Bones’s possessions. The objects were selected from the extraordinary collection of vintage domestic items and design pieces at the Stanley Picker House in Kingston upon Thames.

As Ab Rogers explains:

Storytelling has always been central to my practice – in many ways it is the creative starting point to all of my studio’s work. We use stories as a tool to communicate our ideas to each other, to our clients and to the end user. For this Fellowship we wanted to take this concept further – not merely to tell a story about our design for the project, but to make the story the design itself.”

For the exhibition, ARD has adapted the 24 written accounts into a narrative installation comprising object-scenarios, rhythmic narrative sequences and vibrant storyboards. The exhibition is produced in collaboration with students from Kingston University’s MA Curating Contemporary Design and BA Interior Design courses.

Ab Rogers Design is an established London design studio that looks for extraordinary experiences in ordinary objects and environments. Creative director Ab Rogers has a signature style defined by playfulness, colour and motion and his practice embraces new materials and technologies in its commitment to making everyday life a place of surprise and delight.

The team at ARD offers a wide range of skills, with ten full-time designers ranging in discipline from architecture and interior design to exhibition and communications design. The practice has built up a network of regular collaborators which includes interactive specialists, lighting designers, joiners, fibreglass specialists and more.

ARD has worked with major institutions including the National Museum of Science and Industry, Tate Modern and the Design Museum in London, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and the Caixa Forum in Barcelona and Madrid. Current projects include a permanent exhibition for the Science Museum, London, and temporary exhibitions at the Tate Modern. Commercial clients include Pizza Express, Little Chef and Condé Nast.

A Day in the Life of Ernesto Bones was produced for ARD’s Stanley Picker Fellowship in Design. The exhibition toured to Beijing Design Week 2011 as part of a special British Council funded programme celebrating London as the Festival’s first ever partner-city.

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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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