Posts Tagged ‘keep’

Obituary: Brian McCann Artist, Educator & Stanley Picker Fellow

A Passionate & Inspiring Individual
Stanley Picker Fellow 1983

It is with deep sadness that we hear of the passing of Stanley Picker Fellow Brian McCann on Monday 3 March 2014.  Our thoughts are with his family, close friends and colleagues.

Commissioned for the opening of the Stanley Picker Gallery in 1997, the artist’s bronze sculpture Recognition  (above), based upon the his own finger print, has been adorned with floral tributes from the staff he worked with and the students he taught here at the University. The artwork now stands in the Stanley Picker Gallery grounds as a fitting memorial to a passionate and inspiring individual.

Brian McCann studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art Dundee, graduating with a BA honours in Sculpture. He went on to post graduate study at the Royal College of Art in London where he received an MA in Sculpture. After completing a Stanley Picker Fellowship here at Kingston University he was awarded a two-year Prix de Rome Scholarship in Sculpture at the British School in Rome. Brian was the first Tate Gallery Liverpool Momart Fellow. He exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions, nationally and internationally. Brian McCann was Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Kingston University, London and a regular visiting lecturer to the Royal Academy Schools and Royal College of Art Sculpture School in London.

Louis Nixon, Head of the School of Fine Art, paid tribute to him with the folowing:

“It is with great sadness that we receive the news of the death of Brian McCann.  After a serious illness Brian passed away at home with his family. Many who knew Brian will appreciate the void his passing will leave in both the Faculty and the School.  After more than 20 years of working in the School of Fine Art, his contribution to its development and success was enormous and he will be very greatly missed by all the staff and students who knew him and benefited so much from his considerable knowledge, companionship and good humour.

Brian was hugely respected and liked by everyone, and the commitment and courage he showed during the last few months of his life was exemplary. Brian continued to teach and make art until the very end. Last week his recent work was included in the exhibition  Figuring  at the Royal Society of British Sculptors and I’m sure this is how he would like to be remembered, as both a great artist and educator.”


El Ultimo Grito & POI: London Design Festival at the V&A

For the London Design Festival 2014, Stanley Picker Gallery is launching a new web-resource promoting experimental models of design education across the globe.

The Internet has an insatiable capacity to disseminate new knowledge far beyond the realms of traditional academia, making a previously unimaginable wealth of expertise readily available to all. Group-based learning, making through physical interaction and practical collaboration play fundamental roles within design development, but such activity is threatened within a formal education sector affected by social, technological, geographic, economic and cultural changes impacting its future. Pilots seeks to identify the questions that are to be addressed in order to adapt and respond to this radically changing environment and to provide the next models of design education.

Pilots: Navigating Next Models of Design Education  was a programme of experimental participatory workshops, curated with El Ultimo Grito, addressing the impact of the internet on studio-based design education. Involving a host of participating education experts, designers, artists, academics and students, the initial Pilots sessions took place at the Stanley Picker Gallery throughout May 2013 and were led by El Ultimo Grito with Daniel Charny, Ronen Kadushin and Matt Ward.

The new website will be launched at an event at the Victoria & Albert Museum on Monday 15 September as part of London Design Festival 2014.

Louder Than Bombs: What Difference Does It Make?

Week 7

Fighting consumer culture, climate change, authority and injustice (“wherever it hides its filthy face”) are the vacuum cleaner’s bread and butter causes; Creative Resistance, Civil Disobedience, Corporate Interventions, Pranks, Hacktivism and Subvertising, the tools of choice. But with crisis dictating the agenda there has been little time to ask “What Difference Does It Make?”

For Louder Than Bombs, the semi-notorious artist-activist presented a variety of projects, actions and battles never clearly presented or documented before for the first time. This included a gallery installation of anecdotal wall-based texts, and a series of new public interventions including a participatory workshop Work is a 4 Letter Word conducted with students and artist-activists.

For the roundtable discussion What Difference Does It Make? the vacuum cleaner invited fellow artists and activists to present and discuss work created in direct response to the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. The event, chaired by Olivia Chissel, included contributions from The Gluts and The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home who, in place of increasing their carbon-footprint, sent instructions for their contribution to be performed by the vacuum cleaner instead.

The week’s residency culminated in the performance This Civilization. Staged in collaboration with artist Franko B, the vacuum cleaner’s body was marked with the words “This Civilisation is Fucked”, the action serving as both sweeping political statement and intensely personal testimony.


Louder Than Bombs: Murder at the Wool Hall – Prick Your Finger

Week 6

Prick Your Finger is a yarn shop and textile gallery in Bethnal Green London that’s putting the rock ‘n’ roll back into textile and fashion production. Run by Rachael Matthews and Louise Harries, Prick Your Finger is concerned that British textile production has been lost to unethical manufacturing of disposable fashion.

For Louder Than Bombs, Prick Your Finger turned the gallery into a factory sweat-shop and constructed the world’s first bicycle powered wool mill, which was used to turn unwanted sheep fleeces from within the M25 into a range of seductive yarns. “We’re asking the world to listen to sensible ways of profiting from nature without exploitation.”

Visitors were given an opportunity to learn about the different stages of crafting yarn, assisting with carding and spinning different types of fleece in order to create knitwear of their own. The week at the Wool Hall included charting production line efficiency on the walls of the factory office, providing regular tea breaks to ensure worker satisfaction, and culminated in a chance for participants to clock-in some extra evening hours during Overtime at the Factory Disco.

Louder Than Bombs: When I Fell For You I Fell Like The Bomb / Sleeping With Your Enemy

Stacy Makishi & Yoshiko Shimada

Week 5

Hawaii-born artist Stacy Makishi and Japanese artist Yoshiko Shimada work independently across a wide variety of media, investigating perspectives on cultural identity, sexual politics, and personal and private memory.

Taking two previously instigated projects as their starting point, Makishi and Shimada collaborated for the very first time during Louder Than Bombs. Considering the legacies of Hiroshima and Pearl Harbour, the artists developed a live project reflecting their shared fascinations with the parallels, ironies and complex histories of political, cultural and sexual relations between Japan and the U.S.

When I Fell For You, I Fell Like the Bomb/Sleeping With Your Enemy comprised a series of participatory workshops and installations, including a sushi-rolling demonstration by Shimada exploring global perspectives on cultural hybridity and difference, and a creativity workshop by Makishi.

The residency concluded with a collaborative, ‘post-apocalyptical’ performance piece, entitled The Last Chance Cabaret, fusing music, installation and live performance.

Special thanks to Vick Ryder and Alex White

Louder Than Bombs: Present

Ansuman Biswas

Week 4

“What is there left to give? What do we share now? My gift is the present.” Ansuman Biswas

Gifts can be powerful social binders, but today aid is big business and can be a balm for post-colonial guilt and a lubricant for a post-industrial economy, where poverty and luxury have shifting definitions. Charity can be highly performative; played out in Live Aid, Red Nose Day, Children in Need, and the adoption of third-world babies by Hollywood A-listers.

Dedicated to investigating the shifting social definitions of poverty and luxury in a post-industrial economy, for his residency, Ansuman Biswas entered the gallery with nothing – no food, no water, no clothing. He remained in the space for one week, throughout which audiences were welcome to bring to him whatever they thought he might need or want. A web camera was installed in the gallery, providing a 24-hour live view of Biswas’ activities on his website.

A steady stream of visitors throughout the course of the week gifted the artist with an array of both practical and novelty items, in addition to their time, conversation and company, engaging in lively dialogue with Biswas.

The week culminated with a performance piece in which visitors were given an opportunity to collaborate in the use of everything that had been gifted to the artist, after which he symbolically shed all his possessions and left the gallery, just as he had entered, with nothing.

Sarah Kent:  Ansuman Biswas The Kindness of Strangers Phillips, de Pury Magazine (April 2010) pages 102-115

Louder Than Bombs: Napalm Perceptible – A Dictionary for the BNP

Sean Burns

Week 3

“Words are weapons. And I’m in a war!” Andrew Vachss

Racism is on the rise and made worse by the recession. We are all defined by language, yet too often our own voices are educated, socialised, classed, gendered, ethnicised, medicated or otherwise removed. Sean Burn – writer, performer and outsider artist actively involved in disability arts created a Dictionary for the BNP, by interrogating the roots of each entry of a standard English dictionary. Physically deleting all “non-indigenous” words, the artist used language as a “lightning-conductor to deconstruct the absurdities of extremist hate”.

For his residency, Sean Burn installed material throughout the gallery that dealt with issues of verbal abuse and the language of hate. Gallery visitors were invited to contribute to the exhibition by joining in conversations, and writing their reflections on identity, race and social stereotyping on the Gallery walls. The artist also conducted a live workshop and performance in collaboration with fellow artist-activists Ruby Sahota and Mike Layward.

Claiming language as a primary battlefield, the artists challenged terms of hate and abuse by employing various written, visual and performance techniques to overcome and reclaim such words, culminating in the creation of new work spanning theatre, film, spoken word, music and video.

Louder Than Bombs: The Lost Runway


Ãine Phillips

Week 2

Ãine Phillips’ The Lost Runway is a collection of specially created sculptural costumes, each dedicated to a ‘lost girl’ as a living personal monument embodying the story of her life.

The Lost Runway is an ideological space invested with beauty, desire, loss and longing. The work is a sensitive, poetic and challenging testimonial to missing persons, and the lifelong searches of their friends and families, giving public form to private memory in the service of human freedom and the right to the protection of life.

The project memorialised ‘lost girls’ from around the world in a series of specially designed costumes developed and created together with BA and MA Fashion students from the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture at the University.

Using the conventions of the fashion show format, the garments were modeled by the students and invited performance artists in a final catwalk event, that aimed to be both a fitting tribute and a public celebration of the women and girls whose personal stories were being narrated through the show.

Special thanks to Jane Talbot, Stacy Grant, Manuel Vason and all of the students and artists who generously participated in the project.

Louder Than Bombs: Honey Trap

Steven Levon Ounanian & Thomas Thwaites

Week 1

The black-market operates alongside an open economy of security products and theft insurance. It benefits the open market to hype the risks, as goods that are stolen will need to be replaced. Honey Trap is a bicycle designed to be stolen and able to record its own surroundings: relaying sound, images and other information about its subsequent whereabouts.

Making a spectacle of the crime, this sensational ‘gaze’ is certainly uncomfortable, but allows an examination of rights to surveillance and the treatment of crime in the media. Raising these fundamental concerns through the Honey Trap project, the artists posed the question: “Is our use of someone else’s misfortune, or opportunism, in our art project justified because they stole our bike?”

After customising the bicycle with mobile phone technologies, that could monitor its existence once stolen by relaying images and data back to their project headquarters at the Gallery, it was then left at various locations around the town in the hope it would attract an unsuspecting thief.

Over the course of the residency the artists held informal meetings, public presentations and open debates to consider the technical logistics and legal complexities relating to the project. Participating audiences viewed surveillance footage and photographs taken from the bicycle’s on-board camera, and discussed issues of theft, art and social ethics addressed and raised by the planting of their Honey Trap.

Despite earnest attempts throughout the week to get it stolen – and a playful ‘false-alarm’ by a fellow artist – the bicycle is still currently in the artists’ own possession.