Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Thirteen13 | Parlour Showrooms Nov 2013

Thanks to everyone who came to our exhibition at the Parlour Showrooms last week. It was an exhibition of MA Print graduates from the University of the West of England, we set out to show a broad variety of print techniques and approaches and the exhibition was very diverse. I've uploaded some photos from the show below- thanks as ever to Steve Norton, the unofficial official photographer.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Thirteen13 at Parlour Showrooms. 26th Nov- 1st Dec

Can't wait to exhibit again at the Parlour Showrooms in a few weeks. It's closing down soon. Massive shame. Boo to Bristol council. We don't need more flats or coffee shops!

Some new paper cuts

I've been working on some new images- trying to make darker scenes. I want to play more with the natural light/dark contrast you get papercutting, but at the same time giving it the same sketch style that i've had with my previous paper cuts. As ever these were cut straight into the paper without drawing the image first.

"the blues of longing & longing to be confused" detail & below

"Midnight Lake" detail & below infront of light

These were cut into paper on which i put down a plain lithograph. I've had them kicking around for years. At the minute i'm experimenting making my own paper to do cuts on.

Monday, 2 September 2013

I've added a Gallery page to this blog, this links to my flickr account on which i've uploaded a number of examples of my work. The pieces are divided into sets of drawing, papercuts and prints and a separate category for my fischer king series.

"torn & frayed", reduction woodcut
The Fischer King series is a series of 5 images which i made for the conclusion of my MA in Printmaking. The fischer king is the mythological wounded ruler; whose kingdom, because of his frailties turned to Waste. 
My series images a traveller journeying through this Waste land. In the background of each piece you can see this distant lonely character to emphasis the travelers own islotation in this environment. 
All the images began as drawings, which i then made into hand papercuts and then into hand burnished reduction woodcuts. All the processes are low tech and could be made by the traveller on the move. In my degree show i exhibited three of the papercuts and two of the prints.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Peter Doig- No Foreign Lands. at the Scottish National Gallery

When my dad asked if i'd like to go on a walking holiday and was there anywhere in particular i'd like to go my answer was Scotland and oh, could we stop in Edinburgh for a day? There's an exhibition i'd like to see. Scotland is a beautiful country to walk in and you know i was almost getting into the pipe music (which is i think like a retail version of musical chairs- Americans keep buying tartan and shortbread until the piper stops!), but by far the highlight of the trip for me was the visit to the Scottish National Gallery to see a retrospective of Scottish-born painter Peter Doig who i think is my favourite contemporary artist at the moment.

The first piece you see as you walk into the gallery is the immersive 100 years ago. I've only seen photos of Doig's work before, and you can't prepare yourself for the scale of some of these paintings in the flesh. The broad side of the vibrant red canoe in 100 years ago drifts off the canvas into the room and dilutes throughout the space as the craft sits ontop of the steady blues of the ocean beneath it. The colours splice the painting in three, like a Rothko with a Narravtive, and as this snapshot drifts past you the solitary figure in the boat stares back at you, watching the time pass.

Doig works from a combination of sketches and photographs and the exhibition contains a number of examples of these, you can also see how themes and compositions are reworked and evolving such as in Pelican, whose solitary subject was observed hunting pelicans by the artist, and he's captured his hostile and stand-off-ish pose.

There is movement is Doig's paintings, like an idea drifting downstream, the paint bleeds and runs, vague shadows and reflections emerge from the background, figures and objects are carried along frozen in time. But it's us traveling along with these figures and it's the blurred surroundings we pass by that we should be making sense of. There is a nod to the past, but the mood is that moment in the present and what might happen next.

Gallery Info

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Some thoughts about art spaces in Leicester

I've just been listening to a discussion on BBC radio Leicester about art spaces in the city. Having returned to Leicester after six years living in Bristol, it is very apparent how little there is with regards to contemporary visual arts in the town centre. This is a shame because DeMontfort University has such a thriving and exciting art and design department, it would great to see the city invest in having spaces where students and recent graduates (and other local artists) could cheaply show their work. At the moment tourism in Leicester seems to consist mainly of a car park with some skeletons underneath it, so developing the local art scene is a fairly cost effective and visually rewarding way of generating interest in visiting the city.

In Bristol there is a huge diversity and range of art spaces and activities in the town centre. From more established institutions like the RWA, the city museum and Spike Island, to expanding arts spaces like Motorcade Flashparade, Stokes Croft, Nelson St and North Street street art projects, and successful pop-up shops such as the Parlour Showrooms to name one of many. Most of these were set up by enthusiastic local people and groups, and all it takes from the council is funding opportunities and patience and faith in the project. And although the powers at be have a bad habit of wanting to turn everything into flats or coffee shops the arts scene in the city really flourished just in the time i spent there, and even though big draws like Stokes Croft are probably in decline now (in my opinion), i think other areas of the city and other projects are still growing, and public support is always good.

Take one week at the beginning of June, it was memorable to me because it was my MA degree show on the Friday, but there were exhibition openings every night from Tuesday to Saturday. There must have been 150 people at the Parlour Showrooms for its opening that week, and several thousand for the opening night of the degree show at Bower Ashton.

Last week i visited a really good exhibition by members of Leicester Print workshop at the LCB depot in the town centre. I'd never been there before- i don't think- but i really enjoyed being able to see some contemporary prints on the wall, and i love the Picasso and German Expressionism rooms at New Walk, but there does seem such an absence of arts on show in the town, and it would be a very accessible thing for the city to consider building up.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Some of my framed papercuts are now on sale in Blaze on Colston Street in Bristol. If you get a chance to pop in do because they've got loads of really nice art work in there.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Fischer King series

Drifting too far from the Shore, Papercut

Some photos of the Fischer King series, framed and hanging in my MA degree show. The series is a combination of handmade papercuts and reduction woodcuts. I made a set of each of the images in each process and picked a combination for the show. To see the complete series have a look at my flickr account. 

Torn & Frayed, papercut

Gaol Ferry Driftwood, woodcut

All my work is low tech and fairly labour intensive. The images all begin as drawings, some elements from life some from imagination. Usually once i have an image i'm happy with i will then make it as a papercut. This involves cutting freehand into the paper without marking the surface first. For this series my papercuts have a monoprinted grey background. The act of papercutting allows me to take the sketch process into a visual form visually reminiscent of relief printing. My woodcuts are reduction cuts on found wood, and can include between 6-10 layers of ink. I also hand burnish my prints with a baren or wooden spoon.

The Fischer King series in the UWE degree show. June '13

Saturday, 15 June 2013

A selection of some of my favourites from the UWE Degree show last week

Andy Kinear, MA Print

Catherine Ade, MA Print

Charlotte Hall, MA Print

Harriet Rees, BA Drawing & Applied Arts

Helen Green, BA Drawing & Applied Arts

Holly Brown, BA Drawing & Applied Arts

Isla Molleson, BA Photography

Joanna Claire Mitchell, BA animation

Julie McCalden, MA Fine Art

Penny Moorcraft, MA Print

Rebecca Hudson, BA Photography

Remco Kingmans, BA Animation

Simon Khoo, BA Illustration

Verity Millest, BA Drawing & Applied art