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Improv, APT

 

I was invited by London-based painters, Gabriela Giroletti and Henry Tyrell, to take part in ‘Improv’ at APT Gallery. The group exhibition included paintings by both Gabriela and Henry, as well as Karolina Albricht, Scott McCracken and Adia Whid. I included three free-standing sculptures, as well as a series of small ‘air vents’ which were placed in hidden or unassuming locations. The exhibition was really well curated and there was a lot of space around each of the works, which I think made for a really great dialogue between my sculptures and a lot of the forms within the paintings. They hired a professional photographer, providing excellent documentation of the exhibition, and whilst I already knew Gabriela, it was great to meet new people and extend my network.

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Unstable Ground at Studio KIND.

I was also invited by researcher, writer and photographer, Dr Corinna Wagner, based at the University of  Exeter, to take part in ‘Unstable Ground’ at Studio KIND. Corinna had received funding to organise a series of exhibitions around the South West that corresponded with the locations of Marcus Vergette’s ‘Time and Tide Bells’. She contacted my gallery, and asked to hire the space, and invited a number of local artists making work that addresses the climate crisis in some way, and she asked me to be show my work too. I had originally intended to include the ‘boardwalk’ work I had been working on throughout the summer, but because I felt like it wasn’t ready, I decided instead to include one of my pieces from the Wilson Road exhibition. It was the first time I had exhibited in my own space, and whilst this is a situation I had avoided in the past, the experience meant I would feel more comfortable doing so going forward.

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Incomers and Insiders at Bay View Gallery

I was invited by Monika Bobinska, who runs the Bobinska Brownlee Gallery in London and the North Devon Artist Residency, to take part in their exhibition ‘Incomers and Insiders’ at Bay View Gallery in Combe Martin. The exhibition brought together artists from their North Devon Artist Residency, contemporary artists selected by Studio KIND. and local artists selected by Bay View Gallery. Monika also asked me to include some of my own work, and there was also a piece of work by Damien Hirst included as well. I included a couple of my air vent pieces. This was the second time that through my work with Studio KIND. I was invited to include my own work, and it’s been really nice to see this cross-over developing between the gallery and my practice.  

Ebb and Flow with Fergus Channon at AMP Gallery

On returning to the college after the summer break Fergus Channon and I decided to organise a small exhibition of the two of us to see how the work sits together. We contacted Maverick Projects, to hire their AMP space, and titled the exhibition ‘Ebb and Flow’. I put together a poster, press release, and photographed the exhibition, and after we had finished installing I also put together a PDF with images of the exhibition and information about the work, which I sent to galleries and curators in the local area. Whilst the processes was a lot of work, I really enjoyed working with Fergus and engaging in more in-depth conversations about our practices. We had some incredible feedback from people who visited the exhibitions, from peers and tutors, to artists and creatives, to random people who had popped in as they were walking past, and I met a lot of new people throughout the course of the show. The resounding feedback we received was how exciting the relationship between the work was, and how dynamic the curation was, and so we are really keen to build on this collaboration and exhibit together again soon.

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Transitions with Mina Fouladi and Lauren McNicoll at Cave Pimlico

I was also part of a small group show with Mina Fouladi (from the painting pathway) and Lauren McNicoll. The concept of the exhibition was something we had started to develop before the summer break, as a result of conversations we’d had about how the body, memory and the idea of ‘haunting’ (in the hauntological sense) plays a role in our practices in some way – through my use of clothes, Mina’s use of childhood/family memory, and Lauren’s work with her own body as remembered through past encounters. The idea of the exhibition was that all the work would overlap/interact in some way, and the exhibition would be a journey, going from more rigid ideas of the body, to an ephemeral sense of the body through memory, to the absence of the body all together. We titled the exhibition ‘Transitions’ and hired one of the gallery spaces at Cave Gallery in Pimlico. I liaised with the gallery and wrote the press release with Lauren, and Mina designed the poster. I also contacted artists and curators I thought might be interested in our work. Whilst the experience was mixed, and the working dynamics proved challenging, the feedback we received from the general public was great, with a lot of praise for the curation, which I was really pleased about, and Mina and I managed to achieve some of what we had set out to do, by having the works interact with one another and enrich each other in some way. The other gallery at Cave was being hired by Artangel at the time, and so it was great to meet some of the Artangel members of staff, including Mariam, the director.

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Last month I was invited by Andrew Bracey and Martin Lang from the MA Fine Art course at the University of Lincoln to give a talk about my work and my experiences setting up an artist-led space, and give tutorials with the MA Fine Art students. The talk was 45 minutes, and then there was a 45 minute Q&A, followed by two-hours of tutorials. I really enjoyed the experience; meeting with staff and students, and I received a lot of interesting questions from students, both about my work and the gallery. This was paid work, and going forward, as I think about sustaining my practice, I’d like to be able to do more of this type of work. I’m currently talking to my previous university, Middlesex, about coming in and giving a guest lecture there too.   

I have also been on both exhibition committees for the Wilson Road exhibition and the Church/Factory exhibition at Copeland and Dilston Grove. It’s been fun forming working relationships with the other members of the committees and has given me an insight into how (and sometimes how not to) go about these much bigger exhibitions. I’d really like to continue to support the university’s external exhibitions in some way, as I have learnt a lot from these exhibitions, and I have registered to become a Graduate Studio Assistant in the hope that I can use my experience to support the sculpture/fine art department and students at Camberwell, both in the studio and in setting up exhibitions.

 

 

Research Festival

I’m using the Research Festival to try out two new ideas that I’d never had the opportunity to do: make a publication and lead a workshop.

 

Whilst I have lead workshops for children and adults before, I haven’t lead anything that’s been directly related to my practice/area of research, and I haven’t been able to target the workshop to people I think would have a specific interest in it before, so I’m excited. The workshop title is ‘Materiality at hand’. Below is the workshop plan:

  1. Introduction to me and my practice (5 minutes)

  2. Share a selection of found/functional materials including: textiles, wood, plastic, organic materials and metal (e.g. sock, t-shirt, branch, leaves, plastic shopping bag, book, wooden box, old circuit board, etc.) (5 minutes)

  3. I’ll ask participants to spend some time holding and observing the material, thinking about its properties, characteristics and functions. (10 minutes)

  4. Participants are then invited to share these thoughts with the group. (5 minutes)

  5. I will then share two texts; ‘The Verbalist’ by Richard Serra and ‘Is Anything Done By Hand?’ by David Pye which considers the actions of art making, and what it means to do something by hand. (10 minutes)

  6. I will encourage participants to select one or two verbs from ‘The Verbalist’ and using a select number of basic tools (scissors, sticks, hammer, small hacksaw, or just our hands) to alter some of these characteristics of the materials. (25 minutes)

  7. After a while I will ask participants to paid up, and think about how they can perform similar actions to bring the two materials together, considering this as a material collaboration and dialogue. (20 minutes)

  8. We will discuss our findings as a group. (20 minutes)

  9. Tidy up (15 minutes)

 

I’m also making a publication, the text of which will be in the form of an interview with an artist I have previously collaborated with, Lee Mok Yee, about my practice and making more generally, including some of his insights. There will be images of my process, as well as close-ups of the materials, and some of my drawings/collected materials that inform some of the sculptures. I’ve already met with Chelsea Printing Services and spoken to them about what I would like to make.

Coming up ...

I have started to plan for next year, and have some exciting projects coming up.

 

I have been invited by The Plough Arts Centre to have a solo exhibition in February and March 2023, which I have titled ‘Compost’. The Plough Arts Centre has just been awarded NPO status by ACE, and as part of this they’re focusing their attention to supporting exciting emerging artists, so I’m looking forward to being part of their programme. The exhibition will feature a number of works I’ve made during my time at Camberwell, as well as some new work and some small site-responsive pieces. I’m also going to be presenting some work on paper for the first time, as I’m thinking about the commercial viability of my practice, alongside the bigger work.

In 2021 I was awarded British Council funding, as part of their Connections Through Culture grant programme, to undertake a virtual residency in collaboration with Lee Mok Yee. This involved bringing in artists from Malaysia and the UK, as well as having online panel discussions with some of the artists. Going into 2023 we are now putting together proposals and funding bids to work collaboratively again, this time physically, and we are planning on touring an exhibition of our work, as well as a selection of the artists who featured in the residency, across the UK and Malaysia. Mok Yee and I are both concerned with the idea of the language of materials, and for my publication at the research festival, Mok Yee interviewed me and I have typed up the conversation. In 2021 I was asked to interview Mok Yee for his solo exhibition ‘A Rhetorical Garden’ at Richard Koh Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, and we’re going to be bringing together these conversations to form our own publication for the project. I have also been offered free accommodation at Rimbun Dahan Arts Centre in Kuala Lumpur for if travel to Malaysia to work with Mok Yee. 

I have recently started a project with Eastbourne-based artist Sharon Haward. We have taken part in talks together in the past, and she was a contributing artists in our virtual residency, and both Sharon and I are interested in materials that respond to architecture, exploring how we interact with space through both hard and soft interventions. Most recently, we have both been working with grid formations, and so we had a Zoom call to discuss what it was about grids that excited us, and how we could bring our work together, physically, for the first time. We are currently putting together a proposal to exhibit at a number of spaces around the South East, and we are also starting a research blog where we can collate our research and share ideas. This will be presented as a digital archive as part of our exhibition.

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work by Sharon Haward

work by Lee Mok Yee on residency at Rimbun Dahan

On Sharon’s recommendation, I’m going to apply to be part of the Royal Society of Sculptors when their applications re-open later in the year. I think it will be a good opportunity to be part of their network, and take part in their regular social events and member opportunities. I’ve also started applying to open calls and exhibitions that I think are relevant to my practice, and are a good opportunity to meet new people and reach new audiences.

 

I have started applying for commissions and exhibiting opportunities. I am currently in the annual open at Southwark Park Galleries, and I recently put together an expression of interest for the Climate Action Commission at God’s House Tower (in Southampton) and whilst I wasn’t successful, it was good to get back into the swing of writing these kinds of applications.

 

I have been approached by several artists who are interested in my curating their own exhibitions for them, and would like to write my time into their funding applications. This is a really exciting opportunity for me to continue with my curatorial practice, especially outside of Studio KIND. and I hope this kind of freelance curation work will be a regular part of my practice going forward.

 

I am also putting together an exhibition proposal with Fergus Channon and Miles Lauterwasser (from the print-making pathway). The three of us are interested in the expanded fields of our practices (sculpture/painting/print-making) subverting the surface by exploring the physicality and materiality of our chosen mediums. Depending on the venues, we’re going to be inviting other artists to be part of the exhibition too, as well as organising smaller more intimate exhibitions of the three of us. I’m looking forward to seeing how this collaboration comes together.

I'm currently looking for a studio in South London. Whilst I haven't made a final decision, I have been offered a space at an eco-friendly studio in Brixton, which includes a gallery space, and I've been offered a bigger studio at a reduced fee in exchange for curatorial and organisation support, which might be a good option for me. 

Studio KIND.

My new round of Arts Council England funding started in July 2022, and will run for an 18-month programme until January 2024. Whilst this means we’re able to create new and exciting opportunities from artists based in the South West and the UK more generally, it also means that I am able to sustain my practice by being paid for the time I spend working on the gallery. My roles/responsibilities include: programme creation and curation, marketing and promotion, fundraising and finance, artist development and liaising, working with local groups and organisations, collaborating with other arts venues/organisations (including KARST, Arts & Culture Exeter, Take A Part Plymouth and CAMP). Our current exhibition ‘On Skn’ by Yuko Edwards, is a participatory exhibition where people are invited to ‘suture’ fabrics that represent wounds. Next year I’m curating a small group exhibition of CAMP members: I selected the theme ‘Tipping Point’ and artists are invited to submit their interpretations, which I will be selecting in a couple of weeks’ time. Other exhibitions I’m curating include: Anna Boland (as part of our collaboration with KARST whereby I select one of their studio-holders for a solo exhibition at Studio KIND.), Kirsty Harris, Adam Garratt (in collaboration with Arts & Culture Exeter where we’re offering Adam professional development by putting him in touch with academics and researchers at the University of Exeter) and Connor Shields.

 

Being able to have conversations with the calibre of artists I’m working with at Studio KIND. is invaluable and I feel really fortunate that I get to support artists I look up to, and be involved as the development of their work. I’m also receiving mentorship from Ben Borthwick and Donna Howard at KARST Gallery, and Kim Wide at Take A Part Plymouth, which is really exciting for me as I develop my work as a cultural producer and curator.I’m also going to start making plans to exhibit my own work at Studio KIND. which I think will be a really special moment for me.  

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current exhibition by Yuko Edwards

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work in progress by Anna Boland