Thursday, 26 July 2012

Joe Simpson: Across America

A couple of months ago I sponsored artist Joe Simpson to aid his quest to fund a trip across America to research a new body of work. The idea was both simple and genius, Joe offered people a chance to purchase original sketches, studies and paintings he did whilst on the road, this in turn funded the trip.

Here's a brief explanation from Joe about the project:
"'Across America’ the working title for my new art project, where I plan to spend a month travelling around the States – creating drawings, paintings and photographs documenting my journey. I’ll be making artwork the whole time I'm away, which will then be developed into larger realised oil paintings when I return home that will be shown as a major exhibition at the end of the year. To support the project and to help promote it, I've decided to use crowd funding to give people the chance to buy the artwork I’ll be creating whilst on the trip."

 In hindsight I wish I'd of bought more than one piece but they'll be future opportunities... above is the pen/ink sketch that I bought, having been a fan of Joe's work for a while its exciting to finally own a piece!!

You can check out more about Joe's trip on this blog: Across America  

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Artefacts of Failure: Exhibition at Quad

I'm part of a group show opening in Quad, Derby this week. 'Artefacts of Failure' is part of Quad's season of failure with another group show: 'Accidentally on Purpose' showing in the main space. 
It's a refreshing idea to look at the runner-up considering the focus will be on people winning and succeeding in this summers Olympics, it's also nice to look at ideas, artworks and proposals that never quite made it for whatever reason, often it's the mistakes or unfinished/realized ideas that prove the starting point for another idea... The way the exhibition was pitched to me really appealed to my subversive nature too:

"The season celebrates the best of the worst; it will be a positive take on the ideas and strategies of failure. Dominating the news, as an ever present element of our daily lives, failure and the lessons it grants us are a necessary element of success.
As a society we are attuned to success being our main objective, yet failure is constantly stalks us - leading to unexpected, even happy, outcomes. However, at this time of Olympic champions, there has to be a runner-up. There is a school of thought arguing that we have no right to fail, but a duty to experiment. The very nature of an experiment is to fail in the pursuit of success. We fail in studies, jobs, loves. We each of us fail, often as not. In writing these lines, we're probably failing to communicate exactly our thoughts to you. Is that a failure?"
I submitted 4 cyanotypes that had technically messed up - two where over exposed with stains from the chemicals/vinegar I threw in to help speed up the developing process and the other two I left out for a few days drastically underestimating the suns UV rays... I then managed to fail at every other step of the application process! I suffered an internet blackout and couldn't email the form, when I managed to get to a another wifi source the images wouldn't attach, once I managed to get them attached the emails kept bouncing, so finally a few hours before the deadline in a last ditch attempt I attached and emailed everything individually with a frantic explanation of the above accompanying my onslaught of emails! 
Thankfully I proved enough of a "failure" to warrant a place in the exhibition :) 
The exhibition opens July 27th and runs until October 7th. 

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Derby City Museum + Gallery

Some of the sights I took in whilst strolling around Derby's City Museum and Gallery... Lots of skeletons, bones and stuffed dead birds - my kind of place!! I loved the fact they had a copy of 'Funny Bones' in the resource area too!!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Quad: Derby

Dropped 4 of my x-rap cyanotypes off at Quad in Derby last week for an exhibition celebrating failed artworks and failure within the arts [Artefacts of Failure] - its an interesting concept especially considering the majority of the world will be focusing on winning this summer thanks to the Olympics, its nice to acknowledge the runner-up and those who don't quite make it off the starting blocks...

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Adain Avion Attendants Troupe

It's been a few days since the Adain Avion Plane left Llandudno, I'm missing the AAA Troupe the most, the  retro Melyn Tregwynt  uniforms, the orange suitcases, and the effortless robotic Stepford glamour... they really helped to create a buzz about the whole project and the look on tourists and passers by faces as they walked past in regimented order was priceless! Inspired by Llandudno theatrical entrepreneur Will Catlin who hired Pierrot groups and placed them strategically around the town to promote his shows, its clearly a method that works! The Troupe was made up of the girls from the performance group 'Kitsch 'n Sync Collective'.
The highlight of their week long stay was the Wednesday night procession from the Plane over to Mostyn for the opening of Carwyn Evans exhibition 'Cysod/Ca 'Shell' and Wendy Couling's 'Trails of Thread' with groups of visitors and artists following Marc Rees [the Captain] and the Troupe stopping on route to pose by the bus-stop advert for Adain Avion. Marc carried a symbolic knitted version of the plane which he circled the Troupe with as they stood in the 'Tube' in the Mostyn, then placed the plane at the start of the row of Stewardesses and pulled its wings off - it was a brilliant performance! However my friends 2 year old daughter trying to interact with the Troupe as they stood perfectly still in the Tube was another highlight as was her directions for them to 'dance' for her once they were finished with the performance and taking in the exhibitions :)  

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

'Trails of Thread' at Mostyn

My piece "Joey"

'Trails of Thread' - has moved from the Adain Avion plane to the Mostyn Gallery, it opened alongside Carywn Evans' 'Cysod/Ca'Shell' last Wednesday and runs until July 25th

Monday, 16 July 2012

'Trails of Thread': Adain Avion

My piece "Joey" hanging inside the 'Adain Avion' Plane 

I was thrilled to be a part of Wendy Couling's 'Trails of Thread' exhibition last Monday night, housed inside the DC plane that was the centrepiece of the Adain Avion project. The exhibition only lasted two hours and I was on hand to help with the install and take down, alongside our other studio-mates Gerallt and Toni, the exhibition then moved onto Mostyn where it will hang for two weeks.

The ‘Trails of Thread’ installation consists of artwork created during a series of Workshop sessions. Working with the Textile-based group ‘Serentex’, including members of the Embroiderers Guild, and also a series of Masterclass sessions with members of the community. Using Wendy's own work on perspex and aluminium as a starting point, the artwork is based on the participant’s collection of memories of Llandudno, and thus builds a connection between the fuselage of Adain Avion and the local landscape. 

Part of the London 2012 Festival, Adain Avion is one of 12 London 2012 Cultural Olympiad Artists taking the lead commissions to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in creative ways across the UK, and has been funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council of Wales. Adain Avion is Curated and Directed by Marc Rees, co-produced by Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea University and receives additional funding from: Major Events Unit, Welsh Government; City and County of Swansea; Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and Conwy Borough Council.