Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Derek Jarman

Not that I have visited Derek Jarman, or his studio but wandering around the landscape at Dungeness where he once lived,  I can see that this must been a source of inspiration for the film-maker, artist, campaigner and gardener. The desolation of this wind-swept peninsular has an other-worldliness about it. I imagine that the vast open landscape gives room and freedom for the introspective contemplation required to be creative, as well as the opportunity to be more aware of the nature of existence against all odds.

Jarman  paid close attention to location in his films throughout his carreer, he said of his film Sebastian 1976

"I was rather seduced by the situation and the location. The characters never really became real people. It was erotic...it had a vibrancy that was destroyed by it's academic seriousness." Gay News 23/02/79

And with his film Studio Bankside 1970 we get a very structured view of his immediate surroundings.

Studio Bankside
Studio Bankside was Derek Jarman's first film. It is a diary recording daily activity in the studio where he lived and worked, and in the surrounding streets. He shot his Super8 films without prior plans, but gave weight to the resulting images by radically slowing them down, sometimes to three frames a second, and adding music. 

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Rose Wylie

Rose Wylie's studio visit was very inspiring, there was so much to look at and many topics to discuss in a wonderful, quirky and devoted-to-art home environment at her cottage in Kent.
I discovered that Rose works obsessively, she said  'I am obsessed with my work... it's a take over' and that is clearly evident when talking to her, and looking around in her studio.
At the moment every spare space in the cottage is filled with stretched canvasses ready to ship out to exhibitions around the world, due to ever more recent interest in her work.
Rose mentioned that previously she was only known as 'an artist's wife' and not as artist in her own right. Although she has always kept up her practice over the years whilst bringing up children, it is only since they have grown up that she has been able to devote herself to her work and let it 'take over'.
The world is now waking up to this intense celebration of expressive, dramatic, playful work that has a brilliant lightness of touch, containing everyday observances form life as well as art historical references, ancient religious symbolism and scenarios from current affairs and film.

Rose's paintings are placed all around the house. In fact they are very much at home there and she would prefer that they stay there, instead of being shipped off and sold.
She talked about growing up in an era where 'blokey artists' were taken too seriously and were over sincere about their practice. She liked a bit of 'light' and humour plays an important part in her work.
Rose also hates preciousness, and she can't be accused of that herself, she stands on her work and some of her paintings are embedded with her own footprints.

In Rose's studio she asked me to help her try out some alternative faces for Penelope Cruz (taken from a scene in Pedro Almodóvar's Volver 2006). Rose is very generous with her time and giving information about what inspires her and her working methods. 
She used to always paint on the floor (when more agile) and the work would stack up in piles and also be pinned to the walls, they were more like wall hangings or rugs than paintings. She finds it bothersome that the art world dictates that she should attatch them to stretchers to keep them safe and make them more sale-able.

Here Rose has mixed up red paint (bottom left) which she is about to use on a new canvas. She is very daunted by beginning a new work and never knows how to start- colour first, or line? 
The main content for the new piece was to include an image of her garden path. She is very precise about the visual information that she uses in a painting and she often includes text explaining what her paintings are of.

 This painting is a scene from Madeinusa 2006 Directed by Claudia Llosa. Rose uses many references to film in her work, she has wealth of knowledge about all genres of film especially world cinema. Rose and her husband watch many DVDs and see it as a great way of experiencing the world.

As well as Rose's huge canvas paintings (doubles that can measure a total of up to 10 meters wide) she also paints on paper and has a large collection of small A4 sized pieces that sometimes work as preliminary sketches or as stand alone observational works. There is a series of vividly coloured fruit and vegetable water-colour paintings, as well as many pen and ink or pencil drawings.

I left the visit very excited. Rose's compulsion to work, attention to detail and intensely sweet and generous nature inspired me to want to get back to making work. Also to notice what's right there, or here, around me in my own life, and the thought that maybe there's always the chance to look forward to such a productive future! 

Rose Wylie is represented by the Union Gallery:

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Flore Nové-Josserand

Locus Focus, a domestic show.
I invited 2 friends to collaborate with me towards a group show which would take place in my living room. We had the space, and we were curious about testing artwork against a living space. How does artwork stand in a 'real' context, outside of the rarefied atmosphere of the white cube/artists' studio (which is designed with the white cube in mind)/industrial warehouse (whose grime and cables have become invisible, a new exhibition convention)? What is it that distinguishes artwork from tailored design? How might daily experiences be modified by taking place in an art work? These are some of the questions that we were trying to address. 

We gave ourselves a week to come up with an intervention that would culminate in one showing, one vernissage event. As such, the art interventions were designed as a context to this event: I made some wall paintings, a table arrangement and some low stools, Sylvain hung some handprinted T-shirts and Annabela contributed a very discreet postcard. People came over. We had some drinks, some food. We talked until late.

It was awkward and pleasant at the same time.
After this inauguration, the room changed little, some furniture came back, the artwork stayed. We had a few guests stay over. We couldn't bring ourselves to put anything up on the walls.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Carali McCall

We met Carali at Central St Martins School of art on 16th march 2011. The visiting group included Jaye Ho, Jaquie Utley, Jim Hobbs and Louise Colbourne.

Carali opened the talk with a performance. In pitch darkness we could hear a recording of Carali’s heart beat, as well as the live sound of Carali breathing deeply and steadily throughout, the performance lasted about 10 minutes. Carali also showed us video documentation of two performances of her running in difficult locations and extreme weather conditions. The out-come was in the form of footage from a camera which was strapped to Carali’s chest whilst she ran.

We then talked about the presentation of performance art and the authenticity of experience for the artist as well as the negation of the visual experience for the audience, amongst many other things....

Some of Carali’s thoughts after the visit were:

  • Using sound and darkness - the body tries to measure the distance, type of space the body is in, and feels vulnerable.
  • Communication between us = relates to our past experience.
  • Where's the work going? ...trying to find ways to make a bodily presence with no visual.
  • Movement and sound of the live body to make embodied artworks.
  • Using actions that have a breaking point. The journey of the unexpected.

Here is a short audio sample of some of the studio visit:

Carali McCall is an artist born in Canada, now living in London. She graduated from the Slade School of Art in 2006 with an MFA in sculpture, and is currently pursuing a practice-based PhD at Central Saint Martins, UAL on a research project titled ‘Marking Process: A Hybrid Model Between Drawing and Performance.’ Her practice explores an approach to drawing through duration and movement that tests the boundaries of her body. She works within a performative context developing an area concerned with expenditure, transmission and the reception. Operating in a field that draws from phenomenology, her practice discusses the extensions of the body and it's experience to time, questioning what constitutes marking as a drawing, and how does the ‘materiality’ of the body exist beyond its limits. In recent events, she has worked alongside other artists to perform long durational drawings, identifying a practice that responds, traces and records moving and marking as process. Some examples are drawing continuously with graphite for 3 hrs the diameter of her arm, or documenting the expenditure of running a marathon through the breath.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Paul Carr

The Fifth Runway poster (2nd broadcast) - 2010

The Soul Bellows CD publication - 2008

GB STEAM TRAINS LIVE at the Bull's Head poster - 2007

GB STEAM TRAINS 'For Sale' Promo CD publication - 2007
Paul Carr (pictured centrefold right) and Steven Lowery (pictured centrefold left) are GB STEAM TRAINS. Pictured with the GB STEAM TRAINS; Bruce McLean.

The Carr Radio 2009 box set CDs - 2009
by The Carr Radio Executive Design Team; Jenna Collins, Eddie Farrell, Katharine Eastman, Chris Scobie, Paul Carr and Steven Lowery.

The Barnes Bun Architecture Biennale 'Running Order' - 2005
Paul Carr (pictured left) and Patrick Loan (pictured right) are the Ketchup Boys. The BBAB was initiated and coordinated by The KB, Bruce McLean, and Jim Moyes.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Amanda Francis

My work is always shifting and I have learnt to embrace these changes as part of its ‘being’ in the world.  The subject has morphed from a preoccupation with identity to musings on community and belonging.  In many ways the current shift (which on the surface looks unrelated) tries to make sense of these previous concerns by thinking about them abstractly.

One realisation was the continuous nature of the identification process itself, and in turn the instability of the structures formed by these fluid entities. This inevitably produces new constellations, new forms which all require effort to nurture and understand.

Starting on a micro level and in the spirit of science, I’m considering ‘Black’ as a cultural construct abstracted from its source; constantly evolving in relation to new temporal and environmental conditions.



1. Untitled Black Series (installation view) Ink, Paper, steel, Perspex,

2 - 4. Untitled Black Series (Details)

Friday, 10 December 2010

Paul Burgess

I am primarily an illustrator and art educator. Recently my work has been going through a transitional stage towards more freedom of form and function. I work with collage and use often nostalgic imagery to create portraiture with a contemporary edge. This new work contains more of a dark parody and effacement of the subject.