Turps Painting Programme Open Studio and Mentors’ Exhibition

FINALINVITE

To mark the end of our year at the wonderful Turps Painting Programme, we decided that rather than trying to cram all of our work into the gallery, we’d prefer to open up our studios so that you can come and explore what we’ve been up to, and see the context in which we make it. We may tidy up a tad, but this way, you can see more work displayed, and take a peek through other things we’ve worked on throughout the year if you’d like to see the wider context of any of the artists’ work.

Our thinking is that you’ll get to see more paintings, and we can get painting again straight after the show! We are all prolific! Our mentors and visiting artists often comment on the quantity of work we produce, and our level of dedication compared to the various MA programmes they teach on. There’s a great energy of mutual support.

We are delighted to be exhibiting paintings from our mentors at Turps Gallery concurrently with our Open Studio event. It’s an opportunity for us to demonstrate the unique, reciprocal dialogue that happens within the discourse at Turps.

This event will also include the launch of Turps Banana issue 17! The most wonderful contemporary painting magazine, written by painters, for painters, and with no adverts! You can nab yourself a launch event discounted copy on the night.

I’ll be there on the Friday opening event, and Sunday July 3 from 2-5pm.

Art Car Boot Fair London 2016, June 12 12-6

Art Car Boot Fair London 2016

I’m pleased to be taking part in the London Art Car boot Fair again this year with my fellow Turps Banana Art School Painters.

The line up this year includes Sir Peter Blake, Tracy Emin, Marcus Harvey, Bob and Roberta Smith, Gavin Turk, Polly Morgan, and many more!

The theme this year is the hand, which inspired my pieces.

growing crowds

Do come along, soak up the atmosphere, and pick up an art bargain!

I’ll be there from 3-6pm.

“The Art Car Boot Fair returns to Brick Lane on June 12th and it’s all hands on deck to bring you our most incredible line-up of artists, art and frivolity yet.

Last year we went to the dogs for inspiration with a celebration of our four-legged friends.
This year we’re making it all about the hand.
Slap!

As well as bootfuls of art, hand-made, drawn, painted, thrown, tooled and printed, there’ll be astonishing glove -puppet performances, palm readings, sleights of hand, artisanship and thrilling things to do with your own hands!
Originals, limited editions and maybe even a few second-hand objets… who knows?

A bird in the hand is worth two in the boot at this year’s super exciting Art Car Boot Fair!

Join us on June 12th, doors open at midday at the corner of Brick Lane and Buxton Street.”

Parable Shift at Whitstable 2016

I’m proud to be taking part in ‘Parable Shift’ a.k.a. ‘Parables Displaced‘, a POST Artists‘ exhibition which is a Satellite project to this year’s Whitstable Biennale.

Remnant of St. Aphege

We are exhibiting in St. Aphege Church, and I became fascinated by the extraordinary tale of this saint’s life. My tattooed “relic” presents a glimpse of the chronicles of St. Alphege. Peer through this anachronistic religious relic, illuminated by the light coming through the church window, and witness the tales of an extraordinary life.

Parables Displaced
11 – 12 June 2016
Sat 12:00-18:00 Sun 12:00-16:00
St Alphege Church
High Street, Whitstable, Kent CT5 1AY

POST is the peer-led UK network for artists who respond to place. Inspired by the historic ties of St Alphege to Whitstable, ten artworks have been specially commissioned for installation in the Victorian church building on Whitstable High Street. Each artist has responded to produce distinct and unique works in a variety of media. A fissure appears in the church representing a point of intersection between science and religion. A walking experience that engages ones sentiments when visiting the religious space. A music score that is illuminated, taking inspiration from the crescendos of orchestral music and vocal harmonies along with the imagery conjured up by the poetry of the hymn itself. A performance of a site-specific existential dialogue that leads into a sung performance of Edith Piaf’s Je Ne Regrette Rien with accompanying projected visual art.

Performances will take place throughout Saturday and Sunday, with two timed performances at 14:00 and 16:00 on Saturday, one at 14:00 on Sunday, and an Artists Tour and discussion, open to all, Sunday 1pm.

Artists participating: Marco Cali, Matthew Kay, Aliki Kylika, Fiona Long, Jessica Mautner, Danielle Imara, Natalie Sanders, Soren James, Helena Wee, Mary Yacoob

It’s Your Birthday – Cubitt Artists

Darbyshire-Its-your-birthday-577x672

I’m thrilled to be taking part in It’s Your Birthday, the first ever group show of Cubitt studio artists, in the spirit of their 25th anniversary as an artist-led organization, which is located in the same building as Darbyshire in Islington where the exhibition will take place. Cubitt’s landmark quarter century birthday is a hard won, collective achievement well worth celebrating.

Private view Wednesday April 27th, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Darbyshire, 19-23 White Lion Street, first floor, London, N1 9PD

This exhibition presents work by artists who are currently either studio holders or work at Cubitt and is part of a celebration of Cubitt’s 25th anniversary since it was founded in September 1991 at Goodsway in Kings Cross. Since then it has been located in three additional buildings in Cubitt Street, Caledonia Street and now Angel Mews. Since its early inception both the gallery and education programs have developed substantially so that there are three key elements to Cubitt as an arts organization. Central to its ethos has been that it provides studios for artists to develop their work in a central London location. Since 1991 numerous artists have had studios at Cubitt producing an extraordinary and diverse range of works. This exhibition is a reflection of that diversity and demonstrates the vitality of the work that continues to be produced at Cubitt.
Mark Wright, Cubitt founding member

Cubitt studio artists are a group of dedicated practitioners, many of whom show both nationally and internationally. Over the last twenty five years, members have come and gone, allowing emerging artists to enter the fold and create new dynamics within the studio complex. It is no small feat to get 30+ artists to work alongside one another in a nurturing environment, which encourages creativity, and so It’s Your Birthday is a celebration of individuals, and a view into the history of Cubitt as a significant part the London art community.
Alexandra Darbyshire, curator

Exhibiting artists
Toby Boundy, Frances Burden, Andrew Child, Georgina Corrie, Tom Crawford, Alex Crocker, Dexter Dalwood, Liz Davies, Melissa Gordon, David Harrison, Chris Evans, Rhiannon Fraser, Annabel Frearson, Gareth Jones, Paul Hamlyn, Derek Harris, Nicky Hoberman, Jessica Johannesson, Kerstin Kartscher, Connor Linksey, Fiona Long, Henna Nadeem, Sarah Pickstone, Anne Ryan, Karin Ruggaber, Ross Taylor, Milly Thompson, Laura White, Hendrick Wittkopf, Mark Wright, Nicholas Wyatt, George Young

cubittartists.org.uk

Viewing by appointment only: 020 7812 1200

For more information, contact: alexandra@darbyshire.uk.com

Metro-Botanic

Metropolitanical and detail

My new art practice utilises biofilms to create sculptural paintings. I’ve been developing this since 2014. I grow microbial cellulose surfaces from probiotic good bacteria and yeasts.

These intricate surfaces, resembling skin, are translucent and beautiful. I aim to make artworks that draw the viewer into the surface yet show a sense of decay and the visceral, intrigued by the slightly uncomfortable.

Mushroom Cave

Drawn to the Japanese ‘wabi-sabi’ aesthetic of beauty in the transient and imperfect, and how we react to the abject, I feel that these artworks can subtly convey themes of sustainability. Life-cycles, decay, ruin, and human relationships with nature are intertwined. I incorporate my interest in survival, bush-craft, and making-from-scratch into my practice, creating works which reference the past, and the now by using this alien yet seemingly familiar material with established art conventions like stretcher bars.

'Mother and Daughter' (2015) symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeasts, each 60x150cm

I consider my ‘Metro-Botanic’ works to be paintings in the ‘expanded field’ since they don’t use paint, brush, or canvas. They have a painterly sensibility and are very much about surface, colour, and allowing the glitches within the material to help drive my compositional decisions.

Beetroot dye on biofilm details

I’ve been investigating the utilisation and display of these intriguing films and have a wealth of ideas I still want to explore. I’m discovering ways to sculpt & collage the material and colour it with pigments which cling in a marbled fashion or natural dyes which impart intense translucent colour. I love exploring materials, testing them to their limits and using their unique properties.

Elbow Room

I learnt about these biofilms from my brother, who did vast amounts of research into kombucha, a health drink made from fermented tea, rich in probiotics, vitamins, and minerals. He used this knowledge to launch his skincare company Biomic, and here is its Facebook page. I used it to explore the culture which ferments the liquid, and grows as a by-product of the process, and how I could harness its properties to make art.

Housework

Housework

I’m excited to be a part of this show and it would be lovely to see you there. I’ll be showing some of my “Metro Botanic” works, really making the most of this atmospheric environment to showcase the unique properties of the work, and interweave it into this unusual space. This is no white cube show, and worth the journey for a unique experience. I’ll be there for the private view and at other times so please contact me if you’d like to arrange a tour.

HOUSEWORK: 11 Artists’ Take on a Victorian Ruin

An Art Show at Safehouse 1
(behind the Bussey Building in Peckham)
139 Copeland Road, London SE15 3SN

Private View Thursday 26 November 6.30 – 9.30pm

Opening hours: Wednesday 25 November – Sunday 29 November, 12 – 6pm
Friday late opening as part of South London Art Map, 12 – 10pm (party in collaboration with Disco Picnic: cocktails and street food)

We’ve all lived in one, almost.
The Victorian Terrace
A setting for everyday life.

Featuring artists who in various ways
Respond and intervene in this
Stripped down skeleton of a space.

They cut and clean,
Sweep, scratch and sand and stretch,
Make noise, brush and write.

Artists:

Phillip Allen, painter
Leslie Blakelock, sculptor and painter
Paul Carter, sculptor
Jo Dennis, painter and installation artist
Simon Haddock, painter
Lizzie Lloyd, art writer and poet
Fiona Long, painter and installation artist
Jessie Makinson, painter and installation artist
Dorian McFarland, musician and multi disciplinary artist
Playpaint, painter
Isabel de Vasconcellos, novelist, art writer, curator

A show inspired by the beauty of mould creeping across a wall, where paint brushes and scrubbing brushes could be interchangeable, and letters with smudges.

The everydayness of art practice up against the peeling paintwork of every Victorian house you have ever lived in.

Turps Goes West

I’m taking part in a group show entitled: ‘ Turps Goes West’, curated by Marcus Harvey and Phil Allen at Edel Assanti Gallery.

The exhibiton runs from the 25 August – 1 September 2015 with the closing party on the 1st September.

This is the final show of the Turps Banana Studio programme I have participated in over the last twelve months.

Please note that the gallery is closed on bank holiday Monday.

Turps Goes West

Adam Fenton’s Painting Club

Adam Fenton's Painting Club image

Adam Fenton’s Painting Club brings together a diverse range of 13 contemporary painters, artists who perhaps wouldn’t normally meet or exhibit together. The artists presented share an interest in a figurative painterly language and the exhibition aims to emphasize the breadth of different approaches it encompasses. The exhibition has been curated to create a dialogue between works and to form the basis for a discussion.

MOMA curator Laura Hoptman recently claimed that contemporary painting is in a state of atemporality, reflecting our current cultural moment. At a time where “all eras seem to exist at once”, any historical genre, stylistic language or motif can be adopted by the contemporary painter.

Adam Fenton’s Painting Club posits the idea that ‘contemporary painting’ as it is often presented is indeed nothing but a genre in itself, recognizable by very distinct formal elements. And often it is determined in so many ways by the intermediary segment of the art world – curators, collectors, gallerists – rather than by the artists themselves.

Thus, the exhibition wishes to address the notion of painting in terms of ‘personality’, as opposed to ‘contemporary’. Each artist in the exhibition demonstrates a personal passion for a unique subject matter, process or style that goes far deeper than just illustrating the current critical discourse. Hopefully, the exhibition will thereby contribute to pointing to the very rich breadth of painting today and a discussion of the diverse and interlapping elements of it.

Ben Clarke, David Dellagi, Mark Edmonds, Adam Fenton, Callum Green, Fiona Long, Paula MacArthur, Benjamin Prosser, Matthew Randle, Mark Sheeky, Hideatsu Shiba, Dovilė Šimonytė, Eleanor Watson

Private View: Friday 21st August 6-9pm
Open: Saturday 22nd August 1-5pm
Discussion: Sunday 23rd August 1-5pm

No Format Gallery
Second Floor Studios & Arts,
Harrington Way,
Woolwich,
London
SE18 5NR

Blake, Cornell, and Marlow, all in one evening!

I had a glorious evening at the Royal Academy of Arts last week. After a busy week, I had the pleasure of starting my Friday evening in the splendid surroundings of the Reynolds Room for an in conversation with Sir Peter Blake and Tim Marlow. They were discussing the work of Joseph Cornell and relating Blake’s interest in collecting to that of Cornell. The event was part of a programme of events running alongside the fantastic exhibition Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust.

Sir Peter Blake and Tim Marlow in conversation

I have long been an admirer of Blake’s work and also fascinated by his collections. I loved the Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector at the Barbican Gallery earlier this year in which a sample of his collection and artwork featured and The Museum of Everything’s collaboration with Blake back in 2011, also displaying some of his magnificent collections.

I’ve always been a collector, or perhaps more accurately, a hoarder. Both of my parents are hoarders so I don’t think I stood a chance! I believe that there’s a correlation between hoarding and creativity. The reason I can’t call myself a collector is that none of my gathered categories are large or precious enough to really call them a collection, except for my obsession with masks. I’ve made bodies of artwork about collecting but on the whole, I can justify most of my strange accumulations (and behaviour in general for that matter) by saying “it’s for an art project”. I’ve even got my family involved in the madness, collecting flies from windowsills and saving pepper seeds for me.

I was therefore very interested to hear Peter Blake describing the distinction between his and Cornell’s collecting. Blake collects things that appeal to him for the sake of making a collection and having them. They may well inspire and artwork and he enjoys appropriately appropriating the work of those he admires. And of course, one of these artists is Joseph Cornell. Cornell was also an avid collector of objects and maps and things but these accumulations were for the purposes of making things from them. They were carefully categorised but so as to facilitate his making.

Sir Peter Blake

I’ve loved Cornell’s work ever since I encountered it many years ago. I love it for it’s immediacy and accessibility. You don’t need to be an art-world aficionado to understand it, in fact that might even hamper someone’s appreciation of it. One simply needs to look and allow themselves to enter the world he’s created for them to explore.

Sir Peter Blake first encountered Cornell in the mid 1950s. He talked about acquiring his first Cornell box from a dealer or ‘procurer’ as he put it! It was a swap for a painting from Blake which he never quite got around to doing. Cornell’s work rose greatly in worth and the box was taken back. Apparently the plaster at the back had begun to crack a little and Blake wasn’t sure what to do about that anyway.

With their timeless quality, I can’t help wondering if they look even better today with a bit of decay.

I learnt that Cornell never studied as an artist and worked as a textile salesman before losing his job in the Great Depression. He made work through collage and his own unique assemblage that came naturally to him.

Blake described his own artistic practice as tree-like. The trunk is a figurative painter, and the branches follow explorations into engraving, etching, sculpture, and so on.

Blake talked about Tony Curtis who was a fan of Cornell and collected 6 of Cornell’s boxes before starting to make his own! Blake has also been inspired by Cornell but his versions are more subtle appropriations. He showed us an example after the talk which was a real treat to see.

I took delight in visiting the exhibition after the talk. It was amazing to see so many examples all at once. I felt transported into Cornell’s imaginary world.

Joseph Cornell 'Pharmacy' 1943 at the Royal Academy of Arts

How amazing that Cornell never travelled. He knew the world and beyond so well through his extensive reading and fascination with maps and star charts. It feels as though his art making was his exploration, escaping so far beyond his local streets with his own imagination. He cared for his mother and brother and it seems as though there’s a sense of yearning, nostalgia, and oppression in his art. Expansive worlds confined within restrictive boxes.

Cornell’s intuitive and poetic way of making art shines through. On exploring the exhibition after the talk, the sense of these being little Wunderkammer or Cabinets of Curiosity shone through. Not big, show-off displays but little private universes. Cornell achieved everything I hoped to in my ‘Surface Views‘ series but didn’t, perhaps because I was thinking too much or even because I was attempting to cast grey magic…

Cornell enjoyed the surreal art of the time but denounced the ‘black magic’ of it’s subversive and erotic elements. He, instead, wanted to cast a ‘white magic’ with his work of the innocence and games of youth and that sense of discovery with open eyes.

The whole evening made me feel transported by white magic.