Pictures on walls

April 6, 2016

But not in this blog post I’m afraid, which is essentially notes on 3 shows I saw, at the last minute, a fortnight ago, which means 2 of them have now finished, but still, there are links to more words and pictures if you’re interested.

Group Thirteen are the last of the first intake of the Complete Printmaker course at Hot Bed Press, an open access print workshop in Salford that I’m a member of. The last as in the majority insisted on 2 more years of the 1 year Complete Printmaker course and hence they have completed 3 years of routine, study, daydreaming and break times all in the name of printmaking. As far as I can tell thirteen got through 3 years together and seem set to be a well oiled exhibiting machine into the future.  Group Thirteen, the show, brought the 13 printmakers together, each project installed within it’s own space in the old Cow Lane studios.

My main link to the group is Karen Joyce.  Having driven through the countryside with Karen towards many a book fair over the last few years, oohing at sunsets and ahhing at walls, fields and bridges together,  I think I can see how her work has come about.  Karen showed beautiful trees on a deep purple background…though she called it blue…perhaps forget me not?  See her blog for a more extensive write up of the show and some pictures! Below are links to a few of my favourites.

Gwil Hughes  A wonderful woodcutter conjuring the shift and blurring of tales in old photographs out of found wood.  Large dark images on blood red walls

Lithography works so well for Katy Hollinshead, but I’ve seen her make her delicate drawings of mainly dead animals with woodcut tools too, she just has the right touch.  It’s like Hollinshead’s stroking the creature with the drawing and not in a cute or gross way either.

Ciarrai Samson’s beautifully wrecked plates that have never been printed

Sonja Wellings battered gestural marks shown in an appropriately tattered room reminds me of 2 books of overlayed drypoint drawings called Line and a Line  (you can find them on my book page here) that I made whilst a tenant drawing ceiling cracks at Cow Lane.

Also 2 shows interesting to view in the same day, just down the road from each other.

An exhibition at Salford Art Gallery by Heart and Sold an organisation who represent international artists with down syndrome. Favourites included Peter EscottRachel HellerFiona Stevenson and Richard Cloake on until June 5th.

Inside Out a Castlefield Gallery exhibition exploring the notion of outsider art. Including, Darren Brian Adcock’s excellent pen, sound and light drawings, Mit Senoj’s flora figures and co-curator David Maclagen’s oil bar drawings  The show has now finished but you can read the Creative Tourist review.

Next time I’ll take pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m very pleased to be showing work alongside Nina Chua, Dennis Whiteside and Richard Shields in the display cases of the Historic Reading Room at John Rylands.

Case Studies, curated by John Lynch is part of Manifest Arts Festival – 10.7-12.7.

Each artist has made work using the display cases as their starting point.  Case Studies continues until 27.9

SIGHT     OBSERVATION     ATTENTION      READING     PATTERN

LEARNING     BUILDING     KNOWLEDGE     STORAGE     SHELVED

TEXT      IMPRINTS     REPEATED READINGS      LINES  OF  DATA

LINES  OF  MEMORY      CRACKS  IN  STONE      STAINS      CAST

SHADOW      NOTE  TAKING    DOCUMENTATION     REFLECTION

GLARE   OBFUSCATION   CARE   CONTAINMENT   CONSERVATION

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

some sense of how my work evolved; sketchy photos of work in progress

boots with Ursula Von Rydingsvards' work

I spent the last day of the year walking the grounds of Yorkshire Sculpture Park. One of my favourite day trip destinations. I’d been led there unknowingly, I hadn’t known what was showing and so I arrived at the work of Ursula Von Rydingsvard with few expectations.  I’ve never even heard her name before. All the better for being wowed and wowed I was. The show finishes on the 4th January, so if you happen to see this, like large wooden sculpture and have a day spare now, go visit. I’ll post more after that.

May the new year be full of wonderful surprises and glimpses of genius that get your minds and bodies whirring into action.

Scarthin Books sign

on a hard seat over winding roads through the Peaks past Matlock Bath with it’s arcades and  motorcycle tours to Cromford and Scarthin split by a road whose traffic echoes up into the valley, competing with the crows that nest up in the rock face opposite the hotel on the hill. An afternoon spent with the sun on a duckpond and burrowing into books at the wonderful Scarthin Bookshop. A wonder around winding roads, snug bridges, run down mills, sturdy stone houses with leaded windows, killing time watching fly fishing in the river, more crows overhead, to the accompaniment of trees shedding beautiful colours, to meet a dear friend for a drive home talking of how to live and how to die and how to help mark it all, sharing stories and songs of love and family.

In Norfolk I’m introduced to 2 large cedar trunks and conjure plans of woodcuts to note and hold High Barn, a family home thats held some magic space for decades. Long chats and journeys, trying to make sense of what’s come before and what’s to come. A visit to the Morgan car factory, watching everyday people do wonderful things with wood, metal, leather bowing to their hands. Ash is used to make the modern day carriages.
In London a walk around the new serpentine building, Sackler as Cerith Wyn Evan’s neon sentences lead me along the outer perimeter, past sculptures that illuminate the words from the corner of my eye. Internal dark arched brick spaces where flutes play the air.
Cerith Wyn Evans, flutes
Anslem Kiefer at the Royal Academy. A a revelation in wood, paint, thick materials, heavy marks and thoughts of the body apparent in it’s absence, the tall brooding sunflowers, a huge pile of canvasses, wedges, dust, boulders of clay in a circular room, meteoric, wonderful.
Parsifal III 1973 by Anselm Kiefer born 1945
Large solid books, printed and painted, from board, from lead, from plaster skimmed card with print and watercolour and electrolyte, an object unapologetic. Landscape engulfing, looming large.
kiefer-buch1
Wood everywhere along my journey, in a printed leperello room in the RA and at Sutton House in a panelled room full of carved trunks and chairs where Stick in the Wheel sang out London’s song and it felt as if they were singing the furniture and the walls and all of the house that has stood through so many years and stood there still as sirens flew past it’s old glass windows.
We stayed in a beautiful house full of care, it being made good for over 3 years now, sandstone, zinc, brass taps, wood, wood, wood, soft light, slept sound with dreams of singing wood.
trees somewhere

Gemma Lacey.Longing Cabinet.wood print

I’m really pleased to have had a print chosen for the Salisbury Print Open. And so from Wednesday evening (1st October) it should be possible to see the print ‘Longing Cabinet’ and the block ‘Longing Cabinet’ it was made from showing side by side* for a month.

*via a line almost straight up the country from Salisbury Arts Centre to Neo Gallery, Bolton.

IMG_5197

I’m really pleased to say that the cabinet I cut as part of the Longing Series was selected for the Neo Print Prize. It will be showing at Neo Gallery in Bolton until 2nd November.  I went to see the show this weekend and felt most honoured to have been selected alongside the other printmakers there. It was a great and varied show and well worth a visit if you are anywhere nearby. Too many good works to mention but for now some that caught my eye and, in parts I think, have shared concerns:  Rosey PrinceKaori HommaFiona GradySusan Eyre. Thanks go to the selectors and all at Neo for making the prize happen.

Seeing the cabinet in the centre of a gallery space, rather than it’s original station in the dusty eves of the Islington Mill loft or it’s more recent placement in my living room, was an interesting affair. The cabinet and it’s print were submitted separately for the print prize. In it’s making I felt that the block had become just as important, if not more so, than the print. When the cabinet and not it’s print got selected I wondered if the cabinet could actually stand up on it’s own as a piece of work, without the print to make sense of it. I’m still not sure. The cabinet seemed to puzzle it’s audience, how did I do it, had I burnt it? I wonder if it gets mistaken for a print made onto the cabinet. Does it matter if it does? 

time spent

July 21, 2014

 

View from Cheetham and Crumpsall Allotments

 

A view into Manchester from Cheetham and Crumpsall Model Allotments. A morning a week was spent working in this lovely setting.

eastern electricity building

Seen whilst walking the river in Norwich. Apparently artist Rory Macbeth painted the entire text of Thomas Moore’s Utopia (44,000 words) on the old Eastern Electricity building. Searching will bring up internal photos too of rooms painted in red text.

Maurice Carlin at Bluecoat

A scroll piece of printing, physically scanned from the floor of the space, made over the duration of The Negligent Eye at the Bluecoat Arts Centre by Maurice Carlin.

Windows Phone_20140519_003

A view from part of the DLA Piper Series: Constellations at Tate Liverpool. The exhibition covers 2 floors and shows work grouped together by association. I enjoyed the opportunity to see the backs of frames and to view many works arranged together within space rather than crammed on a wall.

pond

Plans for a new project come together. Making escape paths out of patterns in a pond with Helen Mather.

images-4

Two small exhibitions of wide reaching projects exploring the Yangtze River in China. At Touchstones in Rochdale, Yan Preston’s work was intimate and communicated directly. Trying to reconnect with her homeland through simple creative processes Yan’s work is physical, performative, poetic and clearly documented. Though Yan’s exhibition at Touchstones is now over (sorry!) her website is well worth a look if you are interested in ‘landscapes, myths and values’. The image above was taken from Corridor 8 where you will find a review of Yan Preston’s show.

In ‘Normal Pool Level’ by Jorge Mañes Rubio at the Chinese Art Centre, Manchester  the artist explored the impact that the monumental Three Gorges Dam had on the Yangtze River and valley. Jorge presents objects collected, adapted and created over his 2 month residency that speak of the industrial processes, cultural shifts and economies he encounters. Presented with photos, drawings and lots of informative texts. This exhibition continues on until September 7th. I have just noticed that earlier in the month both Yan and Jorge shared a discussion at the Chinese Arts Centre, damn. I will get better at this!

Liverpool Central Library

Another weekend in another wonderful library redevelopment, this time Liverpool, where the domed Picton Reading Room and the arching hall of the Hornby Library housed the casts of books and keys made by Aiko Miyanaga and the Artist’s Book exhibition that saw people I know show work alongside that of Picasso and Goya, what a treat.  My favourite time was spent looking at ‘Averting Your Fate’ by Andrew Morrison of Two Wood Press, an excellent use of print block and text.

Holly

Hock

And finally, after 2 years of watching the leaves grow, the flowers come and they don’t seem able to stop. A metre and a half for each year waiting.

I found someone else who has written about my work in the loft. This post probably offers a clearer picture of the experience of viewing the work than I have, see it here.

Thanks to Karen for the extra thoughts and words.

 

An afternoon spent sharing the work so far. In the last week I’d installed the prints and furniture blocks up in the loft space at Islington mill. I’d always had this space in mind for it’s intimate scale and timelessness, the sense of wonder that climbing the stairs induces, layers of marks, dust, glimpses of construction and former use. It allies well with the implicit life and memory of the furniture, the projected dreams, the ghostly apparitions of the prints onto fabric. In this I felt that the space was half the work and without the space, the work would be less. I’ve been assured otherwise. It was useful to see and hear how others responded to the work, the space, the work in the space.

A brief tour of the loft installation below. Photos of the individual pieces will go up on my website in a week or two.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Some comments, all anonymous, left in exchange for an -in between- book (more of an exchange than a bribe):

tastes like burnt toast, bittersweet, peat, wood, sulphur, tea

smells like a story, a forest, linseed and memory, woodsmoke, water,

sounds like yesteryear, ambient, ‘whispers, laughing, eavesdropping, the stories you would tell the furniture’, the low drone of a road and moving air,  sanctuary from the world, normal life

feels like ‘somebody’s sadness, loneliness, just beyond the veils – but utterly peaceful’, haunting, damp wool, wondering and wandering, another world, mirrors

I would like to see it in a forest, more, in a national trust property, with spiders and butterflies, no one else,

 

in the loft

I had a wonderful time cutting the wood, making the prints, sweeping the floor, rescuing butterflies, following the flow of the soundtracks coming from the floor below, installing myself and my work in the loft and sharing it with those who came to see. My thanks to Islington Mill  and all who helped, saw and shared.

I hope to move the work on to another space where it can grow and be shared some more.

 

 

On Landscape # 1

March 3, 2014

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fenlands, a book of etchings, letterpress titled and coptic stitch bound. Held in an embroidered slipcover. I made this book in response to the weloveyourbooks call for books on the theme of Crop. I was thinking about the art of cropping and using reeds in the fens and the time I first learned about this. Being taken out in a little boat along the narrow channels of water as the reeds cut towers above our heads. I was thinking of the texture of the dense reeds and the channels cut into the land to work with the water in the fen landscapes.

Fenlands is to be included in a presentation of Artist Books at On Landscape #1, an exhibtion at Guest Projects in London, based on a dialogue between 3 artists Minna Kantonen, Dafna Talmor and Emma Wieslander that aims to challenge traditional representations of landscape. I’m really pleased to be able to contribute work to this dialogue, hope to get down there too. So, there will be photography, installation and artists books all about landscape, it has to be a good thing. It starts on Friday 7th and runs til the end of the month, more info at the link above.