This month’s exhibition: Finding a Happy Ending showcases a work by Jackie Berridge while also drawing attention back to the war in Ukraine. Jackie’s work highlights how making art can help us cope with things beyond our control and how in particular drawing lets us speak our deepest truths. This makes the Notice Board believe art really is the last place of freedom.
Jackie says: “My work is a mash of inspiration from childhood memories, dreams and fairy stories. I create fantastical landscapes populated with people and anthropomorphic creatures, telling tales of joy, sadness mixed with shades of darkness for the viewer to interpret. For example, the tiny tombs at the foot of the drawing might be the tragic result of combat, or alternatively these shadowy little forms might represent defiant little beans of bravery, standing proud in the face of the enemy.
Making drawings provides a means of escape during times of crisis such as the pandemic. The work shown here focuses on my reaction to the war in Ukraine; I found it difficult to comprehend and sought ways to process and deal with the situation. I am reminded of waking up from a bad dream or a recurring nightmare when the challenge is to change the ending. Through drawing I explore ways of avoiding the horror by providing various shelters, bothies and dwellings as sanctuary and exploring the potential of transformation.
Observational drawing is an important part of the process. But as ideas progress, I prefer to work from memory and imagination, even surprising myself as landscapes and beings emerge in unexpected ways. I love to contrast different gestural marks with graphic elements and occasionally I add objects drawn directly from life which have a personal significance.”
EXHIBITION 37 is by Mike Sprout from Hull. It is titled: This place in fourteen flags. The Notice Board was interested in how Mike would interprete its ongoing theme – The Land of the Free?. His response is 14 works that will be changed every 2 days. We see them as a manifesto that encourages us to trust ourselves and our abilities to cope, hope and create – to live free? Mike says:These images represent elements in my journey as I learn to love the land I call home, the people I call community and myself. Loving reality, Understanding difficulty,discovering deeply, finding true integrity… The following list offers us titles and detailed description of each work.
Egg. Egg, cosmos, beginning, all. Take a broad view, a god’s eye view
Plant. Breath of the world, support of all life and converter of all sun energy. World-tree-trunk, our part of the cosmos, here amongst the foliage.
Animal. Within this pink human flesh body, an ancient ape, an animal, raging emotions inherited from billions of years of being an animal. The evolutionary miracle of my feelings and impulses
Friends. Circle of people, humans, gift economy, talking and listening. Miracle of community, mutual support, empathy
Disaster. Change, mystery, trouble. Eventually all things explode, all things turn to ash!
Magpie. Black and white in conflict, conversation, meeting, joining, interlocking. Opposites depend on one another. Opposites meet loudly, beautifully. This is where new things are born, a new whole containing both poles
Growth. I grow beyond my borders, as I expand I see I contain multitudes! I am a container for so many emotions, memories, experiences. I am a world-self, a whole community. I have a golden being living and growing within me, I’m like a mother, like a planet.
Manifesto. Revolution, conscience, stoic solidity standing on the pulsing earth. Strength within good decisions
Care. Hugging myself, self-care, The inner feeling of love, if I can’t love myself how can I love anybody else? Quiet moments to notice, heal and cherish.
Rising. Emergence from below, a rising truth. Let the land and its secrets help shape the future. Our collective history, collective trauma is welcomed back from the shadows, into the air
Action. Action radiates out of me now in every direction! Cycles, patterns, recurrence, change. What movements and shiftings are we a part of? How are we connected to each other’s efforts and struggles? Communal action, commoning, how can we work together?
Snake. Guts, cthonic, snake, abdominal-earth-power. I have the blessing of the nether-regions
Tiger. Confidence, King, Apollo, Lugh, Grace. I move like a tiger, ruling the world. So often we are sorry excuses for humans, let’s shed shame and roam our jungles like we own the place, walking in harmony with our environment, unafraid of our instincts…
Bird. Essence, passion, identity, calling, inspiration. There is a soul bird within me, that wants to soar. I glide, my whole being knows the way.
Mike Sprout is an artist specialising in murals, zines, wood-carving, painting, drawing, risograph printing and community arts. He’s also a founding member of Ground, a community arts centre on Beverley Road in Hull. @mikesprout on Instagram
The Birdbox Gallery, begun in 2020, is run by artists Roger and Sarah Healey-Dilkes. It’s simply a gallery in the form of a box, located in a garden hedge, open 24/7 and visible to any passerby. Like The Notice Board they exhibit the work of artists at all ages and stages of their careers from near at home and far away. They say: “There are no themes, preferences or types of work we favour, we just want to show as many peoples work to as wider public as possible. And offer a healthy outdoor experience, as an antidote to the orthodoxy of the conventional art gallery or museum experience.”
From July 17th the annual Bird Box Gallery Arts Trail will take place featuring local and national artists work accompanied by an accessible a trail. Which means their single space multiples into 27 Bird Box galleries in 27 front gardens across the Birdwood Association Residential Area. Cambridge. The Notice Board is happy to be an outpost for this festival, showcasing Roger and Sarah’s work, the gallery’s manifesto and by flying of their flag. This collaboration extends the trail offering more audiences access to their fantastic work and exciting efforts.
Sardine Breakfast by Roger Healey-Dilkes is a collage created during lockdown as part of an ongoing series that used found materials from the recycling bin and reduced shelves. A series of these were later made into a book published by the Bird Box Gallery.
Hazard by Sarah Healey-Dilkes a Chain of figures stencil cut from plastic hazard tape. A material that was ever present in our consciousness, during the Covid19 lockdown, in public areas to indicate warning and restriction.
The Flag is designed by the Brighton based illustrator Sean O’ Brien who works with the gallery designing its logo, font, posters and art trail map.
What a joy to spend last week with a great group of Scarborough 6th form and foundation students at Crescent Arts working in response to the historic Woodend Gallery – a Victorian conservatory owned originally by the famous Sitwell family that once hosted exotic plants, reptiles and birds including allegedly Europes largest fern, then later the towns natural history collection and taxidermy. Over 4 days influenced by all this, the light, space and the drafts created by the amazing windows, we played with process, materials and ideas. Including once exotic plants such as the potato (which is grown on mass locally to supply the McCain factory and of course all the chippies) and Sebum’s which now on their portable plinth act as drip catchers when the due to be repaired original roof leaks. We made, using seemingly exotic, yet discarded plastics and foils from Hulls scrap store, a 46m inflatable vine like object that weaves itself through the space, tiny and oversized flowers, a hanging wall of silver featuring strange tendril’s, a beautiful bird like costume suspended from a modern day perch and what we believe to be the regions largest potato print. By restricting ourselves to only 2 or 3 materials per object we challenged ourselves to work collaboratively and craft new and bold sculptural pieces in a very short time for this huge space. Thanks to students: Millie, Emily, Mary, Nina, Monika, Rijanna, and Scarlett. Plus Kyra and Martha for all their efforts and support The show titled Hothouse runs until Sept 11 2022.
Stratco an artist based in Berlin has created Cross Stitched for this months exhibition. The Notice Board which is curated around the question The land of the free? enables us to ponder what ‘free’ means by way of artists responses. In this instance Stratco freely experiments with materials to undermine and free a tradition. While also challenging us to consider the states the people pictured find themselves in.
Stratco said: the reason for working with portraits is that there are so many details to be transformed. Plus they represent visible human expressions, while thoughts & feelings are trying to be hidden. They are the perfect symbol for the idea of “Radical constructivism”. A theory which has inspired me from my early beginnings. It states “Reality is not given or binding, but an individual construction made by the human brain(s)”. The collage technique is a perfect way to mirror the individual de- and reconstruction of sense and meaning. I don’t like any labels and I never thought about making “collages”. I’m just using existing material to create different kinds of reality. Alternative acts …
I’m working 100% analogue which means: I’m exclusively using vintage magazines (their style and colours are superior to all modern stuff). And I’m solely using manual techniques and tools for transforming the pieces. The techniques are a means to the end – but in turn, the quality of your works depends heavily on your ability to almost perfectly master the process of cutting and pasting. The balancing of the technical and compositional dimension is the biggest challenge.
I get the inspiration from all kinds of visual formats. Be it art, movies, advertisements, record and magazine cover, etc. In most of the cases I already have a quite clear idea about the transformational direction before making the first cut. Nevertheless, the actually resulting “look and feel” is always work in progress, a certain deviation from the original plan is an indispensable part of the program.
I have chosen not to fly a flag. For many reasons given these times. The symbol of an empty flagpole is the best answer
Watch the recorded talk I delivered for University of Worchester: Fine Art and Psychology by following this LINK. In it I share examples of my work and approach and in particular give details of a commission Cultural Prescriptions. Which saw me support Link Workers in Derbyshire during lockdowns to explore creative ways of working with clients to deliver social prescribing in a socially distanced world.
Exhibition 33: Eyes Down, at The Notice Board features new collages and a fabric flag by Jayne Cooper. The work is inspired by early Renaissance Maiolica floor tiles from a convent in Parma, Northern Italy. The tiles (now in a museum) are a mix of religious and secular imagery seemingly quite at odds with such a pious setting. Particularly as their strange depictions filled, and arguably compelled the downward gazes of the nuns as they went about their monastic business, helping or hindering their concentrations. Pleasure is at the heart of Jaynes work be that through the joy of looking, the choice of subject or the act of making. We see a playful set of constructions, based on contested imagery, shown in this beautiful setting, which invites you, the audience, to join the ‘fun’. But let us not forget how pleasure can also be considered a violation and against social mores. Hence this work being perfect for The Notice Board, which aims to question, through contemporary art, what many consider right or wrong.
Jayne, who has recently been awarded the Claire Peasnall Memorial Award by the St Hugh’s Foundation for the Arts says: For me, the pleasures of making lie in the manipulation of materials; the joy in seeing colours and surfaces working with and against each other is probably what sustains me the most. Collage too can be seen as transgressive, an ‘unauthorised collaboration’ which relies on the pre-made – it offers a freedom to rip apart, deconstruct and recombine. By using cardboard and non-precious materials goes against the tradition of painting and perfectly primed canvas. But I like to think this sense of freedom is echoed in the nuns gazing on the provocative tiles, gaining pleasure against their order to find an inner freedom, that indeed we all have as gatekeepers to our own private worlds.
At Metal Peterborough on May 11th I led an event that brought over 30 people together from distinct and diverse disciplines over food, to consider the HOMELANDS work to date and explore themes that have emerged.
A PDF of the full talk and discussion provocation can be downloaded here
Join Metal and me for a discussion and the showcasing of HOMELAND research and work, over food and drinks.
Wednesday 11th May, 6 – 8pm at Metal Chauffeurs Cottage. Click here to let us know you’re coming along or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Whilst in residence I have been researching and developing a new piece of work, HOMELAND, building on a recent work: You and I are tangled up together which was undertaken with the farming community and countryside specialists surrounding Peterborough.
As part of her residency I’ve visited farms and rural businesses, considering how farmers and countryside specialists work in, on and with the land and how they draw up from the soil in complex and layered ways. This has enabled me to reflect on all our relationships to landscape, food production and how recent times have further intensified or broken this connection.
I would now like you to join me for an informal sharing and conversation catalysed by Kates work and process. As part of the evening we will be offering some homemade food and invite you to also bring some food to share with the group too.