University of Worchester – Talk

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.

The event was also supported my Meadow Arts.

The Notice Board – Jayne Cooper

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.

 @jaynecooperangel

Homelands – Talk PDF.

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

Homeland at Metal Peterborough

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 ruth@metalculture.com

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.

The Notice Board – Kate Genever

For Exhibition 33 at the Notice Board I will be showing 2 prints from the set With bliss I imagine this…..

For the last six months I have been artist in residence in Shinning Cliff Woods in Ambergate, Derbyshire. Shining Cliff has a long industrial history, which includes quarrying, charcoal burning and wire making. They now comprise of managed Pines, veteran Oaks, Yew, Beech and Sycamore and are a tourist destination.

With bliss I imagine this, engages with an alternative history of the woo. That of the nature-loving-utopian group Grith Fryd Pioneers. [Grith Fryd means Peace Army in old English]. Originally a radical educational movement formed in the 1930s. It created two work camps, one at Godshill in Hampshire and the other at Shinning Cliff. Both took in unemployed men and tried to create a land-based self-sufficient community that exchanged goods and services with one another. The movement’s outlook was a mix of socialism, co-operation, anti-urbanism and internationalism. Present day Pioneers still provide camping in Shinning Cliff giving people scope for self-realisation and the development of personal, wider educational opportunities, and a sense of responsibility towards the protection of the natural environment.

Kates says: I took the original photos as I walked in Shinning Cliff. The collages reimagine the original Pioneer peace huts for our time. And if we too lived freely in the woods and acted responsibly towards the natural environment. The flag with an olive branch extends this ambition while also declaring The Notice Board as a gathering point of a new Peace Army.

More of Kate’s work will be on show in Shining Cliff from May 7 until May 28

Nothing, is the last forever.

Opens Saturday May 7th and then Saturdays May 14th, 21st and 28th
12.00 – 4.00pm at The Wireworks Project:
1331 Matlock Rd, Ambergate, Belper DE56 2EL
Parking is available – please follow signs on arrival
Closest train station Ambergate

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Finding the Spirit in the Mass was artist David Bomberg’s radical technique. He describes it as an attempt not at superficial representation, rather an expression of the inherent and changing energy or living spirit of nature and how one feels in relation to it. This, and the philosophical idea Metempsychosis (where at death the soul transmigrates into a newly born human, animal, plant or mineral) have been the focus of my six month residency in Shining Cliff Woods.

Nothing, will be the last foreveris one outcome. A functioning ‘factory’ that relies on a collective of hard working souls, who having foraged for wood, needles, leaves and herbs, process them, using specially made stoves, stills and milling devices, into charcoal, ash, scent, food and tonics. With visitors invited to watch the processing, ingest, smell and scatter the ‘products’.

Nothing, will be the last forever could be read in many ways. As a collaboration, a response to a post-industrial site, a comment on artisanal goods or as a process-led drawing based artwork… However, if we consider it via Metempsychosis, we could see it as helping migrate the woods ‘spirits’ – demonstrating how the end or death is no longer true but rather a simple transformation of form. Orif we use Bomberg’s ideas it’s a lament; a poetic abstracted expression of loss in response to finding the famous ‘Betty Kenny’ Yew ruined and within a pathetic cordon, on a deforested ridge. Either way, I aim to encourage deep reflection on our relationships with other living things.

Nothing, will be the last forever also showcases a selection of works made during my time in Derbyshire. This includes the collages, With bliss I imagine this, that reimagine the Peace Huts built in Shining Cliff in the 1930s by the nature-loving-utopian group Gryth Fryd Pioneers. A series of photographs, Time don’t make it better, taken in front of the ‘Betty Kenny Tree’. Two charcoal drawings, I am all these things and nothing at all, made on the site of this one great tree, that also foreground Bomberg’s ideas and aim to provoke a conflicted feeling. Finally, A dream within a dream, a fallen Yew branch from which seven lidded boxes have been skilfully turned. Inspired in part by the potential of Yew, the Rock A Bye Baby nursery rhyme [alleged to originate here] and a search for inner spirits. Ultimately though it’s a work that celebrates rural makers who create beautiful, useful items while being mostly overlooked.

Nothing, will be the last forever is a collaboration with Anthony Shephard and Ivan Patrick Smith. Special thanks to Patrick Joseph Ryan.

Established in 2019 by Ivan Patrick Smith and Anthony Shepherd, The Wireworks Project, is a fully functioning artist studio and gallery. Designed and built on the ethos of recycling, re-appropriating and reuse, the project aims to provide space and platform for considered artists. We warmly welcomed Kate as the first of many future residents.
@wireworksproject

Kate’s residency is supported by SHED

Wanna meet me halfway? interview

As part of the support offered by Social Art Publications around my new boxset: Wanna meet me halfway they did a Q&A. The full thing is HERE and a snippet below:
1. How did you start making your publication?
I started with the idea during the first lockdown. I was interested in getting artwork to people given they couldn’t get to art. I liked that people could receive a box of work that they could add to and curate in their own setting. The texts that accompany the prints are there to support and perhaps give ways in…. Also included is a ‘help sheet’ for those who feel unconfident and need maybe some ways in…  

If you would like a boxsets, which contains various sized doubled sided prints, they are available as “a pay what you can afford”. To order one follow this LINK

Crescent Art, Scarborough -workshop

Last month I was invited to Scarborough by Crescent Arts to deliver a talk and lead a “place based” workshop for participants of their Coastal Fellowship North program that supports early career artists.
As part of that day we collaboratively ‘drew’ together – which included making and sharing lunch, a walk around the town and some traditional drawing as we relfected on what we saw, felt, heard and learnt. Sommer Vass one of the group has written this BLOG about what the day….

Thanks Sommer.
Credit to @msc1photography

Exhibition 32 – Valentyn Odnoiun

Valentyn lives in Vilnius, Lithuania but was born in Ukraine. He and his family escaped via political asylum when he was younger. The Notice Board see’s this escape as the fuel at the core of his work. Work which pays homage to the people who tried to, didn’t, haven’t or can’t set themselves free. Particularly at this time of war as the population defends itself against Russia.
This show featuring 3 examples from larger bodies of work: Painted over prison window, Surveillance and PW44. These deeply profound, political and perceptive photographs show us the shadows of atrocities and haunted sites. Shadows that reveal a strange beauty that lures us in and then evokes imaginings. Yet it’s a beauty that doesn’t save us and nor should it. Rather we are confronted with a truth. A truth that many of us may be unable to bear or believe yet did and does still exist.

Valentyn says of the work being shown Surveillance feature the walking yards and prison cell door spyholes in former political prisons in Eastern Europe (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Poland, Germany). Previously, to keep people under control, they were isolated in special places and/or were under different methods of surveillance. Nowadays surveillance is taking new (digital) forms, but the main essence remains. Total physical and mind control of society. In PW44 – plastered bullet holes the photographs were made in Warsaw, Poland. They show walls of plastered over bullet holes – traces of events that occurred during the Warsaw Uprising from August 1st  – October 2nd in 1944 against Nazi German occupation. The plaster repair does not however remove the scars or disappear the oppression. In Painted Over Prison Window. We see a former Gestapo and Later KGB Prison window in Vilnius, Lithuania, smeared over. This window is of a prison cell in the former Gestapo and later secret KGB prison in Vilnius, Lithuania. This window faces onto a main street.

Valentyn uses photography to research historical or social events. Events linked to political and violent situations or doctrines. He explores the relation between what we see and what we perceive as we come to understand what’s represented. The photographs show traces that emphasise the borders of human perception but also where the consequences of human action meet reason.