30 May 2011

Huang Yong Ping at the Nottingham Contemporary

As we were up in Nottingham over the weekend we couldn't resist a quick visit to the Nottingham Contemporary Gallery. This was our first trip to the gallery, as it wasn't around back when we used to live up there as students. Which is a shame, as even though our time was brief it became apparent the gallery is a fantastic cultural hub for Nottingham.

So below are some pictures from the Huang Yong Ping exhibition which is currently showing. One of the biggest artists of his generation, Huang examines how cultures collide in a modern society. Referencing various political, cultural and mythological themes across different societies, his sculptures are made up of these unexpected combinations.

Huang Yong Ping exhibition at the Nottingham Contemporary Gallery
Huang Yong Ping exhibition at the Nottingham Contemporary Gallery
Huang Yong Ping exhibition at the Nottingham Contemporary Gallery
Huang Yong Ping exhibition at the Nottingham Contemporary Gallery

The show runs until the 26th June 2011, so still a fair bit of time to have a visit. Looking through the Gallery's website i can see a lot of great upcoming talks and events, so if you are ever in the area i would recommend having a look. If you want to see more pictures from the Huang Yong Ping show there are more up on Flickr here.

29 May 2011

Jaume Plensa exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

We caught up with a few friends in Nottingham over the weekend and as part of the festivities we had a trip up to the Yorkshire Sculpture park to check out the new Jaume Plensa exhibition.

Looking around the there was an impressive amount of work on display, the alabaster heads, illuminated in the darkened room had a real impact. Another highlight was the room containing the engraved gongs. Walking around you were invited to hit each of them, creating a cerebral bed of sounds, uniting the object and the audience in one experience.

Jaume Plensa - Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Jaume Plensa - Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Jaume Plensa - Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Jaume Plensa - Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Jaume Plensa - Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Jaume Plensa - Yorkshire Sculpture Park

There are loads more photos up on Flick if you want to have a look through. The Henry Moore pieces were a real treat to look at and there were a fair few pieces i hadn't seen before. However the real highlight was exploring the hills to see a couple of pieces by Andy Goldsworthy. As a student i was besotted by his work, so it was great to see his work close up in person.

26 May 2011

Amon Tobin & Tessa Farmer - present: ISAM: Control Over Nature at the Crypt Gallery 2011

Yesterday i headed down to the Crypt gallery to check out Amon Tobin and Tessa Farmers collaborative installation 'Control Over Nature' which sets Tessa's macabre dioramas against the ambient soundscapes of Amon Tobin.

You have to admire an artist who puts on no less than two solo shows in one week, and thats what exactly what Tessa Farmer has done, with the two shows complementing each other quite brilliantly. Her other exhibition 'Nymphidia', hosted in Danielle Arnaud's gallery explores her work in a more domesticated space. Whilst this show at the Crypt gallery, with it's dark, damp, claustrophobic surroundings makes for a very different atmosphere.

Amon Tobin & Tessa Farmer present: ISAM: Control Over Nature at the Crypt Gallery 2011
Amon Tobin & Tessa Farmer present: ISAM: Control Over Nature at the Crypt Gallery 2011
Amon Tobin & Tessa Farmer present: ISAM: Control Over Nature at the Crypt Gallery 2011
Amon Tobin & Tessa Farmer present: ISAM: Control Over Nature at the Crypt Gallery 2011

The collaboration perfectly captures the themes surrounding ISAM: sensory deprivation, disorienting situationism and the mechanization of natural things.

"There is common ground between Tessa and I" says Amon, "we're both re-arranging and augmenting natural elements to make something imagined but tangible. We are both exploring new uses for familiar materials, or in Tessa's case familiar creatures. I'm trying to take an objective approach to all my source material, whether it's field recording or synthesis based or a mixture of the two. I'm treating it all as musically/creatively relevant and useful."

The show runs from the 26 May - 5 June 2011. There are a few more photos up on Flickr

25 May 2011

Clerkenwell Design Week 2011

For the last couple of days, myself and a few work colleagues have been having a look around the various features of this years Clerkenwell Design Week. The highlight had to be the opening of the Clerkenwell House of Detention, which is conveniently just down the road. I had heard of this place before as it's reportedly the most haunted place in England, however the website states it's been closed to the public since 2000.

There is a great quote from the site;

"The House of Detention closed its doors to the public in 2000 when Customs and Excise Boarded the place up owing to the managements failure to pay their VAT. The prison had seen years of neglect and on one occasion I was taking a group around when the Police turned up to arrest the manager for fraud! As my group and the police entered through the front door the manager made a quick exit out of the back door. All very strange!"

It was great to finally get a look around, walking through the darkened damp corridors and cells you really get a sense of what it could have been like, three or four hundred years ago.


Clerkenwell Design Week 2011
Clerkenwell Design Week 2011 - Clerkenwell house of detention
Clerkenwell Design Week 2011 - Clerkenwell house of detention
Clerkenwell Design Week 2011 - Clerkenwell house of detention
Clerkenwell Design Week 2011 - Clerkenwell house of detention

Walking through St Johns gate we came across a Lulu Guiness installation which turns out to be part of a Facebook 'Be a pinup' competition. After a minute or two of pondering what shape to make, Jonny and Bora ended up creating this rather abstract motif. Make of it what you will.

Lulu Guiness - Be a pin up

The last day is the 26th May (today) so you better be quick, photos are up on Flickr here.

22 May 2011

ANDY HOLDEN - Chewy Cosmos Thingly Time at Kettles Yard

Over the weekend i popped down to Cambridge to have a look at Andy Holden's new exhibition at Kettles Yard. I have seen a previous exhibition of Andy's at the Tate Britain last year, however this was my first chance to have a look at a wider selection of his work. As an artist Andy works across a wide variety of disciplines, such as sculpture, painting, music, film, and performance. Each piece building upon and informing the next, creating a strong synergy between the work. With such an eclectic mix of objects, it's an amazing feat that not a single artwork appears out of place in the show.

ANDY HOLDEN - Chewy Cosmos Thingly Time
ANDY HOLDEN - Chewy Cosmos Thingly Time
ANDY HOLDEN - Chewy Cosmos Thingly Time
ANDY HOLDEN - Chewy Cosmos Thingly Time
ANDY HOLDEN - Chewy Cosmos Thingly Time

Highlights of the show where seeing a few artworks i hadn't seen before, like the 'Make up Collage' which initially looks like a series of abstract squiggles and blotches until you realise the motifs are made up of make up marks from glossy magazines. As well as the Cherry Grabber which continues along the knitted theme of the Pyramid Piece.

The show runs until 10th July, so if your around the area or indeed fancy a trip up to Cambridge i would recommend having a look around. If you want to find out more about the artist you can see his site here, as well as his band the Grubby Mitts here.

Tessa Farmer - Nymphidia exhibition at Danielle Arnaud gallery

Friday i attended the opening of Tessa Farmers 'Nymphidia' exhibition at the Danielle Arnaud gallery. Situated in a South London Georgian town house, it makes for a wonderfully unique exhibition space. As you walk around the rooms of the house, each installation merges into the next so that you no longer view the artworks separately, in fact the house itself becomes the installation.

The fairy warriors Tessa creates appear to be getting more resourceful in the construction of their flying warships. Made out of various bits of animal debris, the results are becoming more nightmarish and macabre in nature. You can spend a good 10 minutes just observing each creation, finding new bits of detail and narrative as you go along. To help extend the narrative of the pieces there was also a selection of short animations which were incredible, especially when you consider the miniature scale of her work. Looking around the internet i've found one of the animations for you to look at here.

Tessa Farmer Nymphidia - Danielle Arnaud contemporary art
Tessa Farmer Nymphidia - Danielle Arnaud contemporary art

What i love about the exhibition however are the smaller installations you could miss, such as the wasps around the window sills and the small mouse about to get ambushed by a lone warrior in the corner of the living room. So if you want to see it for yourself head down, the show runs until the 26th June.

Bedtime Stories at 40 Winks

After a strong recommendation from a work colleague i booked up a trip to 40 winks to attend the Bedtime stories evening they host. The venue has been described by German Vogue as 'the most beautiful small hotel in the world' and you can see why. Interior designer and host to the evening David Carter has done a fantastic job creating a real sense of decadence in each of the rooms.

With a strict dress code of glamorous night attire, it was initially a bit surreal chatting to strangers in your jimjams, however after a few Gin cocktails everyone settled into the evenings festivities. The stories had a lot to live up to but i can honestly say they were all fantastic, we had 45 minutes in each room and the time flew by. A particular highlight was Suzanne Andrade's reading of Angela Carter. I haven't read much of Angela's work previously and it was a great introduction, I have to confess I had some very vivid dreams after that.

David Carter - 40 winks
David Carter - 40 winks
David Carter - 40 winks

If you want to go and experience it for yourself you'll have to be quick as there are just a few shows before it temporarily closes for the summer. The next one is the 27th of this month, which will have Peter Chand performing 'Tales from India' and the last two dates being the 15th and 16th June 'Tales of The Beautiful and The Damned'

10 May 2011

Mr Bingo - Hate mail postcard project

Some say he's the 'Master of pens'. Some call him the 'Shoreditch Beat Busketeer'. Some say he fucks about for a living. Well whatever they say, you have to admire Mr Bingo's latest self initiated project. Bringing life back into the old art of postcard correspondence, Mr Bingo adds his own subversive twist by sending out vintage postcards containing drawings with varying degrees of offensiveness. Giving both the the receiver and postman a bit of entertainment along the way.

I have to confess i was unsure if it would ever turn up, as it's something that could easily get lost in the post, but low and behold it got delivered, giving a nice little lift to my morning.

Mr Bingo - Hate mail
Mr Bingo - Hate mail

If you fancy getting your own personalized piece of hate mail, you can go over to his site and order one (or even better send one to a friend). I get the impression from his tweets this has become pretty popular so expect a fair wait as he works through the backlog.
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