INTERRUPTIONS
8-13 June 2021

​Featuring a diverse range of work encompassing painting, sculpture, installation, video and printmaking, this exhibition has been conceived and implemented by 11 artists who have all taken part in the Fine Art Mentoring course run by Erika Winstone at Morley College.

Participating Artists:

Cass Breen, Louise Hardy, Nell Martin, Bernadette Enright,
Katherine Rose, Anjum Moon, Abigail Elverd, Terry Barber,
Helen Pavli, Yasmin Noorbakhsh, Catherine James.

The course aims to form a bridge between college and gaining confidence through forging connections and a sense of community to practise and thrive as independent artists. An important part of this journey involves working together to independently organise a group exhibition. This year has been especially challenging in many ways and the show has been postponed twice since September due to lockdowns. However, the success is partly due to how the mentees have continued supporting each other through online meetings some ten months after finishing the course. 

Erika Winstone, who has curated the exhibition, comments: ‘The work in this show demonstrates the rich achievements of each artist individually, as well as the benefits of alternative models of learning to increase access to a peer group inclusive of a wide range of histories, background and experience. I congratulate each mentee on this rich, thought-provoking and exciting exhibition. 

‘I look forward to seeing their continuing journeys as artists and further work in a second online show in July. 

‘Thanks to Terry Barber for her evite design and masterminding of the catalogue, and to Catherine James for designing the online exhibition. Also very special thanks to the fantastic input of the following visiting artists for their invaluable contributions: Rosalind Davis, Justin Hibbs, Daniel Howard-Birt, Sara Knowland, Barbara Nicholls, Anne Ryan and Susan Sluglett.’ 

Opening hours:
Tue-Sat 12-7pm
Sun 10:30am – 4pm
Measures will be in place following government Covid-secure guidance.

The online exhibition launches on 6 July; see the group’s Instagram page for further details and also any changes to arrangements to comply with latest government advice: @mfam.interruptions

My sweet gourd

Anthea Hamilton: Tate Britain Commission 2018

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The Squash, Anthea Hamilton, 2018

I arrived in the Duveen Galleries at 1.30pm, eyes peeled for someone dressed as a vegetable. It was eerily empty and clinical, save for a small ceramic pumpkin on a shelf with a sign ‘Gone to lunch’. I suppose even a squash needs a break.

The entire floor of the Duveen has been covered in white tiles, which are also used to form plinths, platforms and what look like baths or plunge pools – the kind you might see footballers or rugby players sharing post-match. This is the pristine, almost laboratory-like setting for Hamilton’s performer to inhabit, wearing their choice of gourd-inspired costume for the day – apparently there are seven options, each one inspired by the patterning on a variety of squash or pumpkin.

When The Squash returned from lunch, it struck me how small he looked in the huge gallery – a diminutive, green-and-orange, pointy-nosed human-vegetable hybrid. Moving slowly, gracefully and deliberately, the character examined his surroundings, rambling vine-like over, in and around the various structures, much like a pumpkin growing in a veg patch. Here, though, The Squash is an alien, tentatively trying out his new environment, exploring what it means to be other-worldly. The Tate sculptures selected by Hamilton to co-inhabit the space appear dumbstruck amid the performance: a lumpen, static audience for the ever-moving Squash. However, Leighton’s The Sluggard and Laurens’ reclining Autumn set up a real dialogue with the artwork, their languorous poses reflecting the performer’s movements. It’s surprisingly mesmerising and rather beautiful.

Anyway, back to that sign. If it was up to me, it would have read ‘Gone for a pea’. (And that’s just one of the reasons why, unlike Anthea Hamilton, I’ll never be nominated for the Turner Prize.)

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The Squash, Anthea Hamilton, 2018

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Remembering sunshine, sculpture and stunning scenery in Shoreham

As I write, the sun is shining and the view from my window suggests that spring has finally arrived – the daffodils are dancing, the birds are busying and the trees are budding. The grass also needs cutting. Cue a sudden urgency to update my website.

The upturn in the weather has brought back memories of a sweltering summer day at the Shoreham Sculpture Trail in June last year. As well as being a gift for alliterative blog post headings, it was a visual feast.

This wasn’t your average village affair to raise funds for repairs to the local church, even though that was the ultimate aim. No, this was an ambitious art trail featuring 80 or so members of the London Group – a long-established group of artists whose founder members included the 19th-century painter and printmaker Samuel Palmer, a one-time resident of the pretty Kent village in the Darent Valley.

From interventions with the landscape, such as pearl-encrusted spiders’ webs, strings of ice-cream cones and coloured thread winding through and around trees, to incongruous creatures such as a group of shuttlecock-and-cable jellyfish and a patchwork figure apparently disembowelling itself on a neatly manicured lawn, the work was diverse, surprising and thought-provoking. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and an eye on the London Group website for any news of a repeat performance this year.

 

Tisna Westerhof
Tisna Westerhof

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Franny Swann

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Martin Heron

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Matthew Kolakowski & Jane Eyton

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Jane Eyton

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Fiona MacDonald

Interview with a textile artist

One of the perks of being a journalist/artist is that sometimes my roles happily converge. So when I’m commissioned to interview an artist I get to pick their brains about how they work, what inspires them and what materials they use and how. And then I get the satisfaction of seeing it all come together in a glossy magazine. Win-win.

Here’s my interview with textile artist Karen Wyeth, published in the October issue of Coast last year.

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(Copyright Coast magazine)

UPCOMING EXHIBITION ‘NINE’ SHOWCASES DYNAMIC NEW WORK BY ARTISTS FROM KENSINGTON & CHELSEA COLLEGE

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Private View: 6-9pm, 17 May 2017
Exhibition: 18-20 May 2017 Seminar: 2-5pm, 20 May 2017
Place: 508 Kings Road Art Gallery, Kings Road, Chelsea SW10 0LD

Students from the HND Fine Art course at Kensington & Chelsea College will be taking over 508 Kings Road Art Gallery in Chelsea to present their end-of-year show to art lovers from across the capital.

Featuring a range of work including painting, sculpture, installation and photography, the exhibition promises an exciting glimpse into the artistic practices of these emerging artists as they complete the equivalent of their second year of a BA degree.

From Charlotte Fraser’s colourful yet poignant oil paintings to Louise Richards’ wearable sculptures, and from Alex Purcell’s message-heavy collage to Terry Barber’s sculpted cardboard installation, the work will provoke thought as well as surprise and entertain. Many of the exclusive artworks will also be for sale. There will be a seminar on the last day of the show, Saturday 20 May, from 2-5pm, when visitors will have the chance to join in a discussion of the artists’ work and ask questions.

The exhibiting artists are: Terry Barber, Charlotte Fraser, Felix Jude, Maie Moussa, Alex Purcell, Louise Richards, Nazanin Sarabi, Katherine Skinner and Natalie Wells.

Course director Jane Eyton says: ‘This will be one of the strongest HND Fine Art shows to date. The students have worked extremely hard this year and have shown real progression, independence and achievement in their ideas, materials and promotion of their creative practice. Come and support them at the 508 Gallery, situated in an extremely central location, to see their new work.’

Notes to editors:  The NINE artists are studying HND Fine Art at Kensington & Chelsea College, the equivalent of the second year of a BA (Hons) degree. They progressed to this from HNC Fine Art. The college also runs a Fine Art BA (Hons) top-up, validated by London South Bank University, which many of the featured artists aim to progress to in order to gain their full Fine Art BA (Hons) degrees. For further details about the college and its courses, visit kcc.ac.uk or email info@kcc.ac.uk.

And now, the end is near…

I can’t believe how fast my year of HND study has been going. The final exhibition is just over a week away, and it’s all hands on deck to get this show on the road (Kings Road, in fact, at 508 Kings Road Art Gallery). It’s all part of the course for us group of nine students to find and book the venue, organise the show and private view, and then publicise it. Oh, and to develop and produce some amazing work to go in it, of course.

I’m in charge of publicity, so forgive me for the shameless plug in my next article. I thank you.Handy

 

A Mach made in heaven

It’s not every day that you get to rummage around in your hero’s drawers, if you’ll pardon the expression. But as a participant in one of Royal Academician David Mach’s first Drawing & Collage masterclasses, for three days I was let loose among his vast hoard of collage materials to add to and develop the drawings I’d made in his studio, working from the life model.

Feeling like a kid in a sweetshop, it was difficult to choose from the myriad papers carefully categorised under tantalising headings such as blue skies, beach, ice/snow and water, as well as the less savoury ones labelled hellfire, fat, and falling folk. As someone who loves a bit of colour-coordinated organisation, it was a double whammy.

It was a long weekend of uninterrupted drawing and collage heaven, with lots of advice, creative development ideas and encouragement from David. The sessions were regularly punctuated by tea and biscuits (ginger thins, in case you were wondering) and anecdotes from the artist’s long and successful career. In short, it was challenging, inspiring, motivating… and a lot of fun.

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Mach masterclass-1

*Find out more about David Mach and his masterclasses at davidmach.com and check out upcoming open studios events at havelockwalk.com

Nobody puts baby in the corner. (But I did!)

Meanwhile, back at college…

Our task was to join forces with a couple of fellow artists for a one-day-only, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it exhibition. We called ours In. On. Off. because our work is concerned with the physicality of self: what we put on our bodies as adornment, enhancement or concealment; what we put in our bodies to fight disease and promote healing; and what ultimately comes off our bodies – dead skin, hair and nails.

Here’s what my press release had to say about my contribution to the show:

Terry Barber’s work often incorporates the most basic elements of herself, family and friends – the stuff that’s hardly noticed but that gets sucked up into the vacuum cleaner. As well as crumbs, fibres and the odd button, this inevitably includes skin, hair and nail fragments from everyone who spends time in her home. ‘People leave memories and impressions when they visit, but also their physical self, their DNA,’ explains Barber. 

Her artwork for this exhibition, We’re All In This Together, uses an oversized bra filled out with balloons and the detritus of everyday living gathered from the vacuum bag. She describes it as: ‘A kind of symbolic, exaggerated self-portrait that includes a little of everyone that’s important to me. My bosom buddies, if you like. They are integral to my make-up and wellbeing, and this demonstrates that, metaphorically, I’d like to sweep them up and keep them close to my heart always.’ With the balloons giving a nod towards the pneumatic breasts that many women aspire to in today’s fashion for a pumped-up profile, the artwork is in turns funny, disturbing, repugnant and, once you know the context, strangely poignant.

Oh, and of course I decided to put this baby in the corner. Just for the hell of it.

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It’s a readymade thing…

So, one term down, two exhibitions, Christmas, and the start of a new year. How time flies when you’re having fun – especially when you’re working with found objects, everyday materials and printed images. Blame Marcel Duchamp for kicking off the whole readymade thing with his urinal…

A recurring theme throughout my work is the home – in particular my home – its inhabitants and the detritus of everyday life. After a rummage around the recycling bin I came up with a series of collages, a tribe of Boxheads and a little – ahem – battery chicken. No apologies for the terrible pun.