Thursday, September 24, 2009

Life in Progress

It is a site of contradictions, dereliction and construction, pathways and obstructions, despair and hope. Amongst the reconstructed detritus of Paul Carter’s installation “Hotel” at Matts Gallery one feels unease but also strangely connected to the impromptu structures and elements that make up the re-imagined interior architecture of the gallery. In the corner of the gallery sits a disused lift with the cables cut and the door partially open, Carter’s recognisable large sofas and chairs have been made from discarded and reconstructed frames and placed around the edges of the gallery space. In the central space a labyrinth of wooden boxes, blocks and batons are screwed and nailed together to demarcate small rooms, alcoves and pathways. The light of bulbs hanging at irregular intervals from the ceiling cast shadows around the space from panels of wood used to create the walls. Glass panels, some intact others cracked in places allow the lights glow to illuminate some areas and others to glare and momentarily obstruct your sight. Within some of these constructions are small alcoves, tiny boxes and shelves. Wedged behind glass panels we can see small insignificant collections of objects, dust, dirt, wood shavings and other detritus.
It is some time before the realisation that this constructed interior is in no way connected to the existing interior of the gallery, one assumes that some columns and walls must have been present prior to Carter’s period in residency in which the installation has been assembled, however this is a completely false assumption. All the sculptural elements of the installation were transported to the gallery space and assembled from the collection of reclaimed materials that Carter uses in his studio and hybridised from previous works stored around his workspace. This is a shanty town construction in the gallery space and unlike the elevated trinkets of much contemporary art Carter’s works are assembled and constructed from the lowest, most overlooked materials into something more powerful and engaging. Amongst the protruding nails, the smell of rotting masonry, dust, dirt and splinters of wood is an honesty. An honesty of materials, honesty of construction and honesty where Carter as an artist shows us traces in these reclaimed materials of histories seeping out, traces of human activity, of life with all its contradictions, that these materials have absorbed.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Before & After

"Before and After"
Mixed Media

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

TangentProjects at HTAP


80 Kingsland Rd, E2 8DP (next to Flowers East)
3-13 September 2009
Private view 6-9 pm on 2 September
Tues - Sat 12-8 pm, Sun 2-8 pm, Thurs open late ‘til 9 pm

Hackney Transients Art Project (HTAP) is pleased announce 2 forums accompanying in/flux, an exhibition of new works of art and design exploring everyday experience as a catalyst for critical/creative practice.

A combination of formal presentations with relaxed discussion, these forums will explore characteristics distinguishing Hackney’s cultural terrain. Everyone welcome; divergent opinions encouraged. Refreshments will be served at the intermission. Please bring a blanket or cushion to sit on.

Forum One: Hackney’s Cultural Hybridity: Past, Present and Future
Thursday, 10 September: 6 - 8:30pm
Part A: ‘in/flux - Reflections and Process’6 - 7pm
Part A of this forum will sketch HTAP’s engagement with themes of transience, mapping, individual narratives and everyday experience. It will focus on the project’s interest in Hackney as a complex of communities that weaves together the cultures and imaginaries of people from all over the world. Contributors to HTAP’s oral history archive will recount specific experiences through which they recognised Hackney as “home”. These retellings will be followed by a round table among artists and designers featured in in/flux. This discussion will consider Hackney’s cultural hybridity as manifest in the exhibition.

Part B: ‘The Cultural Terrain of Contemporary Hackney in 2020’7.30 - 8.30 pmImagine yourself 11 years into the future. What does Hackney look like today, in 2020, and why? This group thought experiment will speculate about the impact of Hackney’s current development on its future. Come and share your imaginings as we contemplate Hackney’s present as it’s past.

Forum Two: Aesthetics and Ethics: Models of Socially Engaged Practice
Saturday, 12 September: 3 – 5:30
Part A: ‘Collaborations, Collectives and Everyone Else: Hackney-based Art and Design Groups’3 - 4 pm Profiling the work of five Hackney-based art, design and curatorial groups, this forum highlights dynamic and self-organised initiatives impacting the borough’s culture. Each group will share its practice through a short presentation followed by a brief Q&A.

Part B: ‘Beyond “Happy Clappy Interactivity”: Some Challenges of Socially Engaged Practice’
4:30 – 5:30 pmBuilding on Part A, Part B of this forum considers challenges characterising socially engaged practice as well as specific strategies and tactics that artists, designers and curators are using to work around them. Questions/comments/concerns submitted in advance will propel this informal discussion. Please email your contribution to by 10 September for inclusion.

Curated by Marsha Bradfield and Miriam Kings and produced by Lucy Tomlins, in/flux presents works by Alison Barnes, Marnie Baumer, Matt Blackler, Clemmie James, Matthew Krishanu, Tamara Lesniewska and Kim Alexander, Christine Mitrentse, Barry Gene Murphy, Lucy Tomlins and Charlotte Young.

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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Heart Lands

" Heart Lands"
Chalk, London Brick Company Brick and London Stock Brick from the banks of the River Thames. Mud from the source of the River Fleet, Mud from the banks of the River Rother. Mud from the Mouth of Beverley Brook

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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

When Words Fail Me...

We all draw, whether we think it or not beyond speech and writing drawing is the fundamental human means of communication. Many of us tell ourselves as adults that we cannot draw but every time we write corrections on a handwritten note, a shopping list, a quick scrappy map of our travels or place a quick rudimentary sign on a door or wall that says “back in 5 mins”, “gone to lunch” or “wet paint” we are drawing.

The Campaign for Drawing have been encouraging us to use this valuable skill for ten years. Their current Now We Are 10 exhibition at the Idea Generation gallery collects a number of works from their supporters and patrons that are to be auctioned to raise funds for their future activities, however as well as the importance that these extra funds will make to the campaign it is worth reflecting on the sheer variety and forms of drawing that are on display, amongst the usual suspects of Quentin Blake, Steve Bell, Gerald Scarfe and Sir Norman Foster are many younger artists and illustrators. The diversity of the works on show are evident and as a viewer it would be easy to indulge ourselves by heading straight to our favourite artists works. The Campaign shows its ability to continue to enthuse and encourage us to the practice of drawing by showing the multitude of possibilities that drawing can provide. This multitude of styles and possibilities need not necessarily encourage us to draw well or better but to just pick up a pen, pencil, crayon or inky finger and communicate through drawing. It is when we see architectural sketches or elevations, satirical cartoons, life drawings and botanical studies sat side by side in this display that the endless possibilities for all of us to use even the most rudimentary forms of drawing as simple, instant and accessible means of communicating to others present themselves.

The works in this exhibition are many and varied but the quality is high considering the over one hundred works available in the auction taking place on the 17th September, with works by the likes of Adam Dant, Paula Rego and Martin Rowson and with lesser known artists donating some extremely unique and high quality works one hopes that the auction will be a success for the Campaign. As importantly though is that with the campaign’s Big Draw events continuing through October that we are encouraged to think about using the opportunities drawing provides, when speech, language and the written word fail to communicate our thoughts clearly drawing will always be the one activity that we can rely on to explain our thoughts and ideas in the widest and most accessible way.

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