Thursday, December 23, 2010

Seasons Greetings from all at Workplace Gallery

Laura Lancaster
Untitled, 2010
Oil on board
110 x 160 cm, 43 1/4 x 63 in
Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery

Friday, December 03, 2010

Catherine Bertola: "Beyond Pattern" DLI Art Gallery, Durham, UK

Catherine Bertola
Beyond Pattern
DLI Art Gallery, Durham, UK
04 December 2010 - 16 January 2011

Artists: Catherine Bertola, Michael Brennand-Wood, Nisha Duggal, Leo Fitzmaurice, Doug Jones, Adam King, Steve Messam, Henna Nadeem, Angharad Pearce-Jones, Pamela So, Andrea Stokes.

An exploration into the cultural meanings of 'pattern', through exhibition, commission, publication and debate, with work that utilises 'pattern' as a social, cultural and political commentator. With new commissions by Steve Messam, Catherine Bertola and Angharad Pearce-Jones and work by Michael Brennand-Wood, Nisha Duggal, Leo Fitzmaurice, Doug Jones, Adam King, Pamela So, Henna Nadeem and Andrea Stokes.
Pattern is all around us, whether we are conscious of it or not. It penetrates every aspect of our lives and can be found in the home, workplace, street, garden or in the landscape. Pattern's existence is not confined by our own manufacture as it forms the foundation for many aspects of the natural world. However, it is the manner in which we utilise pattern in our lives that forms the basis of this exhibition.
We often think of pattern simply as an adornment or perhaps even as a form of disguise, but it can also reflect a desire to communicate through a specific visual language. It might be that it represents cohesion and a sense of balance, thereby providing visual stimulation or a space for meditation. It can symbolise status or even be a device to convey ideas, express identity or specific ideologies, as well as presenting political beliefs or maintaining cultural traditions.
Work by eleven artists take us on a journey to explore these ideas and highlights how pattern can be, or has been, used as a social, cultural and political commentator that reaches beyond ornamentation and decoration. Whether these artists reference the domestic or public space, draw on contemporary or historical situations, comment on or observe aspects of society, subvert the familiar and question perception, they present a diverse reflection on the subject of pattern.
Beyond Pattern represents both conceptual and craft focused practices whilst reflecting an array of media; from metalwork to embroidered textiles and temporary public installation to hand cut collages. Individual works have been carefully selected to create intriguing, profound and sometimes surprising departure points for conversation.

Oriel Davies is delighted to commission work by Catherine Bertola and Angharad Pearce-Jones for the exhibition and also to commission the temporary site-based work titled Clad by Steve Messam.

A full colour publication accompanies this project with essays by Laura Mansfield and Lesley Millar. An Oriel Davies Touring exhibition curated by Alex Boyd. This project has been made possible through an Arts Council of Wales Beacon Company Award 2008-10. Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and The Laura Ashley Foundation.

Catherine Bertola
Installation view of
From the palace at Hillstreet, 2009 and Bluestockings (Fanny Burney), (Hester Chapone), (Elizabeth Carter) and (Elizabeth Vesey), 2009
"Beyond Pattern" Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown, Wales.
Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery, UK.

Laura Lancaster: "Fade Away" Transition Gallery, London, UK

Laura Lancaster
Transition Gallery, London, UK
03 - 24 December 2010

Henny Acloque, Phillip Allen, Tim Bailey, Nathan Barlex, Mike Bartlett, Alice Browne, Lindsey Bull, Nick Carrick, Clem Crosby, Theo Cuff, Kaye Donachie, Sarah Douglas, Sarah Dwyer, Andrew Graves, Paul Housley, Thomas Hylander, Hannah Knox, Laura Lancaster, Robert Lang, Sarah Lederman, Eleanor Moreton, Mali Morris, Alex Gene Morrison, Nadia Mulder, Jill Mulleady, Mahali O'Hare, Scott O'Rourke, Joanna Pawlowska, Joanna Phelps, Benjamin Senior, Shaan Syed, Zack Thorne,Gavin Toye, Helen Turner, Claire Undy, David Webb, Robert Welch, Andy Wicks, Jo Wilmot.

Fade Away is the first in an ongoing series of exhibitions at Transition with different guest curators focusing on the diversity of contemporary painting and exploring the ways in which artists are engaged with it.
Fade Away, which is curated by Alli Sharma, with an accompanying text by Barry Schwabsky, features paintings that oscillate between representation and abstraction. With widely diverse references and subject matter, they all share a strong material presence. Whatever the creative enquiry, they make you think about paint and the act of painting.
Some of the Fade Away artists work directly from the perceptible world; others use the representational as a point of departure into the abstract, or conversely, explore the abstract, which reveals itself as subject.
The dialogue between surface and illusion, representation and abstraction performs a paradoxical balancing act where surfaces are brushed, scored, erased, layered, revealed, dripped and collapsed. Compositions teeter on the verge of illegibility where images emerge and fade away.

Laura Lancaster
Untitled, 2010
Oil on canvas
30.5 x 25 cm

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Matt Stokes: "No Place Else Better Than Here" Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany

No Place Better Than Here
Kunsthalle Fridericianum
Kassel, Germany
04 December 2010 - 20 February 2011

In his works, many of which are filmic or event-based, the British artist Matt Stokes (born in Penzance, England, in 1973) deals with subcultures. In meticulous research, he explores the origins of certain music scenes and groups, investigating the specific local development of, say, the folk movement in Camden and Newcastle, Northern Soul in Dundee, and punk rock in Austin, Texas. Stokes is interested in the way in which music creates a collective feeling, serves as a catalyst for certain groups, and shapes and influences people's lives and identities. He immerses himself in a certain environment, gets involved with the community of a subculture, and in this way manages to convey the characteristics of certain scenes in an artistic manner which is not only documentary, but also personal and expressive. From his long-term research, in which he collects impressions, stories, and materials, he creates films, exhibition projects, musical works and events which develop their own conceptual and aesthetic life.

In terms of context, many of Stokes' works often closely relate to the musical history of the places for which he conceives an exhibition. In 2003, the artist initiated the continuous project Real Arcadia, which looked back at 1980s British rave culture and the 'cave raves' which were celebrated not in clubs but in caves in the open countryside. For the undertaking, Stokes established close contact with the performers of the day, collected film material, related TV reports and a number of objects such as cassettes, records, posters, flyers and T-shirts, on the basis of which he not only archived the history of this culture, but also revived it. The film Long After Tonight (2005) engages with Northern Soul, a British music movement and subculture which emerged in northern England and Scotland at the end of the 1960s and had a decisive impact on people's lifestyles. During an artist's residency in Austin, Texas, Matt Stokes created the work these are the days (2008) for Arthouse, in which he explored the punk, post-punk and DIY movements in Austin. Since the 1970s, these alternative music scenes have represented a kind of anti-attitude to the mainstream in Austin, developing into influential subcultures in the city. The film work The Gainsborough Packet (2008-09) emerged within the framework of a solo exhibition at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead and at the Project Space 176 in London. Reminiscent of the music video format and in the style of costume films, The Gainsborough Packet focuses on the move toward industrialisation in the mid 19th century and to the decisive importance of music and song in the daily lives of the young urbanised population.

With his Kassel exhibition Matt Stokes devotes himself to the phenomenon of the lasting effect of underground music as a counter-movement to the mainstream and its ability to spawn subcultures which influence people's opinions and lifestyles, issues which run through Stokes' entire oeuvre. Against this background, he will combine the film The Gainsborough Packet with sculptural and object works emerging from the cultural context of rave, and with a large film installation which Stokes is producing specifically for his show in Kassel. Installed in a semicircle which will dominate the main wing of the Fridericianum and recall ancient amphitheatre architecture, this new film work will take a penetrating look at the hardcore, grindcore and death metal music cultures that played a big role in Kassel's underground music scenes in the 1980s and 1990s. For this project, Stokes selected six hardcore singers, one from Kassel and the others from various countries outside Germany. Using a musical composition, Matt Stokes will combine their typical singing, which is usually devoid of words. The auditive aspect, the singers' movements and body postures, as well as the recording locations that form the background of the film will contribute to the special atmosphere of this work.


Matt Stokes
Real Arcadia (Never Been to Belgium), 2003 (ongoing)
12 x archive inkjet prints on paper

Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery