Window Project Spring 2017
Gazelli Art House - Dover Street
In April 2017 I was informed by Gazelli Art House that I had won their Window Project Competition for Spring 2017. For this application I had spent a lot of time organising the proposal elements and detailing specific installation requirements. Within my application I included an Artist CV, Artist statement (tailored to the work I had submitted), a breakdown of the project's budget and a detailed proposal of the work with images, layouts in accordance to the gallery space and links to videos of previous installations of the piece. I believe this held me in good stead and assured the gallery of my clear intentions in relation to their window space.
My initial intentions were to show 8 videos from the 'WSM' series on 8 television monitors mounted in the windows. Based on the needs of the space itself the gallery wanted to make a few minor changes to the installation of the piece, as they felt that the videos on the top floor would be difficult to see from the street. The gallery had previously worked a lot with vinyl prints for the Window Project. By doing so they were taking advantage of an incredible viewing spot on Dover Street which could be seen at the other end of Stafford street. I soon learnt that the vinyl prints provided impact and versatility in relation to my 'WSM' series. Together we decided on 3 large vinyl prints in the top 3 windows (showing enlarged stills taken from the videos) and 2 video compilations in the bottom two windows. This was the first time I had had to adapt my work in collaboration with a gallery and it really helped me to push the 'WSM' series into a new dimension and medium.
A constant thread of contact had to be maintained in the lead up to the show, I selected and formatted the three vinyl prints for the top 3 windows and sourced the televisions and television stands for the ground floor. On the day of install I was there to help the gallery technician to attach the two mounting walls for the televisions and adjust the wiring as well as the delicate job of professionally mounting the three vinyl prints to the windows.
It was planned for the work to be exhibited for two weeks but the gallery founder and director Mila Askarova liked it so much that the show was extended to a month. The gallery also wanted to sell one of my prints from the 'WSM' series on their website, which encouraged me to organise the print and costings and take the work into a more sellable realm.
At the end of the exhibition the gallery hosted a closing event for me and I have since maintained a close relationship with a few of the staff who are excited to see any new work. Overall the whole experience was hugely enriching, positive and exciting.
Bermondsey Project Space, London Bridge
In February 2018 my work 'Jog on' was selected to be shown in 'Xhibit 2018' by judges : Mike von Joel (editor in chief, STATE/f22 Art publisher and Director of Art Bermondsey Project Space) Leah Kahn (Activities Sabbatical Officer at UAL) Amal Khalif (project curator for the Serpentine and co-director for Global Art Forum 10 and founding member of art collective GCC) Patrick Laing (product designer, commissioned for the likes of Adidas and Nike) Frances Morris (curator and Director of Tate Modern, Frances is Tate’s first female Director and has previously worked at the Arnolfini in Bristol) and Nadia-Anne Ricketts (founder and creator of Beatwoven).
Being selected not only gave me a spot in the annual exhibition at Bermondsey Project Space but it gave me a years membership at the V&A and a supporting professional development programme. I also took responsibility for the transportation of my work as well as 4 other Wimbledon based Artists (and formed a great relationship with the van driver who I will use for future art transportation). I installed my own work in the space and made sure the motor-based piece was fully functional for the entirety of the four week show. Being involved in the exhibition was a really great experience for me and gave the work a huge amount of exposure (with the gallery being situated just down the road from London Bridge station.) It was also really refreshing to exhibit alongside students from a variety of courses and levels across UAL, no themes, no restraints, just a wide range of creativity and collaboration. At the pre-PV event I managed to connect with a number of artists, gallery owners and organisers and got a stream of really great responses to the work. I saw a number of people enter the room upstairs, see the work instantly and laugh - this was the most rewarding thing about the experience. The exhibition and exhibiting Artists, were advertised on UAL news, Vanity Fair, Bermondsey Project Space, Art Rabbit and CASS Art.
I was also one of the six artists who were chosen exclusively to meet with Curator and Director of the Tate Modern (and one of the judges for Xhibit 2018) Frances Morris in her office at the Tate. I was really honoured to be offered this opportunity and found her to be extremely intelligent, calm, reassuring and honest. It was a really invaluable insight into someone at the very top of the Art World. My question to her was something like "why do you think that the art world doesn't engage with a large audience in the same way that music and film do?" to which she seemed really engaged with (specifically in relation to my engagement with sport within my practice.) She seemed to ponder over our countries obsession with sport and how this could be channelled into art, potentially through education. Her overall advice : get out there but don't be too pushy, position yourself, see the next step and don't worry about the long-term.
'Boxing Stare Downs' online solo exhibition
In August 2017 I was approached by AVD; a new digital platform designed for mobile consumption. The online gallery's curator asked me if I would be interested in showing work in an exclusive mobile format. At the time I had been working on my 'Boxing Stare Down' videos. I had shown one of the videos in a University Crit on an old analogue television but there seemed to be something missing; I didn't want to continuously rely on old technology, specifically when referencing old footage. This digital platform gave me the opportunity to test the work amongst modern day viewing formats.
The curator of AVD gave me complete creative control in terms of designing the page layout, I provided the visuals, he dealt with the formatting and made sure every element worked online. I really enjoyed this kind of collaboration.
From 17th September - 28th September 2017 AVD released one video from the boxing series every three days (four videos were released in total) and the only way the viewer could see the videos were via a link on their mobile screen. I designed four different page layouts (screen width size) for each video and embedded the video within a stream of fake adverts, porn, betting deals and forums. This online environment is familiar to sports fans who often illegally stream boxing matches online. This was my way of bringing old footage (showing boxing hysteria which is still extremely prominent now) into the view of a modern sporting audience. Mixing low-tech with high-tech, old and new.
I thought this brought so much more life to the work and was such an interesting concept, I'm really glad I was asked to be involved. I will definitely consider this format again; in relation to the 'social arena' it is offering an alternative to a white gallery space, it's taking advantage of peoples current obsessions with their phones and allowing the viewer to decide their own journey through the artwork via a swipe of the finger. As well as constructing the viewing environment and editing the videos I also took the initiative to write my own press release for the exhibition which I used to send round to a mailing list I have been collating. A lot of old and new contacts in the art world responded and really enjoyed the work. I also had an article written for me to promote the show by my previous University (Falmouth University of Arts), see below.
'Same Same But Different'
Lightbox gallery, Leicester
Catherine (Howell) was approached by LCB Depot in Leicester last November to take part in a week long residency as part of her studio collective, StudionAme, Leicester, culminating in an exhibition at the Lightbox Gallery. She asked me if I would be interested in collaborating with her on the project, bringing both our practices together for an all-immersive show. Catherine had been compiling a 3-D installation using a mixture of life-sized and distorted cut outs of collages sourced from archives of National Geographic magazines and 20th century anthropology journals. We wanted to combine this with some of my previous and more recent video work, often looking at a similar culmination of humankind. We thought that by projecting film onto the work or embedding it within the wooden cut outs this would bring both our practices into another dimension. This project proved massively enriching on a number of levels. We had to prepare, produce, order and transport all the artwork up to Leicester. We had to organise a budget from the gallery itself, install the work, collaborate in the curation of the show, promote and document the show.
I had been working a lot with adapting my 'WSM' series to windows around London at the time so neither of us could resist using the five massive windows at the front of the gallery to showcase five giant strained strongest man video stills. This not only allowed us to interact with the public but it also completely transformed the inside floor space and tied the whole idea of 'Same Same but Different' together. What we loved most was the collaborative aspect and how this encouraged us to analyse the work differently. Not only were we mixing Catherine's painting, collage, wood-cutting techniques with my video editing, large-scale printing techniques but we were subconsciously (through the subject matter) mixing East with West, femininity with masculinity, ritual with sport and personal footage/imagery with found footage/imagery.
Working in Leicester with Catherine has allowed me to connect with a wider art world and sustain contacts with artists/ gallery owners/ studio technicians in a new city. Catherine promoted the exhibition through social media and I documented and edited a video to showcase the progression of the residency (available to watch on the left). We worked together really well, shared jobs equally, transferred and developed new skills and most importantly, created a really exciting collaborative show in a contemporary art gallery (outside of London).
Artist Interview platform.
Myself and Mark (Jeffreys) worked on a short film ahead of the MFA Final Show to be placed across social media and on the MFA Stars website to promote the Artists involved. Whilst 'spreading the word' visually, we also wanted to create a sense of intrigue around the work. After gathering footage and conducting interviews with whoever was available and willing, we spent a few days putting it all together using Premiere Pro.
We felt there was a way to engage people with the work in the show by revealing snippets of works-in-progress, and asking simple questions to get the artists to talk about their work in an un-pretentious and un-self-conscious way. We then edited it down to what we felt was a good length and made sure it flowed well enough to encourage viewers to watch the whole thing (rather than swiping past.) We also used Catherine (Howell)'s sound piece as a back drop for the video which set an immersive atmosphere and rhythm.
During the process, particularly during the Artist interviews, we both realised that there was a gap in the market for providing a platform for emerging artists and an insight into their studio production (whilst creating an experimental video piece.) Because we were both on such a similar level in relation to the concept, production and post-production of the video we have decided to launch an Artist Interview Platform : Art Waffle.
The basic idea is that we will collect relaxed interviews from emerging Artists. We will create an experimental video piece from the footage, provide exposure for the Artist, build up an online community of Artists, trigger discussions about Art, studios and production, make Art accessible to a wider audience and take advantage of the fast-paced, image-flicking society that has been crafted around our generation. Turn digital saturation into digital discussion. Saturation into substance.
'WHAY HAPPENS TO US'
When I first started the course in November 2016 my application for the WHAT HAPPENS TO US exhibition in Wimbledon Space was accepted and I was offered a private screening / reception for my video piece PRIMAL SCREAM . They wanted to use the hour long screening as a punctuation point over the four week long exhibition and 'celebrate me as an exciting artist in the community of WCA". I then created a GIF to be shown in the closing event. Since this event GIF's seem to have become a recurring method for me to show video work or create moving sketches for kinetic sculptures when proposing how they may move (in applications, proposals etc.) .
The exhibition itself was examining democracy as a system of community and formation, particularly in the long shadow of the EU referendum and the shock and awe of the US election. I proposed PRIMAL SCREAM on the grounds that it followed in our societies current quest for contentment. The layout of the video piece questions the fast-paced, visually stimulating, technology based world in which we live. The curators, Marsha Bradfield and Amy McDonnell, felt that my video "drew attention to how our minds impose categories upon a chaos and create the world as we know it" and felt that it would fit in with the 'Elect' phase of the exhibition. This was an early example of my ability to connect and communicate with curators and propose links between my work and their concepts.
It was really interesting to see this piece in a new context, specifically now two years later after seeing Wimbledon Space develop as a gallery and consistently exhibit strong and professional work. At its screening the video was shown on an endless loop but I did feel that it would have been more suited to a walk-through collaborative exhibition environment; something you could dip in and out of. The overall experience was very reflective and affirming and it gave me the opportunity to work alongside curators, promote the work and talk about it in front of a large group of people.
Quick Mentions :
- Shortlisted for Bloomberg new Contemporaries 2018 ( 3 works shortlisted) Selectors : Benedict Drew, Katy Moran, Keith Piper.
- Shortlisted for Metro Imaging Mentorship with'Made in Arts London'
- Exhibited 'WSM' at Window 71 in Seven Ssiters.
- Exhibited 'Chris and Madge' at the Art Market in Maidstone
- Selected for Women Cinemakers Biennial Edition (with a 14 page interview in their magazine.)
- Technical team for' One that Holds Everything' at the Crypt Gallery
- Invigilation at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
- Exhibited 'WSM' and 'PRIMAL SCREAM' at 'Lost Street Chicken', The Smokehouse Gallery, Hackney Wick
- Marketing and Social Media team for 'Life in a shoe box' at the Back Room Gallery in Peckham
- Launched 'RAM' an illustration brand from which I sell across the world.