11th September 2015: Bruce Nauman 'Beyond Words'

14/09/15 Bruce Nauman: 'One Hundred Live and Die' 1984. Neon tubing with clear glass tubing on metal monolith.

Bruce Nauman. 'Lip Sync' 1969, Video, black-and-white, with sound, 57 minutes.

Bruce Nauman. 'Five Pink Heads in the Corner' 1992. Epoxy resin and fibreglass.

Stephen Knapp, Lightpaintings.

Stephen Knapp’s Lightpaintings are a new art form, a new beginning and the next step in the evolution of painting. Dispensing with traditional media and narrative content he is one of a small group of artists who work with light. Formed at the intersection of paintings, sculpture and architecture, his lightpaintings are intangible, multi-dimensional compositions of pure radiance making visible the light that surrounds us and transforming it into something physical yet inherently transcendental.

In his lightpaintings Stephen Knapp creates destinations, a sense of place. Behind the lush colors and striking compositions underlies a serious exploration of space and dimension, light and color and perception that will forever change how we look at objects.

Lightpaintings are created by using a special glass treated with layers of metallic coatings that act as a selective prism to separate focused light into different wavelengths of the spectrum. Knapp cuts, shapes and polishes the glass in his studio to make a palette that he can use to refract and reflect light onto a surface and the surrounding space.

Tailored to their immediate setting, Knapp’s lightpaintings embody an inherently unique and wholly original form of art that integrates sculptural, structural and purely visual elements into compositions that transform their environment and envelop the viewer in iridescent radiance. The resulting creation displays abstract art’s affinity with music; the relationship of form, space and color akin to those of melody, time signature and harmony.  Lightpaintings are in fact symphonies of color.



Inside/ Outside Tree, Sou Fujimoto.

Illusions in Optical Glass.

In the 1660's Isaac Newton discovered that a prism, traditionally made of clear glass, could split light into a spectrum of colours when struck by a narrow beam of sunlight. Although translucency is generally though to be the 'natural' appearance of glass, this is not actually true. Clear glass is more difficult to achieve than many coloured glasses became sand, which makes up the bulk of the glassmaking raw material, always contains impurities- usually in form of iron oxide, which lends a greenish/brownish tint. To counteract this, other oxides, for example manganese or cerium oxide, are added as decolourisers. One of the major goals of glass-makers from the fifteenth century onward has been to achieve a perfectly clear glass: a difficult task. 

Glass artists extensively play with the optical properties of glass in their work. American artist John Kuhn, for instance, creates glass objects that make use of mirror effects, refraction and reflection. They are cut, polished and assembles from many precisely cut pieces of mostly clear glass, revealing an infinity of shapes and colours. The optical properties of the glass, together with light, result in constant movement and change. 

Refraction and Distortion.

A refracted shape is created when light passes through something transparent, such as water or glass, and bends. This bending light creates an optical effect, which gives us the refracted shape. The 'classic' example of refracted light is the prism. Light shines into the prism and, because of the shape of the prism, bends. The prism slows the light down enough that it shows the entire spectrum of colours. Shining a direct light into a faceted piece of glass or crystal will produce this effect. 

Distortion happens to any image behind a glass object when it is viewed through the glass. It becomes warped and almost abstract in appearance. If you add water to a glass container, objects behind the container will distort dramatically. 

Bruce Nauman: Studies for Holograms, 1970, Screenprint on paper.

Nick Veasey: X-Ray Art.

NV logo

We live in a world obsessed with image. What we look like, what our clothes look like, houses, cars… I like to counter this obsession with superficial appearance by using x-rays to strip back the layers and show what it is like under the surface. Often the integral beauty adds intrigue to the familiar. We all make assumptions based on the external visual aspects of what surrounds us and we are attracted to people and forms that are aesthetically pleasing. I like to challenge this automatic way that we react to just physical appearance by highlighting the, often surprising, inner beauty.

This society of ours, consumed as it is by image, is also becoming increasingly controlled by security and surveillance. Take a flight, or go into a high profile courtroom and your belongings will be x-rayed. The post arriving in corporations and government departments has often been x-rayed. Security cameras track our every move. Mobile phone receptions place us at any given time. Information is key to the fight against whatever we are meant to be fighting against. To create art with equipment and technology designed to help big brother delve deeper, to use some of that fancy complicated gadgetry that helps remove the freedom and individuality in our lives, to use that apparatus to create beauty brings a smile to my face.

To mix my metaphors, we all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, that beauty is more than skin deep. By revealing the inside, the quintessential element of my art speculates upon what the manufactured and natural world really consists of.

Nick Veasey: X-Ray Art.

“...(Nauman) remains an enigma—which is exactly why a collection of writings and especially interviews is so valuable.”—Nick Stillman, The Brooklyn Rail

Bruce Nauman: A reputation for silence...

Since the 1960s, the artist Bruce Nauman has developed a highly complex and pluralistic oeuvre ranging from discrete sculpture, performance, film, video, and text-based works to elaborate multipart installations incorporating sound, video recording and monitors, and architectural structures. Nauman's work is often interpreted in terms of movements and mediums, including performance, postminimalism, process, and conceptual art, thereby emphasizing its apparent eclecticism. But what is often overlooked is that underlying these seemingly disparate artistic tendencies are conceptual continuities, one of which is an investigation of the nature of language.

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Nauman has refrained from participating in the critical discourse surrounding his own work. He has given relatively few interviews over the course of his career and has little to do with the art press or critical establishment. Indeed, he granted Janet Kraynak and The MIT Press almost complete autonomy in the preparation of this volume. In contrast to Nauman's reputation for silence, however, from the beginning of his career, the incorporation of language has been a central feature of his art. This collection takes as its starting point the seeming paradox of an artist of so few words who produces an art of so many words.

Bruce Nauman: Performance Corridor, 1969

Jenny Saville & Glen Luchford, Closed Contact., Exhibition View.

21st September 2015, Fine Art: Human Being/Being Human. Susan Collis, 'The Oyster's our world', 2004.

21st September 2015, Fine Art: Human Being/Being Human. Rebecca Horn, 'Unicorn', 1974.

22nd September 2015, Fine Art. Wim Delvoye, 'Arielle' (Tattooed Pig) 1997.

22nd September 2015, Fine Art. Wim Delvoye.

Wim Delvoye: Tattooing Pigs or the Art of Provocation

Delvoye’s equally controversial project was his tattooed pigs. Delvoye started tattooing the skin of dead pigs in the early 1990s, but it was not until 1997 that the artist began to use live pigs as a canvas. In 2004, he bought a farm in a little village near Beijing where he systematically elaborated the artistic concept for his Art Farm. There, the pigs grow up while a team of specialists looks after them. Assistants, veterinarians, and, of course, Delvoye himself, sedate the piglets, shave their skin, tattoo them, keep the wounds clean and their skin properly moisturised. In an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde,Delvoye described his concept as follows: ‘I show the world works of art that are so alive, they have to be vaccinated…It lives, it moves, it will die. Everything is real.’

The tattoos themselves are based on Delavoye’s drawings, most of which refer to Western iconography. From popular biker symbols such as hearts and skulls, to Disney princesses, the Louis Vuitton monogram and religious images, Delvoye ‘mixes antagonist elements in order to create an impact and make people feel uncomfortable.’ By placing the motives on pigskin, the artist takes away their message and purpose. They become pure decorum, their only intent is to shock and be beautiful. Delvoye declared in an interview with Claire Naa in 2007: ‘When visitors turn around the pigs, observe it, I am happy. I feel like I‘ve given them back their dignity’.

22nd September 2015, Fine Art. Eleanor Antin 'Cariving: A Traditional Sculpture' 1972.

22nd September 2015, Fine Art. Eleanor Antin 'Cariving: A Traditional Sculpture' 1972.

A landmark early feminist work, Eleanor Antin’s Carving: A Traditional Sculpture comprises 148 black-and-white photographs documenting the artist’s loss of 10 pounds over 37 days. Every morning she was photographed naked in the same four stances to record her barely perceptible self-induced weight loss. (The photographs from each day are arranged vertically, and the entire process can be read horizontally, like a filmstrip.) Antin’s performance purposely toyed with the traditional process of Greek sculptors, who were said to find their ideal form by chipping away at a block of marble and discarding any unnecessary material. The artist’s idea of “carving” her own body was inspired by an invitation from the Whitney Museum of Art for its biennial survey exhibition, which at the time restricted itself to the established categories of painting and sculpture, though this work was considered too conceptual for the exhibition.


Antin’s work also gestures to the male gaze. In acting like a Greek sculptor, she replicates the ‘carving’ out of an ideal female form, that true representation of beauty. That sculptor gets to decide what is beautiful, what is desirable. Much like those sculptors, the culture at large defines and sculpts beauty, the ideal forms of femininity. Women’s value is only measured through their ‘to-be-looked-at-ness’, their desirability dependent on the view of another sculptor who possesses the gaze. To possess this gaze, there is a cultural expectation that the female body therefore needs to be tamed, regimented, and constructed, in order to be worthy of desire.


Much like Valie Export’s ‘Body Configurations’, the body is the material that the artist is working with and manipulating. The body is the sculptural element that is transformed. There is fluidity in Antin’s work, as her body was changing as she created the art. Ironically, the performance was then fixed through photography.

22nd September 2015, Fine Art. Michael Borremans, 'Four fairies', 2003, Oil on canvas.

Alice Anderson, 'Speakers' 2014

Alice Anderson.


Alice Anderson’s new work asks you to take a journey into memory.Walking through a series of rooms you will encounter shapes that seem at once familiar and strange – a car, a record-player, sketch books, a bicycle, even a staircase have been transformed into glowing trophies – lending the experience a hallucinatory quality. Each item has been tightly bound with copper wire, which preserves its outline but removes its function. Divested of purpose these mute objects appear suspended in time, compelling you to rediscover what you thought you already knew intimately. Some may remind you of your own belongings, a few will prompt reminiscences about things you loved then discarded, some will remain abstract and enigmatic. A number of sculptures are presented ‘naked’ – as work in progress – so you may, if you wish, bring about their transformation by helping to ‘mummify’ them in the gallery. As you move through each space the works become increasingly mysterious and distorted as they respond to the pressure of the metal thread and morph into even more curious forms.This is no invitation to nostalgic reverie but a request to be fully awake and conscious of your own ability to weave memories in the here and now.

In the studio one morning in 2011,Anderson began to wind copper wire around her video camera, a charged act for an artist who had started out as a film maker. Finding the work surprisingly satisfying, she spent the whole day on it without noticing; next morning, when she returned, the bound object seemed to her to be ‘protected’ like a time capsule or a mummified treasure from a Pharaoh’s tomb.Anderson quickly resolved to apply this technique to the other objects and furniture in her studio, soon moving on to its architectural elements including the doors, steps and window frames. Having irrevocably changed the status of these things, she is committed to a future living without them, and has determined never to replace what is ‘done’.The reincarnation first realised in her series ‘Weaving in the Studio’ (2011) was in part an attempt to preserve items from Anderson’s past life, and, as she puts it, to prevent them from disappearing. But these works also demonstrate that even those objects that speak to us because of their enduring familiarity are fundamentally altered by our experience of time.


"An electric guitar has been swathed over and over again, the thin thread, wrapped tighter and tighter, entirely containing the instrument so you can see its shape but, up close, cannot make out its strings or fretboard. In caring for it, Anderson has muffled it. This guitar will never wail another solo. Nor will the pipe she has swaddled in copper wire ever again be smoked. This is not a pipe – it is a mummy. It is a ghost".

 Jonathan Jones, Alice Anderson at the Wellcome Collection review – a weird, wired world




Joana Hadjithomas and Kahil Joreige, Diary of a photographer, 1997-2006

28th September 2015, Graphic & Communication Design, Nick Ballon.

28th September 2015, Graphic & Communication Design, Nick Ballon.

Drawing on his Bolivian heritage, the photographer explains how a dead bird on an aeroplane seat is a fitting metaphor for failing airline LAB, the subject of his new photobook. This photograph of a small, dead bird was taken moments after my own near death experience involving the rear airstairs on a Boeing 727, so the theme was relevant for several reasons. I was determined to get on board the plane, having just learned how it had been hijacked in the mid 80s (unsuccessfully, the only loss of life was the hijacker.) They’d detonated a hand-grenade in the toilet, killing themselves, but luckily no one else onboard. Without giving much thought to my safety, I climbed a ladder to release an emergency switch above my head. The button – unbeknown to me – sent the stairway crashing to the floor. I jumped to avoid being crushed by the heavy aircraft door. As the dust settled, my host – an employee at Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano (LAB), based at Cochabamba Airport in Bolivia – brushed herself down, and carried on with the guided tour. This marked the start of my fascination with this failing Bolivian company leading to three visits over a period of six months to document the present day story of LAB. LAB is undeniably suffocated by serious debt, primarily owed to the tax authorities, but also pension funds and a number of existing and former employees whom it owes unpaid salaries and redundancy payments. Its downed fleet of aging aircrafts are slowly crumbling away, but somehow the airline – one of the world’s oldest – keeps going, through a combination of loyalty and faith from its remaining 200 staff. This image illustrates the situation of the airline’s fall from grace beautifully. In many ways, the story of LAB is the story of Bolivia and its people, resigned to look back at past glory and grandeur, which is at once half-imagined, half-remembered. It is the story of a people perpetually looking towards a promised future that never seems to arrive. 


29th September 2015, Graphic Communication & Design: Alan Fletcher.

Alan Fletcher is one of the most influential figures in post-war British graphic design. The fusion of the cerebral European tradition with North America’s emerging pop culture in the formulation of his distinct approach made him a pioneer of independent graphic design in Britain during the late 1950s and 1960s.

Alan Fletcher, Manhattan

5th October 2015, Performance Design & Practice. Rebecca Horn.

Since the beginning of the 1970s, Rebecca Horn has been creating an oeuvre which constitutes an ever-growing flow of performances, films, sculptures, spatial installations, drawings and photographs. The essence of their imagery comes out of the tremendous precision of the physical and technical functionality she uses to stage her works each time within a particular space.

In the first performances, the body-extensions, she explores the equilibrium between body and space. In later works she replaces the human body with kinetic sculptures which take on their own life. Her new works define and cut through spaces with reflections of mirrors, light and music.

Ideas of touch and sensory awareness are explored in this work. Horn has described how wearing her 'finger gloves' (1972) altered her relationship with her surroundings, so that distant objects came within her reach: ‘the finger gloves are light. I can move them without any effort. Feel, touch, grasp anything, but keeping a certain distance from the objects. The lever-action of the lengthened fingers intensifies the various sense-data of the hand; …I feel me touching, I see me grasping, I control the distance between me and the objects.’ Implicit in the work is the idea that touching makes possible an intimacy between our own body and those of others.

5th October 2015, Performance Design & Practice. Rebecca Horn, Finger Gloves, 1972

5th October 2015, PDP, Rudolf Laban, The Kinesphere.

The notion of kinesphere was created by Rudolf Laban to define: “the sphere around the body whose periphery can be reached by easily extended limbs without stepping away from that place which is the point of support when standing on one foot” (1966, p.10). This spherical space around our body shifts as soon as we shift our weight. It is also the first area of movement exploration before going into “space in general”. It follows anatomical limitations, being actually more elliptic than spherical as constitutionally, the average body has a wider area of reach forward than backward.

Laban, who laid the foundation for Laban Movement Analysis, was interested in the series of natural sequences of movements that we follow in our various everyday activity. Being a dancer/choreographer, he saw the everyday patterns of human action and abstracted the essence of these into the “art of movement”.

5th October 2015, Performance Design & Practice. Wassily Kandinsky.

Wassily Kandinsky, "Dance Curves: On the Dances of Palucca" (1926)

Dancer and choreographer Gret Palucca (1902-1993) was a former student of Mary Wigman, the leading figure in German Expressionist dance. In 1925, Palucca opened her own dance studio in Dresden and developed close contacts with various Bauhaus instructors, many of whom greatly admired her dance style. Wassily Kandinsky’s four “analytical drawings,” which were based on photographs of Palucca by Charlotte Rudolph, illustrate how closely the dancer’s style coincided with the Bauhaus aesthetic. The drawings and photographs were published in the arts journalDas Kunstblatt in 1926. According to Kandinsky, Palucca’s art was characterized by “1. Simplicity of the whole form, and 2. being based on the large form.”

Wassily Kandinsky, "Dance Curves: On the Dances of Palucca" (1926)

6th October 2015, PDP, 'Perform'. Manual Cinema, Fjords, 2012.

12th October 2015, Fashion & Textiles, Everyday Shapes & Structure. Rei Kawakubo.

Comprising of a series of garments that had been intentionally 'destroyed', Rei's unique vision was extremely divisive, earning her as many critics as it did admirers. Black maxi skirts were teamed with moth-eaten knitwear, the fine shreds of the material left to hang loose and flow as the models walked the runway. There was also little in the way of structure - at a time when fashion was obsessed with tight, figure-hugging dresses, Kawakubo's oversized jackets and heavy swathes of fabric were specifically designed to cover the body.


Taken from Dazed & Confused issue 16, 1995.

Kawakubo's international label Comme des Garçons, formed in Tokyo in 1973, is notably famous for setting the monochromatic style and changing the face of fashion in the early 80s. With "as never seen before" silhouettes – shapeless shapes for her simplistic tent-like shrouds poised in black austerity, her clothes are never about accentuating or revealing the body, but allowing the wearer to be who they are.

Kawakubo has always de-prettified the models who have stomped down the catwalk in a sombre wake, wearing clothes which initially had to be explained to customers on how they should be worn. The notorious black T-shirt, for example, which appeared to have four sleeves when placed flat, yet turned into a chic double tunic when worn. Comme des Garçons' hand-knit sweaters full of holes came close to punk, and appeared anarchistic at the time of 80s retentive power-dressing. She sees fashion as art, and designs sculpturally, considering the fabric first. Her minimalist, asymmetric clothes are the epitome of deconstructionalism (seams raw-edged, incompatible fabrics bonded together), inspiring a host of European designers, most notably John Galliano, Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang and Ann Demeulemeester.

13th October 2015, Fashion & Textiles, Fashion Illustration, Debbie Smyth, Hermes Project.

Chiharu Shiota 'After the Dream', 2015. "My installations with clothes always refer to the clothes as a second skin, which carry the memories of the people who wore these clothes.'

Fashion Illustration Tanya Ling an artist who makes drawings, paintings, sculptures, fashion design and is sometimes asked to make fashion illustrations. Ling studied Fashion Design and Textiles at St Martins School of Art.

15th October 2015, Fashion & Textiles, 'Your Data'. Dan Tobin Smith.

British photographer Dan Tobin Smith has transformed his east london studio into ‘the first law of kipple': an immersive and vibrant installation comprising thousands of color-coated objects. spanning the floor of the 200-square-meter space, tobin smith has carpeted the surface area with carefully arranged knick-knacks — ranging from matchbox-sized to chair-sized — strictly organized according to their hue. the various cluttered items have been collected by both the artist and from public donations amassed from a social media announcement, bringing together an expansive range of stories, subjects and shapes. the sweeping arrangement turns the space into a sea of graduated colour. 

The work references the fictional concept of ‘kipple’, as described by science fiction writer philip k dick’s 1968 novel ‘do androids dream of electric sheep’,"kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers or yesterday’s newspaper. when nobody’s around, kipple reproduces itself…the entire universe is moving towards a final state of total, absolute kippleization". 

Expanding upon these themes, tobin smith’s installation explores the boundaries between beauty and functionality while addressing the huge proportions of material waste created by humankind. ‘I’ve been reading philip K dick since I was fourteen.‘ tobin smith describes, ‘that word ‘kipple’ always stuck with me. everybody has some experience of kipple — it can mean clutter but it also has a psychological aspect because of the way waste or clutter affects you. it inspired me to start thinking about design and products — we make so much stuff but we’ve got limited resources. often it’s bound up with taste, we think because it’s beautiful it’s okay — but if it’s useless, it’s useless.



15th October 2015, Fashion & Textiles, 'Your Data'. Dan Tobin Smith.

16th October 2015, FRIEZE, Urs Fischer.

Urs Fischer, Dr. Nope, 2010

Born in 1973 in Zurich, Fischer’s large-scale installations and sculptures posit genres traditionally evoked in painting- such as portraits, landscapes, nudes, and still life’s- in a profusion of rich and often impermanent sculptural materials. Whether utilising foodstuffs (Bread House, 2004) or more self-destructive mediums, such as soft wax that simply melts away, Fischer mines the endless possibilities of a particular material to introduce an additional dimension into the work: that of time. Imbued with their own morality, his sculptures and installations cultivate the experiential function of art. Fischer incorporates elements of performance and Pop art to create an oeuvre that is distinctly current, and as witty as it is macabre. (Gagosian). 

16th October 2015, FRIEZE, Urs Fischer, Dr.Nope 2010.

16th October 2015, FRIEZE, Takuro Kuwata.

Takuro Kuwata makes ‘dysfunctional’ yet oddly elegant clay objects. Leaving much to chance, the surfaces are thickly glazed to literally explode when baked in the kiln. Kuwata’s goal is to ‘create joyful and fun works, by making the most use of the characteristics of the materials’. Kuwata explores, yet breaks the rules of ceramics. 

16th October 2015, FRIEZE, Takuro Kuwata.

Toba Khedoori, Untitled (seats) (1996)

2nd November, Fine Art: Painting. 'Altered Spaces'. Toba Khedoori. Ollman, Leah. “The mundane confronts the epic.” Los Angeles Times (Sept. 2006).

2nd November, Fine Art: Painting. 'Altered Spaces'. Justin Mortimer

Justin Mortimer's recent paintings construct a collaged world of inchoate images rendered in Kool-Aid colors. Mortimer understands how to make an image tangible and mysterious at the same time, and also how to use hints of eroticism to add a sense of voyeuristic appeal. His hybrid world gains its energy from the tensions between pleasure and riot, power and terror: it’s a tainted place where the unthinkable seems possible or even imminent.

JS: Your color strikes me as one of the strongest elements of your work. It heightens our senses and draws viewers into your paintings.

JM: I have always enjoyed color: I stripped it out and now I am coming back to it and it is a joy, I have to admit. I have to do it in a clever way if possible. I try to make the colors slightly wrong: toxic and altered. I’m not into painting a blue sky. If one of my skies is blue it is because it has been stained by smoke bombs and sodium lighting. If it’s a sunny sky I’ll put a lot more yellow into it: I’ll make it sulfurous, hence the turquoises. It’s all wrong. It’s not the bucolic view you are expecting.

JS: Let’s talk next about “Hive.”

JM: “Hive” was a very strange painting that I made to be obviously collaged. As I’m working I continue to re-collage the digital print as I go along so I’m always adding new layers. I wanted this image to be redacted, altered, scabrous, so that you can see how it has been made up. The figure came from an image of Pussy Riot, the feminist protest group in Moscow. I’m very interested in the imagery of controlling state power and religious power and I try to critique those things without being explicit.

JS: Right, you don’t want to lecture people with your paintings.

JM: Being too didactic is boring. I find that paintings only really get interesting when things are removed, taken out. I try to deliberately annoy by tripping you up, by spatially hiding the subject. You think you recognize the subject, but it collapses and the viewer has to rebuild.

Justin Mortimer, "Kid" (2015) (courtesy Parafin Gallery)

Justin Mortimer, “Kid” (2015) (courtesy Parafin Gallery)

JS: What is going on in your painting “Kid”?

JM: “Kid” shows a naked boy in a kind of forest scene — perhaps a campsite — with only a slight hint of campfire, surrounded by what could be a tent or some sheets hung out to dry. This painting alludes to the outcast, to the refugees who have been coming over on boats, to all these displaced children in Calais.

At one point the image was more sexual which was slightly problematic: I kind of regret dulling that down. It was rather like Eric Fischl’s painting “Sleepwalker” which shows a boy masturbating in a kiddie pool. I have always liked Eric Fischl’s work. When the young Brits — Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin among them — were taking off in the early ‘90s, Fischl was the lifeline that kept European representational artists going. We were referencing him, and the weird “otherness” that he had.



2nd November, Fine Art: Painting. 'Altered Spaces'. David Schnell, Artist Interview.

AR: When we talked before you said that your paintings take a long time – nearly a year to complete. Your process seems to involve a lot of evolution – how do you know that they are finished?

DS: There is this amazing moment when a click happens. In almost every painting there is this moment when something little happens and you say ‘Ok, that’s it!’ Perhaps there are a few small things after that, but that’s mostly it. I cannot describe how or when this happens, but, sometimes I think that I have to do a lot of things and then a little thing does it. In the last few years, things changed a lot. I used to have much clearer ideas about how the painting should look but now, in the last two or three years, things are just developing out of the painting process itself, drops and drips. It’s difficult to say…it’s magic! [Laughs] Sometimes I equate painting to physics or mathematics…there are many possibilities but in the end there is only one way to find a particular painting. The funny thing is that I’ll have a studio visit, and other people will realize when the painting is finished. They notice the same little thing I do that finishes the painting. One thing I love about painting is that it’s not very describable. In German we say Gesetzmäßigkeit,it’s so open but also very fixed.


David Schnell, 'Moment', 2010.

2nd November, Fine Art: Paiting. 'Altered Spaces'. Nigel Cooke, 'New Accursed Art Club', 2007, Oil on canvas.

5th November 2015, Fine Art Practice, Lenka Clayton, Qaeda, Quality, Question, Quickly, Quickly, Quiet (2002).

Lenka Clayton took every word of President George W Bush's "Axis of Evil" State of the Union address in 2002 and rearranged them in strictly alphabetical order. 

In ‘Qaeda quality question quickly quickly quiet’, George w bush’s infamous ‘axis of evil’ state of the union address is meticulously cut up and rearranged alphabetically. At once a gesture of joyful naivety and innocence, and also laced with the darker implication that this might be a more coherent way of finding meaning in the string of half-truths, platitudes and dangerous hyperbole. Once words such as ‘American’ are separated from sister words like ‘people’ we can start to consider the priorities of the political scriptwriter and examine in a more scientific way, the immediate structures of power. In a speech that is supposed to be about the contemporary state of America, there are few mentions of words such as ‘poverty’, or ‘teacher’. Instead we have countless ‘Americans’ and almost as many ‘terrorists’. In a nation in which you are more likely to die from eye cancer than a terrorist attack, it is clear what discourse this government is engaged in.

In Clayton’s piece, Bush remains, in principle, in tact, only his silences excluded and the intended meaning muted. The process again allows us to see the familiar from a position of the unfamiliar. A chance to see language and speech as a thing of wonder, not, as in this case, to encourage violence. The absurdity and simplicity of the structure allows us to rediscover the wonder of innocence. This sense is of course heightened by the sheer technical and moral feat of deconstructing, making and re-editing pieces such as these. Clayton’s total commitment to the rigour and principles of the process in each instance (no short cuts), constantly reinforces the wonder in the work, and creates a totally rigid structural and moral integrity.

Modern Painters July/August 2006 “Matthew Herbert on Lenka Clayton” Matthew Herbert

5th November 2015, Fine Art Practice, Lenka Clayton, Qaeda, Quality, Question, Quickly, Quickly, Quiet (2002).

5th November 2015, Fine Art Practice, 'Re-Edit'. Candice Breitz, 'Her', 2008.

6th November 2015, Fine Art Practice, 'Re-Edit'. Basilico, S. (2004) The Editor.

6th November 2015, Fine Art Practice, 'Re-Edit'. Basilico, S. (2004) The Editor.

6th November 2015, Fine Art Practice, 'Re-Edit'. Basilico, S. (2004) The Editor.

6th November 2015, Fine Art Practice, 'Re-Edit'. Basilico, S. (2004) The Editor.

6th November 2015, Fine Art Practice, 'Re-Edit'. Basilico, S. (2004) The Editor.

6th November 2015, Fine Art Practice, 'Re-Edit'. Basilico, S. (2004) The Editor.

6th November 2015, Fine Art Practice, 'Re-Edit'. Basilico, S. (2004) The Editor.

6th November 2015, Fine Art Practice, 'Re-Edit'. Basilico, S. (2004) The Editor.

10th November 2015, Fine Art Sculpture, 'The Exploded Field'. Cornelia Parker.

"This piece came out of a series of works I was doing about cartoon deaths - things like, things falling off cliffs, things being run over by a steam roller, things being blown up, shot full of bullets, like Roadrunner or Tom and Jerry. The garden shed came about because I was trying to find something universal and archetypal and that we all identified with and that was familiar to us. It's not the house but it's this kind of attic-y private place at the bottom of the garden which we put all our left-over stuff in. And so it seemed like a depository rather than the place that you live. We took it out to the Banbury Army School of Ammunition, to their demolition grounds where they do all these experiments with explosives and they were really keen to blow it up. I actually pressed the button that detonated it.
The whole point of suspending it is to rob it of its pathos. After it was blown up and all the objects were lying on the floor, all very distressed, they had a pathos and somehow putting it back in the air where they were a little while before, it sort of re-animates them.
The title of the piece is called 'Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View'. It's a two-part title really. The 'cold dark matter' I really like because obviously explosions have all kinds of connotations, dark ones being the most prominent. Also, 'cold dark matter' sounds like a psychological state - a mood or an atmosphere or a depression - I like the sound of that. It's a scientific term: it was coined to describe all the stuff in the universe you can't quantify, all the stuff they know is there but you can't see, which seemed a perfect description. And then 'an exploded view' is the kind of diagram you get in technical manuals to describe how a car works or a bike or a lawnmower, a very pragmatic laying out of stuff. And so that's what I was trying to do, to organise something that was totally beyond our control and emotional control". CORNELIA PARKER


Parker likes doing violent things to her materials: she has shot, crushed and stretched objects before. Yet what is surprising about this piece is not its energy or movement but its peace and tranquillity. The white heat of the explosion exists now as a memory, like the original big bang alluded to in the title. The splintered debris from one second in time is frozen in space in a perfect cube. The heat and violence are history, seen now as a warped and tarnished silver plate, the singed pages of a picture book or a charred splinter of wood. Each immobile fragment once had its own story, once belonged to someone's life. The fragility of Cold Dark Matter, the delicate shards of blackened wood suspended in space, the emptiness at its centre, confronts us with our own mortality.




CORNELIA PARKER, Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, 1991, Wood, metal, plastic, ceramic, paper, textile and wire.

Rachel Whiteread, House, 1993.

10th November 2015, Fine Art Sculpture, 'The Exploded Field'. Rebecca Warren.

Ranging from the amorphous to more clearly recognisable forms, Rebecca Warren’s sculptures create a bold new figure for the female nude. Her subject is one of the most traditional in art history, but she subverts the inherited cliches associated with the genre, redefining what sculpture should be or should look like. With their earthy, unfired and unfinished look, they unveil a tension between thought and process, while creating a unique, new sculptural mode.

Warren, who belongs to the same generation as the YBA artists from the 1990s, has developed an aesthetic entirely her own. Clay, a very flexible medium, allows her to explore unconscious free association. “The beauty of working with a material like clay is that it gives you that freedom to change things... I like to keep the quality that they’re breeding quite quickly and they’re made quite quickly, that there’s a sense of them perhaps not being complete, to keep them alive and dynamic and fresh”.

In her work, Warren wryly addresses her fascination with artists who have overtly fetishised the female form: photographer Helmut Newton, cartoonist Robert Crumb, and abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning. Her earth mothers quote from their imagery, and from that of and modernist sculpture, highlighting a shared interest in sexualising women’s shape by discarding heads or any personal attributes, and filtering symbols of objectification – aggressively cartoonised buttocks, nipples and postures.

Warren's show entitled 'SHE', comprised six large sculptures in unfired clay. These sculptures are approximately life-sized and female but wildly free in their anatomical exaggeration, abbreviation, and expressiveness. Breasts, buttocks, and hands appear as prominent focal points. Heads seem to have fallen victim to evolutionary redundancy. In spite of or because of their deformities the figures possess an uncanny psycho-physiological rectitude and a purposeful energy. Their surfaces are rough and at times seem barely modeled from the raw blocks of clay out of which they emerge. "SHE" unashamedly evokes and engages with a powerful history of expressive figurative sculpture stretching from Degas and Rodin through Boccioni to Fontana, taking in Picasso and the German expressionists for good measure. Warren seems to want to grapple with this lineage of male masters on their own terms, rather than women sculptors of the female form such as Elizabeth Frink. Warren's references to popular culture and to psychology show that she is culturally conscious, but neither irony nor critique is a significant motive behind these works.


REBECCA WARREN, SHE - Untitled 2003 unfired clay, MDF & wheels.

Alexander Calder, Medusa, 1930, wire

Alexander Calder, White Panel, 1936 Plywood, sheet metal, tubing, wire, string, and paint

12th November 2015, Fine Art Sculpture, Alexandre da Cunha/ Marcel Dunchamp.


“It’s about improvisation and make-believe,” says Brazilian-born, London-based Alexandre da Cunha of his multifarious sculptural practice. His work generates sparks of beauty with the least-expected materials: toilet plungers, salad bowls, truck tires. He explores his hybrid and complicated national identity. Da Cunha makes freestanding, wall-mounted, and architectural sculptures using transformed everyday or found objects, which remain identifiable within the abstract assemblages. His practice is influenced by both systems of mass production and artisanal craftsmanship, such that the final objects appear to be a mix between popular consumer object and archaeological relic. The artist once summarised: “By highlighting specific aspects of objects that surround us, I impose a possible entry for them in what is known as the art world.” Da Cunha’s influences include Marcel Duchamp. 


Seeking an alternative to representing objects in paint, Duchamp began presenting objects themselves as art. He selected mass-produced, commercially available, often utilitarian objects, designating them as art and giving them titles. “Readymades,” as he called them, disrupted centuries of thinking about the artist’s role as a skilled creator of original handmade objects. Instead, Duchamp argued, “An ordinary object [could be] elevated to the dignity of a work of art by the mere choice of an artist.

The readymade also defied the notion that art must be beautiful. Duchamp claimed to have chosen everyday objects “based on a reaction of visual indifference, with at the same time a total absence of good or bad taste….” In doing so, Duchamp paved the way for Conceptual art—work that was “in the service of the mind," as opposed to a purely “retinal” art, intended only to please the eye.

12th November 2015, Fine Art Sculpture, Alexandre da Cunha. Alexandre da Cunha, Terracotta Ebony, 2006. Rubber toilet plungers and wooden plinth.

12th November 2015, Fine Art Sculpture. Marcel Duchamp Fountain 1917.

11th September 2015: Bruce Nauman 'Beyond Words'

14/09/15 Bruce Nauman, 'The True Artist', Phaidon.

Like Beckett, Nauman was obsessed with the absurdity of ultimately solitary human existence, the recognition that you're born alone, die alone, and in between are absolutely mystified by the experience of being here.

Molloy by Samuel Beckett

The sucking stones sequence

I took advantage of being at the seaside to lay in a store of 
sucking-stones. They were pebbles but I call them stones. Yes, on 
this occasion I laid in a considerable store. I distributed them 
equally between my four pockets, and sucked them turn and turn 
about. This raised a problem which I first solved in the following 
way. I had say sixteen stones, four in each of my four pockets these 
being the two pockets of my trousers an
d the two pockets of my 
greatcoat. Taking a stone from the right pocket of my greatcoat, and 
putting it in my mouth, I replaced it in the right pocket of my 
greatcoat by a stone from the right pocket of my trousers, which I 
replaced by a stone from the left pocket of my trousers, which I 
replaced by a stone from the left pocket of my greatcoat, which I 
replaced by the stone which was in my mouth, as soon as I had 
finished sucking it. Thus there were still four stones in each of my 
four pockets, but not quite the same stones. And when the desire to 
suck took hold of me again, I drew again on the right pocket of my 
greatcoat, certain of not taking the same stone as the last time. 
And while I sucked it I rearranged the other stones in the way I 
have just described. And so on. But this solution did not satisfy me 
fully. For it did not escape me that, by an extraordinary hazard, the 
four stones circulating thus might always be the same four. In which 
case, far from sucking the sixteen stones turn and turn about, I was 
really only sucking four, always the same, turn and turn about. But 
I shuffled them well in my pockets, before I began to suck, and
again, while I sucked, before transferring them, in the hope of 
obtaining a more general circulation of the stones from pocket to 
pocket. But this was only a makeshift that could not long content a 
man like me. So I began to look for something else ...


'My Name as Though it Were Written on the Surface of the Moon', 1968, Neon tubing with clear glass tubing suspension frame, in four parts. Bruce Nauman.

Robert C. Morgan, Bruce Nauman, An Introductory Survey.

The challenge involves in categorising Bruce Nauman is related not only to the breadth of different media with which he works but to his persistence in exploring art as an investigation of the self. The problem touches on the subjectivity of the artist. How does one find a single, all-encompassing category that locates the work of such an artist? For Nauman, the self is not merely a repository of expressive needs; it is a complex organic and social mechanism continually being redefined in relation to physical space. The question that continues to surface in Nauman's art is whether it simply exists as an ongoing work-in-process, an aggregate of systemic interventions that have no clear resolution. 

Contemporary Glass on Colour, Glass and Light.

Bruce Nauman: Green light corridor, 1970, painted wall board and green fluorescent light.

Negative (Photography)

In photography, a negative is an image, usually on a strip or sheet of transparent plastic film, in which the lightest areas of the photographed subject appear darkest and the darkest areas appear lightest. This reversed order occurs because of the extremely light-sensitive chemicals a camera film must use to capture an image quickly enough for ordinary picture-taking, which are darkened, rather than bleached, by exposure to light and subsequent photographic processing.


Willoughby Sharp interviews Bruce Nauman, 1970.

WS: You often use words in your work, but you mistrust them a lot, don’t you.

BN: My work relies on words less and less. It has become really difficult to explain the pieces. Although it’s easier to describe them now, it’s almost impossible to explain what they do when you’re there. Take Performance Corridor which I’ve already talked about. It’s very easy to describe how the piece looks, but the experience of walking inside it is something else altogether which can’t be described. And the pieces increasingly have to do with physical or physiological responses. 

Jenny Saville & Glen Luchford, Closed Contact #14, 1995-1996 C-print mounted in Plexiglas.

Jenny Saville & Glen Luchford, Closed Contact.

After having observed the operations of reconstructive and aesthetic surgery, Saville was eager to express the violence and anesthetized pain of this experience in her own work. Luchford and Saville began an artistic collaboration that captures the full range of color, tonality and topography of live flesh, in large photographic tableaux. Distortions confront and coerce the viewer into an examination of one's own body and the grotesqueries and beauties inherent within. The images also recall biological specimens preserved, disembodied and disfigured.

"The images offer, not a story, but an experience that begins in visceral uneasiness and gradually shifts to a haunted serenity. The discomfort is complicated. It is triggered partly by our sense of the instantaneous monstrosity of a normal human transformed by the spreading of the shape beyond what we understood as normal…" - Katherine Dunn



21st September 2015, Fine Art: Human Being/Being Human.

Susan Collis uses a variety of techniques and strategies to investigate issues concerning interpretation, craft, value and labour. Everyday objects are presented etched, splattered and stained with marks of work, wear and tear. At first glance, the marks seem to be the accidental results of normal use, and as such seem meaningless and not worthy of examination. Collis is interested in the shift of perception that takes place upon discovery that they are, in fact, careful, intentional acts, and that the materials used are traditionally valued for their financial or decorative properties. A tired stepladder covered with paint drips from years of use has been simulated by the meticulous inlaying of diamonds, pearls, opals and other prized materials. A bucket catching a drip from the gallery ceiling may not be the result of neglect, rather a complex staging of pumps, water-tanks and false walls to artificially create the scenario. Typically works involve momentous amounts of often hidden labour to create an object that may easily go unnoticed, but is replete with value, be it material or conceptual. Much of Collis’ work can go un-noticed and this visual gamble results in a possible conceptual pay-off that rewards concerted investigation by the viewer.

21st September 2015, Fine Art: Human Being/Being Human. Marc Quinn, 'Self' 2006.

21st September 2015, Fine Art: Human Being/Being Human.

Rebecca Horn, 'Unicorn', 1974.

The unicorn was a medieval symbol for purity, chastity and innocence. The German title Einhorn also contains a pun on the artist’s name. This work was designed for a performance by a friend of the artist. Horn wrote: ‘the performance took place in early morning – still damp, intensely bright – the sun more challenging than any audience... her consciousness electrically impassioned; nothing could stop her trance-like journey: in competition with every tree and cloud in sight...and the blossoming wheat caressing her hips’. This account emphasises both graceful movement and the element of self-exposure that is often found in Horn’s work.



22nd September 2015, Fine Art. Susan Hiller, Measure by Measure,Ashes of paintings burned annually, glass measuring tubes, glass containers, lead date tags, corton steel shelf; 1973

22nd September 2015, Fine Art. Susan Hiller, Measure by Measure.

Every year I transform some works into other formats. The series of burnt relics began in 1972. I placed the ashes of burned paintings in chemical containers that measure and contain what can’t be contained. They are like burial urns too, and since I regard them as just as interesting to look at and experience as a painting, maybe that’s a wish for everything to be seen as having the same potential for insight. Like traces or remnants, they point forwards and backwards at the same time’. Thinking about Art: A conversation with Susan Hiller.

22nd September 2015, Fine Art. Valie Export, Body Configurations, 1972-76.

22nd September 2015, Fine Art. Valie Export, Body Configurations.

In these works, EXPORT, a self-proclaimed feminist, used her body as a measuring and pointing device, encircling the curve of a curb or conforming to the angle of a corner—actions designed to defy the conformist culture of her native Austria in the postwar period. Most of the pictures from this series, Körperkonfigurationen (Body Configurations), are accentuated with black or red lines added in ink to the print. The failed conformity with the architectural structures, the geometric lines applied to the photographs, and the figure’s uneasy gymnastics emphasize the tension between the individual and the ideological and social forces that shape urban reality, registering the psychological effects of the built and natural environments.


 “Since 1972, my drawings, photographs, and actions have been concerned with the presentation of postures as the expression of inner states, represented both in nature and in architecture as adaptation, assimilation, imposition, etc. in or on the environment. Parallels such as landscape and mind, architecture and mind, are mediated by the body, partly because the parallels have their origin in every extreme opposition of body and mind, and partly because the body is a revelation, as is landscape. Landscape is a revelation of space and time, or, more precisely, the arrangement of its elements, such as trees, rocks, hills, etc. are that. Arrangements of the body’s elements are postures, revelations, or expressions of inner states; this analogy between arrangements of landscape and body, these common forms of revelation, have served visual art from the beginning as surfaces for projecting expression: external configurations, whether in the landscape or in a picture (which thus becomes landscape) serve as an expression of internal states. This is why landscape is no less common as a motif in painting (and film) than the body. This is why people speak of “scenic atmospheres.” A landscape represents an atmosphere, just as body posture expressions do. Expressions are formed not only by the face. So a state of mind can be expressed first by the configuration of landscape components, secondly by the configuration of body components and thirdly—which is the innovation in my work— by the configuration of body elements in the landscape. In a second stage, the expression manifested in certain postures is examined in its historical forms. In the paintings of past times, unobserved, an archive of bodily postures has been collected which is of great expressive and informative value in examining the emotional states and mythologies of their eras. It turns out that these frozen motions of the body represent a canon, a doctrine. When I imitate these old postures I try more or less to perform an operation to draw out the expression, to make it independent, by assembling the postures with contemporary materials, thus trying to reveal these expressions. (Critical activity). At present I am mainly treating female postures from a feminist point of view and dealing with materials from the female environment, in order to thaw the imposed norms of the female bodily gestures, body language, and the associated function of the female body in our culture”. Valie Export.



Valie Export uses her body as the sculptural element within her work. Using her figure she mimics random shapes in a city. The transformation is in her behaviour, she asks us to consider what is normal behaviour? And encourages us to be mindful of the everyday rules and agreements that we willingly obey. 

22nd September 2015, Fine Art. Michael Borremans, 'Red Hand, Green Hand', 2010 Oil on canvas

22nd September 2015, Fine Art. Michael Borremans, 'Four fairies', 2003, Oil on canvas.

The films, paintings, and drawings by Belgian artist Michaël Borremans overwhelm the viewer through the use of deceleration, precision and vortex. His seductive works contain timeless images of inner drive and external force, of the latent pressure involved in being human. Behind a veil of stylistic perfection, the artist simulates common rituals of interpretation and meaning. His intensely atmospheric images are puzzles involving political and psychological patterns of perceiving the world, which oscillate in a camouflaging, fragile way between inexorable realism and nebulous distance.


David Coggins: There’s a mystery in your paintings that a viewer wants to solve, but it can’t be solved. You invite people in but make an image that’s ultimately unreadable. Is there a tension that you’re looking for?
 Micheal Borremans: There’s a dichotomy—there are two poles and you’re in between them. There is a tension, but it’s not a game—it’s like research.


Magic is a basic and accessible subject/material that is often used in art. Borremans' 'Red Hand, Green Hand' indicates a slight movement, demonstrated by a subtle blur. This inflicts a sense of unsureness, fluidity, and ephemerality. Hands are an extremely ordinary subject, but the context that they are in, is fairly bizarre and raises questions. Borremans deliberately withholds information, and secrets are indicated at. 


Alice Anderson, 'Shelf' 2013

Joana Hadjithomas and Kahil Joreige, Diary of a photographer, 1997-2006

The «Latent Images / Diary of a photographer» book brings together 38 contact print photographs selected from the hundreds of films used and never developed, taken by photographer Abdallah Farah between 1997 and 2006. This book of 1312 pages, published in a limited edition - two editions of 75 numbered and signed copies, one in French and the other in English - offers an immersion to the very heart of these latent images. The description of the images replaces the photographs themselves; short fragments of text describe the invisible images while creating a new imagined space. 

24th September 2015, Fine Art: Communication, Jenny Holzer, 'I can't tell you', San Diego, 2007.

28th September 2015, Graphic & Communication Design. Hussein Chalayan, 'Between' 1998.

Hussein Chalayan.

"My work reflects a relationship between rural and urban culture, movements of people and the idea of migration, anthropology, history, cultural prejudice, a relationship with the earth. My work is a conversation, a constant state of discourse".

Hussein Chalayan

Chalayan describes his work as being a narrative — a form of storytelling, incorporating different themes. His shows are designed to be a cultural experience for the spectator. Many of the themes explored in his work derive from his own personal history and cultural identity combined with his experiences living and working in London. 


28th September 2015, Graphic & Communication Design. Yoko Ono, 'Cut Piece' 1964.

Yoko Ono, Cut Piece.

In Cut Piece, an early piece of feminist art first staged in 1964, Yoko Ono knelt on the ground and laid down a pair of scissors. The audience were invited to come forward and cut off any piece of her clothing. It started politely but became more and more threatening as her clothes were reduced to rags and she kneeled in her underwear.

Gender is addressed directly in this piece because Ono is becoming a sexual object. She does not talk or move much throughout “Cut Piece,” causing her to become an object rather than a subject with a say about what is being done to her.By allowing others to act on her as if she was an object, she depicts a woman’s social place and power as lower than that of a man’s, especially since the person who went so far as to cut her bra strap was a man.

The intimate encounter between the artist and the audience becomes a symbol of (female) passivity and vulnerability, while the latent potential for sexist and racist violence and for a destructive desire becomes increasingly apparent.

Alan Fletcher, Hello.

5th October 2015, Performance Design & Practice. Maria Blaisse, 'Bamboo', 2008, moving meshes.

6th October 2015, PDP, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, 'Wasted Youth' 2000.

6th October 2015, PDP, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, 'Dirty White Trash (with Gulls) 1998.

8th October 2015: Performance Design & Practice, Richard Long.

Long made his international reputation during the 1970s with sculptures made as the result of epic walks, sometimes lasting many days, to remote parts of the world. Guided by a great respect for nature and by the formal structure of basic shapes, especially circles, he never allowed facile exotic connotations to intrude into his work, although some of his sculptures evoked the mysterious connotations of ancient stone circles and other such monuments. Different modes of presentation, sometimes combined, were used to bring his experience of nature back into the museum or gallery.

"Nature has always been recorded by artists, from prehistoric cave paintings to twentieth-century landscape photography. I too wanted to make nature the subject of my work, but in new ways. I started working outside using natural materials like grass and water, and this evolved into the idea of making a sculpture by walking … My first work made by walking, in 1967, was a straight line in a grass field, which was also my own path, going ‘nowhere’. In the subsequent early map works, recording very simple but precise walks on Exmoor and Dartmoor, my intention was to make a new art which was also a new way of walking: walking as art". Richard Long

Richard Long, 'A Line Made by Walking', 1967.

8th October 2015: Performance Design & Practice, Do Ho Suh.

"The space I’m interested in is not only a physical one, but an intangible, metaphorical, and psychological one".

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Suh is informed by his personal experiences in his work, particularly his move from South Korea to the United States in 1991, as well as the specific domestic spaces where he has lived, including his childhood home (a traditional hanok-style Korean house), a house in Rhode Island where he lived as a student, and his apartment in New York. Transparency, or the oscillation between opacity and visibility, appears throughout much of the artist’s work, evoking the layering of space and intermediate areas in Korean architecture.

Suh also weaves transparent structures made of monochrome polyester, at once luminous, architectural, and ephemeral, inviting viewers to wander through their dreamlike interior passageways (which might be replete with toilets and light switches). These transplanted homes are playful and imaginative but also deeply melancholy in their manifestation of disorientation: as impressions of the many residences in which Suh and his family have lived, they testify to the global and poignantly elusive nature of “home” as seen through the artist’s eyes.


Do Ho Suh, Apartment A, Unit 2, Corridor and Staircase, 348 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011, USA (detail), 2011–2014. Polyester fabric and stainless steel tubes.

13th October 2015, Fashion & Textiles, Fashion Illustration, Debbie Smyth.

Debbie Smyth's work blurs the boundaries between fine art drawings and textile art, flat and 3D work, illustration and embroidery, literally lifting the drawn line off the page in a series of “pin and thread” drawings.

“On first glance, it can look like a mass of threads but as you get closer sharp lines come into focus, creating a spectacular image. The images are first plotted out before being filled out with the thread, the sharp angles contrasting with the floating ends of the thread. And despite the complexity of the lengthy process I try to capture a great feeling of energy and spontaneity, and, in some cases, humour.”

My artworks are often inspired by memories. I love searching out imagery and recording events, be it by drawing or photographing situations, to bring this memory back to life in a piece of art. I like to give a new lease of life to oft-ignored aspects of our lives. 

"I like the approach of Chiharu Shiota and I find her work very inspiring; Perhaps it is their way of using textiles/thread/line in an unorthodox way that draws me to them".

13th October 2015, Fashion & Textiles, Fashion Illustration. Julie Verhoeven, 'Charles'. WERK. No.19.club21CDG. Spring 2012.

Fashion Illustration, Richard Kilroy first gained recognition and visibility as a fashion illustrator in 2010 when he was commissioned by Christian Dior to produce a drawing for the exhibition Dior Illustrated: René Gruau and The Line of Beauty.

Fashion Illustration,. Gladys Perint Palmer Giorgio Armani F/W 1990/91 for Joyce 1990.

15th October 2015, Fashion & Textiles, 'Your Data'. Song Dong.

A poignant meditation on family life and the artist’s own childhood during the Cultural Revolution, the installation comprises over 10,000 items collected by Song Dong’s mother, Zhao Xiangyuan, over five decades - ranging from a section of the family home, to metal pots and plastic bowls to blankets, bottle caps, toothpaste tubes and toys. The activity of saving and re-using things is in keeping with the Chinese adage wu jin qi yong – ‘waste not’ – a prerequisite for survival during periods of social and political turmoil. 

Song Dong is known for his conceptual and often very personal performances and installations. For his London exhibition, Song Dong has developed a new iteration of Waste Not. First conceived in 2005, it remains of the utmost significance to the artist. Unexpectedly and tragically Zhao Xiangyuan died in an accident in 2009. Each time Song Dong remakes the work, assisted by his sister, Song Hui, and his wife Yin Xiuzhen, the entire family is brought together again. Memories are rekindled and personal family objects are rediscovered, bringing powerful emotions to the fore. 

Ultimately, Waste Not speaks of the strong bonds between family members and the power of objects to tell stories and shape our lives.



15th October 2015, Fashion & Textiles, 'Your Data'. Song Dong.

16th October 2015, FRIEZE, Fernanda Gomes.

 Fernanda Gomes’ work is assembled in situ and begins with an extended process of observation. Gomes finds empty space to be full of information, and the construction and placement of her works (her preferred term is ‘things’) is organised in relation to the spaces she is given for exhibition. Her things are more often that not found objects: the formally exquisite yet intrinsically disposable; the materially precious but casually discarded. Her interventions may consist only of dabs of paint (always white), though they more often depend on placement and relation- she joins one thing to another through stacking or stringing or nudging.

16th October 2015, FRIEZE, Fernanda Gomes, Untitled, 2013, Wood, paint.

16th October 2015, FRIEZE, Richard Long.

Richard Long usually works in the landscape but sometimes uses natural materials in the gallery. Different modes of presentation, sometimes combined, are used to bring his experience of nature back into the gallery. Since 1981 he has also alluded to the terms of painting by applying mid in a liquid state, by hand, to a wall in similar configurations, establishing a dialogue between the primal gesture of the handprint and the formal elegance of its display. He stresses that the meaning of his work lies in the visibility of his actions rather than in the representation of a particular landscape. 

16th October 2015, FRIEZE, Richard Long, Untitled 06, White China clay on Card.

2nd November, Fine Art: Painting. 'Altered Spaces'. Toba Khedoori, Untitled (Stairs) 2000 Oil and wax on paper 366 x 488 cm.

2nd November, Fine Art: Painting. 'Altered Spaces'. Toba Khedoori.

Khedoori’s conceptually charged paintings on paper have a monumental scale that contradicts the reticent manner in which they are deployed. Taken from the urban environment, her subjects are typically isolated architectural structures or details. Always familiar to the viewer – windows, doors, stairways, paths, benches – they may be considered the building blocks of the social world.


The delicately rendered images in Khedoori’s 11’ x 20’ drawings appear to pop out of nowhere and then to disappear into nothingness, triggering similar existential reflection as your eyes glide across their imperfect, wax-coated surfaces that are randomly interspersed with smudges, hand-prints and short strands of dog hair. Somewhat haphazardly stapled to the wall, these impersonal yet engaging pictures are located at the intersection between grand gestures and utter inconsequentiality. Khedoori’s works consist of a pretty sensible blend of ambition and humility, where desire mingles with restraint. For viewers, it’s impossible to determine from which distance these huge yet weirdly intimate drawings demand to be seen. You don’t know whether you should come in close and get lost in the uncountable details the artist has painted with mind-numbing sensuousness, or if you should stand back to try to take in a more objective, overall view of the big picture.

Khedoori packs a lot of sentiment into thoughtful, deceptively simple compositions that resonate in your memory long after you’ve stopped looking at them. Her resoundingly quiet and profoundly still subjects always imply activity, movement and progress, if only momentarily.



"I often struggle with feeling the need to fill the entirety of a canvas, page, or any space. Khedoori's work shows the possibilities that arise when blank space is left alone. Sometimes the emptiness can be as powerful and purposeful or even more so than filling it up with colors/textures/images. There is a beautiful simplicity to her work. An objective yet memorable and personal look into objects we encounter on a daily basis. With space comes power." 




Justin Mortimer, 'Hive', 2015, oil and acrylic on canvas, 214 x 152 cm

Justin Mortimer, 'Beyond Bacon and Freud Artist Justin Mortimer Interviewed By Paul Black.'

"Much of what I do is thinking about and looking for the imagery that will be the catalysts for my paintings. These are mostly sourced from the second hand books I keep in the studio- ranging from flower arranging manuals to techniques of orthopaedic surgery through to all the scanned, downloaded and snapped images I have taken and then throwing them together into digital collages on my studio PC. The collages for the largest paintings mostly start as a mashing together of figures and an environment. I am looking for those strange visual crunches, serendipitous clashes that could open up previously unconsidered psychological avenues or could kick life back into a flagging composition. These collages are printed out and continually revised throughout the painting process so that by completion the initial idea is often a long way from the finished piece. This approach to the early stages is mostly successful but I sometimes wonder if I am closing myself off from a more unconscious engagement with the image." Justin Mortimer


2nd November, Fine Art: Painting. 'Altered Spaces'. David Schnell, Space-Time lines to the horizon.

2nd November, Fine Art: Painting. 'Altered Spaces'. David Schnell, Space-Time lines to the horizon.

2nd November, Fine Art: Painting. 'Altered Spaces'. David Schnell, Space-Time lines to the horizon.

2nd November, Fine Art: Painting. 'Altered Spaces'. David Schnell, Space-Time lines to the horizon.

5th November 2015, Fine Art Practice, 'Re-Edit'. Douglas Gordon, 24 Hour Psycho.

"He [Douglas Gordon] went on to imagine that this ‹someone› might suddenly remember what they had seen earlier that day, later that night; perhaps at around 10 o’clock, ordering drinks in a crowded bar with friends, or somewhere else in the city, perhaps very late at night, just as the ‹someone› is undressing to go to bed, they may turn their head to the pillow and start to think about what they had seen that day. He said he thought it would be interesting for that ‹someone› to imagine what was happening in the gallery right then, at that moment in time when they have no access to the work".

Douglas Gordon on a hypothetical viewer of «24 Hour Psycho» in: David Gordon, «...by way of a statement on the artist’s behalf», in: Douglas Gordon: Kidnapping, Eindhoven, 1998, p. 83.


5th November 2015, Fine Art Practice, 'Re-Edit'. Candice Breitz, 'Her', 2008.

Within the imaginary space of Her (1978-2008), 28 Meryl Streeps, extracted out of films made by the actress over a period of 30 years, meet to discuss their needs, fears and desires. 

Breitz creates a kaleidoscopic, insightful and witty set of interactions between the multiple Jacks ('Him') and many Meryls, interactions that draw to the surface a series of Hollywood-perpetuated clichés about psychology and gendered identity. The voices speak to each other, against each other and over each other, occasionally achieving moments of strange harmony. The Rorschach-like formal structure of each installation suggests the mind of a single individual, a kind of everyman or everywoman struggling to find a coherent identity through an internal monologue or talking cure, as has been suggested by Jennifer Allen:

By combining the techniques of psychoanalysis and cinema—the talking cure and the talkies, private disclosure and public oration, listening intimately and listening with the masses—Breitz confounds the difference between the individual unconscious and the collective unconscious. Him + Her may offer a concentrated portrait of Nicholson and Streep. Yet insofar as these actors and their films have been shared by countless viewers around the world, Breitz’s installation constitutes a collective document, if not an example of social portraiture. In other words, Him + Her might just be a bit like you and me.

The self-worth of the female characters that collectively amount to Her is largely inflected through their relationship to the men in their lives, while the male characters in Him somewhat more narcissistically struggle with issues of self-definition, sanity and sexual performance. Breitz’s engagement of two iconic actors to play her leads allows a broader reflection on the performativity of subjectivity. At the same time, the works prompt us to view celebrity as an ingredient that has become increasingly central to contemporary identity formation. Breitz has said that Nicholson and Streep are not the true subjects of Him + Her: her focus lies instead on “the unconscious of mainstream cinema, the values and layers of meaning that slowly start to make themselves legible when the big plots are stripped away.” 


7th November 2015, Fischli and Weiss's Equilibre/Quiet Afternoon (1984-5), Rachel Wells.

7th November 2015, Fischli and Weiss's Equilibre/Quiet Afternoon (1984-5), Rachel Wells.

7th November 2015, Fischli and Weiss's Equilibre/Quiet Afternoon (1984-5), Rachel Wells.

7th November 2015, Fischli and Weiss's Equilibre/Quiet Afternoon (1984-5), Rachel Wells.

7th November 2015, Fischli and Weiss's Equilibre/Quiet Afternoon (1984-5), Rachel Wells.

7th November 2015, Fischli and Weiss's Equilibre/Quiet Afternoon (1984-5), Rachel Wells.

7th November 2015, Fischli and Weiss's Equilibre/Quiet Afternoon (1984-5), Rachel Wells.

7th November 2015, Fischli and Weiss, Flirt, Liebe, Leidenschaft, Hass, Trennung (Flirtation, Love, Passion, Hate, Separation), 1985. Gelatin-silver print, 30 × 40 cm.

CORNELIA PARKER, Thirty Pieces of Silver, 1988–9, Silver and copper wire.

CORNELIA PARKER, Mass, Colder Darker Matter, 1997

10th November 2015, Fine Art Sculpture, 'The Exploded Field'. Rachel Whiteread.

'House' was unveiled on 25 October 1993. It was an extraordinary work of art by any standard, an impenetrable inversion of domesticity – a machine for not living, if you like. It was obvious that it would not be ignored, but nobody could have predicted the publicity cyclone that followed.

(1993), Rachel Whiteread

House (1993), Rachel Whiteread. 

Almost as soon as its shell was peeled off, House stood at the centre of a national debate that had no middle ground. ‘We knew the sculpture would generate interest from the beginning’, Lingwood says, but ‘House was a lightning conductor’. Whether they were praising it as ‘one of the most extraordinary and imaginative public sculptures created by an English artist this century’ (Andrew Graham-Dixon) or rabidly re-condemning it as ‘meritless gigantism’ (Brian Sewell), every newspaper-reading adult in Britain seemed to have an opinion that veered to one extreme or the other.

"People still talk to me a lot about House," she says today. "It still seems to be incredibly evocative and people can bring it up in their mind's eye. That's obviously very pleasing, but I also know that part of it is undoubtedly to do with the way it was destroyed."

REBECA WARREN, SHE - Homage to R. Crumb, my Father 2003 Unfired clay, MDF & wheels

10th November 2015, Fine Art Sculpture, 'The Exploded Field'. Rebecca Warren.

"This experimental, slapstick collision of Giacometti and Disney, literally cast or pressed into one physical body, leaves neither unharmed. In fact Warren's sculpture could be read as a response to culturally entrenched gender tropes - the slender modernist outline on one hand, and the Disneyish codification of cuteness and effervescence on the other hand - colliding in the real world, in real people's lives. Think of the late Amy Winehouse: big breast implants and anorexia. Warren does not merely make illustrative comments by pitting two things against each other, however. There is more at play. Sticking two things together that "don't fit" is just one possible method. Another is to duplicate (while twisting the logic of duplication); another, to alter proportion (elongate, squeeze etc.). And yet another is to use materials and conventions in unconventional ways. Think of Winehouse again: the postmodern mixture of visual styles and the clear modernism of Soul music."
Jörg Heiser, Bronze Heads and Hair Bows in Rebecca Warren, Galerie Max Hetzler, Holzwarth Publications, 2012

I am fascinated by the way that Warren takes a traditional process, and a traditional subject and subverts/transforms them both. She presents both elements in an unconventional way,  and challenges what is considered beautiful. Warren’s sculptures range from figuration to abstraction and from amorphous to more clearly recognisable forms, which are sometimes sexual in nature and reference the body in challenging ways.

11th November 2015, Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture- Tate Modern.

Alexander Calder, Joan Miro, 1930, wire

Alexander Calder, Black Widow, 1948

11th November 2015, Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture- Tate Modern.

Widely celebrated at the originator of the 'mobile', Alexander Calder (1898-1976) was one of the most innovative and influential American artists of the 20th century. This exhibition focuses on Calder's pioneering approach to sculpture, as he overturned many traditional assumptions about the medium. His early works in wire defined figures with delicate lines in space rather than a solid mass. Many of his works hung from the ceiling rather than standing on a plinth. Impressed by the distinctive environment of Piet Mondrian's studio, he turned to abstraction. Most remarkable of all were his experiments with motion. For Calder, sculpture was no longer a static object for the viewer to walk around, inspecting it from every angle, but something that could itself rotate and be experienced in space and present time.

"I think best in wire" Alexander Calder. 

11th November 2015, Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture- Tate Modern.

11th November 2015, Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture- Tate Modern.

11th November 2015, Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture- Tate Modern.


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