Thursday, 29 April 2010

Gloria's Crew - Jenine McGaughran

Last night was ARC's latest event 'Gloria's Crew' curated by Jenine McGaughran. This is ARCs third show by an invited local curator and it was a brilliant exhibition. The official blurb read:

Taking its name from Alice Sheldon’s 1976 novella ‘Houston, Houston, Do You Read?’ in which an all female society present a feminist utopian vision aboard spaceship Gloria, the exhibition celebrates female practitioners, showcasing an international selection of seminal and contemporary works.

At the centre of Gloria’s Crew is an investigation into the methods and processes of knowledge transfer particular to the work of women. Functioning across a range of media including text-based works, audio installations, film and sculpture, the artists reference literary narratives, exploit open sources of knowledge such as the internet and advertising billboards, and appropriate female icons to highlight that the way in which we communicate is consistently politicised and gendered. Artists include: Andrea Greenwood, Hayley Lock, Cecile Emmanuelle Borra,the Guerrilla Girls, Marysia Lewandoska (WAA), Ellie Rees, Karien Van Assendelft + more.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a special set from DJ duo ATTA girl, who’ll be spinning their love for (predominantly) female vocalists throughout the evening.

Stand out vaults were by Andrea Greenwood (top image) and old TROVE favourite Hayley Lock (bottom image).

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

'oh, now you can see why'

Here is an image of Adrian Johnson's poem as installed at TROVE. It will be on display until the end of the year, and then hopefully beyond!

Monday, 26 April 2010

Sneaky peek at Show of Science at TROVE

The opening of the next TROVE exhibition, Show of Science, is this coming Friday 30th April 2010 6-8pm at The Old Science Museum in Brum. The artists on show will be:
a.a.s., Victoria Jenkins, Lee Stowers and Luke Williams. Above is a sneaky peek at one of Luke's pieces in the show.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Worcester Open

Earlier this year I was invited by Nathaniel Pitt to co-curate the Worcester Museum space of the Worcester Open with Matt Roberts. The Open launched yesterday, here are some pictures of Matt and I installing the show at the Museum.

Show of Science - coming soon to TROVE

Friday, 23 April 2010

Could Birmingham be the city of culture 2013?

For 24 hours Birmingham Big City Culture has a blog and it is open for you to add your local art contribution or to talk about something you have seen and liked in Birmingham.

The blurb goes like this:

Big Culture Blog

For 24 hours, from Midday on Friday 23rd April to Midday Saturday 24th April 2010, you've invited to contribute to Birmingham's bid to be UK City of Culture 2013.

Show your support and tell everyone about your culture and events by emailing and sharing where you are and what you're doing. Email — attaching pictures, video or sound if you have it —

There's approx 19 hours left - get contributing!

TROVE and TBB are already involved.

Post travels

TROVE's Post exhibition has just returned from its travels to CoExist in Southend on Sea. It's the first time I've seen the additional work and I like it!

Image courtesy of DEE

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Life is good in Manchester

Popped into Manchester City Art Gallery with a very favourite friend of mine and it had a few nice finds...

...this lion painting, The Desert / The Fallen Monarch by Edward Landsee, is my friend Edward Wakefield's favourite, he first told me about this painting in about the first week of knowing him, five years on I finally got to see it with him.

The Gallery had a great collections of Goya first edition etching prints...

...and a nice complimentary collection of Chapman Brother pictures too. If you have a couple of free hours in Manc, defo pop in, there are some serious treasures and some good cabinets too!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

A mini humf in Bristol

On Friday we had a day trip to Bristol.

After a little walk along the river and a bump into TROVE artist Zoe Williams, we arrived at Picture This. There was a short film piece by Michel Auder on, utilising only the first part of the gallery, which was a shame as I was distracted by shards of lights reflecting off passing car windows and onto the wall where the film was being projected. It was...ok. I usually like Picture This a lot and left feeling slightly underwhelmed.

Then round the corner to Spike Island and another disappointing show, this time a video piece 'Sanity Assasin' and sculpture by Amanda Beech. Zoe had warned us that this piece was 'aggressive' but after that it wasn't aggressive enough, it was repetitive and difficult to follow, the font difficult to read for the quotations and the sculpture of chain saws on mirrored topped plinths a bit obvious and felt crammed into the space rather than over empowering.

Looking forward to the next show at Spike which happens to be Zoe Williams herself! Opens 30th April 2010.

Popped into old favourite the Arnolfini to see the Imogen Stidworthy, and again I was disappointed. Nice idea, not greatly visualised and presented. The blurb went like this:

Arnolfini presents the first major survey exhibition in the UK of work by Imogen Stidworthy. She investigates the structure of language, the subjectivity and nuances of linguistic formation, and how languages can be used as a kind of defence mechanism.

Working predominantly with moving image and sound, the exhibition will present a survey of recent works, such as I Hate, originally commissioned for Documenta 12 in Germany, which shows photographer Edward Woodman relearning how to talk after losing his sense of speech following a cycling accident. Alongside this will be her recent works Get Here and Barrabackslarrabang, which looks at the modification of language, in this case by criminal gangs in Liverpool, in order to create a language barrier to protect themselves from the authorities.

Sneaky peak at the next Arnolfini show, a wall painting going up all three floors by the stairs of the gallery by Louise Bourgeois and Otto Zitko - which looks good!

The day I was a Princess...

Early morning train to London, first stop Kensington Palace for 'The Enchanted Palace' experience. The blurbs goes like this:

Kensington Palace has been enchanted. Journey through this magical experience weaving contemporary fashion, performance, dreamlike installations and tales of the princesses who once lived there, all set against the backdrop of the magnificent State Apartments. In association with WILDWORKS and featuring Vivienne Westwood, William Tempest, Stephen Jones, Boudicca, Aminaka Wilmont and Echo Morgan.

and continues...

At the heart of the Enchanted Palace journey is a quest for the seven princesses who once lived here. Their lives have been re-imagined as installations offering a fascinating interpretation of the palace’s hidden stories. The rebellious princess who ran from an arranged marriage into the arms of love. Sad queens who bore the pain and sadness of lost babies. The young heir to the throne who escaped the controlling grasp of her overprotective mother.

Visitors must use their eyes and ears to find clues that reveal the identity of the elusive royal residents. Guided by an enchanted map, the advice of obliging palace guardians and a few helping hands, their search will take them to all the hidden corners of the State Apartments and lead them to a glittering finale where they will at last meet the princesses face to face.

Bringing the Enchanted Palace to life are the palace guardians, our expert front of house team and professional actors, who provide a personal insight into the strange world of the palace.

It was brilliant! The visit began with tea and cake in the amazing Orangery Tea Rooms followed by the Palace and it's trail. Though pricey this day out is excellent, staff were warm and friendly, all of the rooms were playful and the inventiveness of signage, hints, clues, themes etc were perfect. Favourite parts - each fire place in every room was lined with old maps but also contained additional clues and hints to each rooms use, the interactive elements were great, from my favourite favourite - the cabinet of curiosity, to the envelope with a poem about the ferrel child that was kept as a pet at the palace. Plus Vivienne Westwood's Princess Charlotte dress, the dressing table full of glass bottles to collect mournful tears and all the clocks being set to 5.05...everything about this day was enjoyable, playful, fun, we learnt about the palace and its history, interacted with the exhibits, performers and staff and overall left wanting to know more about all the boring things like funding, budgets, partnerships, associates, designers, curators, manager etc of the project as it was so well done! (best worst thing was the ignorance of some of the visitors overheard saying how disappointed they were that there was no information about the palace and the rooms and what was all this silly festival stuff doing? When we first went into the palace we were advised that the palace was not in its usual state whilst being redeveloped and that the rooms were disrupted - we know - thats why we came!)

This was very swiftly followed (as we were running late) by a Mad Hatters Tea Party afternoon tea at The Sanderson, pineapple lollipops that go from cold to hot, multi-coloured sandwiches, magical tasting cakes and earl grey and lemon jam...yummmm...

...followed by billiards in their amazing purple billiards room, a walk down Oxford Street, into a Carneby Street pub with bottles of wine and some friends then a curry, a missed train home and my best mates sofa bed. Good Princess day out in London!