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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

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, 28th July-3rd August

Written by Tanya Geddes

Serenading past swanky shops like Chanel, remedy buy information pills Prada et al, help information pills in the heart of the west end in order to get to John Martin Gallery, I was unsure of what to expect from this exhibition. Surrounding me were brigades of pashmina cladded women with bouffoned hair and sharp fitted chappies in business suits, making me feel…well a tad trampy in comparison (I’m not exactly a pearl wearing gal). I couldn’t help but note ‘this certainly ain’t no East London’. Expecting a traditional style of art, I entered the gallery slightly dubious but was pleasantly surprised.

The whitewashed space showcased Benjamin Jones, Chris Hipkiss and Farina Alam. What unites their work is an attention to detail as all artists’ works are intricate labours of love.

Flicking through Jones’ portfolio made up of child-like scrappy doodles, I noticed that there was a tension between a naïve perspective of distorted proportions in contrast to carefully drawn details. His pieces on the wall also display an awkwardness played out by a limbless baby mannequin who features in many of his works. His intricate pieces made from fine markings, words, and varying patterns gives his works the appearance of being collages. Your eye is instantly drawn in, wanting to soak up every feature whilst reading the text and simultaneously engaging with the processes of mark making. The playful sketches marry a creative mind with a bored figure who pops up repeatedly in his sketches. This brings about a feeling of inner frustration.


Chris Hipkiss‘ sketches all feature rows of identical, multi-limbed androgynes, populating industrialised utopias. Within these, crops often spread their dark tentacles to the recesses of each corner of the page. Everything is synchronised and sprawling. Buildings and crops are neatly arranged suggesting a mechanical and artificial future where the central objective is to grow and produce. An eerie depiction of the future indeed!


Farina Alam‘s captivating designs makes references to elaborate wedding dresses of a Pakistani bride. By distorting the shape she forces you to consider the societal position of the bride. However I only got this by reading the leaflet that came with the exhibition. What struck me most was the impressive patience she must have displayed to produce such carefully controlled prints.


My favourite artist out of the three was Jones. The child-like style together with the delicate observations showcased an interesting tension between the innocent and experienced perspectives; which was unsettling rather than gratuitously dark or heavy handed. For an arty encounter that doesn’t necessarily involve pearls or pashminas why not take a trip down John Martin Gallery. The exhibition is sure to confirm that drawing is definitely diverting!

Creative collective ‘Plats’ have an exciting new project that they want you to get involved in. All you have to do is submit a description of how you would interpret the word ‘Plats’, prostate along with some examples of your work, discount and you could be part of the upcoming Plats exhibition in London and also find yourself in the next Plats printed publication. I spoke to Emily Robertson, drugs one of the founders of the collective, in the hopes of getting some helpful hints from her… What is ‘Plats’ anyway?

“Plats is a Swedish word that translates as space or place. We believe that the creative space where we make/draw/think is important to our practice. When (other founding member of Plats) Sophia and I graduated from Glasgow School of Art we really wanted to keep the idea of the studio going, even if we didn’t have one, and so Plats was born.”


Also within this talented community is Laurie Innes (graduate LCC, also a founder), Graham Kelly (Artist), Nadja Bournonville (Photographer), Katherine Rose (photographer) and Shielagh Tacey (artist). So, with quite a few members in their merry band already, are Plats looking to recruit even more talent through this new project? Or are they just looking to lend a helping hand to other creatives? Or maybe even shoulder to cry on?

“We are opening up Plats to other creatives because we thought it would be fun to collaborate and work with some of the very talented people we have met since graduating and get them involved in our group. We want to keep a feeling of community and dialogue between ourselves and other creatives. And, also, we just thought it would be a lot of fun!”


Plats have been having lot’s of fun recently, if Robertson’s recollection of their last show in East Germany is anything to go by…

“The show in Leipzig was brilliant. We were invited over there by Anna Louise from LIA, who has a space in the Spinnerei cultural community and were told we could do anything we liked with the space as long as we also made a mural. I was worried for a bit because we had not seen the space until we got there but it all turned out swimmingly and the show looked great. We had people popping in all day to see the work and to eat cake with us. In the evening we had a showing of Laurie’s film and he did a little performance thing with it, then it became a little party. We really had lots of fun and hope we can do lots more events like it.”


So what are Plats hoping to get out of their next exhibition?

“I guess what we hope to gain from this is a showcase of work that we believe is exciting, thoughtful and should be seen by everyone, along with a publication that backs that up. Oh, and world domination but, shush, don’t tell anybody that…”


Find out more about the open submission brief at the Plats site. Don’t be slow about it though, because the deadline is August the 15th!

Monday 28th July

Vane, price ‘A Feast of Folly‘: Jock Mooney: 24th July-2nd August
Kings House, unhealthy ForthBanks, this Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3PA
To celebrate the launch of Mooney’s book, the exhibition will include his prints and recent drawings. Music fans will recognise his work from his covers of Dan le Sac VS Scroobius Pip and the ‘next big thing’ Isoceles.


Tenderpixel Gallery, ‘Protoplastic=Accumulation’: Nicko Staniero: 26th July-5th August
10 Cecil Court, London WC2N 4HE
The installation employs recycled objects such as stamps and embossing tools to produce organic shapes and colours. The visual becomes a language and code full of ornamental motifs and movement.


Tuesday 29th July

HOST gallery, ‘The Foto8 Awards & Summer Show’: 23rd July-31st August
1 Honduras Street, London EC1Y OTH
The first annual Foto8 Awards & Summer Show 08: a photography award, exhibition and print fair; will showcase and celebrate modern photographers whilst encouraging independent photojournalism. Purchases start from as little as £50.


Inverleith House, ‘What is life’: Christine Borland, Graham Fagen, Simon Starling: 12 July-31st August
Royal Botanic Garden, 20a Inverieth Row, Edinburgh, EH6 6RA
Sculpture examining the uses and symbolism of plants by past and present cultures.


Wednesday 30th July
Hornsey Original Gallery, ‘Michael Hammond & Mayuko Matsunami’: 22nd July-9th August
Hornsey Library, Haringey Park, London N8 9JA
Michael Hammond attempts to capture the fast moving, skyscraper filled Japan with images taken from his mobile phone. Mayuk Matsunami explores the technological country by observing the pseudo-humanistic quality of dogs. His paintings are full of life and often carefully observed.


Chelsea Future Space, ‘Layla Curtis: Traceurs-to trace, to draw, to go fast’: 4th June-21st September
Hepworth Ct, Gatliff Rd, London SW1W 8QP
Curtis documents traceurs or parkour practitioners making their alternative routes through the city landscape. By using a thermal imaging camera she investigates the hidden traces such as footprints and hand marks that go unnoticed. The result is a grainy grey image of urban landscapes shot with white figures who leap between obstacles.


Thurday 31st July
Ferreira Projects, ‘Irregular pulse’: Russell Herron, Ayling&Conroy, Bedwyr Williams, James R Ford, Sarah Doyle, Stewart Gough: July 31st-August 16
23 charlotte rd, London EC2A
James R Ford’s first curatorial project, Irregular Pulse presents a group of contemporary artists whose work is fun whilst witty at the same time. Spanning installation, sculpture, painting and video.


Barbican Art Gallery, ‘Paul Haworth & Alex Brenchley, Silk Handkerchiefs’: performances at The House of Vicktor & Rolf: 7:30pm
Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS
Paul Haworth at ‘Performance-fashion’ an evening performances that reference fashion and costume, curated by Vanessa Carlos, that complement the current exhibition ‘The House of Viktor & Rolf’ at the Barbican Art Gallery.Paul Haworth and Alex Brenchley bring their unique strand of awkwardness and humour to this performance about fashion.


Friday 1st August
Haunch of Venison, ‘Mat Collishaw‘: 11th July-30th August
6 Haunch of Venison Yard, London W1K 5ES
Blurring the distinction between representation and reality, Collishaw displays projections on phosphorescent paint. The exhibition involves historical photographs of Victorian child prostitutes in sexual poses. The images are fired onto phosphorescent paint and flare before fading from view. The ghostly effect highlights the short-lived existences of many of the children in Victorian times.


William Morris Gallery, ‘Park Lives’: Udall Evans & Matt Scandrett
Lloyd park, Forest Rd, Walthamstow, London E17 4RP
A photography project that celebrates the lives of East London people who use Lloyd and Avenling Park.


Tate Britain, ‘Late at Tate Britain’: 1st August
Millbank, London SW1P 4RG
Why not join the tate team on the front lawn for a summer barbeque? In the galleries there will be live music, including a live art rock installation and performance from Chris Coco’s new band venture City Reverb with visuals from the artist She One with a supporting line up of laid back folk from Kaparte Promotions. Plus expect art interventions from the MA Chelsea Curating course and poetry and films from Coco Rosie’s Bianca Cassidy. See the Lure of the East exhibition for half price, and enjoy the summer sun!


Prick your finger, ‘Pompom making party’: Amy Lame
260 Globe rd, E2 OJD
Pompom fun and dj’s make this event a must! See you there.


Saturday 2nd August

V&A, ‘Collaborators: UK Design for performance 2003-2007′: now-until 18th November
Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL
Displaying the work of over 100 British theatre designers recognised worldwide for their innovation and creativity. Highlights include the work of internationally acclaimed set designers: Paul Brown, Richard Hudson and Ralph Koltai.


Sunday 3rd August
SPRING PROJECTS, ‘Lip-gloss and lacquer’: Julie Masterton, Lawrence Weiner, Michael Anastassiades and others:12th July-14th August
Spring House, 10 Spring Place London, NW5 3BH
Investigating the pursuit of commodity, celebrity and fashion, the works critique and embrace glamour and the image of the woman in the fashion industry. The exhibition comprises of artists, designers and fashion photographers allowing for a varied media platform including pop culture imagery, painting, installation and sculpture.


Tate Britain, ‘Art Now: Juneau Projects’: Phil Duckworth & Ben Sadler: 2nd June-26th October
Millbank, London SW1P 4RG
Using video, sound and performance installations, they explore a retreat to nature from the digital age. Mixing traditional crafts with new technologies, they synthesize the old and new, countryside and city.


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