Tuesday, 3 May 2016

PRACTICE: Spring is in Bloom

I've been trying to practice my drawing a lot more recently. So I've been doing some simple line drawings to practice getting form, shape and proportion right. I also do love using colour in my paintings, which is unusual because I hardly use colour in my installation work. I find using watercolours is a very easy way of utilising colour vividly, but I'm hoping to get a good set of inks to play with instead.

I really like traditional Chinese painting and I'm hoping that one day I'll be able to give it a go. But until then, I'm emanating the style a little with some brightly coloured peonies. Pretty much all I use when I draw is a good old Sharpie pen, and I've always enjoyed drawing with pen more than pencil.

REVIEW: [Pick Me Up] Graphic Arts Festival @ Somerset House

Pick Me Up Graphics Arts Festival
Embankment Galleries, Somerset House
21 April - 2 May 2016

Somerset House hosted the annual graphic arts festival 'Pick Me Up' which is currently in its seventh year running. It's a fantastic opportunity to showcase emerging and established artists, studios and collectives. Last year was the first time I came along to this festival, and I absolutely adored the experience. The Embankment galleries became a web of live workshops and stalls, selling anything from prints, zines, clothing and more. As well as that, you get to see the designers in action and watch the creative process, and possibly get something custom made. Because of how much I enjoyed myself last year, I had high hopes for the festival this time round.

The festival begins with a curated exhibit featuring a selection of upcoming artists, A couple of my favourites included Alice Bowsher with her simple but strong black ink drawings, and Aart-Jan Venema's colourful and detailed compositions. Alice Bowsher happened to be the illustrator in residence for the day, and was selling her paintings for £15 a piece.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

INDUSTRY: An Overview of the MA Art & Science Course, Central Saint Martins

MA Art & Science
Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London
Duration: 2 Years

So when people ask me what I most recently studied, and I answer with "art and science", they either look understandably baffled, or vaguely impressed. The question I always get asked the most is: what's this course about? What exactly is "art and science"?

I enrolled on the art and science course in the 3rd year of it's fruition. The course had been developed within the MA fine art department by course leader Nathan Cohen. As a relatively new course, I think it's safe to say that the answer to the question was simply us. The students. The course at this point, didn't really have an identity as such. That identity was still very much open for interpretation and because of that, the course was great in some ways but lacking in others.

PRACTICE: Drawing from Nature

I've always been inspired by nature and it's beautiful forms. I collect all matter of seeds, dried flowers, pebbles, mineral rocks and other natural ephemera for inspiration. I have recently developed a huge love of succulents and cacti. A friend of mine also collected them, and often described them as "sculptural" because of their countless interesting shapes and textures. Now that I have started a collection of my own, I really understand what she meant. I am enamoured by how many varieties there are, and how they can influence my drawings.

Since being at art school, I became out of touch with drawing and painting regularly. I drew analytical diagrams and plans for my installation work as a logistical way of thinking and problem solving. Therefore I didn't realise how much I missed it. What I've noticed at art school is that simple skills such as drawing are not really taught anymore or encouraged. Which I understand because there are so many other contemporary methods of creating now. But I feel every creative individual can feel a sense of satisfaction in going back to the simple act of drawing. I really missed the tactility of putting pencil/pen to paper , and the immediacy of seeing something evolve. If there's anything I would like to do more of, it's draw.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

INDUSTRY: [The Lab Project Residency] @ Kingsgate Workshops, London

The Lab Project, curated by Test Bed
Supported by Kingsgate Workshops & Camden Arts Centre
25 July - 20 August 2015
Artists: Vivienne Du, Rose Pickles and Yen-Ting Cho

A couple months ago, I was invited to take part in a residency revolving around the themes of Multisensory Perception & Synesthesia. The residency promoted an experimental ethos that would allow the artists to come to a final conclusion through a series of experimental stimuli.

For my first ever residency, it went really well. It was certainly challenging at times, as putting up an exhibition will never appear to go smoothly, but I always learn a lot from every one I do. The team who curated the show from Camden Arts Centre too were fantastic, I felt really supported every step of the way, and they were very enthusiastic about my ideas.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

REVIEW: [Richard Serra] @ Gagosian Gallery, London

Richard Serra
Gagosian Gallery, Britannia Street, London
11 October 2014 - 4 March 2015

The Gagosian Gallery, London recently exhibited a few select works by the renowned sculptor Richard Serra, perhaps most recognisable for his large scale steel installations. This exhibition was no different as the gallery featured the following works 'Backdoor Pipeline', 'Ramble', 'Dead Load' and 'London Cross'.

As is often the case with Serra's work, the sheer scale and mass of his sculptures dominate the space as you pass through it. The presence of these enormous forms have a breathtaking exchange that is only experienced face to face. It is only with such an interaction that you truly acknowledge and embody the physical grounding of the material and scale that Serra tends to work in.

Ramble (2014) by Richard Serra. Photograph by Mike Bruce

Ramble (2014) consists of a room filled with rows of oblong shaped forms that vary in size but are generally large enough to match the average height of a visitor or tower a few inches above. This immediately creates an interesting synergy between the viewer and Serra's forms, as we are made to create an instant relationship between us and this series of sculpture. The layout of these objects feels maze-like and one is compelled to meander their way through the plane of steel blocks. The distance between the blocks in some places is just wide enough to accommodate, once again emphasising the scale of the work in direct relation to the viewer. As well as appreciating the scale of each of these forms, I often felt a desire to touch them and truly appreciate their materiality and surface. There is obviously a fascination Serra has with steel and his repeated use of this material focuses the viewer's attention on just how this material functions and presents itself.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

REVIEW: [Thinking with the Body] by Wayne McGregor @ The Wellcome Collection

Thinking with the Body by Wayne McGregor
The Wellcome Collection
19 September - 27 October 2013

This is my recent review I wrote for the online publishing site: http://intuition-online.co.uk/article.php?id=3416

A study of mind, movement and dance, 'Thinking with the body' was the most recent exhibition presented by the Wellcome Collection in the increasing emergence of collaborative art and science practice. In recent years, artists have become ever more interdisciplinary and multi-faceted practitioners in their own right; engaging with an array of experts, scientists and consultants alike to fuel the research invested in their artworks. In this exhibition Wayne McGregor investigates aspects of perception, sensation and physical movement in relation to cognitive and social sciences, demonstrated through the art of dance itself.

The exhibition certainly addressed some really intriguing ideas around the body as a tool and vessel of physical expression. Using dance as a case study, this spontaneous and inexplicable expressive form of behaviour allows the dancer to use their body as their chosen medium. In fact using the body as an artistic medium is not purely restricted to just dancers, performance artists have been doing the same thing for years. Whilst watching the interchange between both the dancers and choreographers, you feel very much like a voyeur; looking in on a unique form of language by those who possess an obvious enriched understanding and utility of the body as an instrument. It goes beyond ordinary gesture, its flexible, sometimes exaggerated, sometimes amazingly subtle, as if they own a completely different embedded vocabulary of movements they are able to appropriate at will. Just like any other type of artist, dancing explores the endless possibilities of the chosen medium and in this respect, the limits to which the body can be used to express both emotion and narrative. Dance is certainly not just a visually spectacular practice but an innate form of expression drawn from the emotive core. As with many art forms; what appears on the surface  is only half the story, the rather more interesting art lies in the cognitive and psychological intentions driving the resulting physical catharsis.