Monday, 24 October 2011

Exhibition Companion.

Since the Out of Sight exhibition we have been working on a catalogue for it; to capture the project forever in a tangible form. We hoped to get a couple printed with the money we had left, but that wish has actually magnified via funding we recently received; 60 copies are now set to be created. This means we can give one to each of our participating artists as a memento, and still have quite a few to share with people / make forts out of. I am humbled by such generosity. Here is the final version, sent to the printers today:

And here is a selection of what people have been saying about Out of Sight:
a-n The Artists Information Company
Artists Now
BH Beat
Aditi Kulkarni

Thanks again to everyone who helped, gave time and gave a damn about our little project.

Friday, 21 October 2011

What That Wardrobe Needs is a Homophonic Hoodie.

The Student Union at my university has a hoodie redesign competition every year. This is my contender for this year, with voting starting next week. I'll be rooting for it to do well like an enthusiastic mom on sport's day.
If not, I blame the 'Hey'.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Badge of Honour.

Today I received a very exciting and very blue parcel from the good people at Stereohype! As posted previously I entered their badge competition this year. Curiously I came fourth, which means not only are my badges on sale at the stereohype website, but also that I was owed some prize-winning clobber.

As a badge fan I was in heaven getting to choose 15 badges as part of the winnings. Some tough decisions were made after scouring their catalogue of treasures (across a few sittings), and below you can see the well-chosen badges that joined my own design as additions to my collection, along with this photo of my now-real badges having been instantly donned with genuine pride. The finish of them is very good, it's so cool to see my bike having lifted off from the page. It'd be strange to say they're 3-D now as they're still definitely 2-D compared to a real bike, but you know what I mean.

From top left to right:
Green Jellyfish by FL@33
Rubberbands, Large by FL@33
Moon Eclipse, Dark by √ČricandMarie
Anteater Trumpet by Mayuko Fujino (1st Prize 2011)
Pie Chart by Lisa Olausson
Ketchup by Alexander Egger.

Saturday, 15 October 2011


I sent this over to The Fruit Tree Foundation this week, as they had a fun competition to help create a new EP for their mentoring musicians.

Says Fruit Tree's Astrid Johnston, "We are inviting you to play ‘consequences’ aka ‘heads, bodies and legs’ with a fruit tree, and then send us your version of one section of the tree. Three of the entries will be put together to form a whole tree and used for the EP".

Being the ripe-old age of twenty-one, I tackled the top of the tree. Thinking of it as the canopy, I drew lots of little brollies and cut + glued them down in place. I liked the idea of one tree collecting all the umbrellas lost by people; either taken by the wind, left on the bus, or so often abandoned in a mangled state after losing to a storm.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Brains of the Operation.

I myself created an installation piece to be exhibited in the Out of Sight exhibition entitled, simply, 'The Brain'. I had wanted to make it for quite some time, and the car park gave me a good opportunity to make it tangible and place it within a public platform. Its placement in the carpark seemed perfect to me, as my interpretation of the underground space was of it as the recesses of the mind of the upper levels, if we were to compare them to consciousness. It was dusty, dated and hidden away, and matched perfectly with my intentions for the work.

When studying psychology at college, an analogy of the brain as a computer was used all the time, to explain basic principles of how it was structured & how complex it was; hardware, software, electrical signals and the like...
But, after learning more; about memory and the unconscious, and drawing on my own relationship with my brain, a different profile of the nerve centre emerged - one of a more personal and manual place. It seemed way more analogue in form than this digitised comparison. The brain forgets things; not everything we 'save' onto it is still there when we go to retrieve it. It can trick us, and implant something that we only think was there; neuron paths can get overlapped.

I imagined instead the brain as a person in an office, with each thought and each process as a hard copy rather than a computer 'file'; a piece of paper, meaning 'human error' in the process of filing could account for our brain's mix ups. The brain is the communicator of the body, and I imagined it as a dated hub, with in-trays and out-trays of signals to deal with from the different organs, as if they were people too.

I created this analogy as a physical environment in order to let people enter it, with things to pick up and investigate. With me sitting at a typewriter acting as the recorder of 'brain activity' for a couple of hours each day, the work also had a strong element of immediacy. I surrounded the desk with everything that my brain knew. I made a list of everyone I could ever remember meeting, made a world map from memory, and packed my troubles in an old kit bag. The continuous reel of paper generated throughout the exhibition recording my thoughts and what I could see resulted in a stream of paper documentation about the exhibition, its visitors and to some extent reflections on my own life during that period.

The piece worked best when I was absent however, leaving behind the evidence of someone being there (complete with cups from the coffees I'd chugged to keep me going) and documentation of the past for visitors to read. People seemed to enjoy rooting around in someone else's head, like voyeurs of its owner rather than it as an art piece. The non-gallery setting also encouraged this interaction I think; there was no barrior of prestige or 'do not touch' feeling created as so often in a white cube environment.

A couple of visitors even became part of the record of the work by typing on the typewriter themselves with what they witnessed and what they thought of it, which makes for interesting reading.

Now all I have to do it work out how to get the filing cabinets out of the car park.

Exhibition Hair.

Here is a little moving image docu nugget one Michael Compton made about the Out of Sight exhibition while we were 'in labour', as it were. He did a very good job capturing our ruddy cheeks and weary eyes, but also the anticipation that A baby is coming.
I think the gentlemen come across a bit cheeky-chappy, while I channel an element of Hermione Granger. Without the good hair.

Out of Sight, Out of Our Minds.

Finally I have time to post about me and my housemates' latest and grandest endeavour:
This summer we presented OUT OF SIGHT to an unsuspecting Bournemouthian public; an exhibition in an underground carpark that until now has been unused for three years.

Me and my housemates George Bills, Laurie Ramsell, Nathan Hackett heralded as organisers of the whole kit and kaoodle, enlisting the help of Ashley Peevor & Michael Compton along the way to make a combined force of knowledgable, capable and resiliant fine art and illustration students. 33 proposals were then chosen from entrants spanning our entire university, The Arts University College at Bournemouth, and the resultant exhibition proudly featured costume design, digital media, film, foundation and MA students, alongside both of our courses.
It was a long process, from liaising with various levels of Wilkinsons clearance (owners of the carpark), calling for entries, selecting the artists, cleaning the carpark, adding power outlets, installing the work, making our own work(!) and of course aspects of promotion and publicity as the opening date approached. Exhaustion was a key feeling inside all of us in the house at the end of each day, but such a sense of achievement gripped in turning a disgusting and neglected environment into a house for sophisticated art pieces. Plus, someone told us that when you're tired, you know you're putting your all in.

I myself designed our promotional 'identity', which became applied to flyers, posters, e-invites, and signage. It was based on an eye test, playing with ideas of optical inadequacies taken from the exhibition title 'Out of Sight'.

One key aspect of our exhibition was that we were 'out of the way', slightly off the beaten track; you had to take a sort of leap of faith down some unfamiliar stairs in an unnervingly familiar place, and find something that was hidden to a lot of people who who look past it, making the entrant an explorer of the unknown who had seen something others had not. Our ethos contained lacings of an appreciation for the overlooked: including outsiders within a society, as well as hidden areas within a community, and we wanted to show art's resiliance to unorthodox circumstances - including declines of the economy and lower states of lifestyle. All the artworks were generated as a direct response to the carpark; whether the result mimicked some of its qualities, or juxtapoed against them; made use of its large scale or exaggerated it, none of the objects would exist without the environment.

S from 'Urban Brick' typeface by Bana Toutounjee. Photograph by Denise Poote.

'Residents' by Elizabeth Vazquez. Photograph by Michael Compton.

Inside 'Petri Dish' by Kieran Leonard, Tom Daniel-Moon & Ka Vi. Photograph by Michael Compton.

Assemblage of 'Sustainable Car' by Marta Fjellheim. Photograph by Michael Compton.

'Meltdown' by Hollie Mackenzie. Photograph by Denise Poote.

We received around 1000 visitors across the week-long opening period, largely due to the carpark entrance in prime location on the bustling Winton High Street; having been hidden right alongside the entrance to chainstore Wilkinsons for all this time. Many people who came down to the carpark's depths had used the carpark when it was open, and were happy to see it open again in better nick. It was a joy to see people from all walks of life enter the space without any preconceptions of what they might find.

A big thank you to everyone who helped us in whatever way; swapping keys, making art, bringing a broom, getting up early, being able to drive, folding exhibition guides, handing out flyers, keeping us afloat.~
You are out of sight.