ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW Exhibit C opened at BEARSPACE.

Taking its name from Robert Wise’s classic 1959 Film Noir, ODDS AGAINST TOMORROW is curated by Julia Alvarez and Katherine Hawker.

I am so pleased to be a part of this show.

Exhibit C looks to imagined and real cities, utopias and dystopias. Coined in 1516 by Thomas Moore, the word Utopia derives from the Greek for ‘no place’, and the later English homophone  deriving from ‘good place’. It is this double meaning which is of interest here: the vices and virtues of a modern city, and a contemporary sense of instability. Artists critique existing cities, blur boundaries between the everyday and the extraordinary, and build ‘no places’

It was a really busy Private View – so busy I didn’t get a chance to take any photos.  I am hoping I can get some from the gallery as it’s nice to get a record of the buzz.

Julia Alvarez the gallery owner said Time Out critics were in to do a review which is supposed to come out next week. Apparently they don’t give anything away when they are there so will have to wait and see what they have to say.

It was good to show Collected Thoughts all together for once.

Collected Thoughts

This work reflects on ideas of preservation (conservation – but of a romantic idea of nature)  and references the Victorian enthusiasm for creating stylised tableaux of the natural world held in glass domes.

I wonder if anyone actually picks up on this idea without being prompted.

The other work showing is Calypso Wanderer II which is inspired by the evocative names given to the prosaic caravan.

Hung in the small annexe it’s a bit tucked away but at least right by the bar.

My thoughts have had to move straight on to all the work needed to get ‘Syndrome’ ready for installation.My maths has let me down again! The wood I gave to Pete to make all the stretchers was only enough for two sets of 4 and I need 9 sets.So off to get some more – hopefully enough this time & I bought it from Champion Timber as it was much cheaper than Wickes.I have got the LED strip lights on a roll from eBay – why did I spend a fortune before on LED bars for the Christmas lightboxes when this stuff is so cheap and easy to use. The prices vary so much.Also I have found some LED connectors  with 1 metre wires for 3528 SMD LED strip lights.  I will have to connect the lighting of all the crates together at installation once the pile of crates is in place so to find something that doesn’t involve those tiny screws in regular connectors is a real bonus – these ones snap onto the strip. The idea is that I run the LED strip around the inside of each box  with the connecting wire coming out from a hole and connect to the next box and so on finishing with the transformer plug. Pete has made the first lid with broken slats forming a viewing hole – looking good.

Still need quite a lot of carpentry doing but I have all the images back from Promptside now – much cheaper than I expected too so that was another bonus and compensated for how much I have had to spend on wood.

Two of the boxes will not be lit but will have a torch available for viewing.

Caught in the light. Going up the darkened stairs. Then to get to my room, passing across the stairs to the attic. Terrifying.

I have been doing a bit of work on Graft ii

In Graft i I worked directly onto the collagraph – a bit like a real graft – cutting and incising a desired idea/plant onto a base substrate.

In Graft ii I have transferred the image of the collagraphed garage doors onto polyester and printed the fantasy growth of rhododendron a typically hybrid plant, onto organzadirectly over an aluminium base.

Then I have added more layers of polyester printed with the fantasy growth. The final image is on top and I am in the process of cutting into it.

It’s a bit more subtle than Graft i. I hope they will sit well together. I am planning to make four pieces all exploring this same image of a grey urban non place with an exotic idea transplanted onto it.

A lot of hours this week were spent drawing through the pain of RSI on my little bamboo tablet.

I am planning a small tormented forest on 2m organza panels to go in the room at Shoreditch Town Hall with ‘Syndrome’.

A stressful 3 hours were spent getting the stencils printed at the ever faithful Call Print of Richmond as their software kept crashing or wouldn’t open the file.

I have made the screens to print sublimation ink on paper ordered from a Swedish army surplus store and then I need to beg a favour…..

 

The other artists in the show are Liz Collini, Sophie Hoyle, Louise Potzesny, Daniel Soma and Joseph Steele.

Only managed a brief chat at the PV with Liz about the neatness or not of her text based work and a brief discussion with Joseph about his powerful apocalyptic images.
We were all asked to respond to an email interview for Odds Against Tomorrow.
These are my unedited responses
Where does your inspiration come from?

It comes from my environment and the people I see around me. I look for evidence in the city of a need to connect with nature.

How does the place you live in affect your work?

I live in suburban London where there is a lot of hedge trimming and hanging baskets. I look for the undercurrent fantasies to expose in my work.

Which artists do you admire most?

There are so many including Joana Vasconcelas, Alex Hartley, Mat Collishaw, Gordon Cheung, Hew Locke, Jeremy Deller, Raqib Shaw, Olafur Eliasson, Grayson Perry, Andy Harper, Pipilotti Rist

What do you find most exciting about art/culture right now?

Despite all the cuts the sheer abundance of art being made and the enthusiasm for engaging with it. As it permeates more areas of society new audiences are being found such as those drawn into a gallery by the TV show on Grayson Perry’s tapestries and the local people of Deptford seeing art out in the street during Deptford X.

What are you planning next?

I am planning to apply to study for an MA next year to move my practice on through a period of intense reflection and assessment.

What would your dream project be?

Being given a derelict building to work directly on the surfaces and create a whole interconnecting installation and immersive experience that would be on-going and evolving

What are your aspirations for the future?

To keep working to always be striving for the next piece, to have the opportunity to realise new ideas, to be a part of current discourse and to overcome my nerves to speak confidently in public.

What is in store for you tomorrow? (Not literally – of course)

I am working on a large installation piece using old crates as light boxes which explores the inner recesses of the mind for an event in September and I have a show in November which was the prize from a public vote on my work at Canvas and Cream Gallery.

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