Writing for ‘this is tomorrow’

Find my review of Andrea Luka Zimmerman’s exhibition at Spike Island, Bristol, on ‘this is tomorrow’:


Title : Andrea Luka Zimmerman: Common Ground, installation view at Spike Island, 2017 Credit : Photos by Stuart Whipps, courtesy of Spike Island

Title : Andrea Luka Zimmerman: Common Ground, installation view at Spike Island, 2017           Credit : Photos by Stuart Whipps, courtesy of Spike Island


Palestine: What Hope Peace?

This article is published in Trebuchet Magazine.

On the 14th of November, Bristol was given the opportunity to watch the first viewing of the film, “Palestine: What Hope Peace”, by activist and freelance journalist Kerry-Anne Mendoza. Bristol was an appropriate city in which to introduce her film not only because it is her home, but also because of the variety of ways that it has expressed its concerns for Palestine, including active societies at the university, a two-week occupation outside the BBC buildings back in July along with almost daily demonstrations in the city’s centre, and in particular the establishment of an innovative Palestinian Museum (where Mendoza’s film was shown).

Mendoza has been travelling to Palestine and Israel since 2002, interviewing locals and documenting the conflict and its effects, which she feels is never accurately revealed by the mainstream media. Her latest film, lasting an hour and a half, documents the catastrophes that took place in July and August of this year, which was catalysed by the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli men aged sixteen to nineteen.  Continue reading

One Day in the City Festival at UCL

This article is published on the UCL Art Museum blog

Balloons in the south cloisters at UCLOne Day in the City Festival taking place on Friday 13th June brings together a celebration of literature, art, music and culture in London. The framework is broad. Nick Shepley, the founder and organiser of the festival, and Teaching Fellow in English Literature at UCL, acknowledges this and says he has not tried to narrow it down to specific themes: “It is about opening out and trying to bring people to something that is a simple celebration of the city, its literature and art, and its cultural richness.”These are areas people work on everyday across various departments at UCL with their own audiences. Nick wants to harness this, and “break down the potential separation of audiences with the One Day festival, encouraging a wider demographic to come along.”

The festival’s centre will be in the UCL South Cloisters, decorated with a fun and artistic skyline created through lighting and architectural constructions. There will also be a multitude of balloons lining the Cloisters and leading the way to various events. These events will include a debate about taboo language with India Knight (journalist and author), Will Self (novelist) and Tim Clare (poet), a Caribbean carnival and seminars on topics related to creativity in London. In the UCL Art Museum there will be a talk by one of the Slade students, Helena Hunter, a poetry workshop and live performances as well as Slade students distributing prints of their work. For a full list, see the One Day website here.  Continue reading

Matisse Live: Tate Modern

This article is published in Trebuchet Magazine

The Parakeet and the Mermaid

The Parakeet and the Mermaid

On Tuesday 3rd June, Tate achieved its first live broadcast to cinemas across the country with Tate Modern’s Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition. This was definitely an evening of experimentation and the start of a new way of experiencing art at the Tate. There were high expectations, excitement and some nerves for those participating in the event and members of the public eagerly awaiting it in the cinemas.

Virtually led through sections of the exhibition, the audience was taken on an intimate private view. The exhibition rooms seemed uncanny without their normal heaving crowds, and the format was an ideal way to take in the cut-outs – artworks that demand lots of space in which to be viewed, as well as inviting movements from the spectator within that space. Neither the art nor the film encourages you to stay still.  Continue reading

The 6th Annual Slade / UCL Art Museum collaboration

This article is published on the UCL Art Museum blog

‘Getting close but then again not close at all’ by Olga Koroleva

‘Getting close but then again not close at all’ by Olga Koroleva

The themes, materials and presentations of the annual collaborations have varied immensely, and this year there is a great diversity within the exhibition itself. The range of media is particularly striking, as is the way digital technologies have been used and portrayed to give new experiences of space – particularly the spaces of the UCL Art Museum itself.

There are four time-based media works and one beautifully crafted light box installation, giving emphasis to technological media within the show. However, an array of oil paintings, intricate drawings, etchings and even a bronze cast are also part of this exhibition.  Continue reading

In the Making: The UCL Art Museum / Slade Collaboration

This article is published on the UCL Art Museum blog

ArtMuseumExhibition_0026This is the sixth year of the Slade/UCL Collaboration. It started in 2009, encouraging Slade students to submit work inspired by art in the UCL Art Museum collection for an exhibition within the Museum’s space and the Strang Print Room. Initially, this involves Slade students attending meetings with the Art Museum staff and booking appointments to see certain works from the collection. The artists can also create pieces that are inspired by the tools, spaces, traditions and methodologies that the Museum offers. A good working relationship between the two institutions has been built up over the years.

The Slade students enter the project out of their own choosing. It is a rich opportunity, allowing these students to learn how to produce work for outside of the studio and how to present their work to curators, which includes writing an in-depth proposal. The collaboration also enables a chance to work with a professional archive. In return, the project helps to introduce new audiences to the Art Museum, to change and develop the use of its spaces, and encourage creative engagement with the collection.  Continue reading

Reflections on Time-Based Media Exhibition at UCL Art Museum

Published on UCL Art Museum blog website

Exhibition open 1 – 5pm Monday to Friday, until Friday 28th March

I am unique and so is everyone else (video still)This exhibition gathers together some of the most prolific time-based work from UCL Art Museum’s growing collection, which centre around the dependence upon and manipulation of technology with respect to time. The artists exhibiting are graduates from the Slade School and have each been awarded the annual William Coldstream Memorial Prize that selects outstanding achievements over the whole academic year. This accounts for the diverse collections of artwork on display, illustrating the eclectic variety of contemporary time-based media works.

It is a refreshing and new type of exhibition for the UCL Art Museum, completely immersed in technology, conceptual installations and time-based media techniques. You will be greeted by many television screens that allow for a sense of unity to the works and for you to make comparisons between the way some of the themes are expressed. The screens are also placed with enough distance for each piece to be absorbed in contemplative isolation. Intriguing sounds also drift around the gallery, enticing you to follow your senses and discover and explore their source.  Continue reading

‘Wadjda’, the first Saudi Arabian film created by a female Saudi film director

Wadjda, directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour, is a film that should immediately attract our attention. It is the first to be made entirely in Saudi Arabia. It is also the first of the nation’s films to be created by a female film director. These exciting breakthroughs of Arabian film traditions and taboos are mirrored in the subject matter. The exploration of the relationship between place, gender, and (self) expression plays a prominent part in negotiating barriers both within the script and within the real life making of the film.

Immediately, Wadjda is depicted as a rebellious schoolgirl, pushing at any boundaries that come her way. She has an entrepreneurial streak of selling homemade friendship bracelets and being apparently indispensable to those around her. Indeed, throughout the film she is seen carrying the messages of others’ in order to make money. However, she stands out not just because of her high spirits and enthusiasm for life, but because she is a high spirited and enthusiastic girl living in Saudi Arabia.

The other girls in her class all wear the appropriated black footwear and cover their heads with black scarves. Not Wadjda. She wears Converses to school, and is often seen trailing around the city with her scarf (if she actually has it with her) floating along behind in the breeze.

The film meanders through Wadjda’s life both at home and at school. This young girl negotiating a sense of place for herself within a domestic setting and social society each containing tensions between custom, tradition and religion. Two female characters, Wadjda’s mother and headmistress, embody and condone certain oppressive traditions. This is striking because it reminds us as viewers that women as well as men reinforce traditional values, and that women largely carry out the repression of other women. This indicates just how hard it is for young girls to break out of this constricting cycle, as likely role models are insisting on their ‘silence’ and submissiveness.  Continue reading