Writing for ‘this is tomorrow’

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

http://thisistomorrow.info/articles/andrea-luka-zimmerman-common-ground

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

 

Reviewing Tate’s David Hockney exhibition for The British Art Journal

In the Spring 2017 issue of The British Art Journal you can find my review of Tate Britain’s David Hockney exhibition and accompanying catalogue. I attended the Tate’s Press View in order to write this review.

Hockney

 

 

Norman Ackroyd RA: The Invited Artist for the RWA’s Drawn exhibition

Norman Ackroyd has four atmospheric prints displayed in the Royal West of England Academy’s current exhibition, ‘Drawn’. Ackroyd is this year’s Invited Artist for this biennial open submission exhibition.

You can find my article about his work and contribution to the exhibition on the RWA’s blog, here.

Norman Ackroyd detail in the RWA's Drawn exhibition

Introducing the RWA exhibition, ‘Lines in a Landscape: Drawings from the Royal Collection’

Currently I’m assisting the marketing manager at the Royal West of England Academy (RWA) in Bristol with interpreting and promoting the gallery’s exhibitions. One of the highlights of this role is writing for the RWA blog. My first blog post is an introduction to the spring exhibition ‘Lines in a Landscape: Drawings from the Royal Collection’ with focus on the most featured artist, Claude Lorrain. Click here to be taken to this blog post on the RWA site.
Lines in a Landscape Banner 2017

Claude Gellée, called Le Lorrain (1604/5 – 82), ‘A landscape with a dance (The Marriage of Isaac and Rebecca?)’, c.1663, Pen and ink, grey and brown washes, white heightening, over black chalk, on paper washed buff (RCIN 913076), Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017.

Article in Art Space, local Leamington Spa magazine

For the summer 2016 issue of ‘Art Space’, a local magazine in Leamington Spa, I wrote a short history about the art gallery and museum and its collection of paintings. It covers key bequests, individual artworks (including the oldest painting in the collection), collecting strategies, and current exhibitions.

Art Space 1Art space 2

 

 

 

Articles for Craft Arts International magazine, 96

FullSizeRenderI have two articles published in Craft Arts International magazine, issue no. 96, June 2016.

My feature about sculptor Peter Randall-Page is included, with lots of wonderful images of his work. I visited Peter at his studio and interviewed him for this article, which looked at themes of nature and chance in his sculpture and drawings – and discussed his reflections and new directions in his art since he was made a Royal Academician in 2014.

 

IMG_1493

First two pages of the article on Peter Randall-Page

IMG_1494

Second two pages of my article about Randall-Page

My other article is a review of Richard Long’s solo exhibition at Arnolfini, Bristol, last year. I also interviewed Richard for this piece, and so it includes original ideas and quotations from the artist.

IMG_1492

My review of Richard Long’s solo exhibition at Arnolfini, Bristol

 

Presenting 18th-century English drinking glasses

Recently, as research curator at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum, I gave a ‘Friday Focus’ talk about the new display of 18th-century English drinking glasses that I have curated. This talk looked at the collector of the glasses, including an aspect of his life in Leamington, and then considered the different types of glasses that were created throughout the 18th century – and the various techniques used to decorate them. Lastly, I looked at why I chose to display the collection as I did:

Background to the collection and collector

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 12.51.54

‘The Collector’ by Henry Holland, 1918, LSAG&M

This display highlights a selection of Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum’s collection of 160 English drinking glasses from the 18th century. They were purchased from the collector Francis Jahn in 1955 with the help of the National Art Collections Fund and the V&A Purchase Fund.

Jahn, who was born in 1871 and died in 1967, was a collector of oriental art, ceramics and 18th-century glasses. He followed his German father, Louis Jahn, a curator at the Hanley Museum, who built up a vast private collection of 18th-century Staffordshire pottery during his lifetime, which he left to his son. Many of the finest items were later bequeathed by Francis Jahn himself to Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum.  Continue reading

Writing for The British Art Journal

I’m very pleased to have a first article published in The British Art Journal – in the form of a book review of ‘The Diaries of Randolph Schwabe’, edited by Gill Clarke and published by Bristol publishers Sansom & Co.

 

 

 

 

 

How to make the most out of a visit to an art gallery

FullSizeRender

‘Impressionist Exhibition’ etching by my grandmother, Jennifer Beales (nee Caplan)

I’ve written an article about how to make the most out of a visit to an art gallery for Art UK’s new website. It includes eleven tips and also offers a fun challenge to readers, helping people to feel more comfortable with being in an art gallery environment and looking at art.

 

It is primarily aimed at people who may find the experience overwhelming, but can hopefully also give more regular gallery goers some fresh ideas for engaging with art.

A link to the article on Art UK is here.

If you fancy getting involved and sharing your recent experiences of being in an art gallery or your thoughts on particular artworks you see there, please let me and Art UK know by tweeting with the hashtag #visit_art

 

 

 

Attending Gilda Williams’ course on How to Write About Art

Yesterday I attended Gilda Williams’ ‘How To Write About Art’ course at the Whitechapel Gallery. It was a brilliant and highly informative day – Gilda gave lots of good advice about ways to develop (and spot) good writing, which she supported with clear examples. She also asked the class to write a short piece about one of the works in the Whitechapel’s current exhibition, ‘Electronic Superhighway (2016 – 1966)’, and encouraged everyone to give each other feedback. My text is below. I chose to focus on Jonas Lund’s contribution, entitled ‘VIP (Viewer Improved Painting’), 2014, consisting of a self optimising digital painting, 50″ monitor TV and a gaze tracking camera. View it on his website page here.

What is your favourite colour? What is your preference, blue or pink? After standing for several seconds in front of Jonas Lund’s work, ‘VIP (Viewer Improved Painting’), 2014, it becomes clear that we are being asked this old and clumsy question. Perhaps it reminds us of similarly black-and-white questions we used to receive from peers in the school playground.

Whether we know the answer now or not, Lund’s ‘VIP’ sets out to tell us. It does this by presenting us with two luxuriously long flat-screen television screens that have been turned on their sides and stick assertively from the wall, jostling for the viewer’s attention. They slowly feed us fuzzy blocks of colour, splodges of dark blue are surprised by splashes of sunburnt pink. The edges of different  blocks blur together in a way that is reminiscent of Rothko’s abstract paintings.

Our eyes naturally dart towards the changes in colour, the areas of movement and energy. As we are fed these colours, the monitor, parked confidently on top of the screens, records which we are drawn to and starts to only show those that we like. Rarely do we see an artwork that takes such pains to please us and offer up its images for our own individual delight. Lund’s work is, after all, entitled ‘VIP’. We expect special treatment.

And yet, a sense of unease pervades this experience. We are aware of being watched, our actions are obviously  recorded by a camera and our personal preferences broadcast on a public screen. Over time it is obvious we are only given a limited number of colours to choose from, so our preferences are manipulated by this robot, just like they were by our friends back at school. Peer pressure has not gone away. Instead, as this artwork suggests through its mechanisms and media, it has exploded with the copious amount of technology and online interactions that surround us every day.