KIMBERLEY BEVAN 4 YVETTE CENERINI 10 JOSÉ GALANT 16 ANNE GANT 22 ASTRID JAHNS 28 SUNNY JIANG YANYI 34 OLIVIA KENNEDY 40
ZÉ RAFAEL MENDES 46 SHARON MURPHY 52 ANJA OLOFGÖRS 58 EDD RAVN 64 ALBEIRO ROJAS TOMEDES 70 IRA UPIN 76 QINRUN YU 82
Kimberley Bevan Stevenage, England, UK Digswell Arts Trusts (Five year fellowship which lead to place on board of trustees), 2004-2015. “Obsession: Love, Ritual and Collection”. Group Exhibition, Curated by Charlotte Meddings (RA) 2014
On the management group for “Utopia” Large Public Art. installation, around Letchworth Garden City, UK
“From Here to There - USA” Clara Hatton Gallery, Colorado in USA.
“From Here to There - Wales” Elysium Gallery, Swansea, UK (Two galleries collaborated)
“21 Steps Exhibition” By Up and Coming, Liverpool, UK
Perception is a beautiful lie – an anchor in a torrential storm of sensual information which grounds us and provides the psychological glue to reality. As such the inability to see the blindingly obvious is a common human flaw – one that human beings suffer from on a much higher frequency than we acknowledge. The awareness that reality is not just a construction within the brain from the information consumed solely by the senses but rather there is input into perception by the individual’s memory, imagination and experienced patterns generated by expectation, means what we perceive reality in a far more abstracted and complex nature than anyone originally comprehended. The more learnt about perception, the less it seems to be about seeing (information relayed via the eyes and this information being translated into a visual representation of reality by the brain) and more about the editing process of the information by various parts of the brain. As we come to understand ourselves in this way, artists have become aware of both the difficulties and opportunities this innate biological disposition presents. My paintings and drawings study the idea of time/space and light and how we optically record the information and then contaminate it with emotions as it is stored as a memory. I want the subjects to fits the canvas in a confortable scale while echoing an overall sculptural form as I have perceived occurring in the moment that I am trying to capture. I am concerned by the space inbetween forms and how areas of the painting interlocks. I evaluate and re-evaluate areas of colour, texture and tone throughout the work– this makes the work organic, unpredictable and unique while building an uneven texture.
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Briefly describe the work you do: Like most creative’s I have a tendency of being sidetracked and going off course when inspiration hits, but for the main part of my work I am painter. I love the opportunity for alchemy that painting provides, from mixing pigments to incorporating unconventional 21st century materials where exciting effects can become a new type of mark and symbol within the artwork. I also enjoy doing quite a few studies in pastel/graphite where I alternate the mediums between various states (solid, liquid or dust) to get different effects and tones. A few years ago I took a philosophy leisure class (I stuck out like a sore thumb, young council estate artist meets Cambridge professor/thinkers, but I actually really loved it), it made me think in a wholly different way and in-return spun my curiosity for quantum physics and psychology. My paintings try to reach out to the audience with both old and new ideas across these vast and fascinating subjects. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? If you ask any artist this question usually the answer is life, art balance. As a 21st century artist you are viewed as a mini business and as such people expect you to work as one, they expect photography and digital skills, marketing, accounting and even legal knowledge from copyright to contracts. It’s hard and can be very demanding – but you learn a lot and if you mess up only have yourself to blame. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? That’s a difficult question, everything influences but nothing lasts.
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How would you describe the art scene in your area? Itâ€™s a difficult area as Hertfordshire is 30 miles north of London, so there are lots of artists and creative communities as the location is a cheaper commuter belt destination but because of the border with London if you want to break into the higher end art market you need to be more London central. So I travel into London far more these days than do things locally. What do you like/dislike about the art world? Firstly I love the art community there is no-other like it, it doesnâ€™t matter who you are or what you believe or think there is no-judgment when it comes to artists, all are welcome. Alternative ideas and thoughts are presumed, usually resulting in arguments which diminish over drinks and good food! Art is a tough business and I really hate the bad deal very talented artists get, commission rates can be high, galleries have such a huge number of artists to choose from therefore many are treated badly. However my real bug bearer is exorbitant charges to submit art work for exhibitions which are obviously profiteering from one of the poorest communities within society. What are your future plans as an artist? Iâ€™ve just been invited by curator and artist Kat Hayes to exhibit in a group exhibition at the Menier Gallery, London in February 2016. However later this year I want to start up my own YouTube channel teaching my own very unique methods and ideas around painting and drawing for adults.
Yvette Cenerini Winnipeg, Canada 2016
Voisins / Neighbors. Centre des arts actuels Skol. Montréal, Québec, Canada
Survivance III. La Galerie. Centre culturel francomanitobain, Saint-Boniface, Manitoba, Canada
ÉMOUVOIR. (Solo) La Maison des artistes visuels francophones. Saint-Boniface, Manitoba
Grants from Winnipeg Arts Council and Manitoba Arts Council
Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Manitoba, Canada
My work explores current scientific discoveries and anecdotes that have changed our perception of animals as sentient beings experiencing emotionally rich lives rather than simple automata, or “resources”, merely responding to stimuli. Using digital photomontage, I recreate a new “photograph” composed of multiple elements originating from found photos online, in stock imagery and in books. This process makes for a more believable and credible image. Believability is crucial here, as I am motivated to share an urgent need to be mindful of each other and the creatures with which we coexist.
PTSD FINAL; PHOTO: JACQUELINE YOUNG
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Briefly describe the work you do. Through photomontage/digital collage, I pull source material from the internet to create new seamless photographs. Digitally cutting, pasting and editing allows me the freedom to manipulate subject matter and working with superimposed layers of mylar adds depth and movement to an otherwise flat and static photograph. What themes do you pursue? In questioning the role our species plays in the animal hierarchy, I explore themes relating to interspecies relationships, otherness, emotion, evolution, extinction and finding beauty in unexpected places. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? The vulnerability that comes with sharing one’s personal thoughts, experiences, passions and concernes for all to see, question and interpret. How would you describe the art scene in your area? The artist community in Winnipeg is like no other. Here, the segregation of emerging artists from senior artists is non existant. There’s a strong sense of collaboration, mentorship and shared learning; we support and celebrate each other’s successes. Plus, the long cold isolating winters and the short bursts of invigorating summers make for yearly cycles of exhilaration and creation. What art do you most identify with? Surrealism. I love that element of surprise, the unexpected juxtaposition found in everyday life portrayed through clean, flawless images. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Make work for yourself, not for others. Worrying about what others might think sensors creativity. That a piece can be interpreted five different ways by 5 different people is what makes the arts an important way of communicating and broaching sometimes difficult subject matter. When a viewer sees or feels something in a piece that was unintentional, understand that these are based on individual perceptions and perspectives. What are your future plans as an artist? Future work will build on ÉMOUVOIR (2014), a series which portrayed animals as sentient beings based on scientific evidence and anecdotes. It’s important to know and understand that animals feel because we use them. In an attempt to learn where food comes from, I’m currently researching the unidirectional nature of humanity’s relationship with factory farmed animals. As such, my next body of work will examine the animal as resource.
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WINTER MOTHERING; PHOTO: JACQUELINE YOUNG
HOPE; PHOTO: JACQUELINE YOUNG
SPIRIT BEAR; PHOTO: JACQUELINE YOUNG
José Galant Barcelona, Spain 2015
ArtExpo New York (USA) in April
Art Shopping París - Carrousel du Louvre, France
1st International Modern Art Fair at Schloss Neuberg, Austria
1st Biennale 2015 at Castle Hubertendorf, Austria
Group exhibition “International modern Artists today”, Austria
AUGMENTED REALITY TESTINGS
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How and why started you creating? The creativity and in special, painting, is something that has always fascinated me. I began painting canvases and graffiti in 1992, and I have been surrounded by artists, professors and paintings since that time. From 1993 to 1998, I attended the Fine Arts and Graphic Design School “Groc” in Barcelona, as a painting and ceramics major. In 2006, I obtained a DNAP, at the “École supérieure des Beaux Arts de Perpignan” (France) in Fine Arts. Between 2006 and 2007 I obtained a post-graduate degree in 3D Computer Graphics at Escola d’Informática i Oficis de Barcelona and a second post-graduate degree in 3D Computer Graphics at the Autodesk Training Center of Barcelona. What has most influenced me in the artistic way, was my multidisciplinary training, but above all else, the years I was studying 3D Computer Graphics in Barcelona. This training has decisively influenced my digital and pictorial works since the year 2006. Currently my practice includes acrylic and watercolour paintings, 3D computer graphics and augmented reality.
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How has your work changed in the past years? So, actually, the process has been gradual. Until 2006, everything I paint, was in the traditional hand-drawing way. Then, I took nearly five years (from 2006 to 2011), that what almost everything I created were digital images. And finally, in the past five years, little by little I have combined the acrylic and watercolours with 3d Computer Graphics to such extent that 3D CGI, is the basis for my current project. What themes do you pursue? The project that I am working on right now, called imaginary destinations, is a personal metaphor of the 3D virtual worlds. With this project, I intend to reflect on the relationship between the real and the virtual, through the pictorial and the digital, combining paintings, Digital Photography, 3D Computer Graphics, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Augmented Virtuality. Now I’m working in the “New Belle Époque” series, that are ‘Imaginary Destinations’ painted in grayscale with light warm to cold hues, inspired by “La Belle Epoque” or “Beautiful Era” (conventionally dated from 1871 to 1914), and characterized by the greater presence of avatars in period dress that usually are painted with acrylic on linen smooth canvas and watercolor on paper. I try to create the ‘New Belle Époque Imaginary Destinations’ with an air of fantasy retro-futurism and adding my personal form of humour, to create a parody or fine amusement but without any lack of respect for people. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? The most difficult task for me, is be always innovative and surprising. But is difficult too, manage effectively the schedule to get all the tasks of the project completed on time. What art do you most identify with? NeoSurrealism with Fantasy Retro-Futurism, Gothic and Art Nouveau trends. In my opinion the NeoSurrealism is a revival of the 20th-century surrealism movement in art (especially painting) does not imply the original surrealist idea of freedom from rational control or ‘Pure psychic automatism” as André Breton defined the Surrealism in 1924. Normally, I always select some of the thoughts that are in the back of my mind. My ideas usually arise from spontaneous mental pictures and elaborated as days pass by. Also come from external visual references as the old photographs and the free association between different elements. Another of the main differences is the use of the new technologies during all the creative process. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? Ask yourself each time, ‘Why should I create that I’m going to create?’ What are your future plans as an artist? I want to convert the exhibition spaces into ‘Imaginary Destinations’, and the public into avatars, focusing on everything from real to virtual including, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Augmented Virtuality. Investigating what motivates users in different use cases. In relation to can reflect about it, is my intention to provide the project with a theoretical context through a wider set of issues.
DEL BURDEL DE LA CALLE AVIÑÓN AU BATEAU-LAVOIR
Anne Gant Amsterdam, Netherlands
GLASS ON PAPER
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2549 GOOD OF SPACE, GLORY, PRESSING
2015 Treasured: New Fire Glass Drawings by Anne Gant, Exhibit A, Corning, NY - Glassblowing performance at Corning Museum of Glass for opening of new Contemporary Art + Design Wing, Corning, NY 2014 Aqua Art Miami, represented by Exhibit A, Miami, FL 2014 Coburger Glaspreis 2014 The Coburg Prize for Contemporary Glass, European Museum for Modern Glass, Rosenau, Germany 2014 Contemporary Glass Publication, Black Dog Publishing I use hot glass to make drawings using my own process. I sculpt hot glass into vessels and shapes. Then, while the glass is still hot from the glory hole, I press the glass into wet sheets of rag paper. Instantly, the glass begins to burn the paper. The glass cracks and is lost. All that remains is its mark on the paper. As an artist using glass as a tool and not as an end product, I want to extend the vocabulary of a craft material by showing that it can be used for drawing along with glassblowing. I have a Masters in Glassblowing from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA, USA, and an BFA in Sculpture from Parsons School of Design in New York. I live with my husband and son in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and blow glass at a beautiful studio in Zaandam.
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Briefly describe the work you do and tell us something about the technical equipment you use. I make prints and drawings using hot glass. I am trained as a glassblower and I work in traditional glassblowing studios. First, I make blown or sculpted hot glass formswhile they are still hot, I press them into flat sheets of high-quality rag paper which have been dampened. The intense heat of the hot glass makes very accurate burn marks on the paper. The glass itself is destroyed in the process, because the temperature shock of coming into contact with the cold, wet paper makes the glass crack. I can remelt it, so itâ€™s recycled. I use dou-
ble sheets of paper, and I douse the flames with water. After the pieces are done, I can take them to my studio and clean them up a bit to erase some of the smoke and ashes. What themes do you pursue? These pieces have a lot to do with the idea of showing another side of glassblowing- the side that usually only the craftsperson sees. They are maps of heat and dynamic change. Usually audiences see glass work as cold and stable, but these show the glass in another - very excitingstate. In this way, I think I am advancing the craft vocabulary- glass can be used as a drawing tool, not just an end in itself. I also like that
the drawings are mementos of the glass that was- they exist in a way like memories or ruins. They suggest to the viewer that there was this glass object, and I like this play of nostalgia or imagining the missing object. That feeling, which hopefully is elicited in the viewer, is a very beautiful and fragile emotion- one I personally enjoy very much, and so I aim to have that as a part of the work. Itâ€™s one of the reasons I never show the destroyed glass object as part of the presentation: I want the viewer to imagine what it was like, to have this feeling of mentally reconstructing, like when you look at an ancient ruin and try to imagine what it used to look like.
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What is the most challenging part about being an artist? Momentum. I think with all solitary creative endeavors, no one but the artist knows what should be made next. It’s quite easy to get distracted by daily life- lovely diversions, irritating bureaucracy, media in all its tempting forms, and the artists has to have the discipline to pull back to the work. No one else can suggest the way forward. On the other hand, I think one of the best parts of being an artist, and especially a glassblower, is that there is a very supportive and cool community, and I love being a part of it. I think one of the best things of being an artist is being able to hang around with other artists. I get a lot of encouragement and energy from all the good folks that are working in the field. What art do you most identify with? I love Anselm Keifer, Willie Cole, Richard Serra, Cai Guo-Qiang, I just saw the paper cutouts of Matisse again, and they thrilled me. Big expressive open pieces! I love traditional textiles and oriental rug patterns. Of course decorative arts are important to me, Murano chandeliers, epergnes, Tiffany stained glass windows, Art Nouveau tiles, Gaudi. What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received? I heard a story about Eleanor Roosevelt, apocryphal maybe, but still handy: someone asked how she got
so much done, and she answered that only a tiny percentage of what she attempted was achieved. So I take heart in this: you have to try a ton of things to get a result, and you can’t get discouraged. If it looks like there are a lot of successes, there is probably just a huge pile of failures, too. I don’t know if I ever received it myself, but it’s a tip I’d like to give others, especially people who are starting out: it’s so easy to quit at the beginning and just do something else, especially when no one is expecting much of you. It’s very, very hard to be a beginner, without recognition or financial support to keep you going, so I think it’s important to encourage beginners and students as much as possible. And for people who are trying new things to realize that what they are doing is very hard, and they should give themselves credit for trying. In many ways, it’s so much easier to be an expert than it is to be a student. At the same time, that “student phase” is probably the most fruitful and should happen all the time, at all levels of art inquiry. That, and you must constantly apply for things, and keep trying new things. What are your future plans as an artist? I am looking forward to doing some really large pieces, working with a team of glassblowers. One of the fun things about working in glass studios is that it’s possible to travel around the world, and I am hoping to do more of that with future work.
OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE DETAIL
Astrid Jahns Hanover, Germany Große Kunstausstellung, Haus der Kunst, Munich Kubus, Städtische Galerie, Hanover 2. Ruhr Biennial, Altes Medizinisches Institut, Dortmund The Spirit of Womenhood, oxo@gallery, Oxo Tower Wharf, London Obsession, Embassy Tea Gallery, London I’m a German based artist from Hanover. Visited the technical Secondary School of Art and Design and studied graphic design at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts. Since working as a freelance artist and writer. I’m working on collages, short texts, poems, film sequences, objects and assemblages. Exhibitions, projects and publications national and international. The focus of my artwork is the collage technique arising into mostly surreal image spaces as well as the dealing with the language in form of poems or other short texts. The texts are usually connected with the collages. This results little stories or other narrative storylines in which the protagonists have to deal with themselves, the others and/or their environment.
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Briefly describe the work you do. The focus of my artwork is the collage technique arising into mostly surreal image spaces as well as the dealing with the language in form of poems or other short texts. The texts are usually connected to the collages. This results little stories or other narrative story lines in which the protagonists have to deal with themselves, the others and/or their environment. What themes do you pursue? The main theme I pursue is the human being in all its facets. I’m very interested in the mental state such as moods and emotions. How does the individual react by dealing with his emotions? How does the human deals within the surrounding or what happens when several protagonists encounter – how do they react? This offers lots of interesting opportunities to dive deep inside the depths of a human soul to dig out hidden emotions. The human being merges with the emotion and will become one. A good example therefor are the Seven Deadly Sins here you will find very extreme emotions like greed, envy or anger. These are strong inclinations that you prefer to keep to yourself, but nevertheless they will blurt out in an extreme situation such as an angry outburst. So the emotion will come to the surface and get visible. These are the moments that I like to capture, since they precisely show these kind of merger. So I collaged The Seven Deadly Sins in the form of human beings.
stimulate people to associate and perhaps you can pick them up from their daily lives for a little time out. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Well, there are various artists or coordinators in Hannover, who organize exhibitions, theater productions, festivals, etc. If you look closely, there are many exiting possibilities to meet interesting people with whom you can network or you can find great venues to showcase your art and share it with other people. What is the most challenging part about working with collages? The material I suppose, since it offers a vast number of opportunities to combine it. The combination of old and new material is very interesting, but you can also combine different textured paper. In addition to that, the material stimulates the subconscious mind to associate moods, pictures, stories, etc. I love to browse the flea markets where I can find materials. It is an encounter that also stimulates the senses since each material feels different, old paper smells different than new ones, etc. It is also very fascinating to compose a new reality out of several paper fragments. I love to experiment and to find new materials and their combination opportunities. Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
What is the most challenging part about being an artist?
Kurt Schwitters, Max Ernst, Dieter Roth
Well, the most challenging part of being an artist is, to create something that does not correspond to the reality, but to create a fictive reality at the same time, to capture the viewer fully. The viewer should completely dive deep inside your pretended reality. In Addition to that, as an artist you have the desire to create something new, which can be visually, but also in form of written words or within a sound. You’re able to create stories, surroundings or characters which had previously not existed. In this way you can
What are your future plans as an artist? Currently I continue working on various sounds. The results are poetic arrangements which can be accompanied either by a film sequence, a single picture or an object. Recently I’m thinking about organizing an art exhibition, therefor I’m looking for a suitable venue and I also think about planing a magazine that introduces artists and writers – but let’s see what the future may bring…
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RANKING 2 (DIPTYCH)
Yanyi Jiang Rochester, USA; China Not A Single One, 464 State Street Gallery, Rochester, NY, USA Participant at the 2015 Old School Residence, Gorna Lipnitsa, Bulgaria Impossible Journey, mural work installed in Wilson Commons, University of Rochester for 2015-2017, Rochester, NY Rochester Erotic Arts Festival, Radisson Riverside Hotel, Rochester, NY Nana, ASIS Gallery, Rochester, NY
Sunny J is an erroneous narrator. She invents and illustrates stories of identity confusions, plurality, and hidden symbols, all under the disguise of cruel eroticism. Her practice focuses on performance art and the ancient mixed technique of oil and tempera painting. The characters under her brush are troubled with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Centering on multiplicity, her paintings comprises of myriad pictorial and philosophical layers that are simultaneously clarifying and confusing. With the meticulous technique of trompe l’oeil (French for “fool the eye”), she seeks to deceive the audience, while intentionally revealing the fallacies to (mis)guide them into a universe of temporal and spatial discrepancies. Sunny’s performance art mirrors the fundamental elements in her paintings: erotica, red strings, bodily pain, manipulation and deception. Nevertheless, while a tableau is a distant scene contained in a picture frame, a performance is more intimate and more palpable. These actions of ephemeral existence complement her frozen images by audaciously illustrating taboo topics in real life. Sunny’s art would not be complete without her sinister fondness of symbolism. Her works are full of words, images, and actions that carry veiled meanings. Through rich historical references, ornate details, and witty play of words, she discreetly lures her audience into a game of decryption.
LITTLE SISTERS’ THICK SKIN
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Briefly describe the work you do. I see myself primarily as a painter and a performance artist. My painting practice reflects a strong heritage from the Flemish Primitives and the pre-war Surrealists. Mesmerized by the traditional mixed technique of oil and tempera, prevalent in the 15th century, I explore the Old Masters’ recipes and fabricate my own paint from pigments. Given my engagement with the painterly traditions, my performance art practice, as a contemporary art form, creates a total antipode. Unlike the sedentary work of image production on an easel, performance art is an extremely physical process, both in real space and in cerebral space. Many regard my two practices as incompatible, yet I believe there must be a interesting connection between painting, the oldest form of artistic expression, and performance art, one of the most novel and enigmatic mediums to this day. My work, therefore, also include intense research and experimentation of mixing these two artistic languages together and eventually creating a new one. What themes do you pursue? My artistic sphere started with my teenage obsession with Dissociative Identity Disorder, a mental disease characterized by multiple personalities that alternatively control an individual’s behavior. Delving into this psychological term revealed an entire universe of duality, plurality, self-manipulation, deception, control and resistance, interior versus exterior, puppets, role play… I slowly nurtured these rudimentary ideas with studies of psychoanalysis, geometry, erotica, LGBTQ and BDSM cultures, and from there I gradually formed the sensual, painful, surrealistic bodyscapes I present today. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? The challenge I face as an artist is multifold. The taxing administrative work, the financial burdens, the impossible task of time management are
all cliché yet true problems faced by many and brought up by many artists already. In addition to the above difficulties, I consistently confront two intractable challenges: being an Asian female and being foreign. Two problems, one ideological, the other political. As a Chinese woman working with erotic and morbid subject matters, I am often questioned and even discredited due to the explicit content I include in my works that are deemed “not very Chinese”. This comment is extremely common in response to my performance art pieces, where the artist is almost merged with the art piece and thus regarded as one. As a result, the looks I receive in a dominantly white culture are inevitably colored and severely affect the reading of my works. A second challenge I face is my nationality in conflict with the place I choose to live and work. As a non-European without any affiliations in Europe, legally residing here as a full-time artist is politically impossible. The profession of “artist”, in terms of employment regulations, is not a profession open to unsupported foreigners. Even though my past sales records have promised me some hope in achieving commercial success in Belgium, the bleak implausibility of gaining legal resident status here as an artist has nonetheless forced me to consider other options. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I recently moved to Brussels, Belgium. This human-sized capital city is often considered as the next mecca for a globalized art market. Thanks to a fiscal system favorable to art transactions and a culturally diverse population, Brussels is home to a lively scene of hundreds of commercial galleries, artist-run spaces, independent associations, art fairs, state-sponsored cultural events... The city’s geographical location also provides art professionals easy access to traditionally recognized art capitals such as London, Paris, Berlin, etc. All kinds of artistic expression find its place in Brussels. Visual arts practitioners also benefit from the region’s high-quality performing arts, fashion designs, architecture innovations and literature scenes, which all intermingle and nurture one another.
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What art do you most identify with? Figurative painting and feminist, socially engaged performance art. What is the most challenging part about working with traditional media? Working with traditional media implies the need of developing a more-than-acute sense of contemporariness. In the realm of painting, it is indeed easy to be swayed by the overwhelming “contemporary-looking” works exhibited in major galleries, and I have seen many of my young fellow painters abandon their own language and blindly pursue the same abstract expressionist style without developing much meaning. I myself, too, am often confused by the prevalence of new media and questioning if traditional painting is dying. However, after conversing with some of my art buyers, I realized that the medium is never at fault. The key is to capture the contemporary psyche. In my art specifically, the challenge is to cultivate a sensibility to today’s omnipresent mental vulnerability. My pungent subject matter, portrayed in the traditionally recognizable style, could become a powerful tool to attack the softest parts of human mentality. The resonance, my patrons say, is why they brought my paintings home, and of course, they expect stronger vibration when I grow. Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. English painter Anj Smith, Spanish painter Dino Valls, American painter and social activist Heather Layton. What are your future plans as an artist? As of present and in the near future, I am actively applying for and participating in artist-in-residency programs all around the world. These programs magically provide me with a high degree of concentration and also introduce me to a customized network of artists. A second focus of my energy is the study of art history and art theory, with the goal of enriching the conceptual basis of my works and expanding my skill spectrum. With more concrete knowledge at hand, I could possibly gear myself towards hybrid professions such as the artist-curator, artist-critic, or artist-researcher.
www.sunny-j.com POMME D’AMOUR
Olivia Kennedy London, England, UK I am a London based Textiles Artist and recent Graduate of the Royal College of Art. I have a multi-disciplinary approach to textiles. Using a combination of processes which intertwine with each other to create ambiguous and unusual fabrics.An interest in obscuring the form is a theme that reoccurs within her practice, which seeks to explore the integration and co-existence of the body and material as one. This body of work explores themes surrounding mental illness, looking at the contradictions between something that appears to suffocate and engulf the body whilst at the same time protect and comfort the person. Focusing in on the Isolation within a destructive experience. Utalising the contrasting qualities of materials, soft surface are slowly disrupted with a hard latex shells turning comfort into confinement.
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When, how and why started you working with textile? I fell into textiles accidentally. Whilst at college I was initially interested in Fine Art but I started working with various diverse fabrics and materials, the possibilities and options you have with it felt excitingly endless to me. I really enjoyed the scope that this new medium provided; it was very raw and tactile and I could manipulate it in a very physical way. This was an entirely new experience. The lack of prior knowledge of textiles made the whole journey intuitive and instinctive. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? For me the lasting influence is not a person or artist, it was more the experience of my transition from a teenager to an adult, something I think many people struggle with. This period of my life provided the inspiration for a lot of my work and the ability to convey my emotions through my work was very therapeutic and valuable.To find an outlet to express what would otherwise have been difficult emotional changes in a non-verbal way became very formative and has shaped the tone of my work since. In my upcoming work I am looking at expressing the recent transition from education into the next part of my life. How has your work changed in the past years? My early work was very fine art focussed. I entered a design course without fully understanding what it was, but it lead me to a much more fashion oriented place. My postgraduate degree at the RCA involved a reawakening of a part of me that had been suppressed. This has been reflected in my work which has, to a degree gone back to my origins with fine art. I found I rejected the fashion and commercial side of textiles and moved to creating pieces that told a story and I wanted the viewer to connect in an emotional way with the piece.
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What advice can you give to those who are just starting out in the arts? There is always a lot of rejection involved in our field. People should believe that their work has value regardless of whether it is taken up by a larger audience. It requires a lot of self-belief to be successful but I think that the satisfaction of recognising your influence, no matter how small, can offset the often ongoing short term struggles. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I live near Peckham in South East London and I am very fortunate to be surrounded by one of the most vibrant and active areas of London when it comes to the progressive art scenes. The Bussey Building has always been a favourite. It contains a number of studios that support emerging talent and new businesses, and I would recommend visiting to anyone. The Cockpit Art Award operates in Deptford and Holborn. They give affordable studio spaces and business support to young artists and designers. I think this is vital knowledge that people starting out in the arts should have access to. What are your future plans as an artist? Over the next few years I would like to be able to combine my art work with teaching. Through workshops and partnerships with schools I think we can connect with people in a way that is sometimes neglected by traditional education in the UK.The possibilities within art for personal therapy are not engaged with enough in the British education system. Government cut backs have lead to the arts being seriously neglected and I want to connect with people before their options are narrowed.The influence of art on my personal development has been invaluable and this is something I would love to bring to a wider audience.
Zé Rafael Mendes Lisbon, Portugal; London, UK 2015
Alternative Playground, Rag Factory, London, UK
Narrates It, Safehouse 1, London, UK
Xhibit2014, Art Bermondsey, London, UK
My work invites the viewer into the artist’s imaginary, where I reflect on the idea of “self” to expose the peculiar and mythological patterns of our existence, recurring to memories, experiences, imagination and phantasies, these representations originate from my every-day life drawings, and from my interest in literature, films and photography
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Briefly describe the work you do. I make pictures reflecting on my personal experiences, memories and phantasies, inviting the viewer into the artist’s imaginary. My dreamlike work blurs the line between the known and the unknown, the banal and the fantastical. I am interested in the peculiar and mythological patterns of human existence. What themes do you pursue? The human condition and the notion of “Self” are recurring themes in my artwork, but my interests range from storytelling to humour. The relation between this sense of reality and the mythological interests me. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? It’s a constant challenge. How would you describe the art scene in your area? I am a painting student in London, this thriving art capital with so much to offer and see, although I’m originally from Lisbon, a place where i come back
to over and over again. It’s a city full of history and with a very interesting contemporary scene. A very inspiring place. What art do you most identify with? I like what was happening in Italy in the late 70’s and 80’s, the italian transavantgarde, brought a return to figurative art and the mythic imagery as a response to conceptual art. What is the most challenging part about working with traditional media? As a visual artist, I make pictures from painting and drawing, these are essential disciplines to my practice. Independently from what I do, drawing and painting are for me the best way I know to materialize my thoughts and ideas. What are your future plans as an artist? Finish my painting degree at Wimbledon college of art, later on probably further my studies through an MA. Also find a studio space in London or Lisbon and continue to make work.
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Sharon Murphy Dublin, Ireland 2015/16 Arts Council Young Ensembles Scheme Award for a collaborative project
with Dublin Youth Dance Company
Artist in Residence MART Project Space, Rathmines Dublin
Artist in Residence Laois Arthouse & Dunamaise Theatre Portlaoise first prize
at Dunamaise Arts Centre annual exhibition selected by Geraldine Oâ€™Reilly
Home curated by Mark St John Ellis, Nag Gallery, Dublin at dlr Lexicon, Dun Laoghaire
2014/15 Royal Ulster Academy 133rd Annual Exhibition, Belfast I am a lens based artist with a background in theatre. In much of my work I deliberately employ theatrical language within staged photographic works using digital and 5 x 4 large-format film as well as video. My work explores the relationship between photography and performance. Thematically, a central preoccupation is childhood as a state of being, of felt experience. This is explored on a spectrum from the deliberately autobiographical, through the allegorical, to the political. INTERVALS II
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Briefly describe the work you do Much of my work consists of staged self-portraits. These are often ‘self-portraits as child’ in which a young actor ‘performs’ me. This allows me investigate my relationship to place, both public/private and outdoor/ indoor. The natural landscape and the staged settings of my work are actual as well as being constructs of my memory. I create the mise-en-scene of the works so as to represent a transitional or transformative space operating between the real, material world and that of feeling and memory, between past and possibility, between inner and outer feeling. Sometimes I work on my own but often I collaborate with others including actors, dancers, directors, designers, composers and choreographers. What is the most challenging part about being an interdisciplinary artist? What I love about being an interdisciplinary artist is also what challenges me in the best sense of that word. As an artist working collaboratively with others I seek balance between our different disciplines and materials, processes and traditions to create a unified work. I am most happy working in the performance structure of planning, rehearsing and producing where all involved have distinctive roles and contributions. This makes for an open and exploratory process with lots of creative energy. It is important of course for me to balance the singularity of my own artistic vision with the perspectives and expertise of my collaborators.
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Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? My immersion in the world of theatre and performance has greatly inspired me. Since childhood I have been fascinated with the stage and the dynamic interaction of actor, space and the audience to create a rich diversity of human experience. In my education, training and professional work I came to understand the power of narrative, gesture, myth, symbol and archetype. I am particularly drawn to Irish playwrights such as Marina Carr and Tom Murphy and to the actors who breathe life into their complex and equally fierce and vulnerable characters. International artists such as Robert Wilson, Marina Abramovic and Pina Bauch have also influenced me: Wilson for the extraordinary fusion of image, choreography, colour, sound and movement in his stage sets; and Abramovic and Bauch for what they have taught me about how the body can become a powerful means of expression for both outer and inner states of being. Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? I think of myself as an artist who is interested in pursuing ideas and who constructs pathways into the exploration of these ideas. My interests are more rooted in felt experience (and are often autobiographical) rather than in abstracted experience and my ideas donâ€™t take precedence over the materials and aesthetic concerns of the work. Rather the ideas are embedded in form.
How would you describe the art scene in your tional studio / gallery to the socially engaged contexts area? and across a range of disciplines including performance, stills, video, sound, installation and with a diDublin/Ireland has a vibrant and diverse contempo- versity of artists and makers. I like the fluidity of this rary arts scene which traditionally has been perhaps and the way it pushes my practice. more noted for its literature, theatre and music. The visual arts have perhaps been less prominent and my own discipline of photography has really only fully What are your future plans as an artist? emerged in recent decades in terms of curatorial and exhibition practices. There is an ever growing num- Right now I am working on a few projects. One is ber of interesting artists using lens-based media in with young contemporary dancers, their choreograIreland and a growing sense that the old boundaries pher and a composer on what it means to dance. Anbetween artforms and disciplines are breaking down other is with an actor and voice director exploring the which I find exciting! nature of the performance of grief and other heightened states. The first will be shown as an installation mid-year (2016) and the second will be ready to go What do you like/dislike about the art world? into production at the end of the year (2016). I am preparing for a solo exhibition of my own work in What I like are the opportunities for me as an artist to early 2017 and I am exploring a number of opporfunction across a variety of settings from the conven- tunities to exhibit and work in international settings.
Anja Olofgรถrs Stockholm, Sweden; London, UK
Peter and Betty McLean Prize
William Coldstream Prize
Barto dos Santos Memorial Award
Past-Present-Future-Kult, at Royal Vauxhall Tavern, London, UK
Royal Society of British Artists, Galleri@LR, London, UK
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Can you tell me about the project “Social Constructs” Social Construct turns the gallery into a performative area that explores physical, social and intellectual space. Its physical components consist of a group of chairs designed in characteristically Bauhaus and Swedish aesthetic, a publication and a pile of screen-printed poster with text the Control Yourself repeated over and over again. The chairs create a space to host readings of the publication, and act as a symbol for human proportions: as a stand-in for the anticipated body. What was your inspiration for this project? Earlier this year I came across drawings made by architecture students called “Disturbing Neufert”. They are drawings of bodies that are depicted using furniture: chairs, sofas, ironing tables etc. in unconventional ways. Through my research I found out that an architect called Ernst Neufert had written a book titled: ‘Architect’s Data’ that was first published in 1936. It was released during a time when the body began to be understood as a mechanical component of industrial productivity. The book was written for architects, designers and planners to functions as a guidebook with answers regarding spatial requirements, general configurations and arrangements of spaces, and, functions within buildings. It was written with a good intention: to ensure that every body could claim their own right to their space. But what has our attitude towards the body become when its entire complexity now can be inferred from graphs and statistics? I believe that architecture and design is politic – it reveals a lot about how culture is constructed. With Social Constructs, I want to explore what happens to the space—and the bodies within space—when the starting point for creating furniture is a non-normative body? How can we create space that physically includes different kinds of bodies and behaviors? During the research, I was writing daily. The writing started as a method to reflect upon what bodies Neufert had in mind for his requirements. The writing developed into becoming a personal investigation into my own cultural background—what impact have
the architecture of the Scandinavian modernism and the Nordic functionalism, with its rote in a socialistic ideology, had upon my aesthetic value. Or even more important: how has this history influenced my body’s relationship to space. Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? Hmmm… conceptual artist? I don’t really know what you mean by that. It is such a widely used term and it can refer to lot of different things. I imagine it can both describe someone who follows a set of instructions or questions the nature of art itself. However, I don’t see my work as conceptual but maybe I can relate to the idea of me being conceptual. My thinking process definitely starts with an idea that’s focused on a particular history, question or theme. My work starts with lots of reading and research before I come to a point where I start to experiment visually. Having said that doesn’t mean that aesthetics and material concerns aren’t important. I can play and explore my ideas with both forms and materials… they are equally important. What is the most challenging part about working interdisciplinary? Interdisciplinary, what do you mean by interdisciplinary? As in taking help from other professions or collaborating with people from other academic fields which are not integrated into the field of art? I do take a lot of inspiration from other disciplines such as history, architecture and gender theory. I do have lots of conversations and round table discussions with friends and colleges from architecture and gender theory. They help me a lot to find relevant research and to brother my perspective on these subject matters. Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist. I was born in Stockholm, Sweden. Have resaved my BA from Valand Academy in Gothenburg and my MA from Slade School of Fine Art in London. I have always been interested in how body, space and objects relate and interact with each other. During my
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time in London I became aware of how my own body related and interacted with space – as if my body behaved differently within its new cultural context. I started to research what ideal and norm system that was establishes within the Swedish Welfare State to create the most desirable body. I wanted explore what bodies were—and are today—included within this ideological system and what bodies are represented?
everything around us has been design with a strategy in mind. I believe that the way space is created determine our bodily activities and behaviours – and that also determine our movements, actions and interactions. In my work I play with the idea that architectural structure control our social and emotional structure. I am interested in how architectural barrier creates social barriers.
I would say that I react very emotionally to space, rooms and architectural environment. I’m also very sensitive to the languages—words, gazes and gestures— that are allowed to exist within these constructed environments. We live in a world where
What are your future plans as an artist? I am at the moment preparing for a show that’s opens in April. I am in the very beginning of a process so it’s an inspiring time when almost anything can happen.
Edd Ravn Leeds, England, UK 2015
Group show, All You Can Eat, Truman Brewery, London, UK
Solo show, The Plinth, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Group show, Foreigner, CalArts, California, CA, USA
An Englishman in Los Angeles, Tall skinny palm trees, long sandy beaches, a soothing orange-pink sky and Hollywood is right over there. Is it all a façade? Who cares, the sun is shining and a set of neon white teeth is already inviting you in. So, “Welcome to the jungle (…) if you got the money honey we got your disease” What is behind the curtain – I look to bring attention to the identities of the ‘American/ Western Dream’ – a hunger and thirst for more. I am not concerned with fatter pay cheques or faster cars but the empty language and insatiable compulsions. Words constitute the largest component of my work; single words or terse statements are painted with a dark detached concealed comedy. Nonchalant words – some with sexual subtleties are presented with an understated, usually monochrome palette. The stolen words themselves are important but not as key as the language system they create. My work creates tensions to come alive: overly loved objects battle impersonal ones, family battles the cultural machine, colour tries to find its place in a world of monochrome and romance confronts cold dark hearts. My artistic direction comes predominately from American artists during the 1960s: especially on the West Coast. They engaged and blurred the divisions between Abstract Expressionism, Pop, Neo-dada and Conceptualism. I am fascinated by their creation of surface simplicity that masks conceptual complexities. HAND PAINTED JACKET
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Briefly describe the work you do My work is an on-going investigation of language and romance: the look, feel and rhythm. On the surface, in a gallery, all you see is nonchalant words or phrases usually with an understated and monochrome palette. The selections of text come from my poetry, which generally deals with language aesthetics and romance in harmony with my experiences of travel and masculinity. I often reference a lot of literature and music lyrics, trying to create ambiguously nostalgic scenes that hint at a time before my own. Ultimately the words presented are not as essential as the atmosphere diffused and the language systems I have tried to create and explore. In a new series of works I have started to dismantle a 50-year-old rusty metal barn on my family farm. Cutting words out from the metal and presenting the
stencil-like sheets; dealing with my knife-edge relationship to language. What is the most challenging part about being a mixed media artist? There are obviously many tricky things but for me itâ€™s being able to balance the development of each area of my practice simultaneously. Predominantly my work is divided into drawing, painting and sculpture; with each element produced on a fairly large scale. The scale of the works mean pieces can take weeks to complete and itâ€™s so easy to become blinkered and consumed by a single project that other areas of my practice are left behind. On the same note, sometimes that plays to my benefit; stepping back from things to gain a fresh eye can be useful, but in general once I start something I want to work on it continuously until completion. With these new metal pieces the process of cutting the letters becomes pretty back breaking that I give
UNTITLED (GRANDE PASSION)
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myself regular breaks to work on poetry and sharpen up any letters on drawings and paintings. Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? I mean, I don’t try and limit the information I receive to inform my practice, anything can end up presenting itself and finding a spot on the wall or lost in the metal. As my practice is language based the inlets of data can come in all forms from music lyrics, film dialogue, literature and poetry and day-to-day life. The poems all try to cover certain criteria in terms of language systems and aesthetics, that’s one side of it, the other is the atmosphere and heart the language provokes. This can be a feeling I get from a single line of a Beach Boys song to a line spoken by Steve McQueen in The Great Escape. Americana has definitely been a constant ingredient in my work these last few years after I went on exchange to California Institute of the Arts just outside Los Angeles. I don’t see that stopping anytime soon, I find it interesting a British artist using American slang. What is your creative process like? Well there is a constant flow of thoughts, I find it extremely hard to switch off and it can like anything in real excess become overpowering. That’s not to say a constant stream of useful concepts, just like anyone in a creative realm you hit that wall or get the block but your mind carries on rolling, the engine is on but the car doesn’t have one wheel let alone four. So peaks and troughs best describe that part of the process. Once the spark is there - poem may be partly written or completed – I would have usually chosen the text already and it’s time to work out how it’s best realised; as a drawing, painting or metal sheet construction. Often the drawings have simple imagery accompanying the text. I always make an initial distinction between 3D and 2D, then the latter are often developed on Photoshop to work through initial plans. After that it’s time to get tools out and get my hands busy. I am currently renting out a huge empty office space, there are only two of us in there and I don’t see the other woman at all. I have always been comfortable on my own, taking myself off into the woods as a kid,
climbing trees and getting into trouble. Having graduated from art school this past summer the contrast is emphasised but I have my radio, sights on a four-legged friend and apparently two new people are moving in, so we will see what happens. The difference of a busy studio or solitary one doesn’t change my thought process much though; you need to follow your gut in the end. How would you describe the art scene in your area? Lacking, to be honest. Since graduating I have moved back from Glasgow to very rural Yorkshire, though still within a 15-minute drive to Leeds. The Glaswegian twang has turned into a northern baa of sheep and buildings to rolling hills but this isn’t a permanent fixture. My studio is rented from a great organisation called East Street Arts, based in Leeds. I have recently shown with Milk Collective in Newcastle. So if I can be bold enough to include Leeds and Newcastle in ‘my’ area, there is a real buzz and serious potential for serious art. What do you like/dislike about the art world? Well, I’ll steal a sentence or two from Grayson Perry’s first Reith Lecture, “I still find commercial art galleries intimidating... from the frighteningly chic gallery girls on the front desk to the reverential hush around arcane lumps of stuff inside.” What do I like about the art world? Well, without it, I wouldn’t be able to do what I love. What are your future plans as an artist? Well there are a number of things I have my sights on, is mentioning them bad luck? There are a couple of opportunities coming up across the pond, which have my heart quickening with excitement. It’s a new year and who knows what it may bring but I hope so start getting my portfolio in check for applying to an MA course, you may be seeing my work in Barcelona and New York and hopefully there will be a couple more painted leather jackets on the streets. I couldn’t possibly bore you with any longer term goals; we’d be here all day.
DEGREE SHOW (DETAIL)
Albeiro Rojas Tomedes London, England, UK
Awards/Prizes FBA Futures Award Winner Mall Galleries Federation of British Artists Raw Talent 2015 London Group Exhibitions 15th Salon Regional de Artistas Plásticos Proyecto Identidad en Circulación – Ministerio de Cultura Colombia Colombia, July 2015 Raw Talent 2015 Hoxton Arch Gallery London, UK July 2015 Camberwell College of Arts BA Painting Degree Show London, UK June 2015 “Art Athina”, International Greek Art Fair Athens, Greece June 2015
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I grew up in the Colombian Amazon and now live and work in London. I feel deeply for the natural and cultural riches of the Amazon that are increasingly threatened by encroaching development. My work recognises the very differing pressures upon life in the jungle and those in a dynamic, modern city environment. The colours, language, skills and heritage of the Amazon are a source of inspiration but the destructive forces of gentrification and globalisation that are undermining nature’s magnificent legacy bring a driving anger to my work. Having developed my own, highly distinctive technique, I use the skins of gloss paint that have been dried over a large area, peeling them off in sheets by separating the skins from the wet underside, thus providing an unusual raw material for my work. The paint takes its own form and is liberated from the canvas. Freed from traditional constraints and artificial boundaries, I variously cut, rip, peel, fold, layer, twist, roll or even weave the paint, giving it an independence and allowing new forms of expression. My work is often influenced by the impact of development on the natural environment and local culture. The deconstruction of my paintings echoes the destructive forces impacting upon the Amazon. Reflecting the slow erosion of native cultures, the paint is often seen unravelling, scarred or torn, oozing out between layers, or hardened into drips around the edges. My palette often reflects the environment and issues I focus on. Bright primary colours of jungle flora contrast with impenetrable black that may symbolise the night or the violence, pollution, anger and assault subjected upon beauty and nature. The shine of the black gloss paint also suggests an allure and power that masks inherent evil and malign intent, just as industrial development promises prosperity yet unleashes degradation and destruction. I want to provoke the viewer to think on multiple levels. My pieces occupy a space in-between painting and sculpture, stimulating thought about the role that paint can take and the form I have produced. These “liminal” zones between painting and sculpture; dependency and independency; and the creative and destructive forces of mankind and nature are recurring aspects of my work. I want to share with my viewers the emotional journey taken with every piece I create. I think about the natural richness of the world; people who live in many beautiful places; the traditions developed and sustained across the generations. Everyone should feel anger at the damage being inflicted upon these places, the impact on local people, the loss of sustainable natural resources and historic culture. The new spaces in which paint exists in my pieces when freed from historical constraints, challenge the viewer to consider the spaces between blinkered, modern comfort and open-eyed realisation; to look at existing limitations and the new existence that can be created; to see the link between destruction and creation. I want viewers to see beyond the painting and to make their voices heard.”
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Art Reveal Magazine
Briefly describe the work you do. It is important to mention that I grew up in the Colombian Amazon and now live and work in London. This influences everything that I do in developing my ideas and art. I feel deeply about the natural and cultural riches of the Amazon that are increasingly threatened by encroaching development. My work recognises the very differing pressures upon life in the jungle and those in a dynamic, modern city environment. The colours, language, skills and heritage of the Amazon are a source of inspiration but the destructive forces of gentrification and globalisation that are undermining natureâ€™s magnificent legacy bring a driving anger to my work. I want to share with my viewers the emotional journey taken with every piece I create. I think about the natural richness of the world; people who live in many beautiful places; the traditions developed
and sustained across the generations. Everyone should feel anger at the damage being inflicted upon these places, the impact on local people, the loss of sustainable natural resources and historic culture. The new spaces in which paint exists in my pieces when freed from historical constraints, challenge the viewer to consider the spaces between blinkered, modern comfort and open-eyed realisation; to look at existing limitations and the new existence that can be created; to see the link between destruction and creation. I want viewers to see beyond the painting. Having developed my own, highly distinctive technique, I use the skins of gloss paint that have been dried over a large area, peeling them off in sheets by separating the skins from the wet underside, thus providing an unusual raw material for my work. The paint takes its own form and is liberated from the canvas. Freed from traditional constraints and artificial boundaries, I
variously cut, rip, peel, fold, layer, twist, roll or even weave the paint, giving it an independence and allowing new forms of expression. My work is often influenced by the impact of development on the natural environment and local culture. The deconstruction of my paintings echoes the destructive forces impacting upon the Amazon. Reflecting the slow erosion of native cultures, the paint is often seen unravelling, scarred or torn, oozing out between layers, or hardened into drips around the edges. My palette often reflects the environment and issues I focus on. Bright primary colours of jungle flora contrast with impenetrable black that may symbolise the night or the violence, pollution, anger and assault subjected upon beauty and nature. The shine of the black gloss paint also suggests an allure and power that masks inherent evil and malign intent, just as industrial development promises prosperity yet unleashes degradation and destruction.
Do you think of yourself as a tion is impacting upon this beauticonceptual artist? ful place. More recently, I have taken inspiration from Paul Gauguin I have always thought of myself who, tired of the same, traditional as a contemporary artist with ways art was represented, encourwide range of ways to express my aged late 19th century artists to go feelings, thoughts and concerns outside Europe and find new inspithrough art. I like having freedom ration. Some artists went to Africa, and not to be framed as a tradi- Asia or America but he found his tional painter. It is true that for me own paradise in Tahiti. I embraced to start my work I have an idea, a Gauguin’s challenge by returning concept which I develop finding the to my own paradise in the Amazon right direction so I don’t want the to develop a project I called “How viewer stays on the surface of the to incorporate traditional indigepainting but I want them go beyond nous art into a contemporary art I want to provoke the viewer to practice”. This project allowed me think on multiple levels. My pieces to connect more deeply with the occupy a space in-between paint- culture of the indigenous people in ing and sculpture, stimulating my hometown, working with them, thought about the role that paint developing different art workshops can take and the form I have pro- and rediscovering objects that disduced. These “liminal” zones be- appeared a long time ago. These tween painting and sculpture; de- were then donated to the local mupendency and independency; and seum, itself a project that is work the creative and destructive forces in progress and that I have assisted of mankind and nature are recur- with. The most important and rering aspects of my work. warding aspect of the project was to engage the younger generation of indigenous people, to impart Who or what has a lasting influ- to them some of the disappearing ence on your art practice? cultural knowledge, inspire them to speak their own language and Two of the artists that have sig- to instil pride in their heritage. In nificantly influenced my work are a similar way, the art residency in Lucio Fontana and Angela de la India contained many of the same Cruz. Fontana’s slashes and holes inspirational elements and these on his canvases, prompted viewers will continue to shape the path my to see beyond the surface of the art practice takes. canvas. Angela de la Cruz breaks and attacks her works. For me, these artists’ works were to reflect What advice can you give to upon and it seemed as if something those who are just starting out in like this was happening in my home the arts? town in the Amazon that is under attack, being contaminated and de- Never give up. Never be afraid forested, where indigenous culture of being adventurous. Believe in is being gentrified and globalisa- yourself and your own vision.
How would you describe the art scene in your area? The art scene in London is very lively, with a lot always happening and the art scene moving all the time. It is vibrant and challenging. London is a place to enjoy good art, with great galleries and museums, amazing shows – both large and small - that mean you never get bored, so it is a place that in many ways motivates you to continue working and continually develop ideas. There are many open calls, which, as a developing artist, it is important to submit work to, so there can be many disappointments if your work is not chosen. However, it’s important to never give up and never take it personally. The good thing is that there are many opportunities. What are your future plans as an artist? Right now, my first exhibition in London is running, “Solo A.R.T.”. That has led to more work and I am happy about this, as this is my life and I live for art, so I will be in my studio in Bermondsey working, looking for opportunities and creating ideas to develop my practice. My life and work is in between Colombia and London. In my home town Colombia, I am contributing with others to the ongoing project to establish a museum for the area that will inspire the younger generation of indigenous people to preserve their identity and be proud of their heritage as this must not be lost.
Ira Upin Philadelphia, USA 2015
Art Of the State, The State Museum of PA, Harrisburg PA, USA
Art Laguna Prize, Venice, Italy
Solo Exhibit, Artspace, Raleigh, NC, USA
No Dead Artists, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LA, USA
Solo Exhibit, Kelly/Weber Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, USA
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Briefly describe the work you do. Primarily I am a story teller who uses precision in my method of painting to drive the narrative. The following is a description of what I do that has held true for many years now: The two constants in my work have been the narrative and the intensity of the visual. I want the viewer to be intoxicated and perplexed by how I make my paintings and intrigued by the stories I am trying to tell. I’m interested in human dynamics whether they be social, political, or emotional. That being said, I do on occasion when running into visual writer’s block, veer off and create strange abstract works. What is the most challenging part about being an artist? I guess it’s maintaining, over the course of almost 50 years now, the confidence that what you are doing has relevance. It’s about insecurity and confidence at the same time. The confidence comes in the isolation of the studio, knowing how to make an image the way you imagine it and how you want it to be. The insecurity comes with trying to put what you do in the context of it’s relevance outside of that private space. Does it mean anything in the world at large or the art world realm where we try to make our professional way as artists? Does it connect? Why keep doing it if it doesn’t? Who or what has a lasting influence on your art practice? Singularly the person who had the greatest influence on me was my mentor in graduate school, Grace Hartigan, the head of the Hoffberger Scool of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art. The fact that this world renowned artist would have interest in what a 23 year old from Chicago was doing at that time was heady and flattering. She encouraged me to do what I did even though my work was so different from hers. But then seeing her tenacity and clarity of vision over the years became an inspiration for me to emulate. You need to do what you do with commitment, work at it like any other job and never quit until your last breath. How would you describe the art scene in your area? To be honest I can’t really speak to that subject. I don’t really know what that means. When I was young and newly arrived here in Philadelphia I was very forward and aggressive about getting into the “art scene” in this city. But over the years my interest in that part of being an artist waned and has become limited to interactions and discussions with artists who I’ve become friends with over the years. We talk about life and our work. Other than that I can’t say much more.
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What do you like/dislike about the art world? I love when I see art that is truly transformative, that is true, and that takes you to a place youâ€™ve never been before. However when the mercenary business aspect and false hype that accompanies and infuses the art world is applied I find it very distasteful. On the one hand art is indispensable because it can bring joy, expand the senses and the mind, and give us something that truly makes us human. On the other hand when a monetary value must be placed upon it to say what itâ€™s worth in the marketplace it distorts that true value. When it becomes a commodity itâ€™s purity is diminished. I always find it difficult to reconcile those two elements of the art world. What are your future plans as an artist? One never knows what the future holds. At 67 years old I can only hope that my hand stays steady, my mind stays clear, and my work continues to draw interest from those who may have a desire to look at it.
HAT IN HAND
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Art Reveal Magazine
The two constants in my work have been the narrative and the intensity of the visual. I want the viewer to be intoxicated and perplexed by how I make my paintings and intrigued by the stories I am trying to tell. I’m interested in human dynamics whether they be social, political, or emotional. It’s about insecurity and confidence at the same time. The confidence comes in the isolation of the studio, knowing how to make an image the way I imagine it I want it to be. The insecurity comes with trying to put what I do in the context of it’s relevance outside of my sanctum. Does it mean anything in the world at large or the art world realm where we try to make our professional way as artists? Does it connect? Why keep doing it if it doesn’t? Singular and unique story telling, not illustrations of the famous or the currently topical newsie subject matter. That’s what makes for a powerful, timeless, and important narrative. There is a narrative tightrope to be walked. With less common storylines that connect collective understanding, it is more difficult now to find easily recognizable imagery that carries metaphorical power that most people would understand with out becoming hokey or glib. It’s about randomness and our inability to control that randomness. Things happen, anything can happen and we want somehow to control it. But in the end we really can’t. The tightness of the way I work seems a futile attempt to exert that control. Art needs to have meaning, to be done as if it’s existence can change the world. A lot of art gets too caught up in the weeds of “art for arts sake”, art about art, and art lingo/jargon. I don’t know much about that other than the endeavor of making art at it’s core should be pure. When it’s done with that motive it takes the artist as he/she is making it and subsequently the viewer, to somewhere new and exhilarating. Fashion is ephemeral, so I never concern myself with what is fashionable, which in the end puts me in and out of fashion depending in what decade my work is being considered. I’ve been doing some version of the same thing for 50 years – narrative as the frame combined with the visual as the draw, the hook. At the elemental level of life itself, if you stop and think, everything is essentially something we do to keep ourselves busy between birth and death. The in between is the variable from one person to the next. Are you decent, are you compassionate, do you seek truth and a clear understanding of reality? Those are the questions I ponder to justify my life and what I do with my time. What makes us what we are? I relate to this quote by Fellini “I put myself at the service of my fantasies.” Art should have quality of craft, clarity of purpose, and meaning. HOT DOG
Qinrun Yu London, England, UK I am a independent material artist who have been interested in experimenting various materials together with different textile techniques and I always try to push the boundary to the edge to see the thousands of possibilities.I have been focusing on develop knitting techniques to create three dimensional shapes.My sculptures are full of movement and energy.I hope my works could be exciting and impressive.I really enjoy all the process and experiments with materials.I feel excited that I learn new techniques from my each project and get to know more about materials,and to see thousands of potentials of my works. My inspiration of this collection is to discuss the relationship between sound and ocean. Aristotle reported Thalesâ€™ hypothesis that the originating principle of nature and the nature of matter was a single material substance: water.In my opinion,the origin of sound is our ocean.My idea is to visualize and materialize the sound through catching the moment of transformation under the deep ocean.
UNDERCURRENT OF OCEAN
Art Reveal Magazine
COCHLEA OF OCEAN
When, how and why started your art practice?
use the characters of different materials.How to coordinate them together. I believe a good combination When I was a kid, My grandma had a textile factory in of the material not only has the beautiful and intricate China. It was like a wonderland to me. Till now, when surface. But also the texture beneath the outlook. It just I was working on my project, it still evoke those child- like ying and yang, those materials both complement hood memory in my grandmaâ€™s factory. My art practice one another. was officially started when I was in foundation.It was a comprehensive course that make me get more specif- Who or what has a lasting influence on your art ic idea of what I am going to do. After tried different practice? courses, like fine art, fashion,product and interior design, I found I like textile most ,and then, I chose mixed I have been consistently drawn to marine like, aquatmedia in the textile course. ic forms and textures found in the natural world as a means to explore meanings of far eastern origins- the written Chinese word originating from images, with What is the most challenging part about being it being a form of the ideogram/pictogram. My name a mixed media artist? itself are two signifiers of water. So from this universal symbol as originary point, I explore the poetry of To be a mixed media artist,I think the most challenging personal meanings and thought as reflected in nature, section is to be innovative. From my own, to be inno- continually evolving with no concrete end point, as vative , does not mean put all the materials together the fluidity and formlessness of water expresses, with depend on personal interest. During the experiment moments of capture.So basically,nature has a lasting with various materials, I have to consider how I can influence on my work.
Art Reveal Magazine
What do you like/dislike about the art world?
How would you describe the art scene in your area?
The reason why I like art is that there is no rules and limits in the art world and difficult to define the right or wrong. People can just express their emotions without any concerns. From my perspective, the purity of art is the most significant and important character, which appealed me. However, in the contemporary world, some artists want to promote themselves , even made up stories related to politics, history or culture after they finished their art works. The only purpose is they want to add more value to their so it can be easier to sell their works.
After I graduated from my course, I went back to China. I found out the art environment is totally different from london.Chinese art scene is not mature enough, due to this there are lots of energy and potential.
Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist? It is hard to define.
What are your future plans as an artist? Since I get inspiration from nature and myself.So I will keep learning some typical skills,like glass blowing or ceramic,and also I will go traveling around in china to get deeper understanding of my country and my own.And I also interested in massive production industry in china.I visited a massive socks factory and a tiles factory and so on.I will still keen on collaborating with some western artists who want to do project about china or in china.I am look forward to see the chemical reaction between western culture and eastern culture.
Published on Jan 5, 2016
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