blankpages Issue 21

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Issue 21 April 2010




Cover and Right image by Jenny Core

GET IN TOUCH welcomE... COVER ARTist - Jenny core blankverse - Lois Entwistle spotlight - Peter Day FICTION - Simon Barron THIS MONTH’S MP3 blankpicks Blank Media rECCOmMENDS CREDITS


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Welcome... I was going to write an introduction to Issue 21 all full of the joys of spring, but it seems March has duped us again. In terms of weather, anyway. In spite of this, I’m still looking forward to an exciting and inspiring (and warm!) summer. Don’t miss Blank Media Collective at the Greenroom (more exciting news soon!), and follow us on Twitter. I’m very pleased this month to present to you selected extracts from Peter Day’s “The Garden Manifesto”, an interesting and somewhat disarming series of conceptual photographs and creative writings. So while we all adjust to those unnecessary clock manoeuvres recently, enjoy blankpages issue 21...





To see the video ‘Morph’ click here

Art is a mimesis of reality; the reality being the everyday. This reality that we have become accustomed to has been appropriated. This alternate ‘reality’, which has been created, embraces humorous obscurities by acknowledging the mundane and the ludicrous.The work is an investigation that explore where the alternate reality is present and where it ceases to exist. As the study of these interpretations of the obscure commences through interdisciplinary means, what is asked of the viewer is their engagement. The spectator should approach the works with an open mind to experience this alternate world with alternate rules. There are playful notions present amongst these ambiguities displayed through simplistic aesthetics, which mimics that of Postmodernist views. I have “become a manipulator of signs rather than a passive manipulator of the 9

aesthetics”, (Obsborne and Sturgis, 2006). Morph, is a film installation, produced from interacting physically with space against inanimate found objects. The film itself is time based. By time delaying the work the viewer can indulge in the painterly manner the light and object deconstructspace. Morphis displayed on a flat screen television, which requires the audience to engage with the monitor to view the works, this also alters the colour and experience of the film. With the monitor displayed on the floor, (which faces the ceiling), allows the film to have a more sculptural concept and provide the film with depth. It is as if you are looking through an unfamiliar/unidentifiable space that makes you see the world differently, making it strangely familiar. My drawing work consists of ludicrous narratives, which are formed from the ‘empty’ space of the radio (whitenoise). Words are selected in-between radio stations, resulting in obscure ‘narratives’. Using my found objects, I represent these ‘narratives’ visually using mixed materials on found board. The drawings have depth/tactile qualities. The work is a result of matheme; the process of a negative can become a positive i. e, forms of ‘emptiness’ (whitenoise) can create ‘something’; ‘something’ can be produced from ‘nothing’.

Lois Entwistle

Sparks and Dust I am a spark on the horizon, As tiny and bright as a firefly, As huge and monstrous as the sun.

Lois Entwistle is a 25 year old girl born and raised in Manchester. She grew up with Oldham Theatre Workshop which provided a forum for her work and other people’s. She has written and performed her own theatre pieces in university. She has a BA in English and Performing Arts and hopes to carry on some research in 20th Century Modernist Literature to Phd level. She says “I love that the North West has a really vibrant creative streak that runs right through it and I have always wanted to be as much a part of it as I can be.”

My world is more vast than you can ever comprehend, It is only small to you because of your distance from it. That and the dust you kick up Every time you try to chase me. In short, What is an explosion for me, For you, will only ever be a spark. You’ll never get close Enough to snuff it out. Even if you catch up with me, You won’t see me For dust.

Illustrations by Henry Roberts 10

Why Men are Spiders

Most women want to kill them, Most women won’t go near one Without sizing them up first And ironically, They’re often more scared of us Than we are of them.


Falling Down the Stairs When I was 3, I fell down 13 stairs and hit my head. There was this

And leave me behind. It gave way To carpet. To cold, old wood.

“clink” “Clunk” – “Bumble bumble”


Cl u n






“Wobble” And then a sigh as I finally stopped rolling. On the first step down from the top There was this moment, as my foot slipped, When I felt perfectly at home and in touch with everything. But then the thing happened with my foot And all was lost. The world rose above my head with unstoppable speed And decided to run away

Wobbl e


Laying at the bottom There was another moment, I thought, When solidity had given way to an uncertain, Liquid version of the world A moment of complete fluid noise. As the blur subsided, I realized I’d been brought face to face with the skirting board. But just before it lost that liquid look


Peter Day - The Garden Manifesto

The publication of the book The Garden Manifesto concludes a ten-year study (1998-2008) of my home and life in Exeter, Devon. It is the last of three projects, including Invisible Boundaries (2007) and Roadworks (1997). Each project set out to objectively record and describe my living at 9 Sandford Walk, EX1 2ES. The images record and detail my present absence from this property and are a record of being. The Garden Manifesto ends on July 29 2008 the day I left the property. It is a recording of a determinate space (garden) being recorded indeterminately. Representationally the images are a real time recording of my movement, and a final recording of the space detailing my presence and grace photographically. The images are recording me, the space behind the camera and my transient time photographically using the camera’s function; long hand held exposures and 'automatic' focusing. Quite literally the camera shutter

punctuates and marks existence documents my dynamic position.


The images are tags and to all intents and purposes technical mistakes if considered by the traditional notions of the representational and their resolution is often blurred or out of focus. Shot between August 2006 and February 2008 on the first Saturday of each month making photographs and being a photographer often allows one to objectify the world to add some distance to its existence and ones existence through the lens of the camera. On completing the project Invisible Boundaries I realised that I had created a very personal document out of what had initially been an experiment to record the banal as a historical document. 'This is my manifesto and expressiveness' underlined and dated 11(?) May 1998 is quoted from a letter, as are all texts other than poems. A letter received from a partner describing 14

the implosion of our relationship. It is a letter that is on the one hand is dipped in self-preserving fury and bloodletting, but on the other represents a concise detailing of how the issues of myself, my childhood and my life long struggle with it that have impinged upon my relationships, my images and my life. I re-read this letter at the time of making this work and felt that it was a relevant voice to the final images documenting the continuation of recording and the finding of a voice. Extracts appear here, as does some work in progress poetry. The use of texts eludes to a portrait outside of the text a character narrative and alludes to my previous writings made about photography and the experiential. An image creates a resemblance, a record and exists outside of the experience of the time photographed and the emotion at the time recorded. The photograph is mute in terms of the experience of the image-maker; the text is an aside, the voice off.

So I’ve been trying to work out what all this is about and need to let this out. You obviously may not agree, but this is my manifesto and my expressiveness. May 1998 I know that for you your anger is the expression of hurt and pain, of rejection and that you are so vulnerable and small and quiet and gentle in this place

Peter Day is a UK artist, lecturer, educational consultant and researcher. Published works deal with the banal and everyday within photographic images and the theory of this representation. Peter Day has exhibited within the UK and Europe. He has been recognised for his teaching and research through an HEA teaching fellowship and StAR teaching awards. 15

Poem to you We lay on the bed and idled in its duvet its eddies still in the early morning unreal sleep-haze The azure curled between us made us talk gibberish about our plans for wallpapers, our papyrus for poets and dead patios leading to the ancient culture of the yellow brick road Our mouths open embrace and obliterate words tongues dance in the open wounds Downstairs making coffee we take on the guise of everybody else normality reminds us


that the graceless can not remain in dreams Could it still be true that our laughter was risen louder than deeds could our tears have become saline floods so that we looked at each other and saw apparitions of youth brief snapshots of unremarkable moments becoming remarkable and taking on a life apart from you except for you except for you I would have given up the struggle to the last as life washes out each watery lung gasp, grasp flesh and be damned Be damned


Once more we pushed our skin under the blue and again we embraced this time with fear not love, our mortality mocked that we could drown once more suck the breath from each other in kisses of life. I am drowning and 'I no longer want to save you' How long had the world stopped outside these aquatic rooms? Where were the securities of our discovered lands? With drowning murmurs we made promises as concrete as whispers and we embraced our last Wet with each other we renewed Wet with each other we knew


I have been in the last few months, so silent and yet so enveloped by what you want. And it has been beautiful, what you want. But you have got to understand that I have been confused, that I’ve been closed to your loving and giving. And I've not wanted this, my body and heart has been closed to this

So what I am saying is that by not feeling as though I can express myself and be accepted, I have built up a way of denying myself the true expression of my feelings; and as a result become choked up and silent, withdrawn and cold. And I can't live my life like this


Our spring will come not as in famous poems but mad, mockingly voracious as if it had not come before Eating the ground with bright luminous flowers fluorescence in every bud. Our sadness its feed Our thoughts its compost it points at us its hormone injected branch and asks how dare we live in its brilliance? What little insignificant obituaries we leave What ugly horny little ruts we have What pallid pink suits that stretch us between what lives and dies what reasons the saps of darkness in our root? our food tubers our headstones suck at the ground, contaminate the sweet waters of springs foetus


We are lost lost in the mother of all creation Keep Out your pestilence, your forgetfulness, from the battlefields of the seed, the mouth of the bud the kiss of the lichen Our spring will not come Lest we choose love unconditionally and hold onto it unreservedly like shadows which disappear each morning in daylights infidelities.

To view The Garden Manifesto in full visit 21

Eduard Aster and the Möbius Play by Simon Barron

Eduard Aster, popular theatrical writer and director, has a taste for self-indulgence. The underlying connection between his plays is a postmodern take on traditional narrative. Aster revels in subverting his audience’s expectations and twisting the conventions of theatre. In his latest production, Therefore I Am, Aster twists the play beyond breaking point. Therefore I Am proves that Aster has become Narcissus and is not only trapped by his own reflection but wants his audience to be as well. # Eduard Aster’s plays have become modern masterpieces: 2001’s Water Men won the prestigious Henry Fellowship and dozens of critic’s choice awards. His 1999 work, Who is the boy?, established the career of young actor Hugo Nostrum and has been optioned by a major studio. Although many praise Aster for his modernism and his irony, an equal number deride his plays as too self-referential. The New Yorker’s Betty Swithin sardonically claimed that Aster ‘broke the unspoken contract ‘tween playwright and patrons.’ In 1992 Aster premiered The MineOwner’s Daughter, a traditional tale blending Shakespearean tragedy and the serendipitous plot schemes of Dickens. The main character is Han, the titular mine-owner, whose mine is being threatened by the machinations of a female land-developer. At the end of Act One it is revealed to the audience that the

land-developer is Han’s daughter whom he believed to be deceased. So far, so comfortable. At this point Aster is recycling the themes of his mentor, Herbert Schwartz. Schwartz enjoyed giving his audiences power: specifically the power of knowledge beyond that of the play’s characters. He contended that this gave audiences the power of a god – a god of omniscience. In his play, The Dogs of Venice, Schwartz presents a character obsessed with rewriting The Brothers Karamazov so that the audience knows exactly who the murderer is from the moment Fyodor falls. The character believes that this gives the book more power by giving the audience more knowledge. Aster was therefore aware of audience knowledge acting as a passive power. In homage to his mentor, Aster gives his audience the power of knowledge over the characters. In Act Three, Han’s wife reveals her deception and the convoluted scenario that led to Han’s daughter being alive. Han is overcome by sorrow and rage. He hits his wife – a scene that echoes a flashback in Act One where a young Han watched his father strike his mother. Disgusted with himself, Han goes for a walk around the village. As a projection on the backdrop shows familiar village locales, Han and the audience realise how little the character’s life has changed in his forty years. The mine becomes a symbol for everything that Han has accomplished: he cannot lose it, not even to his daughter. Han passes the village hall and suddenly stops. He turns to the front of the stage. The actor pauses, long enough for members of the audience to realise that he is


staring at them. The fourth wall is officially broken when Han asks, ‘Who believes in me?’ Aster’s original script calls for this line to be repeated until an audience reaction is invoked, usually mumbled confusion and questions. Han goes on to give a speech imploring the audience to not believe in his character. He explains that the only way to be free of his trials is if the audience does not believe that he exists or indeed ever existed: that nothing in the play they just watched ever happened. This represents Aster’s attempt to surpass his mentor. Schwartz’s works deal with the passive power exerted by an audience. Aster goes one step further and offers the audience active power: making them into gods of omnipotence by giving them power over Han’s wretched life. At the end of Han’s speech, the actor bows. The curtain falls. When it rises again, Act One Scene One repeats itself. But whereas previously the two miners mentioned Han, they now refer to the mine-owner as Thomas. The curtain falls again. The actors – minus the Han actor – take a bow, and the audience leaves. The Mine-Owner’s Daughter was only considered a success by the preliminary reviewers. Aster thought too well of his audience, assuming that they would be willing to keep the secret of the play’s finale. They did not and the details of the play’s ending entered the mainstream. After an initial week of showings, the play was attended only by appreciators of either kitsch or pop culture. This is to be compared with Aster’s first play. Churchill’s Tree achieved massive


critical and commercial success. It is regarded as the most traditional of Aster’s plays and many claim that therein is the secret of its success. The play presents a simple biographical story about Winston Churchill, a leader whose political struggles are framed by his childhood guilt over the death of his mother’s prized azalea tree. However, various discrepancies and unusual pieces of dialogue lead many to resist this simplistic view. Throughout the play Churchill possesses knowledge that the character could not have: intimate knowledge from scenes where the character was not present, knowledge of his mother’s attachments, intelligence from East Germany, in one scene set in 1944 he mentions President Roosevelt’s death. He continually pre-empts and predicts the actions of other characters, giving the impression that Churchill is forever one step ahead of his opponents. In her biography of Aster, Georgia O’Keefe attributes these mistakes to the missteps of a young writer uncomfortable with his own voice. This is a naïve interpretation. Viewed through the lens of Aster’s later corpus, Churchill’s Tree becomes a sophisticated playwright’s subtle attempt to confuse his audience and subvert his medium: an experiment in knowing self-reference that proved too subtle. It shows the beginnings of Aster’s attempts to rob the audience of their knowledge: the power that Schwartz so desired his audiences to possess. But no-one noticed and the audiences retained their power of omniscience. # The overlooking of Aster’s early subtlety

laid the path towards the greater prominence of his self-referential themes: a path which reaches its zenith in his latest work. Therefore I Am debuted last month at the Playhouse Theatre in Algiers and follows a traditional recipe for blatant authorial self-indulgence. Joining the likes of Charlie Kaufman and Stephen King, Aster writes himself into the work. Therefore I Am opens in a dingy alleyway ornamented with a door and a stone step covered in cigarette ends and chewing gum. A figure walks onto the stage: the person is dressed in black, moving slowly and barely visible against the dark backdrop. Under the figure’s arm is a small envelope, white against the blackness. As the shadowy figure places the envelope on the step, the familiar sound of applause erupts from behind the door. Amid clapping and cheering, the figure in black exits. Seconds later a man and a woman emerge from the door. Their conversation reveals that the man is Eduard Aster (played by a suitably handsome young actor) and that the woman is his assistant, Blanche (a concession to fiction; in reality, Aster’s assistant is male). Blanche explains that this play is a huge success, sold out every night, attracting great reviews. Aster replies that he is unhappy with it: that he only wrote it because he had to write something. He says he already has a new idea that he is looking forward to working on. He soliloquises: ‘I only hope I can do it justice. An idea is a delicate thing – a butterfly. One has to take great care capturing it. It can so easily get crushed or escape or lose its beauty. I’ve lost too many butterflies lately.’ Blanche goes back inside and Aster is left alone outside the theatre. The self-


indulgence should be apparent: Aster casts himself as the tormented genius enslaved by his creative impulses. An artisan for the existential age: no Muse to guide him, no Platonic Form to read off, the eternal Kafka unsatisfied with works that any other artist would be proud of. Aster presents himself as the lone hero nobody understands. Already Narcissus is leaning over the water. The scene ends with Aster discovering the envelope on the step. A blown-up version of the envelope is projected onto the backdrop. It is addressed to Eduard Aster. Scene Two opens on a black stage. A voiceover reads the contents of the envelope. It is an essay reviewing Aster’s work and his style. The voiceover is interspersed with snippets of Aster’s reaction and the audience learns that the essay deals with plays from the future: plays that have not yet been written including the one that the audience is watching, Therefore I Am. We realise that the fictional Eduard Aster is youthful and flush from the unintended triumph of Churchill’s Tree. Thus the spine of the play is revealed: how does a writer deal with a review of a piece that they have not yet written? A writer writing about writing is nothing new in theatre or literature. Nor is writing about how a writer reacts to his critics. Therefore I Am provides a temporal twist on this theme which might be interesting if the rest of the production wasn’t tainted by Aster’s melodrama. After some initial confusion Aster realises the potential of the essay that his anonymous benefactor has sent to him. He has the freedom to not write the pieces that the essayist describes as “self-indulgent”. He can exercise his free will to change the

direction of his corpus. This essay can be the ‘cheat sheet’ for his future work. The only person Aster informs of his predicament is his lover – the middle-aged cynic, Ms. Isabelle. She adopts an opposing philosophy: the determinism to Aster’s existentialism. She argues that the presence of the essay sets Aster’s fate in stone. Isabelle is a student of the Novikov school of time-travel theory and, in a longwinded speech, explains that the essay will always exist. Aster is thus prevented from writing anything but the works described therein. He is and always has been trapped – he will write the self-referential plays. The ‘cheat sheet’ becomes a blueprint. Aster is devastated. The first scene of Act Two consists of Aster lamenting his fate in an extended monologue. Aster has transformed himself into the tragic hero but rather than Poseidon moving him around a cosmic chess-board, Aster is manipulated by the principles of physics and logic. Act Two continues with Aster struggling to come to terms with his apparent destiny while writing The MineOwner’s Daughter and Water Men. As he writes and directs his works knowing that they will one day be perceived as narcissistic, his anguish alienates those around him: Isabella, Blanche, his brother. In a scene loaded with pathos, Aster reads a review that forebodes the criticisms of the dreaded essay and hurls the magazine into a river. The scene is so overwrought and melodramatic that Aster appears as a petulant child, angry with the critics that don’t understand him. Act Three makes it clear that the real Aster is trapped above the water, lost in his own reflection. The climactic act depicts

Aster’s struggle to write the play that the audience is watching. Therefore I Am formed the central piece of the essay on self-indulgence and Aster is conscious that writing this play means closing an Ouroboros on his own existence: in a sense, giving birth to himself. The theme of fatherhood is touched upon, previously explored in The Mine-Owner’s Daughter and Who is the boy? Rebelling against the future, Aster commits a number of self-destructive acts. Though the character stops short of suicide, the idea hangs over proceedings like a storm cloud especially once it is revealed that Aster’s mentor, Schwartz, was not killed in a traffic accident but killed himself in an intentional car crash that Aster helped to orchestrate. Aster’s confession of this is supposed to be an emotional high-point of the play but fails because of the sheer metafictional confusion it induces. As an attempt to engage the audience, it evokes not tension but the collective desire to rush home and load up Schwartz’s Wikipedia article. Aster emerges from the journey into his soul by finishing Therefore I Am. The final scene of the play shows the final scene of the play being rehearsed. In it we see Aster – the Aster within the play within the play – at his typewriter finishing the script. While the character taps at the keys, the audience watches the words projected against the back of the stage. With a weary sigh, Aster places the final piece of paper atop a stack to his right. Rather than stopping, he places another sheet into his typewriter and begins to type. The audience watches as the words gradually emerge on the projection: “Eduard Aster, popular theatrical writer and director,


has a taste for self-indulgence...” We realise that Aster has taken the ultimate step towards the self-determinism of existential man. He no longer wallows in the despair of his perceived prison: he determines his own being by choosing to create his own prison. In the play within a play, Aster writes the essay that trapped him for so long, publishes it under a pseudonym, and facilitates its mysterious journey to the hands of a young playwright. (This leaves the time-travel and the dark figure in Act One to fall under the purview of unexplained ‘magical realism’.) In the end Aster has the conceit to make himself into the Aristotelian self-moved mover. Herbert Schwartz succeeded in making his audience into gods of omniscience. Aster makes himself into a god of omnipotence: the creator of himself, the infinite deity. But Man is forever jealous of God’s power and Aster’s indulgence leads to the audience’s resentment. Aster saw his butterfly as an idea worthy of worship: the audience sees a moth transfixed by the light of its own reflection.

Simon Barron is an aspiring young writer living in Manchester, England. He recently graduated from university with a degree in Philosophy and now he is studying to be a librarian. He is inspired by the short fiction of Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka, and Italo Calvino. Recently he has had short stories published in First Edition Magazine and New Scientist.


This month’s music comes from Emphemetry, the name adopted by Richard ‘Biff’ Birkin for his solo compositions. Biff has been toiling away for the majority of the last decade in underground rock circles as part of adventurous post-hardcore groups The Little Explorer and, more recently, Crash Of Rhinos - both streets ahead of any competition. Emphemetry, while no less emotionally involving, is a rather more sedate affair based around acoustic ballads with just a twist of post-rock experimentation and influenced, very much in the folk tradition, by what he sees and hears around him in his home town of Derby. ‘Francis Thompson’ is taken from his forthcoming album which will probably be called ‘A Lullaby Hum For Tired Streets’. For more information go to, and also for a listen to the full album (soon). 26


Neck of the Woods Exhibition

Blank Media Collective has excelled itself with their latest exhibition based at the Nexus Art Cafe. Combining multi media installations, interactive puppet wizardry, spoken word and music, there is something for everyone at this event. The launch night featured live performances from Blank Media stalwarts John Leyland and Dan Bridgwood-Hill as well as many other diverse artists on hand to bring their creations to life. Denmasons at Denquarters

by Taneesha Ahmed and Alex Moore combines the childish activities of building dens and drawing on chalk boards with lofty concepts of new world orders, secret societies and alternative ways of living. With an ideology similar to that of the Stone Masons, or rather a play on the perceptions we have of the Stone Masons, these two artists introduce us to a world that doesn’t involve Championship Manager and Hollyoaks. They discuss a need to change the world and inspire people through nature, and although 28

they are sat outside in a den of their own making, we can recognise the words and feelings elucidated in this film. Who hasn’t sat in the pub with friends and put the world to rights? Practice I, Formation & Practicing For When We Need Each Other More by Renee Rhodes is the second series of films on offer at the exhibition. Like a flock of birds, a group of people move in formation with each other, almost like they are dancing but not quite. The

way they move together is not perfect, but it’s not meant to be. It’s more a reflection of the attempt humans make when trying to move in sync with each other in their daily lives. The result is strange and slightly heartbreaking, and would lack this quality if they were all professional dancers. It represents the desire of people to fit in with other, and the capacity people have of trying something new, regardless of whether they can do it or not. Is This As Far As You Can Go? By

Productofboy displays photographs of what seem to be a quiet, suburban area. However, houses, streets, alleyways are recast as prisons and barriers by the text on each picture. It asks questions such as, ‘Is this as far as you can go? Can you go here? Is this a good place to be?’ It challenges our perceptions of where we can and can’t go, what is safe and what isn’t, and what we mean by community by playing on the fears and anxieties of people who live in cities. There are no judgments cast on whether we are right to feel these 29

fears or not, but rather serves as a reminder that people can be locked by more than keys behind their front doors. Throughout the evening, Edwyn Butler breaks into spontaneous song, classics by Ray Charles and Bill Withers suddenly crash land on the piano, delivered in a honky tonk fashion. The art lovers gather round Edwyn after he starts playing without warning, and he provides an enjoyable interlude for those in-between installations. Without the usual announcement

Neck of the Woods Exhibition and tedious banter of a compere, John Leyland and Annette Cookson launch into their tandem poetry performance; a response to the artwork exhibited. Whispered lines from the poem dropped into people’s ears as they weave through the audience towards the stage. With a perfectly timed delivery, strong vocals and insightful statements they give us a moment of words and go. Leaving the audience wondering what to expect next.

interactive, multimedia installation based on the concept of ‘Second Life’. She gives the opportunity to become a part of this world of avatars she has created (not to be confused by the film), by taking you on a virtual journey of a comic book world, where snow globes are worn like dresses and the grass is always greener. Until it is experienced and becomes more like Oz. Nar Duell, Lynne’s avatar, goes through a journey of distance and discovery, until she realises there is no place like home.

Snow/Globes by Lynne Heller is an


The untitled artwork of Ryan Campbell gives a ghostly impression of disembodied hands that join together to form one creature. They reach out and hold hands in friendship gestures but the meaning of the piece can be overlooked by the sheer beauty of it. The Mancunian Project by Branka VidovicButler is a work in progress, Branka asks for stories from the attendees, recording them to create a narrative that is born directly from the Manchester community. The Chatter by Fivethreefiveproject is an audio piece

combined with a photo album and journal, which allows the listener to add their own drawings of people in the cafe. It takes you through a journey of the Northern Quarter, where you get to meet some of its inhabitants. It plays on the idea of community and the cafe as a central meeting point, encouraging the listener to make eye contact with someone else in the room These are just snapshots of some of the art available to view at the Nexus Cafe, but is by no means an exhaustive list. To experience the exhibition in its entirety,

a second or third viewing is encouraged to benefit and absorb everything on offer. Even if one thing isn’t your cup of tea, you can be guaranteed there will be something else that is.

This review was written by Liverpool-based independent reviewer Elaine Wilson. For further information about Elaine please visit


Culture Alienation, Boredom and Despair Culture Alienation, Boredom and Despair is a challenging new exhibition at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe, exploring themes of youth identity, subculture and the urban environment. The exhibition includes works by contemporary artists who work with, or seek to represent the issues and dilemmas faced by young people, within a society that is often unwilling or unable to meet their needs.

Highlights include David Hancock’s stunning large-scale paintings, influenced by the visions of the late Victorian painters, representing young people as literary heroes or romantic dreamers. Turner Prize winner Jeremy Deller’s installation The Uses of Literacy consists of an archive of artworks, writing and ephemera collected in the mid 1990’s, from fans of Welsh rock band the Manic Street Preachers (who’s lyrics


are quoted in the title of this exhibition). The installation, on loan for the collection of Arts Council England, documents the intense relationship between young people and their idols and proposes that the cultural identities created by young people are on a par with more ‘high brow’ artforms. Many of the artists of the artists have worked directly with young-people, either in the creation of their artworks or in their day-to-day lives. Guy Tarrant

presents cabinets of items confiscated from secondary school students collected while working as a teacher and photographer Jonathan JK Morris documented young people, who congregate in groups of up to 300 in Castle Square, Swansea, from towns across the South of Wales. The show will also showcase video and photography made by young people from the region who worked with North Lincolnshire based artists, Annabel McCourt

and Rhian Lonergan-White to explore identity and learn about new digital media. In addition to his work in the exhibition, and supported by a grant from Arts Council England, Manchester based artist David Hancock will be working with a group of young people within Scunthorpe to create a new body of work. The new paintings and drawings will be shown as a solo exhibition at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre from 28 August to 06 November 2010.

For further info contact: Dominic Mason (01724) 297070 20-21 Visual Arts Centre Church Square Scunthorpe North Lincolnshire DN15 6TB Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm Free Entry (01724) 297070 33

20-21 Visual Arts Centre is North Lincolnshire’s leading venue for the contemporary visual arts. Now in it’s seventh year 20-21 has received over 350,000 visitors to it’s 6 galleries, shop and cafe in the former St. John’s Church building, Scunthorpe.

Blank Media Collective Team: Director: Mark Devereux Financial Administrator: Martin Dale Development: Dwight Clarke & Annette Cookson Information Manager: Sylvia Coates Web Manager: Simon Mills Exhibitions Coordinators: Jamie Hyde, Marcelle Holt & Claire Curtin Special Projects Coordinator: Victoria Jones Blank Media Presents... Manager: Iain Goodyear Official Photographer: Gareth Hacking

blankpages Team: Editor: John Leyland Fiction Editor: Phil Craggs Poetry Editor: Baiba Auria Music Editor: Dan Bridgwood-Hill Visual Editors / Designers: Henry Roberts & Michael Thorp

Blank Media is kindly supported by