Hannah Hoch - Nude Woman Collage

Dada – Pioneering the Patriarchy?

Titled “Magic Realism” (and on until 14 July), this free show promises an encounter with the “uncanny and mysterious” through the art of the Weimar Republic…

A day in the life of a Marketing Executive

Back in November, I did a Q&A in my role as a Marketing Executive for Oxford University Press – where I look after a variety of online products and resources. Read the interview in full, originally published on the OUPblog. Any questions? Get in touch!

Short Circuit

Last weekend I was lucky enough to catch ‘Short Circuit’ on the very last day of the exhibition. Short Circuit is a reassessment of the archetypal touring show – currently based at Stryx’s studios at Grand Union, Birmingham.

SARAH LUCAS: The Venice Biennale, France and Feminism

The 2015 Venice Biennale is now underway, and chosen to represent Britain, is artist Sarah Lucas. Her show, entitled, I SCREAM DADDIO is said to “reprise and reinvent the themes that have come to define her powerfully irreverent art – gender, death, sex, and the innuendo residing in everyday objects.” The show revolves around themes … Continue reading SARAH LUCAS: The Venice Biennale, France and Feminism

Inventing Impressionism – Camille Pissarro’s ‘The Marne at Chennevières’

We’ve all heard of ‘the impressionists’; the stereotypical French (mostly male) painters, painting from life in rivers and in fields, fascinated by the universal themes of light, time, and perception… But who exactly where they, and what did they do? To provide an answer, I am focusing on one of the lesser-known impressionists, Camille Pissarro, … Continue reading Inventing Impressionism – Camille Pissarro’s ‘The Marne at Chennevières’

Examining Miró’s Reality

This week saw the birthday the legendary Catalan, Spanish painter, Joan Miró  – born 20th April 1893. Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism; a sandbox for the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride. But in this article, by looking at one painting from 1927 – I wish … Continue reading Examining Miró’s Reality

Edmund Clark and Peter Schmersal at Flowers Gallery

This week saw the opening of two exhibitions at Flowers Gallery: the work of photographer, Edmund Clark and the painter, Peter Schmersal. Although two very different shows, with very different atmospheres ­– the themes raised by each artist successfully manage to complement and elaborate on the work of the other. Peter Schmersal (a German artist from Berlin) produces … Continue reading Edmund Clark and Peter Schmersal at Flowers Gallery

Sikander Pervez

Following on from my post on FOUND at the New Art Gallery Walsall, this exhibition is accompanied by another, solo show – that of Sikander Pervez. Pervez was selected for New Art West Midlands 2014 – an event at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, celebrating outstanding fine art graduates from the West Midlands Universities. I … Continue reading Sikander Pervez

FOUND: New Art Gallery Walsall

Last night saw the private view of New Art Gallery Walsall’s new exhibition: FOUND. The exhibition featured seven artists (Paul Chiappe, Julie Cockburn, Ellen Gallagher, Ruth Claxton, John Stezaker, Vesna Pavlović and Erik Kessels), all of whom transformed and re-worked found, visual material.  It featured photographs, postcards, slides and magazines – all gleaned from the … Continue reading FOUND: New Art Gallery Walsall

‘A Celebration of Ignorance’ – First Attempts at Flash Fiction.

  A Celebration of Ignorance Standing motionless with all his might, blood pumping and senses stinging, Zhongni felt the silken fur glide against his right shin. The creature circled around and in-between his legs, delicately negotiated his feet, and disappeared back into the darkness. The waiting continued. The anticipation of discovery grew. The delicate click … Continue reading ‘A Celebration of Ignorance’ – First Attempts at Flash Fiction.

Let Me Tell You a Story Jack! – Storytelling in Bristol

An evening full of folklore, fun and festivities. Earlier on in the week, I attended a story telling event, themed around ‘folklore and festivals’ at the Crofters Rights (Stokes Croft, Bristol). It was a thoroughly entertaining ­- and pleasantly unexpected evening. The night is ran and compèred by Will and Shonette, who together ensured a relaxed … Continue reading Let Me Tell You a Story Jack! – Storytelling in Bristol

‘Behold all is vanity and vexation of spirit’ – Art at the British Museum

This was the title Count Christian Dürckheim, who donated almost all the works on display, would have preferred for the British Museum’s showcase of 90 examples of German, modernist art.  Eventually titled Germany Divided – A Search For Identity, the exhibition is more than a mere exploration into ‘modernism.’  Germany Divided represents a very particular moment in the 1960s … Continue reading ‘Behold all is vanity and vexation of spirit’ – Art at the British Museum

The Great War in Portraits: War at the National Portrait Gallery

Imagination, n.:  A warehouse of facts, with a poet and a liar in joint ownership. Ambrose Bierce  Who should win?  The Poet or the Liar? Does it even matter, and are they always destined to be co-owners? This exhibition revolves around contrasts and difficult questions.  It is an incredibly fitting portrayal of a war which … Continue reading The Great War in Portraits: War at the National Portrait Gallery

Art, Antlers and Exploration

O, what a world of profit and delight, Of power, of honour, of omnipotence, Is promis’d to the studious artisan! Doctor Faustus.  Faustus, the protagonist of Christopher Marlowe’s play; the ever aspiring scientist who sought mastery over nature through intellectual means, would probably have enjoyed Antler’s latest exhibition!  Its starting point is ‘human technology and … Continue reading Art, Antlers and Exploration

What’s the point of it? – Martin Creed at Tate Britain

The point of what? Art, life, love, ….bodily functions!? Last week I counted myself lucky enough to see Martin Creed’s latest exhibition, a retrospective at the Southbank Centre. This exhibition brings together an enormous amount of his previous and current work, reflecting different thoughts, emotions and materials.  The themes flow wonderfully into each other, a … Continue reading What’s the point of it? – Martin Creed at Tate Britain

Moore and Rodin – Modern Sculpture at Compton Verney

Compton Verney, a beautiful stately home in the midst of the Warwickshire countryside, has been home – as of late – to two giants of modern sculpture: Henry Moore and Auguste Rodin In the Capability Brown landscape, the two sculptors sit side by side – evidencing the remarkable parallels, contradictions and dialogue between their works.  … Continue reading Moore and Rodin – Modern Sculpture at Compton Verney

Walking the Corridors: Archival Photography

Part IV: Walking the Corridors:  Williams, Power and McKee. This is the last installment on ‘Building the Archive’, a symposium designed to highlight, promote and understand the connections between ‘Art’ and the ‘Archive’, or more specifically – Photography and its relationship with its own aftermath; the static stores of libraries, galleries and museums.   It has … Continue reading Walking the Corridors: Archival Photography

Understanding the House: What does ‘Archive’ Mean?

I had intended to stop at three installments – ‘understanding the house’, being the last piece on the ‘Building the Archive’ symposium.  However I felt Professor Golding’s talk had so much information, so many points for further thought, that it left plenty for the reader to mull upon.  It was a fantastic talk in its … Continue reading Understanding the House: What does ‘Archive’ Mean?

Rising from the Rubble: ‘Reference Works’ at Birmingham Library

Part II: Rising from the Rubble: Lacon and Whipps For Part I, see ‘Viewing the Building Site.’ The second part of discussion at ‘Building the Archive’ was led by two photographers, Andrew Lacon and Stuart Whipps.  They both partook in the Reference Works Project, and both discussed their contributions to Birmingham’s evolving photographic collection. The … Continue reading Rising from the Rubble: ‘Reference Works’ at Birmingham Library

Building the Archive: An Archive of Our Own?

Here, in true Archival fashion, I wish to offer up a record of the ‘Building the Archive’ Symposium – a day, in response to Birmingham Library’s ‘Reference Works Photography Project’.   This was a set of commissioned photographic reactions to the transformation of Birmingham’s 1970s building, into its present, ‘modern’ form.   The photographs would, after public … Continue reading Building the Archive: An Archive of Our Own?

Is it Istanbul or Constantinople, or Spike Island?

Alt Üst: Cevdet Erek I was very excited to see Spike Island’s latest exhibition – Alt Üst, from the Istanbul based artist, Cevdet Erek.  This excitement was prompted by my recent trip to Turkey’s cultural capital; a bustling, pulsing, changeable and exhilarating city.  Arriving in Taksim square, navigating the hectic Istiklal street to my apartment, … Continue reading Is it Istanbul or Constantinople, or Spike Island?

New Art in the West Midlands: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Last Thursday saw the opening of ‘New Art West Midlands’ exhibition, showcasing new work from the best graduates across the area.  It was designed as a celebration of innovation, embracing the spectrum of artistic media and presentation, providing a platform for emerging, and recently graduated artists.  Themes of class, gender, identity, site-specific responses, urban spaces … Continue reading New Art in the West Midlands: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Sensing Spaces – Architecture at the Royal Academy

 ‘For me, architecture is primarily about people, about asking questions such as: who is the user? What is going to happen here? How can I respond to the users’ needs?’ Diébédo Francis Kéré Following on from my last post – describing the interventions of two Parisian architects, helping the local populace interact with and re-claim … Continue reading Sensing Spaces – Architecture at the Royal Academy

Co-Producing the City: Social Activism through Gardening!

ESP Trade Talks: AAA Do you feel part of the economy? Do you feel part of the city? These are the two questions which drive architects Doina Petrescu and Constantin Petcou.  At last night’s talk, they introduced a Birmingham audience to ‘Eco-Box’ and ‘R-Urban’; two Parisian architectural and social projects designed as ‘bottom-up urban development … Continue reading Co-Producing the City: Social Activism through Gardening!

This is all owned by you – Exploring Bristol Library

To celebrate 400 years of Bristol libraries, and to coincide with national libraries day, Bristol Central Library hosted a ‘behind the scenes’ tour at their beautiful building on College Green. Rusty Squid’s animatronic ‘Book Hive’ (discussed in previous post, ABC: Art, Books and Curious Cats) was still fluttering, shimmering and swarming in the entrance foyer, … Continue reading This is all owned by you – Exploring Bristol Library

THE BRIEF IS ALWAYS WRONG – Artist talks at Arnolfini

‘Design and Use’ at Arnolfini. Yesterday, Wednesday 5th February, Arnolfini hosted the first of their Art and Design talks for the new year – ‘Design and Use’. The panel consisted of Jeremy Hutchison, a London based artist who ‘designs situations that interrupt the circulation of objects through industrial production and consumer ideology’, and Emily Pethick, … Continue reading THE BRIEF IS ALWAYS WRONG – Artist talks at Arnolfini

Make, Share, Mobilise! – Turning Point West Midlands

Midwest to Midville: repositioning the visual arts in the Midlands This Monday saw the thoroughly enjoyable, thought provoking and inspiring symposium, ‘Midwest to Midville’ held at Birmingham’s IKON Gallery, co-hosted by ‘Turning Point West Midlands’.  It was an especially encouraging day and unusually for a large event, there was a real community, collaborative atmosphere.  It … Continue reading Make, Share, Mobilise! – Turning Point West Midlands

A big Hello

Hello, This is my blog, discussing all things art, writing, philosophy, history, general life and Bristol business. Wish me luck and more to follow shortly…!