Across 14 days, Harry Clayton-Wright presented 14 brand new eight hour performance pieces. Each day involved its own persona, its own world. Each piece experimented with the different ways in which people stage themselves over time. Reflecting on the artist?s experience with growing up in Blackpool ? a sea-side town ubiquitous with traditional entertainment ? and with his biography as a professional performer, The Fortnight provides a show about show business, a series of performances about performance itself.
Drag, dance, lip sync, tattooing, all day raves, showbiz autobiographies, character comedy, storytelling and Scrabble with mum all took place.
Audience members were invited to visit briefly or stay a while. Some days invited more participation than others, some days required more observation. The days are designed to serve as counterpoints to one another in tone and what they explore. They have been carefully programmed in relation to The Fortnight as a two-week durational experience – visit once or collect all 14.
Because as they
say, ?the show must go on?, and on, and on.
The Spire, produced by David Sheppeard, supported by Abingdon Studios, Marlborough
Pub & Theatre and New Queers On The Block and using public funding by
The National Lottery through Arts Council England. Set design by Ryan
Dawson Laight. Performance development by Melanie Jame Wolf. Poster image by
Joel Devereaux with costume by Ruby Slippers. Poster design by Sarah Ferrari.
The Fortnight ran 10 am – 6pm, 5th to the 18th September at Abingdon Studios Project Space, Blackpool* framed by a new queer colour installation produced by artist Garth Gratrix titled Cheeky Felicia.
JOYRIDE: Bethany Costerd, Sarah Louise Hawkins and Daniel Newsham
08 – 22 Feb 2019.
Bethany Costerd, Sarah Louise Hawkins and Daniel Newsham.
Diverse disciplines and varied perspectives converge, showcasing a shared interest in methodical, repetitive processes and a visual relationship of bold compositions of vibrant colour palettes. The methodical making manifests itself in almost dizzying works, full of movement and kinetic energy. Whether the medium be ceramic sculpture, oil painting or ink drawing, this collection of work falls somewhere between spontaneous gesture and a measured systematic repetition, resulting in works that deliver an immediate impact whilst simultaneously calling for a slower, extended contemplation.
Bethany Costerd creates ceramic sculptures which are influenced by her insatiable desire to build large structures. However, lacking structural integrity, the work becomes precarious in its ‘temporary’ approach to support. This insatiability also becomes suppressed by the slow medium of ceramics, a frustration she likens to a childhood desire to build her own theme park; impatiently drawing and building structures that inevitably lay unfinished.
Sarah Louise Hawkins makes abstract compositions based on the systematic repetition in grid patterns, geometric shapes, repeated lines and colour combinations. A series of delicate drawings comprising a continuous line of tiny dashes and dots randomly snake their way across the paper and from one drawing to the next. Her painted wall reliefs stretch and flatten solid shapes within space whilst the patterns on their surface bring about an optical experience, playing with the viewer’s perception and creating a constantly changing composition within their line of sight.
Daniel Newsham is a painter and printmaker. His current practice explores the material and accretive processes of painting.
Felicity Means Happiness is video work that tells the story of a 98-year old former chorus girl. Alison J Carr interviewed Felicity about her time as a chorus girl, her story is fascinating and riveting. In the thirties, Felicity was one of the Bluebell Young Ladies. She toured France, Germany, and Italy until WW2 was declared in Italy. Felicity Means Happiness shows Felicity, telling her stories, Carr showing Felicity her artworks inspired by 1930s dancers, and footage of an Austrian film Felicity was in. The piece is as much about the connection between to the two women as it is about the realities of dancing and travelling.
Carr’s disrupts the constant stream of images of women we are surrounded by in magazines, films and commercials that reiterate the connection between perfect female bodies and commodification. I want to contrast these assumptions with compositions I create to re-frame the female body: imperfect, glamorous, located in a context of radical thought, disruptive intentions, where excess is not about consumption, but pleasure. I re-imagine the frivolity of entertainment and ask if it can be ruptured away the service of neo-liberal individuality, and that political agency need not be dry, earnest, contained.
Alongside Felicity Means Happiness, Carr will be delivering an artist talk (date and venue TBC)
Alison J Carr is an artist and writer. She studied at the California Institute of the Arts, absorbing both the critical dialogue and the lure of the Hollywood facade. Following her soujorn to LA, she returned to Sheffield to do a PhD at Sheffield Hallam University where she had gained her undergraduate degree. The book that emerged from the research, Viewing Pleasure and Being A Showgirl: How Do I Look? Was published by Routledge in 2018. She has been a Terra Summer Residency fellow in Giverny France, LoBe Gallery resident in Berlin, and has exhibited her work in London, LA, Indiana, Berlin Sheffield, and Huddersfield. She has performed her work in London, LA, Leeds, and Sheffield. She is a lecturer in contemporary art at the University of Huddersfield.
Working across painting, photography and video, both artists bring a forensic eye to overlooked objects and situations within daily life. This interest in the trivial imbues the works with surrealist tendencies and a quiet politicism. Elbows at Dawn will feature new work from both artists made specially for the exhibition.
Matt Antoniak (b. 1991). Recent exhibitions include: Les Bo?tes, Suede Gallery, Edinburgh; The Bunt, Ginny Projects, London; People See Nothing, Division of Labour, London; East Midlands Today, curated by ebc, Two Queens, Leicester; Like the green fig tree, WORKPLACE, Gateshead.
Matt Wilkinson (b. 1992). Recent exhibitions include: SPECTRA Light Festival, Aberdeen; Experimental Film Festival, Middlesbrough; Les Bo?tes, Suede Gallery, Edinburgh; One foot in the cradle, House of Blah Blah, Middlesbrough; Dialogus, Lungs Project, Vane, Newcastle upon Tyne.
For more information or images please contact: email@example.com
Laura Barnes | Jack Brown | Brendan Bunting | Tao Lashley-Burnley | Ann Carragher | Bethany Costerd | Tina Dempsey | Joseph Doubtfire | Ian Doughty | Pippa Eason | Garth Gratrix | Tom Ireland | Josephine Lees | Sean Payne | Sheyda Porter | Juneau Projects | Judith Stewart | Matt Wilkinson
Something or Nothing brings together small, bite-sized, miniature works? things which may simply be small, parts of larger constructions, or speculative utterances of things to come.
Working practices, on occasion, may necessitate smallness, given limitations on space or transportability; smallness may make a quiet stand against the grandiose or the overstated; or perhaps the small invites closeness. Small works may not command attention as with their larger counterparts, so where does work whose scale may suggest domesticity, insignificance, or preciousness belong?
*Abingdon Studios Project Space is located on the Upper Floor of the facility and accessible by stairs only.
Alan Baker is an artist based in Shropshire who specialises in drawing and sculpture. Having completed a MA in Fine Art at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2013 and a BA (hons) Degree from the University of Huddersfield in 2012, he is now continuing his artistic practice at his studio based in the North West.
This exhibition presented a selection of Baker’s ongoing sequence of pencil drawings from a larger series called Trap and Snare. These drawings are essentially of constructed mantraps; built using found and reclaimed objects and assembled in the artists studio. Replacing what would be feral objects with domestic items, these sculptural forms are transformed by the medium of pencil into intricate depictions of temporary structures, suspended in a permanent state.
?To consider the boundaries of what it means to be human rather than animal? (O?Reilly,2009,p.149.) is a quote he has used as a guiding principle in his work to address questions about the residual traces left by animals, looking at the spaces animals inhabit and turning them into sculptural forms.
Baker was recently selected to exhibit this series of drawings at the National Assembly of South Korea in Seoul. ‘The Beginning’ was a showcase of emerging UK artists funded by UK Young Artists Ltd and curated by Abingdon Studios Director, Garth Gratrix.
The nature of this collaboration at Abingdon Studios Project Space (ASPS) was to provide exceptional opportunity for presenting individuals works in new and unexpected ways. The Abingdon Experiment aimed to create an immersive space where objects come together and investigate themes of allowance and control and the vitality and agency of matter, whilst addressing the issues of assemblage and complexity in a collaborative zone.
In March 2017, Tomlinson and Bramley exhibited together in the industrial gallery space of S24 in Leeds. There had been movements in both practices in terms of form, colour and materials as well as the combination of these elements now demanding further conscious collaborative space and time.
The collaboration was not expected and exciting to both artists? practices who agreed that this was a process to be further pursued and developed. In efforts to continue evolving themes, the artists have since exchanged ongoing photographs of work and sent each other works described as ?unfinished? by post and allowing their counterpart to ?complete? or develop. An excellent body of work is culminating.
We do not live close to one another and do not know each other personally – we have been introduced as artists who have developed along similar trajectories?
Both artists began as painters and have moved into investigating the liminal space between painting in the expanded field and sculpture. Their practices both compliment and contrast with each other as they attempt to find a balance between artist led intervention, networked assemblage and the agency of materials.
Underpinning Polly’s sculpture and installations are a fundamental search for something through action, grappling with materials and manipulating until a kind of truth or realisation is released during the process, allowing the intrinsic properties of the material to arise. The work avoids obvious connotations and is non-representational; it is, ‘about sculpture’.
Polly enters into a mental dialogue with the material as to what is required and the process allows her to move beyond metaphor and into something more directly experienced. She is in a place of ‘flow’ is and completely absorbed in the making of the work.
Influenced by the human body and how it leaves a memory of its action on the material, the work is physical and confrontational. Polly both isolates and absorbs herself in the making process to allow the materials to dictate their form. She is keen to find out about the materials and what they need on one hand, whilst controlling them on the other; this balance is central and sought.
Polly is concerned with the expansion of taste. Taste in terms of what can be accepted in the making process, and what cannot. Within these concerns is an awareness of the potential space for creativity, the heightened idea of potentiality through the process of making. When is the mark or the action encouraged, nurtured and honed, and when is it eradicated or altered? Such a potential space is paramount in the work and occupies a place where language and communication occur.
Paul Bramley is an artist whose work is situated within both the expanded fields of painting and sculpture. His materials are often those of the building site or hardware shop, the discarded, the readymade, jumble and leftovers that are salvaged, recycled and repurposed to create ‘things’ – things that inhabit the threshold space between representation and non-representation. The selection of products such as used sandpaper, decorator’s rags and copper piping acts as an index of the lived labour; an indication of the subjectivity of the artist, providing a valuable resource pool for art practice adding a personal narrative to the work.
Paul has a long-term fascination with displacement and deterritorialisation and his repurposing of materials not traditionally associated with the fine arts is symbolic of a wider interest in the cultural and economic ramifications of globalization. The notion of not belonging to a fixed territory, but to shifting territories is of central importance to Paul’s practice, allowing him to make medium-unspecific work, moving quickly from one contrasting set of materials to another, working with whatever resources present themselves.
The provisional nature of the assemblage methods in the work is significant in that it is emblematic of both the complexity and potential of human agency. The wrapping, knotting and binding act as ciphers for the extraordinary contemporary narratives brought about by the cultural and spatial displacement of subjects. The work focuses on the human need for identification and the consequences that a redefinition of formerly pre-established identities can bring.
Twelve emerging young artists are were selected arrive in Blackpool this Friday for the first ever weekender residency scheme exploring popular culture.
The weekend has been organised as part of a pilot to explore new ways for artists aged 18-30 to come together to learn and share ideas.
Born out of an ongoing collaboration between UK Young Artists (UKYA) and town centre space Abingdon Studios above Abingdon Street Market, the ambition was to create a national scheme allowing young artists to develop new work.
Whilst in residence the artists heard from industry professionals including Michael Trainor, Artistic Director of LeftCoast who have supported the project, and well established artists and curators including Richard Smith, Tom Ireland, Andrew Gannon, Thomas Small and Claudio Zecchi.
Within the three day period the artists collaborated with Andrew Gannon to conceive and develop an exhibition open to the public as well as workshop and work presentations led by Thomas Small.
The Weekender Residency is now a scheme that will be repeated and responsive to studio provisions in St Ives, UK in April 2018.
It is a short film about things like Buffy The Vampire Slayer on the beach, joining the police or joining a gang, the beach, finding a job or losing a job, falling in love or just being friends, getting wasted at school, in the cinema or on the beach, being a monster but not worrying what other people think, giving up on work and leisure and just playing.
Organs for Water (2016) was developed as part of WORK/LEISURE: a programme of five residencies conceived and delivered by Abingdon Studios in 2016.
Ralph Dorey was the second artist in residence as part of WORK/LEISURE.
The screening of Organs for Water coincided with the opening of two new exhibitions at Grundy Art Gallery; Jenny Steele: An Architecture of Joy and Louise Giovanelli; From Here to Here (Part 2)
WORK/LEISURE was funded by Arts Council England Grants for the Arts and supported by LeftCoast, Blackpool Council and Grundy Art Gallery