Archives for posts with tag: Horse Hospital


Brilliant Finale Weekend for BEYOND Residency. Such a pleasure to be part of this project with such wonderful artists and hosts at Allenheads Contemporary Arts.

I was screening the video soft borders made with dance artist Paola Napolitano upstairs in the ACA gallery.

1807 Beyond Finale Weekend Susan Eyre

Sharing space with Alex Hughes photographic sculptures Fluid Planes which also looks at material bodies as permeable membranes.

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1807 Beyond Finale Weekend Alex Hughes (2)

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In soft borders phenomena beyond human scale are proportioned to that of the body, aiming to bring cosmic and quantum dimensions into an intimate sensory experience. Movement sequences performed by dance artist Paola Napolitano relate to Rudolf Laban’s dance notation system, choreutics, in turn influenced by Plato and the geometries of the platonic solids. Using the dodecahedron as motif, the boundaries of the universe are brought within reach; pliant and permeable as the body bathed in cosmic particles that do not recognise borders but pass unseen through spacetime and matter.

In the gallery downstairs there was work from Nicola Ellis, Tom Beesley, Alan Smith, Jim Lloyd, Manpreet Kambo, Katie Turnbull and Kit MacArthur, Annie Carpenter, Lucien Anderson, Daksha Patel, Phyllida Bluemel, Robert Good.

Outside was Lucien Andersons The Humble Space Telescope. No telescope, no computer, only the human eye and the night sky. This will be set sail on the ACA cosmic pond to drift on the water whilst a porthole arbitrarily frames the stars, constellations and planets.

1807 Beyond Finale weekend Lucien Anderson (1)

There was an intervention Fire, Fluorspar, Water and Ice at the Blacksmith’s Forge from Nicola Ellis in response to local historical mining in the North Pennines and the future mining of near-earth asteroids.

Relighting the fire with added peat from a local ancient.

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Nicola Ellis video projection mash up of three sources of propellants from the past present and future of mining practices.

1807 Beyond Finale Weekend Nicola Ellis

The local mineral Fluorspar under UV light photographed by Jim Lloyd.

1807 Beyond Finale Weekend Jim Lloyd

Up at ACA Old School house was an installation of work from the OUTSTATION #1 project in which Robbie Coleman and Jo Hodges imagine an alternative history of the Soviet Space Program. OUTSTATION #2 was a twilight road trip travelling blindfolded through collapsing time zones, alternate histories and possible futures. Out on the darkening windy moors Deep Navigation techniques were deployed to guided our unconscious minds inwards.1807 Beyond Finale weekend Outstation 2

At the North Pennines Observatory and Cosmic Pond Sarah Sparkes and Ian Thompson presented a chance to listen to the microcosmos of pond life whilst watching the celestial life above through the observatory telescope or relaxing in the listening pod. It was an extraordinary experience, so noisy, like being in the jungle with the same whoops, buzzes and calls that resound from unknown depths.

1807 Beyond Finale Sarah Sparkes and Ian Thompson

In Search of Darkness research residency with Lumen in Grizedale forest was an opportunity to experience dark skies and make plans for the upcoming exhibition at Grizedale Forest Project Space.

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We had a warm welcome from Grizedale Forest Art Works and The Forestry Commission. There was a guided tour of the many and varied forest areas following ranger John’s vehicle along scorched dry tracks that sent up dust clouds worthy of a desert landscape, blinding and coating us in fine particles but adding to the excitement of being inducted into the forest. We were then given the key to the forest access gates to allow us to explore independently and try out ideas for future work.

I had brought along some mirror pentagons.

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We waited for sundown.

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Then headed into the forest

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To lay in the dark and gaze at the stars

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Allowing time for our eyes to adjust to the dark skies; the landscape becomes alien terrain

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Back in London a beautiful installation from Kate Fahey at Lewisham Art House repetitive strain gently leads the audience into the minds of those subjected to the physical and psychological trauma of conflict to consider bodily displacement, visual interference and its impact on the psyche as they lie under a billowing silver foil ceiling tinted with warm pinks reflected from a video that is always slightly beyond a point of focus.

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Liz Elton’s painting Fields (echoing the past local agricultural patchworked landscape) using degradable recycling bags creates a dramatic encounter when visiting the Florence Trust Summer Show.

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Dancer Sara Ruddock embodied the primordial in a performance presented  by Mayra Martin Ganzinotti drawing on fusions between life, fossils and rock in deep time geology.

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Patterns that appear familiar yet are from ancient ammonite fossils reach out from the past

1807 Mayra Ganzinotti

Kristina Chan works into her screen prints on birch plywood to give them a sense of aging and decay and reflect the history and natural entropy of the objects depicted.

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Visions Bleeding Edge Symposium on nonhuman vision, liquid and crystal intelligence and AI hosted by RCA research students. Esther Leslie, professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck and Joanna Zylinska, professor of New Media and Communications at Goldsmiths gave fascinating talks.

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I was stunned by the image of a single atom of the metal strontium suspended in electric fields Single Atom In An Ion Trap, captured using an ordinary digital camera on a long exposure shot by David Nadlinger who said “The idea of being able to see a single atom with the naked eye had struck me as a wonderfully direct and visceral bridge between the minuscule quantum world and our macroscopic reality.” The atom is visible in this photograph because it absorbs and re-emits the bright light of the laser.

Further in awe at visuals of digital clay – matter that can be manipulated as easily as pixels in Photoshop. Discussions included turbidity; the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by large numbers of individual particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality.  Liquid Intelligence – nature holding memories, matter looking back at us (surveillance).  Imprint of matter – radial atoms in bones. Process – tactile scanning, post optical photography at the nano level.

AI = The Anthropocene Imperative.

When a computer watches, what can it deduce?

Over the last ten years or so, powerful algorithms and artificial intelligence networks have enabled computers to “see” autonomously. What does it mean that “seeing” no longer requires a human “seer” in the loop?

Tevor Paglen’s “Sight Machine” demonstrates to a live audience how machines “see” the world. ‘One of the most important reasons to create art is to make known the unknown’ –  Obscura worked with Paglen’s team to develop the computer and video systems to take a live video feed of the renowned Kronos Quartet’s performance, run it through actual off-the-shelf artificial intelligence surveillance algorithms and project what the AIs see and how they interpret it onto a screen above the musicians.

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With Paglen the framing becomes the work rather than what he shows. ( The parergon)

Artist Lauren McCarthy  offers to replace Alexa in your home. Bringing the human back. Lauren may not answer questions as quickly as Alexa but can respond with insight and emotion to your needs.

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After Image at Victoria Miro. Which are the images that stay with you, burnt on your retina and loaded into memory, out of the thousands upon thousands of images consumed daily? Sarah Sze always nails it. 

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Sarah Sze Images in Debris

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The scrunched paper of the tree images – like dark matter has suddenly become visible.

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The split stones were a second reminder recently of a time when Karen and I (aged about 12) used to ride our bikes to the beach to collect flint stones in our anorak hoods – bringing them back to ‘over the field’ and smashing them apart to see the colours inside.

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Proliferation of pond weed  – vibrant matter in action

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Sarah Sze Hammock (for A. Martin)

Superb work from Michelle Stuart in The Nature of Time at Alison Jacques Gallery, ‘Addressing the metaphysical while remaining profoundly rooted in in its own materiality.’

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Michelle Stuart In the Beginning: Time and Dark Matter

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Michelle Stuart Sacred Solstice Alignment

Into the dark recesses of The Horse Hospital for The Art Of Magic an exhibition and performance based on missing artefacts once housed in the archive of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic.

Coloured strings first soaked in Alum dried over a wood fire and plaited together to form ‘a string of hurting’ they are worn wound around the neck, their purpose being to reduce swollen glands and restore loss of voice.

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In the studio WIP testing ideas to relate the loss of knowledge of the night sky through urban light pollution to the unknown mysteries of the universe yet to be revealed.

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I so loved Nick Abrahams exhibition at The Horse Hospital.

“Lions and Tigers and Bears” – the fears of the forest that haunted Dorothy and her companions as they followed the yellow brick road

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Nick Abrahams makes short films, sculptural and installation pieces.

A wild man sings power ballads around Hampstead Heath and explores the suburban streets by night

Nick Abrahams 'The Wild Man'

Nick Abrahams ‘The Wild Man’

Dogs perform dance routines to the music of Iggy Pop

Nick Abrahams - Doghouse

Nick Abrahams – Doghouse

His award winning film Ekki Mukk is a beautiful and poignant story of a man, a snail and a fox.

I bought the 7″ single with recordings of a snail eating, a fox sleeping and sounds recorded of nature under the Tolpuddle Tree, the site of the birth of the first trade union.

Shirley Collins the film narrator tells a magical tale.

Nick Abrahams 7" single

Nick Abrahams 7″ single

These pieces are suggesting a way to look with your eyes shut,

Nick Abrahams - Fox Sleeping

Nick Abrahams – Fox Sleeping

bearing witness to the British countryside that you may not always be able to notice, a landscape that is both political and mystical, alive as it is with ‘animal magick’.

Nick Abrahams - wild man illustations

Nick Abrahams – wild man illustrations

Rachel Champion looks at urban architecture and energy in her installation at Hales gallery.

Pools of green algae sit in what might have been an abandoned attempt at some suburban municipal space.

Rachel Champion - Primary Producers

Rachel Champion – Primary Producers

Pebbledash has such resonance of the cheap and ugly that walking around this work is a bit of a dour experience.

The punched out circles glinting with the promise of little worlds, maybe offering the wonder of the rock pool, instead present a prosaic stagnant puddle more reminiscent of the back yard bucket.

Or flowerpot in my case.

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In its aim to highlight the successes and failures of the cheap fix and reassess materials it is an effective installation. The artist is hoping that we will look with new eyes for unexpected saviours to our urban afflicted energy crisis.

I went to the WYSIWYG? (What you see is what you get?) discussion evening at South London Gallery to hear more about What happens to Art in a Digital World.

Too many speakers had been booked for the time available so it was a shame they had to rush, rather like me in my end of year exam with 58 images in 15 minutes.

I was hoping for a bit more discussion about the immersive possibilities of virtual gallery spaces but the focus was more how technology is used in institutions or by artists rather than the experience of entering a new space online.

It was still interesting and we could try out some technological innovations.

ChairAXJ01 designed by Joe Want and Andrea Concha

ChairAXJ01 designed by Joe Want and Andrea Concha

Joe Want and Andrea Concha have designed a chair that records the unique movements of the sitter and creates a graphic depiction that can be controlled a bit by wriggling around  in your seat.

My personal graphic made by sitting in ChairAXJ01

My personal graphic made by sitting in ChairAXJ01

Melanie Lenz from the V&A talked about the difficulties of archiving digital art due to commercial upgrades of the necessary hardware and software.

Julia Crabtree and William Evans spoke about their exhibition at South London Gallery made by using 3d imaging techniques to create digital smoke then capturing the image and finally printing it onto carpet so in fact the image begins digitally and then ends up in a physical form.

Julia Crabtree and William Evans

Julia Crabtree and William Evans

Natalie Kane spoke about the power of  algorithms in connection with the artist Jonus Lund and his exhibition Fear of Missing Out, and TED talks from Christopher Steiner and Kevin Slater.

An essay by Christopher Pinney – Future Travel: Anthropology and Cultural Distance in an age of Virtual Reality; Or, A Past Seen From a Possible Future which was recommended to me by Esther Teichmann is interesting reading on the possible effects of digital technologies on everyday life. Thinking about cyberspace in terms of a space for a new paradise tailored to your own specification. Pinney’s view, looking back from an imagined future, sees physical and moral boundaries being broken with total sensual experiences allowing unlimited sex and no need to travel.

‘The Nether’ a new play by Jennifer Haley at The Royal Court Theatre tackles similar issues.

The Nether

The Nether

Popa has created his own dream space, a house populated by young children in Victorian dress with whom he and the guests to his world can have sex and then axe to death.

An argument unfolds on stage about the need for the same moral codes we employ in reality to be enforced in cyberspace. Popa’s plea is that no real children are harmed, the characters are avatars of adult participants in this world.

The Nether

The Nether

This virtual world felt very visceral when reaction to such a dilemma is sort.

Entering a very different staged environment I finally stepped over the threshold of the RA annual summer exhibition  My first visit to this annual institution  was in the belief that things are changing backstage, its updating and bringing in new blood. Also two of my RCA classmates had won a prize and a few other people I know were in it. Time to stop being sniffy. It was good to see Pauline Emond’s etching and Wuon-Geon Ho’s artist book.

Wuon-Gean Ho receiving her prize for 'unending forest'

Wuon-Gean Ho receiving her prize for ‘Unending Forest’

Wuon-Gean Ho - unending forest

Wuon-Gean Ho – Unending Forest

Pauline Emond with her winning work Regarde De Tous Tes Yeux

Pauline Emond with her winning work ‘Regarde De Tous Tes Yeux’

I was surprised how many names I recognised in the selection and how many red dots there were.

Maybe I’ll even have a go in future.

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It seemed appropriate to be reading Raymond Williams ‘People of the Black Mountains’ in the Azores even though the book is set in Wales.

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The islands have a black volcanic landscape, still very primeval in parts with bubbling hot springs and paralysed lava flows.


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These tiny islands are also a mixture of the pastoral

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and the tropical – in a garden setting

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there are inaccessible forest covered mountains

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and the blazing sun can turn to thick fog in minutes

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With all the rain and fog it’s moist and things grow

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best discovery was the crumbling ruin of 5* Hotel Monte Palace high on a volcanic ridge

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emerging from thick fog at the end of a tortuous jeep ride along tiny precipitous roads

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built only 30 years ago it never fulfilled its owner’s dream and has been left to rot

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The eerie atmosphere of abandoned space is echoed in Suzanne Moxhay’s constructed images

Suzanne Moxhay  - Copse

Suzanne Moxhay – Copse

Her work was part of ‘The Combinational’ at Studio 1.1 curated by Paul Carey-Kent, last years gallery fund-raiser ‘lottery winner’

'The Combinational' at Studio 1.1

‘The Combinational’ at Studio 1.1

I was drawn to the ethos of the show-

“The found and the collaged are dominant modern modes; what artists choose to use, and how and why they present or combine them, count for more than their ability with traditional techniques.

One could also say that life in most of the world is less about individual survival than it would have been in pre-modern eras, more about how we live together and whether we can survive that.”

I bought a ticket for this years lottery, so fingers crossed.

Despite a raging thunder storm the opening of Ochre Originals showing two pieces of my work at New Ashgate Gallery was really busy.

My work at New Ashgate Gallery

Rainforest Section 1 and 2

I have been reading in my research about paradise how the botanical garden emulates ideas of Eden with its mix of species cultivated together in a garden.

It offers a tame nature, we look like we are in control

and then this happened

Collapse of paradise

Collapse of paradise