Taking a chance on a flyer – CHAMP

Art, Arts, Bristol, Events, Inspirational, Launch, Meditation, Music, Nature

Last night (20th June 2015) I was coaxed into attending an event by a very curious piece of advertising. Picked up at The Island, Bristol, this flyer, with its sparseness and contrast, was too intriguing to ignore.

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What I found, in a small, active industrial yard, was a gathering of people brought together for a performance and a barbecue, on the eve of the solstice.

Sam, the main man of the occasion, put the event together prior to the beginning of what he described to me as an adventurous wander of survival without money, a phone or a map. The idea, to leave of without worrying about how much money you have, who you’re in contact with and where you are, is greatly inspiring as a thing to do, and the fact that there was no pretention in the attitude of the friendly, jovial crowd bolstered the moment.

The event itself is tied to a group of artists in Bristol, CHAMP, whose newly renovated garage studio is as I awkwardly put it at one point, ‘nice’. Which is what it is, a well as more valuable adjectives.

It’s the second time I’ve joined the outskirts of a group shepherded by some leader figure called Sam. The first time being the night of my secondary school prom, in the face of rejection I’d gone off to a gig instead, and while there lied to a group of guys about my age so I could feel less insecure. Sam bought me a drink but I’d had to politely decline.

This time around it was homemade wine that I was avoiding for medical reasons and the barbecue, (from which I had a grilled pepper bun) was a happy addition to the performance. A good move. The details of the performance itself is really only for the performance. That it effectively involved a morning ritual with a much heightened intensity, is enough description to honour intentions I figure.

All of that which Sam took on his sojourn of indefinite length today was lain out on the floor until by the end of the performance it was packed away into his bag. In generosity Sam also provided me and others with a free shirt for our engagement, which was a fine thing to do.

Sam, and the rest of those more of the inner circle, were at the allotment mentioned on the flyer this morning at sunrise, to wave Sam away I guess.

It’s a shame I couldn’t be there, but I was more committed to getting to my bed than hanging around for somewhere to couch/floorsurf with the group. So on this, the longest day of the year, I wish Sam the vey best of luck, and am glad that things like this happen, because, if they didn’t, then just how boring would life be?

The Story of Gelert || How to make a tent

Architecture, Arnolfini, Art, Article, Artist, Arts, Bristol, Drawing, Events, Exhibition, Facebook, Nature, Painting, Performace, Performance, Performance art, YA Meeting

Initially the group began with the idea of Welsh folk stories, which we were interested in because of the way that they are communicated. These stories were only passed by word of mouth, and have only been recorded in modern times.

 

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Buying fabric, and constructing the tent in Gallery 1, Arnolfini

 

The group explored these stories, becoming attached to ‘The story of Gelert’ and the Welsh language, mainly its translation and mistranslation into English and other languages. This lead us to explore translation, which became the centre of the project.

The group wanted to create a den or tent like space to present the story, as we felt that this was the perfect storytelling environment.

After we had decided on creating a tent space, we were given found footage of a family putting up a tent. This coincidence re-affirmed our tent concept, and became a really important part of the work.

 

The story of Gelert continues to be an integral part of the work and its creation.

Interview: Lee Mc Donald

Art, Article, Artist, Arts, Bristol, Inspirational, Installation, Interview, Performance art, sculpture, Video

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Lee Mc Donald is a Plymouth based artist who uses sound and movement to make kinetic, sonic and often public sculptures out of recycled or reclaimed objects. Describing his work as quasi scientific Lee’s practice is based in experimentation and testing. I first met Lee when he turned the courtyard of Baggator Community Centre in Easton into an art installation for the 2014 Bristol Biennial.

Interview: Jen Howarth

Art, Article, Artist, Arts, Bristol, Drawing, Inspirational, Interview, Printing

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I caught up with Jen Howarth just after she’d dropped her work off for an exhibition she’s currently in with Synecdoche Art Collective – a group show by recent graduates and current students of Drawing and Applied Arts at UWE – at the Christmas Steps Gallery. (It’s pronounced si-nek-duh-kee in case you were wondering). In the gallery Jen is exhibiting Jetty [above] (and the original etching print inc. metallic spray paint water is every bit as beautiful in the flesh), while in the Synecdoche pop up shop area Jen has prints, badges and t-shirts for sale. I kind of want to own all of her work.

Reflections on the Josephine Pryde exhibition

Arnolfini, Art, Artist, Audio Tours, Bristol, Exhibition, Literature, Photography

Josephine Pryde gallery guide by the Young ArnolfiniIn response to the current Josephine Pryde exhibition at the Arnolfini, I decided to write a ‘reading list’ to collect together the literature it made me think about or that could be set in dialogue with it. This turned into more of a reflection piece. The bit about hands in art history is in the first gallery guide, and I turned the other two sections into audio guides as part of the Young Arnolfini Soundcloud clips.

Selected reading list for Josephine Pryde’s exhibition, ‘These are just things I say, they are not my opinions’

Photography and Technology

The Image Culture in which we live has been foreseen by many writers, including Guy Debord with his 1967 book, The Society of The Spectacle. Moholy Nagy also predicted the power of images over the whole of society in his essay and theory, The New Vision, 1989. He states, “The illiterate of the future will be the person ignorant of the use of the camera as well as the pen”. 

Can images undermine experience? – Susan Sontag in her book, On Photography, 1977, certainly thinks so. The 1970s horror movie, The Messiah of Evil, extends this idea in its culminating cinema scene with self-reflexive effects. However, Heather Phillipson’s film performance, A is to D what E is to H, 2011, asserts a way in which the contemporary body can perform and claim itself within its image-saturated world. This seems to offer similar “critical hooks” to those seen in Pryde’s exhibition at the Arnolfini: Both artists mediate the power of images over the body through the use of devices such as juxtaposition, sound and movement.