Interview: Lee Mc Donald

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


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.


Young Arnolfini “Wanderings” Exhibition

Arnolfini, Artist, Bristol, Events, Exhibition, Launch

“The title ‘Wanderings’ describes both the mental and physical movement of the imagination. The exhibition encapsulates a range of different themes including journeys, dwellings, and the shift between absence and presence. Presented through varying forms, Young Arnolfini have taken over the top floor of Be.In Bristol, creating space to allow the mind to wander.”

Final Poster

Why not wander down and experience a FREE night of fine art, photography, sculpture and drinks with us, Young Arnolfini.

Located at Be.In Bristol, this incredible venue will set the scene for the night and live music will set the tone as you wander on up to the exhibition space.

The summer might be over, but Young Arnolfini are kicking off autumn with a bang. It’s an exciting time to be a part of Young Arnolfini and we have so much more planned for the coming months.

Launch party: 15th October, 6-9pm, open to the public

Location: Be.In Bristol, 59-61 Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2LY

Synecdoche Collective

Exhibition, Uncategorized

Synecdoche Collective

This July, Synecdoche an artist collective based in Bristol, are presenting their debut exhibition at The Embassy Tea Gallery in Southwark, London. Fifty emerging artists will share their most recent works, pushing the capabilities of paint, print, ceramics, sculpture and more. The large exhibition will showcase the collective’s curious and distinctive approach to art making. The work displayed aims to blur the boundaries between fine art and craft whilst demonstrating the artists keen eye for materiality. The show runs from the 8th-13th of July with the private view from 5pm – 9.30 pm on Wednesday the 9th of July.

Body Language – The Saatchi Gallery

Exhibition, Installation, Painting, Photography, sculpture, Uncategorized


I spent the last weekend up in london and had a free day, so I did what I always do when I have a free day in London, I went to visit some galleries. I decided to start at the Saatci Gallery because I liked the look of their new exhibition, Body Language.

On arriving to the Saatchi I was annoyed by the usual things, having to pay for a guide, strange layout of the building etc… All was forgotten quickly though. The exhibition itself seems to centre on the ways people are portrayed and the ways in which we like to portray ourselves.


Going from gallery to gallery I was confronted by the eclectic mix of styles I have come to expect from the Saatchi Gallery; ranging from humorous sculptures to vibrant paintings and haunting wooden gravestones. The thing with what’s shown at the Saachi is that, at the same time as covering a massive spectrum of ideas and processes, it still manages to hold classic roots. Painting, sculpture and photography.

Starting in gallery one and slowly trying to make my way numerically though the exhibition spaces, however difficult it may be, I found that the exhibition started somewhat lacklustre. Walls of paintings on paintings in a loose style which try to grasp as much meaning as possible. However, there were some interesting images. I came upon the work of the Japanese painter Makiko Kudo. Surreal colourful landscapes with manga style characters painted into and across them. As I looked at the images it started to remind me of being a child and loosing myself in comics and video games. Creating a fantasy world in which you can be whoever you wish. Your image is yours to create.


I think for me the star of the show was the work of Denis Tarasov, a Russian photographer who takes images of gravestones with pictures of the deceased carved onto them. What I found so interesting about this is, when looking at each person you can get an idea of who they might have been, or at least who they wanted you to think they were. Clearly the people immortalised in expensive stones were of a certain wealth. Some graves boasted this with gold inlays and pictures of their cars and castles, and some played it down. A humble looking woman standing in front of a landscape doesn’t her wealth but rather her power as she appears taller than even mountains. All of these graves acted as a strange neo-egyptican burial tradition, leaving this world with all the things that you believe make you strong and impressive, on a plaque for everyone to see.

Tarasov’s work there was in the gallery with the installation work by Marianne Vitale which echos the photos as well as juxtaposing them. The wooden graves taken from lumberyards act as a physical memories of the factories or warehouses the wood was reclaimed from. The scarring, knocks and cuts across the timber show as battle scars and time marks from their previous lives. The humble wooden graves symbolising the previous jobs and lives offset the high quality prints of egotistical burial markers.

All in all I would say that I definitely enjoyed my visit to the Saatchi Gallery and want to thank the stewards for giving me invaluable insight to the work.

Thanks for reading.

Charlie CT

Antony Gormley – National Museum Cardiff


Opening just over two years ago, National Museum Cardiff now has it’s very own Contemporary Art Galleries. Visiting last week I surprised myself by finding this section of the museum to be one of the most interesting and inspirational.

One of my favourite pieces that is on display until January is Antony Gormley’s Flat Tree. He has taken the trunk of a tree, and laid it out in a huge spiral, starting at the centre with the top of the tree.

Unfortunately you are not allowed to take photographs in the gallery, but the descriptive piece that accompanied the work explained about Gormley’s intentions of (I wish I could remember the exact words used) rearranging the tree, and presenting it to us in a new light. We see the beauty of the tree in a new way, and also its size – with the sculpture stretching to at least 6 or 7 metres wide, at my rough guess!

I would definitely recommend a visit to the gallery, it’s free, is only a short train ride from Bristol and contains a real variety of work from some inspirational artists. Image

Jean-Luc Moulène

Painting, sculpture

Some time in late 2012 I went to Oxford with my art foundation course and visited Modern Art Oxford among other things. My favorite thing about the trip was the exhibition on at Modern Art Oxford which was a Jean-Luc Moulène solo exhibition.

There were two things that stood out for me; his brass/glass knots and the monochrome paintings using ink from biros. I have been looking a lot to Jean-Luc Moulène for inspiration with the project I’m doing at the moment. I really like that in his practice he isn’t afraid to use many different mediums; video, paining, sculpture etc.

He has quite a large body of work so hopefully you also find something about his work interesting and inspiring like I do.

-Charlie CT

Sunday Roundup

Other, Roundup


“My little sister eleven, I looked her right in the face the day that I wrote this song, sat her down and pressed play.”




I’ve already written a little about the TRON party, but before preparing for the event on Friday I was profoundly moved by Ken Loach’s new documentary The Spirit of ’45. There is an inherent prevalence of socialism in much of Loach’s work, here focussing on the Labour Party that came to power immediately following the war. Using interviews mostly of nurses, miners, railway workers, dockers and other proletariat, Loach manages to juggle national history with personal stories. Of course the Spirit of ’45 is entwined with the full circle made in 1979 when Thatcher came to power, the film then proceeding to show what work was undone and why the nationalisation process was flawed to begin with. At it’s heart, however, is an impassioned defence of the NHS which is sorely lacking political support. At the risk of using a cliché, this is simply an essential film for everyone with an interest in history, in politics, in a bygone era, in Britain; every citizen.

Charlie C-T:

I’m going to Portugal tomorrow so I thought I would find a Portuguese artist to showcase. I then realized I don’t know any Portuguese artists, so I did some research. Rui Chafes, Burning is the Forbidden Sea. It’s an odd deep sea creature/monster that has an air of tranquility that comes from it being isolated within a blue room. The audio that accompanies it gives it a life. I think it’s one of those pieces that would be better to see live rather than a video, but this best represents it. I really like his work, here is his website to see more, Such elegant shapes.

Jacob M:

On a recent trip to the Saatchi Gallery, I was particularly inspired by the collage work of  Russian artist Anna Parkina:

Zamki I SamkiThe Case Is Open II

Parkina’s work combines the appetising and vibrant world of pop-culture and pop-art with the strength and command of propaganda and constructivism (having witnessed Russia’s transition between the collapse of the Soviet Union and the subsequent restoration of capitalism whilst growing up). I really like the way her work absorbs you with it’s colour and complexity, but, at a point, also detaches you with her portrayal of people caught up in worlds of distractions and consumerism.

More information about the artist here.

Sunday Round-Up: London Trip

Music, Performance, Poetry, Roundup, sculpture

Yesterday, a group of Young Arnolfini members visited Standpoint Gallery in London to take part in a 2-hour workshop with Duchamp & Sons. The workshop was centred around the Bobby’s Recital exhibition currently being held at the gallery, and touched upon things such as the creative use of musical instruments, sound, language and words.

Here are some of our experiences/highlights of this trip:


One of the things that caught my eye as soon as I walked into the gallery space was the presence of a prepared grand piano, with coloured egg-shells resting on the strings. We talked briefly during the workshop about the strange effect that static instruments have in a space; such as instruments left on stage after a performance, or a piano that nobody plays in a household. I liked the way the piano was presented both as an instrument for performance and as a sculpture.


I was really interested in the possibilities of a prepared piano, and how artists such as John Cage experiment with music. Below is an example of a prepared piano being played:


I was really interested in the elements of performance within the work of the two artists who were running the workshop; Bryony Gillard and Jenny Moore. After seeing some of their work we were invited to take part in tasks.

Bryony had us experiment with words, playing a game of consequences with random sentences, the results of which were often quite surreal and poetic. Unfortunately I think someone picked mine up by mistake, otherwise I’d post some. Then we worked with the piano to see how words sounded once spelt on the piano.

Jenny’s part of the workshop involved the group collaborating to produce a radio show. This one is harder to explain, but the were no rules, only a set of suggestions. As the work developed my group ended up working towards a specific goal, which was translating the sounds of a guitar through phone signals, a toy megaphone and finally the camera’s recording equipment.

The experience gave me lots to consider. I’m starting my final project soon and have been considering moving into performance and video art, and the workshop allowed me to see other artistic methods and results. Overall I really enjoyed the whole day and really look forward to working with Duchamp & Sons in the future!


A poem compiled sentence by sentence from Young Arnolfini and Duchamp & Sons:

I ran down the narrow empty path,
In need of summer sun,
It didn’t matter anyway so I just left and went home,
As long as I get my kiss…

Sunday Roundup

Cinema, Drawing, Music, Painting, Roundup

A collection of what we thought was best all week.

Charlie C-T:

Genesis is the latest photography project by the amazing photographer Sebastião Salgado which pulls together 8 years of hard work in a number of exhibitions and a book. I can’t find a good website for the artist but just Google images “sebastiao salgado genesis”.



In her project Un-possible Retour, the artist Clarisse D’Arcimoles re-takes photos from her childhood with members of her family, years after the original photo was taken. The blog Young Me, Now Me asks it readers to submit photos with a similar idea, but I was drawn to the attention to detail in D’Arcimoles outcomes. Here’s a selection of the best from Young Me, Now Me.


Noma_Bar_Tea_For_Two Noma-Bar_Cutitout-03

Powerful, expressive and unique. This week I researched the designer Noma bar, a minimalist designer that produces powerful communication to the viewer. The speech bubble coffee mug related work has soon become a personal favourite.


Caesar Must Die; an Italian drama-documentary, directed by brothers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, set in the high-security wing of Rome’s Rebbiba prison. The film centres around the rehearsal and performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, which is performed completely by the inmates themselves. I found the film to be very moving, as it forces you to question the morality of these prisoners, as they show such emotion, even after having committed such terrible crimes.


Whilst meandering through the interwebs and anticipating our workshop next weekend with London-based art collective Duchamp & Sons, I came across this brilliant looking season at the Barbican, celebrating the work of Marcel Duchamp. Exciting!



It’s difficult to imagine a film like Sisters of the Gion being made by anyone other than Kenji Mizoguchi. The further I delve into the work of this eminent filmmaker, unrivalled at his time, the more I unfurl his inherent morality. Mizoguchi makes some of the finest feminist essays I’ve ever seen, and this one – made in 1936 no less – might just be his best. What’s more astounding about his delicate expression, from the perceptive long takes to the innovative deep focus, is that this was entirely intuitive: he never finished primary education, grew up in poverty near a brothel and watched as his sister was sold into prostitution by his abusive father (see Sansho the Bailiff, his finest.)

Sunday Roundup

Cinema, Drawing, Music, Painting, Roundup

A collection of what we thought was best all week.

Charlie C-T:

An artist I stumbled across on Tumblr. Amazing drawings and paintings.

Jacob M:

Quite a while ago, I bought a new synthesizer (a Korg Microkorg), which I’ll admit to not having really used as much recently. So I’ve been trawling Youtube in search of musical inspiration, and I found this beautiful piece of music played on the same synth: 

Makes for really good Sunday-afternoon music.


While researching artists for my next project in the library, I discovered the artist Peter Callesen, who’s work is completley made out of paper. I still can’t get over how he does it!


Emma Blake M:

Rediscovered this song a few days ago and it has done nothing but make me feel elevated, contrary to the sad lyrics. So yes, it is a happy(?)-sounding sad song in a way.. 

The video is also bloody brilliant and artistic, props to how it all came out – definitely worth watching as well! Enjoy, enjoy!

Tom Beale:

I caught Terrence Malick’s To The Wonder last Thursday, and I still feel simply blown away by this astonishing work. Malick’s most difficult film, To The Wonder is constantly trying to make us see things through the curious eyes of infancy – to open our eyes and ears more than ever before. A camera naturally attracted to both moments imperceptible and acute alike, the editing is the real spectacle to behold here. Creating a cryptic poem may well have been Malick’s aim, but here he does oh-so much more than that. It visualises what Matthew Arnold called religion’s ‘melancholy, long, withdrawing roar.’ An immaculate sense of music, pace, memory, philosophy and psychology pervade this incredible film that I can’t wait to watch again.