“Exchange” – A review

Art, Artist, Arts, Bristol, Events, Exhibition, Inspirational, Launch

What do Spike Island’s volunteers do when they aren’t volunteering?

They create an exhibition of course.

So the other night, I headed up to Spike Island’s test space to check out the exhibition run by and created by some of Spike Island’s volunteers.


There was activity in the air as soon as I entered, and as I turned to walk into the Test Space, I was greeted by a wall of people. Wading through the unfamiliar and familiar faces, I began my experience at “Exchange”.

The exhibition aimed to “explore the exchange between volunteers, art institutions and the public” by demonstrating the “breadth and depth of talent and the variety of artistic interests that come together within the group”; and I feel it managed to do just that.

The work exhibited was varying and showcased a wide variety of talent. It included a range of pieces from photography to sculpture to performance artwork, and even more.

003One of the best features of the exhibition had to be its interaction with its visitors. One of the ideas that the curators had was to create a physical “exchange” of ideas there. There was a corner dedicated to this idea where visitors were encouraged to create drawings and pin them to the wall, then to take another in exchange.

I feel this worked really well and you could see that the wall was busy with people pinning their own drawings up. By the end of the evening, the contents of the wall had completely changed from when it had started. I have to admit, once I got started, it was hard to stop. I can’t resist a bit of drawing!

What was remarkably simple worked incredibly well as it got people involved with the exhibition in a way that they normally wouldn’t consider.

I was able to interview Fiona Clabon – Young Arnolfini member who was also one of the artists there.


She told me how she was fascinated by textures and she was always “stopping every five minutes on a day trip for a photo”. When I asked her why she wanted to present these images, she told me how she wanted to capture the beautiful details of things that we normally miss.

These images certainly do capture that. Each one of them was incredibly interesting and different. I found myself studying them intently. Perhaps her best photo shows the miniscule ice crystals forming on a wooden post – a detail I would have never stopped to admire.

“Exchange” was a really enjoyable exhibition and it was great to meet the volunteers at spike and check out their work.

For my full review, including another interview, check out my post on the Bristol Art Collective website.

For more of her work, check out Fiona’s Website or Facebook page.

Thanks for reading!


Who is art for?

Art, Article, Arts, Uncategorized

Jon Aitken recently wrote an article for Rife magazine sharing his thoughts on artist Jake Chapman’s statement that taking children to art galleries is a “waste of time“. Young Arnolfini – in case you hadn’t guessed – is a group associated closely with Arnolfini, and one of the points in our manifesto is that we aim to bridge the gap between young people and contemporary art. Statements like Jake Chapman’s are exactly the opposite of what we are aiming to do. 

I wish this was..

Art, Installation, Performance

Yesterday I stumbled across this really interesting project that I couldn’t not sharing with you.

Candy Chang is a Taiwanese American artist who is interested in the relationship between public space and personal well being. She creates interactive experiments in public places, and I Wish This Was is a prime example of one of her best.

I Wish This Was was inspired by empty shop units. Candy created fill-in-the-blank stickers as an experiment to see what might happen if we could easily say what we want in these vacant spaces. She then left these stickers in businesses and places around the city for all to access and write their own thoughts and express their own opinions.

The photographs below are some of my favourite responses. They vary tremendously, and I think that is why I have found this project so inspirational and interesting!

The amount of thought different people have put into their answers also fascinates and amuses me, and makes me consider what I’d write if I had the opportunity..




Space and beauty


I have been watching the channel 4 coverage this weekend of the international space station. I have been watching in awe and enjoying the footage. Watching this made revisit a website that I used to look at a lot and that is the gallerys for the NASA apollo missions. I think these images really speak for themselves and act as a memory as well as a precognition for all the awesome things we have done as a species and will do. Here are some of my favourites.

Crew of Apollo 11

Apollo 12 on the pad at night

Astronaught shadow

Hopefully you find this as interesting as I do.

Charlie C-T

‘Spike Island is currently my favourite exhibition space’

Bristol, Drawing, Exhibition, Inspirational, Painting, Photography

Bristol’s very own Spike Island is featured among this weeks top 21 exhibitions.

David Batchelor is currently showing at Spike, and to quote his words from last week’s opening ‘Spike Island is currently my favourite exhibition space’.

His currently visually stimulating and exciting exhibition, Flatlands, features drawings, paintings and photographs, all exploring colour and it’s intensity and value.



Wolfgang Tillmans, Transforming an Exhibition Space

Exhibition, Inspirational, Photography

German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans has proved great inspiration to my own work over the past few years due to the way he uses an exhibition space.

No matter the subject matter of his work, he displays his photographs in ways that engulf and transform a space even though they could be the smallest of prints. His images are not centrally aligned or all the same size – He stretches the viewer by encouraging them to interact with his photographs in new ways such as positioning some extremely close to the floor for example. He often places large series of images next to a single image, or places some of his photographs slightly out of reach – close to the ceiling perhaps or printed very small.

I find the spaces he creates inspiring as they demonstrate to me the exciting possibilities within hanging and displaying work, but also sometimes the lack of imagination we may sometimes have when curating an exhibition.

Check out details of his latest exhibition in London open until November 24th.



‘The Turner Prize winning artist presents a show of new work, Central Nervous System, which features a renewed focus on portraiture and the body. Focusing on a single subject throughout, this series of emotive works deals with the theme of friendship and unrequited love.’


The past does not exist.

Literature, Other, Reflection

If we consider that the current theory of the Universe is correct, ie. The Earth is in the Universe and that there are stars and planets which are millions of light years away, then what I cannot get my head around is the notion that the past must not therefore exist.

Because of the incomprehensible distance between us on Earth and other stars and planets in the Solar System, in some cases we are only just receiving the light from some stars that was transmitted in 1066. This got me thinking. Images are essentially light patterns, and whilst the Earth receives light and image, so must it equally transmit light (otherwise we wouldn’t be able to see the Earth from the Moon for example).

So, in this way, if there was to exist some sentient being on a star billions of light years away, they could see the Earth as it was hundreds, thousands of years ago, (the battle of Hastings in 1066 for example could somewhere still exist and be occurring due to the lag in light travel).  Each one of our actions through time are still travelling as light through space, and could be received and seen at any point. Furthermore, if “space” is infinite, every single action on Earth could never be considered a finished action and in the past, as it is floating off through space somewhere, where in maybe one thousand or one billion years it will be picked up on some far away planet.

I don’t actually know the validity of this idea, as I am not a astro-physicist, but on the simplest of levels, I find it a fascinating concept.

Ross Williams

The Photographers Gallery – Afronauts (Deutsche Börse Photography Prize)

Drawing, Photography

On Wednesday the 8th of May, I went up to London with my foundation art course for the day and a few of us decided to go to the photographers gallery and see Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013. If you haven’t been to the photographers gallery I recommend you do, it has great exhibition space, a nice cafe and a wonderful bookshop full of all sorts of photography stuff from film cameras to reasonably priced and well printed books.

My favourite work showcased in the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize was the work of Cristina De Middel. She is a Spanish artist that has been nominated for her first book The Afronauts. It was really interesting to see her work in a photography prize because some of her work isn’t so much photography as it is drawing.

I really enjoyed the exhibition and recommend you go and see it if you go up to London soon. The other 3 photographers are also great but I just though Christina De Middel’s work was funny, interesting and aesthetically pleasing (plus I love Sci Fi). If you want to know any more about the show or the work, follow the links provided and thanks for reading.

-Charlie CT