‘Five Years’ at Devonport Live

From the 21st to 27th April I had a short solo retrospective ‘Five Years’ at the Devonport Live studio space in Plymouth. It showed a selection of my work from the past five years, linked to the music of David Bowie.  The exhibition was extended from an original three days to a week and we had some interesting visitors, including a woman who had worked for Bowie at Mainman in the early 1970s.

Five Years 000A full set of photos of the work on display – most of which had been exhibited previously – can be found here. The new accompanying exhibition texts can be viewed here.

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International Postcard Exhibition

From 14 January to 11 February the annual International Postcard Exhibition took place at the Surface Gallery in Nottingham. I submitted five recycled cards for inclusion and took the opportunity to visit Nottingham while I was travelling north of the M25 earlier this month. Here are a few photos:

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The submission criteria were quite relaxed and, as far as I am aware, the only prize is by public vote. I didn’t win – but this isn’t entirely surprising, particularly allowing for leisurely shipping by Royal Mail, which resulted in my cards being on display for only the final weeks! There was an interesting and varied selection of work on display, though.

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Mistaken Identities – postscript

A brief postscript to our Mistaken Identities exhibition: The total number of visitors to TAAG during the week (both galleries) was about 650. Many of these came into Gallery 2 and we had interesting discussions with both artists and ‘normal’ people. This included a relaxed not-so-private PV on the Sunday afternoon where we met and chatted with a number of old friends (contributing to an afternoon footfall of over 70).

The catalogue for the exhibition is now available online here. I’ve also posted photos of the exhibition on my other blog Instant Steve. Thanks to everyone who contributed to our success. I’ll just finish off with photos of my Syria posters in the Exeter Peace Shop (where they can be bought, along with postcards, for a small sum, supporting this good cause).

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For earlier posts go here or here.

Postcards from the edge

I had some new postcards produced for our recent show at TAAG in Teignmouth – A couple of my taxidermied rat, another of my Gilbert and George pastiche, and two more showing details from my Middle East war protest posters/zine pages.
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(NB: Images are low res & not colour-corrected)

During the exhibition I sold (or donated to friends with their wallets out) posters and cards with a value of £30. This amount will go towards our Year 3 Fine Art end-of-year show.

My posters and some postcards can currently be seen in the Exeter Peace Shop. Why not pop in and buy something? Funds raised support a worthy cause: CND and anti-war campaigning.

A full report on the TAAG exhibition will follow shortly.

Mistaken Identities

From November 5th to 11th we’re returning to TAAG gallery II in Teignmouth showing an eclectic mix of collage, sculpture, printmaking, found objects, taxidermy and even some painting. Exeter College FdA graduates Steve Brown, Ruth Carpenter, Clare Heaton, and Karen Tarr are joined by Whitney-Anne Baker of strangeartworld.com and, for the first time, by Angela Hilton from Plymouth College of Art.

The title of the show, Mistaken Identities, reflects the reality that we all have multiple roles, jobs and identities in our everyday lives. As artists, these may be mirrored in our work, but the work only reflects parts of our who we really are.

Our previous exhibitions at TAAG were Summer Break (2014), and Art and Politics (2015). This exhibition is open every day from 10am to 5pm. Hope to see you there.

1 Art and politics v2The catalogue for the exhibition is now available online here. I’ve also posted photos of the exhibition on my other blog Instant Steve.

Nothing Bad Will Happen

This year, PCA Fine Art students put on an exhibition in Regent Street as part of the Plymouth Art Weekender. Although the number of students able to take part was limited and space available for showing was restricted, the show contained a great variety of work. Over two and a half days there were almost 200 visitors including former students, friends, school kids, and representatives from the Exeter Phoenix, Spacex, KARST, and PCA galleries.

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The exhibition was curated and organised by Vesislava Zheleva, and the brief was broad: Material should reflect another side of student work away from the studio, or aim to provide an insight to the influence of Fine Art study on student practice.

The following is a taste of the work which was shown:

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For the Things We See Now Will Soon Be Gone – Sasha Reeve

Visitors entering the exhibition immediately encountered a moving set of photographs by Sasha Reeve of her parents, united in the face of serious health issues.

Alongside, there were some beautifully detailed drawings of facial elements by Grace Wagstaff.

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Everything is Alright – Grace Wagstaff

On the other side of the foyer, an e-book by Vesislava Zheleva showed appropriated and transliterated short texts in Bulgarian.

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Gurgurat – Vesislava Zheleva

In the centre of the room Angela Hilton hung used contact lenses in an extraordinary string from ceiling to floor, and mounted a single pair of lenses on etymological pins at eye level.

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I’ve Measured Out My Life in Coffee Spoons (detail) – Angela Hilton

In the corridor there were manipulated photographs by Vesi and a triptych of photos of her mother looking beatific, with haloes applied by hand.

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Panoramic Images Gone Wrong Purposely #1 Mum – Vesislava Zheleva

In the triangle room there were monochrome commissioned pictures of celebrities painted by Bethany Smiles along one side; and in the centre of the room, resplendent on its plinth, was my stuffed rat with heterochromatic eyes – a tribute to David Bowie.

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Icons – Bethany Smiles                                          Fame – Steve Brown

Along the other sides of the room were two pictures by Rebecca Williams reflecting fluctuating moods of optimism, anxiety and depression: Rückkehrunruhe and Altschmerz.

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Rückkehrunruhe – Rebecca Williams

Also in this room, in a departure from her usual performance practice, Louise Riou-Djukic showed vintage photographic negatives, photographs and other artefacts.

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Après Vous – Louise Riou-Djukic

In the studio corridor, political posters which I completed this summer were contrasted with other posters created four years earlier.

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New World Order – Steve Brown

The exhibition finally peaked with Sam Turner’s ‘roller coaster’ construction, which was made from found containers and zip ties, and completely filled the final room.

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Form of a Cyclical Construct – Sam Turner

Thanks are due to all the contributors; to Martin France for his invaluable support; and most of all to Vesi for all her hard work organising and publicising the show. It was a fun and valuable experience …

A PDF of the exhibition catalogue, which explains the thinking behind the pieces, can be accessed here. Vesi’s photographs and more text, by Grace Wagstaff and myself, can be accessed on the College of Art blog page here.