Tuesday 30 December 2014

Interview with Sam Belinfante

Sam Belinfante: interview

Listening: Curated by Sam Belinfante (A Hayward touring exhibition)
Baltic 39, Newcastle upon Tyne
26 September 2014 – 11 January 2015

“I wanted to create an exhibition that interrogates the act of listening itself, rather than merely its aural objects,” says Sam Belinfante of the group show that he has curated as the latest in the Hayward Touring Curatorial Open series. Adamant that this is not a “sound show”, but something theatrical, involving intricate choreography and bleeding between the works on display, Belinfante took time to discuss each work’s placement with its artist. A visual artist, musician and a student of the voice, Belinfante’s practices feed into one another and the result is a self-reflexive, engaging and impressive show, featuring some of the key figures in aural art today. But don’t be misled: not all the works included make a noise. Studio International met with Belinfante at Baltic 39 for a tour of the show and to talk about the role of listening in the visual arts and the particular challenges associated with mounting such an exhibition.

Sunday 28 December 2014

Interview with Maggi Hambling

Maggi Hambling: interview

Maggi Hambling: Walls of Water
National Gallery, London
26 November 2014 – 15 February 2015

Maggi Hambling: Walls of Water: The Monotypes
Marlborough Fine Art
3 December 2014 – 10 January 2015

In 1980, Maggi Hambling was the first artist-in-residence at the National Gallery. A controversial character, whose public sculptures have divided opinion and who is known for her outspoken opinions, she is also a passionate painter. Despite being almost 70, she considers herself still to be learning about the joys of oil paint and feels lucky not to be in a profession from which she is compelled to retire. With two concurrent shows, Walls of Water – the paintings and the monotypes – at the National Gallery and Marlborough Fine Art respectively, and a further exhibition and book due in March 2015, Hambling invited Studio International to her south London studio to talk about the sea, life, death and love.

Sunday 14 December 2014

Portfolio: Felicia Browne

Portfolio: Felicia Browne

“I am a member of the London Communists and can fight as well as any man.” It was with these words that Felicia Browne (1904-1936) demanded to be enlisted to fight on the Saragossa front after witnessing violence and the outbreak of war while in Spain in 1936 for the People’s Olympiad. The only British woman to play a combatant role in the conflict and, tragically, the first of more than 500 British volunteers to die in battle when she was killed by Fascists during a mission to blow up a rebel munitions train, Browne went on to become a potent symbol of the fight against Fascism, for which she had paid the ultimate sacrifice.

After her death, comrades found on her body a sketchbook full of drawings. These went on to be exhibited in London, raising funds for Spanish relief campaigns – thus Browne’s involvement in the battle against Fascism continued even after her death. Her efforts especially resonated with other women artists of her generation, encouraging them to stand up for what they believed in, create poster campaigns and independent artworks against Fascism, and even to enlist to fight on the ground in the years leading up to the Second World War.

Some of Browne’s sketches are on display in the exhibition Conscience and Conflict: British Artists and the Spanish Civil War, which runs at Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, until 15 February 2015. www.pallant.org.uk


Why We Love: Jade Pollard-Crowe

Why We Love: Jade Pollard-Crowe

“It is really important that my work is from a black gay female,” says upcoming performer and artist Jade Pollard-Crowe. “Society sees ‘issues’ such as race, sexuality and gender as separate entities when, in reality, they combine to build our identities. I identify as a Lesbian (my sexuality) and Queer (my gender). A new personal word I’ve come up with is Stag – stud and, well, you work it out!”

DIVA first came across Jade at the RVT 150th birthday celebrations this summer, where she took part in the Duckie Summer School and performed a slick show, playing on her naturally androgynous physicality. “Many of us inhabit what I would describe as ‘the in between’,” she says. “I naturally feel masculine whilst claiming my femininity. I have learnt to embrace both energies. A close friend’s boyfriend confessed he feels I suit a beard better than he does!”

Jade’s performances are highly political and she’s been strongly influenced by queer theory and race politics. She studied Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University, where her first performance, Boi-lesque – Performance 1, involved drag, yellow PVC, fierce music and a strip down to her binding and packed underwear.

Jade is both an artist and a performer. “The artist is who I am, it’s integral to my being and what keeps me going. The performer is my body as a medium utilised to express concerns I have.” And since those concerns affect us all, Jade is certainly a Stag to watch.

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Interview with Maisie Broadhead

Maisie Broadhead: Interview

Maisie Broadhead: Peepers
The Royal Pavilion, Brighton
25 October 2014 – 1 March 2015

“His glory is forgotten, and his vices exaggerated.” – Princess Dorothea von Lieven, wife of the Russian ambassador to England, talking about her friend, George IV

Although holding a Masters in Jewellery from the Royal College of Art, it is for her photography that Maisie Broadhead (b1980) has become increasingly recognised and valued over the past few years. Drawing inspiration from Old Masters, she reworks well-known paintings, exploring their narratives, often with a contemporary twist. In 2012, her work was included in the National Gallery’s blockbuster show, Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present. Her latest project, Peepers (2014), is currently on display in the sumptuous Music Room at Brighton’s Royal Pavilion, as the winner of Pavilion Contemporary 3. A larger-than-life photographic installation, the commission is playful, beautiful, thought-provoking and tinged with a sadness as the story of George IV (1762-1830), the Prince responsible for the building of the extravagant Pavilion, is revealed. Faces, in full 18th century regalia, pressed up close against the glass, loom down on visitors, gazing at them as they wander about. Women whisper, an older man looks on disapprovingly, a child stares nonchalantly. In Peepers, the gaze of the visitor is turned back upon itself.

Video round-up of Moniker and The Other Art Fair

Video round-up of Moniker and The Other Art Fair
Old Truman Brewery
16-19 October 2014

To watch this video round up, please go to: http://www.state-media.com/state/index.php?q=videos/moniker

Essay: Gareth Phillips. Search for 'Hiraeth'

An Essay on the work of Gareth Phillips
Gareth Phillips: Search for 'Hiraeth'

Gareth Phillips (b.1979) may not be a native Welsh speaker, but his identity as a dyn cymraeg (Welshman) could not be stronger, and, having grown up in the seaside town of Penarth, the Welsh coast forms an integral part of his life. A graduate of the University of Wales, Newport, where he studied Documentary Photography, Phillips now works as a freelance photographer, regularly commissioned by a number of newspapers and magazines. Nevertheless, he considers his photographic approach to embrace both the documentary and the artistic and he prefers not to be boxed in by any particular label. ‘Having the freedom to produce without limitations is what excites me as a photographer,’ he says.

From 2012-13, Phillips was working on a project called Y Tir Newydd (The New Land), ‘an artistic translation of the furthest points of the Welsh Landscape’. This flowed seamlessly into his current project, Hiraeth, conceived and produced for Ffotogallery’s 2014 summer showcase, Wish You Were Here, a triennial series of exhibitions and events seeking to nurture and support the work of early career, Wales-based photographic artists.

To read the rest of this essay, please go to: http://www.photomonitor.co.uk/2014/11/gareth-phillips/