Tuesday 29 November 2016

Interview with Emma Elliott

Interview: Emma Elliott

Emma Elliott: Reconciliation 
Noho Studios, London
2-4 December 2016
A+E Studios, New York
1-31 March 2017

The work of the 2016 Passion For Freedom ambassador, Emma Elliott (b1983), certainly fits the bill for her role: her current project, Reconciliation, to be launched in London on 2 December, before touring to New York next spring, highlights the suffering of humanity at the hands of its fellow humans, while also speaking of the hope for finding a way forward; for unity and for reconciliation.

Classically trained in painting and figurative sculpture in London and Florence, Elliott turned to working with marble for this ambitious project, sculpting a larger-than-life arm, marked with the stigmata of Christ and the tattoo of Eliezer, a survivor of Auschwitz, whom she met and befriended on a kibbutz in Jerusalem.

Elliott spoke to Studio International about the project, its message and her hopes for its future. 

Read the interview here

Blood Is Not Wet
Print, dimensions variable
© the artist

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Interview with Monica Bonvicini at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Interview: Monica Bonvicini

Monica Bonvicini: her hand around the room 
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead
18 November 2016 - 26 February 2017

Known for her conceptual and installation art and sculpture, Italian artist Monica Bonvicini (b1965, Venice) is one of the most vital artists to have emerged during the mid-90s, going on to win the prestigious Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 1999. Her work investigates the relationships between architecture, control, gender, space, surveillance and power through the means of sculpture, installation, video, photography, text and performance. Known to UK audiences for Run (2012), her light installation at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, Bonvicini is taking over levels three and floor of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, with a survey show, including a significant body of drawing, as well as several newly commissioned pieces.

Although she was busy working on the final preparations for the exhibition, Bonvicini found time to answer some of Studio International’s questions by email.

Read this interview here

Sunday 20 November 2016

Review of In Focus: Stanley Spencer – A Panorama of Life at the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings

In Focus: Stanley Spencer – A Panorama of Life
Jerwood Gallery, Hastings
15 October 2016 – 8 January 2017

“The small man with twinkling eyes and shaggy grey hair (often wearing his pyjamas under his suit if it was cold) became a familiar sight wandering the lanes of Cookham pushing the old pram in which he carried his canvas and easel.”

Today, more than half a century after his death, the Berkshire village of Cookham remains synonymous with its best-known former inhabitant, Stanley Spencer (1891-1959), an artist so dedicated to home that he earned the village’s name as his nickname while studying at the Slade (1908-12). Born the eighth of nine surviving children (two further siblings died in infancy) into a close-knit family, Spencer was educated early on at a school set up by his father in their back garden, focusing on reading, music and nature, as well as Bible stories. Spencer attended the local Wesleyan Methodist chapel with his family, and remained enthralled by the Bible throughout his life: much of his painting unites the religious with the secular, the miraculous with the everyday. In 1947, he wrote to his first wife Hilda: “I want to show the relations of the religious life in the secular life, how that all is one religious life.” Another time he said: “I approach heaven through what I find on Earth.”

Spencer’s works are often described as “visionary”, for their placing of religious events in a contemporary Cookham setting, but this is a common artistic trope dating back to early Italian painters, known as the Italian primitives, such as Giotto, Fra Angelico and Botticelli, whose paintings Spencer saw at the National Gallery when he was a student. By the time he had finished his studies, Spencer was one of a number of artists to have become known as the neo-primitives because of their enthusiasm for this style. With a career spanning the first half of the 20th century, Spencer is respected as one of the greatest British artists, and, to mark the 125th anniversary of his birth, a number of international celebrations of his life and work have been taking place throughout 2016. This small, one-room “In Focus” exhibition at the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, forms part of these events and brings together paintings, drawings and archival material from the Stanley Spencer Gallery in Cookham, with works by Spencer and an artist friend and collaborator, Daphne Charlton (1909-91), from the Jerwood’s own collection. Called A Panorama of Life, it offers a concise but surprisingly thorough overview of Spencer’s life in, and love for, Cookham; his complex personal relationships and marriages; and his dedication to depicting everyday domestic life through a spiritual lens.

Read the rest of this review here

Friday 18 November 2016

Interview with Anthea Hamilton at the Hepworth Wakefield

Interview: Anthea Hamilton

Anthea Hamilton Reimagines Kettle’s Yard 
Hepworth Wakefield 
15 September 2016 - 19 March 2017

Turner Prize 2016 
Tate Britain 
27 September 2016 - 2 January 2017

Interested in choreographing space and objects and creating curious juxtapositions by, for example, using unexpected everyday objects as plinths, Anthea Hamilton (b1978, London) was the perfect invitee to reimagine the carefully ordered Kettle’s Yard collection in a contemporary manner for the Hepworth Wakefield, during the renovation of the Cambridge house. Hamilton’s approach, which involved collaborating with several British and international artists with whom she has either worked previously, or whose work is important to her, echoes the way that Jim Ede assembled the collection, with objects and artworks acquired through his friends and acquaintances.

Hamilton spoke to Studio International at the opening of the exhibition, explaining her methods, her affection for kimonos, and how this opportunity has fed into her practice as a whole, including influencing her installation Lichen! Libido! Chastity!, for which she has been nominated for the Turner Prize 2016.

Read this interview here