April 30, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Former Art & Philosophy undergraduate Alex Lockett works as a curator at Grand Union, Birmingham. Grand Union is an artist-led initiative that supports the development of artists and curators and aims to establish and nurture dialogue between contemporary visual artists, and local, national and international art organisations.
Established by a group of artists and curators in Birmingham, UK, Grand Union is a unique project that houses eight purpose built studios and a project space. The project space provides a platform for a diverse and exciting programme of events and exhibitions while the studios provide a professional and secure working environment.
Grand Union is a not-for-profit organisation supported by Arts Council England and Birmingham City Council.
Alexandra Lockett is a producer and/or curator of a broad range of projects which involve exploring sub cultures and working collaboratively with diverse constituencies.
April 28, 2010 § Leave a Comment
This summer the Museum of Reading joins the University of Reading to celebrate 150 years of formal art education in Reading. The University’s prestigious Fine Art department has its origins in the Reading Government School of Art, which opened in the town centre in 1860. The celebrations will include an exhibition of work by tutors and students in the John Madejski Art Gallery with an associated programme of activities.
This celebratory exhibition is intended to give an impression of what has interested artists and how the methods of teaching and the subjects taught have varied and diversified from its Victorian origins to the contemporary students of today. These changes reflect how much the idea of Art has changed during the last one hundred and fifty years including key works from all the departments Professors.
The Art School began with the Victorian desire to improve the design of Industrial Art by expanding the training of artists and art teachers. As happens today students were taught by practicing artists. With draughtsmanship at its core students progressed through prescribed courses in Art, Crafts, Architecture, Art History. By the mid 1960s aspects of the curriculum were loosened in response to student demands. Traditional Fine Art teaching separated into independent disciplines and gradually Typography and Art History became important departments in their own right. The Department of Fine Art through the 1970s and 80s mirrored social and cultural changes through the shifting nature of studio art practice and the emergence of art theory. Fine Art at Reading today continues to foster young artists within a progressive educational environment.
Fine Art at Reading has produced famous alumni such as Turner Prize nominees Cornelia Parker, Richard Wilson and Mike Nelson who will also represent Britain at the prestigious Venice Biennial 2011. The department is steeped in history and has been associated with successful artists such as Walter Sickert and Terry Frost.
All the works have come from the collections of the Museum, Fine Art archives and the University Special Collections with a few generous loans from local people.
Commenting on the exhibition Anita Cacchioli, Director of Environment, Culture & Sport at Reading Borough Council said:
The exhibition is an excellent partnership between Reading Museum and the University of Reading, celebrating 150 years of high quality art education, received by generations of students and adults in the town. This is a deserved celebration of an important local institution and The John Madejski Art Gallery will offer a stunning backdrop to the works on show
Accompanying the exhibition there is related programme of activities including Victorian Art school drawing classes and exhibition tours with Professor Stephen Buckley, Dr Roger Cook and renowned artist Marc Camille Chaimowicz.
20 May – 26 September 2010Reading Museum & Town Hall
Reading Borough Council,The Town Hall
Blagrave Street, Reading, RG1 1QH
t: 0118 939 98001
April 21, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Palmer Park Library, Thursday 29th April 7.30-9.00pm
Six artists working individually and collaboratively explore the continual oscillation between knowledge and ignorance. Through integrating artwork within a library, boundaries of what can be defined as art, exhibition and library become indistinct.
Ruth Drury, Jodie Gess, Abby Goddard, Sian Janacek, Katy Laucht, Amy Stops
April 20, 2010 § 2 Comments
Former reading Fine Art undergraduate student Mike Nelson is to represent Britain at the Venice Bienniale 2011. The British Council announced Mike Nelson, who graduated with first class honours in 1990, as Britain’s representative at Venice next year.
Nelson’s installations typically exist only for the time period of the exhibition which they were made for. They are generally extended labyrinths, which the viewer is free to find their own way through, and in which the locations of the exit and entrance are often difficult to determine. Nelson has built a body of work that has involved travelling to different locales for varying periods of time: geographically spread from Bucharest to Copenhagen, socially and culturally diverse as Berwick-upon-Tweed and Amsterdam. The pieces have all involved a period of inhabitation and intensive work, ranging from two weeks to six months. References to the site are made sometimes cultural or actual, others fictional or to the circumstances of the show. These mix with other information from film and literature, personal experience and real political situations to construct an idiosyncratic language, often attributed to a fictional “other”: a dog with a human mind, a motorcycle gang called the Amnesiacs, or a renegade band of refugees. Such tales of alienation and otherness are at the core of Mike Nelson’s concerns.
Ralph Rugoff, director of the Hayward Gallery said:
He often makes connections in his art that, whether cultural or social or even political, are not that obvious. They require a certain amount of work on the viewer’s part. There’s a great freedom in the way his imagination roams over so many cultural territories and teases certain associations from the audience. He’s doing what all great artists do, asking people to look differently – but doing it in a very intimate, and often demanding, way.
April 15, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Opening Reception: 22nd April 2010, 6:30 – 8:30
21 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1AA
The Art of Making Money. Artist shows 100 Million Fake US Dollars – a stone’s throw from the Royal Courts of Justice.
Former University of Reading student, James Howard’s first solo show at 21 Fleet Street will include millions of dollars in wads of ‘Black Money’, loaded onto pallets and stuffed into suitcases and trunks.
All too regularly, internet scammers persuade their victims that cases full of black paper actually contain cash that has been dyed to avoid detection by customs. Blinded by greed, victims then hand over large sums of money for non-existent chemicals to wash the ‘Dirty Dollars’. Of course, at the end of the expensive transaction they are left with cases full of worthless black paper and an embarrassing story for the police. Howard’s artwork adopts the techniques used by shady modern day internet scammers- Every day for months, the artist collected bundles of newspapers before cutting them to 100 dollar bill size. Sprayed black, they were then loaded into thousands of official US currency straps sourced from the American Federal Reserve. The installation is made up of cases, trunks and altar-like stacks of cash – each one an offering to avarice. Along the walls, a series of 100 call cards – reminiscent of London’s phone box ‘Tart Cards’- peddle the empty promise of chemicals to clean the money. Each one claims to be from a different company, honest and able to do the job – but they all have the same phone number, which, like the internet variety, goes straight to answering machine: “Please leave your full name, Country, Passport number, Bank Details and we will get back to you”
James Howard was born in 1981 in Canterbury and studied fine art at Reading University and the Royal Academy Schools, London. His multi-disciplinary practice ranges from brash digital advertising campaigns to large-scale sculpture and installation.
James Howard regularly exhibits in London and internationally. He is included in the forthcoming Saatchi Gallery show: “The Power of Paper” and has been recently exhibited alongside Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and Takeshi Murakami in the UK touring exhibition: “Plastic Culture – The Legacy of Pop”.
James Howard’s website is http://www.luckyluckydice.com