Berlin: A Forgers Tale

I’ve just started designing the website for a show we are putting on next May (Berlin: A Forgers Tale) at the Crypt gallery, nr Euston. I can see we have a lot of work ahead, but we are looking forward to giving the life of Georg Bruni a bigger profile. More information and a link to the website will be posted here in the future.

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To start our weekly visual comment – here’s ‘CondoCameron’

CondoCameron 'ready for work?'

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The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman

Grayson Perry's bear Alan Measles

Too much Alan Measles was my first thought after visiting Perry’s exhibition at the British Museum.

The inclusion of the bear into many of the artist’s works brought an unwelcome sentimentality that dulled down the show. Don’t get me wrong, I am a great admirer of his work and there is much of his best on show, unfortunately they aren’t his pots or ‘bear’ based products – with the best work being produced in metal, there is little of the artist’s confrontational subject matter on show. But then this is the British Museum.

The show is great fun though with perry’s work mixing seamlessly with the museum’s collection (which testifies to the artist’s skill), his ‘Mother & ‘Father’ sculptures are amazing – worth the £10 entrance fee just to see them. In a show crowded with interesting objects this has to be one of the ‘must see’ exhibitions around.


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Nathalie Djurberg at Camden Arts Center

I first saw Djurberg’s work a few years ago in a group show at the Royal College of Art and was interested in her technique and struck by the strange often darkly surreal subject matter. So I was looking forward to see what was on offer in my first visit to the newly refurbished Arts center. to the score of collaborator Hans Berg’s music we explore two darkened rooms, each showing two looped films (at opposite ends of the room) between tables filled with strangely moulded glass forms – the music (a cross between clinking glass and wind chimes) plays an important role linking the glass sculptures to the films.

The films are what we expected – with Djurberg’s now trademark claymation animated figures and strange beasts which explore an orgy of erotic sensuality and pain in an extraordinary way – these are definately not from the stable of Wallace & Gromit!

The experience as a whole is really effective – no sound from the video and the atmospheric ‘music’ of Berg leaves the viewer with a mesmeric memory likened to the thrills and fears of fairy tales visited upon everyone as children.

Well worth the visit.


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Hastings 1066 Photos

A selection of photos taken at the 1066 re-enactment at Battle this year.


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Sunday 16th October

Back on the art trail, and today we visit the new fair in town – Sluice!

After the past few days experiencing the enormous variety of ‘ART’ on offer (often self-consciously pretentious, over-rated and lacking interest – both for viewer and artist), it was a real pleasure to come across the group of galleries/artist run organizations which make up the Sluice Art Fair.

Entering the building on South Molten Lane it was clear that the pretensions of the grand money-seeking shows dominating the press have been droped in favour of allowing the works to speak for themselves. The result was a success with little to criticise.

To pick a few highlights – Transition gallery (founded by artist Cathy Lomax) was a treat showing a variety of artists (mainly small scale paintings) some of which I’d come across before.

Alex Pearl – an artist new to me, producing inventive, witty ‘adaptions to objects (often through the use of adding small architectural figures) – definately need to see more of him.

Also Good to see Mandy Hudson’s small, poetic paintings – often simple images that resonate and stay in the mind.

Amazing to think that a small, low budget event would be one of the best of the week. But then again as frieze demonstrates – imagination, talent and enthusiasm are not required when you have money!

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1066 again and again

After spending two days exploring the delights of London Art week, we decided that we should spend some time producing more of our own. So Friday was spent researching and producing – thereby allowing for our annual outing to the Battle of Hastings to proceed without feelings of guilt!

A great day – sun, fudge and carnage, shame the result is allways the same. I wonder if any of the viewers or participants would mind if Harold kicked William’s arse for a change? I’m all for playing with history!!

It was a good turnout – lots of newcomers (crossbow fodder for the Saxon middle!)

Hundreds of photos to add to our reference collection and afternoon cream tea in Mrs miggins – Grrreat!!

Looking forward to Sluice Art Fair tomorrow.

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Thursday 13th October

Thursdays are antiques market at Spitalfields – a number of the regulars from the Jubilee Antiques Market set up stall here as well so we thought it would be a good way to start our day. After adding a few more photos to our collection (some antiques bought some views taken) – we were lucky to find a stuffed monkey that we’d used images of from the internet for our work actually for sale at the market. We couldn’t afford the £1000.00 price tag but were allowed to take more usefull images!

After a short coffee break it was off to Bloomsbury Square to see ‘New sensations 2011/The Future can Wait 2011′.

The joint show is in the basement of Victoria House and is the best show we’ve seen so far. Well laid out and curated there’s something for everyone with little to fault in any of the work, but if I were looking to buy I would choose between Andy Harper & John Stark.

Next on the list was Kalliopi Lemos – NAVIGATING IN THE DARK PART III at The Crypt Gallery, Euston.

An uplifting experience with the artist using the space well with sculpture (wire people & crows filling wooden boats, and large bees that smell of honey), sound (whispering voices, crows calling and the sound of the sea) and smell – all gelling into a poetic, calming vision.

Feeling refreshed we moved on to The Wellcome Institute for Miracles & Charms – two shows – one exploring Mexican miracle paintings (mostly on metal) the other, charms and amulets selected from the collection by Felicity powell. Both shows were fascinating – exhibiting objects and images that relied on content and meaning over style and sophistication, providing a strange comparison with the contemporary work displayed this week.

After another coffee break we began to wane, but decided to fit in the Sunday Art Fair on Marylebone Road.

I’m not sure if it was a good idea. This is the second time we’ve been to this show and again we had the same problem (not sure if it was down to tiredness, what we’d seen earlier or the way the show is laid out) – we just could’nt get engaged with any of the work.

The open plan space does no favours for the work – which needs to be isolated to allow the viewer to find a way in. The trouble is you feel as if you’ve landed in an art version of a boot fair (without the cars) with the work of different artists and galleries mixing with confused ‘buyers’ who also become part of the work.

After half an hour of perceverance we gave up and went home. Ready for another day!

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Wednesday 12th October

Today we started our London Art Week experience – first on the list was Gerhard Richter at Tate Modern:

A retrospective of any artist with the stature of Richter is something that all art lovers look forward to, and with Lucien Freud & Richard Hamilton recently departed there are few painters that exist on his level. As with all blockbuster shows there were too many people with their clipboards listening to wise words on their earphones earnestly ticking each work off their lists – it was going to be a short visit for me! i shall go back at a quieter time. With a quick whiz through there are samples from all his career including some classics, although I found a large pale abstract in the second to last room that I hadn’t seen before – I would have liked to take that home.

Next on the list was The Drawing Prize at The Jerwood Space were we managed to have a great lunch in their cafe. The Drawing Prize once again uses the broadest idea of drawing to select work for the show – much of it worth seeing & I particularly enjoyed Nicki Rolls’s ‘Sketch’ 2011 video.

From there is was a short stop to see Poppy Sebire’s new space and then on to the new White Cube at Bermondsey.

The new Bermondsey space is massive – taking the commercial galleries to the level of those in LA. Unfortunateley the work on show also fitted an LA galley. Walking around you could smell the money and feel the buyer’s ambivalence to the meaning of the work, luckily there was an antidote with the Chapman Brothers vide on show in the last room – I’d be interested to meet the buyer of that piece! I hope we will see some good shows in the future at this space but the setup looks towards the money end of the market where the big names duplicate their offerings for the wealthy feeble-minded art monkey’s arriving in their Limo’s.

On the way to the Drawing Room we stopped by to visit the Vitrine Gallery in Bermondsey Square – neat idea to use large window as a gallery.

The Drawing Room is showing ‘The Peripatetic School: Itinerant drawing from Latin America’ and it’s well worth the visit,  again there are some interesting short video animations that catch the eyeand a great floor piece made from coloured dust. It was a nice contrast to the noise of the previous venues, as the work on show encourages contemplation.

To finish the day we visited The Minotaur at The Old Vic Tunnels near Waterloo. It took ages to find – the directions to it are terrible. After paying the entrance fee £5.00 we were directed through a curtain into a low lit, dry ice filled space under Waterloo Station (you could hear the trains passing overhead), it reminded me of nightclub experiences in the early eighties! The work on show was of mixed interest, ranging from quite facinating to rather bad & lame. The most effective in the space was the video work.

After that we enjoyed our walk home, discussing what we had seen and imagining what will be before us tommorrow.


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Mike Nelson – The Coral Reef

We visited Tate Britain and ‘The coral Reef’ again- still enjoying Mike Nelson’s work! Here’s a short video

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