Visiting Lecturer Reviews
Abigail works mainly with old images from books which she has a vast collection of. She joins photos together, creating a contrasting context e.g. Protests and Morris dancers. Abigail is interested in the detail of the pages and highlights these in some cases with glass. She chooses photos which to her are beautifully composed yet are by anonymous photographers and have no recognition. She enjoys looking at a space and how it is going to work and is very interested in looking at ideals of how England could be like. Abigail focuses in imagery and connecting two contrasting things which relates a lot to my work within science and art and how everything can and is connected in some way.
One of her shows ‘A common treasury’ 18/02/2012- 24/03/2012 involved glass, books and industrial materials to express Britain’s ideological relationship to landscape. The exhibition consisted of fairly large installations, involving large coloured glass in which the audience could walk around and view from different angles. The exhibition was placed in a fairly light space which I feel benefited the use of coloured glass in her work and the outcome would be different if placed in a darker, less open space.
Bristol Diving School
Bristol Diving School was founded by artists who were still currently studying Fine Art in their 3rd year. It is an Artist ran gallery and has been self-generated which has an impact on how it is ran.
Each year these artists run the space and it is run unfunded. Because of this there is no public requirement on what they need to be showing giving them a lot more free will in their gallery space. To create money, Bristol Diving School generate a lot of fund raisers such as BBQ’s and music nights which as well as bringing in money to fund exhibitions, also brings in more of a future audience.
Al the artists working at the gallery work collaboratively with each other and any work made becomes “Bristol Diving School” rather than the Artist’s name. They also collaborate with other groups of Artists who do similar things.
Bristol Diving School began with 6 members and is now currently at 20 and will continue to increase each year. They find that many of their audience consist of students as they are located close to the university and Spike Island.
Within the gallery space, they rent out studios on the second floor to young artists which also bring in their rent money for the space. The first floor is where exhibitions are held. Bristol Diving School feel that the people working in the studios and the work in the exhibition space feed well into one another creating a good environment for young artists. Altogether the space is very industrial and multi-disciplinary due to the buildings previous ownership.
Bristol Diving School host many Networking events to bring in collaborations and new audience. A lot of the time they do not make work but host shows and events with similar interests to Bristol Diving Schools. Many of these events help to fund raise as well as extend their networking beyond the artist led scene.
In this piece, Crabeels focuses on the theme of the space between the world of walking? and sleeping. his piece is an installation of video recordings of bells ringing in Antwerp. The room in which the videos are placed helps to enhance he bell ringing and the room vibrates from the sound making a physical and hypnotising experience for the audience. He also spoke of how he would of preferred to have given the audience laughing gas for the experience but couldn’t because of health and safety regulations. For this project, he also built his own installation space, however people were not pleased to see the black installation next to the church and created a petition to get it down. Altogether the installation stayed up for four weeks.
Come in (1998)
‘Come in’ was a performance revolving around the private space of an artist. Crabeels locked himself in his studio space and invited people to come over and visit him, but when they arrived he would not answer and let them in. For this he filmed their reactions from the door on the inside of the room. The people would bang on the door and shout and it would become quite violent with even people trying to bash open the door.
Within this artwork, Crabeels plays around with the idea of having the inside and the outside space cross over. He creates a video where a man is wearing shoes which are glue to the floor and asked to remove his waistcoat without taking off his jacket and then he is asked to put it on again in the same way that he took it off (Fig 28). The video is projected into the gallery and shown on a flat screen in conjunction to paintings on the walls. Crabeels covers the theme of inside and outside in most of his works.
Slave was a performance piece involving 2 people constantly taking pictures of each other whilst moving around each other in certain positions. Each time the flash of the cameras go, the angles changed. This piece was concentrating on how the power of the media is constantly dominating us, and with the powerful angle changes with the sharp flashes I feel the performance represented this well. The performance was shown as a video on a free standing transparent screen in the gallery and was shown for 50 minutes maximum. (Fig 29)
Outplacement was an artwork which focused on audience participation. A camera was set up in the parking lot and people walking past were asked to give a 60 second portrait video of themselves. These people were then invited to see the finished 60 moments at the gallery which brought in a new audience to the gallery.
Song Chanson (2003)
Crabeels also works as a Curator:
For this project, Crabeels worked in a group, choosing an empty office space next to the river Antwerp, a derelict and industrial area. The area had petroleum waste flowing in the ground and the project member wanted to clear out the space and plant flowers on the mound. Plans were made and money was brought in but the project was thrown away eventually, however Crabeels made sure he was paid for where he worked up to.
Crabeels was asked to create a more cultural place out of a shopping centre where small shops had been pushed into bankruptcy. He managed to obtain a budget to set up a show and got artists together such as minimalist painting artist, Viot Lieck, Kempenaers, Ronny Heirmans, Sven Angustijnen and Han van den Broeck. The project came together nicely and there was a 2 level performance within the shops where the performers would fall through the floor whilst the audience would watch through the shop windows.
Donna Howard from KARST
KARST was originally an unused industrial building. However it is now a new, non-profit and Artist-led space. Donnah Howard helps to co-run KARST. Altogether the team is made up of a; Director, project co-ordinator, studio manager, interns, project assistants and volunteers. For the first year, in order to run 6 major international exhibitions they were funded by the Arts council. Their current exhibition this year is funded at £10,000. Other than funding from the Arts Council, KARST also find other ways of funding their exhibitions through things such as sponsorship, studio holders, events and awards. KARST also have guest curated projects.
Sarah Chapman- Curator at the Peninsula Art Gallery
The Peninsula Gallery want to bring in international/national artists to make Plymouth known as a more cultural place. They want to increase community engagement using culture as an interface between the public. They also want to bring big names in to get the gallery better known.
The gallery is a comfortable, cultural setting for the public to access talks and ask questions in a more informal way.
As well as artists, they get a lot of scientists and professors to hold talks in the gallery space as they have many connections through the university and are very interested in the interaction between Art and Science.
One of the most expensive shows “Disposable people” was priced at £3.5milion with Plymouth’s very well-known artist Berryl Cook who was interested in changing factors and trends. This show was classed as a ‘category A’ exhibition which are exhibitions belonging to the National Collections. These exhibitions are very expensive to insure and the Peninsula Art gallery cannot afford this however someone else was able to cover the cost for this particular show.
The Gallery is currently building a new performance art centre opposite the space across the road where they are working with city partners to bring big events into the city.
They bring in activities, support and Orchestra and have also partnered with literature works. They find that there are many challenges such as communication a complicated exhibition to their audience which ranges from children to professors. A setback for the space, because of being connected to the university, is that many of their audience expect information and to learn about the work shown as they expect it to be a place of learning when really the gallery is fairly separate. However being connected with the university can have many positive effects and it is just getting the balance right.
Sarah Chapman fells that the large windows in the space can be a good or a bad thing, especially when it comes to the artwork. Personally I feel they make the space less intimidating but sometimes let in far too much light which can sometimes affect the artwork. Within the space, they try and make whatever concept the Artists have possible whilst bearing in mind health and safety, although they try not to limit them.
(See Appendix E for more images)
By Kath Howard (2013)