Grayson Perry: Who are you? @ National Portrait Gallery


Naughty and nice, artist  Grayson Perry, the nation’s rebellious sweetheart has done it again. Following his major show Tomb of the unknown craftsman at the British Museum in 2012, where he integrated objects from his own “religion”, an imaginary belief system based on his childhood and favourite playmate stuffed teddy Alan Measles, with the British Museums collection  of objects relating to belief systems. Grayson Perry has now managed to infiltrate another major London institute: the National Portrait Gallery with Grayson Perry: Who are you?. Accompanied by a three-part series on Channel 4 (available online at Channel 4),

This time he has made 14 modern portraits and sneakily placed them amongst the esteemed company of the portraits of the great and the good of British society. The exhibition explores individuals, who like Grayson himself as a transvestite, are “constantly negotiating their identity”: from a vase depicting the disgraced politician Chris Huhnes’ fall-from-grace after his criminal conviction, to the story of a white gay couple who have adopted a mixed race child. They represent modern stories of identity at the point of a great crisis or transformation.



“Grayson Perry turns his attention to identity as he creates portraits – from tapestries to sculptures and pots – of diverse individuals who are all trying to define who they are”

– Channel 4



Starting with his own self portrait Map of Days in the form of a old-fashion bird’s eye view map of exploring the vanities, doubts and creative corners of his inner mind; often exploring delicate and sometimes controversial themes. Grayson Perry explores classic identity indicators such as gender, sexuality, religion, social status, and nationality, through the story of a young white woman who has converted from “consumerism” to Islam in The Ashford Hijab and picks apart three different types of identity in crisis: individual identity, group identity, and family identity, such as the constraints of the modern family, where children are raised by divorced parents in Idealised Heterosexual Couple.

His anthropological approach also delves deeper into modern identity issues relating to our celebrity culture and the pressure to conform to the fashion industry’s beauty ideals, relating the story of Melanie, Georgina and Sarah, a group celebrating their plus sized figures. Finally explores how trauma, disease and disability shape identity through the stories of individuals, such as the soldiers in The Line of Departure, or the Alzheimer patient in Memory Jar. These portraits may be just small snapshots into individual lives, but as a whole they are very revealing hinting at the changing face of Britain in the 21st century.

Insightful and delightful.



Grayson Perry: Who are you? is at the National Portrait Gallery until the 15th of March 2015  ( admission free // )

Art on a postcard ~ Hepatitis C charity auction



The Hepatitis C Trust’s Art on a Postcard charity auction event culminated this week with a private opening at Whitfield Fine Art. Exhibition managed to raise an impressive £42,000+  to help promote awareness on the debilitating disease and support the introduction of the new experimental cure to all the sufferers. I was also a great way for young art enthusiasts to get on the art collecting ladder, as the bids ranged from around £50 to £2000.

The postcards were created anonymously by established artists (Damien Hirst, Marc Quinn, Gilbert and George, Harland Miller, Cecily Brown, Jeremy Deller, Gavin Turk, Whitney McVeigh and Hannah Hewetson) as well as smaller names and students from RCA and Goldsmiths, and street artists such as Agent Provocateur, and photographers such as Hana Knizova (whose commission prize photograph is also unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery on the 18th!). Since the postcards were on public display only for 2 days, I wanted to share some of my favourite images. See if you can recognise the artists! :

More information can be found here and images of the postcards on the Hepatitis C Instagram page.



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Joan Fontcuberta: Stranger than Fiction


These fantastical photographs are from the recent exhibition at the Science Museum by Spanish artist Joan Fontcuberta. Stranger than Fiction, which will reopen at the National Media Museum (Bradford) next week, is a retrospective of six of Fontcuberta’s previous exhibitions: Fauna, Herbarium, Orogenesis, Constellations, Sirens and Karelia. The title of the exhibition sums up the mental processes of the artist well, for in essence Fontcuberta is a story teller of traditional fairytales. You will find miracle making monks, magical landscapes out of this world, constellations of stars which do not exists, strange plants, mythical animals, mysterious men, and mermaids.

The stories are built through pseudo-science: Fontcuberta presents his fictitious narratives as if they were true stories through scientific photographs and documentary-style videos, taxidermy specimens, anatomical drawings, and other archival “evidence” material. One of these stories, Sirens, is presented as a documentary on a new species of aquatic mammal “Hydropithecus alpinus” found in Provence by local priest Abbe Fontana in 1947. You’re shown clips of the archaeological dig in process, and scientific explanations of how the area was once a sea, and how this “mermaid” could be related to real existing species such as dugongs and manatees. As well as the “specialist” interviews with anthropo-palaeontologists and archaeologists,  the video informs us that the area has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Foncuberta uses every trick in the conman’s book: the specialists statements, association with respectable organisation, as well as a gripping back story all act as tricks to lure the viewer into a false sense of safety. And just in case the video itself is not enough to convince, to top it all off Fontcuberta’s tall tale is supported by photographs of the archaeological sites, one of the mermaid fossils, and well as a variety of Abbe Fontana’s letters and personal paraphernalia. The illusion is so multi-faceted that at times you forget that it’s all lies.


“Photography is a tool to negotiate our idea of reality. Thus it is the responsibility of photographers to not contribute with anaesthetic images but rather to provide images that shake consciousness.”
–  Joan Fontcuberta

Fontcuberta’s fantastical work highlights how our bias to believe everything we see when presented with a scientific approach. He in particular prefers subjects toward which his audience are culturally susceptible, where the viewer wants to believe that they could are true, such as mythical creatures from fairy tales or religious miracles, as a willingness to believe enhances this symbiosis of fantasy and fiction. Who does not dream of seeing a centaur or mermaid for real? Its a clever and playful exhibition on the relationship between the desire of our logical, thinking mind to see the world through a scientific objective terms and the desire of our child-like and spiritual mind to see beyond the physical world into a realm of magic, mystery, and miracles. A magical visit if you’re willing to believe.



Joan Fontcuberto opens @ the National Media Museum, Bradford, from the 20th of November – 5th of February 2015 (free admission // )

Hasan Kale – Micro art


Pumpkin seeds, snail shells, butterfly wings, onion peel, medicine pills, mint pastels, rice grains, the head of a matchstick and even a cactus spine…, Turkish artist Hasan Kale’s micro art paintings hide upon the tiniest and most delicate of objects. Hasan Kale’s micro paintings on a variety of challenging material surfaces demand the highest skills when it comes to technical execution.  And here I thought painting on egg shells was hard work with the round texture and small size. Particularly challenging are his works, usually beautifully painted tiny cityscapes of Istanbul painted in the style of classical landscape tradition, on organic materials: taxidermy insects, plants and flowers, food scraps and seeds.

Kale describes his fascination toward “daily objects onto which people don’t put much attention”. They are small and organic, and hence  perhaps insignificant on first glance, but they are transformed into beautifully delicate and ephemeral creations through their painted metamorphosis into art. He continues to strive to painting intricate images on smaller and smaller canvases, with his dream goal being able to create a “painting of the silhouette of Istanbul onto a strand human hair”.




I recommend having a look at the Youtube videos of Hasan  painting, which demonstrate his spectacular technique: He paints with a  tiny watercolour brush and Schmincke AERO COLOR fluid acrylics. Hasan’s images of Istanbul’s harbour remind you of the Italian master’s colour palette, with rich hues of sepia, raw umber, burnt sienna,  carmine red, gold ochre, and of course Turkish blue. He also uses a magnifying glass and he his finger as his test palette. He has to constantly hold his breath to keep his hand steady, as the smallest wrong move could potentially ruin the endeavour.

You can find Hasan Kale and more of his works on his Twitter or Facebook pages, and see him painting on his Youtube site.

Sohei Nishino: New Dioramas @ Michael Hoppen Gallery


Japanese photographer Sohei Nishino’s exciting New Dioramas exhibition opened last week at the Michael Hoppen gallery in Chelsea. Nishino, the 32-year-old emerging photographer handcrafts beautiful black-and-white collage maps of cities; the current show featuring maps of Tokyo, Kyoto, Rio de Janeiro, Amsterdam, Jerusalem, Berlin, New Delhi. Nishino’s diorama’s are portraits of cities rather than proportionally or geographically accurate maps: they show a fragmented view of the city from a Google street view-styled vantage point, but are subjective in nature, his memories and impressions of the streets dictating the appearance, like a picture painted from from memory. In particular his new show is an exciting evolution of his earlier work (including maps of London, New York, Paris, and Shanghai), adding glimpses of human faces to the beautifully crafted  maps, like the praying Jews by the wailing wall or the crowds of people on the streets of New Delhi, further enhancing our understanding of the flavour of each city.


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During the opening night Nishino described the extensive process behind each map, which begins with an extensive  stay in each city lasting around 4 months during which Nishino photographs the streets, sights, and people. He then returns to his studio in Japan where he hand-prints and cuts out the thousands of pictures he has taken, and manually builds them into a collage of the city  resulting in a delightfully dynamic images: “Rapid cultural and economic development creates a continuous process of amplification and accumulation within cities.  I walk through these cities, camera in hand, capturing multi-facetted views that I then combine, one by one, in accordance with my memories, arranging them into a map that portrays all the singular aspects of the place.  The result is quite different from the denotative expression of a map; it uses photographs (single 35mm frames) of concrete objects or shapes as units to recreate a geographical representation, expressing the city through human memories and images.  This means that the finished work is anything but an accurate map, it is simply the town as seen through the eyes of a single individual, a trace of the way in which I walked through it, an embodiment of my awareness, a microcosm of the life and energy that comprise the city.” I’m looking forward to seeing his next set of images, which I hear will include more experiments with colour.

Sohei Nishino: New Dioramas is on until the 7th of January 2015 @ the Michael Hoppen Gallery ( )

Roger Law: ceramics from Jingdezhen @ Sladmore Gallrey

The cunning caricaturist, with a 30-year career as the creator the puppets for British political satire Spitting Image, Roger Law now in his 70s is in the middle of the blossoming of his second career, a foray into the world of Chinese ceramics. Roger Law’s new opening at the Sladmore Gallery, off Berkeley square, demonstrates that his ceramics are everything his caricatures were not: aesthetically beautiful and  respectful toward the Chinese tradition within which he works. Their understated elegance demonstrates a confidence, where art no longer needs to shout or shock to be noticed. Yet, the one characteristic that his work maintains is its playful nature, immediately apparent when one discovers the shocked and aghast expression of the wide-eyed Mudskipper staring out from what it thought was its oh-so-clever hiding place at the bottom of the bowl.







The marine-themed chinese pots with their complementing Celadon glaze are a simple, yet fresh interpretation on a long-standing tradition of  Jingdezhen’s (China’s porcelain capital) ceramics, where Roger Law works for extended periods. The fish, dragons, and other mysterious marine creatures bounce off the surface with liveliness, bringing a real sense of the swirling swimming movement to the surface tension of his pots. His crabs and fish dance along the plates joyously, whislt the blue lobster stares back at us with a knowing and humourous smirk. To top off this frutti di mare of ceramic delights stands the great red Lobster Pot, with a shape that springs to mind Imperial regality and a pair of upside-down lobsters masquerading as handles, it makes you simultaneously giggle and awe in its delight.

A mixture of playful caricature and traditional elegance  — five stars to mr. Law

Roger Law: Ceramics from Jingdezhen on @ the Sladmore Gallery until the 15th of November 2014 (

The Pre-Raphaelites & the Impressionists @ Ashmolean

I spent a rainy Tuesday afternoon in the Ashmolean museum in Oxford, which is just like a miniature of the British Museum, and no less impressive. It would take me forever to describe the vast and wonderous collection of archeology, artefacts, and paintings in the museum, so I am going to focus on the small but concise permanent collections of Pre-Raphaelite and Impressionist works, which were my main reason for going to the Ashmolean.

Collins – Convent Thoughts (1851)

In the Pre-Raphaelite collection, the main attraction for me was Charles Alston Collins’ masterpiece Convent Thoughts, which is executed beautifully in minute brushstrokes and exact botanical detail akin to Dürer’s studies of grasses and animals. Many of the other famous pre-Raphaelite pieces in the collection I had already seen in Tate Britain during the 2012 Pre-Raphaelite exhibition, including Hunt’s A Converted British Family Sheltering a Christian Missionary from the Persecution of the Druids and Millais’ The Return of the Dove to the Ark and portrait of John Ruskin (there is a movie being released in October about Millais’ relationship with Ruskin and his wife Effie, who he  subsequently ran off with). The show made me fascinated with the Pre-Raphaelites, and I distinctly remember staring at an image of Convent Thoughts in the shows catalogue Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-garde, and being captivated (the picture wasn’t a part of the actual exhibition, only reproduced in the catalogue). I was also delighted to see a small study for Pretty Baa Lambs by Maddox Brown and some of Edward Burne-Jones’s numerous watercolours Music and Danaë and the Brazen Tower.

William Holman Hunt – A Converted British Family Sheltering a Christian Missionary from the Persecution of the Druids (1850)

Another interesting aspect of the Ashmolean’s collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings are the religious paintings done in the Holy lands, including Edward Lear’s Jerusalem and Thomas Seddon’s View on the Nile.  The Pre-Raphaelite focus on the realistic depiction of biblical stories prompted many of the artists to travel to the Holy lands, and paint there directly in order to capture the real landscape and people of the Book, in particular the key locations of Biblical Events. I particularly was interested in William Holman Hunt’s work: Plain of Esdraelon from the Heights above Nazareth and The Afterglow in Egypt, as he was the most avid Pre-Raphaelite pursuing Biblical themes.

William Holman Hunt – Plain of Esdraelon from the Heights above Nazareth


Pierre Bonnard – A Path in the Forest (c. 1919)

On to the Impressionist section, which had a wonderful collection of works including painting from the key French players (Manet, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Pissarro, Toulouse-Lautrec), English Impressionists (Sickert, Whistler, Sisley), Post-Impressionists (Vuillard, Matisse, Bonnard) as well as other important paintings from important predecessors in the plein-air painting style (Jongkind, Boudin, Coubert, Corot).

The collection focused particularly on the Pissarros (both Camille, his son Lucien, as well as his granddaughter Orovida), from their period staying in London where Camille Pissarro moved his family at the start of the Franco-Prussian War. In particular, I was attracted to Camille Pissarro’s sketchy Bath Road, London and Lucien Pissarro’s The Garden Gate, Epping, which to me is proof that although he is often overshadowed by his father’s fame Lucien is a master painter in his own right.

Camille Pissarro – Bath Road, London (1897)

Lucien Pissarro – The Garden Gate, Epping (1894)

The collection also housed two unfinished works by Manet, one of them was a still life A Basket of Pears, which I was absolutely blown away by. It was a simple enough sketch, but the reason I found is so powerful is because it perfectly demonstrates why Manet, whose finished works (though daring) are often very highly finished and follow the Salon tradition, is considered the father of the Impressionist movement. A Basket of Pears shows clearly Manet’s Impressionistic qualities: his signature bold brushstrokes and fast sketchy painting technique. I found it so revealing being able to see these details so vividly demonstrated.

Manet – A basket of pears (1882)

Finally I was drawn to two female figures Toulouse-Lautrec’s pastel coloured vision La toilette made with such lovely brushstrokes that they look like falling rose petals rather than paint, and a promising early painting by Marie Laurencin: Artist’s mother. A female Post-Impressionist and Cubist painter and printmaker Marie Laurencin (1883-1956) was a new name for me. Her painting with the tonally harmonious background, seated woman in a black dress, and a curtain on the left in the background reminded me of Whistler’s picture on the same subject Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – La Toilette (1891)


Marie Laurencin – Artist’s mother (1906)


Moore-Rodin @ Compton Verney

aug 2014 003IF you have free time this weekend, there is another fabulous LAST CHANCE TO SEE exhibition on until the end of the week at Compton Verney House just on the border of Warwickshire and Gloucestershire.

For their 10th anniversary the historic house is hosting a Henry Moore & Auguste Rodin sculpture exhibition, which is spread across the beautiful Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown designed landscape garden and continues inside the historic house alongside they permanent collection, which comprises of small but well put together collections Neapolitan Baroque art, Medieval religious art and portraits, Chinese bronze vessels, and a collection of British folk art. The exhibition reflects on the shared themes and interests of the two artists, as well as the influence that Rodin’s work had on Moore. Their intensive focus on the human figure, on nature and classical antiquity; as well as shared similarities in their drawing, models, and the influence of photography on the two artists. The whole show is a dialogue, between Rodin and Moore of course, but also a dialogue with history itself presented through the classical landscape and the traditional art collection they have been set in:


Starting in the grounds, it was very interesting seeing the eleven larger sculptural pieces set against the traditional 18th-century landscape garden, curiously interacting with the elements in the grounds: Rodin’s Eve nestled amongst the protective trees in a grove, Cybele set against the rolling hills and trees, and the Walking man striding briskly across the blue sky above Compton Verney house. I especially liked the way Moore’s Seated Woman was from one angle quietly looking at the lake, her calm pose reflecting the calm surface of the lake; and from the other angle looking at Rodin’s Arch, perhaps admiring its reflection in the water.

Moving to the inside built a strong link which the nature outside: a fascinating part of the exhibition was seeing pieces from the artists’ own collections curated by Henry Moore’s daughter Mary. These consisted of found objects, such as shells from the beach, stones, and so on, in addition fragments and sculptures from antiquity. Going back to antiquity, nature, and erosion as a main artistic reference is not only represented by the artists’ collecting, but also of course in their work. Moore’s Working model for locking piece (1962) has a delicate and beautiful green patina reminiscent of the adjacent room’s collection of chinese bronze vessels. Moore is known to have been interested in non-western antiquity in particular as a source of reference for his modern sculptural forms. The presence of erosion is another reference the artists took from antiquity indeed many of the works on show resemble damaged classical sculptures like Rodin’s headless Cybele or Moore’s Upright Motive No.9.

Erosion also presents itself in the way that many of Rodin’s and Moore’s the sculptures seem to be a collection of fluid shapes dissolving into each other. Moore’s  Three piece sculpture: Vertebrae as well as Reclining figure: bunched are made out of melted or fused elements, from which the surface details and texture seems to have been washed away. Likewise many of Rodin’s work, for example one of the models for the Gates of Hell (third Maquette 18881-82), seem to emerge from a single solid entity. Moore identifies that many of these fluids traits in Rodin’s work hark back to Michelangelo’s classical sculpture, a style where the sculpture emerges from the stone it is hewn from.


Despite many of the artists’ references coming from classical antiquity, these artists present their modern attitudes especially in the context of the human body. Rodin’s work is a strong break from classicism in the sense that Rodin’s bodies were never idealised, depiction of real human flesh was a central concern for him and the Impressionists. In an interview done in 1970 with Tate director Alan Bowness (see here), Moore talks extensively about Rodin figures and their impact on him. In particular Rodin’s ability to depict the body: Moore describes in reference to Rodin’s Balzac, final study (1897)*, that even though it is robed, you can “feel inside into the sculpture” and that Rodin modelled the body nude and then draped it. Another interesting sculpture that well reflects Rodin’s ability to reflect the internal structure of the body is Eve, where Rodin had to keep re-sculpting the model’s abdomen until he realised that she was actually pregnant, a happy accident considering that Eve represents the “mother of mankind”. Moore cites his understanding of the “asymmetry of the body from every view” and tension in the body “pressures from beneath the surface” as the key elements that he admired in Rodin. Although Moore’s work is a complete break from realistic body/form, he does maintain these key elements of internal tension, which I think is evident in the legs of the Reclining figure: bunched.

*Balzac is an interesting piece for Moore to admire, in the sense that the initial reaction to the sculpture was so negative that the commission was never realised during Rodin’s lifetime and was only erected after his death, perhaps reflecting the change toward modern tastes in sculpture.


Finally the show makes an interesting comparison through the marks that the two artists made. Like with the case of Inner voice, Rodin is famous for seemingly unfinished, rough surfaces, and relishing any accidents such as bubbles forming in the casting process; likewise with many of the Moore sculptures the marks of making and seams from casting are left on show. A large difference in texture emerges from the process of making: soft and rounded finger marks for Rodin, who preferred to hand-sculpt his works, whilst angular and rougher tool marks for Moore.

The two artists sketches were very exciting to compare as well, as here you can sense a real familiarity. Rodin’s beautiful experiments with washes and gouache ( I recommend Rodin: drawing and watercolours [Thames & Hudson 2006] for anyone interested) reflecting volume, directly correspond to some of the studies done by Moore that were in the show, particularly Moore’s Standing nude girl one arm raised (1922), which on first glance I actually confused for a Rodin. The most significant contrast here is the strong sense of movement and capturing an instant of the body in motion present in Rodin’s, who speed sketched from dancing models from life and which links him further with his Impressionist contemporaries. Whilst Moore’s poses are timeless and restful and meditative, standing still, sitting staring into space or reclining as with The three fates (1948). Photography and photo-collage were another medium, which both artists used as a reference, creating curious and sometimes quite scary Frankensteinian figures by fusing together parts from different human bodies and classical statues. This technique reflects the way both artists tended to reuse or rework parts or bodies again and again, Rodin’s Walking man, conceived out of separate upper body and lower body, and Monument to the Burghers of Calais (1889) put together from separate statues, are just a few example among many. Concluding the various dialogues between Moore and Rodin, sculpture and nature, sculpture and history, with the internal sculptural dialogue of their own work. -SIX-EYED-CAT

Moore-Rodin is on at Compton Verney House until the 31st of August 2014.







Jerwood Makers 2014 @ Jerwood Visual Arts


LAST week I went to see the Jerwood Makers 2014 commission show at the Jerwood Visual Arts space on Union St. (just south of Tate Modern). Lucky was on my side and I made it in just before the skies opened and delivered  a strong rain shower. Jerwood Visual Arts is a beautiful little gallery, but even more so they are deeply engaged in discussion and research and developing talent through their extensive events, lectures, competitions, and other artist opportunities (and central hive of the place is a buzzing, beautiful glassed-encased cafe courtyard). The Jerwood Makers competition is one of their central artist interaction and development initiatives and has been running since 2011. Each year they commission pieces from five young artists (within the first 10 years of their practice), specialising in applied arts, and in particular focus on experimentation with materials and techniques, their relevance today, as well as address the many preconceptions associated with applied arts and crafts, such as the stigma of female domestic crafts and hobbyism, as well as current relevance of artisanal skills in a world of intensive mass production and the associated issue of locality in the midst of a globalising world.

This years show featured 5 artists:

1. Hitomi Hosono Colouring and carving – Tropical Island Project

Hitomi Hosono’s craft is based both on a foundation in traditional Japanese pottery making as well as the European heritage of potteries, particularly with the early botanical inspired designs and use of sprig ornamentation (embossed ornamental motif normally massmade using moulds ) in Wedgwood ceramics. Her recent work has focused on plain porcelain vase designs rethinking the traditional ‘sprig’  with a more sculptural approach. For the Jerwood commission she has experimented with colour and created 5 beautiful, fresh and brightly coloured bowls with organic leaf details inspired by the flora of the  South Pacific Islands: hibiscus, corals, mangrove, and banana leaf. Particularly seductive were her Mangrove green bowl, a beautiful dark bottle green bowl, with leaves streaming from the bowels as well as growing from the exterior of the bowl and her tall, black Banana leaf vase, with a beautiful silver gilded interior and leaved exterior. Her organic bowls comprise of layers of foliage, and breaking with the mass production tradition of the sprig, each of her leaves are painstakingly, individually hand-sculpted.


2. FleaFolly Architects, Parscal Bronner and Thomas Hillier The Modern Prometheus

Architects Parscal  Bronner and Thomas Hillier have conjured up a fascinating imaginary building as a visualisation of our social networks and all the digital codes and passwords  we live with. It is a mythical Alexandrian Library of digital data. A tall, black Tower of Babel reaching to the sky, each floor filled with golden servers made out of tiny, shiny, polished brass pieces and with fascinating Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein inspired hanging transport baskets. It is a representation of human life in the information age. They have worked with an imposing scale, which in addition to the dark colours and the sculptural material choices, cleverly blends the line between modern sculpture and traditional architectural models.

3. Shelley James  Elemental Symmetries

Shelley James is interested in the relationship between science and art, and works closely with scientists, philosophers, technology specialists in prototyping software, as well as with the traditional glass handlers to expand the horizon of glass manipulation techniques. For this commission she has created 5 polygonal glass shapes with internal structures to represent the 5 classical elements: air,earth, water, fire and ‘ether’.

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4. Matthew Raw  The Shifting Spirit

Matthew Raw’s piece takes the form of a traditional blue and yellow ceramic tiled pub front, made with the beautiful, long London ceramic tiles (kind you still see on the walls of older tube stations like Covent Garden and Camden Town). His work reflects the themes of locality and community heritage. The quintessential pub representing the endangered gathering spot and heart of a community that like the heritage tiles of the underground stations is under threat from the rapid urbanisation and changing cityscape. The tiles and concept themselves were beautiful, but I wasn’t so convinced with the execution of the piece. I understand that the hollow internal section is supposed to emphasise the fact that it is simply a superfiscial facade and that the metaphorical ‘internal contents’ of local culture, which the pub front is supposed to represent, is l0st. However I found the empty structure rather distracting and it made the rest of the beautiful artisanal piece look dissapointingly shabby.

Matthew Raw – The Shifting Spirit

5. Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen  We have to work hard and work with our heart, It is so Brightness, & Customers are real people and real feeling.

Artist duo Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen are from furniture and industrial design backgrounds, and their choice of material reflects this foundation aptly: They work with electronics and mechanics, as well as biological material. Their approach to their materials however, is far from ordinary choosing to address attitudes toward post-industrial objects made using the inventions of technology and mass production with a sculptural approach, and like Hitomi Hosono, each piece is bespoke and hand-finished. For the Jerwood commission they have created three light installations, ‘poems’ you could say. At first they look like an abstract mish-mash of random letter fused together with lights flickering on different sections.Then a single word begins to appear, and disappears back into the lights to form the next, like secret writing in a window appears and disappears as you breathe moisture onto the surface.

Jerwood Makers is at Jerwood Visual Arts on until the 31st of August 2014 after which it will tour at Newton Abbot and Oldham (free admission // )