Saturday, 15 October 2011

Bimonthlies 7, 7 October 2011


And so it came to pass that on the Seventh of October our collective descended on the Reading Room & Chapel in Wellingore for an evening of artists' presentations and interventions which encompassed Beacon Bimonthlies Seven. A fabulous and illuminating time was had by all.
I am James Phaily, a  BA Fine Art student at The University of Lincoln. I keep a blog to record my development as a visual artist, have a look http://james-phaily.blogspot.com/
The audience at Bimonthlies 7
The evening began with an inspiring presentation from artist 
The artist took us on a journey through his career since graduating from his BA in Fine Art at The University of Lincoln in 2007. Steven focussed on the exhibitions he has participated in since leaving art college, such as his first professional exhibition which completely sold out and the exhibition Fresh 2 in Nottingham during 2008, which led to him being awarded “best in show.” In 2008, the artist was also awarded the Derby Open which led to subsequent exhibitions at the Derby City Museum and Art gallery, Leicester City Gallery and Nottingham Castle. In 2009 Steven was awarded funding from Arts Council England to produce work for the Derby City show. Steven also enthusiastically told us about his Studio practice and painting technique. He sometimes works on a painting for up to six months. Steven works from hundreds of photographs from the city to create energetic works such as “Structural Tranquillity” (2010) and sublime constructions of technique and form such as “Lego Brick Bollard” (2009). One thing is for certain, Steve  Ingman knows about paint and applies it with meaning and understanding.

The artist's more recent work takes the form of photo-realistic arboreal landscapes influenced by the scenery surrounding the village of Misson on the border of Nottinghamshire where Steven grew up. In these works Ingman is interested in the application of paint and depth of colour such as his 2010 piece Golden Bark. Steven Ingman is also co-ordinator of a studio space for ten artists in Nottingham entitled 3rd Space Studios, which has enabled him to have a studio space to work in and to be part of a community of artists working in Nottingham.

And so now to the labour-intensive, beautifully executed work of 
The artist treated us to a wonderful talk on her work. First, she explained her nervousness about public speaking and invited the audience to put specially made bags on our heads, which we dutifully did, creating a slightly eerie atmosphere.
The audience wearing Sophie Cullinan's bags on their heads
Sophie's art career began with the desire to work with her own feelings of identity as a new mother after working previously for Granada TV Studios for eight years. Sophie worked for Granada following her graduation from Edinburgh University with a degree in embroidery. 

Sophie Cullinan always brings a lot of humour to her concepts and creations and likes to invoke audience participation and interaction. Her work is arguably a reaction to the stereotypes that women fall into when they become housewives and mothers. Cullinan uses the discarded and unwanted to achieve this goal.  Sophie told us how through her art she reclaims her identity from the traditional symbols of the modern women and subverts this in an ironic and amusing way. One can only encounter a recent piece such as Worn (2010), "which takes a feminine symbol of a multi-faceted archetypal woman and challenges society's structural expectations and clich├ęs," to understand that Cullinan is challenging our perceptions of the modern woman in a humorous and interactive way. This theme is also apparent in the 2005 piece, Trophy Wife, which had the amusing premise of being a collection of housewife of the year trophies. Sophie’s latest project has been workshops with children. In these workshops it would not be unusual to see a large totem created by each child in the group or a flock of paper doves spiralling around a light for International Peace Day. A variation on the peace dove theme was also created to accompany the Picasso exhibition at Tate Liverpool. Sophie has also created a field of Spring Flowers made of found materials which was harvested by its makers.

At the end of her talk she invited us to create our perfect women...that were edible, so we could eat them or allow the artist to take them with her to create her next body of work
The Perfect women
Everyone took a break and were urged to take time to look at Ellie Harrison's Early Warning Sign, being hosted outside the Beacon headquarters pre touring. Created for Artsadmin’s Two Degrees festival, these signs utilise the brazen marketing techniques of capitalism, not as a tool to sell us more, but as a tool to simply remind us of the consequences of our consumption. In the interests of her new mantra ‘reduce, reuse, recycle your art’, Ellie Harrison is now facilitator of a lifelong project to tour the four signs to different public locations, so they can continue to ‘promote’ their cause. The 2012 host venues will be Site Gallery in SheffieldDundee Contemporary Arts and the CCAand Trongate 103in Glasgow.

Ellie Harrison's Early Warning Sign
Also in front of the Chapel, was a new exhibit by Danica Maier in the Postmethodists' Broadcaster exhibition venue. This is the final exhibition in Landscape vs. Land-Scape a year long curated programme with a focus on Landscape. The Postmethodists are a group of Lincolnshire based artists living and working in converted chapels.
Danica Maier's Cunnycrag, The Broadcaster
in conversation with Beacon’s Nicola Streeten, was the last artist of the evening and it is safe to say she did not disappoint. Sheinman cannot remember a time when she did not want to be an artist and sees herself as a painter whose work more often than not morphs into the three-dimensional. Sally spent her early career working as an artist on Wall Street, but after relocating to the United Kingdom her concepts and creativity have really made waves. The artist's work is distinctly interactive and uses the consumer of her art as co-contributor and source of inspiration. This could arguably be seen in Sheinman’s first slide which was of a piece in a gallery of 2000 two-sided little paintings. Unusually, those who came to see the exhibition were invited to title the work. Her project Days, also began from an interesting start point. The artist created a painting every day and a statement to accompany it. Unfortunately the opening of the exhibition was marred by the tragedy of nine/eleven and the passing away of Sally’s mother.
Sally Sheinman, left, in conversation with Nicola Streeten
I Wish, is probably one of Sally Sheinman’s most iconic pieces, taking as its basis the opportunity for the public to share their clandestine wishes. This project is ongoing and has an internet presence on the artist’s website. Sheinman was also very pleased to have been interviewed about the exhibition on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. This idea was echoed later when the artist set up a booth in a hospital where patients were invited to share anonymous comments on their hospital experience and life in general. 

Sally Sheinman is enamoured with the art of writing and finds it aesthetically fulfilling. The artist’s current project, Let's Celebrate is a new piece of work centred on an exhibition of 250 exquisitely painted sculptures that has toured around five National Trust properties around the country. Through this work the artist hopes to connect with the idea of celebration particularly in conjunction with England’s hosting of the 2012 Olympics.

Sally also finished with an invitation to the audience to participate in the creation of a new piece of work. 
She instructed us to write on small pieces of gold paper what makes us unique.

And so another bimonthly drew to a close and we all remarked on what a great time we had had. Please join us again on 2 December for another cornucopia of artistic endeavour at Bimonthlies 8

James Phaily-October 2011.

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