Issue 20 Articles
Magazine: Issue 20
Review: Camberwell Degree Show 2013
REVIEW: CAMBERWELL BA DEGREE SHOW 2013 It’s that time of year again! Across London sleep deprived art students have been frantically sanding, painting and welding their final shows together, and it’s a big deal, as curators and gallerists take this opportunity to poach and represent new talent from this pool of emerging artists. The finalists this year have not taken this task lightly, across the board technical skill and inventiveness has met conceptual weight, and the shows have not disappointed. After visits to around 6 degree shows, and probably about 500 + artists later, it was Camberwell’s exhibition that nabbed it for me. Testament to the shows quality, during my visit I went back a second time to take in certain works (and it’s definitely not because I was lost in Camberwell’s hallowed halls). It was clear Camberwell students are encouraged not to adhere too strictly to the traditional confides of their chosen disciplines. Graphics spilled into sculpture, drawing into sound, photography into installation. It was almost futile separating the disciplines to some degree (show), but many of the exhibiting artists clearly had reacted well to this approach. Quite stark too was the tongue in cheek tone of the exhibition as a whole, graduate shows have a tendency to take themselves too seriously (understandably straining under the weight of expectation), but this lightness of touch served them well. Wrestling with a weighty subject with humour (a very British device) was Tina Emenyeonu, her ‘LOST: BLACK WOMAN’ posters, riddled with stereotypes to help identify her, littered the campus pinboards and the surrounding area, the artist later telling me they’d have to be replenished daily as they were ripped down. The project, along with an interview sound piece with her (Jewish) husband addresses the misrepresentation of black people in the media. The conversation gets quite heated and Emenyeonu makes some strong arguments that are readily ripped apart by the artist’s husband (who also happens to be a stand-up comedian) who at one point proclaims “Well, did you see any eskimoes in the show?”. It makes for a thought provoking listen. Nick Greenbank this took the form of underwhelming news billboards with a sensationalist bent, urging us to question untrustworthy news sources. Samuel McWilliam also delves into the increasing blur between credence and fantasy in relation to the natural world, taking the curios of zoos and museums as a spring board; McWilliam’s mini worlds lie somewhere between theatrical set and science book cross section to subtly arresting effect. Jessica Juganaikloo), and walking through a deserted crack den, somehow worked alongside some crisp minimalism very well. Daisy Logan’s ‘Objects of Delight’ succinctly satirise a trend in sculpture for the big and awe inspiring (sculpture abhors a vacuum apparently) ‘all mouth no trouser works’ by creating an illusion of infinity utilising vapid material presented with museum like manners. The artist also talks of ‘the infinite and unfulfilling nature of escapism’ which can be applied to all culture. View a sculpture floor highlights here. See SLAM’s Motoko Fujita’s Camberwell UAL artist interviews here. By Rachel Price More on the soon to be Camberwell graduates of 2013: Photography Illustration Graphic Design Don’t miss South London’s upcoming MA shows... Goldsmiths MFA show 2013 | Pool Exhibition PV: Thursday 4 July 2013 6pm - 9pm Friday 5 July - Monday 8 July 2013 10am - 7pm except Sunday 7 July 2013 10am - 4pm Wimbledon College of Art | MA Show 2013 Merton Hall Road, London, SW19 3QA Friday 6 September - Thursday 12 September 2013 Camberwell College of Arts | MA Show 2013 45 Peckham Road, London SE5 8UF Thursday 5 September - Thursday 12 September 2013
Spotlight No 1: 38B Gallery
GALLERY SPOTLIGHT 1: 38b Gallery, 38b Peckham Rye, London, SE15 4JR As we welcome 38b as one of South London Art Map’s newest additions, Rachel Price catches up with Eva Rowson on the ins and outs of operating a gallery from your living room…. 38b is an occasional series of exhibitions and events programmed by Luke Drozd and Eva Rowson in their flat at 38b Peckham Rye. 38b started in 2010 out of a desire to create a space for both themselves and artists they admire to show new work and try out ideas, and the most immediate, cheapest way to do this was for Luke and Eva to transform their living room in Peckham into an exhibition space. Some artists have preferred to strip the room of any trace of their inhabitancy and use it as a white walled gallery and others have enjoyed playing with the domesticity of the setting. 38b Gallery continue to host exhibitions at 38b Peckham Rye but as they intend to start programming projects beyond the flat their intentions remain the same - to provide an accessible and uncostly space for artists to experiment and exhibit. ________________________________________ RP: In a difficult climate for galleries, opening up your front room as a gallery space seems like an incredibly smart move. What problems, if any, have you encountered along the way? ER: Neighbours, shoddy doorbells, having to eat and live amongst artworks. RP: You began your programme in 2010, are there any projects or exhibitions that have particularly stuck in your mind? Perhaps that utilised the space / context well? ER: All of the artists we’ve worked with have used the space in a different way - either clearing out all our belongings so it’s clear space or playing with its domestic nature and inserting their work into the fabric of the room. I really like this flexibility as it creates quite a different environment each time. We’ve had a break from doing any projects in the flat for a year so we’re now looking forward to starting again with the next exhibition from Nous Vous opening on 28 June. In particular, Jennifer Bailey in her show New Girls in 2011 wanted to keep it very much as a living room to imply associations between the female forms in her photographs and hand-sculpted ceramic vessels and our ornaments and furniture. Elements from this show were included in the 2012 New Contemporaries so it felt very different then seeing it in a white-walled gallery setting. Danielle Arnaud and The Agency. What do you know about these spaces and have they helped inform your decision in any way? ER: I think there’s a long history of artists exhibiting in their homes out of convenience or not having any money - that’s why we started! I’ve recently been interested in Ekaterina Degot’s accounts of ‘institutions of unofficial art’ in Russia in the 1950s. As much art was banned from the official museums, artists started to exhibit in their apartments which meant there could be a lot more freedom in their approach and a strong bond of camaraderie developed amongst artists. http://cdclv.unlv.edu//archives/nc2/degot_art.html Danielle Arnaud’s gallery was created to ‘encourage artists to develop their practice without the constraints of market or trends’. I like that and I think it resonates with what we’re doing too. Another good space operating out of a home is Tamsin Clark’s Furnished Space in Camberwell: http://furnished-space.com/index2.html RP: You’re based in Peckham, an area brimming with some very high quality artist run spaces, do you feel this puts extra pressure on you to run a tight programme? ER: I really enjoy being amongst the diverse range of spaces in Peckham - from Hannah Barry Gallery which was in a lofty warehouse on an industrial estate to the more intimate setting of The Sunday Painter - but I think what we’re doing provides artists with a different set of challenges. 38b is somewhere between home-studio-gallery and creates a comfortable setting to try out ideas that might not yet be fully formed. We’re not commercial or funded so the programme can respond to something that’s more than an open studio but can be free of the constraints of a ‘professional’ gallery space. And everyone has art in their homes! So in some ways it feels the most natural place to hold an exhibition. www.nousvous.eu). At some point over the summer we’ll have an exhibition of Luke’s recent works (www.lukedrozd.com) and then we’re really pleased to be part of the Art Licks Weekend in October with a new project by Tom Railton conceived specifically for the flat which is going to be great (http://tomrailton.com).
Spotlight No 2: Insitu Project Space
GALLERY SPOTLIGHT 2: Insitu Project Space, 460 New Cross Road, New Cross, SE14 6QB As Insitu Project Space launches in Deptford, we send SLAM’s Tina Emenyeonu to talk curating, fundraising and to weed out some sagely advice for graduating art students with InSitu’s founder Holly Simpson: Please can you tell us about the people that make up InSitu Project Space and their backgrounds? InSitu Project Space is a solo project founded and managed by myself. Having worked at the Royal Albert pub to fund my Masters studies, I was very much aware of the derelict space next door, that sat disused for over 5 years. In fact I had been eyeing it up for quite some time, I just did not have the time or the resources to occupy it sooner. So after completing my studies, I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to put my arts education and exhibitions and gallery management background into establishing a non-profit exhibitions and events space. Are you (and/or collaborators) an artist and if so what is your art background? If not art, what is your background? I don’t see myself as an artist as such, I view myself more as a curator, or creative facilitator. I come from a strong practice and theoretical visual arts background having completed a B.A. Fine Art at Goldsmiths. I have recently returned to Goldsmiths to complete my Masters in Contemporary art Theory. During my undergraduate studies, I found making work increasingly difficult and unsettling and quickly realised that my passion lay in working collaboratively with other artists, to exhibit their work in ways they hadn’t chosen to do so themselves. When I graduated I felt compelled to continue to pursue a curatorial line of enquiry. After a relentless 2 years of interning and funding myself through countless part-time jobs, I slowly began to build up a curatorial portfolio in exhibitions and events, project management and art handling. I worked for Tate, worked as Gallery Manager of the Sassoon Gallery, Curatorial Assistant to the Zabludowicz Collection and Project Assistant to Artwise Curators. I currently work for Zeitgeist Arts Projects in New Cross.