Magazine: Issue 27
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Interview: Lucinda Metcalfe
INTERVIEW LUCINDA METCALFE @ BEARSPACE DEPTFORD ‘Open Sky’ @ BEARSPACE 30/05/2014 – 27/06/2014 BL: Could you give us a brief introduction to yourself and your work, What is your main aim when producing work, what do you want it to say? LM: I am a London-based artist who depicts the artificiality of our built environments with a colour palette that reflects the subject matter.  There is a melancholy to the work as it deals with our longings for a paradise somewhere other than where we are.  I am interested in advertisements, especially holiday brochures, which all promise something.  These images are idealised, distorted, a cropped version of reality.  I’m interested in this stimulus for our desires and the creation of all kinds of Utopias.  I am also increasingly interested in the impact of technology on our lives and the disorientation that it brings. BL: To name a few, you say that some of your main influences are the likes of Liam Gillick, Dan graham and Catherine Yass. These aren’t all necessarily painters, would you say you have the strongest relationship with painting, and if so why? LM: Both Dan Graham and Liam Gillick fed my interest in the fabric of the built environment and the failure of Utopian visions.  I spent my early childhood in Thamesmead which may also have some significance in this connection with social visions of a better life gone wrong.  For a time I created sculptural objects and installations, often using office materials, but contrasted with Pseudo-Classical swimming pool architecture and illusions of sunshine.  It is painters like Nigel Cooke, Dexter Dalwood and Ali Banisadr who have inspired my painting and even Matisse whose work struck a chord with me on a recent trip to Nice. I have become increasingly excited by the potential of paint and colour to provoke and communicate my ideas. BL: You seem to have an interest in theory, do you think a strong knowledge of theory is critical when viewing/creating work? LM: When I am in the studio it is a time of play, and on a good day I work intuitively, the process being a kind of visual poetry.  The theory and philosophy books that I read need to be poetic.  If they are too dry, then I switch off!  There are certain books that I treasure, like Open Sky, by Paul Virilio, which is actually the title of my show at Bearspace.  I read these again and again, and the ideas within them infiltrate my paintings.  But I am just as likely to draw on films by directors like Lynch and Kieslowski and literature or poetry by writers who I have stumbled across in quite random ways, from poets like T.S. Eliot to Flannery O'Connor. BL: Say you’re stuck for inspiration, what’s your first port of call? LM: When I am stuck for inspiration or reflecting on where my work is going, I often jump on a train at Stratford and head off to Clacton on Sea. I take lots of photos of places like this, where there is a mixture of garish happy symbols and decay. I have a huge image bank stored in folders.  I spend some time looking through these sources- which include my own photos and lots of hotel brochure images, which can also trigger new ideas and help me think about what is important to me. BL: Apart from your upcoming show at BEARSPACE, have you got anything exciting coming up? LM: One of the places that’s had the biggest impact on my work is Cyprus, ever since I first went there as a BA student in 1997.  I met an amazing archaeologist there, who took us to see extremely beautiful and fascinating places such as hidden hermits’ caves and deserted villages.  I remember him telling me about the threat of developers ruining the coastline and the next time I went back a few years later I saw this happening.  I am excited to be going back this summer as Artist in Residence at the Art College.  I hope to go to Famagusta, between the divided north and south, where an entire holiday resort stands empty: a no-man’s land. BEARSPACE 152 Deptford High Street, London, SE8 3PQ Opening Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm Interview by Bethany Lloyd
Spotlight: Apt
SPOTLIGHT Penumbra – A.P.T. DEPTFORD What would be your worst nightmare? Hidden cameras in a changing room? A huge lump of clay that seems to have something lurking within? Endlessly having to run from an invisible monster through somewhere dark and wet? The whole world privy to a photo of you jumping up and down…in the nude? These things must be ‘up there’ on a list of ‘waking up in a cold sweat’ moments. And they all appear in the show ‘Penumbra’ at A.P.T. Gallery. The word Penumbra can be described as a state of uncertainty and a moment of transition ‘…long associated with danger’. In this exhibition, 11 emerging artists use it to ‘…(demonstrate) the beauty, vitality and contradictions inherent within transitional states…’ This is the first exhibition from a new curatorial collective called VERB. Formed last year, it is a group of young artists and curators with the desire to encourage young artists, at a time of economic cuts to art programmes. In the animation ‘UU’ by Yu Yu, a slimmed down Michelin Man, changes from pencil on black to chalk on white and is interspersed with a collage of black and white photos of facial parts. He wonders whether he is ‘1’, or ‘2’ or ‘3’ or ‘4’ or ‘1,000’ and faced with the enormity of such questions, runs and runs and runs until he is safely in the arms of a loving embrace…or is he? Helen McGhie’s piece ‘Fitting Rooms’ peeps into the changing room. These photographs are revealing but not intrusive; only a glimpse of foot can be seen in each, soon to be swamped by the divested puddle of jeans, dress, or skirt. They explore that space wherein high hopes of transformation are so often dashed by disappointment. That dress looked so good on the mannequin. ‘Using a Muscle to Eat a Muscle’ by Alex McNamee broods like a great hulking monk in a brown habit. It threatens to come alive and subsume everything in its path. Collette Rayner’s audio piece ‘Untitled’ reads out email correspondence between ‘Colette’ and ‘Michael’, taking care to preface each one with the date and time, as if to underline the ephemerality and impermanence of such communication and thereby attempting to remedy this by locking it down for posterity. It accompanies her other piece ‘Principality of Sealand’, which examines the absurdity of ownership and sovereignty. This group of artists was chosen from a wider pool, all tasked with responding to the subject of ‘the uncertain’. It is clear that each artist has incorporated themes of the ‘in-between’, the ‘ambiguous’ and the ‘grey area’ into their pieces. It could be argued that these themes are already ubiquitous in the contemporary art scene. On the other hand, it is interesting to see the diverse ways in which each artist has tackled a common starting point. No doubt, these and other questions will be explored and discussed in more depth, during the accompanying events programme that includes workshops, performances and artists’ talks. Spotlight by Tina Emenyeonu
Interview No 2: South Kiosk
INTERVIEW SOUTH KIOSK BANKSIDE South Kiosk is one of SLAM’s newest additions so we thought what perfect way to introduce the Bankside Gallery than have a catch up with Dave Charlesworth from the enterprising space. BL: Could you give us abit of incite to the forming and history of South Kiosk and the program that you run? DC: South Kiosk was founded in early 2013, at that stage it was an editorially driven website with the longer term aspirations of becoming a permanent gallery project. Our first year saw us put on two events, 'Vestige' at the Design Museum which was a one night exhibition responding to the ‘The Future is Here” exhibition and a group collaboration event/ project ‘Chronovisor : Prologue’ at FoodFace, Peckham. For the programme moving forwards we will continue to programme events and exhibitions in our space and we will be taking artists we love at art fairs as well. BL: What’s individual to your curatorial process and what do you look for when selecting an artist to exhibit? DC: We focus on the work of artists that recuperate dead or dying technological formats and those who build new technological platforms for the production and display of works of art. This said though, the works we show won’t be technology for the sake of technology rather the works will need to articulate ideas and critical positions beyond their nuts and bolts. We will also at other times show works where the relationship with technology may seem more distant but may offer a commentary on the history or future of technology in a more abstract manner. BL: Saying that, if you could ask one artist/collective to show in your space who would it be?! DC: There are quite a few on that list. I would really like to show works by The Atlas Group sometime this year and I would like to continue my long term collaboration with James Bulley and Daniel Jones in the setting of the gallery. BL: So your current show ‘Chronovisor: Archive’ is your second exhibition in the space. Could you tell us abit more about it? DC: The Chronovisor was a viewing machine whose eye could travel through time, displaying images and footage of different moments throughout history. It was allegedly created in the 1960s by the Venetian Roman Catholic priest Father Pellegrino Ernetti who worked alongside twelve supposedly world famous scientists. Having previously attempted to construct an interpretation of the Chronovisior in collaboration with nine artists, South Kiosk intend to return to the thematic of the Chronovisor as a means to explore notions of time and artifice through the suggestion of an archive made up of problematic evidence, obfuscating historical context. BL: How have you found settling in South East London? What advise would you give to someone wanting to set up their own space? DC: I have lived in South East London for 14 years now and having worked in this area in different guises over the years, from my work with Woodmill to Charlesworth, Lewandowski & Mann and my work outside of that with galleries and artists, so setting up a space south of the river seemed like a logical step for myself. I am very fortunate here at South Kiosk with a very supportive team all of whom took a role in founding the project. So, if I were to offer any home spun wisdom, it would be to get good people around you, people who will make you think hard about the how and the why, that’s especially key when picking a space and committing money to it. I think understanding what model you are going to work with helps out a lot early on, are you a director of a space with the buck stopping with you or are you a collective or a group distributing roles and responsibilities. BL: Have you got anything exciting coming up? DC: We have the broad brush strokes of the next two exhibitions and they are very exciting but possibly too early to talk about. We are also attending Unseen Photo Fair in Amsterdam, which is really exciting. Chronovisor: Archive May 15th - June 20th PV: May 14th 0207 7183 0100

 South Kiosk
 Unit B
 Flat Iron Yard
 14 Ayres St 
SE1 1ES Interview by Bethany Lloyd
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