Saturday, 29 August 2009

East Midlands Finest 2009

Abi Benford
‘Untitled’, 2009
University of Loughborough, Fine Art BA Hons

The actual materiality and process of making a painting is a key aspect to Abi Benford’s work. Inspired by geometric patterns she uses a variety of mediums to explore the contrasting elements of depth, flatness, and texture within painting. She uses paint in a way not to represent reality, but to emphasise the contrasting qualities of the medium itself. Moving even further away from traditional painting in recent works Abi has began to explore painting as an installation, escaping the confines of the frame. She investigates the impact of the viewer’s relationship to the work via properties of scale, physical presence and intimacy. For this exhibition Abi has made a new painting installation that is site specific to the gallery’s foyer area.

Joanna John
‘Dwell’, 2009
University of Derby, Fine Art BA Hons

Joanna John’s art explores the theme of the built environment; what human kind has done and continues to do to make its mark on the plant. The disturbing yet fascinating mega-development happenings in places like China and the Middle East have provided inspiration; the idea that whilst the strain on the world’s resources reaches breaking point, nations strive to build bigger, better, higher. This extreme construction and consumerism has informed her art and choice of materials, developing a commitment to using found or recycled objects. Working in 3D Joanna creates sculpture that endeavour to take the mundane and everyday objects that are often overlooked and turn them into something with renewed visual interest and strong formal qualities. It is through this practice which Joanna has created a site-specific installation for Surface Gallery.

Neil Dixon
‘No Place’, 2009
Nottingham Trent University, Fine Art BA Hons

Neil Dixon’s large-scale growing sculptures develop from 2D drawing on paper into 3D drawings with wood. Imagination, fiction, and narrative inform Neil’s work as he aims to explore how an empty space can be transformed into the illusion of a different place. Working without a strict plan Neil allows the work to take shape and a narrative to develop which determines the end result. For this exhibition Neil has created a new sculpture in the gallery made predominately from old palettes and scraps of wood, which explores contrasts between reality and illusion, and the gigantic and the miniature.

Benjamin Cohen
‘Oumah’, 2009
University of Loughborough, Fine Art BA Hons

Benjamin Cohen’s practice is predominantly based around the human figure. His paintings spark from the realness and intensity of the sensation experienced from the subject’s presence. The methodology and the language of the paint is integral to the emergence of the image. Unable to pin point an exact explanation and logical reasoning for his work. Benjamin feels that the justification can be found in the painting themselves. With the paint it is itself like a language, it takes on its own life and creates a unique expression which cannot be put into words. For this exhibition Surface Gallery have selected ‘Oumah’, a painting Benjamin exhibited at his Degree Show exact explanation and logical reasoning for his work Benjamin feels that the justification can be found in the Exhibition.

Charlotte Ratcliffe
‘Untitled’, 2009 and ‘Untitled 2’, 2009
University of Loughborough, BA Hons Fine Art

Charlotte Ratcliffe paints in a unique manner that seems to capture the growing attention to new hybrid cultures and places in the contemporary world. She explores the idea of the ‘in-between’ space or ‘non-place’, the expanding regions not belonging to any one subject, but positioned in the fringe connecting the two. Her paintings verge on the edge of fantasy and reality, uniting elements of the organic and artificial. Charlotte uses both traditional and contemporary painting methods, incorporating areas of representation and heavy abstraction into the paintings. Yet retaining a sense of place and structure, she creates a play between the flatness and the 3D. For this exhibition Surface Gallery have selected two paintings from Charlotte’s Degree show collection.

Bobby Goulding
‘Untitled’, 2009
Nottingham Trent University, Photography BA Hons

Bobby Goulding’s work concerns the human race’s modern connection with spirituality. Mournful, sometimes cynical, yet always a brooding optimism, showing a belief in the power of the human mind. For this exhibition Bobby has created a site specific installation in the gallery space.

Andrew Martyn Sugars
‘Monument’, 2009
University of Derby, BA Hons Fine Art

Andrew Martyn Sugars work stems from a personal journey of evolution and development into the contemporary art world. Driven by research and personal investigation Andrew aims to attempt ‘action’. For this exhibition Andrew presents Monument (2009) in the form of sculptural new media. The action was seen first in an experimental film aesthetic of evolution, which was inspired by the notion of peak oil. In the journey since the film, the action became centred on a man made puddle in a man made environment. Monument fuses these two actions together, and presents the journey of the idea itself.

Alex Mazziteli
‘The Mental Image of a Past Cycled Experience’, 2009
D Montfort University, BA Hons Fine Art

Alex Mazzieteli’s surreal sculptures are created from an assemblage of found everyday objects. Deemed as ‘useless’ objects Alex brings these unwanted things back to life, during a laborious selection process the chosen objects somehow fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. His installations are ambiguous, which allows the pieces to speak for themselves provoking a sense of wonder, imagination, and narrative in the viewer. For this exhibition Alex presents ‘The Mental image of a past cycled experience’, a sculpture made during this year and exhibited at his Degree Show.


Thursday, 20 August 2009

Not so much crying..

..but cleaning in the rain!

We're busy preparing for the East Midlands Finest here at the Gallery, and part of it always includes the housekeeping stuff. Hence why my good self has been sorting out the rear area and started on cleaning of the shed. In practice the latter means wiping away cobwebs and hoping that none of those pesky spiders responsible land on my head..
The plan is that if the weather is going to be nice, we can have the bar area for the privatwe view outdoors so we can enjoy both some art and the weather.
Too bad that it has now started to drizzle down. Fingers crossed it will pass and in 24 hours' time we will have some sunshine to last us all day!

As always, I am writing the blog in the office area, and upstairs is filled with noise - hammering, the Smiths playing, talk. It's all action as per usual, and it's looking pretty good already. Hope to see you here!


Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Almost East Midlands Finest!

There are only two more days until the opening of our East Midland’s Finest exhibition. There is an exciting vibe within the gallery, as Jo John, Neil Dixon, Alex Mazzitelli, and Andrew Martyn Sugars.are setting up their installation works. Jo is upon a ladder hanging globes from the ceiling, Neil continues to build his tall abstract grid structure supported by wood pallet, and Alex is constructing a surreal piece through giving second-hand objects an unusual function. To discover more, be sure to come along to the private view this Friday.


Wednesday, 12 August 2009

East Midlands Finest

It is a rainy day, and I am in Surface’s office, getting a few jobs done. It is sad to see the gallery empty after the Open Exhibition. Later today Michael Douglas will be taking down ‘Water Cycle’. Although it is a loss, we should embrace the wonderful new possibilities for the space in our next exhibition. Neil Dixon shall be in the gallery shortly, to continue working on his sculpture for East Midland’s Finest. Marketing for E.M.F. is underway. The flyers look excellent and now just need distributing around Nottingham. I have included the press release below.


‘East Midlands Finest’
22nd- 29th August 2009
Private View: Friday 21st August 6-9pm

This month Surface Gallery is proudly showcasing its very 1st annual East Midlands show. The exhibition consists of a diverse range of media; including painting, photography, sculpture and installation, featuring a selection of recent graduates talent scouted by our volunteers from the following local universities: Loughborough, De Montfort, Derby and Nottingham Trent. Some of whom have already been selected for national awards, such as the BP Portrait Award 2008.

The exhibition offers the chance to explore and observe the array of talent produced by new and upcoming artists of today. Some artists have had the chance to create and install an individual piece for the show, allowing the opportunity for the artist to stretch their creativity and offer something unique to the gallery and it’s visitors. The broad and dynamic range of art that has been produced within the East Midlands addresses the fundamental processes of contemporary expression.

Abi Benford shall be creating an exclusive wall and floor installation that shall explore and present a new concept of abstract geometric painting and the relationship of colour through a range of mediums and strict processes. Neil Dixon is also making a piece for the show; his work is captured by abstract forms based on grids which begin to question the tension between the illusion of space and the diagrammatic and propositional qualities the work ultimately portrays. Benjamin Cohen captures paint and the human figure with an exquisite energy, brought to life through the expression and emotion of paint alone. The relationship between these components derives a composition that carries the sitters character to life and beholds a strong spell upon the viewer. Alex Mazzitelli uses second-hand objects to create humorous sculptures depicting a function of some sort. These provoking pieces of ‘junk’ are built to life-size, performing a presence as they would in everyday life.

Featured artists include: Abi Benford, Benjamin Cohen, Charlotte Ratcliff, Joanna John, Andrew Martyn Sugars, Neil Dixon, Bobby Goulding, Sarah Roberts and Alex Mazzitelli.

The Private View will be held on the 21st August 6-9pm, where you will be able to come along to view the work and meet participating artists.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Connotations of...

Here's a little sneak preview of our Open Exhibition.The pictures speak for themselves, but what struck out is there seems to be a reminicense of something amongst the exhibits.Hence, connotations of..

Delphine Perrot

Clinton de Menezes

The American stance..iraq, war and such like..

Kate Tilley

Hiema (2007)

Michael Douglas

Water Cycle (2008)
Falling rain..