Friday, March 26, 2010

My Core Gallery Pledge

So far I am not too happy with March.

So far I am not too happy with March.

The one great thing is that I have been commissioned for my first article for a-n. Giving advice for new graduates about ‘ how to become part of something.’ This exhilarates me.

In this month of turmoil however .

I have

1. had a bike crash

2. had my purse stolen

3. had my bike stolen

4. developed a sore thoat flu type thing that has bunged up my brain and given me lethargy which makes me just want to go to bed and watch the entire season of Lost for a bit of escapism from the many commitments being asked of me.

I have strong and good feelings about Core Gallery, our team of artists, our professionalism, efficiency, energy and pooled resources. I am awed by the enthusiasm that others show in our project and the awesome happiness that others want to be part of our little something.

I pledge I will not treat artists like commodities, I will give as much support to anyone who needs it, not for my own gains but for the mere satisfaction of it being rewarding to help and to teach. I will make sure we meet our deadlines, that we are professional and organised. I will try to be as visionary with this as I attempt to be in my own work. This is an experiment, a ground roots determined project. Sure I don’t know everything I am doing at this stage but I am good at project managing I discover, I am good at co-ordinating and inspiring others and I am not saying this arrogantly but by the excitement that I see in others as a result of this project. I stand by these aims and you know what I am pretty ambitious too. I refuse to be knocked down.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bun House Bandits and Bea De Souza

My fingers are healing from my bike crash albeit a little sore, but I wanted to write a little.

My meeting with Bea De Souza from Agency Gallery was invigorating. Bea gave me lots of sage advice and also said she would help input into our development. It gave me an idea that I should try and set up a few more meetings with the Deptford Art map Galleries in the area and just say hi. Some are more forthcoming than others. I guess some people are part of something really because they have to be rather than want to have enthralling and stimulating conversations and exchange of ideas. Each to their own I guess…..

I mean in many ways I keep thinking what am I doing? Am I insane to be setting up a gallery? I have not only my own practise to think about , but teaching, lecturing and blogging, finding more art related work, entering competitions and writing proposals, well that is plenty to do but somehow I want to make this work and all the studio members that are working so hard alongside me and are such great cogs in this Core Gallery Machine , well they are relying on me to make this work… no pressure then!

…now my mind is occupied with how we could get a bit of funding to run the space, but my god, funding applications are an art of their own and so much trouble one just gives up………Bea suggested trying to get funding for an International Residency which sounds great , but just exactly how?

I did meet some other art geniuses last week as well who run an experimental art space and studios. The art space is in a place called The Bunhouse in Peckham, which always looked to me as I passed it on my journeys through Peckham like a scary tumbleweed blowing , locals only kind of place albeit with beautiful tiles and authentic mouldings. Well blow me, it actually houses a thriving exhibition space and arts community plus the bar staff give you chip sticks and jelly babies with your pint of Stella and are actually super friendly and have a fantastically diverse crowd due to the bunhouse bandits I am guessing. Plus of course intersting exhibitions.

You can read more about them here

Craig and Francis are an inspiration to Core Gallery

Okay ouch ,my fingers hurt now. Have to go

Monday, March 15, 2010

A blog review by Mr James Oakley

I am injured! I have had a bicycle accident! I fell in a pot hole about 1 foot wide and 2 foot deep on Peckham high street. I fell on my chin and gashed it open, same goes with my hands. My shoes flew off down the street and were returned by two sweet girls. A man from chicken cottage attended my wounds whilst I wept copiously and somewhat hysterically. I refused his attempts to call an ambulance and wobbled off home, to be attended by my partner’s gentle hands and then fainted. A short stint at the A&E in the glamorous Lewisham hospital resulted in the doctor saying nothing was wrong with me and being sent home without even a plaster. Nothing serious then…. Except the major pain I am in and my black and blue legs!

Luckily I have been sent an analysis of my blog through by a very talented writer friend of mine and as I cannot properly type as it hurts my fingers it is quite handy to use for today!

An analysis of my blog by James Oakley

The arts boffins at Central Station said I should write a blog entry...
I thought cripes - what shall I do?
What if all those self-harming arty types don’t like me?
And also - I’m bursting for a cuppa tea - will this kettle never boil?

In order to get a grip on exactly what it takes to make a top quality arts blog, I wrestled blogging supremo visual artist Rosalind Davis to the ground to ask for her top tips.
I also turned on the kettle. It does help.

Rosalind Davis is best known for her haunting and uplifting mixed media potraits. She layers bits of old curtain, wool, embriodery, good old fashioned paint and anything else she finds lying around creating beautiful urban landscapes. But I wasn’t here to ask about her art - I wanted to know the tricks of the trade. How do I make my blogging “Award Winning” like what hers is?

Unfortunately she was so busy suffering for her art, I got to suffer with her answering machine. So I nicked someone’s teabags from a cupboard in the office and looked back over her blog to what ideas could inspire me. While the tea brewed I made these notes about her Blog:

Gentle distinctive tone, like Sir Trevor McDonald reading you a bedtime story. Lovely.
Beautiful pictures of amazing artworks. Like really good.
A real human interest stuff - Ros doesn’t force her story. It’s subtle, it’s there, and it makes you love her. A lot.
She’s in London and I’m in Glasgow I don’t have a clue about some of her London references, but she explains enough to give me the gist. I feel I’m treated like a proper grown-up rather than the teabag stealing ruffian I am.
She has a distinctive opinion, but she’s not shouting. Whispering works.
When nicking tea bags check they’re not green tea.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Agency Gallery and University of the Arts

Last night my supper was crisps. A pretty good flavour- vintage cheddar and red onion. Washed down with a little red wine. Hmm…….the reasons why – well there is no time to eat…….

Bea De Souza from Agency Gallery in Deptford

Bea is a real mover and shaker and she is coming to see Core Gallery and talk about our plans and working together in the future. The show we currently have in our gallery space was from before xmas- Fraction. Which we left up and which has been evolving with studio members work changing and new members joining etc.

So what we had up needed to be pulled together and made more cohesive and edited. So as it was last minute, I and Helen hung the show last night, poor Helen was ill too and had to go, so I finished myself and am anxious that everyone will be happy yet also saying to myself that I am doing this for the benefit of everyone….it may be hard to please everyone in the studios at all times –you cant. And the gallery is going to be standing interdependently to studio members- we are not going to populate every show with members works basically but inviting artists and curators into the space. It is for all our benefits to have this energy in the space......

I was a guest lectuerer at the University of the Arts as well this week, part of a professional development lecture series about how to sell your work at degree shows. I remember how consumed we all were at college and uni. To think about the degree show and organising ourselves for the press and business side was not a priority but it is so important to start planning things now, for students to really launch themselves, to make themselves stand out and get the attention they want. To believe that your University will do this all for you is unrealistic. You need to be proactive too with all your exhibitions and build your presence.

I had a friend who had an exhibition I was trying to get to. He said to me ‘don’t worry , I don’t really care if my family and friends come, I am not that bothered about it ’ I found it really offensive to say that. So I did not go. Even if at the beginning of your career if you bring people, any people to a show, then it shows you are involved to the organisers and curators. It feels good when people come to shows. That’s why we invite them……..

Anyway I have to go and sand some walls and go to 3 meetings today, one for me two for core gallery. Tonight I may branch out into balsamic and red onion crisps……

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bede Estate

' Painting is a way of showing oneself as an artist and every painting is a kind of face, a self portrait.'

Michael Borremans

The painting here I have very nearly finished. It is of Bede House, part of social housing estate in Bermondsey. It is completely abandoned.

You can see into the rooms people left behind, the shadows of the pictures that once hung on the wall, the curtains they left behind. It seems people left there in a hurry, as if an apocalypse occurred and they left with just their most important possessions.

I wonder what happened to them all. where did they all go?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Exquisite Corpse- our launch is confirmed!

Our launch show for Core Gallery, opening on the 30th April has been decided:

"Exquisite Corpse" An Exhibition and Curatorial experiment by 11 International artists and curators. Co-ordinated by Nick Kaplony

‘Also known as "exquisite cadaver" or "rotating corpse" Exquisite Corpse is a method by which a collection of words or images is collectively assembled

In this context Exquisite Corpse is an experimental approach to constructing an exhibition selected in response to the corridor like structure of the Core gallery itself. A number of curators and artists have gathered to play and to construct the Corpse. The game works like this. A chain of curators/selectors is established, the first curator in the chain selects an artist for inclusion in the show. The next curator in the chain selects an artist in response to the work selected by the previous work selected. Each curator can only see the selection of the previous link in the chain so it continues and so it continues until the Corpse is completed.’ Nick Kaplony

Nick is a genius.
Matt Roberts is going to be one of the curators which is fantastic news and it is going to be rather sensational!