Friday, July 30, 2010

Storms in Teacups

We recently had a studio / gallery meeting with our studio members. As with all these meetings, getting 22 people in the same room on the same day is difficult but we try and have as many as possible to make sure everyone knows what is going on, to bat out ideas and update.

In the meeting we introduced the future gallery plans and sponsorship idea. I sent through an email as well with all the info to our members.

One member who wasn’t in the meeting sent an email that questioned us and our ‘profit drive’ and wanted to see our finances (do feel free to be our accountant Mister )

The complaint although slightly wounding is actually hilarious as it came obviously from complete ignorance of what we have been striving towards for the last 6months. I dont think he has even looked at our website or newsletter. Very strange too that you complain without educating yourself about the organisation first and after 6 months of actual being an entity with plenty of meetings along the way. Fair enough to have questions and want to know more. But that was not the gist of the email.

There was a query over accessibility to studio spaces too which never has been and never will be an issue.

The benefits of having Core Gallery outweigh the possible drawbacks and here is some feedback from other members which I publish here as it is far more eloquent than me ranting .

1. ‘ Please be assured that studio members are the key to the success of our cooperative and the birth of Core Gallery is not aimed to take anything away from you, rather give you further opportunities and have a good mix to ensure continuing survival and success.’

2. ‘I just want to point out that Core Gallery is something that we at Cor Blimey Arts have been aspiring to for a few years now.

It's a positive exposure into the contemporary Art scene, not just around Deptford, but to a wider stage.

This can be confirmed by the number of re-nowned Artists and Curators that have been through our doors and the growing number of attendance from the general public.

We (as there have been several of us working VOLUNTARILY) have put in a lot of hard work to make the space (incorporating Cor Blimey Arts members) visible and into a serious Arts Venue. Cor Gallery is NOT a profit making venture and is still very much part of Cor Blimey Arts, which is a registered charity.

Nothing has changed in the space in terms of accessibility or cost incurred since Core Gallery was set up.

In the past, whenever there was a show up or music events (mostly our own) we still had to be very aware and sensitive to what was going on around us in terms of lighting noise etc, no different to what is happening now.

Core Gallery has been open to everyone to be part of from the outset, It's up to the individual to decide how much or little they want to be part of this.

Along with myself I think many of the CBA members have experienced the benefits of being involved in such a prolific proactive working environment.’

To work towards making the gallery sustainable is essential. It is a long term goal and a sensible ambition otherwise we wont be able to carry on forever, no matter how passionate we are.

So now I need to set out a list of all the positive benefits to show our members, just in case it is required

Nevermind . It shall be a good evaluation for ourselves to see how much we have achieved and how we wish to move forward.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Recovery is quick

I apologise for my little moan of exasperation in my previous post

thank you to Jane Boyer

Emily Speed

and Susan Francis

( all artists and all bloggers on a-n ) as well as a variety of other friends and supporters who perked me up with their commiseration, ideas, thoughts and suggestions all of which I am taking on board! So, thank you. Its nice to hear from you

These as well as other factors have contributed to a more positive outlook and reinforced all that we have achieved so far.

Firstly the tingle of excitement of having several marvellously strong shows lined up : the Eighteenth Emergency and Sisyphus amongst them . Both shows look fascinating and I realise how much I alone learn from having exposure to these artists and curators, their intriguing interesting ideas and all their concepts/ works/ practices.

As I said in the previous blog , the DX open submission is also very exciting, to see the wealth of talent that could show in our space is inspiring. ( 5 days left to enter! )

We also now have two new interns. Charlotte and Jo and they each have projects to work on that we tailored to their own interests and strengths.

Charlotte our press intern has written the most wonderful and illuminating press release for the Eighteenth Emergency. After her first day with us, doing admin, I handed over the artists cv’s, info etc and from it, she wove something wonderful. I am looking forward to her future input

Joanna is looking at our sponsorship programme and inspired us to move this forward as with her assistance we hope we can make it worthwhile. Jo has some great ideas and gumption. She will also be responsible for sales for our exhibitions, someone that can talk about the artworks and promote it at our shows. Not that Core is at all about sales, but we have some amazing talent in the space and they can benefit from our help in attracting collectors for their work. Both bright sparks!

I received a lovely report from my previous intern who seems to have gained a lot from her time with us , which was just 8 weeks so I hope that our new ladies shall be equally pleased by the end of their time with us. As ever I learn from them too.

A couple of friends have also said they shall assist me in my own practise on the admin side – very kind of them too!

Inb practical terms I am going to try and make a stricter schedule for myself in terms of paperwork and allocate specific time to painting and paperwork and try not to stray. In my non art job I am negotiating a sabbatical so that I can test the waters of having no financial security in order to see if it is manageable and that I can sustain myself. to have an extra days to work on the gallery and my projects shall hopefully be fruitful- I am just nervous of losing guarantedd security but more and more I know I have to make the leap. At least it shall give me time to breathe.

Finally I somehow did manage to fit in some amazing exhibitions at The Agency Gallery, Utrophia, Aubin and Wills in Redchurch street and a show which engaged me and invigorated me. A tonic for the soul.

I painted too in the end, after my wonky week , I am starting a piece about The Cadburys Factory in Stonebridge which has the most startling back story of its slow shut down and the loss of jobs for generations of communities that I initially heard on radio 4, fascinating story

Not bad for seeking a bit of clarity……group effort I say !

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A quest for clarity ....

My mind is a little fraught ; the gallery is taking up a huge portion of my thinking and of course time. I find myself caught between wondering more how to advance the gallery than my own career as an artist. I haven’t made much new work in the last two months as a result and anxiety for both roles is biting at my heels.....

I have to make both these jobs sustainable as selling paintings is slow these days and also I think that my work has a wider focus than just being in a gallery, it is becoming a documentation of society...

For both I think I need to find funding somehow

For the gallery we have a plan for philanthropists that we have just launched. You can now help support Core Gallery from just £35 per year and we have dreamed up loads of great benefits!

Now we just need to find some supporters…….

Here is our newsletter which has more info on that as well as everything else we have coming up.

After a 14 hour day on Tuesday on gallery matters in my tiredness I smashed three plates in dazed clumsiness, knocked over countless glasses of water as well.

The following day I spent an hour travelling to drop off a painting, only to realise that I had brought the wrong one and then had to return and pick up the right one. I lost 4 valuable hours and was so mad at myself for being so silly and the fact that I am usually so organised it is a startling contrast as my mind is obviously elsewhere.

With my own practise I am not sure where to begin funding wise: I need a research and development grant to expand the scope of my work, but with all the funding cuts going on I am hesitant that writing a funding application will be worthwhile and perhaps instead we should just focus on getting projects for the gallery. I do not have enough time is clear and really what I want to do is paint right now….. hopefully a little clarity shall come soon….somehow……

The good news is that Elizabeth has been commissioned to do an installation for Deptford X, so this makes Core Gallery a little more sustainable for her. Also after a review of the way we both work in the gallery we decided on a slightly different title than Gallery Manager: Research and Development manager’ which suits more the skills Liz has in coming up with innovative ideas, whilst the day to day project managing is more suited to me.

The Deptford X open submission we are running is looking very healthy, I said at the beginning the standard was very high and it remains that way with a diverse array of works. The judges shall have a tough decision but I already know we shall have a fantastic show at the end.

The deadline is 31st July, so do get your submission in…..

Now back to trying to find some clarity

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Profile of my work by Becky Hunter

Artist Profile: Rosalind Davis, London
Jun 30th, 2010

' I approached mixed-media, London-based artist Rosalind Davis for an interview for my site after reading her a-n Artists Talking/Blogger blog, ‘Becoming Part of Something‘, as part of my current research into setting up a gallery and studio complex of my own. In the diary-style blog, Rosalind self-critically discusses her creative work, as well as her stressful and rewarding role as co-manager of Core Gallery, Deptford…

While reading and looking, I was struck by the richness of her paintings – equally in terms of their spatial compression and otherwordliness, their conceptual meshing of the social and the romantic, manifest in montages of paint, printed fabric and careful embroidery – and decided to feature Rosalind’s excellent painting independently from her discussion of Core Gallery.

I am not the only one to be so impressed with Rosalind’s work:
Rosalind Davis reveals herself to be a visionary artist of sensitivity and complexity… Her mixed media paintings of dystopian landscapes incorporate embroidery and floral-print textiles ….they conjure up a claustrophobic world of the uncanny.

(Andrew Bryant, a-n)

With this inside/outside view of buildings, Rosalind almost supersedes the buildings themselves with the materials that could be seen on the inside. I have often seen this with demolished buildings, a set of fireplaces against the wall of the neighbouring building, remnants of wallpaper all that is left of a place that was a home.

(Julia Alvarez, Director of Bearspace)

I agree with Rosalind’s statement that her technique involves a reparative gesture, in the sense that (images of) disused or run-down buildings are mended and/or supported through stitching, as well as being somewhat transformed when their painted surfaces melt into, soak and stain the meticulously printed backdrop. That these are specific architectural structures recognisable only to local people is important, as is the artist’s painful observation of urban decay alongside an irrepressible romantic vision.
Thinking from my own standpoint as an art historian and artist, currently engaged in a study of Kleinian psychoanalytic subject positions, Rosalind’s works seem to rise from the depressive position, in which ambivalent encounters with reality are tested, dreams of (Utopian, urban) perfection mourned, and the objects and people we relate to eventually accepted as neither blissfully ideal, nor entirely harmful. Amongst other material clues, these paintings figure that struggle in terms of the stitch, a piercing, destructive action that is reformed, with practice, into the work of mending and strengthening.

A graduate of Chelsea College of Art and Design, and of the Royal College of Art, London, Rosalind is a founder and co-manager of Core Gallery, Deptford. She is also an experienced textile designer, educator and writer: an artist and organiser to watch for sure.'

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

New Exhibitions

I am about to have a short break and the gallery is having a little breather of exhibitions before we launch into a breakneck series of shows and events in August beginning with a-n's very own Artists Talking editor Andrew Bryant who is bringing a group exhibition , The Eighteenth Emergency into Core Gallery . I asked Andrew a while ago if he wanted to bring a show to Core, confident in his vision, aesthetic, curation and judgement. I am curious to see how Core will once again be transformed .

Also , it shall be interesting to look at the contrast to our recent CSM MA fine art show and whether indeed there is a difference in approach, aesthetic etc and reflect on Sarah Rowles recent letter in a-n regarding art school.

We also have a sculpture exhibition programmed in at the end of October which is also very exciting and shall be very transformative in the space. Rachel is super organised and has the show ready to rock and roll!

2 exhibitions squeezed in this week: The Whitstable Biennal at which I saw the marvellous Kate Murdoch, an artist from Deptford whose work explores memory, identity, nostalgia in very interactive works.

Saw the RCA Show at last, painting and sculpture left me a bit cold and bored. I think it would be interesting if a show full of wildly convergent styles, themes , techniques, ideas had some information about the artists rather than a big black wall of silence. I think it would be beneficial. Although there seems to be a trend in art schools to not provide any explanation/statement etc. Art as experience , not art as engagement ……
For my own short break I am currently deciding which of the 5 books I don’t need to take . I have a beautiful Egon Schiele Landscape book which I currently adore, Ways of Seeing by John Berger, How to be an Artist by Michael Atavar ( very interesting and not patronising at all – should be called how to try and balance your life and mental health as an artist! ) Then Pablo Neruda Poetry and Orhan Pamuk’s novel My Name is Red……

Friday, July 2, 2010

choice blog on a-n, June 2010!


Home page story
Choice blogs - Sian Hislop selects Rosalind Davis

Wilderness Exhibition at Core Gallery
Rosalind Davis' blog Becoming part of something is a perceptive and illuminating insight into the trials and tribulations artists face on their post-college odyssey. "Becoming Part of Something" won the accolade of Artists talking Blog of the Year 2009, and the draw I felt towards it demonstrates that she continues to set a compelling tone.
Particularly topical and inspiring is the recently posted AIR interview, in which she argues the case for continued funding in the arts, in particular for it to be channelled towards those who attempt to improve communities through the arts and for free university education. As an artist involved in the Bow Arts Trust's live/work scheme I found her well articulated proposals and sensible suggestions ringing very true for my experience.

Along with an ever growing community of artists, I took on an "uninhabitable" abandoned flat in the type of Brutalist behemoth tower block that haunts Rosalind's intriguing paintings. These Modernist visions for social housing are now widely viewed as dystopian failures on monumental scales, but we are attempting to make positive changes in our community through our roles as artists.

Rosalind's blog does more than just record one artist's personal journey - as the title "Becoming Part of Something" suggests. Her posts have the potential to inspire other artists to use their energy and vision to help make change possible.

Siân Hislop, artist.

See also blogger Becky Hunter's interview with Rosalind Davis on the press page…..!