Wednesday, October 27, 2010

75 Artists in one room....bound to be trouble...!

The UKYA event was this weekend in the lovely city of Derby and all of us 75 artists who had been selected for this citywide miniature biennale were there to meet each other

So we buzzed around Derby, gorging on exhibitions, installation , lectures, artists talks, poetry, dance, networking , beer, wine, our heartbreak and romances, successes and failures, lots and lots of laughter, fried breakfasts, and far too many late nights ( I decided dancing in a car park party prob was a step too far , but hey I can robot with the best of them….!)

We took part in a speed networking session which was quite insane and left us all befuddled and confused as to who we were, let alone anyone else! Brilliant ! We forged what feels like lasting connections and relationships

75 artists full of promise and brilliance, all trying to figure out how to navigate this complicated world. To survive. It felt like such a priviliege- like how art school would have felt if I had been in the art dept, endlessly fascinating conversations ( and silliness) but also interesting because we had all been out in the real world for a little while.

I don’t know how the organisers did it, several venues, accommodation, lecture series and us artists! I am still recovering now, I wonder how they did it, but full of so much happiness and hope they are proud of their massive achievements.

Something else I am noticing is that there is a curator inside me , in the way that a lot of the curators who work with us at Core are coming into it as artists; I start seeing connections or works that I really want to show in some context…..We are yet to think about next years programming properly but I know we need to get a balance between what we want to show ( a lot) and we can actually physically manage. It is breakneck at the moment.

Liz and I had a meeting with the marvellous Amy Mckenny who runs Coexist in Southend. Firstly the Fiona Mcdonald and Phyllida Barlow show is excellent, secondly Amy is brilliant in all they have achieved down there. We are going to set up a different kind of Relay for next year in a cross artist led collaboration! Very exciting. So all in all a pretty marvellous couple of weeks.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sisyphus - The Absurd Hero and UKYA

So Sisyphus opens tonight and I myself am not there for the PV at Core Gallery for the first time so a bit nerve wracking but I leave it in competant hands.

I am doing my art thang having been selected for the UKYA event in derby

( through an open submission- that oh so controversial subject....! )

4 days of exhibitions, events, dance, poetry and mucis, lectures and networking. Its going to be fantastic!

Here is more about Sisyphus which looked amazing in progress and we have a fab interview with curator/artist Rachel Price who has an interview with on

Read more here :


Core Gallery Deptford, London, SE8 3DX


(Part I): Nick Bailey │Alexander Bates │ Jim Bond │Rodney Dee │ JooHee Hwang│ Matthew James Kay│ Rachel Price

New sculpture and video by 7 artists across in response to the Greek myth of Sisyphus. The exhibiting artists all explore notions of the absurd, futility and circularity in their practice whilst simultaneously displaying an immersion in the process, be it material or conceptual.

In Greek mythology Sisyphus was the king who for his crimes was subjected to the ceaseless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain only to watch it fall down the other side, and to repeat this for all eternity. However it is Sisyphus’ approach to his hopeless fate that rouses interest and why the myth is so frequently revisited in literary interpretations.

The French Absurdist, Albert Camus, refers to Sisyphus as ‘The Absurd Hero’ concluding that: “I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy”. Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus (1942).

I think we have all felt a little like Sisyphus at times......

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Deptford X Madness and New Formations

Wow, so it has been nearly a month since I have written a blogpost! There is so much to tell but where to begin. It has been dizzyingly busy.

Since my last post we had the Deptford X fortnight. South East London’s foremost contemporary arts festival
Our open submission exhibition was absolutely superb, the artists a delight to meet. Alliances have been formed and an exhibition seed planted for 2011 with Tom Butler, Alyson Helyer and Marion Michell who won the other prize we ran of a 2011 exhibition with Core Gallery

We had over 900 visitors in 2 weeks, including Lewisham College our local adult education who took part in our community drawing day event ( that is called engaging with the arts Sir! ) . We had open studios as well which was fantastic. Art talks and events, Arnold Borgerth and I both ran an art talk and ended up selling work afterwards to our new audiences! Many interesting and new connections were made.

Pretty exhausting too. I thought my brain might just might break at times. I also had a 30th birthday to celebrate somewhere along the way too. My present was a brand new shiny bicycle, a result of many new friends and studio colleagues all chipping in. The bike seems to symbolise to me what I have been blogging about, I have become part of something……

Anyway , I am going to be writing about the benefits of open submission competition in defence of quite a lot of negativity about them ( rightfully so in some cases) . I feel I need to justify and balance the arguments a little as we have just run one ourselves at the gallery and pretty darn successfully too and it was quite the opposite of a swindle!

There is also another new and exciting development . Core Gallery has a new member, an overseas associate , Jane Boyer who I met through our blogs here: Jane’s fantastic and thought provoking blog about working in isolation is here

Jane is coming on board to assist us and we are most grateful and lucky for this.
Jane is going to help us on a variety of levels and we are planning to make the gallery more sustainable and we are all going to work on a funding strategy so we can implement a proper educational programme; at the moment, we run art talks, engine chatchat ( peer on peer critiques etc ).

It seems to me that we are beginning to forge a new model of gallery , with people inputting, maintaining contact and assisting us outside of the studios ( ex studio member Chantelle who runs the wonderful Core Gallery Interviews).
Even our friends who are art lovers are ready to help. We have an Art Kibbutz!

In response to this momentum our final exhibition of the year is going to be Relay. Each artist in our studios invites an external artist to exhibit with them. Jane shall be joining in as will Josie our intern, a new graduate from Newcastle , who we wish to thank for her endless help by giving her an opportunity to exhibit. Its going to be a smasher !

The Pleasure Parlour

The Pleasure Parlour opened in September too which I have not properly blogged about yet as it has been breakneck

With my father ,Peter Davis who has been an artist for over 60 years and my partner Enver ( a heady mix for me ) as well as Holly Revell and Kelda Hole , it was a splendid show

I interviewed the artists on the closing Sunday which was wonderful . Debating art, erotica, nude's and nudity.

My father told stories about art and we expanded to greater philosophical questions about beauty and transformation. I need to find a way to do podcasts so you can all listen.

The night of the private view my father, now nearly 80 had the opportunity to see how his work still reached and touched people. He has an audience of cross generations, all who wanted to meet him and shake his hand, admiring his work, studying it, touching his sculptures . After several years of feeling like he may no longer have anything that people want to see , he is transformed. For this alone , the hard work is worth it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October – Rosalind Davis « NepArtism

October – Rosalind Davis « NepArtism
I am delighted to have been selected by Liv Pennington to start a game of Nepartism!

Its been mentally busy so this blog post is a precursor to one where I actually talk about things but in the interim:
I am delighted to have been selected by Liv Pennington to start a game of Nepartism!
A fantastic game of artist's tag. Liv Pennington showed in The Exquisite Corpse.
' The show grows because of who we know; it is nepotism with a bit of altruism. I am interested in where this chain goes, does one artist get selected more than once. How small or large are the artist pools.
How do our selections reflect on our own artist practice, are we interested in similarities or differences, do opposites attract? or is it safety in familiarity?
Are our relationships formed with others because of admiration and interest in the artwork or in spite of?
A series of monthly online exhibitions '
Liv Pennington

Core Gallery on the radio!

Aired on 3rd of September

Presented by Christelle on the Chatterbox Show

Gallery manaager of Core Gallery and local painter Rosalind Davis talks about the drawing day a free art event for young people in September talks drawing, Frida Kahlo and

Core Gallery Interviews: Interview with Patrick Morrissey & Hanz

Core Gallery Interviews: Interview with Patrick Morrissey & Hanz

Plus featured in the October issue of a-n magazine!

Reprezent | London's Youth Media - Shows - Revealed

Reprezent | London's Youth Media - Shows - Revealed

Core Gallery on the Radio

On September 17th 2010 Core Gallery ran a drawing day for over 70 people from the local community with artists from Cor Blimey, Creekside Artists, The Old Police Station and Utrophia, all local studios. Tarek Chaudhury interviews the participants as well as Rosalind Davis, Core Gallery manager on the day itself as well as Deptford X , art and the education system and why you do not need to be rich to be an artist! Read more about the drawing day exhibition here