Thursday, 30 May 2013


On Friday 7th June from 6.30pm onwards anyone who is anyone will be attending "Art Which Is Also A Disco" at Theater Delicatessen 35 Marylebone High Street, NW1 5LS. The infamous show which "puts the art in party" (Spoonfed Magazine) is back in force for one night only! The disco which is also art blurs the boundaries of visual art, film, music, performance and sculpture all in an immersive disco environment. Acts include: SURI SUMATRA (LIVE),JULIETTE'S ROCK N ROLL CIRCUS (LIVE) IZZI'S LATITUDE DISCO (INSTALLATION) LUCI LU (LIVE) THE CLITTERATI (LIVE) THE COOLNESS (ART SHOW & DJ SET) LARRY MCGINITY (FILMS) DJ 1-9-9-1 ELLIE STAMP The Decima Disco Dancing Disco Dog Ali Baybutt's Very Long Time Warp INGRID ZEE (DJ) MONDO DISKO (DJ) KRAZY JULEZ (DJ) CEPALOVIC (DJ) THE COOLNESS (DJ SET) and INTRODUCING THE DISCO MONSTER! WITH MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED! Entrance fee: £5A veritable cornucopia of crazy beats and eye-popping art” This is Cabaret Magazine. (Image above: "You Sexy Thing" painted by Harry Pye & Rowland Smith 2013)

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Rare Breeds Contemporary Art Market at The Residence Gallery

RARE BREEDS CONTEMPORARY ART MARKET 1 - 23 June 2013 Opening Shopping Party: 1 JUNE, 12 – 6PM With RESIDENCE RADIO DJs, Special Guests, Happy Hour, Alco-CockPops, Collector’s Chill-Out Garden, Sexy Artists, Market Callers, Promotions & Prizes! ROLL UP! ROLL UP! THE RESIDENCE GALLERY is firing up the Art Mart for its HOT summer sizzler! This June the gallery transforms into a meat market contaminated by contemporary art. Look beyond the Bacon to find rare cuts from a new breed of pedigree British, exotic, established and scandalously unknown artists. For the enticement of discerning consumers expect High Quality Contemporary Art prints (framed and unframed), Geometrical wonders, Bling art P. Did would want, Sculptural Reincarnations, Important Drawings, Altmodern Collectables, Signed & Numbered VIP Passes to Defining International Art Events, Luxury hand-made one off’s (for half their established value) and pieces we can’t name, all from £2 - £200! That’s well Meryl Streep! Highlights include Harry Pye’s original drawings, Emma Watson’s Animal Disco re-constructivism (see photo above), Beccy McCray’s bling hip-hop cakes, blue prints to William Alexander’s ice-cream van, Box Broz Bakelite Kodak Brownie photography, Nicola Carter’s modern Rococo prints, David Miller’s photos of aristocratic debris rising from walnut veneer, Emily Marjot’s Burnt Out vitrines, Samantha Bull’s rockin’ taxidermy mice, Thomas Poeser’s divine geometric mandala prints, Dianne Kaufman’s metaphysical watercolours, The Residence Gallery’s own heat activated technicolour ready to wear, and plenty more!!! SAMANTHA BULL / HARRY PYE / THERESA FOX / THOMAS POESER / SOPHIE CROW / DESIGNOSAUR / SHERRIE - LEIGH WEBB / ELECTRA / EMMA WATSON / LIAM RYAN / HANNAH FUTERS / NICOLA CARTER / MIKE LANE / VANESSA SCULLY / LESLIE DEERE / RASHA KAHIL / BOX BROZ / SOPHIE DIMARTINO / ROBERT HAWKINS / JOANNA TIDEY / MARK SIEBERT / EMILY MARJOT / PHILIPPE TYAN / RICHARD GALLON / WILLIAM ALEXANDER / DIANNE KAUFMAN / JON MUIR / CHRISTINA MITRENTSE / JONAS RANSON / DAVID MILLER / BECCY MCCRAY / LAURA LAJBER BODO / PATRICK MORRISSEY / CLIVE HANZ HANCOCK / CARL BURNESS / ALEXANDER HEATON / ANTONIETTA TORSIELLO / ALEXANDER TEMPLETON –WARD / MARK OLIVER / RACHEL LOVATT / DANIELLE DRAINEY / OGGY YORDANOV / RUIZ STEPHINSON / NADJA RYZHAKOVA / RCKAY/ MICK FRANGOU / INGRID Z / THE RESIDENCE GALLERY Spend over £25 to be dubbed a CULTURAL INVESTMENT BANKER and awarded the gold or silver official Residence Gallery bag-for-life. OINK! Join the event on FACEBOOK now! (Above image: Ingrid Z)

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Last weekend of "Discernable"

I was delighted to contribute a drawing to the Discernable exhibition curated by Rosalind Davis and Annabel Tilley at the ZAP Studios in New Cross. Zeitgeist Arts Projects, ASC Studios Entrance 2, Bond House, Goodwood Road, London SE14 6BL ASC Studios (Goodwood Road) are located between New Cross Gate Station (3 mins walk) and New Cross Station (7 mins walk) with trains to and from London Bridge every 10 minutes, and a regular service on the Overground to Dalston Junction. The show has been well attended and provoked lots of positive feedback. “Not a duff piece in the show. Congratulations on an excellent exhibition. Rosalind Davis and Annabel Tilley are Curators to watch.” Ben Woodeson. My contribution was a felt tip drawing I made of Dr Crippen when I was at school. The other artists in the show are: Katriona Beales, Katrina Blannin, Kate Bowen, Sasha Bowles, Henry/Bragg, Tom Butler, Louisa Chambers, Jake Clark, Gary Colclough, Ben Coode-Adams, Emma Cousin, Ben Cove, Broughton & Birnie, Gemma Cossey, Graham Crowley, Rosalind Davis, Jeffrey Dennis, Karl England, Max Gimson, Ted Haddon, Justin Hibbs, Lauri Hopkins, Lee Johnson, Peter Jones, Natasha Kahn, Nick Kaplony, David Kefford, Debbie Lawson, Alan Magee, Marion Michell, Clare Mitten, Kate Murdoch, Michaela Nettell, David Oates, Wieland Payer, Charley Peters, Shelley Rae, Katrine Roberts, Rachel Russell, Timothy Shepard, Lisa Snook, Annabel Tilley, Virginia Verran, Andy Wicks, Rachel Wilberforce, Robert Worley. The show closes this weekend. Don't Miss Out.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Q & A with Kiera Bennett

The Charlie Smith Gallery are now representing Kiera Bennett. The Gallery Director Zavier Ellis says: "Kiera's knowing and often witty investigations into 20th and 21st century painting and inclination towards abstraction provides a complimentary balance to one of the strongest selections of painters in London." There's now only one week left of her show, "The Making of an Anthropologist". The gallery is open Wednesday–Saturday 11am–6pm or by appointment. The address is:336 Old St, 2nd Floor, London, EC1V 9DR The Rebel: What are your main memories of being a student at The Royal College? Did you make any work there that you're still proud of? Kiera: "It had been 7 years since I left the Ruskin where I had done my BA and I had had a studio (in Hackney) and done a few group shows, worked a lot of temporary, soul destroying jobs so was really ready (with a hint of apprehension) to be able to get back into an environment where I was challenged (introspection and working alone making art is dangerous. Painting needs to be made within reasonably regular access to some form of critical debate – it can become stagnant otherwise) I felt like I was being ‘me’ again, making art and talking about art etc…main memories? Meeting a great group of people. Yes, we did a lot of ‘socialising’ but being around people making art and having interesting artists come in to teach was brilliant. Strangely though, having until then always painted (I was about 29/30 then) I spent most of my time at the RCA making collages (paper). I think this was a result of really questioning the paintings I had been making and I had to throw a big spanner in the works. It helped me hone down the ideas without dealing with the big ‘how do I wanna paint and it be meaningful’ part all in one go. I don’t know if I’m proud of the work I made at that time but it was very significant and clarified some fuzzy ideas I had. My time there highlighted that I enjoyed making paintings/collages with some semblance of a readable image, a ‘picture’, something that had some sense of a believable/recognisable subject however abstract it may appear at first. It helped me realise my interests were always spinning around the same centre – autobiographical, identity, escapism, humour, ego/alter ego, painting/art, the human condition? …and that my painting in some cases suffered from a reliance on photography. Looking back I quite liked my collages of Don Quixote (after Daumier), Tony Hancock and a Figure dancing alone in front of some paintings." The Rebel: How did Rockwell come about? What were your favourite exhibitions that took place at that space? "At the RCA Chris Davies was in my year, he introduced me to Reece Jones and Gavin Nolan who were studying at the RA (they’d previously studied together at Loughborough) It was through Chris we all became friends – this includes Alex Gene Morrison (my now husband) who was also at the RCA. Anyway, after we all graduated (2002). Brian Jones, Reece’s brother, had a plan to create a live work space so it began with that – Brian had found a top floor space of a warehouse by Hackney Downs station, with a 5year lease. Chris, Gav, Alex and Brian all moved in (in it’s then run down old sweat shop state) a few others of us were going to rent studios there (me, Reece, Christian Ward, Sigrid Holmwood…) and the 9month build began – it was really ambitious – as the building of the living space and studios developed the space in between seemed to present itself not just as extra space to build stretchers /workshop/giant living room etc but as a highly feasible gallery space. It was an odd shape, very long and thin but adaptable and potentially exciting. As a group it was decided that all the artists in the studios could put a show together, which we did and people came, lots of people. So for the following 5 years there was a programme of shows, variously curated by the ‘Rockwell’ artists and some invited artists/curators. I just found a passage from our archive describing what it entailed ‘it is perhaps best known for showcasing the work of emerging artists, the rare and unseen projects of established artists, projects by particularly exciting curators and occasionally work by Rockwell's own inhabitants’ We all really appreciated spending a lot of time with artists as they installed their work. We got to know a lot of interesting artists and it was a great environment for discussing ideas. It’s hard to pick out favourites but personally I loved the Dan Coombs show “Crepuscular Variations’ a series of painting/collages that he had made and not shown anywhere else – he was keen to show these pieces that at the time were quite experimental and had been made alongside other work he had already exhibited. Another show was ‘How far to Utopia’. 3 Japanese artists Daisuke Nagaoka, Kazuhito Sahara, Chikara Matsumoto proposed a show. We all thought it looked really exciting so they came to Rockwell from Tokyo and spent days and nights creating an incredible installation – they spoke no English, we spoke no Japanese but communication occurred through facial expression, pointing and laughing….then in return they invited us all to Tokyo for 10 days to do a show with them at Tokyo Wondersite. The whole thing was an amazing experience. I keep remembering all the different shows and with them the totally different but equally meaningful memories. It’s hard not to get sentimental about it, not saying it was all like some idealised commune or anything far from it but the rewards over time diminish any squabbles (or major fall outs ha). Another great show was Paul Becker and David Kefford, a 2 person show – paintings and installation …I could go on, I have a list somewhere…Colin Smith, Anne Hardy, Gordon Cheung, Amikam Toren, Robin Mason…I think there were 23 or so shows which included around a 100 artists over the years.." The Rebel: Are you excited about your new solo show? Are there many new works being unveiled? "As I have answered your questions SO late – you sent me these about a month ago!!! (huge apologies – inconvenient ‘life’ events meant recently I put a lot of stuff on the back burner) I shall answer this with some hindsight – my show is now in it’s last week – on ‘til this Saturday 11th. I think I may have been a little excited when I was actually making the paintings for the show. I tend to feel the best when something is going OK in the studio or I have an idea or do a drawing that has potential. Once the finished work goes to the gallery I find it hard not to be thinking about what I have to leave out or what I’m about to make next and it becomes about what other people may get from it and I’m not thinking about ‘it’ anymore.. or so much. It’s a weird one but yes I was glad and excited to be doing a solo show at Charlie Smith. I’m guessing for many artists it’s a fairly selfish activity so getting to put just your own stuff in a space is ideal, but I made about 20 paintings and had to edit it down to 11 in the end. I was happy with the choices (relatively speaking) and all the work was new stuff – I make multiple versions of some pieces that are slightly different, so I think 2 of them had existed in previous ways." The Rebel: What are your views on the writings of Greenberg? Do you still refer to his books? "I can see why you asked me this. A lot of this show was painting about ‘painting’, being a painter, working towards a show. I do obsessively look at other artist’s paintings in between making my own paintings and drawings. It is absolutely as much about ‘paint’ as subject but I do like a ‘picture’ (sound like my grandma now) so it’s not solely about surface. I haven’t read Greenberg for years actually. I think obviously he was a significant writer. I guess I would agree that the painted surface can be meaningful without reference to anything else. However, I don’t agree with the exclusivity of this. When I make paintings, the materiality must be ‘meaningful’ in relationship to the content/subject. These concerns are inextricably wrapped up together. For me, any good painting deals with this in some way. I do like painting that is purely all about the ‘stuff’ of paint but my own concerns are broader than that. I wouldn’t be satisfied with being closed minded regarding any aspect of painting. For me it is about continued searching and discovering, not about being restricted by dogma. I know that painting and all the shifting perspectives and contexts makes it one of the most challenging things to do well – I’d hate not to know painting- I’m not answering this question very well as I’m not an expert on Greenbergs writings – just kinda know what he’s famous for saying. I tend to read a lot of ‘artists on art’ stuff. I like being surprised by what some artists make of other art and often have discovered paintings, previously overlooked, by being introduced to them through friend artists and seeing it through their eyes, that’s always great. Anyway, your question has prompted me to read some Greenberg again. I have just ordered a book on Amazon to reacquaint myself!" Do you paint most days? What is the longest break you've had from painting? "No , it’s impossible. I have to teach (at City and Guilds of London Art School) and live too (ha ha) but even if I’m not in the studio I scribble and draw a lot. When I’ve not been in the studio I do get anxious (well I do when I’m in it too- but it’s a different kind of anxious) but there will be an ever increasing set of scribbles on envelopes, bills etc with thoughts for paintings the longer I’m not in it. I don’t punish myself if I’ve not been in the studio for a couple of weeks or so but longer than that I begin to feel very a bit wrong..sometimes you’re just not feeling it and I accept that. Other times you know you have to force yourself to do something because momentum always produces the best stuff so too many gaps is a real no no …working for a show is brilliant because you have to do it, finish stuff, be more daring, take some risks, be decisive – so I’m glad when I have a show to work to…Longest break? oh coupla months probably not much longer, even then I’m thinking about my paintings – you can’t switch it off! Having said that at the moment I finished the last bit of my last painting for this show the studio ceiling fell in (2 large clumps of rubble and lots of dust) and we can’t return until it’s fixed and safe so gawd knows how long that will be!" (Above Images starting at the top of the page: 1)"Urgengcy" 90 X 75cm oil on canvas, 2)"Heap" 45cm X 35cm,3 "Painting", 4) "Poisoned"90cm X 65cm, 5) "Punch" 45 X 35cm, 6)"Jostle" 90 X 65cm. All the paintings are oil on canvas)

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Q & A with Dan Carver

Tomorrow sees the publication of Dan Carver's hilarious new book RUIN NATION. Where did you grow up and where are you based now? Dan: "I grew up in a small village called Foxton in the days of rural isolation. Nowadays, it's a nest of Audi drivers rooting up each-other's gardens to extend their carports but, back then, it was an agricultural community with three farms, a boss-eyed vicar and a mad lady called Mrs Holland who buried her favourite horse at the bottom of her garden. Now I live in Leicester, where the streets are buttered with chewing gum and fried chicken bones, and our definition of a cultural scene is an a pug-ugly theatre and a converted bus depot full of website developers." Are there any school hymns or songs about England that often move you? "You've got to have a hard heart not to like a little bit of Elgar now and again, even if the lyrics to Jerusalem are complete and utter toss. My middlebrow sensibilities are also all a quiver for the I Vow To Thee My Country cover by Beck Goldsmith. And occasionally I get the odd pang of jingoism when I hear a bit of Michael Nymen going baroque." How long were you thinking about the ideas in RUIN NATION before you put pen to paper - were there any key events that inspired it? "I try to capture things as soon as I think of them. I'm no Doomsday Prepper but I'm pretty certain society, our methods of living and definitions of fulfillment are all pretty bat-shit crazy. So ideas for a dystopian novel are never hard to find. Flick on the news and you'll instantly see some idiot announcing a new way to complicate all our existences. Next week the same idiot will get caught bumming a goat. His replacement will, no doubt, do the same. So no specific events, just general occurrences thought through and taken to their ultimate logical conclusion. I have a fairly dim view of humanity so that conclusion's often quite debased." Do you have an audience in mind for the book? "I thought I did. I thought it was going to be mad-eyed men with qualifications in odd subjects and very unusual hobbies. I'm not judging. I count myself amongst you. However, some of the most enthusiastic feedback I've received has been from women, which is brilliant." Who are your literary heroes? "Jaroslav Hasek. He's the man. A crazy Czechoslovakian drunk who fought in the first World War on numerous sides, married far too many women at once and, in between baiting the Austro Hungarian secret police and capturing, repainting and re-selling mongrel dogs as pedigrees, found time to write The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War. A great author needs either extensive knowledge and research skills or tremendous life experience. He certainly had the experience. And the book showed me that the ridiculous, the philosophical and the horrific can all co-exist between the same covers." What are your future plans - are you working on a follow up book? "More writing! I always knew Jupiter's story would need three parts. In the second novel we'll see his character rebuild England as a steampunk-version of the 1930's, seduce America's first female president, attack mainland Europe in spitfires, and make his atheist stance clear with the building of a huge national monument emblazoned with the words “Fuck Off, God!'. The third novel will be strongly guerilla warfare-flavoured and feature lots of strong-thighed women in tree-houses. And then there's the children's books..." Which living politician do you most admire and why? "I like Tony Benn. The man has humanity, dignity and generosity of spirit – all the things I lack. I admire people who stick to their principles and, though I don't agree with some of his politics, it's easy to see he has the best of intentions." What kind of encouragement, support or advice did you get from Not So Noble books? "The greatest encouragement an author can receive is an offer of publication. It validates all those long months and years spent tapping the computer keys in isolation. I always knew it was an unconventional book and required a readership with an open mind and a strong stomach. I'd sent it to various literature development folk who met me to discuss it with terror in their eyes. A literary agent said he loved it but couldn't think who the hell would buy it! At times I felt like a man raising an albino child he loved dearly but knew would never see daylight. I feel like Not So Noble have handed me some Factor 50 and a jaunty sun hat." How do you define success? "Success, for me, isn't about power and it certainly isn't about twatty diamond earrings and an Audi R8. It's about freedom: freedom to create and freedom from financial worry. The average UK artist earns £10,500 a year and spends more time chasing opportunities than painting. I'll often waste a week writing a funding application to secure two days work. This is normal for me and thousands of other artists, writers and musicians and it's fucking depressing. So success is the time and space to write and make art, knowing it has an audience, and knowing that the kids have shoes and the bills are covered. And if I can do all that from the turret of my converted 14th century chateau then so much the better." What is the most unspoiled country in Europe - which country would you like to escape to for a month? "If I could find an unspoiled Eastern European coastal town with a warm, blue ocean where the locals aren't all frothing racists then I'd be there in a shot. My family is dual heritage so the Not Racist thing is quite important to us. A hot summer in Croatia would be great or a snowy winter in Tallin, Estonia". "Even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day" - do you believe everyone has some good in them and has a part to play? "I'm not sure there's good in everyone. There's certainly meat. I imagine you could've made a few choice steaks out of Hitler. I reckon Himmler would've been a bit gristly so you're probably looking at grinding him up for sausages. When I think of Goering, I think Gammon. Yes, I can definitely imagine eating a few thick slices of Goering, grilled, with a slice of pineapple and a fried egg." Dan's new book is available to purchase exclusively on Amazon: Find out more about Not so Noble Books by visiting their website: