Thursday, 20 September 2018

10 Questions for Moich Abrahams

"Jo Mama's Alphabet Show" is a group exhibition that opens on Saturday 6th of October at The Studio One Gallery in Wandsworth Plain. The exhibition features a different artwork for each letter of the alphabet. Some of the work that is being featured hasn't been exhibited anywhere for a long time, some aspects of the show are memorabilia or preciousness possessions that are just on loan to the gallery and not for sale, and there is also a generous helping of brand new paintings that have been made especially for the show. Moich Abrahams is hard at work making a new painting to represent the letter 'V' but he was persuaded to answer a few questions...
Q) What's the best thing about being Moich Abrahams? "I have some great friends and a lovely family. More and more I seem to be able to live in the present (cf “Isness is the business”), and opportunities to share some of my awesome experiences continuously keep arising, as well as, as if miraculously, my needs are mostly being met moment by moment."
Q) What's the meaning of life? "Life has whatever meaning you give to it...check out ‘The Law of Attraction’. For moi, my favourite ‘hat’ on this subject is hidden in open sight within the philosophy of advaita or non-duality. I love the quote from Long Chen Pa which says “Since everything is none other than exactly as it is one may well just break out in laughter”
Q) What can you tell me about the art schools you went to - did you receive a good education? "I attended Byam Shaw in its hey day (1970 -74); it has now got subsumed by St. Martins. I also was privileged to attend the first or was it the second part time MA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths (1980-82) under the pioneer Jon Thompson. I was a mature student (only age wise!), and along the way, was fortunate to become acquainted and sometimes friends with eminent and colourful individuals such as Ken Kiff, George Melly, John Bellany and Antony Green etc . In many ways, as is fashionable in great colleges of art these days, one is sort of self taught, unlike in the academic old days. However, the structure and focus these institutions provided certainly could be considered as a ‘good education’. Bottom line, education wise, may come down to the quality of the teaching artists ability to transmit inspired tutorials. As I said, I think I was lucky to have met a few good guys. Otherwise, I have often had a yen to relate my art to that of ‘untrained’ artists, as in Art Brut and Outsider Art. However, owning an MA from Goldsmiths etc precludes me from belonging in that cohort."
Q) Which of Gilbert & George's ten commandments do you most approve of.... I Thou shalt fight conformism II Thou shalt be the messenger of freedoms IIIThou shalt make use of sex IV Thou shalt reinvent life V Thou shalt grab the soul VI Thou shalt give thy love VII Thou shalt create artificial art VIII Thou shalt have a sense of purpose IX Thou shalt not know exactly what thou dost, but thou shalt do it X Thou shalt give something back. "It's great to show with Gilbert and George in the Alphabet Exhibition. Regarding their 10 commandments I go for all of them!"
Q) Is there an artist that means so much to you - you might not be able to be friends with someone who dislikes them? "Well yup in a way, certainly that could apply to a friend who is ones full time romantic partner. If they hated eg Picasso and Miro for example, and maybe even Basquiat, that might be a deal breaker."
Q) Is it true you knew George Melly - what did you talk about / was he easy to get along with? "Yes, I knew George. Visited his house a coupled of times and he came to my studio...on his motorised bike. Found him charming and erudite. Apart from being a jazz singer etc, he was an authority on surrealism and had quite a collection. I was delighted he bought one of my pastels ('Doves on Fire' see below) . As far as I recall, we mostly talked about art."
Q) Do you see Art as a language, a means of communication? Why do you make art? "In my Byam Shaw days, Harry Thubron gave a very very short possibly inebriated lecture in which I only remember him saying “It’s all about Eye (I?), Life Force and Thing” I make art because I am almost compelled to translate my experiences into something visual. In the first instance, It’s a sort of spontaneous out pouring though then there is often a mountain to climb to create something fit to show to the public. I love seeing what is and am fascinated with the mysterious. In particular, I love re inventing child like expressiveness. It is a language, one in which I communicate with myself. Also, making art is a choice which for me is a perfect vehicle, beautifully accommodating, my efforts to manage and master the art of ‘letting go’. Yes its also a vocation and a hobby and I love it when others get pleasure from what I create.
Q)Do you have a favourite word or a favourite letter of the alphabet? "At the moment,my favourite letter in the alphabet is V. Though I have sometimes used eg AAA, GGG or KKK in my art."
Do you have an art hero? Who is your biggest inspiration? "Naturally Leonard de Vinci ranks high in more ways than one! ($450,000). I really love the now deceased Gugging outsider artist Oswald Tschirtner . “How are you Oswald?”, I asked him, and his invariable reply was “ Happy in God”.
Of course, School of Paris artists are also my cup of tea, as are many, many others."
Q) What's your favourite Stanley Kubrick film? "Stanley Kubricks daughter was in my class at Byam Shaw, as far as I remember? I love science fiction cf my paintings eg The Origin of UFOs . I liked Kubricks 2001: A space Odyssey and also AI: Artificial Intelligence which was ultimately made by Spielberg."
You can find out more about Moich and see more of his work by visiting: here
Jo Mama's Alphabet Show is open to the public during the first two weekends of October 12 till 6pm

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Funny Business at Gallery 64a

Above painting: 'The Future is Unwritten' acrylic on canvas by Harry Pye and Rowland Smith
Above painting 'Worried Couple' by Geraldine Swayne
Above painting 'The Moon Landing' by Geraldine Swayne
Above painting 'Dirty Danish Dolls' by Geraldine Swayne
Above painting ('Aubergine' 18 x 24cm acrylic on canvas) by Jasper Joffe
Above painting ('Kissy Face' 18 x 24cm acrylic on canvas) by Jasper Joffe
Above painting; ('Whale'18 x 24cm acrylic on canvas) by Jasper Joffe.
Above: 'Beards' by Sadie Hennessy
Above painting: 'Ken Dodd' acrylic and emulsion paint and mixed media on wood) by Harry Pye
Above painting: 'Kenneth Williams' (acrylic on wood)by Harry Pye
Above painting: 'Woody Allen' (acrylic on canvas') by Harry Pye and Rowland Smith
Above Map of how to get to Gallery 64a from Whiststable station 'Funny Business' takes place at Gallery 64a From Thu Oct 04 2018 To Sun Oct 28 2018.

Friday, 14 September 2018

10 Questions for Sadie Hennessy

On Facebook she's described herself as a "Mature Lady Artist." Maybe she is someone who needs no introduction? You can see the work of this legendary Whitstable based, creative genius and "shenanigator" at The next London Art Car Boot Fair which will take place on September 16, 2018 between 12-6pm at Granary Square, King's Cross, N1C 4AA.She also has work in a new group show called 'Funny Business' taking place at Gallery 64a.
What's the Sadie Hennessy story? Have you been making art a long time? "Yes always. I thought I wanted to be a writer when I left school, and studied ' theatre-writing for non-theatre spaces' (or something like that!) at Dartington College of Arts, in the 80s.....but I was always more interested in the visuals, than the words, and what I was doing then was probably closer to installation, and performance art, but I wasn't really aware of those terms. I finally got round to studying Fine Art by doing an MA at Central St. Martins a few years back and I'm now Screen Print Fellow at the Royal Academy, amongst other things."
What makes you laugh and how would you describe your sense of humour? "I like things that are surreal and incongruous.... and a bit pathetic. I have an ongoing project called 'The Museum of Patheticness' and that always makes me laugh. So perhaps I should describe my sense of humour as 'pathetic'?!"
What are the best things about living in Whitstable? "Well Whitstable in the Summer is hard to beat. I live right next to West Beach and when the weather is warm I run over to the sea in my dressing gown, for a pre-breakfast dip. Heaven!"
Do you have any art heroes and who are your favourite contemporary artists? "Louise Bourgeois (as seen above) and Giorgio de Chirico are my old school art heroes - and more contemporary people that float my boat include Sarah Maple, Dash Snow, Sarah Lucas, John Akomfrah, Jeremy Deller, Sophie Calle (as seen below) ...amongst many others"
Do you think there's good in everyone and that no one is all bad? "No. Some people are shits."
What can you tell me about your beard artworks - what made you want to put a beard on Liza Minelli? "Well it was a fairly literal exploration of the idea of 'the beard' as in a woman married to a closet gay man - which was particularly prevalent in the 'golden era' of Hollywood, where leading actors couldn't be known to be gay for fear of losing their female fans. I was playing with the idea of androgyny and gender-fluidity too I guess, and I also thought they looked quite funny. They took me absolutely ages to make as I am definitely not a very skilled needlewoman (unlike my heroine Louise Bourgeois!)"
What do you associate with the words, "Funny Business"? (What's the first thing that comes in your head?) "Monkey Business - I'm thinking of the PG Tips ad and a chimps tea party"
What have been the highest highs and lowest lows of 2018 (so far)? "Highest point of the year was doing my project 'Jolene & the Jealous Guys' in the bus shelters of East and West Coker (Somerset) as part of the Od Arts Festival. Until you have sung karaoke in a bus shelter dressed as Dolly Parton*, you probably haven't lived. The lowest point was losing my beloved friend Tim Burke (formerly of the Grey Organisation) a couple of weeks ago. He was my right-hand man and always there to advise me on my wilder art schemes."
What are your desert island discs and who would you most like to share an island with?
"I have literally spent my whole life thinking about the answer to this question (at the same time as knowing the answer will be of hardly any interest to anybody besides myself). Oh well, here goes: Buzzcocks - 'Ever Fallen in Love.....' 'Weightless Again' - Handsome Family 'Memories Can't Wait' - Talking Heads 'Closing Time' - Leonard Cohen 'Come Undone'- Mark Lanegan & Isobel Campbell 'The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret' - Queen's of the Stone Age 'Marz' - John Grant 'No Imagination' - Blondie (Oh God, I'm already panicking about all the other songs I want to include). Regarding who to share the island with, I'd probably have to take my Basset Hound, Dennis, with me, as no-one else would look after him if I wasn't around.
Do you know any jokes? "Yes! What is the difference between a weasel and a stoat? (Answer: A weasel is weasily recognisable and a stoat is stoatally different)"
'Funny Business' feat. Sadie is on at Gallery 64a From Thu Oct 04 2018 To Sun Oct 28 2018. For more on Sadie visit: here

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Harry Pye Awards 2018: WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Last night over 200 popped by The A Side B Side Gallery in Mare Street for the launch party of The Harry Pye Awards Sponsored by Joffe Books.
(Photo Below:) The winner of award for Best Album Sleeve went to Peter Harris
(Photo Below) The winner of The Best Newcomer Award went to Simon Love.
(Below) The winner of The Best Musician Award went to Richard Lamy
The winner of Best Live Act went to Sukie Smith
Below:The winner of Best Gallery went to The A Side B Side Gallery (which is run By Catherine Magnani)
The award of 2nd Best Artist of 2018 went to Mikey Georgeson for his painting, 'To My Mother, My Dog and Clowns'
The award for Best Artist of 2018 went to Raphael Pepper for his lino-cut, 'New York Twilight.'
Below: Best Artist Nominee Sarah Sparkes. In the background is Gordon Beswick's painting, 'Cropley Court'.
Below: A visitor poses with 'War is expensive. Peace is Priceless' by nominee Sandra Turnbull.
Below: Award Nominee: Harry Adams (a.k.a Steve Lowe)in the background is fellow nominee Sohrab Crews.
Below: The back of award nominee Geraldine Swayne's head
Below: 3 Best Artist Nominees James Lawson, Gordon Beswick and Mikey Georgeson.
Below: Harry Pye with Jackson D Ferguson
Below: Best Artist nominee Raksha Patel with her painting, Outside
Below: Best artist nominee, Rachael Robb hanging her painting, Bird.
(Photo Below):Best Artist Nominee Martin Brown whose painting is of a hooded figure in Tufnell Park.
Below: All of the artists nominated for their awards attended but not all of them like having their photo taken so here instead is a snap of some trophies..
Below: Simon Love and family
Five Useful Links...
1) The Prize money for the Best Artist Award and 2nd Best Artist Award was donated by Jasper Joffe of Joffe Books. Find out more about them by clicking: Here 2) Simon Love has a new album out on Tapete Records which you can find out about: here 3) Richard Lamy has a soundcloud thing which you can listen to: here 4) Sukie Smith is in the group Madam who you can learn more about: here 5) Peter Harris is an artist, musician and gentleman who you can read about: here
Above: "Everyone's A Winner Baby" The A Side B Side Gallery is open from 10am until 5pm. Work from The Harry Pye Awards For Art 2018 can be seen until the 4th of September. The A Side B side Gallery is a 2 minute walk from Hackney Central.