Tuesday 27 March 2012

Q & A with Uliana Apatina

"I'm Not Scared" is an event that combines live music and installation art. It takes place at The Chisenhale Project space on the 12th of April. Artist Uliana Apatina (pictured below) tells us a bit more...

The Rebel: Where and when were you born?
Uliana Apatina: "1981 Siberia. It's not that scary place as it sounds – dreadfully cold in winter and boiling hot in summer, but beautiful in late spring when everything is blossoming in white and early autumn during multi-coloured leaf fall. And sky is always nice – strikingly blue, very deep and bright, and so endlessly high! Sometimes, it feels as if it hurts your eyes, especially at those specifically freezing winter days with magically sparkling snow. But it is an amazing sensation, indeed."

What makes you homesick?
"Nothing. Nothing makes me homesick, never did and I can hope never will."

Did you enjoy art school, was it how you expected it to be?
"Oh, yeah... I did love my art school! Loads of absolutely crazy experiments, infinite freedom, very important and close friends and a firm confidence in your ability to change the world and shape a new future."

Can you tell me about your Forest installation in the I'm Not Scared exhibition at The Chisenhale Project space?
"Forest installation, as you called it, or a forest of columns, a contemporary art museum or anti-museum to be precise. The prototype, let's say, for this installation happened to be my final work at the Architectural Association when I passionately wanted to create a new space for art rather than a sterile atmosphere of whiteness. I have always thought that a healthy confrontation between art and architecture would be good for both of them. That is why I like Guggenheim Museum in New York by Frank Lloyd Wright, although he had completely different from mine intentions. And a prototype structure is, in fact, different from the installation both in materials being used and functions they perform. Inclined steel columns of an anti-museum physically carry loads of floors and ceilings, while ropes of the installation being stretched in between a prepositioned floor and ceiling act as an illusion of those powerful beams. Though, both cases are equal in terms of their relation to art located in and around them – you have to see it through the forest with an angle of unpredictable viewpoints. In itself, actually, space formed by those ropes or columns is of a paramount importance. Experience of this space by visitors is crucial. Just a space. Just as an experience. For its own sake. Then, in 'I'm Not Scared' there is a wall of smiles [which by its structural grid makes a geometrical contrast to the diagonals] to see out of the forest and music to listen to – in a way, as I believe, those chaotic columns be they out of metal, concrete or rope, make a condition for the whole event to happen with a primary value on their own right."

What is the purpose of art? Are there too many artists these days?
"As far as I am concerned, art must change a universe as a whole and something inside the internal world of every human being. There always were too many artists at all the times – in a way, at least at this sense, our time is no more different than any other."

What's the best thing about The Chisenhale?
"Artists I professionally highly value who have become my close friends."

How long have you known Thom Driver - are you a fan or his music?
"The way I met Thom for the first time was during his performance couple of years ago. Oh, yes, I did like music a lot ! – that's why I wanted Piper's Son to be a music part of 'I'm Not Scared'."

What are your favourite books?
"I still like Julio Cort├ízar – especially 'Hopscotch' and all his short stories. Also, recently I have discovered Ayn Rand with a striking belief in a power of human mind, ability and action."

Which artists inspired you when you were young?
"Being very curious all the time, I tended to have loads of inspirations – but I'll tell you about the most memorable once. When I was a little kid, my father used to collect with me post stamps dedicated to art – Vermeer and Rembrandt meant a lot to me – on those tiny images. Later, when I became a bit elder than a kid and left Siberia for Saint-Petersburg, – I saw those works from the post stamps at their true grand scale in a reality of 'Hermitage' and became more than hundred percent sure of my choice. Bursting energy, restless search and driving power of invention idiosyncratic for the early 20th century influenced me greatly as an art school student, particularly the Soviet Avant-garde and everything related. Italian futurism with their manifestos. Picasso. Van Gogh."

Why do fools fall in Love?
"I think 'clevers' fall in Love as well."

What next for Uliana?
"I would like to make a solo exhibition of my hybrid painting-drawing-text works, perhaps on the day of my birthday."

"I'm Not Scared" opens on 12/04/12 at The Chisenhale Project space, 64-84 Chisenhale Road,London E.3 5QZ(6.30pm till 9.30pm)The live music is one night only however the installation stays up until Sunday the 15th of April.

Monday 26 March 2012

Q & A with Thom Driver

Thom Driver a.k.a Piper's Son will be playing live at the "I'm Not Scared" event at Chisenhale Project Space in Bethnal Green next week.
The Rebel: Where were you born?
Thom Driver: "South London women's hospital, Clapham, London."

The Rebel:How many instruments can you play and which ones are you best at?
"Five, to a reasonable degree of competence. Drums are the most fun, but I'm probably best at guitar or bass. I'm recording an album at the moment so I'm turning my hand to a lot of other things too. I'll try anything percussive, stringed or with keys, but I can't blow, so wind instruments are out of the question."
(Above: Thom on stage with Arthur Brick)

The Rebel: Why are Piper's Son so called? What's their history?
"Because I'm rubbish at thinking up names. Piper's Son was suggested as semi-joke by my ex-girlfriend's mum, and I was drawn to the slightly lame pun involved. I don't think either of my parents ever smoked a pipe. The 'Son have an immensely rich and brilliant backstory, but I can't be bothered to make any of it up at the moment..

You once interviewed someone called Cautious Daredevil in an issue of the Rebel, and I always loved his answer to the band name question. I'd say that mostly you think of lots of utterly shit names, only to settle on something which alternately seems brilliant, then only just bearable. If the name is going to work, you have to grow into it and let it grow around you. But I also think it's healthy to shake yourself up once in a while, so I'll probably get rid of it at some point."

The Rebel: Which songs will you be playing at the Chisenhale project space?
"Four off the last EP, then a few from the new album, if I ever get the words finished - lyrics are an eternal thorny problem. I have a friend who can go off to the pub for a couple of hours then come back with half an album's worth (yes I'm envious), but I've never cracked a way of writing words that doesn't involve weeks of scribbles, frustration and broken pens."

The Rebel: Do you get nervous before performing?
"Oh yes.. in fact I'm tensing up now thinking about it. I used to just drink loads, but eventually that becomes really embarrassing and instead of nerves before playing you have self-loathing after. So now I adopt a zen-like aura of utter calm which is then reflected back by everyone around me, resulting in a genuine internal calm. Or at least that's the idea."

The Rebel: What's you favourite album?
"Totally impossible to boil down to one, or even ten! Afraid I'd be hopeless on desert island discs. This morning I listened to Konono No.1 and a Caetano Veloso instrumental. They're both really good."

Are you driven and ambitious?
"Only in taxis. Seriously, I have sharp outpourings of drive and ambition which can dry up in an instant. Getting older is good because you gradually work out how to tap and control them in a sustainable way."

The Rebel: How good were One Norwegian Lady? Are you still in touch with your former band mates?
"The 'Lady claimed much of my young and wild years, so I will always have great fondness for her, including all the highs, lows, blood, fun, smells, awkwardness, and cellar damp. I think it's for others to say how good Norwegian Lady were, if they're interested, though I will say that we wrote the best song about self-amputation that I've ever heard. I'm still in touch with Dave Carbone, and occasionally run into the other Lady-boys."

The Rebel: How broke are you?
"The wolf is never far from the door and at moment he's a bit close for comfort. Money is like soap in the bath for me. As soon as I get fed up, stop chasing, lie back and relax it seems to settle within easy reach. Then it slips away and I start chasing again, only to get fed up, stop, etc.."

The Rebel: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
"Thirst, strong sunlight, fear of aging, the prospect of a good coffee, grandiose thoughts of striving for a better world, bladder, sometimes even the wolf."

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Q & A with Chloe Mortimer

(Above image: Another Time, Another Place" by C.Mortimer 2010)

Chloe Mortimer is a 27 year old artist based in Brighton. Her mixed media collages have been exhibited at The Barbican, L-13, Five Years, and The Lucky Strike Gallery. In May her work will be featured in The (Other) Other Art Fair at Ambika P3, Marylebone Road NW1.
(Above image: "My Mother by Chloe Mortimer 2012)
The Rebel: What is the best place to go for a drink in Brighton and what is your favourite tipple?
Chloe: "I like the Prince Albert in Trafalgar Street. If you're paying I'd like a large glass of house white."
The Rebel: Can you name five artworks that inspire or excite you?
Chloe: "Yes...
1/ Allen Jones. The Life Class series.
2/ Dash Snow. I love his collage work, so raw and brutal. Just like he was.
3/ Roger Hilton, the 'drunk in bed' gouaches from the 1970's.
4/ Pretty much anything by Rebecca Warren.
5/ Joe Minter, amazing outsider artist.

The Rebel: Do you like the name Chloe? Were you named after anyone?
Chloe "I've grown to like it."
(above image: "Van Gogh's Cock" 2010)
The Rebel: Were you entirely self taught? Would you like to go to college one day?
Chloe: "I am self taught, however I had an uncle who used to buy me art books from charity shops."
The Rebel: What magazines do you read?
"Chloe: "Lots. I like New Scientist, The Wire, National Geographic (anything with animals in) and I like to steal crappy gossip magazines from doctors / dentists waiting rooms. I alter them and then put them back a few days later, always fun."
The Rebel: Are you a fan of old music legends like Tina Turner or Bryan Ferry (who both appear in your work) or do you just like them visually?
Chloe: "I really like Bryan Ferry, he is really sexy in an 'older man' sort of way. Tina is just funny, she is such a bundle of energy. Did you know her real name is Anna Bullock, and she is now a right old Buddhist."
The Rebel: Have you read Way Of Seeing? Are you interested in art theory?
Chloe: "No I've not read that one, have you? I'm not interested in art theory, I'm more interested in science, psychology, and looking on Ebay. Life is too short for John Berger."
The Rebel: What makes you angry?
Chloe: "A lot of things, Shoreditch, private views, Coldplay"
The Rebel: Do you make work with an audience in mind?
Chloe: "No, I don't go to my own private views. I make the work for myself, I enjoy the build up, the foreplay and then the act. It is very liberating, like sex. If others like what I do, then that is great."
The Rebel: Do you have a favourite of photo of you from your childhood?
Chloe: "Yes, there is one of me dressed as Madonna and taken in my bedroom."
The Rebel: Which part of our face or body are you most proud of?
Chloe: "What a weird question? I guess I like my eyes and legs best."
The Rebel: Do you have a favourite quote?
Chloe: "I stand up to them and confront while you choose to be a C*nt."
(above image: "Fight Back" by Chloe Mortimer 2010)
Chloe Mortimer is featured in The Other Art Fair. The private view of the fair is Thursday 10th May 2012 – 5pm – 9pm. The fair will then be on for:
Friday 11th May 2012 – 11am – 8pm, Saturday 12th May 2012 – 11am – 6pm
Sunday 13th May 2012 – 11am – 6pm

Friday 16 March 2012

Dates For Your Diary

Don't be an April Fool by missing out on these 5 exciting art events...
Thursday 5th of April: "She Doesn't Care" curated by Liam Newnham featuring Jasper Joffe, Harry Pye, Gordon Beswick, Cedar Lewisohn
Thursday 12th of April: "I'm Not Scared" group show at The Chisenhale Project Space featuring Uliana Apatina, Thom Driver, Harry Pye.
Friday 13th of April: Late at Tate featuring the films of Team Beswick & Pye
Tuesday 17th of April: Teenage Cancer Trust 7 inch single charity show at the I-D Generation gallery featuring Jasper Joffe, Team Beswick & Pye, David Shrigley, The Cure
Friday 27th of April: Charity Art Auction for Depression Alliance starring Leonard Cohen, Billy Childish, Harry Pye.
Event One:
Ebb & Flow, (77 Leonard St EC2A 4QB)is the venue for the first ever group show curated by Liam Newnham.
Event Two:
Uliana and Harry are both making installation pieces. Thom Driver will be performing songs from his new C.D "The Roar From Behind."
Event Three: Come to Tate Britain where not only are there the exhibitions "Picasso in Britain" and "Migrations" but also evening events featuring Klarita Pandolphi, Team Beswick & Pye and much, much more.
Event Four: (Inspired the Royal College Postcard Sale)Music industry golden boy Kevin King has 700 singles for sale all £40 each. The sleeves of these singles have been designed by members of The Cure, Florence & The Machine, Team Beswick & Pye, David Shrigley and many others. All money made from this event at the Idea Generation gallery will be going to the Teenage Cancer Trust.
For more info go here: http://www.secret-7.com/
Event Five: An important fund raising auction for Depression Alliance is taking place. The event is called "In Comes The Black Dog" and it takes place at a gallery in South London.
(Above Image: "I'm Thinking" a.k.a Portrait of Russell Walker by Harry Pye 2009 91cm x 122cm)
You will be able to bid for this painting at a special show in South London.
The Chief Executive of Depression Alliance will be speaking at the event which aims to change peoples' beliefs and attitudes towards mental health.

Monday 5 March 2012

The Other Art Fair is back and looking for new artists

A message from Ryan Stanier:

"The Other Art Fair is London’s contemporary art fair showing 100 of the most talented and unrepresented artists. The fair acts as a platform to give selected artists the opportunity further their careers by meeting with many of London’s gallerists as well as selling work directly to buyers. Apply now to be considered"

Application can be found at http://www.theotherartfair.com/the-artists/exhibit/

Yes, that's right The Other Art Fair is back! Application closes in 10 sleeps time so get involved now.
All the artists who took part in Ryan's first Other Art Fair were delighted with the way it went.
After being involved with the first fair artist Raj Kaur wrote on his website:
"My space was located on the second floor, in one of the more spacious rooms, which worked great as it created an inviting, open space for people to enjoy the art. The Private View evening was VERY well attended, people were queuing to get into the venue. I had a fantastic opening night - incredible support from my friends who had come to celebrate the evening with me, and also a wonderful first response from people who were new to my work. I made 3 sales on opening night! Wonderful! Moreover - they were to really lovely people, how nice to get a feel of where the artwork will end up living. Fantastic!"

The Other Art Fair is London's newest art fair. It provides a fresh, open platform to connect art buyers of all tastes and experience directly with young, emerging artists before they are signed up. Don't miss out.