Wednesday 29 July 2015

Tate Short Cuts at The Clore Auditorium Thurs 30th July

In The Clore Auditorium there is a special screening of short films. Please note this event is also only open to Tate members of staff. The Running order will be... 1) Kate Matthews: “Memory Spring” 2) Pawel Jaskulski: “Scuola” 3) Sam Steer “ÜRTH MÜTHA”
4) Andrew Page: “Raxil4 - live at Decimal Place”
5) Liam Palmer: “A Thousand Generators”.
6) Ioanna Manoussaki-Adamopoulou: “Mumja” 7) Team Beswick & Pye “Introducing The Spammed”
8) Matthew Lloyd: “2012: Year of The Squid" Each of the films lasts less than 5 minutes. They'll be a loop from 6.30pm till 8.30pm. Drop in when you can

Sunday 26 July 2015

Jeremy Corbyn

It was 70 years ago today that Clement Attlee became the Prime Minister. His post-war reforming Labour government would create the NHS and forge the Welfare state. I know that I am not alone in wanting The Labour Party to go back to being The Labour Party. And I believe the one person who has the potential to be Labour's best leader since Mr Attlee is Jeremy Corbyn. In the last few days J.C. has been attacked by Blair, Blunket & Harman and newspapers such as The Sun have been throwing as much mud at him as they possibly can. Here are a few recent quotes both from Jeremy and from some of his supporters. If you agree please share and spread the word. And, if any of you are saying it's ridiculous to believe Jeremy can become our Prime Minister please remember the words of Nelson Mandela: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Jeremy Corbyn: "Education is not about personal advancement but is a collective good that benefits our society and our economy. I want to apologise on behalf of the Labour Party to the last generation of students for the imposition of fees, top-up fees and the replacement of grants with loans by previous Labour governments. I opposed those changes at the time - as did many others - and now we have an opportunity to change course."
Billy Bragg: "Tony Blair's comments about Jeremy Corbyn are plain crazy. He attacks the left for preferring principles to power, then says he'd rather lose an election than win on a left platform. Meanwhile both Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall stated they would not work with Corbyn if he were elected leader. What does that say about democracy within the Labour Party? Corbyn is the kind of politician that the public have been looking for: plain speaking, doesn't have his snout in the trough, holds on to his principles. He's fast becoming the anti-Westminster candidate. And there are plenty of people out there who'd like to give the Westminster elite a good kicking - including some who haven't bothered to vote since politics lost its heart and became merely about managing the economy."
Ken Livingstone: "Thirty years ago when it was a choice between Michael Foot and Denis Healey [to become Labour leader], I loved Michael Foot, I agreed with him, but I didn't think he could win and I supported Denis Healey.If I didn't think Jeremy could win, I wouldn't be backing him. But just the way people stop me on the street, he has electrified this campaign."
Charlotte Church: "The inverse of Nigel Farage, he appears to be a cool-headed, honest, considerate man, one of the few modern politicians who doesn't seem to have been trained in neuro-linguistic programming, unconflicted in his political views, and abstemious in his daily life. He is one of the only politicians of note that seems to truly recognise the dire inequality that exists in this country today and actually have a problem with it. There is something inherently virtuous about him, and that is a quality that can rally the support of a lot of people, and most importantly, a lot of young people. With the big three zero on the horizon for me, I don't know if I still count as a 'young person"'. What I can say is that for the first time in my adult life there is a politician from a mainstream party who shares my views and those of most people I know, and also has a chance of actually doing something to create a shift in the paradigm, from corporate puppetry to conscientious societal representation."

Sunday 19 July 2015

"Existence" at The Zoe Hawkins Gallery in Winchester

"Existence" featuring work by Annabel Dover, Sarah Jeffries, Gareth Kemp, Harry Pye, Jo Wilmot. (Curated by Sarah Jeffries) is on at The Zoe Hawkins Gallery, 9 St Clements Street in Winchester from 18th July till 18th August.
(Above: ‘We Just Want To Be Free’ by Sarah Jeffries oil on plywood, 2014.) Why are we here? Where did this all come from? What do we do with our lives? What do we leave behind? Understanding existence usually throws up far more questions than answers, and can send us in to a kind of mental chaos. All we know for sure is our desires and emotions. To understand existence is to put our trust in numbers and symbols to paint the picture of what the universe looks like out there. That is, until another physicist comes along to disprove the big bang theory, and then we’re back to uncertainty once again. Reflecting on human history, it seems we have never had it so easy, but is life easier with the modern technology that science has provided us with? The masses look to scientists as the key holders to our dreams - a robot to do all our chores, virtual reality games, 3D cinemas and televisions scenes to whisk us away to a more exciting life, perhaps a time machine is next to be on the market once the physicists work out the mechanics of the universe. If, throughout much of the world, humans are dependent on science to be the God of dreams, where does nature come in to it all? Our primitive survival skills are rarely used or passed on to our children. If all our beloved technology fails will we be able to survive? Surely, in such advanced times, our relationship with the natural world is of paramount importance. This show looks at a group of artist who challenge how we look at the world and our existence.
Harry Pye studied at Winchester School of Art in 1995 and in the second year of the course he did an artist's placement with the sculptor Bruce McLean. Twenty years later his work returns to Winchester in this very sincere, direct and heart felt group show. His professional art practices have made him in to somewhat of an art entrepreneur, with many fingers in different pies “pardon the pun”. Running his own ‘Harry Pye’s FRANK Magazine’), writing for Turps Banana, Artists & Illustrators and Face magazine, Pye is now the editor of ‘Rebel’ magazine. He has also curated numerous group shows in art spaces around London called "It May Be Rubbish, But “It's British Rubbish", "Too Much Or Not Enough", "Viva Pablo" and "I'm Shy". When he's not painting Harry often works in collaboration with the filmmaker Gordon Beswick and their work has been screened at both Tate Britain and Tate Modern. His work takes a slightly jovial approach to the subject of existence, seemingly lightening the load of the human condition by interrupting our hard-edged thoughts with depictions of lovable next door neighbour dogs pieces (‘Woof One’ & Woof Two) and friend Amechie (‘Eat Up’). At first glance the work might make you laugh with its incongruous nature, but a black comedy evidently underpins the work; Pye says “Someone once said the world is a comedy to those who think and a tragedy to those who feel”.
Sarah Jeffries lives and works in Eastleigh, Hampshire, and explores narratives through the use of oil painting on (real and faux) log slices. The real log paintings suspend wildly from the walls of the gallery and depict lone women seemingly out on a limb in the wilderness. The work originates from ideas of how the Brother’s Grimm portrayed women in 1812, and also from thoughts of how Alice is portrayed in Tim Burton’s ‘Alice In Wonderland’ in 2010. Compositions are constructed using taken photographic images of the New Forest and found imagery from fashion magazines. This is the first exhibit of the ‘faux log’ paintings, produced out of plywood and rendered to look similar to a log, whilst depicting glitter silhouettes that tenuously co-exist with wild animals in vast open landscapes, thus highlighting a kind of separations from the natural world. Since graduating from a Masters in Painting at the Royal College of Art, Jeffries’ work has been featured in Vogue, the Guardian, the Metro, shown and collected internationally in USA, Italy, Belgium, Germany, UK and has received four solo shows with many inclusions in curated group show in London and the UK.
Annabel Dover explores the fragility of life through our social relationship of nostalgic objects, through the use of painting and sculpture. This is the first exhibit of the ‘Gold Things’ series; the items on display are artifacts cast out of jesmonite, slightly sculpted and covered in burnished 24ct gold leaf. The sculptures all originate from Dover’s experiences of being a child; the ‘Lozenge’ piece is a particularly poignant piece with a reference to the difficulties with bringing life in to the World and really encompasses hope, reminding us how miraculous and magical life is. Since graduating from a MA at Central St Martin’s College in 2002, Dover’s work has received five solo shows, inclusion in many group shows with two shows at the Tate Britain, and her work is also held in public museum collections.
Annabel is currently studying for PhD at Wimbledon School of Art.
Gareth Kemp explores what it means to exist through the construction of elements composed on a canvas. Blurring the line between figuration and abstraction, we see in this show ‘The Drifter’s Escape’ and ‘The Death of Bill Hickok’
which encompass a sense of dislocation and disjointedness, much like a close to reality dream that twists and warps our perceptions. The work originates from various photographic sources; historical family photos, personal holiday snap shots and found images from magazines and newspapers, compositions are arranged using a kind of cut and paste assemblage. Since graduating from a Masters degree at Liverpool University Kemp’s work has been selected for various art Prizes, including The Threadneedle Prize and The Discerning Eye, with work being exhibited and collected in London, Liverpool, Sussex, Manchester and New York.
Jo Wilmot encapsulates peculiar happenings with a subject matter that is slightly at odds with nature through the use of acrylic on canvas. In these most recent paintings animals are depicted in the unnatural world of man made environments. Wilmot’s work derives from a kind of mediation between the found and photographed image and originates from the idea that things in life are far from the perfect and nothing like what see in the media and advertising. The work reminds us that even though we try to control things and create the perfection to fit our expectations, life tends to be much more messy. It seems that perfection is a modern myth and is very rarely achieved. Since graduating from an MA at Goldsmiths Wilmot’s work has been curated in to many group shows in London and the UK, with works collected and shown internationally in USA, Germany, Netherlands and the UK,

Tuesday 7 July 2015

You are invited to the opening party for Life of Pye at The Angus-Hughes Gallery on Wednesday the 5th of August

"Life of Pye" is the name Harry Pye has given to his 42 Collaborations project. Just like any exhibition there will be work for sale and it's fine with us if journalists promote it and critics review it and all that sort of thing. However, "Life of Pye" is intended as a year long project. When the project is over the artist wants to bring out a pocket sized book that documents the different collaborations he's undertaken with 42 different people he admires. Everyone is invited to the launch party of "Life of Pye" project which is a celebration of being 42 years young.
The private view / launch party takes place at The Angus-Hughes Gallery, 26 Lower Clapton Road, (at the junction of Urswick Rd), London E5 0PD from 6pm till 9pm on Wednesday 5th of August. (Note: The artist will also be at the gallery from 12-6pm on Thursday the 6th of August if you want to have a chat with him, then all the work is being packed up and returned to his studio in New Cross untill he finds another venue for the next stage of the project.)
The artist says: “It’s been 21 years since I graduated from Winchester School of Art aged 21. I'm celebrating my 42nd birthday by having an exhibition that features 42 collaborations. I've also been working on a publication with the designer Keith Sargent that will feature images from the show plus forty-two 42 word quotes about the number 42. Writers who have contributed a quote for me include David Quantick, Kevin Eldon, John Lloyd, Peter Tatchell, Helen Lederer, Jack Dee, Sally O’Reilly, Suki Webster, Mark Lamarr, and Lloyd Cole.“Life of Pye” doesn’t just feature paintings. The project includes video, performance, paintings, drawings, animations, songs, jewellery, badges, and sculptures, that I made with friends and artists I admire. For details of who I’ve been working with you can visit: Please come to my launch party at The Angus Hughes Gallery so I can tell you more about the project in person. You can get an exclusive peek at some of the work and find out how you can get involved in stage two.”
“The stylistic context of Pye’s gag making is that of a glorious UK art writing tradition that includes Matthew Collings, Gilbert and George, Billy Childish, Mark McGowan and BANK). There can be lot of sad old pain behind this class of gag making, in which humour replaces sadness to become the crafty vehicle for kinds of truth telling that are usually proscribed – the time honoured subversions of the holy and court fools, carnival madness, and jester and trickster mischief making.” – Neal Brown
“Harry Pye is the only artist who is consistently good.” – Buffy Cook. Harry William Pye was born in London in 1973. His work has been exhibited in England, Brazil, Australia, Denmark and Estonia and can be found in collections around the world including Rob Whytehead, Thomas Cohn, Ben Moore, Nicholas Rushton, Eduardo Mondolfo, Harriet Chalk, Niven and Ruben Govinden, The Joffe family, Kenny Schachter, Richard Marchant and Sartorial Contemporary Art. He’s curated shows for Deptford X and Elefest in London and Glassbox in Paris. He’s organised events at both Tate Britain and Tate Modern. His paintings have been sold to raise money for various charities including: Art Against Knives, Break Through (breast cancer charity), Action For Children, Kids & Co, CARA (Charity for academic refugees), Depression Alliance, and Friends of The Earth. And he’s had nice things said about his projects on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and The Weekend Review. And had glowing reviews written in many publications including: The Guardian Guide, The Times, The Evening Standard, and Frieze magazine. Angus Hughes Tel: 0208 9850450 Email:
Unless something goes horribly, horribly wrong "Life of Pye" will feature work made in collaboration with the following brilliant people: Erica MacArthur, Billy Childish & Geraldine Swayne, Gordon Beswick, Natasha Mediator, Kes Richardson, Francis Macdonald, Julian Wakeling, Fanny Janssen, Kirsty Buchanan, Tinsel Edwards, David Dipré, Mel Cole, Mikey Georgeson, Rowland Smith, Ed Hill & Jacob Louis Beaney, Caroline Jupp, Marcus Cope, Blacklist Editions, Christopher Owen, Howard Dyke John Moseley, Liz Murray, Sarah Sparkes, Elsa Tierney, Kate Murdoch, Chris Coombes, Luke Gottelier, Barry Thompson, Hugh Mendes, Emma Coleman, Astrid Horkheimer, Ruth Binfor, The Spammed, and another 9 still to be confirmed!

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Songwriting in Shepherd's Bush

I've had a couple of great days hanging out with producer David M Allen in his Shepherd's Bush studio. Mikey Georgeson and I have been trying to write a song or two and we've had great help from David and our friends Micko Westmoreland and Neil Innes. More news soon.
Above: Mikey re-writing lyrics
Above: David and Mikey
Above: Micko Westmoreland on guitar
Above:Micko and David
Above: Micko and David 2
Above: Mikey and Neil
David M Allen has engineered and produced all sorts of amazing records including all my favourite Cure albums. Other bands he's worked with in the past include The Human League, Depeche Mode, The Mission, Sisters of Mercy, Wire, The Associates.