Tuesday 31 October 2017

"Citizens of Nowhere" exhibition by Twinkle Troughton at Studio One

Studio One Gallery is one of the best spaces in London. You should definately take a trip to: 7–9 Wandsworth Plain SW18 1ES to see Twinkle Troughton's solo show. But hurry as he show ends on the 5th of November. http://www.studio1gallery.co.uk
Twinkle Troughton is an artist living and working in Margate. Connecting past with present, through her paintings Twinkle explores parallels in current social and political issues with the ancient moral lessons told in fables. She has exhibited both in the UK and internationally and has work in private collections. Alongside her practice and personal blog, Twinkle also established and writes the Cloud CT9 Blog about the art scene in Margate.
For C.V. and more info visit: http://www.twinkletroughton.co.uk
Often inspired by fables, Twinkle’s current focus is on The Lonely Wolf by Janos Pilinszky. A post WW2 poet, Pilinszky spent a substantial amount of his life in concentration camps, and went on to write a small but poignant body of work inspired by what he experienced. For Twinkle, The Lonely Wolf is a haunting portrayal of a refugee, isolated and misunderstood, baring great resemblance to treatment of refugees in recent years. Fear of the other has always plagued humanity, and now, in an era of Trump and Brexit we are experiencing a huge outbreak, creating isolation, division and chaos all around the world. It is in this world that Twinkle sees the wolf attempting to navigate a path to safety, travelling over vast lands which are marred with paranoia and isolation as drawbridges are pulled up. Primarily using oils on paper, Twinkle’s paintings explore a fragmented society. By combining oil paints with mediums that by their very nature oppose each other, painted layers distort and separate. Strange fictional landscapes are pulled out of the random markings by the inclusion of detail such as houses, boats and trees. Clusters of tents, lifebuoys and other items alluding to the plight of the refugee can often be found. Here influence also lies with the works of Chinese artists such as Quo Xi (1020–1090) and Zhang Daqian (1899-1983) whose landscapes are monumental and limitless, allowing for the eye to travel over vast lands, and for the mind to imagine even further beyond. Sometimes in the earlier stages the paintings are ripped up in to smaller pieces, fragmenting the image further. These surreal yet familiar landscapes with echoes of suburbia are not dissimilar to a setting for a fairytale, within which pockets of colour and light are often included, conveying hope in our beautiful but confused world.

Thursday 26 October 2017

"A Better Place" - Scarlet Mara exhibition at Gallery 64a

Scarlet Mara: "My new works are describing a place that is not a real place or something you could find on a map. There is no map because the place is not a place like something to be near or in or at. It is not somewhere or anywhere, but it is not nowhere either. Is it even a place? Is it a memory, a dream, a different life? You don’t know what it is. You wish you knew what it was. You miss it so much. I am approaching the field of longing through various artistic processes like woodcut, drawing, painting and collaging in order to create a network of images correlating with one another. The works are appealing to the internal state of the viewer, even if they sometimes deny a clear reading, that enhances their dreamlike state. However, it also becomes evident that the images we have of the world inside and around us are always already framed and edited. Even our perception and imagination is subject to an organizing gaze - and what we see is never what we see."
"A Better Place" is the name of the exhibition currently showing at Gallery 64a, Oxford Street, Whitstable, Kent CT5 1DG. The work above is a wood cut on Japanese paper called Opal Eye. The show runs until November the 5th.
Above: Focus a collage by Scarlet Mara
Above:"Well" collage by Scarlet Mara
Above:"The Place at the End of The World" collage by Scarlet Mara
The next show at Gallery 64a is Way Out West a solo show by Dave Troughton which opens on the 11th of November.

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Q & A with Michael Redmond

Very few stand up comedians have made me laugh till it hurts. Michael Redmond is a bit of a legend so I was delighted he was up for answering some questions...
Harry Pye: What are your fondest memories of the late Sean Hughes? Did you have much contact with him in recent years? Michael Redmond: "Sean and I arrived in London around the same time, by arrangement, to try our luck on the comedy circuit in 1987. We shared a grim bedsit together in Turnpike Lane for over a year. We were both on a quest to make a mark on the London comedy circuit. I remember it as an exciting, largely happy time.I didn't have a lot of contact with Sean in recent years as I've been living in Scotland for nearly twenty years. However, I did meet him at this years' Edinburgh festival where I was performing my show, coincidentally entitled, " I WROTE A JOKE IN 1987 " but he seemed a bit poorly."
In the late 1980s when I was a teenager I used to see you perform at clubs in South London such as Deptford's Albany Empire. Does South London have a place in your heart? "I have huge affection for London in general. It was the place that gave me an opportunity to perform comedy as there were quite a few great comedy clubs around then, Deptfords Albany Empire being one, which I think was run by the late Addison Cresswell. There were also Malcolm Hardee's Tunnel Club, The Red Rose in Finsbury Park and of course The Comedy Store. Great times!" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnrHaMa4xnE Who have been your favourite M.C.s and comperes? Who was always fun to work with? What qualities should a good compere have? "I would have to say Arthur Smith was/is the doyen of comperes and always good fun. Ivor Dembina always did a great job at the Red Rose Club as well. I think the job of a compere is to make the audience relax and get them focused for the acts, as well as being funny. I think it's probably the hardest job in comedy and hugely under-rated."
What's your idea of a perfect day or brilliant evening? "Beautiful wine, beautiful food, and if there's a beautiful woman available as an added bonus."
Are there any politicians alive today that you admire or would like to meet? "Frankly...NO!"
Did you ever get into the plays of Harold Pinter? "I remember occasionally people saying that my stage act was similar to a character in a Harold Pinter play, but the truth is I have never seen any of his plays. I haven't made a point of avoiding them in particular but I rarely go to the theatre. I don't know if it's because you're sitting in the dark but anytime I've gone, I've usually ended up falling asleep."
Do you like the line "But I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now" from Bob Dylan's My Back Pages - do you relate to Dylan / own any of his albums? "I do love that line and had never heard it before. I realise Dylan wrote some great lyrics but the if I'm honest, the sound of his singing voice always grated on me. It always reminded me of a vacuum cleaner. When I was growing up, my icons were comedians rather than musicians. My hero is Peter Cook..." If dolphins are supposed to be as clever as humans, then name me a fucking dolphin who's ever written a decent stage Play "...or words to that effect."
What kind of comedy films or radio shows did your parents enjoy? Was your home a happy one? "My father loved the Marx brothers films, Groucho in particular, and I think that was my first introduction to comedy films. I loved the madness and chaos of them and some of Groucho's one liners were fantastic. I also loved The Goon Show on radio. It was genius and totally ground breaking. My childhood wasn't particularly unhappy, shall we say!"
Is there a stand-up comedian around now that you feel inferior to? Is there anyone you would just refuse to go on stage after they'd done their act? "I wouldn't say that I feel inferior to anyone else as such, but I can stand back and admire other comedians with a degree of healthy envy . I have yet to meet any comedian whom I wouldn't follow on stage."
What are you working on at the moment? Do you have any big 5 year plans? "I was recently commissioned by Channel 4 to write a sitcom pilot and I just submitted the final draft this week. It's set in a small town in Ireland and centres around the somewhat dysfunctional characters that can inhabit small towns."
What's the punchline to your favourite joke? "Which came as a bit of a shock to my parents who were both Protestants."
Have you been lucky in love? "At times lucky, at times extremely unlucky!"
I've attached 3 j-pegs. One is a painting by George Stubbs
("A Gentleman Upon A Grey Hunter" 1781), the second is a painting from 1967 by Bridget Riley called "Cataract",
the third is a painting Philip Guston made in 1969 called "The Studio" - which of these three impresses you most and which do you have the least time for? "I like the one called " The Studio ". ..not sure why. Good colours and big hands!. I don't like the one of the hunter on the horse, fair too formal for my taste."
What is your idea of beauty in nature? "When the sun shines on everything. I live in Glasgow and love the place but the sky is very often grey and gloomy."
Michael Redmond's Sunday Service takes place at 9pm on the 22nd October at 333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow, Glasgow, G3 6NG For more info: http://www.thestand.co.uk

Monday 16 October 2017

The Extricate Blogspot

Olly Beck, Humphrey Fordham, Rebecca Hughes, Stephanie Moran and Ben Willmott have all contributed excellent reviews to http://theextricate.blogspot.co.uk/ If you have a few words to say about a book, a concert, an exhibition, film or show or if you want to write an obituary or tribute to an artist drop me a line at: harry_pye@hotmail.com
So far Extricate has featured reviews of the photographs of Terrance Donnovan, a play by Lorca, an exhibition by Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Roy Orbison's Black and white Night, and Victor Lewis Smith's documentary on Peter Cook.
What films, records, shows would you like to spread the world about?

Saturday 14 October 2017

10 paintings by Harry Pye and Rowland Smith

In no particular order here are 10 paintings Harry Pye made in collaboration with Rowland Smith.
TEN: "Let's Get It On" (2017)
NINE: "Weird Nightmare" (2016)
EIGHT: "Whose Go Is It Again?" (2009)
SEVEN: "Sleepless in South London" (2006)
SIX: "Dial P for Pablo" (2016)
FIVE: "Angel of Death" (2015)
FOUR: "let's Make a Better World" (2016).
THREE:"The Power of Suggestion" (2011)
TWO: "Breakfast in Bed" (2008)
ONE: "There's Nothing Weird or Creepy about John Travolta" (2017)