Tuesday 25 September 2018

Q & A with Tori and Charlie Day from Studio One Gallery

"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. Tori Day is the artist representing the letter 'P' and Charlie Day is representing the letter 'B' Now read on...
Where did you two meet? And How long have you been running Studio One? C & T: We met at an Open Studios event at Collective Studios nine years ago. We fell in love, and married in 2014. We have been running Studio One Gallery there together since 2013.
Tori, what can you tell me about your painting of a Proper Coffee Pot? All my paintings are of real objects that mean something to me personally. I bought this pot whilst we were on holiday in Norfolk, in a village called Holt. It’s a fantastic place – very old fashioned and atmospheric, and full of antique and vintage shops. I love the basic design of this pot. And I love how disproportionately sturdy the handle is. The lacquer on the handle and the sheen of the copper of the pot are really seductive. I painted it as a challenge to myself to see if I could ‘do shiny’ well enough.
Charlie, what can you tell me about your self portrait as a bear? It was part of my ‘Bad Painting’ period. It just came to me as an image, a poor, forgotten, broken bear. It was later that another artist told me that it was clearly a self-portrait!
How would you describe your gallery and Wandsworth Plain? Is your gallery easy to find? C & T: Our gallery is possibly the smallest, wonkiest in London. Set atop a gorgeous Georgian building, there are no right angles at all, and anaglypta wallpaper, and we love it. We cleaned and varnished the wonky floorboards by hand – the most enjoyable 3 weeks work! It is so easy to find, if you don’t mind taking an overground train (!) to Clapham Junction. The 87 bus to Wandsworth from there terminates literally at our doorstep. Easy peasy.
Do you prefer dancing or swimming? C: Dancing. Not that you would know that was what I was doing! T: Dancing – but only because I can’t really swim. I can’t dance particularly well, either but I’d probably get points for trying.
What are you optimistic about? C & T: Our upcoming exhibition, There Must be a Song that Doesn’t Remind Me of You, at Gallery 35North in Brighton! It opens on 11th October…
Whose films have given you more pleasure over the years a) Spike Lee, b) Jim Jarmusch c) Sofia Coppola? C: Jim Jarmusch. T: Sofia Coppola. Lost in Translation is one of my absolute favourite films.
Who would play you in a film based on your life? C: Vic Reeves. T: Someone who could do a really good ‘worried and hungover’ face.
Charlie, what do you like most about Tori’s paintings? I like the fact that, although there is so much knowledge about still life painting embedded in each of her works, they are very much ‘portraits of objects’, as Tori says. I particularly enjoy her latest collection of miniature watercolours of our collection of CDs, including the price labels, scratches and often paint splatters from our studio.
Tori, what do you like most about Charlie’s paintings? His figurative stuff from a few years ago (when the bear was painted) I find so haunting. It’s full of tragicomedy, depicting scenes of a quintessential Englishness with both wit and sadness. A reflection of how each of us feels – vulnerable and ridiculous. His more recent abstract landscapes are uncanny in their ‘almost thereness’, which as scenes we can all relate to, yet cannot specifically identify, make them all the more intense.
What are your favourite books and records? C: After reading an awful lot of ‘art bollocks’ for both my BA and MA, I enjoy nothing better than losing myself in an Agatha Christie. Honestly, there is a good reason she is the best-selling fiction author of all time! Records – too many to mention, but we have been listening to a lot of swing and big band music recently, I suppose to get away from the shitty modern world we are living through! T: My favourite books are the sketchbooks I completed when Charlie and me first got together. I’ve uploaded lots of what I did over the years: https://www.flickr.com/photos/artyfish/page4 when we got together it was one of the most intense periods of creative output for me. I was so enthused with making art. It was non-stop. I was constantly drawing, it was brilliant. As far as published books go – I’ve read so very little it’s embarrassing. I rate Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks as a corker. And The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan is brilliant. I went through a period of reading books ‘one should read’ but found this to be more of an exercise of duty rather than enjoyment. I do love a good old fashioned dictionary, too…
How often do you paint? C: Not often enough! T: Ditto. We used to paint more often didn’t we. Then we got a dog….
Jo Mama's Alphabet Show is open to the public during the first two weekends of October 12 till 6pm

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: "Portrait [Sickish]" 30x30cm, by Kate Lyddon
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