Saturday, 28 May 2011

Ben Rowe at Mission Gallery

Ben Rowe - Installing at Mission Gallery - Seen here

I'm really excited to see the new exhibition at Mission Gallery in Swansea Second Star from the Right and Straight on Until Morning, I'll miss the opening on 3 June, but will definitely make a point of seeing the show. I don't know much about the artist Ben Rowe, but I have seen images of past work and found them really intriguing - reading his biography I find that he completed his Foundation studies in Carmarthen. In the image above, Rowe is involved in creating his new work in situ in the gallery.

Ben Rowe - This is it, Don't get scared now - seen here

His work is concerned with the safety and freedom of being a child and in contrast the heavy burden of adult responsibilities. He meticulously creates works which are replicas of film props from iconic 1980's films, modelled from MDF in close detail. The residual dust created from the process of making is collected and often made into a sandcastle in his Temporary Monument series.

Ben Rowe - Temporary Monument XII - seen here

The exhibition runs from 4 June to 24 July 2011.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Rhôd 2011

The third annual Rhôd event will be open at Drefelin Mill near Drefach Felindre, Carmarthenshire from 11 June until 18 June 2011. It looks like it will be another intriguing coming together of artists exploring the 'Urban /rural dialogue' - here's what Rhôd is about:

"Rhôd is an annual exhibition / event that takes place in rural West Wales, UK. One of the main objectives of Rhôd is to site contemporary art in a rural landscape creating a dialogue between urban artists and artists who work in rural settings. This dialogue is taken up by the artworks in their environment and further developed by our audience.

Arddangosfa/digwyddiad blynyddol yw Rhôd sy’n digwydd yng nghefn gwlad Gorllewin Cymru, DU
Un o brif amcanion Rhôd yw lleoli celf gyfoes mewn tirwedd wledig gan greu deialog rhwng artistiaid dinesig ac artistiaid sy’n gweithio yng nghefn gwlad. Mae’r ddeialog yn cael ei datblygu trwy osod y gwaith celf yn yr amgylchedd gyda’r gynulleidfa wedyn yn ei hymestyn."

Two curators, one based in Cardiff (Jason Pinder), one in West Wales (Simon Whitehead) are selecting artists to bring their work to the mill and its environs for the duration of the show. The folk band Fernhill have been commissioned by Simon Whitehead to create work throughout the festival with film work by Ben Stammers. The Cardiff contingent chosen by Jason Pinder include: David Cushley, Graham Dunning, Ed Elliott and Anthony Shapland

The opening event is on 11 June from 2pm with a Twmpath event at 7:30 pm in Neuadd y Ddraig Goch in Drefach Felindre.

Rhodio - Hats Off For Venice!

Kathryn Campbell Dodd - Spoon is a spoon is a spoon...

I'm excited (and relieved) to have delivered my work for Rhodio, a satellite show of the 54th Venice Biennale - Pavilion SA44 5XB Padiglione. Twelve installation artists who have shown work as part of Rhôd at Drefelin Mill in Carmarthenshire "...take off their collective hat and travel from Wales to make interventions in a restaurant in Venice." The show has been curated by Roger Lougher and is presented by Mari Beynon Owen.

"Rhôd in Welsh means specifically a waterwheel; it also describes the wheel of the heavens and the wheel of fortune that promises only change. It is the name of an annual exhibition held at Drefelin SA44 5XB in a sixteenth century water mill and its grounds. By extension the word Rhodio means to travel and this show is in the orbit of SA44. It carries the ethos of Rhôd beyond the borders of Wales widening the dialogue between the rural and the urban, the periphery and the centre. Rhôd is a rural laboratory for the development of new strains of contemporary art practice, the recoding of the DNA of landscape theory and the deconstruction of the Sublime and the Romantic.

The rural setting and ethos of site specific work shown in Pavilion SA44 5XB invites the viewer to see this show in the context of current trends in food production and the slow food movement that informs the menu in the restaurant itself. We see ourselves exhibiting in an international farmers market.

Artists with their roots in rural communities and city born artists, both with a real engagement in contemporary life, continue to create new ways of engaging in the dynamic relationship between the city and the country."

I have made a piece called Spoon is a spoon is a spoon... the image above is one of six racks of souvenir spoons which will be installed in an old wall cabinet in the restaurant. I'll be travelling out to Venice for five days to see the work in situ and visit the Biennale including the Welsh Pavilion featuring Swansea artist, Tim Davies

Just a little bit excited! Watch this space for news...

Diana Heeks - New Work

Ceredigion based artist Diana Heeks is currently showing her new body of work at St Dogmaels Gallery near Cardigan. The series follows on from Diana's MA studies and reveals a strong and cohesive process of research and practice. The pleated pieces incorporated in drawers as sculptural works and as wall based and framed objects are a sophisticated development from her painting practice. The show runs until 4 June and the gallery is open from Wednesday - Saturday.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Armed Forces - Alex Van Gelder

Alex Van Gelder - seen here

This incredible photograph of Louise Bourgeois' hands was taken by Alex Van Gelder and is part of the current exhibition at the Hauser & Wirth gallery in Zurich. Here is part of the gallery introduction to the show: "Gnarled, sinewy and wrinkled with age, Louise Bourgeois’s hands were fascinating. Her hands are the subjects of portraits taken by the artist Alex Van Gelder, who, at Bourgeois’s invitation, photographed her at her New York townhouse during the last year of her life. The resulting portfolio of eighteen photographic prints will be on display at Hauser & Wirth Zürich from 12 February." The exhibition shows until 14 May.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Susan Hiller

Susan Hiller - Witness 2000 - seen here

I went along to Tate Britain whilst in London for the Susan Hiller exhibition, it only runs until 15 May and it's fantastic, so do get along to see it if you can. A major survey of her 40 year career, the show takes in the sweep of her work from the dream mapping experiments and cut up paintings of the 1970's, to innovative installation experiments with sound and image and quasi-anthropological collections of objects. She explores issues of the subconscious, the unconscious, the supernatural and the uncanny with a scientific veneer derived in part from her training as an anthropologist. 

I have bought the exhibition catalogue because the show was so personally powerful and full of important references for my own practice. I'm looking forward to reading and thinking about her work and the extensive influence she has had on current practice.

Collect: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects

Stephen Bird - War on Pottery - seen here

I went back for a proper look around at Collect on Saturday, it's a real treat to see so much top quality work in one venue, I really enjoy the international aspect of the fair. Jewellery had a strong presence this year along with ceramics; textiles generally seem to be less well represented, however two Fibre Arts Wales members were showing, Laura Thomas with Ruthin Craft Centre and Michelle Griffiths with Lesley Craze Gallery. I was also delighted to find some pieces by ceramicist, Stephen Bird at the Bluecoat Display Centre stand.

Bettina Speckner - seen here

I really like Galerie Ra and Galerie Marzee, both Dutch based jewellery specialists. At Galerie Ra I made my (purely) fantasy purchase - a brooch from Bettina Speckner! Gallerie Marzee have a plan chest alongside their main display full of exquisite pieces from their gallery artists.

Galerie Marzee at Collect 2011 - seen here

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Collect at Saatchi

Stefano Marchetti - seen here

I went along to The Saatchi Gallery last night for a preview of Collect: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects. I'll be going back today for a closer look, but here are a few of the makers that I enjoyed on first sight.

David Gates - seen here

Ike Junger - seen here

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Collect 2011

Tanya Gomez - Submerge - seen here

I'm off to London tomorrow to go to this years Collect at The Saatchi Gallery. Watch this space for's a preview of the catalogue - strangely they have added some very cheesy background music so be ready with the mute button!

Fibre Voices II

Fibre Art Wales are showing as a group at Newport Museum and Art Gallery until 11 June. I have 3 works in the show including this piece, Wishbone 2009.

Kathryn Campbell Dodd - Wishbone

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Alexander McQueen - Dress from the VOSS collection
- seen here

“You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition.” Alexander McQueen

I wish I could pop across the pond to see this exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty opened today and is a major retrospective of McQueen's collections from his Postgraduate show at Central St Martin's in 1992 to the final catwalk show after his death in 2010. 

The website for the show is very thorough and has lots of videos and resources, really worth getting lost in for a while!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Peter Finnemore: Groove

Peter Finnemore hanging Project Object: Groove

Carmarthenshire born and bred; artist, Peter Finnemore has been quietly collecting 45 rpm vinyl records since the 1980's. His collection is focused on records that relate to Wales and in particular, Carmarthen - mostly from the 1960's and 70's. He sees his records as "...democratic markers of cultural history, as ‘vinyl bones’, and as vernacular folk art."

For the second part of Oriel Myrddin Gallery's Project Object series of exhibitions, Groove, Peter is installing a selection of the covers in the gallery along with an original Dansette record player (loaned by another Welsh artist and vinyl enthusiast, Jacob Whittaker). 

I'm looking forward to our visitors reactions to the collection - I imagine that there might be some moments of "I remember THAT!" along with much laughter and the odd cringe!

From the collection of Peter Finnemore

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Mostyn Open 2011

Helen Sear - Sightline 4 - Seen here

Mostyn gallery in Llandudno will be showing the works chosen for the Mostyn Open 2011 from 21 May. This is the first of the prestigious open exhibitions to be held at the gallery since it opened after major refurbishment and will now be a international biennial event. Work from 48 artists has been selected by Artist, Richard Wentworth, Curator, Karen MacKinnon and Head of Exhibitions at Mostyn, Anders Pleass. There is a £10,000 prize up for grabs.