Off to Shenzhen China today, for a week visiting with colleagues in Fun Drawing, taking part in a series of development sessions and demonstration classes.
As ever, I will be drawing and developing ideas in sketchbooks, 12 hour flights are always productive. China Blue seems appropriate.
Below is a snap shot of current work developing further approaches to the ‘Penny Dreadful’ object/narrative idea, engaging with shaped narratives and applied structure.
‘Penny dreadful is a pejorative term used to refer to cheap popular serial literature produced during the nineteenth century in the United Kingdom. The term is roughly interchangeable with penny horrible, penny awful, and penny blood”.
The current work draws together from the sketch book new works on paper: a range of both known and familiar objects arranged in a comic strip like format. The images are brought together into a grid, the objects connecting with one another forming potential narratives. the medium of ink, coffee and highlighters gives a saccharine prefabricated kit, or formulaic quality, akin to the nature of mass produced literature like the penny dreadful.
This work will be exhibited as part of the South East Open Studios: 15th June – 18th June & 22nd June – 25th June 2017: at the Hazelnut Press, 1 Ridley Road, Rochester, ME1 1UL
Sketchbooks are an intrinsic and integral part of my practice, a place where I collate, record and synthesize viewed and remembered experiences.
I am currently obsessed with comicbook-like hieroglyphs, in search of or potentially reliant on a visual equivalent to the Rosetta Stone, combining the recognized, the invented and the possible. These draw from a range of real and imagined destinations and cultural references, many from regular visits to China.
New work in progress, drawings and prints developed from recent journeys in China.
As part of the South East Open Studios. Over two weekends 15-18 and 22-25 June, showing alongside Heather Haythornthwaite and Sarah King at the Hazelnut Press.
Illuminated Objects I, Giclée print, 23x32cm
Illuminated Objects II, Giclée print, 23x32cm
Illuminated Objects III, Giclée print, 23x32cm
Illuminated Objects IV, Giclée print, 23x32cm
Images from the exhibition install at Rochester Art Gallery for Trace Engines, opening on the 25th November. Private view Thursday 24th November at 18.30.
In the space today working with gallery technician Steve Mace, also creating site specific wall drawing Residue.
The first UK exhibition of the Trace Engines project, which included a solo exhibition of drawings and mono prints at the AIP Gallery, Redtory Art Zone, Guangzhou in 2015, opens on the 25th November 2016 at the Rochester Art Gallery, Kent.
The private view is on the 24th November from 6:30pm and there will also be a series of workshops and artist’s talks that accompany the exhibition. This current show, from 24.11.16 to 20.02.17, brings together new work and pieces produced during my residency in China.
‘Trace Engines is a series of amalgamated drawings that on the one hand suggest a design or plan for something to come, and on the other seem like the residue of something that has already been. In this, they constitute a process of mediation where the acts and media of their creation – the drawing, tracing and mono printing – become iterative expressions that model an as yet unknown object.’
I had the great honour to be invited to speak at the Shenzhen Education Conference on October 26, 2016, as part of their Fun Drawing initiative. Introducing UK Foundation teaching and learning methodologies to over 300 pre-school educationalists from throughout China, alongside other professionals from the industry.
The panel discussions dealt with the challenges of the incredible growth in interest for the creative industries from a new generation of aspirational parents, keyed into the opportunities the Arts can offer their children.
As a precursor to my next lecture visit to China later this month here are a couple of promotional items and some photos from the previous tours of 2016.
Photos from CAFA High School (Central Academy of Fine Art Beijing); AIP Arts International Programs Guangzhou; GAFA High School; Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, British Council school tour Tianjin and Shenzhen National Art Museum.
Reflecting on the China sketchbook, looking at the drawings and key images of a pivotal three-week period leading up to the Trace Engines show. People watching in cafes, evening meals with friends and dramatic flying fish all contained within the scrawled memories of South China.
A well received exhibition of research papers detailing works from the Trace Engines series last month in various schools in Tianjin. Here are pdf versions of my artist’s statement, a critique of the work by Dr Mary-lou Barratt and a commentary by Mike Addison, Head of School at UCA.