Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Exhibition Photographs: Radicals and Non-Conformists

Photography by Rosie Collins

The online publication for Radicals and Non-Conformists will feature selected works from the exhibition. It will be available from mid August.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Emma Williams

Untitled Red Drawing No.7b’ is part of a larger series of works on paper I have been producing since 2008. My work continually refers to and takes inspiration from maps. This drawing is inspired by a map of Regent’s Park and though done a while ago, I thought was fitting for the exhibition.


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

'Incomplete' (Self Portrait)

3,000 Raffle Tickets, Acrylic, Tippex, Permanent Pen, Transparency Papers, Glue, Stone, Nail Varnish, Wood, Rizla, found NHS Papers, Staples, Paint, Metal, Sand on MDF.

'Incomplete' (Self Portrait)

As my original submission '888' was incomplete, I started to speculate on the idea of the ‘incomplete’.

Upon being submitted, this piece could already be seen as being completed on my half, however the interpretation of myself being incomplete also holds a message that art we create doesn't ever have to be final, either.

I made a painting by numbers, which isn't something you'd expect to find in a gallery, as I’ve removed myself from the role of the artist, and allowed the viewer to help create the finished piece.

The rebel is the spectator in this interactive piece, the possibilities are endless

To simply pick the wrong colour,
To use a pen which doesn't have any relevance to the piece.
To draw over the guidelines,
To use their own pens,
To stick stickers over,
To switch the numbers round on the pens,
To follow order,
To get their own message across
To steal the pens,

Or not to do anything at all.

The fun of being anonymous. Anyone that walks beside us, being anonymous, like the spectator.

Being anonymous, we won't follow order, right?


Saturday, 18 June 2011


I was inspired by Charles Waterton a pioneering naturalist and traveller who invented a new method of taxidermy.  He was a colourful character, archetypal aristocrat whose rebellious alleged eccentricities are well documented.
Waterton sometimes enjoyed biting the legs of his guests from under the dinner table, imitating a dog.
He tried to fly by jumping from the top of an outhouse on his estate, calling the exercise "Navigating the atmosphere”. He devised his own methods for preserving animal skins and used them to create unusual caricatures of his enemies. He also utilized his taxidermy skills to create models critiquing political events of the day.
He displayed his anarchic sense of humour in some of his taxidermy: a famous tableau he created consisted of reptiles dressed as famous Englishmen and entitled "The English Reformation Zoologically Demonstrated." Another specimen was the upper half of a howler monkey contorted to look like an Amazonian Abominable Snowman and simply labeled "The Nondescript.
In a series of expeditions he explored the tropical rainforest of South America, travelled around North America and visited the West Indies. He recorded his adventures –including wrestling with an alligator. In 1806 Waterton inherited the family seat of Walton Hall where he devoted the next forty years of his life to running his estate as Britain’s first bird sanctuary.

Tess Stone

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Staff Art Show

Poster design by Shia-ying Wallis

Founding member, Co-Director of TBC Artists' Collective 
and this year’s curator of the Staff Art show at the 
National Portrait Gallery, Beverley Bennett, commissioned 
fellow creatives to follow the brief ‘Radicals’ in conjunction 
with the 12-Pages Online Project Space.

Exhibitors were asked to take inspiration from sitters within 
the collection located in Room 18, Art Invention and 
Thought: The Romantics, which features the likes of 
William Godwin, Lord Byron, John Constable and William Blake.
As the project evolved, participants began to move away 
from the chosen theme by selecting new or existing work. 
In doing so, individuals emerged to become Non-Conformists, 
free-thinking Radicals.
For more information on TBC Artists' Collective and 
the Radicals issue visit, 12-pages.com

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


I wasn't sure if my pic would fit on the exhition because of the theme but then I remembered that this picture was taken among more 166 other windows in Tiradentes, Brazil. The city has this name because of its famous son, Joaquim José da Silva Xavier (1746-1792), aka Tiradentes, who was a leading member of the brazilian revolutionary movement known as the Inconfidencia Mineira whose aim was full indenpendence from the Portuguese colonial power and to create a Brazilian republic. He died on April, 21, and his body was quartered in several pieces with his head been publicly displayed. He was a martir and the day of his death is a national holiday in Brazil.
Here some of the windows, each one with its own personality.
Helga Kaufmann

Monday, 13 June 2011

The conformity of non-conformity

Peter Blundell, Untitled, 2010, oil on canvas, 18.5" x 14.5"
Not sure how this fits in.. I'm more drawn to conventions than radical gestures, oils on canvas, beans on toast, bass and drums.. I stopped working on this painting last autumn, it took years on/off to complete because I ignored it for a while before wiping off the dust and re-working it to how it is now. I've made a few paintings since, some were done within a shorter time. However I recall really enjoying the fact this particular one took so long to bear fruit. More fruit here: www.re-title.com/artists/peter-blundell.asp

Frankenstein's Monster

Hello there
Grace Adam here-I'm a freelancer for the Education Department.
My work references town-planning, DIY, paper models, information overload, the everyday; notions of what can be beautiful and where. How do we negotiate and influence our domestic and wider environments? How we interpret contemporary and historical ideas of beauty is being tested through elegant and unsettling pieces, whose surfaces crawl, bulge, mutate or sit awkwardly. These works seek to question and re- evaluate some of the objects we live with.
This appropriation of familiar, mundane materials and techniques into another context, allows the viewer to re-evaluate, the plain, the overlooked, the grotesque, the ordinary.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

She Never Did Learn to Drive…

Using Mary Wollstonecroft’s ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Women’ as a springboard, I am investigating decisions faced by modern women. Using the context of my own upbringing and my relationship with my mother I am creating work that illustrates the fine balancing act she faced.

As a child I looked to a mother that was an Illustrator, professor, teacher, and ‘bread winner’. I also saw a homemaker, (equal) partner to my father and a mother. I never felt I was in the way of her work, or her work in the way of me. I never sensed there was a compromise, struggle or stress attached to this balancing act and I understood my parents set up to be the ‘norm’.
As an adult I have learned of the difficulties and intricacies of this time for her: Kicking against old fashioned attitudes from family and clients in the art world a like, the logistics of balancing commissions, teaching, family and relationships. It is only as an adult I appreciate that making it look easy is not an easy feat.

My aim is to create work that reuses imagery familiar to me from the past and re present it in a way that intends to be reflective of the awkwardness and difficulty of this time rather than being in anyway sentimental.

The title comes from a conversation I had with my Grandmother, It struck me that she had little understanding of my mothers work and focused solely on the negatives, a feature of their relationship since childhood.

Jasmin Rose Woolley Butler

Turner: A postmodern response

By Stacey Ogg

My painting is a postmodern response to the work of Turner, a portrait of whom is  currently exhibited in Room 18, Radicals and Non-Conformists. For many years I have been inspired by Turner's use of light and colour and his ability to create such dramatic land and seascapes through clever use of pigment, clear vision and a painterly determination to create the etherial from the sometimes mundane. For me, the most interesting subject matter of Turner's works has always been the sky - bellowing clouds with zinc white, yellow and prussian blue hews strewn across the canvas adding a magical sense of depth and a stormy mood, particularly seen in the painting Dutch Boats in a Gale (The Bridgewater Sea Piece), 1801, currently on display next door at The National Gallery.  In this work Turner uses the white sails of the ship in the foreground to break up and create a negative space in the composition, this visual "break" or "full stop" from the overshadowing atmosphere can be translated into the works of the Abstract Expressionists, particulary Guston, Hoffmann and Still who use blocks of colour to create a sense of tension and drama between the painted surface and the edge on the canvas to create an interesting debate about subject matter vs. the subconcious mark making emotional response of the Abstract Expressionist movement.

My painting, Untitled 2011 examines this debate raising the question "is my work a carefully constructed and composed landscape or is it an emotional response or perhaps simply a painting about the process of painting?" The title Untitled 2011 pays direct homage to the Abstract Expressionists, without a descriptive title, my work speaks for itself and doesn't give away any clues, instead allowing the viewer to make of it what they will.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Dotty in Diodati- Byron and Friends go mad on Lake Geneva by Eveline Coker

The subject of my painting/collage entitled 
" Dotty in Diodati - Byron and Friends go mad on Lake Geneva" relates to Byron's very happy stay at the Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva which he leased the Summer of 1816 having fled England in the wake of his own notoriety brought about by scandalous stories regarding his alleged incestual relationship with his half-sister Augusta Leigh. In addition, he was escaping his creditors who had sent the Bailifs to his leased property at 13 Piccadilly.  Byron left these shores vowing never to return, effectively ending his marriage to Annabella Millbanke, the mother of his young daughter Ada who, in turn, believed all the gossip and was appalled at Byron's cruel and immoral behaviour.  Accompanying Byron into exile was his faithful valet William Fletcher, a young footman Robert Rushton, a Swiss guide Berger and and his doctor John Polidori.  They landed at Ostend and made their way through Belgium in a large Napoleonic Coach bought by Byron for £500.  They arrived at De Jean's Hotel D'Anglettere at Secheron, near Lake Geneva exactly a month later.  Staying at the same hotel was an erstwhile admirer/groupie & and one-night stand of Byron's called  Claire Clairmont, who was in fact Mary Godwin's step-sister.  Mary Godwin and her lover Percy Bysshe Shelley had eloped to France in 1814 where they indoctrinated Claire into their theories concerning "Free Love".  She had returned to England and seduced Byron ; promptly falling pregnant with his child Allegra who was born on the Continent.  Shelley, Mary, & Claire meet Byron and Dr Polidori at the same hotel and decide to join forces and spend time together on Lake Geneva.  They celebrated their friendship by taking boats out onto the Lake and when the weather got suddenly very bad sitting by the fire in the evening talking of poetry and ghosts.  From this the idea was germinated that all the members of the party should take part to in a competition to see could write the best ghost story.  Dr Polidori wrote The Vampyre and Mary Godwin (later Mary Shelley) famously wroteFrankenstein, or Modern Prometheus.  Byron soon rejected his own idea, but did add stanzas to his very long and very successful poemChilde Harold.  Shelley like Byron was doomed never to return to England.  He died by drowning while sailing a small boat the Don Juan off the coast of Viareggio, Italy.  Byron, heartbroken after Shelley's death and subsequently, by his daughter Allegra demise from Typhoid at a convent at Ravenna where she had been placed, left Italy for Greece to help fight the Ottoman Turks with financial support.  He died at Missolonghi, Greece in April 1824 aged 36.
My painting denotes Byron's happy sojourn at the Villa Diodati confident of his future and his creativity, surrounded by his friends and yet the spectre of his soon to born and daughter, Allegra looms as well as the spectres of Shelley's dead wife (from suicide and her unborn baby).  Death also lurks upon the water - prefiguring Shelleys death from drowning.  The eggs are metaphors for birth and also refer to Mary Shelley's novel Frankentstein which literary theory has subsequently dubbed 'a birthing novel' as it was considered to originate in the violence of Mary Godwin's own birth, which caused her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin's all too premature death.  Death and the Romantic Movement will forever be entwined in fact and in the popular imagination.  It is something of these essences that I wished to convey with my painting.

Eveline Coker

"Evolving structure 06-2011" - an abstract painting

I'm not submitting under the Radicals theme (unless you think my approach is a bit radical).

I am currently studying on the City Lit 2nd year Fine Art course and I am involved in exploring the possibilities of using an experimental, process-driven approach to abstract painting.

I am inspired by the macro/micro natural world
and organic forms, from the patterns of mineral crystallisation in rocks to photographs of whole galaxies taken by the Hubble telescope. As a mathematician, I am excited by randomness, chaos and the place of chance and probability in evolution and like to incorporate these elements into my work, responding to each stage of the painting to ‘evolve’ it step by step. I also like to use a wide variety of materials: acrylic and oil paint, charcoal and pastels; choosing which ever feels right at a given stage. Gerhard Richter’s experimental drawings and his squeegee paintings (e.g. The Cage paintings at Tate Modern) have been a particular influence.

These two images are two stages of a painting I am current working on for the exhibition - I hope it will be finished by Thursday! It's an acrylic painting on stretched linen canvas; approx. 22in x 16in.

Steve Lockett  -  Heinz Archive and Library Volunteer working for Laura Clarke

Yet the imperfect conclusion thus drawn are frequently very plausible, because they are built on partial experience or just through narrow views.
- Mary Wollstonecraft