We talk a lot about supporting creative industries and ensuring art has a space in the city but less so the art we’ve seen, experienced and its importance to us as individuals.
We believe art impacts everyone, whether it’s the posters or graffiti on your way to work, sculptures in the park, costumes in a film, or paintings in an exhibition. We can find art and engage with it everywhere.
Our second in this feature, we discuss the shows, installations, and exhibitions we’ve come across and what they meant to us.
Gordon: “a major new artistic statement”
Kerdroya: The Cornish Hedge Community Heritage Project
I’m supporting Cornwall’s innovative bid to become the UK’s City of Culture in 2025, and on a brief visit to the Duchy I checked on the progress of Kerdroya. It’s a developing work of landscape art in the heart of Bodmin Moor, a labyrinth of Cornish hedges (imagine a living version of a drystone wall) weaving a pattern across the Cornish landscape, centered on the artwork Heart of Kerdroya by the father and son sculptors Thrussells. The labyrinth connects people to nature through art and traditional culture, using a 4000 year old Cornish craft to immerse visitors in the landscape and teach locals new skills – at 56m in diameter, it’s a major new artistic statement and a very beautiful reason to support Cornwall’s bid.
Photo by: Gemma Wearing
Gemma: “Less grey, more play”
“Less grey, more play”. That is the aim of Dublin Canvas, a public art project in Dublin that invites artists to paint electricity boxes.
I was in Dublin last week and enjoyed seeing these boxes when I was walking through town to meet some old friends. It’s a real example of how we don’t always have to visit an exhibition to view art. I love how part of the brief is to capture something particular to the site of the box. In the space of 2km, I spotted three boxes, and each managed to convey a unique character or history relevant to that micro location. Every city has a reputation for being something, but this is a reminder of how they are all a combination of many parts.
Images left to right: Park Life by Debbie Chapman, Bloom by Luke Fallon, Looking at the Stars by Sarah Bracken
Yves “you feel like you leave knowing a part of the story”
Skin by Christopher Hanson, at Humble Gallery until 21 March
Christopher Hanson paints large scale portraits, and at his exhibition ‘Skin’ at Humble Gallery he questions the representation and perception of dark coloured skin, both in society and in the media. His realistic painting style and the way he positions his sitters face on and close-up demands their attention and creates a familiarness with the viewer. You feel like you leave knowing a part of the story of each of the characters that stare back at you.
Humble Gallery is based in West Ham and looks to connect to surrounding communities, with Newham as one of the most diverse boroughs in London and the UK. The gallery is housed at Rosetta Arts, an organisation that looks to make art as accessible to all audiences as possible, through its programme of art and creative courses and workshops. They also have artist studios and pottery, printmaking, darkroom and photography facilities to support people in the community at all levels of learning and development. An inspiring place to work from, not least because of its historical setting in a beautifully bright Victorian primary school.
Image: Rosetta Arts
Rosie: “the 13 installations absorbed your focus and felt calming”
Lux at 180 the Strand
I took some pals to Lux at 180 the Strand, the exhibition combined art and science to create immersive pieces using audio-visual technology. Each of the 13 installations absorbed your focus and felt calming, almost therapeutic. Like many classic pieces, some of the works emulated elements of nature, natural disasters, night skies, or sea waves, these were the ones I found most captivating. I will definitely be looking to experience more multisensory installations in the future, I could have stayed immersed in Starry Beach (2020) or The Transfiguration (2011) forever.
Image: Blue Sky White (Photo: Ed Devlin)
Jess: “a small but very impactful show”
Centenary Exhibition of the British Society of Master Glass Painters.
I went to see the Centenary Exhibition of the British Society of Master Glass Painters, which is touring the country and will be in Swansea during Spring 2022. It’s a small but very impactful show, demonstrating a huge range of techniques and styles in what must be a challenging medium. I didn’t have a favourite piece as such but appreciated the diversity of inspirations and images.
Images left to right: Mel Howse AMGP ‘Open Mind’, Roland Mitton AMGP ‘Misty Morning’, John Barzallo ‘Charterhouse Spiral’.