Yesterday marked the opening of Transitions – a group exhibition and pop-up shop at Exchange Place Studios, Sheffield, that looks at creative processes.
As creative processes can be approached, considered and acted upon in almost countless ways, it stands to reason that the exhibition is very diverse with a wide range of disciplines accounted for. Each artist has offered a window into their processes which enables discussion, illumination and agency while also highlighting the array of skills and talents housed at Exchange Place Studios.
And my own work, which places the craft of perfumery in the context of a museum artifact, also seems well received. Exposing the process of perfume making with such transparency communicates the possibilities of fragrance in an open and direct way. Enabling an informed and frank understanding of the process which maintains the spirit of the exhibition.
You can catch Transitions from now until 10th May at Exchange Place Studios, Sheffield.
SCI – a collaborative based in Liverpool that I’m part of – are travelling to Athens in May to be part of a group exhibition called Platforms. The exhibition coincides with Documenta 14 and will take place in The Cultural Centre between 20th – 25th May.
As you can imagine, this is an exciting endeavour for us, but it does have cost implications. So, in an effort to raise a little cash, we are placing some of our work in an art sale. This sale will be hosted online from now until 15th May.
This is a fantastic opportunity to own original work at a great price while actively supporting UK artists. Take a look at the link below for the full range of works available; from perfume to sculpture, printmaking to cross-stitch, there’s something for everyone! All prices include postage too.
If you’re interested, contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org …Here’s the link to the full range of works:
Myself and Sharon Mossbeck are preparing an Open Call to artists on the theme of Alternative Portraits.
Alternative Portraits will be an exhibition of non-traditional portraiture. It could be figurative or non-figurative. We are looking for work which pushes the boundaries of traditional portraiture, or explores what portraiture can be. We are particularly interested in the use of new technology, including 3D printing and laser cutting, although all formats will be given the same consideration.
Artists may submit one piece of work each. We will consider any 2D or 3D works. We regret that we cannot consider audio visual or performance works.
The call for work will be going out in the coming months, and the exhibition itself will be in Sheffield during Summer 2017. Keep an eye out for more information, or email email@example.com to be added to the mailing list.
FUSE is an exhibition devised and curated by myself currently running at Access Space until 31st March. Yesterday I hosted the opening evening.
The aim of FUSE – which is a series of exhibitions currently in it’s 3rd incarnation – is to initiate collaborations and relationships with other sets of artists which in turn develops a positive and supportive network of art, artists and creative outputs. In the spirit of forging such relationships, the theme of the exhibition is simply the word ‘fuse’ which each artist may interpret however they wish. This has lead to some diverse, intriguing and very high quality responses, with themes such as alchemy, travel, emotion, landscape, cartography, psychology, human behavior, portraiture and fragrance all cited as sources of inspiration.
Each work is strong enough to be contemplated individually, while simultaneously being harnessed by the theme, allowing for a coherent and high-quality exhibition that has so far impressed audiences.
If you missed the opening, you can catch FUSE at Access Space, Wednesday – Friday 11-6 up until 31st March.
Tonight is the opening of FUSE – an exhibition at Access Space, Sheffield, that places 9 artists from 3 cities – Sheffield, Liverpool and Nottingham – in one exhibition under a common theme.
FUSE is a wholly positive and dynamic exhibition which aims to initiate meaningful relationships and collaborations with sets of artists that otherwise may not be given the chance to meet. In the spirit of forging such connections, the theme for the exhibition is simply ‘fuse’ which each artist may interpret however they wish. Indeed, the very act of inserting artists into one space is in itself a response to the theme.
I hope you can join us tonight for the opening. Many of the artists will be on hand to chat about their work, I will provide a talk explaining how we arrived at the exhibition, and there’ll be refreshments available. All welcome!
This week has seen the opening of The Court of Love – a group art and poetry exhibition examining Valentine’s Day. The exhibition is held at Exchange Place Studios, Sheffield and has been devised and curated by myself.
Initially, the exhibition was driven by purely selfish reasons – over the last two years I have neglected the chance to use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to exhibit Perfume as Practice and I didn’t wish to miss the opportunity for a third year.
However, further research into Valentine’s Day and it’s historical and social contexts saw the exhibition develop into a group show. As I wanted my work to reveal the historical connections between fragrance and medicine, it seemed pertinent to reference within the exhibition the first occurrence of Valentine’s Day; which consisted of a feast, poetry competitions and jousting. Over time I knew that a solo exhibition wouldn’t satisfy these needs.
And so, the exhibition references a Tudor Court both in its design, in its poetry competition and through some of the artists choosing to incorporate the theme in their work. The result is a collection of high quality responses to Valentine’s Day that reference the historical virtues while just being contemporary enough not to be cliched. Indeed, the responses are varied; banquets, saints, dance steps, the zodiac, cartography, graffiti, cosmic ordering, modern culture, sexual orientation and poetry are all cited as sources of inspiration.
From a curatorial perspective, I have afforded space between each work – allowing the audience to contemplate each piece as both an isolated work or within the context of the exhibition. This allows connections to emerge between each piece while simultaneously allowing each piece to exist in it’s own right. This is how I ideally like to curate as I believe it affords an audience richer and multi-faceted engagement. Logistics, or the sheer amount of work received sometimes means I have to curate with restrictions or caveats. Here, I was able to curate how I wanted and the result is a strong and confident exhibition that utilities the immersive properties of colour transform the space thematically – allowing each work to sit with cohesion and coherence beside each other.
The Court of Love once again reinforces Exchange Place Studio’s presence as an arts venue, with the poetry competition inviting a new audience through our doors. It’s important that our programme of events remains varied, supportive and nurturing to both new and established audiences. Not only does this allow us to gather momentum and reputation but the positive virtues of providing a platform for as many sets of people as possible should always be on the agenda.
As you may know, our crowdfunding campaign – which is raising funds for an artist led Valentine’s Day themed exhibition in Sheffield – is up and running and gaining momentum. The great thing about crowdfunding is that it initiates and strengthens community spirit: Giving anyone from any background the chance to become an intrinsic part of exiting artist led projects and the opportunity to directly support the arts locally and nationally. Our crowdfunding campaign is no different, and in return for your generous donation you will be cordially invited to our opening evening, credited in our exhibition and you can take advantage of some wonderful rewards handmade by the artists exhibiting – just in time for Valentine’s Day!
Indeed, whether you love Valentine’s Day or hate it, I’m sure you’ll agree that the diversity and quality of the rewards on offer is fantastic – and certainly bodes well for the exhibition! Here’s what our artists are offering as rewards:
Sharon Mossbeck – Love – £5 – Buy from here
Ever the contemporary art cross-stitcher, Sharon Mossbeck has created 10 of these simple yet elegant original postcard-sized cross stitch pieces. A perfect Valentine’s Day card alternative. Get ’em while you can!
Sharon Mossbeck – Love Token – £10 – Buy from here
For £10 you can take home this fabulous original piece of art. Gold leaf and acrylic on wood, this stylised, 4cm x 4cm depiction of an anatomical heart is the perfect alternative Valentine’s card. A wonderful chance to buy original art while backing our exhibition.
Sharon Mossbeck- Cross Stitch Kit – £10 – Buy from here
Sharon Mossbeck’s cross stitch kit provides you with everything you need to make a fair isle heart of your own. This unique reward designed entirely by Sharon herself makes an ideal Valentine’s Day gift. It can be yours for £10.
Gill Alderson – Portrait – £20 – Buy from here
Gill Alderson’s ‘Portrait’ is gold leaf and pencil on an egg shell. It is beautiful to behold and a truly unique and unusual piece of original artwork in it’s own right. This can be yours for £20, and you’ll also be cordially invited to any event we organise.
Michael Borkowsky- Love Potion – £25 (UK Only) – Buy from here
Referencing the historical links between perfume and medicine, fine art perfumer Michael Borkowsky has created a bespoke fragrance designed to attract the opposite sex while offering mental wellbeing! A blend of white musk, jasmine, vanilla, rosemary and a hint of apple in a sweet almond oil, this perfume captures the essence of sensuality and keeps your mind in good health! (UK Only)
Gill Alderson – Pendant – £35 – Buy from here
Artist Gill Alderson is offering this beautiful and intricate hand drawn pendant cast in real gold. Truly original and captivating, this can be yours for £35. A fantastic way of acquiring original work while backing the exhibition!
Sharon Hall Shipp – Constellation I – £45 – Buy from here
Constellation I is a wonderful and highly detailed original collage by artist Sharon Hall Shipp. 18x13cm mounted on thick paper, this is a captivating piece that cites dance steps, cartography, constellations and love as sources of inspiration. This is a fantastic chance to receive original art and support artists while backing our exhibition!
Lizzie Biscuits – Minimal – £100 – Buy from here
Minimal is a miniature costume wearing animal, and a much loved product of Lizzie Biscuits’ practice. Choose any animal you wish and allow Lizzie to dress them in a handmade outfit. A frog in a frock coat? A cat in a hat? A dog in a dress? Email your choice to firstname.lastname@example.org
…We hope you love some of the rewards our artists have made! If you’d like more information about our crowdfunding campaign, or would like to donate, share or get involved in some way, then click the image below
Last Wednesday saw the opening of Sun and Moon – an open call group exhibition intended as both a celebration of and investigation into Pokemon!
7 artists are represented, each displaying their own insight into their perceptions of the franchise. There is a very diverse range of work on offer considering the theme is so niche.
As an organiser of the exhibition, it’s been a very relaxing and trouble free experience and I’d like to thank Mugen Tea House for being so accommodating.
My own work for the exhibition sees me take items from Pokemon Sun and Moon and re-imagine them as real life objects. Including a Burn Heal that takes cues from 1950’s sun tan commercials, an Energy Root in the guise of a health food and Sacred Ash, which has been afforded religious contexts.
You can catch (lol) Sun and Moon Tuesday-Saturday at Mugen Tea House, The Hide, Sheffield until 3rd November. They offer fantastic tea and cake too, so it’s well worth a visit!
Finding the time to write about my practice is proving harder and harder. I can only hope that my lack of online transparency is being perceived as a vain attempt to appear mysterious and elusive in order to affect intrigue in my work. The truth of the matter is far more banal however – I just haven’t had the time.
My general – and probably erroneous – theory is that the more stuff you do the less you write about it, simply on the basis that time is finite, and can either be spent writing or doing. But then, there is plenty to write about: October saw me involved in 2 exhibitions. Both of which were in Sheffield and both of which offered different sets of responsibilities
First, we have FUSE – collaboration between SCI and Exchange Place Studios which I facilitated and co-curated with Ziana Sajid, a graduate from the Sheffield School of Architecture. FUSE was held at The Holt, Sheffield. a fantastic cafe and arts space.
FUSE was an exercise in fostering collaboration and providing a supportive and inclusive platform for artists to progress. Indeed, for me it did feel like a means of enabling relationships between artists to develop as opposed to simply a case of doing a bit of art and putting it up. There was a weight behind it afforded by the fact that it could provide further opportunities for the artists involved – a fact evidenced by the fact that a second exhibition next year will bolster the relationships initiated. My role in FUSE felt more of a facilitator than an artist – a feeling only felt once before; when organising UNITY.
That’s not to dismiss its aesthetic values though, as it was a well-balanced and strong exhibition that allowed artist and audience alike to assess the themes found within. A thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile experience supported by good attendance and reception.
Next, we had Curious Cabinets. An exhibition devised and curated by Sharon Mossbeck based on the notion of the cabinet of curiosities. However, as a means to confound expectations, often it was the cabinets themselves that provided the most intrigue, not to mention the eerie atmosphere created within the space.
The whole thing was brilliantly pitched and delivered by Sharon- a deliberately unnerving and haunting affair featuring the work of 15 artists from around the UK. My work attempted to exist somewhere between a medicine cabinet and a television cabinet, offering a speculative insight into the process of TV consumption.
I also co-created a piece based on Nostradamus with Sharon and I also provided artist Gill Alderson with perfumes for her cabinet:
The exhibition was supported by two events – an opening evening and a Halloween special. Both of which were a great deal of fun and confirmed the presence of Exchange Place as a destination for exhibitions.
I am filled with confidence off the back of these exhibitions, which puts me in good stead – as I’ve got it all to do again this month, with a Pokémon-based open call exhibition due to run from 22nd November at Mugen Tea House, and a brand new collection of perfume portraits due the same time at Bank Street Arts. Add into the mix Yorkshire Artspace’s Open Studios, Lady of Situations (for which I have developed a perfume piece) and a guest talk at Chester University and we’re looking at the busiest month I’ve ever faced! Right, let’s get on with it.
On Friday myself and Sharon Mossbeck hosted the open evening for UNITY – our open -call exhibition at Exchange Place Studios, Sheffield, that looks at the theme of Unity following Britain’s decision to leave the EU. We’re still amazed by the turnout, which was 132 people.
A reflection of our hard work? Well, maybe. But then we always put hard work into our exhibitions, and we’ve never had an opening quite like this. Perhaps UNITY offered more than simply an exhibition. It provided artists with a space to vent, to place their thoughts towards our divided nation onto a piece of work as a means of meditation, or reflection, or a means to comprehend or reinforce their position among the complexities leaving the EU represents. It instigated a process of healing, of re-building bridges and of finding connections between people and communities.
This was not only reflected in the work received but also in the visitors that attended. They too want to bear witness to how creative action can be a strong moral, social and political force. They too want to feel re-united following divisive political events, and understand that art has the capacity to do that.
In short, it’s an exhibition that people wanted and needed. It inspired those that don’t normally consider themselves artists to take action. It re-ignited passion and it provided people with the opportunity to express their thoughts with meaning and relevance directly applicable to current events.
It was certainly a meditative process for me personally. I feel – and I’m sure Sharon does too – that we have created a positive force for good.