artist | playing with perfume | speculating on studio spaces | commenting with candles

Posts tagged “visual art

An Invitation to Unity

I would like to invite everyone to the opening evening of  UNITY on Friday 19th August 2016, from 6-8pm. 
 
uniy
UNITY is an exhibition celebrating togetherness following the recent EU referendum. The exhibition is a chance for people to come together in a positive way, and share their own interpretation of what unity means to them. It has been devised and curated by Michael Borkowsky and Sharon Mossbeck.

50 artists from around the UK have submitted work, making for an exciting and diverse exhibition. Refreshments available during the open evening and you will have the chance to meet many of the artists involved.

Entry is FREE, and you can find us at Exchange Place Studios, Exchange Street, Sheffield S2 5SZ

Other than the open evening, the exhibition runs from Thursday 18th August – Thursday 25th August 2016. Our opening times are: 10am – 4pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri; 11am – 4pm Thurs, Sat Sun

Any work sold in the exhibition will see 5% of the price going to South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation. For 30 years the foundation have been supporting community groups who help people facing hardship and disadvantage, and those working to improve the communities they live in.
I hope you can make it!
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Choosing Chocolates

Acting as an appendage to Speculative Studio Spaces, I present to you some perfectly crafted chocolates.

These are no ordinary chocolates – each is attached to a particular process that artists undertake in their creative practice. These chocolates, then, allow the audience to relinquish control of artists’ processes and as such, a facet of their identity, their sense of authorship and their sense of ownership. The audience may now regard creative processes as subjective, open to the type of analysis, consideration and reflection usually reserved for …well, chocolates.


Research as Advertisements

My research findings towards perfumery have so far proved to be of great value – as a novice to perfumery, it has been fascinating learning the physical properties of perfume, the tension between scent and trying to read scent, understanding how smell works in relation to how we connect with the world and the different ways perfume is considered. Indeed, my findings can be directly and successfully applied to my work – allowing me to make informed decisions towards how to create perfume and how to use perfume to successfully accommodate my concepts. However, as the end result of my work intends to be that of creative practice, I have thought it both appropriate and valuable to find visual outputs for my research.

And so, I have began exploiting the nature of the advertisement to the point where is is able to become a visual representation of research, to the point where research is able to be displayed in a way which is applicable to an audience, allowing them to assess the end product in relation to the research:

ideas vessellWhy? Well, if I’m going to create what is essentially a perfume shop, then I want it to retain a shop’s inherent consumerist statements whilst attempting to almost subvert the notion of the advert – essentially, it will speculate what an advert will look like when it’s not trying to sell anything. Indeed, what it is doing instead is acting as an appendage to the shop environment whilst finding a practical way to display research findings. Also, it’s nice to see an advert for perfume that is actually quite literal, and not the usual idle lifestyle metaphors, don’t you think?!

I would hope that these ‘adverts’ would inform an audiences understanding of the perfumes I will create, as well as bolster the underlining concept – that of finding non-visual ways of completing incomplete visual ideas.


More thoughts towards Speculative Studio Spaces

A visit to three separate arts organisations over two days last week has reinforced my Speculative Studio Spaces body of work. Enthused with it’s positive reception, I now need to spend time thinking about the exact shape the different outputs of Speculative Studio Spaces can take, as well as any other events or talks I could host.

One thing that I like about Speculative Studio Spaces on a personal level is that, quite apart from the ridged, tight, research-lead residency at Bank Street Arts, Speculative Studio Spaces is malleable; I can play loose-and-fast with it as it’s a wide-ranging brief. But it is a theme that is affecting of all artists as all artists have some kind of connection with a studio space: They may be embracing or dismissive of it; it may provide solace and moments of personal reflection; it might be a space where ideas can be placed and left to crystallise; or it might even be a place of intense frustration. This is great because it means I can present Speculative Studio Spaces in several different ways, and ways which may compliment the spaces in which I present them.

What struck me through the conversations I had last week, at Neo:Artists, Bolton, at Basement Arts and at East Street Arts, Leeds, is that the studio space is able to be arrived at from the view of critical assessment – analysing the very processes that occur whilst the artist is at work whilst also exploiting the personal nature of the studio space. My work could provide a visual critique that deals, not with an exhibition piece, but the very practice of working.

A studio space that speculates what would happen if an artist who investigates our relationship with materials instead arrived at his work by investigating the concept of chance.

 

An assembled studio space, then, can assume the position of critical review – assessing how the artist works as if their actions bear more value than their finished articles. Indeed, the identity of an artist is highlighted far more potently in a working environment than an exhibition space, due to the fact that it functions based on personal preference. An exhibition needs to be crafted to ensure your audience is able to perceive your identity in a desired way. A studio speaks of your identity through every choice you make within that space. It is when that choice is relinquished – when a studio space starts to behave more like an exhibition space –  that the artist can reflect on their practice whilst an audience can reflect upon the concepts of identity, ownership and authorship.

Though if I wish I can be more abstract than all that. I could, for example, take an artist who I know to be a performance artist, then reassemble a space around a performance piece of theirs that would speculate what their work space would look like if they were, say, a visual artist. If an audience witnesses an artist that associates themselves with one discipline being completely relinquished of that discipline, then what effect would that have on the artists’ identity? Would they examine the importance of the choices they make within a workspace? Would they be left feeling vulnerable, dis-armored? Or would it reinforce their creative directions? And would an audience see this deconstruction of an artist and re-assembly towards something abstract as exploitative to an artist, or as a means of visual analysis?

I suppose this post has simply allowed me to place a few of my thoughts. As I mentioned, Speculative Studio Spaces is able to accommodate many avenues of inquiry, so getting a few thoughts down helps me refine and understand those avenues. Overall, I would hope Speculative Studio Spaces would assume the role of a visual assessment of how artists work and how their work has a direct bearing on their perceived identity. And through deconstruction and re-assembly, I would hope that Speculative Studio Spaces would assess the nature of how we work in relation to who we are.

I’d like to thank Neo:Artists, BasementArts and East Street Arts for the opportunity to work with them and to explore different avenues of Speculative Studio Spaces. Looking forward to working with all of you!


Charting My Year of Change

2014 has been a joyously productive beast with a tenancy to provide moments of reflection and a degree of transiency. My practice has meandered from the virtues of re-imagining still-life to exploiting the art found within video games to considering the studio space as a viable means of expression.

My identity as an artist has shifted. With a view to dismiss the problematic notion of being considered simply as ‘that guy who makes paint out of food’ I sought new ways of investigating the creative process, including looking at the nature of the idea, ways in which artists interact with their materials and their spaces and investigating the tension between the studio space and the exhibition space.

My year – in the context of my creative practice – began in February, as I threw myself into holding my first solo exhibition. Ironically, this particular endeavour provided me with a new found respect for collaborative work, as the strains of doing everything yourself left me exhausted and unfulfilled.  Though it was a valuable experience overall.

March and April saw focus shift from our group exhibition in New York. SCIBase – a collaborative I’m a part of – was to hold an exhibition spanning two galleries in Jamestown, NY during April: Though of course the organisation and cash required to get artists over the pond required a great deal of planning. I cannot take much credit for the planning myself, I was just happy to be involved in this collaborative for the first time. Hopefully I will redeem such lack of direct planning with a collaborative I am trying to arrange for next year between SCI and Yorkshire Artspace.

There was a great deal of success to be found within our exhibition in Jamestown, not least because we became an example of a crowdfunding campaign that actually worked! Though, with regard to my actual practice, one thing became clear – My food based pursuits had reached a logical conclusion.

And so, to new directions: My work has always involved looking at ways to investigate creative processes and so, whilst the idea of ‘finding art in video games’ might have appeared to have come out of nowhere,  I would suggest that the notion of taking something, removing it from it’s context and re-imagining it within another space is a subject I have always been concerned with.

From May to October I acquainted myself with the subject of video games and, through two co-devised and co-curated exhibitions at Millennuim Galleries and Access Space, met several artists who themselves are concerned with the themes found within gaming. On reflection, the exhibition at Millennuim Galleries was probably quite insular; a lot of work had to be done – from finding a place for artists to drop off work to finding exhibition walls in order to hang the stuff! – and I believe this amount of work had a negative impact on the execution. Perhaps I am being a little harsh due to the stresses of being directly involved in the organisation of it, but the exhibition on the whole seemed to lack a little atmosphere and perhaps became disconnected from its source material.

The lessons learnt during the Millenium Galleries Exhibition were applied to the exhibition at Access Space – a much more coherent, well-received, and fun celebration of what gaming can be. It’s probably the highlight of my year, and it’s success has allowed me to develop lasting relationships with artists and arts organisations – something valuable to an artist still within the relatively early stages of their career. Credit too should go to Access Space, who – as well as thinking the whole thing was a bloody good idea – were unparalleled in their support and guidance. I really hope I work with them again.

As we approached Autumn it became apparent that the transition from food-based work to something else still remained. I returned to the source of why I had been looking at food in the first place; namely, in an attempt to disrupt the process of creating works of Still Life. I began to develop work around the Physical properties of items, the materials we use and the choices we make in order to form a relationship with those materials and so, the idea of the ‘Speculative Studio Space’ was born, almost fully-formed, to act alongside my upcoming residency at Bank Street Arts as a strong springboard from which to leap into 2015.

There was other stuff too, of course, not least mine and Sharon’s ‘Reviving Leviathan’ collaboration and the exhibition I hosted at Funky Aardvark Gallery, Chester. All valuable experiences and all contributing to a fruitful and productive year overall.

Indeed, it isn’t over yet. I still have paint for sale at Cupola Gallery. Yes, the whole year has passed and I’m still ‘that guy who makes paint from food!’ I’m more than happy to make it if people enjoy it though. I just don’t want it to be all I’m known for; which hopefully I’m not anymore.

Anyway the paint, made from chocolate, retails at £5. A great gift for those chosen few who are fond of both painting and chocolate at this festive time of year. …Oh, that reminds me, happy ruddy holidays everyone 🙂

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My Chocolate Paint for sale at Cupola Gallery, Sheffield


Speculative Studio Spaces

Studio spaces. What are they? Are they a form of refuge? a highly personal space that demands the removal of inhabitation? A platform where artists can come, meet and feel resolve from mutually beneficial conversation? A space to develop informed and meaningful creative practice? Or simply a space where you can exist in isolation from the worlds troubles to do whatever the hell you want?

Whatever they are, their existence within creative practice helps the artist arrive at visual conclusions via a plethora of choices comprised of thoughts, ideas, images, materials, surfaces and tools. The decisions artists make within a studio develops engagement with their practice and allows the artist to construct their artistic identity. The studio also allows the artist to develop an affinity with materials, which in turn reinforce how we wish to be perceived: If an artist uses steel, for example, then they begin to be regarded as such, and that material is able to be attached to the artists’ perceived identity.

Yet the true nature of studio spaces is rarely portrayed to an audience, despite the fact that a studio space is able to provide true insight into identity in relation to creative processes. True, us artists often allow an audience to grace our studio spaces via ‘Open Studio’ events. But these are largely fabricated; any mess is cleaned up, materials and tools hare hidden, and any creative activity is removed in favour of displaying finished works. They function as pseudo-exhibitions, enabling the audience to witness how an artist wishes to be perceived, but providing no insight into the studios’ day-to-day role.

There’s something about the true nature of studio spaces that can be exploited and taken in new, engaging and potentially innovative directions. From 2015 I hope to take an informed and balanced gaze upon the nature of studio spaces, the artists relationship with studio spaces and how that relationship develops, enhances and cements identity.

Currently, I hypothesise that the notion of relinquishing any choice from the artist and constructing a speculative studio space is able to at once investigate how creative processes develop whilst simultaneously disarming the artist of their identity. Indeed, I have trialled the notion of speculative studios during Yorkshire Artspaces ‘Open Studios’ last month. I took the end products from two separate artists and constructed a studio space that speculated how the artist may have arrived at such a conclusion:

Relinquishing the artist of the choices they make intends to expose how creative process relate to the construction of identity and intends investigate the problematic implications of authorship and ownership in relation to how an audience may perceive an artist when an artist has no input in the matter.

I would initially suggest that re-contextualising the choices artists make within a studio as  end products – which is essentially what my ‘speculative studio spaces’ are –  may reveal a studio space that reads like a portrait: An alternative identity that reveals a chance to assess and reflect upon creativity from a difference space, as well as provide a commentary for how creative processes can be manipulated for the sake of exposing identity.


An invitation to my Open Studio & Pop-up Exhibition

As part of Yorkshire Artspace’s Open Studios I am running a two-day exhibition at Exchange Place Studios. The exhibition will act as a trial of some of my current ideas around the themes of identity and creative processes. It will run Friday 21st November from 5:30 – 9pm and Saturday 22nd November from 11am – 5pm. I will be on the 4th Floor of Exchange Place Studios.

Included in the exhibition will be a re-imagination of two artists’ studios, based on their perceived creative output. I speculate upon their processes, their materials and even their own personalities in order to devise an alternative yet informed identity. I will also be displaying three purposely-constructed mechanisms that attempt to disrupt my own creative processes and highlight and assess how value can be placed upon everyday objects.

 A sneak peek of one of my ‘speculative studio spaces’ – on display at Exchange Place Studios this coming Friday & Saturday

 

I would like to invite you all to the exhibition, which will use an empty studio space near my own studio, I will also be present during both days, so you’d get the opportunity to meet me, ask questions or just chat.

In fact, the whole weekend gives you a great opportunity to meet loads of the artists, makers and designers that work in Yorkshire Artspace. Full details can be found here:
http://artspace.org.uk/blog/permalink/2014-11/open-studios-weekend-21-23-november

Thank you. See you all on Friday or Saturday hopefully!


Artists’ Paint Colour #4 – Cups Stacked on Top of Each Other

Taking ideas from artists and turning them into paint. Each paint is already primed with implications and preconceptions based on the artists’ ideas: This allows you to choose between using the paint as a raw medium, or exploiting the connotations found within the paint. The choice is yours.  

Colour #4 – Cups Stacked on Top of Each Other

With unique texture and a bold, unashamed hue, ‘Cups Stacked On Top Of Each Other’ can always be relied upon. Whether depicting social interactions or moments of quiet reflection, this brutally rich paint seeks to make a statement.   

ARTISTS – If you have an idea for a painting that, for one reason or another, never reached fruition, email borkowskyart@gmail.com and I will allow your idea to be realised through the process of paint making.


Artists’ Paint Colour #3 – Overheard Conversations

Taking ideas from artists and turning them into paint. Each paint is already primed with implications and preconceptions based on the artists’ ideas: This allows you to choose between using the paint as a raw medium, or exploiting the connotations found within the paint. The choice is yours.  

Colour #3 – Overheard Conversations in Public Spaces

Specialist paint with a joyously inconsistent texture and a playful sense of Alchemy, ‘Overheard Conversations in Public Spaces’ celebrates innovation by considering accident and chance within the context of paint. Useful for those times where you deliberately seek to relinquish control of a painting.

Idea handed to me by artist Sally Sheinman

ARTISTS – If you have an idea for a painting that, for one reason or another, never reached fruition, email borkowskyart@gmail.com and I will allow your idea to be realised through the process of paint making.


Artists’ Paint Colour #2 – Empty Frame

Taking ideas from artists and turning them into paint. Each paint is already primed with implications and preconceptions based on the artists’ ideas: This allows you to choose between using the paint as a raw medium, or exploiting the connotations found within the paint. The choice is yours.  

Colour #2 – Empty Frame

Velvety, rich and decadent with the tactile consistency of freshly churned butter, Empty Frame is a double pigment colour with a subtlety that eludes many. Specifically formulated to stimulate non-visual inclinations, Empty Frame is able to effortlessly assail the senses. 

Idea handed to me by artist Emma McLean

ARTISTS – If you have an idea for a painting that, for one reason or another, never reached fruition, email borkowskyart@gmail.com and I will allow your idea to be realised through the process of paint making.