Visual art exhibitions and events with a platform for critical writing
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By: Satellite Artists
Satellite is Dominic Allan, Jo Chapman, Polly Cruse, Olga Jurgenson, Nicola Naismith, Kate Parrott, Dominique Rey.
Contact Satellite: email@example.com
# 13 [20 September 2011]
In stark contrast to Dominique, my Satellite Portfolio images have been a bit longer in coming. Time spent over several days hand drawing with pen and ink an image of traditional engineering machinery has on balance been an enjoyable experience. Made much more so now the smallest light-box in the world has been replaced by wonderful A3 light-box which never gets hot - it was a worthwhile purchase.
When i did my Foundation at Shelly Park in Bournemouth a tutor Eddie made me a ink pen with an old partly melted Biro and a nib, i improvised in a similar way for this project, buying a lovely new nib and attaching to a fast disappearing favorite pencil.
The two have been made some 20 years apart.
I'm a great fan of home made tools which do jobs really well - there is a great book i have my eye on Vladimir Arkhipov's book Home Made: Contemporary Russian Folk Artefact's, great images of inventions made by necessity out of odds and ends now rather ironically sold out and selling second hand for £125 !
# 12 [15 September 2011]
My digital prints for Satellite Portfolio were ordered yesterday and arrived hot off the press this lunchtime. Impressive service. Now to number and label all 37.
The image Aid & Abet chose of mine is the bunker shot from Happisburgh beach. I returned to that spot last month and the bunker is more submerged, (impossible to get inside now, certainly on the day I went). The cliff is more crumbled, receded and lined with temporary homes, mobile homes, caravans. There is a push to clean the beach of fallen debris and mangled structure from the destroyed lifeboat slipway.
Somewhere there is a photo of me taking the photo on a very cold winter afternoon.
# 11 [12 September 2011]
Our collaborative project has a green light as we have contacted an interested artist from the Royal Standard.Full steam ahead. I did a preliminary web-trawl for Liverpool connections to some of the interests represented through my own practice. I was initially interested in the textile trade and later the devastating damage sustained during the Blitz. But two aspects immediately caught my eye. 1. the docks - construction, use, demise and remodelling. 2. the off-shore WW2 forts. With the forts, it was the architectural forms, wartime use and the gradual degradation or destruction of them. The Army needed Forts to break up heavy bomber formations using the Thames as a navigation aid to London's Docklands. In the North of England, Liverpool was also seen as a target by the enemy. The Mersey Bay off Liverpool were to get 3 sets of Heavy Anti-Aircraft (AA) Army Forts constructed by the Cleeveden Bridge Company. A detailed site on many of the forts along our coast is:
However, I can just imagine the tricky logistics if we wanted at some future point to do a physical tour of structures way out at sea that may or may not still be there. An easier physical tour would be of land sited defences. There do seem to still be pill-box defences and the like surrounding Liverpool, but research so far has not revealed any still in Liverpool centre itself. Further research required. Dominique Rey
# 10 [9 September 2011]
The project is building momentum, members of Satellite who have opted into putting something into our first portfolio collection for Space Exchange at Aid and Abet have emailed me 3 images each. These in turn have been sent to Aid and Abet who will select one image from each artist. Its good they will be curating our first portfolio. We are though, producing this on a shoestring (sound familiar) and each Satellite member is baring the cost of production, in a very tight deadline. My own image is an ink drawing, which i will reproduce 37 times, some will go into portfolios, others will be for sale individually. The trials were produced using what transpired to be the worlds smallest (slight exaggeration) and fairly ineffectual light-box making the processes not as pleasurable as it could have been. Will be treating myself to a A3 light-box to produce the set.
Each artist submitted images which link to East Anglia in some way, my own are taken from a residency last year at Hethel Engineering Centre near Norwich. Derek the Engineer that i worked with told me about his apprenticeship days in the drawing office where he used coloured inks in addition to pencil on technical plans. The inks had no informational purpose but did in fact simply look visually pleasing. Obvously more time consuming that simply using a pencil, the drawing office manger didnt encourage the activity but i thought for my contribution to the portfolio edition i would indulge myself and spend time drawing the same image repeatedly using pen and ink. I hope i give myself enough time to enjoy doing it.
# 9 [5 September 2011]
The process for producing an artist's newspaper is not proving straightforward. The quote from the printer is way out of our tiny budget, even as a very thin, slimline newspaper. So I'm sitting on the floor amongst a pile of printed matter, trying to re-think the design. Rifling through my pseudo-archive (it's just a yellowing pile on a shelf- does that count?) of artist newspapers, for inspiration.
Perhaps we can turn it into a folded poster on thin, rough paper. Somehow, as an object it has to sit well alongside our Portfolio and also create a presence in the gallery.
# 8 [25 August 2011]
Our meeting at Aid and Abet was a focused and productive hour, partly benefitting from having the train journey to chew the cud on ideas. Being a show about creative spaces and exchanging them, we're hopeful that our chosen artist space will take up the first stage of our idea. Satellite's creative space can be considered the whole, big-sky, vast-feeling East Anglian region, given the geographical spread of Satelliters and the requirement to travel distances within the region to meet, or see 'art' (or Art) in its many forms.
We're excited about the space within our idea for the unexpected, the challenging and the unknown to emerge, as we will have no idea where within the region it may take us, or what physical objects may end up in the gallery space. Perhaps it will be only teeny-tiny things requiring much focus by the viewer, or a couple of large and awkward objects with a somewhat nasty smell. Working with the unknown within the prescribed, but wide, boundaries (and budget) we have set will hopefully encourage playful creativity, improvisation and a dose of adrenalin as we panic.
On the train back to Norwich we finalised the 'Opt-In' part of the project that will give the whole group a chance to sell prints within the commercial wing of Aid & Abet, curated by the gallery. The deadline is very tight on this project, with 22nd September the final deadline that any print editions must be ready. There is a heck of a lot to do before then.
Back to Aylsham in the afternoon for a meeting about a new Project Space, this time a physical space rather than Satellite's virtual and geographical cultural landscape.
# 7 [24 August 2011]
Ruminating on William Cobbett's tour and his 1821 Norfolk and Suffolk Journal, here is a portrait of him.
Found a good, informative site when thining about tours of Britain, much to read and digest about hisorical, lierary tours through Norfolk, Suffolk and indeed Liverpool. I've only skimmed the surface and will return to this in a later post.
Here are a few names to start the touring research process - John Leland, George Head, Daniel Defoe and one woman,Celia Fiennes (1662-1741). "Between 1697 and 1698 she visited every English county, plus brief forays into Wales and Scotland.
She believed spending time in Britain “cured the itch of overvaluing foreign parts”. Touring the country was her lifelong obsession, and she did so on horseback – side-saddle, accompanied by two servants."
# 6 [14 August 2011]
Dominique and I had our meeting last Thursday. After a general catch up it was down to business and thinking about what we are wanting to be doing and where we want to be going. I was looking at ESP (Extra Special People) http://extraspecialpeople.org and how they offer away days / weekends to their members to visit other groups and places. Without a space of our own why would a group such as ESP choose to visit us?
Dominique hit the nail on the head when she said “we don't have a physical space but we have a cultural landscape’ and then we explored designing tours we could take people on and what places are important to us here in the East of England. My last post sounded a bit like a Grande Tour of places visited and shows seen.
Anyway the main reason we were meeting was to discuss an invitation from Aid and Abet http://aidandabet.co.uk/ in Cambridge to be part of their next project Space Exchange which opens in the autumn and the ideas of tours and touring became more focused.
Working with Aid and Abet on this project will help us to
a. Do something: tour & talk
b. Present something physical in their project and/or curated selling space
c. Make links and open up relationships with others.
Our conversation was lively over cups of tea and coffee and we have focused on the idea of the tour as our starting point: we both have interests in this area: Dominique with William Cobbett and for me with the Baedecker Guides.
William Cobbett went riding around the country on horseback writing down what he saw from the point of view of both farmer and social reformer in the 1820’s resulting in Rural Rides published in two volumes: http://www.archive.org/details/ruralrides01cobb
The Baedecker Guides have been published since 1832 and are still going strong today, used by foreign tourists visiting the Great Britain (amongst other places) the guides were also used to identify targets for bombing in World War II. Norwich was on the list and subsequently bombed over 2 nights. Cambridge was to be targeted also as were other towns and cities in East Anglia. My primary interest in the guides is the inclusion of industrial sites of interest (to visit and presumably been able to gain access to) and how these would have been of genuine interest at the time.
I spoke with CJ Mahony at Aid and Abet on Friday with our initial thoughts and I have to get it all written into a proposal for next week. I hope our ideas can be developed further in collaboration with another group involved in the project. More to follow as ideas as discussions develop.
# 5 [9 August 2011]
I have been circulating with other people, places and spaces on my long overdue trip to other parts of the UK. Being away is always a bit of a busman's holiday.
A brief stop in Manchester included the Peoples History Museum with great banners by Ed Hall and the Hilary Jack exhibition at Castlefield Gallery also wonderful. Next morning was The Lowry with all its bright colours and wonderful collection of yes you guessed it Lowry paintings and drawings.
Onwards to Dumfries and Galloway and a break to see friends and be at the beach with no art agenda, although most of my friends there are artists.
Back on the busman’s holiday and into Glasgow which is always a real treat. Went to see many spaces and many art works, i know i know its not all about quantity but when in Glasgow i like to immerse myself for a while if i can. Firstly Mary Mary on Dixon Street was showing Alistair Frost and Gerda Scheepers exploring a ‘certain kind of motif making’ which had left me with all sorts of ideas to develop, then onwards to see work British Art Show 7 at the Gallery of Modern Art but it was Kate Davis’ Peace at Last’, response to Glasgow’s Museum Collections with images of Goya and Jo Spence alongside her own works that were of real interest to me. On route to the Modern Institute an empty shop project Gallacher and Warren’s Nothing Fades Quicker than Yesterdays Ideas about Tomorrow exploring ‘fashionable vernaculars of ‘regeneration architecture’ that are played out across many post industrial cities’ www.gallacherandwarren.com . It was a smart looking show with interesting concepts and materials which i really enjoyed. Onwards to the Modern Institute to Urs Fischer & Georg Herold’s situation of a figurative life sculpture class complete with reclining life model. It was a beautiful work to see http://www.themoderninstitute.com/current-and-fort... . Transmission just around the corner next and the members show, featuring some really striking pieces and then last gallery stop of the day was Street Level Photoworks showing Gina Glover’s Playgrounds of War http://streetlevelphotoworks.org/streetlevel/archi... i was particularly interested in the ‘rejuvenating corrosion of nature’ within the work. It has been interesting to reflect on each venue, the way it uses it space and resources. The mission statement being an all important focus for communicating intentions. I'm wondering how the Satellite mission may be evolving.
Next morning the Centre for Contemporary Arts and more of the British Art Show, Wolfgang Tillmans Freischwimmer 155 made without a camera was impressive and Truth Study Centre Tillmans collection of printed materials on subjects of current concern to him made for sometimes very disturbing but entirely necessary viewing. A walk through a sunny Kelvingrove park was a treat as was the Museum with an exhibition by Patricia Cain Drawing (on) Riverside, an extensive and muti-media exhibition of work produced about the construction of the Riverside Museum on the river Clyde http://www.patriciacain.com/index.html . I always find Glasgow so lively with so many types of spaces and people I'm thinking i it would be great to work there both developing my own practice but also doing a Satellite project.
After a further non arts week in Fife, again spending much needed time at the beach, onwards and downwards to Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art to see Richard Forster’s new exhibition Fast and Slow Time. Richard was a speaker at our first Satellite in-conversation event (alongside Susan Collis) at Norwich Arts Centre. We tried to meet up for a cuppa but it wasn't to be and i had to settle for seeing the exhibition which was awe inspiring, the drawings have to be seen to be believed, go visit... http://www.visitmima.com/exhibitions/currentdetail... .
So...i have been to many spaces and seen many art works and am left reflecting on both my own practice but also what Satellite is and where it could be going. Who might we want to work with and equally who might want to work with us? Which brings me to an offer of possible collaboration with an artist run space. Dominique and i are going to discuss ideas on Thursday so news of that after then.
# 4 [28 June 2011]
In aid of ideas about artist-led groups I went to part of the Outpost Summer Fayre Symposium (Norwich) yesterday (by chance actually, but let's pretend I'm just well informed and 'out-there'). Lots of energy and inspiration and falafels, but sorely disappointing coffee. The symposium was more a series of short talks by the contributing organisations, such as a retro look at City Racing and someone from Permanent Bookshop based in Brighton. Lots of talk again about partnerships and credible partners - seems to be 'on trend' as it were, but a useful consideration and position for us. Interestingly, most places with their own venues felt the need to move away from and outside them in order to be part of something larger and be more connected up, so we have a possible strength in that we are forced to move out, around and away from the start, as we have little physical tethering, no gallery.
My impression is of lots of piles of print editions / newspapers and making process and archive into sellable, desirable commodity (financial sense?). I took a couple of photos but they're still on my phone, so here's a link to some info instead:
The stamp collage, of course, is another satellite version. Perhaps it could be one of our seven types of group limited edition prints....
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SATELLITE is a collection of artists with strong connections to the wide area that is Eastern England. We provide critical, peer discussion around our practices and organise events in partnership with other arts practitioners that reflect our interests and obsessions.
Our first 'In-Conversation' was hosted by Norwich Arts Centre and featured a discussion between artists Susan Collis and Richard Forster.
The most recent 'In-Conversation' was hosted by Firstsite, Colchester and featured a discussion between artist and Satellite memeber Nicola Naismith and Barbara Steveni of Artists Placement Group (APG).