Visual art exhibitions and events with a platform for critical writing
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By: Q of H Project Space
An independent project space in the freedom of the Norfolk countryside. www.queenofhungary.co.uk
Artists can use the space to test ideas, experiment with new work, document installations and showcase their practice.
The space hosts artist and curator talks and is a dynamic resource offering classes supporting technical skills and seminars promoting professional development.
The Queen of Hungary started as an artist-led gallery in a medieval building in Norwich, 2001.
# 103 [20 June 2013]
Townley & Bradby are developing an event for us to host on the 18th July. We've worked individually before with Townley & Bradby (way back), but this is the first time QH has, so we're really looking forward to seeing what playful event evolves.
This is their take on it:
During the last three years we have been documenting our children’s play. Artists As Parents As Artists will be a presentation of artwork we have made in response to this documentation. The artwork on show will include large-scale photos, two films and a series of drawings.
We have found that many art events (talks, exhibitions, residencies) are difficult or impossible to access with our children. For this reason Artists As Parents As Artistsis an event for both children and adults. Central to the event will be play and food. There will be a range of loose materials that can be rearranged, played with and used constructively by both children and adults during the event. There will also be a communal meal. Rather than devote a particular section of the event to discussion of the artwork, this will take place in amongst the other activities.
# 102 [7 June 2013]
VULGAR ERRORS RESIDENCY
To finish off the residency I had an open studio afternoon; it provided a good focus for me to gather together and present the work that I had been making in the run up to the residency and during my time at the project space. It was particularly useful to meet up with Hugh again to show him the video piece I had been working on. Talking to Hugh and talking to Dominique from The Queen of Hungary has made me feel more positive about the video. It isn't a finished, polished piece, but as a work made in 2 days it's not bad! It has also opened up some thinking for me in relation to how to structure video works and using text and image together in this form. I have worked in video before but not for a while, and it is a format I want to explore more. So this has definitely been a good kick to get on with it!
I haven't posted the video online because there are copyright issues related to the fact the footage isn't mine and also I have ethical qualms about posting footage of people who are being touted as 'benefit cheats' even if that footage is already in the public domain. However I have posted the script for the video and some still images on my personal blog for the project:http://www.ameliacrouch.com/news/vulgar-errors/2013/06/05/outcomes/
Overall it has been a really valuable experience to spend time at The Queen of Hungary, it is a fantastic space for simply offering artists the chance to experiment. I am amazed with what I can achieve in a few days if I put my mind to it and that is definitely a lesson to take home!
# 101 [28 May 2013]
VULGAR ERRORS RESIDENCY Day 3
After the first 2 really good days at the project space, days 3 and 4 have been a bit more of a struggle. Maybe some people will come along to my open studio tomorrow and help me work things out!
My aim was to try and develop a short video piece using text from Thomas Browne and combining this with some footage I have downloaded from you tube.
The footage includes video of people who are purported to be benefit cheats (presumably filmed by spying neighbours), baby swallows, mouths open for food, and a video of a snake eating another snake.
When I project each separate bit of footage along with the text pieces in the space I like how they look, but making them into a single channel video piece is harder. My hope is that the Browne text will give an interesting reading to the footage and it not seem like a simplistic comparison of benefit cheats with snakes (for example), which is not my aim. The interesting thing about the footage of ‘benefit cheats’ is that they are just people walking around, shopping etc but it’s quite compelling to watch. I have excluded any videos where the people are doing ‘active’ things like dancing, karate etc or where horrible things happen such as someone falling off a mobility scooter and then getting up to walk.
So, I feel there is something interesting in the footage and in the words…but maybe they don’t work together. Or maybe it is just going to take a little bit longer. At the moment the text, which I will probably add as a voiceover, starts off okay (N.B. okay, not brilliant!) but then gradually disintegrates. I have pasted an extract below. I’m hoping for a brainwave overnight.
1. A solemn song to welcome in the swallow.
Though useless unto us,
and rather of molestation
we commonly refrain from killing Swallows
We esteem it unlucky to destroy them
These birds that were sacred unto houshold gods of the ancients,
and therefore were preserved,
and to the Rhodians, who had a solemn song to welcome in the swallow
Do not harbour Swallows in your Houses
His advice notwithstanding, we do not contemn,
those who daily admit and cherish them.
For in his injunction a caution only is implied, do not entertain ungrateful and thankless persons,
Brazenly living off the labour of others
They fail to take responsibility for their own circumstances
# 100 [27 May 2013]
VULGAR ERRORS RESIDENCY Day 2
I stuck up the letters that I cut out yesterday for the phrase ‘Not to Harbour Swallows in our Houses.’ The result is quite visually busy – the texture on the letters is a manipulated image of some dead birds, although I don’t think you can tell this. I can’t decide if I like the busy-ness, and how it makes it take longer for the message to be read, or if this is distracting.
The letters are just cut out in cardboard and annoyingly kept falling off as double sided sticky tape and newly painted paint don’t bond well. So I resorted to using panel pins to help fix them too as I can’t bear the idea of going back tomorrow and them all being on the floor. So it will be an arse to uninstall, but I will worry about that on Thursday. I guess if I was going to show the work in an exhibition I would probably get cut vinyl lettering.
I spent quite a long time playing around with projecting images. It’s never dawned on me before how useful a projector can be for testing out works – location, scale etc – before actually installing them. I experimented with projecting various bits of film footage and text-animation that I have collected/created to see how this sits with the prints. I will work a bit more on editing time based stuff tomorrow. I have a TV, a projector, my laptop and a digital photo frame which I could use to show moving image. But I am not sure if I will make more of a show-reel of several short video/animations to be projected in sequence, or if I will locate them around the space , showing in different formats.
# 99 [27 May 2013]
VULGAR ERRORS RESIDENCY I spent my first full day at the Queen of Hungary yesterday and it's a brilliant setting to work. I enjoyed looking out the window at the horses in the adjacent field who are my nearest company and have quite a calming effect. This and the lack of internet connection makes the place really conducive to slowing down, relaxing and experimenting with art work.
Yesterday I sat and planned for a while and then measured walls. I pinned up some of the print outs I had brought, combining quotes from Thomas Browne with quotes from newspapers. I painted a large red rectangle on one of the walls and cut out a lot of letters that I am going to stick to it. Today I am hoping to stick up the letters, draw another text work onto the wall and start doing some video editing.
# 98 [23 May 2013]
We are excited that our second selected residency starts tomorrow, with a conversation between artist Amelia Crouch and scientist / writer Hugh Aldersey-Williams. The basis of the residency is Thomas Browne's Pseudodoxia Epidemica, commonly Vulgar Errors and I have been reading the text today in preparation. We are big Thomas Browne fans here at the Project Space, so it will be very interesting to hear the conversation between these two and also to see Amelia's interpretation of the text through her own practice and interests.
I swept the Project Space floor, polished the wine glasses and everything.
# 97 [17 May 2013]
# 96 [15 May 2013]
Vulgar Errors residency in progress
My residency at the Queen of Hungary Project Space is getting closer. I am really looking forward to this and also starting to worry...what am I going to do? How does my work actually relate to Thomas Browne? Will it make sense to anyone? What about the practicalities of working somewhere different for a week, what tools and materials do I need to take?
Of course they are not really big worries, they are exciting questions. The great thing about doing a residency in a project space is that allows time and space for experiment. I have been collecting fragments of text from Thomas Browne and newspaper headlines; some of them are starting to coalesce into little (possibly meaningful) groupings. They initially started out quite separate but now the two are talking to one another which is exciting but a little bit unknown. I am beginning to form visual and design ideas about how I might display the texts in the project space.
Unusually I will be doing a talk with Hugh Aldersey-Williams at the start of my week, rather than once I have been making work in the project space (this to do with practical reasons of the timing of the Aylesham festival). So I think I am going to turn up with some print outs of some of the texts I have been collecting and a couple of short video sketches. Then I will spend the week exploring how to display the text pieces in the project space and also developing making some more video works. I am going to hold a drop in open studio on my final day in residence Wednesday 29th May from 2-6.30pm.
# 95 [14 May 2013]
Vulgar Errors residency in progress
I have been working on some text pieces for my upcoming residency. These pair quotes form Thomas Browne with contemporary newspaper headlines or political quotes about working or worklessness.
A short video sketch 'F is for work' stands alone with nothing really to do with Thomas Browne, but as my ideas are progressing Browne and the headlines are mingling more. Possibly I am moving away from considering work as such and towards the work resonating with the more general contemporary environment/ideas about working, Britishness, migrants, disability...a rhetoric of people needing to contribute. One text from Browne keeps coming into my head. He gives the phrase 'Not to harbour swallows in our houses' as an example of a metaphor (from the writings of Pythagoras) that has at times been taken as a literal truth. The metaphor is to do with not taking people in who will take advantage of you. This seems to resonate, for me, with contemporary rhetoric by papers such as the Daily Mail talking about migrants 'swarming' or 'flocking' to the UK.
Hugh and I have been talking a bit about metaphor in language and literal truth. Also about the difference between words and images. Hugh suggests that at Browne's time: "There seems to have been a sense in which pictures were given more credence than what people said or even wrote. This was in a time when most of the painted images people saw represented biblical events etc. And Browne writes about griffins, the phoenix etc, and how people believed they were true creatures because depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics."
Another text piece I am working on pairs the words "Err to speak" with "Eyes nor sight." This is from two Thomas Browne quotes:
1) "Error, to speak largely, is a false judgment of things"
2)"...that they have eyes, but no sight, some neither eyes nor sight"
In one of Browne's chapters that Hugh has pointed me towards, Browne writes about depicting Adam and whether he should have a navel.
"I've been ploughing through some obscurer passages of the Pseudodoxia, with Browne wrestling with whether pictures show truth, mainly to do with religious imagery of course, paintings showing Adam with a navel, for example – a paradox that doesn't really arise until you start showing pictures of him rather than just describing him in text. He wonders why Jesus has long hair, although not why his ethnicity is not Middle Eastern in Italian or northern European art."
He wonders what similar pictograms we have today that we take too unquestioningly, suggesting that possibly the 'truth' we are shown in nature documentaries is one fertile area. So now I am also starting to look at nature documentaries and maybe bringing in some images to pair with my texts.
# 94 [7 May 2013]
A Selection Process:
We are launching ourselves into organising the Landscape Show, amongst other events. The response to our open call out for submissions was fantastic, but it did result in many, many hours of selection proces. We applied an initial or pre-selection filter and scoring system, in order to get the numbers down to a manageable size for our two guest selectors, Eliza Gluckman and Paul Fieldsen-Danks. Otherwise, it really would have been taking unacceptable advantage of their time.
Their selection resulted in a core of artists that they both agreed on and several that they did not! The QH then completed the selection process by debating for more hours the merits or not of these artists, in order to get the final list. Further discussion followed as to which work from each artist and how they may or may not fit together, also considerations of size, media, type etc. We ended up with a hot list of artworks and several queries and negotiations to contend with.
The Belling was dragged out to keep coffee and croissants warm to fortify us, but we somehow managed to steam the croissants and then stick them to the hotplate.
So, here I am as the sun is tipping up over the rooftop opposite, thinking about organisation and spreadsheets and exhibition administration tasks.
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The Project Space is Stephanie Douet, Chloe Mandy & Dominique Rey.
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