We are two recent Fine Art graduates from the University College for the Creative Arts. By organizing exhibitions and setting up projects between various artists, we hope to provide platforms for young emerging artists, where they will be able to present new bodies of work and further develop their practice.



The show was a great success.  Although there was torrential down-pour at the opening of the show, quite a few people came.  On the second day, Fraire Barnes, an editor of the BBC Collective came to visit the show, and wrote a review about it.  3 out of 5, not bad for show #2!

The work in this show was more focused than the previous.  The work shared common themes, and were visually more coherent.  It was more successfull in terms of the creation of a "space."

This show was the second one we have set up in the B&B project space.  Although the space is interesting, we are currently trying to find a new place to work with.  Folkestone has its charm, but its time to move on!

There are various places we are considering.  One interesting space is the Substation in Margate.  Hannah Lees just had her show there a few weeks ago, and it worked out great.  Another space is the Transition Gallery in London, run by Cathy Lomax.  We have still not talked to her, but she saw the first show we did, and liked it.

One main factor which needs to always be considered is money.  It cost quite a lot to set up a show: Invitations, Materials, Phone calls, the renting of the space, alcahol for the private view.  Probably a lot of these things could be cut down, but we always want the shows to be done well, and that also includes the private view.  If there is free alcahol at the opening, people feel comfortable, and more willing to stay.  The night becomes a chance for people to spend a few hours talking about the work and much more.  So when choosing the next space, this will need to kept in consideration.


Here are two new images from the third book published by Ceci Lombardi for the show we are having this Saturday.  The images are developing in a very interesting way.  The influence from the illustrations of Ernst Haeckel is becoming more visible.  It will be interesting to see the outcome of the next book.


Here are some images from one of the books made from Ceci Lombardi. The images are coming along well. She will probably be able to finish four monographs for the show.

Today we went to see the B&B project space, to see if it was completed so we could start installing the work. Unfortunately, due to the earthquake in folkestone, the building is still undergoing some work, so we will be able to install the show on wednesday. This only leaves us 3 days.


Today we publicized the show on myspace.  Myspace is a really good way to inform friends of what is going on.  Hopefully this will inform more people about the show.


We have spent the last few days working on the press release for the show.  The press release is an important phase in the development of our shows, because the ideas floating throughout the various works of the show are focused into a short writing.  It took us a few days to write.  We talked with the artists, we talked with the owner of the gallery Matt Rowe, and with other people we know.  Finally it is done, and it came out quite well.

Here it is:

The Return of H.M.S. Challenger

Exhibition Dates: 30 June – 12 July 2007

Private View: Saturday 30 June 6-9pm

Venue: B&B Project Space, 14 Tontine Street,              Folkestone CT20 1JU

Opening Times: Thursday – Sunday 12-5pm

The H.M.S. Challenger embarked from Portsmouth, England on December 21, 1872 and changed the course of scientific history.  Physicists, chemists, and biologists collaborated with expert navigators to map the sea.  This interdisciplinary spirit has continued to the present day.  During the 4 year journey, the voyages circumnavigated the globe, sounded the ocean bottom to a depth of 26,850 feet, found many new species, and provided collections for scores of biologists.

Mixed between fact and fiction, the history of the Challenger can be better defined as a historical sci-fi.  The collaboration between the three emerging artists Mark Hayward, Victoria Foster, and Ceci Lombardi has led to the creation of a space which could be mistaken for an exhibition presenting the discoveries and studies of scientific explorers of the late 19th century.  Filled with old furniture, traditionally bound monographs, black and white prints, short video animations, and hand made porcelain barnacles, the show presents itself in a coherently traditional format which relates to the romantic myth of H.M.S. Challenger. However, each artist offers something new in their work, combining these seemingly antiquated tools of presentation with creative endeavour.  The result of this mixture is an original body of work which lends itself both to history and myth, tradition and innovation.    

Mark Hayward has produced a large number of prints over the past years, under the alias of a fictional publishing company named White Cliffs Press.  For the exhibition he will be presenting a series of prints of 19th century ships, which illustrates their development over the years. These diagrams, symbol in their time of positive progress, now document a series of antiquated ships.  The images change from a positive icon of development to historical objets d’art.

Mark will also be presenting a series of short animations.  Although the style is reminiscent of the civil defence films of the 50’s, his videos do not serve any real purpose.  Accompanied by a series of musical soundtracks, they continue on an endless and tireless loop. 

Victoria Foster will be using the gallery as an installation space to present a collection of hand-crafted porcelain barnacles.  Barnacles are often found in artificial symbiosis with man-made structures, often to the structure’s detriment.  In this case these barnacles will be growing in the crevices of the gallery, attaching themselves to the floor, wall, and furniture.

This interplay between structural entropy and organic growth can be seen as a metaphor of the current situation in Folkestone, a seaside town poised between disrepair and regeneration.  The installation of this site-specific piece, with its historical and social considerations, provides a space for debate of these various local issues.

Ceci Lombardi’s images develop like amorphous organisms such as protozoa, bacteria, and jellyfish.  Her paintings begin from abstract membranes of visual information (a stain, a light wash of paint) which slowly mature and acquire distinct figurative features and odd articulations, defined with the use of pencil marks, watercolours, and gouache.

The images will be presented in a series of traditionally bound monographs, reminiscent of publications of the 19th century.  This format successfully enables the artist to study and document her constructed ‘organisms’.

O-collective is an artist collective set up by Ceci Lombardi and Marco Palmieri composed of a group of graduates from the University College for the Creative Arts.  Through a series of solo and group exhibitions, the collective provides an opportunity for artists to develop their work in the public eye and emerge in the industry of art.