The first thing I did was to kiss the ground

The first thing I did was to kiss the ground, is a newly installed outdoor sculpture by Jasleen Kaur in Glasgow’s Hidden Gardens, a green space next to Tramway, where Kaur’s exhibition Alter Altar explores ‘improvisation, political mysticism and inherited myths.’

Drawing inspiration from the decorative processional ‘Palki’ floats that feature in Sikh celebrations, Kaur’s large-scale outdoor work features the upper half of a Sikh head with top-knotted hair, emerging from a graphical undulating strip of water, painted to look like marble.

Glasgow-born Kaur, whose practice explores diasporic identity, and personal and colonial histories, describes the work as “a cognitive space … of these other ways of thinking, these other ways of knowing.”

31 March – 8 October 2023, Tramway & Hidden Gardens, Glasgow

Jasleen Kaur, The first thing I did was to kiss the ground, 2021

Diaspora Pavilion 2  

Long-standing a-n member Sonia E Barrett presents new site-specific installation Here Tell, Quantum Black, in this exhibition that is the final iteration of the trans-national, collaborative Diaspora Pavilion project, begun in 2017 during the 57th Venice Biennale.

Barrett’s sculptural installation and moving image work addresses the material histories of flint, the black sedimentary rock used to construct tools, property and weapons.

Hundreds of pieces of flint, collected over many years by Barrett from the fields around her south of England home, are assembled in a hanging constellation in the gallery. Each piece has been painted with a different brown ink, suggestive of skin tones.

Barrett’s use of flint represents both violent extraction and shared humanity, with Here Tell, Quantum Black drawing connections between the dangerous work undertaken by white, working class flint miners and the inhumane expansion of the British empire using flint powered weaponry.

Until 10 June 2023, Block 336, Brixton, London

Sonia E Barrett, We The Extracted, 2023, video still. Photo: Gennaro Ambrosino

Lucy, Jack, Gabby

An eponymous exhibition of work by three emerging neurodivergent artists, who are all members of the studio at Project Art Works in Hastings.

While each artist’s practice is multidisciplinary and diverse, addressing artistic interests ranging from  popular culture to natural history, the trio’s work is united by careful and often meticulous practices of collecting, researching and reimagining.

Lucy Jenion’s drawing, painting and photography practice is influenced by animated films and her dense journals record her deep research process, which often takes a particular film, character or cultural moment as its starting point.

Jack Goldsmith was recently awarded a Developing Your Creative Practice grant from Arts Council England to develop his work in ceramics, while Gabby R’s vivid assemblages use unconventional materials including hot glue, pipe cleaners and found objects to create imaginative representations of creatures found in the natural world.

From 4 March – 23 April 2023 Project Art Works, Hastings 

Artist Lucy Jenion

Poor Things

Several a-n members take part in this group show of sculpture, which takes as its starting point conversations about art and social class between artists Emma Hart and Dean Kenning, and Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket gallery.

Aiming to spark conversations about class through sculpture, Hart and Kenning have brought together the best of what they describe as ‘poor things’ made by contemporary UK-based artists from working-class and lower middle-class backgrounds, and will have a series of conversations with each artist in front of their sculptures.

Hart herself presents painted stoneware and metal wall-based works that take the form of megaphones: objects that amplify voice but, as Hart has described them, also reflect a feeling of being out of place in the art world.

Emma Hart, Spoiler (blue/green), 2021, stoneware, acrylic paint and metal. 50 x 50 x 50 cm. Courtesy the artist and The Sunday Painter, London.

Among work by the cross-generational group of 22 artists is Liverpool-born a-n member Chila Kumari Singh Burman’s Eat Me Now, an oversized glittery, embellished cornet ice cream inspired by Burman’s father who owned an ice cream van.

Chila Kumari Singh Burman, Eat Me Now, 2013, mixed media. Courtesy the artist
Chila Kumari Singh Burman, Eat Me Now, 2013, mixed media. Courtesy the artist

Rebecca Moss’ absurdist moving image work Thick-skinned (top image) shows the artist walking through a field covered from head to foot in multi-coloured balloons, before attempting to squeeze through a gap in a barbed wire fence. The initial comedy is swiftly replaced with discomfort as the uselessly unprotective balloons burst and Moss struggles on all fours to avoid skin-snagging metal teeth.

Until 21 May, Fruitmarket, Edinburgh

Rebecca Moss, Thick-skinned, 2019, digital video, 3m 52s. Courtesy the artist

Albion Waves

a-n member Oliver Beer presents new paintings and a sound installation that draw inspiration from the 14,000 Roman artefacts discovered on the Bloomberg gallery site during archaeological excavations a decade ago.

Continuing Beer’s ongoing exploration natural acoustic phenomena, the exhibition features 28 historic British vessels from the past 2,000 years, suspended from the ceiling in an array of shapes, colours and sizes. Within each vessel is a microphone that is triggered by visitor movement, thus amplifying the hidden ‘voice’ of that object.

Beer, who originally trained in musical composition, says: “Just like a seashell makes a sound, every vessel that’s ever been made in the history of object making is also constantly, quietly resonating at its own musical note: physical form and musical harmony are inseparable.”

Until 15 July 2023, London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE

Oliver Beer, Albion Waves, 2023, installation view


London-based artist, writer and a-n member Rachal Bradley has worked with emerging artists Carlo Hornilla, Tommy Howlett, Lauren Jeffery and Calum McCutcheon on this new collaborative commission at Spike Island in Bristol.

Bradley’s practice is concerned with the formative and formal relationships between the body and systemic structures within society. Forecast comprises a video work exploring the collective consciousness of crows and a mirrored pavilion sculpture which is suspended from the gallery ceiling, to reflect on the ‘underlying functions of the psyche, the body and where these meet the reality around us’.

Until 21 May 2023 Spike Island, Bristol

Rachal Bradley, Forecast

Top image: Rebecca Moss, Thick-skinned, 2019, digital video, 3m 52s. Courtesy the artist