British Ceramics Biennial
This celebration of clay across Stoke-on-Trent features the work of several a-n members, including four who take part in the Biennial’s flagship Award exhibition, which offers a £10,000 prize.
85-year old Elspeth Owen whose work is held in collections around the world, describes her vessels as “waiting to be held”; artist duo Copper Sounds present a sonic installation in which mechanical beaters strike ceramics; Mella Shaw makes objects and site-specific installations reflecting themes of balance, fragility and loss; and Jasmine Simpson’s work explores zoomorphic iconography.
Place Setting is a major new commissioned film by deaf artist Nina Thomas which explores the deaf experience in the ceramics industry, while Neil Brownsword’s work examines marginalised histories associated with the origins of British ceramic manufacturing.
Until 5 November 2023, venues across Stoke-on-Trent britishceramicsbiennial.com
U & I
a-n member Natasha MacVoy presents a new installation that includes films and sculptural works, which explore the idea of ‘the mother as stunt performer’, and the ways the artist has ‘rehearsed, adapted and changed the fabric of the world to provide an invisible support structure’ for her identical twin children.
The film U & I follows the artist and the actress Susan Lynch as they walk side-by-side through woodland, reenacting walks MacVoy made with her children during lockdown. Wearing MacVoy’s clothes and a hand-made wig, the actor mimics her gait, pace, mannerisms and aura, making tiny adjustments as she attempts to become her double.
7 October – 16 December 2023, Eastside Projects, Birmingham eastsideprojects.org
Turner Prize exhibition
Birmingham-based Walker is nominated for Burden of Proof at Sharjah Biennial 15, a sensitive and confronting body of work that draws attention to people affected by the Windrush Scandal. Burden of Proof includes meticulously drawn works on paper that layer portraits over hand drawn reproductions of identity papers and other documents that evidence the subject’s right to remain in the UK.
Pilgrim was nominated for RAFTS at Serpentine and Barking Town Hall, and a live performance of the work at Cadogan Hall, London. Weaving together stories, poems, music and film, and created in collaboration with local communities in Barking and Dagenham, RAFTS reflects on the structures of support that keep us afloat in challenging and precarious circumstances.
Until 14 April 2024, Towner Eastbourne townereastbourne.org.uk
Mali Morris is one of two a-n members showing at Ikon this autumn. The major solo exhibition ‘Calling’ includes 30 of her luminous abstract paintings created over the last 25 years.
Morris’ paintings are ‘visual arenas’ for exploring interactions of colour, light and space. Her work is characterised by a playful approach to geometry and experiments with opacity and translucency. Glowing, floating circles are repeated motifs, along with the marks of brushes and other implements.
The exhibition includes paintings from Morris’ Clearings series, begun in the 1990s and marking a break from gestural abstraction in her practice. In Clearings Morris removed layers of paint, revealing previously applied paint beneath: an ongoing investigation into pictorial depth and space.
Meanwhile, Dean Kelland’s solo exhibition Imposter Syndrome is the culmination of his four-year artist residency at HMP Grendon, Buckinghamshire. The all-male, Category B therapeutic prison was established in the 1960s on the basis of experimental psychiatric practice.
Kelland’s films, prints and sketchbooks reference figures from popular culture such as Elvis and David Bowie, to ‘reimagine the psychoanalytic dialogue’ between Pop Art and Prison Art while interrogating ‘male identity and flawed notions of masculinity’.
Both exhibitions until 22 December 2023, Ikon, Birmingham ikon-gallery.org
British Textiles Biennial 23
Taking place in venues across Lancashire, the third edition of British Textile Biennial focuses on questions of sustainability in textile production, the legacy of colonialism and pre-industrial histories.
Several a-n members are showing work, including Christine Borland, who presents a new installation at Pendle Heritage Centre. Projection Cloth includes four films that reflect women’s lives through the transitions from hand working textiles to mechanisation, industrialisation and into the digital age.
In Blackburn town centre, Jeremy Hutchison’s Dead White Man ‘monster’ sculptures are made from clothing bales destined for Africa. Along with billboards and public workshops, the work highlights our over-consumption of fast fashion and acts as a reminder of what the artist calls ‘our zombie imperialism’.
Meanwhile Rebecca Chesney presents new commission Conditions at Present, consisting of a field of windsocks which serve as a barometer of the climate crisis.
29 September – 29 October 2023, venues across Lancashire britishtextilebiennial.co.uk
This year’s celebration of emerging and early career artists features the work of 55 artists selected from an open call of 1,900 entries, and includes several a-n members.
Tel Aviv-born, London-based artist Efrat Merin creates paintings and prints that contest dominant power structures and ‘celebrate female desire through queer retellings of mythical narratives.’
Two Glasgow-based artists explore their respective cultural heritages. Haneen Hadiy’s photography and paintings reflect on her Iraqi heritage and family history, while Alexandra Beteeva draws on her Ukrainian and Ossetian roots. Her paintings, tinged with nostalgia, intimacy and innocence, examine post-Soviet spaces and the ways in which history can be presented through personal and collective memory.
30 September – 16 December 2023, Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool newcontemporaries.org.uk
Are You A Woman in Authority?
This group exhibition explores questions of empowerment, gender and community in relation to intersecting social issues including mental illness, class struggles, race and queerness. It features the work of five a-n members: Bobby Baker, Lizz Brady, Permindar Kaur, Sarah Maple and Jade Montserrat.
Including photography, interactive installation, video and painting, ‘Are You A Woman in Authority?’ is accompanied by the Mad Manual Toolkit and The Comfort Zone – a space where people can reflect on the exhibition, rest, read, drink tea or lie on a sofa.
30 September – 19 November 2023, Phoenix Art Space, Brighton phoenixbrighton.org
Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize
The annual Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize returns to showcase contemporary drawing practice, with an exhibition by 111 artists selected from over 3,000 submitted artworks. a-n member and Turner Prize nominee Barbara Walker was one of the selectors.
Numerous a-n members have been shortlisted, including Eastbourne-based Judith Alder, who presents new work Field, while London-based Caroline Burraway’s graphite portraits depict a young displaced woman and aim to raise awareness and encourage conversation around issues of displacement and dispossession.
June Nelson’s drawing Whitsun Gloves is made with smoke, an “elusive, difficult medium” as Nelson explains,” which “captures the fragility and transience of life, and of family and collective memories fading back through time”.
29 September – 15 October 2023 Trinity Buoy Wharf, London trinitybuoywharfdrawingprize.drawingprojects.uk
Song (After Nature)
Artist Paul Rooney’s immersive sound piece, specially commissioned by the National Trust for Lindisfarne Castle, includes audio recordings of seal calls and other natural sounds captured in the Holy Island landscape, and a layered cello composition.
Accompanied by objects and a projected text, Song (After Nature) aims to ‘translate’ the seal calls into a song that evokes the sirens of Greek mythology, luring sailors to their death; “a playful yet grave warning of climate catastrophe, where nature is merely a remembered presence, a ghost,” as Rooney describes it.
Until 29 October 2023, Lindisfarne Castle, Northumberland nationaltrust.org.uk
Top image: Mali Morris, Second Stradella, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 198 x 214 cm. Courtesy: the artist