London’s longest running contemporary visual arts festival transforms Deptford’s streets, parks, shop fronts and gardens into an outdoor gallery and art trail. Artists involved include Chila Kumari Singh Burman, who presents The Deptford Mermaid as a ‘token of good luck’ for the people of Deptford. Through a guided audio tour of the local area, Urbane Dance Marathon by Harold Offeh will invite the audience to subvert the ‘strained choreography of the pandemic’ and dance in public spaces. Other highlights include Sahra Hersi’s Deptford X pop-up, a multi-purpose outdoor space which will act as meeting point and performance venue for local artists, and Dancing with my Future to Salserin by Bryan Giuseppi Rodriguez Cambana, which takes the form of a curated party in a domestic garden.
9 – 18 July 2021, locations around Deptford, London www.deptfordx.org/ EW
‘Pretty Ugly’ brings together the work of sixteen artists, including a-n members Narbi Price, Nicky Hirst and Hannah Maybank, each of whom sees value in the imperfect and the irregular, and the pull of the sublime and the illicit. Curator Andrew Ekins explains: “Theirs is an aesthetic that gains potency by being elusive, abject, and impolite, while testing the capacity of what has been made to represent the content it is intended to have. The resulting forms manifest a flawed but compelling beauty, and are distinguished by a delight in a logic of brokenness: surfaces that have a corrupted ornamentation and an abused touch of the brush. These artists make delinquent un-palettable paintings, ceramics that relish the quiddities and quirks of form, and sculpture that emphasises the substance and materiality of thingness. The work of each employs an expanded creative language, exploring a narrative of otherness in pursuit of the lure of a tainted kind of love, a fatal attraction.”
Until 4 July 2021, Thames-Side Studios, London www.thames-sidestudios.co.uk/ JH
Views From The Boundary Layer
This online presentation of work by Emma Yorke has grown out of many years of walking, wild swimming, collecting and paying close attention. Often revisiting the same sites over many years, and drawing on scientific data, memory, embodied experiences and the writings of others, Yorke offers her own views of the places she holds dear. Working with photography, painting, cyanotype, stitch and repurposed materials, each piece intertwines multiple stories learned through head, heart and hand. Presented here in digital form, these pieces have been re-imagined for the digital space, offering something connected to, but materially different from, the original work.
Until 14 July, Tebbs Contemporary, online www.a-n.co.uk/events/views-from-the-boundary-layer/ JH
Harriet Hill: HOME
From 19 June a-n member Harriet Hill will spend one month walking from her home in London to her childhood home in mid Wales, wearing a wheeled costume that spells ‘HOME’ and contains a tent and all she needs to make a home each night. Along her route she will talk to people about what home means to them and how this has been affected by the pandemic. “Home is a potent word”, explains Hill. “It can mean a place, a physical structure, a deep emotional bond or an absence of any of these. For me, wearing this unwieldy costume is an absurdist personal and political act.” A film of Hill’s interactions with the people she meets will be exhibited alongside the costume in a group show in Helsinki in September 2021. Follow her journey on Instagram.
19 June – 25 July 2021 in locations between Peckham, London and Harpton, Powys. www.harriethill.co.uk/home-ing EW
Sonia Boyce: In the Castle of My Skin
Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) reopens with an exhibition created with a-n member Sonia Boyce that incorporates works by 12 contemporary artists and 50 pieces selected from the Middlesbrough Collection. The exhibition has been put together with Boyce through a process of improvisation, with one decision informing the next and creating a chain of connections. The associative presentation of works from the 1950s to today encourages the viewer to find links across artworks from different eras made in a range of materials. The theme of skin – as a covering, surface, barrier and marker of identity – weaves through the exhibition. Artists include: Saelia Aparicio, Simeon Barclay, Anna Barham, Emma Bennett, Kev Howard, Lindiwe Matshikiza, Harold Offeh, Flora Parrott, Penny Payne, Alberta Whittle and Kenizzi Yamalimbu. Boyce (OBE, RA) will represent the UK at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in 2022.
Until 10 October, 2021, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Middlesbrough www.mima.art/exhibition/ JH
Yinka Shonibare CBE RA: African Spirits of Modernism
Yinka Shonibare’s solo exhibition includes vibrant quilts, sculptures and a series of African masks that explore the relationship between African aesthetics and western modernism. Engaging with the artist’s own identity as a ‘post-colonial hybrid’ the works juxtapose icons of classical European antiquity with African artefacts from Picasso’s collection. “Picasso was interested in appropriating from another culture, and I also appropriate from European ethnic art,” explains Shonibare. Challenging notions of cultural authenticity and identity, Shonibare’s work represents ‘a composite ideology’, suggesting that other conversations on diaspora are possible in contemporary society.
Read Yinka Shonibare’s 40 Years 40 Artists interview with Louisa Buck
Until 31 July 2021 Stephen Friedman Gallery, 25—28 Old Burlington Street London www.stephenfriedman.com EW
This summer Artangel presents a series of commissions at Orford Ness, a windswept stretch of shingle, mud flat and salt marsh on the Suffolk coast. The National Trust-owned island was formerly used by the British military during both World Wars as a test site for radio, radar and ballastics systems, and during the Cold War for atomic weapons research. Walking across the landscape, visitors will hear a suite of poems by Ukrainian-American writer Ilya Kaminsky inspired by the ecology and history of Orford Ness. Inside some of the abandoned buildings and structures on the site are sound recordings by Iain Chambers and Chris Watson, a new sculpture by Alice Channer and a large-scale graphite drawing by Emma McNally. A series of online digital projects extend ‘Afterness’, with a-n member Paul Maheke showing a new film rooted in the rich history of myths and UFO sightings on Orford Ness. The other commissioned artists are: Tatiana Trouvé, Brian d’Souza, Rachel Pimm, Lonnie Holley and Axel Kacoutié.
1 July – 30 October 2021, Orford Ness, Suffolk www.artangel.org.uk/project/afterness/ EW
Black Hole Club: DOOM (Turn Away from the Sun)
Throughout the week of the summer solstice, Black Hole Club invites you to turn away from the sun and revel in the shadows. ‘DOOM’ is a co-authoring of works for the longest day of the year, a ‘guttural collective outpouring through performance, video and the testing of new propositions through practice and writing’. ‘DOOM’ will be open to visit at Vivid Projects on 21 June with a live event marking sunset on the solstice from 9pm – 10:30pm. Events continue daily between 12-5pm, 24-26 June, with videos and texts also accessible online. Featuring work by: Adwoa Owusu-Barnieh, Alis Oldfield, Ambie Drew, De’Anne Crooks, Eleanor Morgan, Emily Scarrott, Jacob Carter, Kühle Wampe, Larissa Shaw, Leanne O’Connor, Lily Wales, Rosa Postlethwaite, Rupi & Sharon & S A B O T A G E.
Read Artists Newsletter #1: The 1980s, Guest Edited by Black Hole Club.
Until 26 June, Vivid Projects, Birmingham www.a-n.co.uk/events/black-hole-club-doom-turn-away-from-the-sun/ JH
Fake Paintings: New Work by Jane Millican and Seb Trend
This two-person show by Jane Millican and Seb Trend includes recent wall based works and a new collaborative wall installation. Coming from a starting point of ‘painting’ Millican and Trend employ different processes of making to create works that masquerade as paintings whilst using a variety of materials including drawing, ceramics or wood. Hung amongst a wood grain installation that weaves around the gallery walls, Millican’s slowly made trompe l’oeil pencil drawings at first appear to be quickly executed gestural paintings, while Trend’s ceramic works use slips, oxides, carbonates and glazes to produce paintings “transformed by a hidden alchemy at 1260°C”.
Until 4 July, 2021, 36 Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne 36limestreet.co.uk SP
1. . Harold Offeh, Selfie Choreography workshop, Eastside Projects. Photo: Ashley Carr
2. Jane Millar, Pink Edge, ceramic, diameter 19cm, 2019. Courtesy: the artist 2021
3. Emma Yorke, Island
4. Harriet Hill, HOME, 2021
5. Yinka Shonibare CBE, Modern Magic (Studies of African Art from Picasso’s Collection) V, 2020 -2021. Patchwork, appliqué, embroidery and Dutch wax printed cotton textile. Approx. 200 x 140cm. Copyright: Yinka Shonibare CBE. Courtesy: the artist and Stephen Friedman Gallery, London. Photo: Stephen White
6. Still from Paul Maheke, Mauve, Jim and John, 2021. Commissioned and produced by Artangel. Presented in partnership with the National Trust
8. Jane Millican and Seb Trend, Fake Paintings, screenprint, 2021.