a-n member Lubna Chowdhary is best known for her ceramic works, which subvert the traditional context and function of the medium. For this solo exhibition she presents a series of colourful wall-, floor- and plinth-based ceramics alongside wood sculptures made by combining CNC production with traditional craft skills, and others created from inexpensive industrial components. Chowdhary’s practice mixes personal cultural references as an Asian Muslim born in Tanzania with those from her western art school education. In her installation at PEER, Islamic architectural decoration meets modernist modularity and geometric minimalism, fusing otherwise binary cultural and artistic influences.
9 September – 20 November 2021, PEER, London www.peeruk.org/
Hetain Patel, a member of a-n’s Artists Council, presents his biggest solo exhibition to date. The title, ‘Trinity’, takes its name from an ambitious new film, the final part of a trilogy Patel has created over the past five years. In making Trinity he worked with dance, martial arts and sign language collaborators, creating a coming of age story intermingled with references to the supernatural and the artist’s Indian cultural heritage. Featuring complex culturally marginalised characters, the film explores representation on screen, employing mainstream cinema techniques such as an epic soundtrack and fight choreography. The first two films in the trilogy, Don’t Look at the Finger (2017) and The Jump (2015), are also exhibited, alongside related new sculptural works, which incorporate costumes and action figures of characters from the films, as well as a film merchandise ‘gift shop’.
Until 30 October 2021, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton www.jhg.art/
Life and its most trivial particulars
This exhibition by a-n member Brian Griffiths and Frank Kent is the first in a new annual commissioning programme at Van Gogh House, marking 50 years since the building was found to be the renowned Dutch artist’s London residence. ‘Life and its most trivial particulars’ responds to the accumulated histories of the building and themes from Van Gogh’s work, mythology and legacy. Sculptors Griffiths and Kent, who have worked collaboratively since 2019, present a photographic installation across the eight rooms of the Georgian terrace. Their still life photographs show arrangements of everyday materials and objects, collected from car boot sales and the artists’ own studios, which, while appearing improvised, are in fact carefully staged. Each composition includes an open cube, a formal structure that activates the objects it frames and appears flattened into two dimensions by the camera’s gaze.
4 September – 18 December 2021, Van Gogh House, London www.vangoghhouse.co.uk
NightShaking with The Ingram Collection
This exhibition presents works from the Ingram Collection of Modern British alongside pieces by contemporary artists Chantal Powell and Dean Melbourne. Both artists have responded to the concept of the night sea journey, a story of self-discovery and inner awakening that recurs through mythology across the world and centuries. Powell, who is an a-n member, presents sculptural works made using elemental materials and techniques such as outdoor clay firing and metal casting, which reflect her interest in alchemical processes. The initial development of the body of work presented in ‘NightShaking with The Ingram Collection’ was supported by an a-n bursary in 2019, which enabled Powell to carry out research in the archives of the Wellcome Collection, and work with a Jungian analyst to inform the work. You can read more about Powell’s practice in this Q&A from May 2020.
Until 19 September 2021, The Lightbox, Woking www.thelightbox.org.uk
A Very Special Place: Ikon in the 1990s
Last chance to see a-n Board member Keith Piper’s contribution to this group exhibition, which features 40 artists from Ikon’s 1990s programme. Piper, one of the founding members of the Blk Art Group that emerged in the Midlands in the 1980s, presents works made in the 1990s alongside a newly commissioned film (available to view online as well as in the gallery). A Ship Called Jesus (Redux) has been made in response to his 1991 installation at Ikon, which considered the complex relationship between the Christian Church and people of African descent. In this new digital video Piper creates an impression of the archived exhibition which combined sculpture, photographs, projected images and a tombstone inscribed: “In 1564, Queen Elizabeth I donated a ship to John Hawkins for the first official English slave trading voyage…the name of the ship was JESUS OF LUBECK. We’ve been sailing in her ever since”. Other artists included in ‘A Very Special Place’ include Donald Rodney, Mark Wallinger, Lisa Milroy, Martha Rosler and Yinka Shonibare.
Until 30 August 2021, Ikon, Birmingham www.ikon-gallery.org/
Open Library: Co-commission Launch with Fiona Larkin
a-n member Holly Argent leads this project in which the Women Artists of the North East Library has partnered with Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) to co-commission artist Fiona Larkin to develop new work that responds to histories of women making art in the Tees Valley. The Women Artists of the North East Library brings together research and donated material to form a cultural resource that contributes to and records this history. Larkin’s six month research and development period kicks off with this event during which she will share elements of her practice and discuss her approach to the commission. Initial research for the project was supported by an a-n Time Space Money Bursary in 2020.
27 August 2021, 2 – 4pm, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art www.visitmima.com/
The Annotated Reader and The Naming of Things
Conceived by Ryan Gander and Jonathan P. Watts, ‘The Annotated Reader’ is described as a publication-as-exhibition and exhibition-as-publication. It features 300 handwritten annotations and responses to the prompt: “Imagine you’ve missed your last train – what single piece of writing would you want with you for company in the small hours?”. The impressive list of creative contributors to the project include a-n members Holly Hendry and Bob and Roberta Smith, alongside Marina Abramović, Sarah Lucas, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Antony Gormley.
Coinciding with ‘The Annotated Reader’ is ‘The Naming of Things’, an exhibition featuring the work of selected Castlefield Gallery Associates, including a-n member Jessica Higgins, which explores the ‘unfixed and mutable potential of language’.
1 September – 3 October, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester www.castlefieldgallery.co.uk/
Top image: Lubna Chowdhary, Certain Times, 2021. Ceramic, 300x60x1cm. Photo: Alberto Balazs. Copyright: the artist