Monday, 9 January 2012

Charles Ross; Star Axis.

Charles Ross is one of the many land artists who emerged in the late 1960s/early 1970s and created site specific natural art works using whatever media they could find or build. Ross differed from many of the other land artists though, as his interests lie in science and physics. He utilises his scientific knowledge to create aesthetically pleasing art work, such as a light spectrum of colours we see in a rainbow.

Built in 1971, in New Mexico, 'Star Axis' by Ross is a sculpture/structure which extends our environment into the night sky and the stars. From different angles and areas of the sculpture you can witness different wonders of our universe. You can view daily and seasonal movements of our sun, you can view the rotation of the earth, the stars which are visible from near the equator, you can also see thousands of years of the axial precession of the earth in the 'Star Tunnel'. The whole sculpture is precisely in line with the earth's axis, as it points towards the North Star, Polaris.

I find this particularly artwork fascinating. It is almost not an art work, more a scientific tool, or observatory of sorts. I feel this work is a kind of planetarium, but the largest scale possible planetarium or observatory you could find, as it allows you to view the real stars millions of miles and light-years away.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Melissa Gould, A.K.A. MeGo

Melissa Gould explores historical events and memories through installation, she is inspired by historical documents and work closely studies the memories of twentieth century events and conflicts. A large part of her work is focusing on places/spaces. She looks at places which no longer exist, due to war, or a space which has emotions and memories attached to it, as it used to be a site of significance.

'Floor Plan', 1991, is a Holocaust Memorial artwork. It consists of a light-up floor plan of a destroyed synagogue in Berlin. The piece is made up of 110 fluorescent tubes, just slightly underground, and is intended to be witnessed after dark. The light, for Gould, symbolises "the eternal burning light in all synagogues", life itself and tragic fires during the Second World War. As well as light, sound composed by Alvin Curran echoes out of speakers also underground. Human voices accompany the floor plan to create a ghost-like atmosphere, representative of a once existing building and lives, torn apart by war.

Similar to 'Floor Plan', 'Ghost Ship/The Titanic Project' is a floor plan of a now non-existent place/space in light, part of a series by Melissa Gould called 'Memorial Lightscapes'. 'Ghost Ship' will be a life size light projection (882 feet long) of the Titanic ship onto the Hudson River in New York City where it was supposed to end its first voyage. This will take place from April 2012 onwards; the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sailing, and sinking. The deck plan of the Titanic will be visible only at night, once dark. Gould sees her work as memorials of places which no longer exist in the physical sense, but still have psychological meanings, her work is dedicated to memory and loss. Her interest in historical documents and artefacts is clearly visible as the floor/deck plans she uses are the true historical blue prints for the original spaces.

In 1991, Gould, or MeGo as she is also known, created 'Constellation Park'. This piece was a space similar to a golf course, and had fitted 'stars' across the landscape. The lights/stars showed constellations and the artwork explored scale as the audience walked in, around and all over the installation.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Chinese Whispers Exhibition with Creative Transit.

Map of Glossop from the 1950s

Using cut-outs and projections as illustrative tools, I compared the Derbyshire town of Glossop with two maps. The paper map is the most modern map of the town I could find, from the most modern source of information available; the Internet. This up to date map is represented through clean lines on a blank white background to create a very contemporary map. Onto this is a projection of a Glossop map from 60 years earlier. The faded colours and cream paper of the projected image are juxtaposed against the modern white map of present day Glossop.

This project started when I became interested in street maps which tourists would use and often treat with indifference or disregard. The environment we live in is transient and in a state of constant change, development and improvement. The fragility of paper and light contrast with the bricks and concrete towns are built from, yet represents the maps which become obsolete everyday.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Article for The Hare Newspaper.

For the latest issue of The Hare Newspaper, I wrote an article about the artist collective I am a part of; Creative Transit, and their upcoming involvement and exhibition with Blank Media Collective at Blank Space Gallery. You can find out more about The Hare Newspaper here: and Blank Media Collective here: and not forgetting Creative Transit:

Between Thursday 11th August and Sunday 28th August, something exciting will be happening on the Manchester art scene. To be more precise, Blank Media Collective are supporting Creative Transit in an open studio and exhibition time at BLANKSPACE Gallery. On the following pages will be a thorough guide to who Blank Media Collective are and what they do for the arty kind, what and where the BLANKSPACE Gallery is, and who on earth are Creative Transit and what will they be doing with those precious days in August.

Blank Media Collective are big news these days. Behind emerging talent as they take those first unstable steps into the big wide world, they provide a platform for creative minds, from artists to musicians, even writers. They support and nurture the artistes in whichever way appropriate; the curation of exhibitions at their base BLANKSPACE, sorting out those important live music gigs, mentoring, publishing writer’s and artist’s work in their online magazine Blank Pages, sales of artwork and portfolio hosting from their website. They encourage collaborations between the creatives they care for and offer a network of contacts and support for loads of artists, not only in the North West, but in the rest of the UK as well.

The brains behind Blank Media not only develop artists, they are artists. The director and exhibitions curator at Blank Media is photographic artist Mark Devereux. A poet, writer and performer, John Leyland is the co-director of Blank Media and editor of online magazine Blank Pages. And the rest vary from ceramic artist to musician to web designer to film makers and lecturers.

Blank Pages is the online magazine which every month provides the reader with a sampling of the hottest writers, visual artists, and designers, you can even enjoy some aural delight whilst you electronically browse the pages. Their website also provides priceless information on how to write an artist’s statement, CV or proposal and lists the all important contacts for galleries, art collectives, and the people who will happily give you funding and advice.

BLANKSPACE is self-described as a “creative hub, showcasing multi-disciplinary activities, visual arts and sculpture, spoken and written word, live art and performance.” Located at 43 Hulme Street, a very short walk from busy Oxford Road, BLANKSPACE is where all this love and support lives and breathes. This is one super cool gallery space which showcases the best in brand new talent (and modest talent too). You can exhibit here, do a little internship, make use of the studio space and take part in workshops, or simply visit as an art enthusiast member of the public. 

So it turns out that Creative Transit will be using that studio space and exhibiting at BLANKSPACE, thanks to Blank Media Collective. Creative Transit are a group of artists keen to network, exhibit and get as much arty experience and exposure as possible. The artists in question are all from the degree Interactive Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University and came together in search of networking and collaboration. Creative Transit is an anagram of Interactive Arts and allows a diverse collective of individuals to work together despite their differences in practice and media. Practices which include: photography, installation, illustration, moving image, painting, textiles and 3-dimensional sculpture.

The directors leading the collective onward are Lauren Taylor and Rebecca Wild. Lauren is my favourite kind of artist; someone who believes that art is to be enjoyed, whether it expresses a message or just pleases the eye, art exists to positively enrich one’s life. Rebecca’s work is charming and lends a curious attitude the viewer can’t escape from. She mixes contemporary methods with traditional materials to bring to life her own unique images and photographs which exude the most vibrant colours.

Twenty-two eager artists make up Creative Transit and individually have exhibited all over the world from Blackpool to Brooklyn. As well as copious amounts of independent and collective shows, many have experience in the roles of gallery assistants, art handlers and production staff.

The first two collective shows in Manchester were involved in Free For Arts and Creative Transit at the Cavendish. Now the third is the biggest yet. For the first two weeks BLANKSPACE will be an open studio where the artists will work on their exhibiting material. The exhibition name of ‘Chinese Whispers’ comes from the childhood game and the open studio time will reflect the nature of this as the artists respond to one another in a series of ‘whispers’. Consequently this will end in a three day exhibition where the links between each individual’s works will vary dramatically; therefore the piece you view first will connect to the second but differ from the third and the rest. The open studio time is open for the public to see these young artists bounce ideas back and forth between themselves as they create their best work yet. The audience is the ‘listener’ and detective during the studio time and exhibition time; they discover the links connecting work and give feedback and ideas on what they see. The all important preview night is Thursday 25th August 2011, from 6pm-9pm, is free entry and there will be wine and treats to enjoy while you absorb some real good arts. So you have no excuse.

Over the next two pages are introductions to a few of the exhibiting artists.

First up is Sonny Barker. Sonny considers himself a ‘Minimalist Abstractor with Constructivist leanings.’ Interested in time and its effects he applies creative processes (photography and sculpture usually) onto objects and ideas he comes across in everyday life. You can contact Sonny at:

Chuman uses paper as a sculptural material. He says of his work; “The idea of this theme is based on my life experience in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a city with high population density and high housing demand. The sculpture is to represent my feeling to the phenomenon of the building structure in Hong Kong.” See more at:
Alex Cussons is a photographic maverick. Specialising in photographing the unreal, fun and humorous thoughts we ignore. She doesn’t take herself seriously and occasionally ventures into animation and video. Get in touch at:
Enya Koster is a unique illustrator and artist. She enjoys using textiles and creates fantastic puppets and toys which ultimately become props in performances. Through drawing and photography she makes sense of her own subconscious in a truly enjoyable and light hearted way. You can see more at the Creative Transit website;

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Sarah Greaves - Pulling the Threads. Exhibition Review.

The advertisements I saw for this exhibition really caught my eye. It fascinated me to see an exhibition of what mixed fine art installations with the traditional and detailed craft of embroidery. From 26th June - 3rd September, Sarah Greave has her debut solo show, 'Pulling the Threads', at Tameside Central Art Gallery, in Ashton Under Lyne.

Greaves describes herself as a mixed media artist who uses embroidery as graffiti on everyday objects such as doors, furniture, kitchen appliances and food. She explores identity, gender and personal thoughts about body image through the use of stereotyped objects and methods.

The image on the poster for the exhibition is her 'Carbs Toaster'. Two slices of bread with orange thread haphazardly stitched through the slices and 'Carbs' in green thread stitched into the side of the toaster in a feminine, swirling script. This work provokes the viewer to think about the many women who obsessively think about their food before eating it, if at all. The world we live in, according to Greaves, is body image orientated; perfection, celebrity role models and diets control women's thoughts in even the simplest tasks such as toasting a slice of bread.

'Carbs Toaster'

Another two food related images in the exhibition were of a banana and a square of chocolate. The banana had 'Good' stitched into it in brown thread and the chocolate had a red cross stitched across it. Fruit is of course a 'good' food when it comes to health, diets and consequently being slim and 'attractive' according to the society Greaves paints a picture of. And chocolate would be a bad food for those who want to diet and therefore a simple red cross shows that it shouldn't be eaten. Next to the images of the stitched food are the images showing the food once the thread and stitches have been pulled out. To me this demonstrates the rebellion against the labels society gives certain foods and that we should eat what foods we like, whether good for a diet or bad, free from pressure to only eat for body image.

A predominant feature of the exhibition was the selection of doors which had all been uniquely 'vandalised' with embroidered graffiti. The method of stitching and the use of such a feminine font are juxtaposed against the tools Greaves uses. Embroidery is a stereotypical female activity whereas the scale of the embroidery requires stereotypical male tools, such as drills.

All images from:

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Goody Bag design for Creative Transit.

In the following weeks Creative Transit have a group exhibition at Blank Space, part of Blank Media Collective. We are proposing to have goody bags available on the preview night and this is my first prototype for the goody bag. I have tried to make something which exudes professionalism; thin white card, black ribbon handles and the Creative Transit logo cut out on one side, the Blank Space logo on the other.