MA Design: Central Saint Martins 2011

It has recently occurred to me that I started this blog 5 years ago shortly after finishing my MA at Central Saint Martins in 2011. We were the last year to graduate in the Lethaby building, Southampton Row in Holborn, and for the first time allocated the large room on the ground floor.

Here are a few images from our final show MA Design Ceramics, Furniture, Jewellery.
All Images have been taken from the University of the Arts Central Saint Martins degree show blog 2011.

Anne Frobeen 

Sam Sheard

Alexander Mazur-Knyazeva

Elena Nunziata

Niloufar Afnan

Kim Norton

In the garden with Entelechy Arts and Siobhan Davies Dance at the Garden Museum.

In the Garden

I'm finally getting around to writing about my collaboration with Entelechy Arts in Deptford in 2014.

 This amazing experience ran along side my exhibition Lines, Levels, Layers
Which was part of the year long Human Nature season at Siobhan Davies Dance.
Both myself and Christian Kerrigan separately worked with Entelechy to produce a movement based performance accompanying our indivdual work shown at the the dance studio in Elephant and Castle. 

Entelechy Arts works from the Albany theatre in Deptford South London and run a programme of weekly workshops such as ambient jam working with the elderly, people with varying levels of disability and the local community. 

'Entelechy Arts is a participatory arts company based in south east London. Entelechy
works with people of all ages, abilities
and backgrounds to produce high quality theatre, music, dance and video events
and performances.'

From entelchy arts website

I was initially working along side Rebecca Swift to discuss how we could approach this and met a few of the dancers and volunteers including Shane Waltner a weaver who had also exhibited at Siobhan Davies in 2012.

I attended a ambient jam session one afternoon to get a taster and a greater understanding about the approach and more importantly get to meet some of the regulars attending these sessions.

For me this was one of the biggest steps I made out of my comfort zone.
I went along with notebook and pen in hand. Expecting to be quietly observing from the corner of the room.

Instead the reality was quite different I was encouraged in to the centre of the action. Boxes of props came out including paper brightly coloured fabrics, musical instruments, sounds, dancing, movement, colour and and most importantly happiness.

This group varied from people with profound physical disabilities, sight and hearing impairments, some of the participants were in wheelchairs others had come along with family members and carers so I had to think on my feet, throw all inhibitions aside and just get stuck in the best way I knew. 

Visit to the Garden Museum

Our first visit to the Garden museum in Lambeth took place very early on in 2014. 
The museum was set up in 1977 on the former site of St Mary's church which sits next to Lambeth Palace and has this small but perfectly formed garden at the back. In the centre is a fine example of a knot garden.

'The church is the burial place of John Tradescant (c1570 – 1638), the first great gardener and plant-hunter in British history. His magnificent and enigmatic tomb is the centrepiece of a knot garden planted with the flowers which grew in his London garden four centuries ago.'

From the Garden museum website

With a couple more visits and then some group meeting we all came up with a  a copy of our working score before the event. Where our thoughts, observations, ideas and plans all went down on paper to share with the rest of the group including the musicians and volunteers. 

Soil was one of the key elements, the ground, being rooted, attention to the nuanced moments, allowing the performance to naturally unfold as Entelechy always do with such elegance. This experience was about surrendering control and allowing the senses to lead the outcome. 

The day of the performance 

The performance at the garden museum on Sunday 6th July 2014 
These wonderful images taken by Gorm Ashurst really capture a sense of openness, happiness, and freedom to explore. 

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and unfortunately I was unable to make to final performance as my dad had so sadly passed away four days earlier. 

Although I wasn't there in body I was certainly there in spirit and finally feel I am able to reflect back on this experience with great fondness and thank Rebecca for subtly encouraging me to step out from being the observer and becoming immersed. 

Theaster Gates at White Cube, London.

A short and sweet post about my brief visit the The White Cube Gallery a couple of weeks ago to see the Theaster Gates Exhibition Freedom of Assembly.

I'm not going to talk extensively about this experience as I think the link to the film articulates it far more than I could put in to words.

The images below were taken in one of the three rooms. 
This collection of work was the reason I wanted to visit. A vast open space houses an selection of huge imposing black tar canvases. I think it's obvious to anyone how knows me…. Why these simplistic, powerful material led works stopped me in my tracks with such a sudden bolt.

Enormous in scale, the subtle layers of tar and rubber were hardly visible until you really examined the surface. The light just caught sections hi-lighting these material based panels. They were strong and present within the space but at the same time there was also a quiet quality to them.

Each piece commanded your time to look and examine and simply be for a moment.

As the film explains in more detail the reason Gates used these particular materials and with that understanding and knowledge the works become deeply embedded with a sense of his family history through process a deep understanding of material behaviour and how the two cross over into different contexts.

Richard Serra at the Gagosian Gallery London 2014

The last time Richard Serra was exhibiting in London was back in 2009 
Five years on the Gagosian gallery nestled in between the streets near Kings Cross in Britannia Street is host to another breathtaking exhibiton of Richard Serra'a gigantic steel structures. 

Room One

You are confronted with two large sheets of steel wedged into the edges of the room one balanced on top of the other with the smallest point of contact. This is something Serra seems to be able to effortlessly achieve. The interaction of two structures combining weight, density, counter balance and the engineering of materials. 

Room Two 

Comprised of a series of steel rectangles positioned very much like a maze,
allowing you to walk through and interweave in between these structures. Each and every angle opens up into a different view point or perspective within the work and the space. 

Room Three

For those familiar with Richard Serra's works this is a structure that you recognise however, the outer appearance of these huge imposing forms always provide an element of surprise once you enter inside. These works have to be experienced, from first glance you may make the assumption that you are simply going to be entering a darkened tunnel space. Part of that is true but these forms have been designed with much more consideration the subtle changes within the curves the undulations on one side, the quality of light and the distortion of sound. 

All of these elements combined can throw the senses off balance. 
You enter with a sense of wondering and the journey through this contained space is changing with each step. The difference with this particular piece is that it is completely closed at the top making the experience more claustrophobic. 

This exhibition is on until 28th Feb 2015 
for anyone interested in large scale works the human senses and spatial works this is not to be missed.

Exhibition at Arthouse1 October 2014

It's often said that simplicity requires a lot of hard work. In the case of our installation at Arthouse1 in Bermondsey Sasha and myself were setting up for about a week. 
A little longer than we both had expected but this particular exhibition required an exceptional attention to detail. We had decided to keep the ceramic works low to the ground in order for the audience to look at the work from a different perspective. 
I personally feel that a lot of galleries show work at eye level on plinths and it's too easy. It's a format we are all far too familiar with and it's not always the best way of really be able to focus on the work. 

Perpendicular opened on Thursday evening (9th October) after much help and assistance throughout from both Rebecca Fairman and Adrain Hicks. 

Here are a few images of the exhibition in natural daylight on the first day kindly taken by Adrian Hicks. 

 Image taken by Adrian Hicks 2014

 Image taken by Adrian Hicks 2014

 Image taken by Adrian Hicks 2014

 Image taken by Adrian Hicks 2014

 Image taken by Adrian Hicks 2014

 Image taken by Adrian Hicks 2014

 Image taken by Adrian Hicks 2014

Image taken by Adrian Hicks 2014

Sasha is exhibiting two installations and a series of photographs that have been born from the installations themselves. Through the use of water, light and motion. 

These collaborative pieces titled Collection of five #1 and #2 comprise of small ceramic segments that sit along side Sasha'a photography. 
There is a strong synthesis between us both particularly through the use of mark making. 

Image Taken by Ben Winkley 2014 

Image taken by Ben Winkley 2014 

My two collections on show are titled Kuro and Shiro are looking at small intimate spaces that contain light. 
These objects are the complete opposite to Sasha'a works. They are dense, heavy and present within the space. 

There is a physical tactility to them and the process of making is evident within the traces and marks left either by my hand the tools or other processes I have undergone to achieve certain aesthetic qualities. 

Sasha's work is more transient it's continuously changing with movement, light and shadow. There is an illusion of something tangible but mark making has been created through an impermanant medium and there is an ethereal quality to the entire body of work showing here.

Perpendicular will be showing at Arthouse1 until 1st November 2014 
The gallery is open every Thursday-Sunday from 3pm - 7.30pm or by appointment 

Perpendicular's ceramic pieces and photography for Arthouse1

As one exhibition sadly ends at Siobhan Davies another opens in a couple of weeks time at Arthouse1 in Bermondsey, London.

In my last post I talked about adding more images of work that will be shown in the exhibition and since then the kiln has been on pretty much continuously. I still have four or five more firings to squeeze in before completion but it's definitely coming together. 

I will be showing a series of black and white pieces along side Sasha's installations and photography. 

Sasha is working and developing a series of site specific works so I can't really show the installations at this stage until we begin to install next week. 

But here's a peek at some of the photographs and my ceramic objects.

Sensing Spaces at the Royal Academy

Sensing Spaces: Architecture Re-imagined at the Royal Academy been open a few weeks now and I've been chomping at the bit to get there. Finally an exhibition based around Spaces and architectural practice with a focus upon the human senses and experience. This is a subject that has been a passion if not a slight obsession for a long while now. I felt this was a real departure from other architecture shows giving the viewer the opportunity to fully engage with these structures with a clear insight into elements of the design process and thinking. In much the same way as 1:1 at the Victoria and Albert Museum architecture for small spaces did in 2010  

Pezo von Ellrichshausen

This modestly built wooden construction leads you up into the heavens of the Royal Academy via a spiral stairway built into the cylindrical supporting structures. 
Or you are able to go up or down through a ramp walkway to the side. As the walls at the top are quite high there are small viewing holes enabling you to look out beyond the gallery space.

Kengo Kuma
Two darkened rooms are allocated to house Kengo Kuma's bamboo installations. These fragile looking structures subtly lit from the floor creates an immersive space on initially encountering can make you feel a little off balance. 
There is a strong scent of Japanese Cyprus and Tatami which heightens the reaction when encountering the space. Scent is often linked to a particular memory 
Personally I was impressed by the way a spatial piece of work had been created and constructed using such fine materials hi-lighting weightlessness yet it still had a real presence as an architectural form. 

Li Xiaodong
This Maze like structure leads you in the this darkened encased environment. You have several different routes to choose from as you head further into the space. On your journey there are several resting spots for you to be able to sit or simply observe passers by.
Eventually you reach the central point and find yourself in the middle of a zen garden. The space appears to be much larger than it is initially as one of the walls houses mirrored glass creating the illusion of expansive space.

Grafton Architects 
The last two rooms had to be my favorite as you enter these spaces I immediately thought of Rothko's Chapel in Texas or Alvar Aalto Church of the Three Crosses 1955-1958.
 These spaces had an overwhelming feeling of weight, concrete, and density that hung in the air above you. When you entered the space it wasn't apparent how intense these pieces were particularly the darkened room as the lighting changed slowly over time creating it's own environment drawing you in to explore the space from every possible angle. 

The film that you were invited to watch before leaving the exhibition was a fascinating insight in to each architects practice having been selected and invited to participate and design work specifically for the Royal Academy's space.

 I also felt this exhibition was really approachable and inclusive, It had been curated in a thoughtful manner each piece of work had plenty of space to exist in. As the title of the exhibition explains it taps into the human emotion, the memory, the subconscious it's a show that everyone can enjoy and take something away. It's certainly not a show exclusively for architects and creative practitioners. It is however, an excellent opportunity to introduce children to large work spatial work as they can really experience and interact with each piece in different ways, which is often rare within a art gallery, Having said that it's also for anyone who is simply interested in exploring, experiencing or feeding an inquiring mind.

Sensing Spaces also brings very complicated ideas around the subject of Phenomenology to the forefront. Whether you are familiar with the ideas or not. 
We interact with building structures and spaces on a daily basis. They all have an impact on the way we feel and the way we move through them or use them and we sometimes don't even realise.
 This exhibition really hi-lighted this important element within architecture and may make some of us more aware of our surroundings in the future. 

The Postman's Park London

Last week Sasha and I went over to the Postman's Park  together to take a closer look at the layout and possibilities open to us for the Chelsea Fringe Festival. We are currently in conversation with the City of London about the logistics of siting our work here during the event but until we have officially confirmed this the design still remains sketchy.

In projects such as these everything has to move along in a particular pattern. Although we do have some idea what we want to achieve we can only develop the concept so far until we definitely know which site we will be responding to. Until then the best way forward is to try and gain a good understanding of the space.

The first time I visited the Postman's Park was probably about a month ago it was interesting to see how dramatically it had changed within that short period of time. The leaves had dropped quite quickly and the feeling of Autumn was heavy in the air. It was a cold and slightly darker day. Sasha'a previous visit was a lot later on the day and it was beginning to get dark so we are gathering plenty of imagery to be able to move forward. 

One feature we are both focussing on is the idea of the pathway and this space has so many options. The grassy mounds are quite organic in form. Nothing here is formal and rigid there are plenty of different routes around the park some open and others fairly secluded. One side is overlooked by offices the other side by housing. The church also sits at one end which is a sturdy brick structure I'm still yet to go inside. Last week it was locked and the previous visit there was a service. Maybe next time!! 
We have to take a look as I think that will also give us more to think about and consider.


 Our visit earlier this week we wanted to document the park in full winter mode.

Firstly we met our Fringe co-ordinator Jane Merrick who has been appointed to help us along the journey but also to make sure the project happens. 
We also used this opportunity to begin taking more detailed dimensions of the space and the areas in-between the five main trees planted there.

The space felt bigger because all the leaves had completely fallen leaving a wonderful structural quality to the larger established trees.
It did however, allow us to look at the space in a more analytical way for the first time it was possible to see what we have to work with. The points we need to use to hinge the form from, the height, the contact or non contact with the floor and how that would work with the ideas surrounding seclusion and quietness.

Nancy Holt Photoworks

Nancy Holt Photoworks is currently showing at the Haunch of Venison in New Bond Street until August 25th. 
Nancy Holt began working in the late 1960's as part of the Land Art Movement she is probably best known for her large scale site specific works such as 'Sun Tunnels' 1973-6 positioned in the Great Salt Desert Utah. This exhibition we see her works on paper in the form of photographic images for the first time in the UK.

I'll begin with Sun Tunnels there is a strong sense passing time consolidated into one image. Through repetition of imagery we see the static frame changing during a day which can be difficult to understand if you look at the work in situ. It was interesting to come face to face with this collection of work as Nancy Holt appeared in my very first presentation during my MA as an example of monumental scale, light, time, and the context in which she worked within was relevant to my own research. Land art was the first group to take work outside and remove it from the confines of the white cube gallery spaces along with Robert Smithson, Richard Long, James Turrell to name a few... During this time there was a cross over between Minimalism and Conceptual Art with artist such as Richard Serra also pushing materiality, scale and space. Although there was a common strand of thinking during this time it's interesting how Nancy Holt executed her work. it's evident to see there is a fascination with the circle the view the focal point the curve which immediately pulls you in and focusses your own attention as the viewer.

These images were presented in the first room and has to be my personal favourite as it appears to hinge her body of work and from this it is clear to see how her thinking began the develop.
Repetition in the form and structure, space and spaces created using multiples. A clean slightly brutalist aesthetic in materiality and the idea of framing a view or focussing in on a particular viewpoint instantly resonates though out the following rooms.

Take a look at there is an interesting interview with Nancy Holt about this exhibition. It's well worth a visit and there is a fantastic bookshop to ponder in afterwards.

CSM show 2012 in the new Kings Cross Building

Last week I visited the Central Saint Martins degree show my first time back since graduating myself a year ago and of course this year a new building to experience over in Kings Cross.

Unfortunately I couldn't take photographs within the subject shows so I've included a few inside the building.
It's an impressive sight from outside and unlike any other art college in London. As you enter the building a larger expansive space opens up in front of you and central core is floodlit from the glass roofing.
As it was show time it was difficult to see how it would work on a day to day basis as this  busy hub and functioning creative space as there seemed to be a lot of non space.

I can't help thinking that despite the illusion of space the studio's have lost space compared to particularly Southampton Row I only mention Southampton Row as that's the only building I'm familiar with. There was plenty of areas for students to sit and work on their laptops but as for the studios they appeared somewhat restrictive and lacking natural light.

Having spent around six hours there With Sasha I must admit we didn't get to see as much as we hoped as we spent most of our time catching up with MA Design. After all that was the main reason for our visit.
It was well worth it though and great to finally get a glimpse of all the finished projects have a chat and see how the research had developed or changed over the past year. 

Work can be seen on the Central Saint Martins web site on
Past years shows can also be viewed there.