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Archive for the ‘Art Exhibitions’ Category

A few weeks back we visited Pippy Houldsworth Gallery to see Dindga McCannon’s first European solo show Dindga! It has sadly finished but as this blog is my record of shows I’ve seen, I still wanted to post about her work which highlights inequalities faced by Black women in America, highlighting forgotten stories and reminding us of great public figures and family members, hugely important to her. McCannon uses quilting and textiles to great effect. She presents us with Maya Angelou, Harriet Tubman, Queen Mother Moore, Nelson Mandela and Why Did it Take So Long, the little known story of Why Did it Take So Long? Paying homage to the first all-female Black flight crew to operate a commercial aircraft in 2009. I will look out for McCannon in the future.

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The Hayward Gallery’s Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art is another great exhibition from them with the weird and wonderful world of ceramics. Each room just held surprises with so much to look at. Lindsey Merrick presented us a decaying house with a toilet with an octopus emerging and mice going by in boats; a kitchen where mice and slugs fight; a dining table with drunken unconscious mice and rats; a living room with tech savvy cockroaches and behind the sofa, mice slaughtering each other. The final room is Klara Kristalova’s mystical woodland scene with slightly scary ceramic figures posed in the undergrowth and an outdoor smell. In between you have the wonderful ceramics by Takuro Kuwata, based on a Japanese tea ceremony, a giant squid in ink and the beautiful lava fields with iridescent glaze topping them in one room and with tall columns in another created by Salvatore Arancio. This is an exhibition where you will love some it, dislike other bits but you will never be bored: ends 8th January.

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Fascinating and impressive exhibition of paintings by the Spanish painter Juan Genovés who witnessed the Spanish Civil war and the rise of Franco. His works focus on crowds, painted from an aerial view with people running, fleeing, being arrested and led away to their fate. His work banned in Spain at the time.

The early works are disturbing but then you move into another room to his later works where there are colourful scenes of crowds with immense detail in the figures. When you get up close each figure is dressed in a wide range of materials; I could see sequins, wool, shells, string and much more. An exhibition worth the trip to Marlborough Gallery before 29th October.

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In the same trip as Frieze Sculpture, we used up my daily step allowance, post op, to visit the Mamoth Gallery for the first time. There was a small exhibition of paintings by the Chilean artist, Vicente Matte, Shadows. These were colourful paintings of landscapes and figures, with moons and sunsets. A favourite painting was Bedtime, with a figure lying down, staring into their phone. On until 29th October.

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Have Zip car will travel post hip op so off to a group of galleries in Mayfair. The Stephen Friedman Gallery is showing Caroline Coon’s Love of Place which focuses on her local West London neighbourhood. There are scenes of everyday life and sites that we recognised from lockdown trips. Looming over the the scenes is the brutalist Trellick Tower and there are several views of the canal running under the Westway. On until 5th November.

Caroline Coon’s biog is as impressive as her paintings as she co-founded Release in 1967, a legal-advice agency for young people charged with drug possession, an organisation that still exists. She is also a feminist campaigner and was involved in the punk movement, designing artwork for some bands. And, as if that wasn’t enough, she managed The Clash from 1978- 1980!

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The Zip Car enabled a trip into London after weeks away recovering from hip surgery. This time we visited Frieze Sculpture 2022 in Regent’s Park. Loved John Wood & Paul Harrison’s 10 Signs for a Park with their irreverent phrases such as Something to Look At and An Uneccessary Series of Words, words amongst others. George Ricky’s kinetic sculpture Five Lives in Parallel Planes had 25 foot pointed steel armatures that blew in the wind and looked like they were about to come down on your head. Hercules Meets Galatea by Matthew Darbyshire was striking; particularly Galatea. Emma Hart’s bright, ceramic sundials were fun positioned across from the elaborate work by Péju Alatise, Sim and the Yellow Glass Birds, 2022. Sim is a 9 yr old girl working as a domestic servant in Lagos who dreams of an alternate world of bees and butterflies. It is a stunning piece. The sculptures are in place until 13 November in the English Gardens, Regent’s Park so go along and take a look.

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Early October, managed to get further afield post operation with the use of Zip cars when I was comfortable enough to sit in them for a short hop. This took me to a show at Victoria Miro II in Islington, The Story of Art As It’s Currently Being Written. The show was curated by Katy Hessel and based on the final chapter in her book, The Story of Art Without Men, and focused on women who’d created contemporary art in last 2 decades. Artists included Lisa Brice, Tracey Emin, Chantel Joffe and Celia Paul amongst others. Joffe’s painting, Prom, 2022, was front and centre and very striking as is Loba V, Paris, 2019, by Zanele Muholi, a black and white photo. Khadija Saye’s photographs are intriguing and it is very sad to be reminded that she tragically died in the Grenfill Tower aged 24. The show has now ended.

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There’s been a big gap in blog posts since 19th August as I underwent a hip replacement which restricted my mobility and the distances I could go, similar to lockdown times. I was lucky that the 17th/18th September Crouch End Art Trail 2022 was on my doorstep. We visited the group show at the local library and it was great to see paintings of recognisable places on my own doorstep. Unfortunately, we were not able to follow up the open houses but it was welcome injection of art in my life.

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Every year we walk the Sculpture in the City trail on a weekend, this year with friends, which always gives you a different angle on the relatively empty part of London. I also seem to take as many pictures of the buildings as I do of the sculptures as the reflections in the glass windows are fantastic. Here are my favourites of this year’s new installations.

I loved the neon sign We by Emma Smith that blinked on and off and read both We are all one and We are alone. The Granary, Jesse Pollock, which looked like a huge orange quality street patched together with scraps of metal. Earthing by Jocelyn Mc Gregor was getting a lot of attention by passers by with its Bosch like limbs protuding from snail shells. The wooden benches, In Loving Memory by Oliver Bragg, added humour with made up people and places. Star of the show is the City itself.

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Last year I blogged about our first visit to Raveningham Sculpture Trail which we loved. We bought 2 pieces from the show, very small ones, which are now in our garden. As we were in Thorpeness for a few days of glorious sunshine recently, we drove over to this summer’s show which was themed Journey. The earlier post talks more about the place itself and how the artists pick their own sites to exhibit so this one is just focussed on what I was particularly struck by on this visit.

The sculptures were completely different to last year’s which was lovely. My favourites were the resin casts of bricks with photos embedded suspended from the tree, slowly turning around. They were haunting. Fern Spray’s glass and wood sculptures were beautiful, particularly the glass set into the tree rings. Louise Severyn’s Leshy, with clothes hanging from the trees were striking. Mike Challis’ Sounding Stones – no photo – had us stepping from stone to stone to hear the different woodland sounds. But my favourite this year, Zoe Rubens and her intricate sculptures made from metal and ceramics. The outdoor ones were wonderful; the indoor ones were intricate with watch faces meshed into the wiring. Lovely. Hopefully, we will be back next year – on until 4th September.

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