I spent this afternoon packaging up my On The Surface body of work ready to journey south to Oxfordshire (where it was made) as it has been selected for inclusion in a group exhibition at Wilcote Art near Finstock in Oxfordshire. The venue is hardly the Turbine Hall, but I’m really happy and honoured to have been selected to exhibit alongside some really interesting interdisciplinary artists (all female, coincidentally, and all of new to me, bar Nimmi Naidoo, whose work I’ve admired before). Amongst them are Nimmi Naidoo, Katherine Glynne-JonesHelena Fox, Natasha Solomons, Margaret Godel, and Sue Tucker. The theme of the show is Journeys, though I have no idea what the other work on display will be – looking forward to it!

Finstock’s located between Oxford and Chipping Norton. The exhibition is open on the 21,22, 26, 28, 29, and 30th May from 11am to 6pm, excepting Thursday when it’s open 11am to 8pm. The exhibition has been coordinated to coincide with Oxfordshire Artweeks.


An invitation for an imaginary spatial journey

Love this! Love Modus Operandi’s work – all kinds of fantastic public art in unexpected corners of the country. Check this is out

Artist: Antoni Malinowski
Title of work: Spectral Flip
Client: University of Oxford
Location: Andrew Wiles Building, ROQ, University of Oxford
Year: 2015
Image credit: Valerie Bennett


Antoni Malinowski commented on his installation:
Each day the journey of light is registered on the two large walls facing each other in the luminous foyer. To complement and enhance this journey, I began by sensitising this background by applying a reflective paint made with mica ground to a fine pigment. Then on the south facing wall, using light absorbing pigments, I painted in colours related to the warm end of the spectrum – from red to yellow. These light wave subtractive earth pigments have been used by painters for around forty thousand years.

The wall paintings will appear very different from different viewing points and with different light conditions. The colour will oscillate between darkness and light, appearing and disappearing, showing different sides of binary complementarities. One elongated thin line in each painting will contribute to the opening of the pictorial space – an invitation for an imaginary spatial journey.” 

Awesome – literally!

Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford Commemorative Commission

I’m heading to Oxford this weekend, and I’m planning to visit the recently unveiled public art commission, Pollinator by Simon Periton, at the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter (I worked on a public engagement project for the work, so particularly excited to see the finished work realised and in situ)… here’s a few images of Periton’s work The Alchemical Tree at the ROQ…

Anyway, in checking out Modus Operandi’s website I’ve just stumbled across this exciting news about the Three Seated Figures by sculptor Daniel Silver. Silver’s Three Seated Figures is the winning submission of an invited competition for the Radcliffe Infirmary Commemorative Commission, organized by arts consultancy Modus Operandi.

Three Seated Figures by Daniel Silver 2015 maquette for Radcliffe Infirmary Commemorative Commission 1 (2)

Daniel Silver, Three Seated Figure (maquette) 2015, Carrara marble

For those that aren’t aware, the ROQ is a new, public development owned by the University of Oxford on the site of an old hospital, the Radcliffe Infirmary. Info on Modus Operandi’s website reads,

“The Radcliffe Nurses have formed an initiative to celebrate their work and that of all those in the former Radcliffe Infirmary on site, with a public artwork for the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter (ROQ). The Radcliffe Nurses raised funds for the initial competition and maquette; fundraising is now in progress towards the realization of this important work, planned to be located outside St. Luke’s Chapel, Triton Square.

Inspired by the Michael Rosen poem These Are The Hands, in particular the lines:

‘These are the hands
That touch us first… …And touch us last’

and referencing various existing works on site at the ROQ – Bernini’s Triton Fountain and John Bacon’s statue of Atlas and Hercules on the roof of the Radcliffe Observatory – Silver’s initial approach was inspired by the context and history of the site:
‘I wanted to engage with and understand the architecture and surroundings of the area. I looked at the layout of the Quarter and was struck by the straight, linear approach to the buildings, which effectively choreographs our movement through the space.’”

Interesting how Silver has been inspired by the psychology of the space in creating his sculpture, the maquette of which is currently on display at the Andrew Wiles Building in the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter. Beautifully sensitive that the artist has captured how the approach to medicine is often so linear, and yet the holistic approach taken by many nurses is quite opposite to that, and this has been captured in sculpture.

Fundraising is being led by the Radcliffe Nurses and Modus Operandi: those interested in supporting the commission should contact: I hope the work is realised.

Norman Ackroyd and John Bell on art in North Yorkshire

I recently reviewed The Original Print Show at Zillah Bell Gallery in Thirsk for the Darlington and Stockton Times (read about it here), and in doing so got a really interesting insight into what the future of art in North Yorkshire might/could hold…

Born in Leeds in 1938 the artist, printmaker and curator, Norman Ackroyd CBE RA, launched his artistic career as a student at Leeds College of Art before starting his postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Art, London in the early 60s. From then on in, his career has been on a positive trajectory that has not only seen him enjoy personal success, but enjoy the success of early career talent that he has nurtured along the way. Amongst all that his rich career continues to offer, Ackroyd has never forgotten his Yorkshire roots, or his love for all that Yorkshire presents.

PR_IanDavenport_Duplex Etching Blue, Pink-hi (2)

Ian Davenport – Duplex

With passion and excitement brimming over in a voice that hasn’t been the slightest bit affected by life in London Ackroyd explained;
“3500 printmakers from all over the world to the 72 that have been selected for the show in Thirsk this year; that’s a refinement of what was hung in the Summer Exhibition by 20%! I’ve organised this exhibition for fun, but with real intention. Zillah Bell Gallery was extended a few years ago to accommodate a new floor designed specifically for showing prints in. The gallery would have been too cluttered for this kind of show before.”
Without missing a beat, the impassioned man continued,
“This new space presents a real opportunity to put on some really serious shows… there are some incredibly ambitious and skilled works in this show, and I think some of the Royal Academicians and exhibiting artists may now have solo shows up there. This is the second year we’ve organised this show – the gallery is making some good relationships with London galleries that could present opportunities to explore making the gallery in Thirsk even more of a destination.”

Indeed, the benefits of cultural tourism to the local economy should never be underestimated, and exhibitions of this standard present excellent opportunities to build upon the artistic offer in the region, in turn enhancing the lure.  Director of Zillah Bell Gallery, John Bell, commented with pride and enthusiasm;
“I believe any gallery in the entire UK would be proud to host an exhibition of this quality and depth – and, by showing their work, the contributing artists are demonstrating their belief in art in the North.

This area can take real pride in its culture, in the new Hepworth Wakefield, in the success of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and in the knowledge that so many of today’s foremost artists and writers have come from the North.

Art is for everyone – get out there and enjoy it!”