Jamie North - Concrete

Terraforms: Jamie North

Recently exhibited at The Sarah Cottier Gallery Jamie North’s sculptures ‘Terraforms’ are created using a mix of cement, limestone, marble waste, steel slag and coal ash. He infuses these large industrial forms with plants native to Australia. They grow within the sculpture and slowly infiltrate the man made structures. They remind me of how nature slowly reclaims back decaying abandoned buildings – just beautiful!

Jamie North - Terraforms 2014

Jamie North - Terraforms 2014

Jamie North - Terraforms 2014

Jamie North - Terraforms 2014

See more of Jamie North’s work on his website here.

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Nina Lindgren 'Floating City'

Floating Cities by Nina Lindgren

Stockholm based artist and illustrator Nina Lindgren creates intricate cardboard cities, pieced together with care and with teeny tiny window’s lit up. It makes you wonder what wonderful stories each little home hides. Hanging about 2 metres in diameter don’t you just want to peek into the floating cities windows like a giant?

Nina Lindgren 'Floating City'

Nina Lindgren 'Floating City'

Nina Lindgren 'Floating City'

Nina Lindgren 'Floating City' (being installed)

Nina Lindgren 'Floating City' Exhibition

This stunning piece was exhibited at ArtRebels gallery, Copenhagen, May-June 2014 and you can see more of her work on her fantastic website here.

Anna Collette Hunt Ceramics

Step Into The Swarm With Anna Collette Hunt

When trawling the internet today for new ceramic artwork to feature I stumbled into Anna Collette Hunt’s swarm of ceramic insects. Anna Collette Hunt creates a vivid world that you can step into, filling installation spaces with thousands of hand crafted wings as they wind their way up the space and disperse into a magical endless world. Her stunning installations rekindle that childhood sense of curiosity and delight like when you blow away a wispy dandelion’s in summer.

Anna Collette Hunt Ceramics

Anna Collette Hunt Ceramics

Anna Collette Hunt Ceramics

She has recently been working on several home ware collections with Anthropology and you can buy her creepy crawlies via her online shop. She also creates these opulent statues that speak of the past, they’re curiously odd don’t you think?

Anna Collette Hunt Ceramic Statues

Anna Collette Hunt Ceramic Beetles

Dream Room V&A Installation

V&A Exhibition: At Home In A Dolls House

For those of you who are fans of The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (which I reviewed here) I have some exciting news… The Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood have a new exhibition opening on 13th December exhibiting some of the most prized and best-loved dolls houses in the UK. Titled ‘Small Stories: At Home In A Dolls House’ the exhibition will showcase the fascinating stories behind the dollshouse history and takes you on a journey through the history of the home as well as the relationships and people who live within them. It baffles me how The V&A have managed to condense there vast collection of dolls houses down to just 12 to exhibit in ‘Small Stories’ – the exhibition shows a range spanning 300 years of manor houses, Victorian town houses, high rise flats and even the humble suburban semi.

The V&A have resorted over 1200 miniature dolls house objects dated from 1712-2001 and these will be displayed alongside a specially commissioned art installation called ‘Dream House’. 19 contemporary designers have been commissioned to create their very own miniature dream room, complete with people and a fully decorated miniature interior. What a fantastic idea! The designers involved, namely Katy Christianson and Molly Meg (see their dolls houses below), and many more have decorated their own rooms and as a finale for the exhibition they come together to form a larger installation. The Museum of Childhood says…

 Many of the dolls’ houses in the Small Stories exhibition were made as ideal spaces, or fantasy rooms. In miniature, we can experiment freely and try things otherwise not possible. So for Dream House, designers were asked to think about their own desirable rooms – aspirational, fantastical, whimsical, technological, practical or historical.

 I have *GOT* to go and see this! A new book has also been written by Halina Pasierbska to accompany the show (this can be purchased at the exhibition for £14.99) and for those of you who follow the wonderful author of The Miniaturist on Twitter (if not, why don’t you?!) she has confirmed that she will be opening the exhibition. Apparently, one of the creators of the early dolls houses got into so much debt making her miniature town she had to rely on charity from nuns to live!

Small Stories: At Home In A Dolls House will run in London until 6th September 2015 so theres plenty of time to make sure you don’t miss out. The museum are also holding events throughout the exhibition such as: a fun tour of haunted dolls houses.

For more inspirational art and features on Brogues In A Coffee Bar click here and don’t forget you can see updates and follow me on Twitter!

The Collector

Frieze London 2014: Corrado N, AKA ‘The Collector’

It has a fish preserved in formaldehyde, 10 people wearing one hat, a giant dice (Gagosian Gallery) and The Smile Face Museum. Of course, it’s Frieze London time again. One of the world leading art fairs housed in Regents Park is the most important date in the calender of many galleries, collectors and art lovers alike. I have always followed what goes on, I find the whole spectacle that is Frieze fascinating. From the fashions, heals are out and polo necks in this year in case you wondered, to finding out astonishing facts about the fairs visitors and artists. Did you know  200 kilos of coffee will be consumed over the 3 day event?!

There is usually the typical piece of artwork used as a brash marketing strategy for the gallery. However, this year Cork Street gallery Helly Nahmad have captured the media’s attention with it’s unusual display showing a staged set from the louche Paris appartment from 1968, called Corrado N a k a ‘The Collector’. A massive difference to the stark white walls and minimal displays which so often disorientates when walking around the fair (it’s no wonder so many coffee breaks are needed), Helly Nahmad have hung Picasso’s and Miro’s alongside socialist posters and hung a Lucio Fontana above a fake desk.

In an attempt to distill the philosophy of what the ideal collector should be the gallery hired set designer Robin Brown to create the cluttered space. Complete with dirty dishes, keys strewn on top of a Warhol book and it’s very own unmade bed. When talking about the ideal collector the creator says he is…

Passionate, intellectual, reclusive. He’s not living to entertain people here, he’s living and breathing art.

The piece has a wonderful nostalgia which I find so refreshing to see at Frieze. It reminds me of the 2008 Frieze Project by Kling & Bang. Where an interactive Sirkus, a bar in downtown Reykjavik, was constructed within a booth. I remember walking in with my Dad for a drink and suddenly feeling like I’d actually come in from the Icelandic cold, the atmosphere was fantastic.

Corrado N a k a ‘The Collector’ is immersive and emotional and represents so many older art collectors environments, it is entirely unexpected. In it’s way it acts as an intimate diary for so many collectors in the art world and as a key performance has attracted a lot of attention throughout the world. See more images below…

 For more inspirational art and features on Brogues In A Coffee Bar click here and don’t forget you can see updates and follow me on Twitter!

Folkestone

Folkestone Triennial 2014: The Goldrush

The Folkestone Triennial, one of the largest exhibition of public art projects in the UK opened this weekend and is running until 2nd November. Located by the sea in the south-east of England, artists are invited to quite literally use the town as their canvas – there really is nothing else quite like it. Famous for historical installations from Tracy Emin and her ‘Baby Clothes’ as well as Cornelia Parker’s recreation of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid titled ‘The Folkstone Mermaid’ the Triennial attracts thousands to the small town each year for art, installations, music and artists making end-of-the-pier gags over a multitude of disciplines. This year see’s the likes of world renowned artists Michael Sailstorfer, Andy Goldsworthy (one of my ultimate favourites) and Yoko Ono.

In 2009 Berlin based artist Michael Sailstorfer was invited to create an outdoor sculpture just outside of Cologne. However, he converted the budget for this work into gold bars and coins, burying them all in a grassy patch of wasteland. For this years Folkestone Triennial he has recreated this work of art and has buried 30 pieces of gold (worth a staggering £10,000) on Folkestone beach. When the tide lowers to reveal the outer harbour visitors are welcome to dig for it! A nice idea on paper but I have a feeling the British visitors won’t be as polite as the German’s in 2009. Trouble may be brewing. Curator of the event Lewis Biggs says:

I think we might well have a lot of people. It is a participatory artwork. It is about people coming to the beach and digging and possibly finding hidden treasure. Some people will get lucky, some people will not get lucky – and that’s life.

The Folkestone beach setting evokes the history of the seaside town as well as capturing the imagination and playing on various fantasies of pirates, shipwrecks and lost treasure. It is after all, every child’s dream to discover a chest of lost jewels on an exciting quest. Will the work be this nostalgic once the beach has been overturned is another question – It will certainly be interesting how this artwork unfolds. To follow the goldrush use the hashtag #FolkestoneGold on Twitter – the beach is getting busier even as I type this!

Perhaps contradicting the goldrush fever provoked by Sailstorfer’s art Yoko Ono has created two text pieces. One titled ‘Earth Peace’, the other ‘Skyladder 2014’. ‘Earth Peace’ appears as a poster in shops, homes and even on stickers, postcards and billboards. The conceptual work is even beamed out over the horizon as a morse code message. From the beginning of her career Yoko Ono has always been a conceptualist who uses the ladder so symbolise climbing into the sky, in ‘Skyladder 2014’ she instructs the people of Folkstone to…

…bring a ladder they like. Colour it. Word it. Take a picture of it. Keep adding things to it. And send it as a postcard to a friend.

Both of these works use Folkestone and their people at their core however, Andy Goldsworthy quite literally uses the land they stand on in his piece titled ‘Clay Window & Clay Steps’. Internationally known for his temporary outdoor sculptures and being a pioneer of the Land Art movement alongside Richard Long, Goldsworthy has taken clay from Folkestones beaches and has created two installations in a disused shop (at 48 Old High Street). Using nature and taking inspiration from some of Folkestones buildings he says in a video about the work that the clay…

…becomes the building. And then as it cracks and reveals it’s nature as earth, the building becomes earth.

 Both of his works look at the passing of time in nature and the town. Drawing attention to Folkestones seasonal economy and speaks of urban decay that can be seen all around Britain. Visitors to Folkestone Triennial 2014 will see these works amongst 18 other artist’s work and will be physically and mentally transported to think about the future from different angles. From the environment and economy to social issues until November the seaside town becomes a stage whereby we raise important questions about the world today.

Find more visiting information here and see what events you can also get involved in.

Julie Cockburn

Threads: Textile In Art & Design

So, as you probably know I have been a bit quiet of lately. I’ve had a well deserved holiday exploring the south of The Netherlands. I traveled through Amsterdam to Utrecht, Eindhoven, Helmond, Nijmagen and Arnham and have fallen head over heals for the country! Visiting many galleries and museums including the obligatory Rijkmuseum, of course. However, my favorite of the week was at The Museum Of Modern Art, Arnhem…

 I was lucky enough to arrive in Arnhem on the last day of the exhibition called Threads: Textile In Art & Design. A multidisciplinary exhibition exploring more than 20 international artists and designers who experiment with the medium of thread and textiles.

 Among others the work of Julie Cockburn and Chiharu Shiota caught my eye. Julie Cockburn is a London based artist who embellishes found photographs using delicately applied threads. Her work takes second hand objects and, using creativity, imbues them with beauty, colour and value. When I saw her small scale works from the other side of the room I was instantly captivated.

Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota’s installation titled “Life Of Thread” is an imposing web of stretched threads which creates a tension and labyrinth that is intended to represent the different life choices we have to make at different intersections throughout life. Chiharu’s work centers around the theme of memory, dreams and fear.

As well as being a secure cocoon it certainly made me feel anxious, as if you would get sucked in if you walked too close to the web. In the center of the web there is a vintage sewing machine that seems to be creating the thread, showing that perhaps sometimes our choices and thoughts can become entangled and complicated.

Sophie Calle - M'as Tu Vue

Sophie Calle: Paris Shadows and Rachel, Monique

After a few days drawing a complete blank regarding what to write about (I blame the effect of not being in the gallery everyday and that lethargic feelings which comes with over sleeping and relaxing too much) I have finally been inspired by my wonderful friend’s blog post ‘Art in Novels (Fictional and Otherwise)’. Discussing books that deal with the subject of the artist’s daily routines and creative habits. The post opens up a discussion about artist’s and writer’s routines and so inevitably the collaborative work between Paul Auster and French conceptual artist Sophie Calle came up in the comments.

Immediately, I jumped up to my bookcase to grab my rather dusty but precious copy of Sophie Calle’s ‘M’as Tu Vue’ – A beautiful book documenting her conceptual artwork from the 1970’s to 2003. In 1994-97 Calle responded to Paul Auster’s novel ‘Leviathan’ which is loosely based upon the artist’s life by following a number of “Personal Instructions for SC on How To Improve Life in New York City (because she asked…)” From smiling and talking to strangers to occupying a phone booth as well as embarking on The Chromatic Diet.

However, when thinking about peoples daily routines and lives it is her early work that intrigues me the most. In her project titled “Paris Strangers” Calle followed strangers in the street, she photographed them without their knowledge, took notes of their movements then finally lost sight of them and forgot them. A bit strange you might think? But the result was a mesmerizing incite into people’s world’s which leaves you with a yearning to find out more. The images are dark and mysterious and when presented alongside her notes tells of a loneliness within the city of Paris.

It is the ethereal quality to her images which brings me onto Calle’s most recent artwork titled ‘Rachel, Monique’, presented by Paula Cooper Gallery, NYC in the Episcopal Church of The Heavenly Rest (from May-June 2014). The installation displayed within the church is a melancholy reflection of her mothers life and death. Bringing together several works including the 2006 film of her mothers deathbed, a photograph of ‘Rachel, Monique’ (she referred to her mother using several names) in her coffin and the word “Souci” created using real butterflies. Her mother apparently uttered the words “Ne vous faites pas de souci” or “Don’t Worry” as she passed away.

From the top of the church you can hear recordings of a woman’s voice reading out extracts from her mothers personal diaries, creating a sense of who she was and revealing quite an unflattering portrait of a complicated, extremely selfish woman. In an indirect way it seems Calle wants the audience to see her mother for who she really was. What did ‘Rachel, Monique’ do to earn the grief displayed here? It never becomes clear and I cannot help thinking that it is all just a bit too much. It’s a bit too personal and is an artwork that perhaps wouldn’t work quite so well outside of it’s ecclesiastical surroundings. Unlike Sophie Calle’s early works which, when displayed, leave the viewer to make up the rest of the story and can be exhibited anywhere this new artwork directs the viewer around the church and is as much about the location as the subject. It certainly gives an incite into the world and mind of an artist and will be interesting to see where the ongoing project will go next.