Art Preview: David Hockney – Original Prints


Published on page 34 in the February edition of Buzz Magazine

David Hockney – Original Prints

Ceri Richards Gallery, Taliesin Arts Centre

24 February – 1 April 2017

Without question, David Hockney has been one of the most prolific and experimental artists of the 20th century. Over the course of his career his work as a painter, set designer, draftesman and photographer has been well documented, but somehow his work as a printmaker has rarely gained the spotlight. However, an exhibition starting later this month is aiming to change all that.

In collaboration with the Goldmark Gallery, the Ceri Richards Gallery at the heart of Swansea’s Taliesin centre is to display some of Hockney’s most influential work in his 60 years as a printmaker. The works contain many characteristics qualities of his art – an economy of technique, a pre-occupation with storytelling and human interaction – but they are also some of Hockney’s most personally revealing creations The exhibition seeks to establish as Hockney as one of the most skilled, innovative and challenging printmakers alive.

Among the images on display are a number of etchings from his Grimm’s Fairytale series. These sparse, almost ugly, depictions of the Grimms’ stories stand in contrast to the luscious illustrations that one would typically expect to adorn the pages of the fairytales; where those colourful pictures seek to create beauty and magic, Hockney’s unassuming black and white stark etchings bring back to mind J.R.R. Tolkein’s remark that the fairytales were not written ‘for children’.

Alongside this work this series there will sit works from his Cavafy suite, a series of illustrations that were inspired by the Hellenistc homoerotic poetry of C.F. Cavafy. Hockney first discovered Cavafy’s poetry in the 1950s, when he stole a copy of his poems for the local library in Bradford. The series marks Hockney’s first artistic interaction Cavafy, a source which informed much of subquent work. His simple ink line drawings shocked audiences when they were first released in 1967 with their shockingly realistic depiction of gay men in bed.

The exhibition will run for five weeks, finishing on the 1st April.

Image: Supplied by Ceri Richards Gallery


Art Preview: Nowhere Less Now: Lindsay Seers

Published in Dec/Jan Buzz Magazine, page 38 & online

Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea

Until 19 March 2017

Inside the atrium of the Glynn Vivian gallery sits a leviathan. Once you round the corner and approach the great grey mass, it becomes clear that this is not some beast from the depths but merely an upturned ship, albeit with some strange looking tentacles trapped in its propeller.

Within the body of vessel sits Nowhere Less Now, Lindsay Seers video installation, which is currently being exhibited as part of programme examining journeys at the gallery. It is as black as pitch in there. Fumbling to find a seat in the darkness, the only source of light emerges from two rounded screen – one flat, one convex – two lenses gazing out of the darkness. A stream of images – some real, some faked – are projected onto the screen: Zanzibar, a woman dressed in masonic symbols and the inside of the gallery.

The narrative is a slippery beast: it is neither past nor future, rather a suspended present somewhere between fiction and fact. One narrative tells of the artist’s journey in search after her great, great uncle, another is a dystopia where a blind man who illegally ‘collects imagines’ and seems to commune with this dead relative, reflecting the history of the gallery’s founder. Behind the excess of narrative, the confusion of imagery, seems to be a coherent idea: through memory we construct our truth and find meaning in our lives.

Admission: free. Info:

Image: WikiCommons

Art Preview: Clear Cut


4 October 2016, Buzz Cardiff Online Features

Clear Cut has always worked to showcase the very best of avant-garde performance art in the UK and developing work that is genuinely groundbreaking and resolutely cutting edge. Having produced dance, music and theatre as well as film, visual art and spoken art, Clear Cut are now looking to ramp it up in their new home base. In their brand new initiative, ‘Clear Cut-Out’, SVJdance and CardiffMADE have taken the platform out there and put them into residence at Cardiff’s renowned music venue, the Globe.

With the move comes a special performance on the 6th of this month, with a line up which bends, breaks and straddles genres and promises to challenge their audience in completely new ways. You’ll witness Will Salter’s phonetic performance which hearkens back to the days of Dada, with a work that apparently straddles literature and music. Going even further back, Choregrams – an interactive dance and music collaboration – takes the baroque’s obsession with ornamentation and grandeur to produce an intricate web of dance, music and technology.

Perhaps the most daring new ventures are those performances which attempt to give form to the intangible. In ‘Poems from the Inside’ Rosie Bufton explores the experience of incarceration in prisons, both external and self-inflicted, through the written word. Gareth Chambers, a dancer, in collaboration with film maker Aaron Cooper, will deconstruct identity itself through an examination of the body. In short, they are back, bigger and bolder than before.

Image: Flickr

Art Preview: Models and Materialities Exhibition


7 October 2016, Buzz Cardiff Online Features

If historically still life painting was concerned with the depiction of familiar objects, then contemporary art is interested in something more abstract: the process by which things become transformed into ‘things’ through painting.

This is the process that Woodley has tried to explore in this exhibition of contemporary still life paintings – Models and Materialities: Confabulation and the Contemporary – the third project of a series of three exhibitions at BayArt. The exhibition, which runs throughout October, considers how contemporary painters approach still life through model making and materiality seems to ask several questions, like how do painters come to conceptualise the objects of their paintings and why?

In her introduction to the catalogue for the exhibition, Emma Geliot notes that we always describe our own objects as ‘things’; mere possession imbues them with a strange intangible quality. We often use the term to describe the unfamiliar, the objects we can’t quite describe. What this exhibition shines a light on is how modern still life manages to open up both aspects of ‘thingness’ to understanding.

Many of the paintings that Woodley has chosen to display seem to be taken up with producing unrecognisable, reconfigured things, simultaneously familiar and alien. Clare Chapman’s Suturedepicts a great red mass, with a deep cut down its centre; it’s not quite some displaced bodily organ, but something transmuted and created anew by the artist. Another artwork featured, Timothy Hon Hung Lee, takes a typical Dutch still life of flowers and transforms it, appearing to drag the paint up the canvas.

The result of these paintings of objects – both the new, and those transformed into something rich and strange – is often odd, but always interesting.

Image: WikiCommons