MAKING WAVES 10 Oct-1 Nov 2015
Personifying potential energy 'waves' is a great metaphor for this exciting new venture. Our debut presents a mixed media show of artwork inspired by or reminiscent of crashing waves, gentle ripples or the tranquility of light glinting on the surface of the water.
Artists include Tony Blackmore, Paul Debois, Sharon Drew, Paul Greenleaf, Magnus Irvin, Mark McClure, Johanna Melvin, Janet Mitchell and Neil Morley
Tony Blackmore produces paper sculpture through a process of drawing and folding that creates 3-D reliefs with regimented precision. His work plays with light as it passes over the surface of his artwork, giving movement to static forms to create waves and illusions that strike a sense of bewilderment in the viewer with regards to their execution.
Exhibited widely in London, Hong Kong, Tokyo where he was awarded Tokyo Wondersite Residency Award. tonyblackmore.co.uk
Photographer Paul Debois’ Costa de la Luz pinhole series evolved from a desire to capture the beauty and energy of the Atlantic coastline in the Spanish Cadiz region near Cape Trafalgar, but in a different style to his normal work. Having spent many years working digitally, producing incredibly sharp and precise images, Paul wanted to produce something much softer in appearance and less technical in approach. Inspired by the early pigment/platinum prints of Edward Steichen, he used a pinhole camera to revisit the most basic form of photography. It calls for more reliance on instinct and creative vision than technology to produce the final image.
Working with a pinhole camera can be difficult as there is no viewfinder, which means the photographs are more spontaneous and almost uncomposed. The often necessary long exposures mean that images feature more movement and reflect the passage of time more vividly. This back to basics approach demands a completely different way of working. And these qualities suited the style of photographs he wanted to produce.
The resulting colour landscape images have a beautiful ethereal appearance, but are also dark and sombre at the same time. The lack of a lens means there is a softness which resembles some 19th century work, but the images are from a very much contemporary viewpoint.
A frequent motif in Johanna Melvin’s work is the seascape, as graphic cut-outs, prints and paintings, drawn from ephemeral details found in early 19th century engravings depicting dramatic narratives in the lives of early American settlers. She is showing two pieces from her Seascape series. Johanna is a London-based artist she has exhibited widely, including Flowers Gallery, Royal College of Art, Contemporary Art Society: Art Futures and she has been selected for the Royal Academy of Art Summer Exhibition three times since 2003.
Sharon regularly visits the West Cornish landscape around St Ives which is renowned for its extraordinary light and colour. This is a major influence and her work follows a long tradition of British colour abstraction inspired by the land, sea and sky of the location. Themes of light, space, colour and pattern run through the work and evolve out of process. Translucent and opaque layers are overlaid with rapid, repetitive, gestural applications of paint, giving rhythm and pace. Much of the process is ‘in-the-moment’, fluctuating between accident and control. Her aim she says “is to create an immersive quality, the sense of inhabiting a landscape”.
Sharon Drew has been based in Walthamstow for over 25 years and completed her MA Fine Art at Byam Shaw at Central Saint Martins School of Art in 2003, where she is now a mentor to Fine Art BA students. Her work is currently showing in Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant London House and she was recently shortlisted for the Griffin Gallery Open Liquitex Prize. Sharon’s work was selected for the 2014 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and in 2013 for a two-person show – Rhythm, Balance, Flow - at T5 Gallery, Terminal 5, Heathrow Airport.
Sharon’s paintings have shown in Paris and London alongside artists such as Mali Morris RA, Jeff Dellow and Clyde Hopkins and she has also shown paintings in AAF Singapore. Her work was selected by Richard Wilson RA for the River exhibition at University of East London. Sharon has had London solo shows and her work is in private collections throughout the UK.
Paul Greenleaf’s photography and music is permeated by connections between people and place. Prosaic subjects such as urban landscapes, domestic housing and seaside towns are viewed through an imperfect nostalgic prism. Featuring semi-fictional narratives or re-contextualised found photographs, his work examines opposing social attitudes of optimism and pessimism applied to perceptions of the past, present and future.
His photograph of Hollow ponds is taken from his ‘HERE TODAY’ series, evoking nostalgic scenes but containing contemporary details. Each image contains a collection of small moments suspended and combined into a single scene, creating a hyperreal landscape with an everyday narrative. The work references the visual language of mid-twentieth century picture postcards to reinterpret the modern urban landscape and asks the question, where are we today?
His work reflects an interest in institutions such as the sea side, music halls, pub culture, street furniture, ectoplasm and fish. Working in a wide variety of media including film, printmaking, cardboard sculpture, live performance and cake. He also works as a scenic artist for theatre, film, television and radio. He’s made life-size, automated, cardboard replicas of dead friends and animals and produced a range of edible chocolate anuses or bespoke bronze anus rings.
“Occasionally I have no idea what my work is about until it has been hanging around for a while” he says. “If I’m lucky it may mature into something useful. I allow random ideas to come together then try and direct them towards something that I think is interesting and funny. Drawing and printmaking remain central to my interests although I now prefer the excitement of live performance and moving images to the disciplines of studio work. I do silly things seriously.”
Born in the Midlands Mark trained as a graphic designer, he has straddled the worlds of both fine art and visual design for a number of years, creating murals, artworks and bespoke design in his geometric, graphic style.
Inspired by the landscape, the fragmented geometric compositions reference the lines, shapes and structures around us - blending both fine art and design functionality. The works are sensory & physical snapshots of the urban landscapes we have shaped and built up around us. Often using found materials, mainly wood and metal, the works give hints of a past narrative, revealing the layering and history of our environment.
With a background in interactive design as well as art Mark is also looking to introduce a level of viewer participation. This further represents our own environment whilst also adding the possibility of functionality - exploring our perceptions of value and luxury versus function and utility.
Mark was commissioned to produce a vast 210m long hoarding by LLDC & Moniker Projects for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. The pieces were created from wood reclaimed from the Olympic Park and the surrounding area.
The recent paintings are abstract watercolours with collage on paper. They are about finding a balance of colour and tone reflecting such events as the weather, time of day, atmosphere and the seasons. Over time the media Janet has used have varied from beach plastic, to paper ephemera or oil pastel and involved looking at recycling, and the ubiquitous urge to collect.
The water-colour paintings incorporate some paper collage with basic notation marks to covey the idea of messages, counting, recording or mapping.
A Fine Art graduate Janet taught art, painting and printmaking in schools and colleges in London for many years. For two and a half years she lived in the USA studying at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts and this experience influenced her work, moving it away from realism into abstraction.
She has been exhibiting since 1994, including Royal Watercolour Society Open in 2014, and Royal West of England Academy Open in the autumn of 2015.
Born in Leeds, Neil has a degree in Fine Art and a Masters Degree in painting at the Royal College of Art 2001. In 2009/10 he completed the Berwick Gymnasium Artist Fellowship and in 2006/7 he was involved with an Arts Council England placement working with a scientist on the interdisciplinary aspects of art and science.
The main areas of research are travel, tourism, colonialism, post-colonialism and the politics of representation. These seemingly disparate elements are combined to provoke discourses surrounding fiction and reality. His practice employs readymade fabrics, creating tensions between background and foreground. The African series of paintings (two of which appear in the Making Waves show) create parallels with nineteenth century colonialism and twenty-first century tourism and holiday souvenirs as well as highlighting the importance and significance of colonial artefacts within the historical development of modern art.