Sunday, 21 October 2012

John Court - Work Between the Lines at Spacex

Sadly, I've had to give up my weekly stint at Spacex for a while as I concentrate on my access course. However, earlier this month I went along to Spacex with other gallery assistants to see the Work Between the Lines exhibition (should also have seen John Court but, unfortunately, he had to return to Finland earlier than expected).

John was born in Bromley but, in 1997, shortly after graduating from art school, he moved to Finland - where he has gone on to recognition and awards, both in Scandinavia and internationally. He suffers from severe dyslexia and started drawing as a way of coming to terms with the resulting difficulties he had at school. Letters appear to him as visual forms rather than comprehensible symbols.

He now creates large scale drawings, performance and video works that illustrate the problems that his dyslexia has given him. Immediately after school John spent some time doing labouring jobs on building sites and this period left an indelible impression upon him. This is also reflected in his performances - which often have an endurance element to them - and his works, many of which are labelled with the number of hours work that were required to complete them.

Work Between the Lines is a fascinating exhibition which combines art with a graphic picture of the difficulties that people with dyslexia face in a world where the written word is pervasive. The exhibition goes on until 24 November and on the final Saturday John will perform a specially commissioned 8 hour performance piece.

The photos here give a taste of what the exhibition is all about - although they cannot do justice to the detail shown in the exhibits or to the performances shown on videos:

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Peter Blake & Derek Booshier at Pallant House

This weekend is the last chance to see the Peter Blake and Pop Music  and the Derek Boshier: David Bowie and the Clash exhibitions at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester (a bit off the SW patch, I know, but worth the journey).

Latest addition to my print collection
I didn't find the Blake exhibition quite as interesting as the A Museum for Myself exhibition at the Holbourne last year - largely because this show is focused exclusively on Blake's work for the music industry. However, the Derek Boshier stuff was all new to me (in the sense of recognising his contribution to rock art). The exhibition reminds us that Boshier appeared with Peter Blake, Pauline Boty and Peter Phillips in Pop Goes the Easel, the seminal film made by Ken Russell for the BBC's Monitor series in 1962. Incidentally, for a great account of the neglected Pauline Boty's life and work see the posts (part 1 and part 2) in Jez Winship's Sparks in Electrical Jelly blog.

... also the proud owner of this one, on tin
Also showing until the 7th is the Artist Pop Stars exhibition which complements the Blake show and contains material by rock luminaries such as Ian Dury and Bryan Ferry. Taken together, these three exhibitions are a fascinating insight to the close links between the art school and rock.

Got a Girl - my favourite - but I've only got a postcard ...
The Pallant also has its own collection of Modern British Art which includes examples of work by many important artists; and (again until the 7th) has a small exhibition of record cover art which includes 'references to the imagery of post-psychedelia, gith surrealistic and art-nouveau designs'. Who could ask for more?

Ian Dury - Danny Bubbles
The Pallant is a unique place. It consists of two conjoined modern and not-so-modern buildings. The not-so-modern part also houses many paintings and artefacts of note and, at the time I visited, a memorial exhibition of paintings by Adrian Berg (now finished) - This was terrific, by the way, especially for those of us now desperately trying to improve our drawing and painting skills to avoid failing our Access to HE art course ... Finally, the gallery also has a restuarant which serves excellent food and a shop which contains more than just the usual art gallery bits and pieces.

Lodger - Boshier and Bowie - got the LP ...
The Blake, Booshier and Artist Pop Stars exhibitions all finish on the 7th October. I recommend that you get down there, if you can.

Adrian Berg