Highlights of AUTUMN 2012

SEPTEMBER 2012
Sophie Kamlish the Paralympic star
The major event this year for the all families and friends linked in any way to Sophie Kamlish, including ours, was her amazing performance in the Paralympics London 2012. She is my niece, the daughter of my sister Roz. Sophie was in the 100m and 200m running and got through to the finals in both. She is a below the knee amputee on one leg and runs with a blade. She is the youngest member in the GB team. We really loved it that she wore this massive flower in her final race.

Award winning graphic novelist
My graphic memoir, Billy, Me & You received Highly Commended in the Popular Medicine category of the British Medical Association’s 2012 Medical Book Awards. Here I am at the ceremony.
Mostyn Conference: Giant Step 2
The Centre of the Periphery & The Periphery of the Centre
21 – 23 September 2012
John and I were invited to participate in Giant Step 2 hosted by Mostyn in Llandudno, Wales.
Robert Stephen was the guest blogger for the conference, here’s his post about our presentation  Read it here. I really like the photo he took of us, this is it…
giantstep_221

OCTOBER 2012
Compass by Beacon Art Project
Beacon presented an exhibition of four new commissions at three heritage sites in rural Lincolnshire:Woolsthorpe Manor; Grimsthorpe Castle and Ayscoughfee Hall. The four invited international artists drew on the particularities of Lincolnshire to create new artworks. It was a treat to work so closely with such interesting artists and a new and exciting departure for Beacon to work with durational performance artists.

Liverpool Biennial The Unexpected Guest
Curated by Sally Tallant, this Biennial showed the work of 242 artists in 27 locations. Here’s John on the way to join the queue to see the orchestra of 100 electric guitars playing in the Anglican cathedral, for the premiere of Rhys Chatham’s  A Crimson Grail as part of the launch event of the Biennial. Our end of the queue didn’t make it in and it was one of those spectacles that everyone who was there said was amazing. Annoying, but a good queue!

Dan Graham’s 2-Way Mirror Cylinder Bisected By Perforated Steel
This was in the courtyard in front of The Bluecoat playing with our perception of space and enabling us to watch others at the same time as watching ourselves, reflecting how we operate within society.
mirror
Mona Hatoum, Present Tense, 1996 soap and glass beads
This was shown at the Cunard Building. Hatoum’s interest is in territory and displacement. She refers to these themes on a large geographical  and domestic bodily scale. Hence the use of the map outlined with beads on blocks of soap suggests the instability and changing nature of political territory, both for country and women. What a beautiful and seductive piece of work.
mona hatoum detail
Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2012 at the old postal sorting office
Anita Delaney Untitled (Ready for a Fight) 2011, Installation, HD video

I found this video fascinating. The figure is a woman in underwear, yet the androgynous presentation removes any sexual suggestiveness thus challenging our assumptions. The figure is fighting yet gives a sense of vulnerability at the same time. The cloth over her head both disguises her (gender) and puts her at a disadvantage in the fight in so doing.
new contemp
Manchester Art Gallery The First Cut
This is an exhibition that you could take anyone to and they would like it. It shows the work of 31 artists who work with paper, cut, sculpted and manipulated. It created a distinct wow factor when you walked into the gallery space. The intention was to challenge our assumptions about craft. It was a well curated and exhibited exhibition. For me, after the initial impression had worn off, there was little that I found challenging or thought provoking in the exhibition. My favourite was the work by Peter Callesen, who creates his pieces from A4 pieces of paper.
peter callesen
Cornerhouse David Shrigley: How Are You Feeling? 
This was an enormous model of one of Shrigley’s drawn figures, so the proportions were not anatomically correct. I’d much rather do a life drawing of this than some poor freezing cold, usually woman. The room was set up as a life drawing studio and the viewer was invited to make a life drawing of the model. On a timer, the model pissed into the bucket. There were so many people drawing. We  do love a draw and a join in don’t we?  Brilliant, funny and clever.
shrigley

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