Sunday, 28 November 2010

Little White Lies Feature: Nam June Paik at Tate Liverpool

Here's an article I wrote ahead of a major retrospective of Nam June Paik coming up at Tate and FACT in Liverpool this winter, can't wait to see it. The article appears in the latest Little White Lies magazine.


If you were watching TV in 1963 you’d have witnessed Kennedy’s demise, got to know an English fop in a Tardis and seen your favourite band lip-sync for their lives on Ready Steady Go! The chunky box in the corner of the living room stood for comfort and familiarity – at least, in most places it did. In Wuppertal, Germany, something quite new was happening.

It was here that Nam June Paik installed his ‘Exposition of Music Electronic Television’, where TV sets absorbed audio feeds from cassette recorders, live broadcasts were warped with magnets, and TVs screened a horizontal line. The materiality of television was being scrambled in a German art gallery, and its repercussions would reverberate around the world.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

ArtSlant Blog: Cineast at The Nunnery

After the kicking it has taken from recent government cuts, it’s a surprise that the UK film industry hasn’t just crawled off, put on a suit and got a ‘proper job’.

But no, it’s still here, and if anything this climate of minimal budgets has given those filmmakers and artists used to making glorious moving images from peanuts a chance to seize some attention of their own.

Granted, nobody knows how it’s going to pan out until, over the next few years, we begin to see the fruits of any labour that’s happened following these constrictions. But for now things seem positive, especially within the world of artists’ film, with Clio Barnard buckling under the weight of critical love for The Arbor, Gillian Wearing at the London Film Festival, Frieze hosting its own cinema – it’s a time to reformulate our approach rather than panic.

Maybe I’m too optimistic, but it’s the only way forward for me. So when I went to the inaugural Cineast in London, a new film salon set up as a platform for the screening and discussion of contemporary moving image, I wasn’t surprised to have to elbow my way to a seat. Screening the work of Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor, Cineast offered the audience a chance to see extracts from their Civic Life series followed by a discussion with Molloy... (read more)

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

ArtSlant Review: David Maljkovic at Spruth Magers

Being in the gallery space of Spruth Magers London is much like being on exhibition yourself; its floor-to-ceiling windows look onto the street, where passers by peer in at people viewing the art. Apt really for David Maljkovic’s exhibition, which takes as its formal springboard the process of framing and containing that film enacts on the people, places, and time it captures.

In the windowed room in question, Maljkovic has set up a whirring 16mm projector which throws out flickering white images alongside the soundtrack of a scene from Orson Welles’ The Trail (1962), the film at the heart of the deconstructive exhibition. The piece relies on the suggestive powers of cinema to conjure up a scene or at least a controlled atmosphere to its gallery audience... (read more)

ArtSlant Review: Urs Fischer at Sadie Coles

Adjacent to the festive consumerist glitz of Regent Street, the Sadie Coles gallery is inaugurating a brand new space with an exhibition of Urs Fischer mirror sculptures as dazzling as any designer shop window.

Fischer has littered the space with a variety of giant mirrored boxes with views (front, back, sides and top) of everyday objects screen printed onto each side in hyper-real digital detail. Giant cigarette packets, high heeled shoes and oversized chairs dwarf viewers like a Pop Art hall of mirrors throwing around its imagery while incorporating the reflection of the viewer in a labyrinthine mash-up of hard fake veneers and reflected real-world depths... (read more)

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Sketchbook page

This nude combines my interest in drawing the figure with the fact I like to grid things up and break them down. That it's divided into different units also makes the act of reading the drawing more like a graphic novel or a storyboard, more sequential. I like the idea that deconstructing or destroying an image, especially that of a person, can actually force the viewer to spend more time looking at it, one step back to get two steps forward...

Little White Lies Review: The Arbor

Before I post my review on here, I just want to urge you to go to see The Arbor, it's an incredible piece of filmmaking. The director, artist Clio Barnard, really utilises the properties of film to create something with real visual flair and emotional resonance as well as social pertinence. I don't think a piece like this could be produced in any other medium.

It's also really gratifying to see an artist getting their work released in cinemas whilst still retaining the creative freedom of producing work for a gallery setting. It feels like the extension of an art practice rather than a leap into being a commercial filmmaker, which is kind of how I felt about Steve McQueen and Sam Taylor-Wood making feature films. Sure, as artists they're probably given more scope (and expectation) to be 'original', but there's still rules of narrative commercial filmmaking that have to be adhered to, gotta have an arc after all.

Maybe because The Arbor is a mash up of fiction, faction and documentary it can get away with more. Gillian Wearing's feature film Self Made looks like a similar crossbreed of documentary and fiction - looking forward to that one very much. Anyway, this comment is longer than my actual review, short and sweet, here you go...


Clio Barnard’s dissection of the life and legacy of playwright Andrea Dunbar is a fascinating look at working-class Britain and the effects of growing up on a gritty Bradford estate. But more than that, it’s a stunning meditation on the subjectivity of memory.

Dunbar’s children – now in their twenties – recall their past in voiceover as actors lip sync their lines, with her two daughters taking centre stage with mutually sympathetic yet drastically different accounts of their upbringing... (read more)

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

ArtSlant Review: Flat Time House

John Latham (1921 to 2006) occupied a distinct position in contemporary British art placing his practice at the intersection between artistic, philosophical and scientific theories. Flat Time House in Peckham is his former residence and studio, open to the public since 2008 as a permanent gallery of his work, a changing exhibition space, and a centre for research into Latham’s theories about life and the universe.

Walking down Bellenden Road, the space is not hard to spot: there’s a giant book embedded in the front window. Beyond this, the first room hosts permanent exhibits that demonstrate Latham’s central Time Base theory – Flat Time – a theory that prioritizes time and event over space and object as the building blocks for the universe. (read more)

ArtSlant Review: Floor Ten Gallery

East London is a hub of up and coming art spaces, more densely populated with creatives than anywhere else. But since arty coolness attracts gentrification, so the artists themselves go in search of cheaper rents, making Bow the 00s equivalent of Hoxton in the 90s.

Slightly less accessible than Hoxton, it’s a bit out of the way even for those of us used to seeking out art in Bethnal Green’s Vyner Street, but worth a visit to see art coming straight from the next generation, unmediated.

Bow’s Floor Ten Gallery is an artist run space in a tower block that also serves as artists’ live/work space for your garden variety East Londoner. It's about as close to the Bow scene as one is going to get, and currently hosts Goldsmiths student Tom Crawford... (read more)

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Pic in the Guardian Magazine!

My pic of St Martin in the Fields made it into today's Guardian mag Your Pictures page, marvelous! Also online here:

Friday, 10 September 2010

Video interview: David Blandy on Lux

I interviewed artist David Blandy about his new exhibition Child of the Atom, a combination of video and installation exploring his family's historical ties to Hiroshima. See the results on the Lux website here:

Child of the Atom
Seventeen Gallery, Kingsland Road, 2 September - 2 October 2010

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Dazed Digital Interview: Hussein Chalayan at Lisson Gallery

(Originally published on Dazed Digital)

Constantly defying compartmentalisation, Hussein Chalayan is a true cross-disciplinary artist whose work is never hampered by fixed expectations of genre or discipline. Far from it, if the medium fits the philosophy then he runs with it, sparking an endlessly innovative convergence of fashion, performance, installation, technology, anthropology, and more into the trademarlk Chalayan cultural experience. From 8 September, London’s Lisson Gallery hosts one such experience with 'I Am Sad Leyla (Üzgünüm Leyla)', a multi-room installation deploying audio, video, sculpture and fashion in its deconstruction of Chalayan’s native Turkish musical tradition. Dazed Digital spoke to him about how this all came about.

Dazed Digital: What is the inspiration behind I Am Sad Leyla (Üzgünüm Leyla)?
Hussein Chalayan:
The idea was to create a new context for this genre of Turkish music which, in itself an art form, has constantly shifted musical structure due to the amorphous nature of Turkish culture and history .The idea was to further extend this shift by putting it into an alien environment in London at the Lisson Gallery, and also to reframe it to reiterate its power.

DD: What attracted you to such a strong musical element?
Hussein Chalayan:
Music and sound have always featured in my work. Visual people are ‘poorman’s musicians’, we all strive to achieve the same affect as music but are not sure that we ever get there.

DD: How did you begin?

Hussein Chalayan: We recorded the piece from scratch. Sertab Erener, a super well-known pop star in Turkey, is not known for this genre of music. Part of the thrill of approaching her, and I think for her accepting, was to create a momentary shift from her longstanding oeuvre. Her performance has the might of early chanteuses in the beginning of the 20 the century in Turkey. We are both more than delighted with it.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Little White Lies review: Perestroika

Watching Perestroika is like being privy to someone else’s lucid dream. Blending footage of two trips on the trans-Siberian express, one alongside her friend Sian Thomas, the other 20 years later after Thomas’s death, Sarah Turner negotiates the gulf between past and present, truth and construction, memory and experience as she tries to piece everything together in a state of retrograde amnesia... (read more)

From the vaults: Tell Us More

A one minute film from back in 2006 called Tell Us More. Made as footage of the plane crashing into the Penatgon in 2001 was released to the media, this is where my longstanding pixel fixation began.

Tell Us More was selected to screen as part of's Archetypes Screening at Transit Space, E1, in May 2006. Although back then I didn't give things titles.

Installation: Murder Disco!

I made this pixel piece as an installation covering one wall of a dark room, the rest is self-explanatory...

Monday, 6 September 2010

Astriloquy video for China Gorilla Intergalactic

Some wall candy I made for China Gorilla Intergalactic: a 5 min silent video derived from clips of the film Alien (don't sue me 20th Century Fox), dealing with extra-terrestrial contact. Not for the epileptic amongst us.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Video showing at China Gorilla Intergalactic

I'm going to be exhibiting a video and making some virals for China Gorilla Intergalactic this Friday (see Facebook), more to follow...

Thursday, 26 August 2010


The image below etched onto photopolymer plate, printed in black with a yellow tint on Somerset paper.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Little White Lies Review: Beautiful Kate

Wholly uncompromising but elegant with it, Beautiful Kate marks a shift into feature directing for actress Rachel Ward, whose script grafts Newton Thornburg’s American-set novel seamlessly onto the grizzled dustiness of rural South Australia. The results are disquieting, marking one of the most interesting films to come out of Australia for some time... (read more)

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Lapsed Saxophonist clip

Just a clip, the full film runs to 11 mins.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Ellipsis... what's unsaid

Some images from the show at Red Gate Gallery, where I exhibited four drawings titled Reverb and a video, Lapsed Saxophonist.

This last image is by Lucy Whitford, my fellow curator and a wonderful artist. See her work at

ArtSlant Review: Kupferstichkabinett at the White Cube

Not the catchiest title perhaps, but Kupferstichkabinett is certainly a memorable show. Referring to the collections of the German aristocracy which in turn lead to the more accessible print and drawing rooms in museums, this show draws on the past to prove that drawing is very much alive and kicking in contemporary art... (read more)

Kupferstichkabinett: Between thought and action
White Cube, Hoxton Square, 8 July - 28 August 2010

ArtSlant Review: After the Volcano at Frith Street Gallery

The Frith Street Gallery draws from its exciting roster of contemporary artists for an intriguing ‘summer show’, a stone’s throw from the grand mélange of the Royal Academy’s equivalent. Proving that scale doesn’t equal success (got that RA?), this compact exhibition is judiciously hung, allowing each work the space to breathe and to convey the loose theme of a mysteriously altered world... (read more)

After the Volcano: a summer show of gallery artists
Frith Street Gallery, 3 July - 14 August 2010

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Ellipsis: Reverb drawings

Here are the Reverb drawings for Ellipsis... The music manuscripts underneath the drawings are my A level music compositions, A grade thank you very much. Whereas Lapsed Saxophonist expressed some sadness about my previous life as a musician, Reverb takes the perspective that creativity finds a different outlet at different times in one's life, so I melded the graphite mark making of writing manuscripts with that of drawing.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Images from Ellipsis video

Some stills from the film I'm making for Ellipsis...

Monday, 21 June 2010

Ellipsis - New Show this July!

Ellipsis brings together a group of exciting London artists to explore the withheld, the omitted, the implied…what’s unsaid.

Private View: Friday 23rd of July 2010 – 6.00 pm to 11.00 pm

Red Gate Gallery, Brixton

Exhibition runs: Friday 23rd of July 2010 – Thursday 29th of July
Opening Hours: Fri, Mon, Tues, Wed: 11.00am-6.30pm, Sat: 12.30pm-5.00pm

Ellipsis (from the Greek: ἔλλειψις, élleipsis, "omission"): a series of dots that indicate an intentional omission of a word or phrase from a sentence; a pause in speech; an unfinished thought; a trailing off into nothing...

Embodying the duality of something deliberately withheld or cut off which simultaneously implies the potential of more to come, Ellipsis opens up a world of understatement and ambiguity.

It is a concept inherent in the production and exhibition of art, where creators articulate their ideas, theories, and deepest emotions through the manipulation of materials, sending the resulting works of art out into the world where they must speak for themselves.

Working in a diverse range of media, each Ellipsis artist employs their own visual language to explore this most elusive concept. Lifting the shroud of silence, they may choose to make the implicit explicit, or simply keep you guessing…


Sonia Ali manipulates canvas into sculptural formations, inviting the viewer to reconsider beauty whilst further pushing the textural boundaries of print and paint ● Maxime Angel’s art exists in the performance of a moment captured in a drawing that represents that moment for the rest of the performative aspect of her existence ● Laura Bushell works in video and drawing, exploring the act of deconstruction and re-articulation through both artistic and mechanical duplication processes to question ideas of truth ● Ewan Eason investigates the interplay of contrasts - the notion that one drives the other. Death / life, loose / rigid, serious / funny, hard / soft, light / dark are familiar themes within his work ● Matthew Holder explores paint’s aesthetic qualities to combine and undermine illusionism, creating a dynamic surface referencing sensations and concepts of power, decay, and natural phenomena ● Katie Honan draws and paints to explore how people are constructed through the process of storytelling and its imaginary worlds, aiming to reinstate a sense of wonder in the viewer ● Lucinda Lloyd’s installations explore the theme of identity, questioning the fragility/stability of the human condition; evoking nostalgia or hope, provoking personal narratives into shared dialogues ● Lucy Whitford works in print, ceramics and installation, using the pre-existing relationships we have with everyday objects to explore our response to small moments that lead to irreversible change.

Ellipsis is curated by Lucy Whitford and Laura Bushell.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Little White Lies Interview: Shirin Neshat for Women Without Men

Having cemented her reputation in artistic circles with her work in photography and video installation, Iranian-born artist Shirin Neshat has struck out into cinematic territory with her first feature film, Women Without Men. Taking a preoccupation with the role of women in the Islamic sphere from her art, Neshat’s film brings together the fates of four women against the British-American backed coup of 1953 to overthrow Iran’s democratically elected government.

Engaging with a period of Iran’s history that is often overlooked in the West, whilst bringing together influences from her Persian upbringing and her time in the US studying and working as a conceptual artist, Neshat’s film radiates a fascinating mix of political engagement, existential musings and stunning aesthetics... (read more)

Friday, 11 June 2010

Little White Lies Review: Tacita Dean's Craneway Event at Frith Street Gallery

Trained as a painter, Tacita Dean has nevertheless become better known as a filmmaker over the course of her artistic career, but perhaps ‘painter with a camera’ might be a better way of describing her. With a compelling body of work marked out by an insistence on using 16mm film and a pensive, deeply still style, Dean is one of the UK’s leading moving image artists. No wonder then that her latest film commands the Frith Street Gallery... (read more)

Friday, 7 May 2010

More squares

Sensing a theme? These are random images, but I like what happens when they're displayed sequentially.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Sketchbook: tonal squares

Squares and graphite - two of my favourite things. Playing around with tone and mark making in my sketchbook.
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