Thursday 13 August 2015

New artwork to celebrate the refounding of the London Irish Cultural Centre

Practice run: soldering for the first time
A few months ago Collette Mackin, director of the Irish Cultural Centre in London asked me to donate a piece of artwork to help raise money for the redevelopment of the Irish centre in West London, my response was no. Instead I suggested that I would produce a specific piece of art, which reflected the development new centre and its aspirations to promote ground breaking, contemporary culture.

My first thought was to produce a sculpture using recycled building materials from the development of the new cultural centre. But when I met Collette over lunch to discuss the idea she had other ideas. From under the table Collette proceed to pull out a large heavy bag to asking me, “Can you do anything with these”? I opened the bag and peered into it, to find a large quantity of keys. The keys came from the old cultural centre, demolished to make way for the new building. Each key unlocked, doors, cabinets, storage space, lockers, filing cabinets and other locks of other descriptions. I took the bag, not knowing whether I could turn the keys into the artwork that I hand in mind.

Apart from the significance of the keys I also had to deal with the technical aspects of bringing the keys together in a way that was going to be interesting. Keys are 2 dimensional so trying to produce a 3D piece of artwork was not going to be straightforward. One of the underpinning aspect to my technical approach is to use every day objects which are familiar and turn them into artworks that are simple in tone and colour but yet have great depth and perspective. Its about creating simplicity and complexity at the same time in order to draw the viewer in. With this I set about developing the artwork were I created a work with all the above qualities. From a conceptual level I has managed to generate a narrative with the artwork were it could be suggesting that this is the key to unlocking new contemporary culture, something that will be main ambition and driving forces of the new Irish Cultural Centre into the further.

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Walthastow Garden Party 2015

Sat 18 and Sun 19 July 2015
Lloyd Park
Forest Road
E17 5JW

This year I will be working in partnership and participating in this years Walthamstow Garden Party which is produced by the Barbican and Create, and is a Waltham Forest event. The Garden Party is free event which brings together national and international artists.

I will be helping to open the doors once again to the Lloyd Park Studios which make up a packed programme across the whole weekend which will feature music and dance stages showcasing international and local talent, a story pavilion presenting local artists, writers and performers in an uniquely intimate space, stalls and workshops from local designer-makers in the Useful and Beautiful Craft Marquee and the Real Food Festival’s extraordinary range of street food from across the world.

The Lloyd Park Studios sit at the heart of Lloyd Park just to the back of the award winning William Morris Gallery

This year’s Walthamstow Garden Party follows a very popular first year in 2014, which saw 34,000 people celebrate the summer in Lloyd Park. The Barbican and Create once again join forces with Waltham Forest Council to repeat last year’s success delivered in partnership with local organisations.

Monday 4 May 2015

2015 E17 Art Trail

Me and the E17 Art Trail 2015: See link for details

I am pleased to say that I will be part of this years E17 Art Trail. This will be my 5th year taking part in the Trail and I will be opening my new studio to show some of my most recent artwork. My studio is housed in the Lloyd Park Studios behind the Award winning William Morris Gallery.

The preview will be from 6 - 8pm on the 12 June. The studio will be open to the general public on 13 and 14 June from 12 - 6pm. The address is Lloyd Park Studios, Lloyd Park, Forest Road, London, E17 5EH

The E17 Art Trail is now one of the key cultural events in London. Now in its 11th year the Trail has played a vital role in Waltham Forest's cultural profile. The event has created an annual focus for the Borough where Waltham Forest has establish a clear identity were you can feel part of a wider community. The Art Trail has also helped to create a strong argument on the how cultural events and activities can further social and economic regeneration of an area. The major efforts to save and revitalise the William Morris Gallery with funding was secured to bring this now major cultural venue back to life is a central part of cultural regeneration in our borough.

One of the major assets that underpins the Art Trail each year is the artists, of course I would say this because I'm one of the artists. But an art trail wouldn't be an art trail without art and the artists that create it. A lot of personal time and resources goes into producing the artwork and the events that showcase the artwork. We all have personal reasons as artists why we get involved in the Art Trail but I think the common denominator for us all is that the E17 Art Trail is a great way of creating public engagement around our work and practice. The general public has a great opportunity to see some of the best artistic talent in London for FREE, and to buy a piece of cultural at an affordable price.

But the E17 Art Trail wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the efforts of Laura Kerry, Morag McGuire and Cris Thompson and its supporters. On a personnel level the Art Trail has become a major event to be involved in as professional artist and I hope to be involved at some level over the next 11 years.  

After The Fire