Monday, 26 October 2009

Sketchbook doodles


I have been drawing doodles in my spare time since working as Curator at The Space.

This was a circumstancial departure for myself as those who know me will be aware of my lack of time and or care towards the technically drawn image.

However I have found appreciation in the relaxation of doodling. I have been designing abstract surrealist doodles comprising of childlike figures interacting with household furniture items for the past few months, without realising or perhaps focusing on references and influences.(the first example "Palleteable" is pictured above)

A friend told me about an artist who drew bold naive figures that were graphic and hard hitting in message...I knew who she meant, yet could not name them!?

Needless to say it was none other than Keith Haring who died of AIDS related complications in 1990 (at the age of 31). I had found my reference point yet the imagery does differ in personal style. Figures are smoother...looser than that of Haring, more fluidity and softness in the contours and primacy of the drawings I am creating, yet there are subtleties in explicit content or interaction between figures. The fact that the figures have no distinguishable features also places a narrative onto the drawings; perhaps encouraging the creative imagination to take ownership over part of the work. Further extending the reference to Haring I have been creating these works whilst being hnds on in a community based arts space therefore intrigued towards alternative setting for art and audience.

I drew a large scale composition onto a pane of glass found in a skip today (dated 26.10.09), deliberately seeking to unite these doodles with my existing concepts within installation. I intend to source a dissused window in a building and reposition the pane back to give it a regenerated existance in society. The drawing combined with an abstract painted rainbow will pay homage to the work of Haring whilst also beginning a new wave to my career embrassing my homosexuality and my interest's in colour and pattern.

Please feel free to comment. I will be investigating turning my sketchbook into a publication in the future....would people be interested in seeing this???
xxxx

Thursday, 22 October 2009

GRAYSON PERRY
"THE WALSTHAMSTOW TAPESTRY"

This new work of Perry's is exceptionlaly detailed and equally as vast spanning almost the entire lenght of one wall in Victoria Miro's top floor gallery (Wharf Road, London).
It is a piece of computer created textile reflecting Perry's childlike yet fully detailed compositions exploring the story of life from cradle to grave.
Again in reference to Perry's drawing style much like his pottery (best known through winning Turner Prize) is highly decorative and beautiful, however requires closer inspection into a melting pot of 'societal discontent'.
Light hearted and comforting mediums have been given a sense of attack in Perry's piece to which other tapestry has done once before, does anyone recall 'The Bayeux Tapestry'!!..need i say more!
Yet again we are faced with war and annomosity, however this time it involves McDonalds, KFC, Oxo, Nestle and many more examples of capitalist consumerism. Perry humourously explores the identity crisis of our modern day lifestyles and approaches both through the selected imagery and text. An example of the humour lies in a river of blood in the tapestry that flows left to right - from the womb to the mouth of a waiting devil - are the words 'Red Bull' which can be associated with our necessity for stimulation.
There is also religious cannotations to the work, not purely reflected through the history of it's predecesor and the fact that many an older person has spent time in church halls creating tapestry coasters and doilies; but in the way the piece has symbolism through it's visual comparisons and stimulus such as the devil and also the largest centralised figure almost acting as a contemporary version of a Madonna and child however the child in todays society is a Channel bag.
look it up ang go for a looksee!!
Hello everyone,

As promised...a small insight into my experiences at a marketing workshop dated monday 19 oct 2009.

This was a full day workshop with David Parish 'international business advisor for creative people', with creative being the opperative word.
Taking place at PAD Shop & Gallery in preston (visit www.padshopandgallery.com) the workshop was invasive regarding the acceptance of a level of responsibility for the effects that ones own personal, emotional and creative attachments can have on a/your business.

As an artist I am self employed therefore consider myself as a business! Granted a business that is diverse in intention and with strands, but nevertheless it is a business which requires updating, reviewing and direction regularly throughout its time period.
This workshop was accepting of creative people as 'Parrish' understands the dynamics of a creative business when compared to a more mainstream level of marketing outlook.
Although the term gallery and art was used in often a generic way, there were however good points to learning an approach towards art that regardless of concept or heirachy, is intended for inevitable sales.
I am through to chapter 6 in David Parrish's surprisingly well layed out and concise book titled 'T-Shirts and Suits', which is well worth a read through if you are indeed a creative business or individual. Alternatively you could visit David Parrish's site and receive a copy of the e-book, www.davidparrish.com.

It was interesting to me to see creative people discussing and communicating on a business level as apposed to aesthetical concerns of what I have now discovered as 'operational marketing' (that which is tangiable in the form of flyers, logos, colour schemes etc etc). I have always thought of myself to have a borderline ineptitude for generating publicity and more importantly strategically understanding the aims and objectives of what I want my work to achieve for me, however this open and informal setting made me realise of other peoples fault and achievements in comparison. In no disrespect to individuals I was able to place myself in a position which highlighted my ability to communicate in a marketable way and until now I had not realised this was partially subliminal and natural within myself, which now just needs to be nurtured and acknowledged more directly.
I was the only individual specifically concerned with a conceptual contemporary art career with my primary 'customer' ideally being placed in a contemporary gallery space or art organisation setting, therefore there was concern over my self titled marketed name being 'A Bloody Good Artsit'.
My instincts tell me that in order to generate an audience you must part compliment them and also part annoy them in some way. Why do we always fall for people who criticise us?, why do we like cheekiness in people?, because they dont just give us what we want and therefore it makes us respond more passionately, whether for or against it doesnt matter as you have nevertheless interacted with the 'product' (meaning my installations, mixed media art works)!

To call oneself 'bloody good' is yes slightly pretentious in one regard, yet is strangely humble at the same time as if we didnt think we were good at making something then we wouldnt venture out and turn ourselves into businesses. If it isnt a hobby then it has to distinguish your from your competition in some way, I decided to be honest about my feeling towards the work I create and to say something is good. It is a choice to stand by my product and also have a little fun with branding and personna of an artist.
Grayson Perry is a prime example of an artist with an alternative personna that is still very much representational as a whole as apposed to deliberate P.R.

Keep an eye out for any other potential events held by Parrish he is a good communicator.

xxx

Sunday, 18 October 2009

A night out gone marvellously wrong

I had an excellent evening in Manchester in Saturday at Contact theatre where a new rap opera was performed titled 'Marcus the sadist'.
There were many levels to this piece from controversy, humour, vocal and performance talents that all juxtaposed together (alongside clever technical and musical inputs) in order to deliver a raw yet fully coherent piece of Theatre that fully promotes the achievements of british urban, rap culture.

The after party was not necessarily linked to 'marcus the sadist' but I had a blast. Sticking around at Contact you realise the hub that it is and sustains. Live dance performance showcases from multi faceted individuals were accompanied and led by improvised musical backing; providing a late night repertoir that gripped me and my fellow guests.
I tried to trick my friend into getting on the dancefloor and 'busting some grooves' but I had the misfortune of being misunderstood in my quest and was escorted onto the floor myself!.
Needless to say with only two amateur dramatic performances under my belt and no dance training I was put on the spot!. Ever the professional I pretended and went with it.
It was a great release to get up there and move to uncertain music...a total appreciation for being out of control.
I enjoyed it thoroughly and would not hesitate to do it again.
Have a look for contact theatre's website and see when there next similiar event is and get your flappy arms legs and hips down there!!!!

On a less important note I spotted sunita from coronation street and also kimberley from Girsl Aloud!....Perhaps the girls need a chubby cute backing dancer/artist/curator blah blah for their next video !?

Perhaps not...sorry girls im too busy!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Gallery exhibition



THE SPACE

'OUT & ABOUT'

13TH OCT-13TH NOV

22 CANNON ST, PRESTON

(off fishergate main highstreet opp Topshop)

As curator for this venue we have hosted the largest collection of art works to date in this current exhibition. From art produced through workshop programmes and collaborations in the studio it showcases the range of accesibility the venue has and what is produced through this contemporary art facility. Established and emerging artists exhibit there latest pieces in order to create an inclusive and experimental space that is unique and the first of its kind in Preston.

The work pictured is an art piece by myself titled 'I think you left something', a site specific installation that has responded to the safe found in the gallery wall and also displays casts of discarded objects taken from the rear of the gallery. The audience enters the space and physically interacts with this piece as their feet stand on the red carpet feature. Upon entering the gallery you are instantly confronted with the art, whilst witnessing the artist hand held inquisitively about to knock at the safe door; reminding us of those 'things' treasured or thrown and how without consequence or indeed questioning value, our behavioral attitudes in a consumer society will begin to consume the fantasical elements of everyday hopes and dreams.

Other works include an installation of photgraphic images by collaborative team Joanna Greenen & Victoria Johnson, whose piece 'den for the dissused' reflects their temporary refurbishment of the rear of the venue in August 2009. The images archive the artist's time and moments of adaptation to a previously derelict area whilst also promoting hope of regeneration through a preconceived long term project which will see the artist's inhabit further dens for the dissused across Preston

Andrea Fisher is an artist and illustrator based in the Manchester area who for The Space has produced 'Tree of Life'. Standing proudly within the gallery the artist's hand made tree made of iron wire and copper sheet metal is a marvel; interchangeable in time and aesthetic appeal as the indoor autumnal tree takes on new life when placed in an environment suited to its natural counterpart. The iron wire will rust providing us with a sumptious brown trunk, whereas the copper leaves will blossom into shades of green, It sits as an industrial sculpture yet holds emotion and life in its roots that gives the audience a feeling of optimism and intrigue as the tree develops.

There are many more works on show with several weeks left to view the pieces.

Opening days will be mon, tue and saturday 10-5pm.

WEBSITE

Garth Gratrix: A Bloody Good Artist website is now up and running.
Please have a look and feel free to feddback and comment on anything you like or find confusing.

I hope to use this site as a formal promotional tool for my art and the services I can provide as a contemporary visual artist.

www.garthgratrix.com

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

I have just assisted in the creation of a new 'zine' for Preston.
Artist Matthew Livesey (a member of New Arts North West in which I curate), has developed BRUCE! a new zine that will document and promote the artistic life of Preston.
Providing review based articles, personal opinions and doddles and sometimes the darn right wacky BRUCE will be a great addition to the art scene in Preston.
The name for this hand made zine came from a eulogy written by a man named Bruce, that was found on the streets of Preston back in 2004.
It is a prime example of art existing without us knowing its ever taken place, but with BRUCE's help and inspiration we can get closer to being aware of such delights.

Issue#1 has been released this week and will now be produced every month indefinately.
Bruce has inhabited many spaces already, from coffee shops, book stores and galleries...so keep your eyes pealed and perhaps grab hold of a limited edition Bruce in the near future!!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Contents May Vary presents....ANTIFREEZE
4th July 2009
12-7pm
CHIPS Building, New Islington, Manchester

Hi,

I have exhibited within this Contents May Vary exhibition with my touring body of work
'Have Art Can Travel'.
It featured over 70 artists and showcased new settings for art and development for many talented and emerging individuals.

My work was designed as an installation of objects that would move and respond to the environment throughout the event. Placing objects of comfort and familiarity within changing spaces from kaotic to stranded to baron, in order to experiment with perceptions of reality dependant on context and circumstance.

The shabby chic facades of my reworked objects often have a Vogue quality with subtle tonal differences between the materials I place together. They almost become props for a new existence and an opportunity for previously discarded matter to be spotlighted with an artist as their new owner.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Garth Gratrix: 'A Bloody Good Artist'.... IS BACK!!!

Hello everybody...

I am really sorry I have not updated the site in a while.

I am currently creating a new website for my work which will include all the latest work that I have been creating and involved within.

Here is an update..............

The Chrysalis Project: Target Well Being and Big Lottery funded, devised by Bluestreak Arts, check out www.bluestreakarts.net for more information. I am lead artist for both Culture & Diversity and Identity & History strands to this project.

Creative Links 3: Again have a look at www.bluesteakarts.net ,this is a long term project working with mental health service users in Preston (NW England) to deliver a creative delivery programme to engage and enthuse. I will be running a new series of workshops within 3D disciplines for 3 months from June.

The Space: A new facilty in Preston (NW England) acting as a community space, gallery and studio space for emerging artists to develop and deliver a comprehensive catalogue of exhibitions. I provide artistic and curatorial services for The Space working cosely with other artists to develop their skills and understanding of multiple art disciplines to challenge both them and also the audience. Next exhibition event will be June 8th which will feature a vast range of Photographic material from artists and community groups A local youth group provide music for the preview events and create a warm and friendly, but contemporary space for all who love art and getting together.

Have Art Can Travel: A self instigated body of work which sees art works made to fit and travel within a vintage leather suitcase to new audiences. The touring body of work provided new venues and opportunities for both artist and audience to explore and engage with art in all its facets.

Once Upon A Street: This one day art workshop is part of Manchester Prides programme of events and will see a collaberation between myself and artist Liz Collier to work with the LGBT community of Manchester and generate a unique 'one word story' taking single words from each communiyt member to montage together.

Take Care for now

xxx