Friday, 4 November 2011

The Title Art Prize is well underway

The Title Art Prize [BLANKSPACE]
28 October - 27 November 2011, BLANKSPACE, Manchester

THE TITLE ART PRIZE: 28 October - 27 November 2011
EXHIBITION LAUNCH: Thursday 27 October (6-9pm)
AWARDS NIGHT: Saturday 12 November (6-9pm)
BLANKSPACE, Manchester
Free Entry to all Events
The Title Art Prize Press Pack (Click to Download)

(See below for further information)
Bartosz Beda | Christopher Bethell | Anne Charnock | Jamie Crewe | Nick Davies | Lisa Denyer | Hannah Devereux | Joe Doldon | David Dunnico | Susan Francis | Rowena Harris | Calum Johnston | Ami Kanki | Ka Wah Liu | Laura Yolanda Lowe | Kit Mead | Liz Murray | Sachiyo Nishimura | David Ogle | Stella Ouzounidou | David Sargerson | Mark Selby | Richard Stone | Liz West | Jacqueline Wylie

To celebrate 5 years of supporting emerging practitioners, Blank Media Collective is launching an important new art prize in Manchester featuring the nation’s top emerging visual artists.

Blank Media Collective’s Director, Mark Devereux says; “The Title Art Prize encompasses the excitement, support and commitment we [Blank Media Collective] have for emerging practitioners. With works spanning painting, photography, video, installation and sculpture the exhibition showcases some of the best emerging talent from throughout the UK. In the first 2 weeks of the exhibition we are inviting visitors to vote for their favourite piece, with the winning artist receiving the prestigious People’s Choice Award.

I am very excited about the launch of The Title Art Prize this year and sure it will become one of the most recognized art prizes in the coming years. Signaling the end of the first full year at BLANKSPACE and Blank Media Collective’s fifth year, I am proud to be leading such an energetic and forward-thinking organisation working with passionate and talented artists. We are incredibly grateful to our sponsors (ASK Developments, Sandbar and Fred Aldous) for making this and our continuing work possible.”

With a panel made up by Northern Art Prize winner (2009) and Tate Britain exhibiting artist Paul Rooney, Cornerhouse Exhibitions Coordinator Tomas Harold, Arts Council England Relationship Manager Neil Harris, independent Curator Alex Hodby and Sandbar Director Stephen Gingell, the winning artist will receive £500 along with a solo exhibition supported and curated by Blank Media Collective. Three other artists will receive cash prizes aimed at helping to benefit their future creative practices and the winner of the People’s Choice Award will receive art materials and equipment.

“Its great to see artists being pro-active in collectives such as Blank Media. In difficult times such as these we need to pool our resources and help each other as much as we can. I hope Blank Media projects such as The Title Art Prize will provide much needed experience and exposure to artists from the region and beyond.” Paul Rooney

Blank Media Collective has been a constant source of inspiration, support and promotion for thousands of artists both throughout the UK and Internationally ever-since it was formed by Director, Mark Devereux in 2006. Showcasing exhibitions, live music & performance, workshops and a monthly online magazine; Blank Media Collective’s dedicated volunteers are giving creatives much-needed opportunities during difficult times for many creative organisations.

The Title Art Prize launches at BLANKSPACE on Thursday 27 October (6-9pm) with the opportunity for visitors to vote for their favourite piece of work. The winner, three runners-up and People’s Choice Award will be announced on Blank Media Collective’s fifth birthday on Saturday 12 November (6-9pm), with the exhibition continuing throughout and until Sunday 27 November.

BLANKSPACE | 43 Hulme Street | Manchester | M15 6 AW | 0161 222 6164 |

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 1-7pm | Tuesday 1-9pm | Saturday & Sunday 11am-4pm

Participating Artists

Sachiyo Nishimura:
There are certain spaces and objects within cityscapes that, located both inside and at the outskirts of most urban circuits around the world, have become almost imperceptible to the casual viewer. These objects and spaces/non-places coexist anonymously, unrelated to any specific local identity, looking quite similar to each other regardless their specific location. Sachiyo Nishamura’s work proposes a mathematical re-composition of their photographic image, using mixed graphic-manipulation operations that are based on arbitrary mathematical formulae of my design, and then extended on a photomontage that sets out a reconstruction of the urban space. By doing this, Sachiyo aims to put forward another version of the cityscape that is more complex than the real referent image.

David Ogle:
“The immediacy and linear quality of drawing naturally lends itself to my way of working. A pulse of movement is captured across a surface, with viewers becoming implicated in the works time-based process by visually tracing the forms progression from beginning to end. This build up of a constant form often affords my work illusionary three dimensional qualities, with geometric shapes multiplying to create optical depth across a flat plane.

Growing out of this, my sculptural work aims to take the fundamental properties of drawing (with a focus on flatness and line) and transfer these into new spatial situations. Physical spaces are intersected by lines and forms that optically flatten an environment, each step the viewer takes offering a new perspective on extruding entities that seem to discard any kind of three dimensional physicality.”

Rowena Harris:
Harris enjoys floating her work in ambiguity, placing it between seriousness and irony, between functional and decorative, between real and fake, made and found. Harris’ work exudes a pre-ironic austerity and seriousness that is synonymous with modernism, yet through the material language, a relationship with a contemporary saleable style becomes apparent and thus this seriousness becomes questionable.

Richard Stone:
Stone’s work materialises in many forms from objects and installation through to site-specific works. These have been shown at Schwartz Gallery and Beaconsfield in London as well as at further galleries and sites in the UK and abroad. He has recently been selected for the Threadneedle Prize 2011.

Stone takes a distinctive approach to recurrent themes of self and place, absence and transience, from mischievously re-casting the dimensions and structural details of gallery and site-specific spaces to recently engaging viewers as participants through the reenactment of a memorial. Materials and found objects are equally intrinsic and seductively reworked or reconfigured, these have included ornaments engulfed in ghostly auras of smooth amorphous wax, carpets unraveled and suspended, erased antique paintings, earth, flowers and other delicate ephemera. Works often appear in physical and conceptual states of metamorphosis and flux, incorporating sharp contrasts of light and dark or are interwoven with grainy expressions of solitude and stasis. Such works have been described as inherently dark and poetic in their range, oscillating in scale from the intimate to the monumental and as resonating with art historical and popular cultural references, from Felix Gonzalez-Torres’s conceptual work to Peter Saville’s Joy Division album covers.

Mark Selby:
Mark Selby’s practice includes the use of sculpture, installation and film. His work explores notions of failure or dysfunction, particularly in the context of communicative acts, represented though the re-engineering of a space or object. This often develops into large-scale environments that are sinister or disorientating - placing the viewer into the position of physical interlocutor. He was the Recipient of the Clifford Chance / UAL Sculpture Award in 2009 after completing his MA in Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Art. Recent exhibitions include The Electric House, SHIFT Gallery, London., Fig.3, David Roberts Art Foundation, London and Sluice Art Fair. Curatorial projects have included Coming Out of the Woodwork (2010) and Unobtrusive Measures, which will tour to Kunstpavillon, Munich in 2012. Mark is a lecturer in Fine Art at the University for the Creative Arts.

Liz Murray:
Liz Murray works with sculpture, installation, film, video and photography. Recent projects have ranged from large scale, site specific installations (in New York, she tasked the city’s psychics to predict what her new work would look like, rebuilding and filming a full-size cardboard set based on American cop shows), to working with archival material from publications and mainstream cinema of the seventies and eighties. Another aspect of her practice is live art, of which recent performances have included a commission for Highbury Fields in Islington (‘They Came From Nowhere’, 2010), and ‘Hairport’ (2008), at Tate Britain.

Murray completed her MA Fine Art at Chelsea in 2005. Residencies since include Youkobo Artspace, Tokyo (2011), Futura Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague (2010) and The Red Mansion Foundation, Beijing (2006). Recent work has been shown at Karlin Studios in Prague, and Stedefreund, Berlin. Murray lives and works in London.

Liz West:
Liz West makes intensely coloured installation, video and photographic works from arrangements of found materials and consumer goods. In the work objects are densely arranged in orders or enclosed within constructed spaces, such as cupboards and shelves or in containers such as shopping trolleys and cabinets to form compacted colour masses or gradations.

West is interested in the aesthetic of densely packed and richly coloured arrangements and displays found in shops, markets and museums. In her work, she creates sensory experiences in the form of richly saturated installations that immerse the viewer in a kaleidoscopic or optical environment.

Systems of ordering, classification and coding are applied in the development and generation of work. Boundaries are established, which determine both what is collected and where it is collected from. West continually searches and collects coloured objects ranging throughout the spectrum. Only purely coloured objects are gathered, disallowing any items that were made of more than one colour. West is interested in the intense and concentrated colour found in synthetic materials and in artificial light. West is concerned with the psychological influence of colour, its effect and sensory impact upon the viewer.

Lisa Denyer:
Lisa Denyer is interested in capturing a precious, jewel-like quality within my paintings whilst also retaining an abstract feel. She has always been fascinated by natural shapes, silhouettes and simplified motifs. Up until now her practice has solely revolved around escapism; from everyday life into the natural world. However, in recent work her focus has shifted from vast landscape vistas to geometric shapes and patterns. Lisa believes that this adaptation of her practice is due to the fact that, having spent the last two years in a city that she loves, escapism is no longer a major concern within her work. It is aspects of the city, such as repetitive architectural patterns, light reflecting from windows, and shadows cast by buildings that are currently influencing her paintings.

As part of Lisa’s latest project Crystal Abstracts, she has also been looking at microcosm and macrocosm and the idea of universal designs which span the cosmos. She has been especially inspired by crystal formations.

Kit Mead:
Kit Mead’s practice has developed through themes and concepts that focus on the understanding and experience of time and memory. Defined by the temporal qualities and specific conventions of the media he exploits, Kit frequently employs cinematic devices to communicate the structures of his outcomes. His work revolves around site, actions and moments, with the pieces relying on and responding to the environments they are located in.

Ka Wah Liu:
Ka Wah Liu’s work pursues the possibility of connecting an uncanny experience in relation to the unconscious of mankind. As a means to evoke the real in a world where people are dissatisfied with the confined model of culture and to deal with one’s initial lack of completeness, she explores the notions of the grotesque and the uncanny, which is strange, hidden, yet familiar. Adopting the methodologies of the early-aged playing with plasticine, which rubbing, squeezing and dismantling applied, she interrupts, damages and shapes the material, creating an abjected human face or body, to project residues of desire and traces of inherently traumatic experience of a vulnerable self.

Joe Doldon:
Joe Doldon’s practice is material led. This is the starting point for all of his work, which is usually modest and of low monetary value. Work materialises through a process of experimentation, following certain formulas through which he aquaints himself with the properties and the potential of the medium whilst constantly thinking about how to detract the material from its everyday use and aesthetic. Joe aims to make work of an optimistic nature, which operates on a subtle level. Recent work has become more abstract and open-ended. He wants his work to speak in metaphors and become ever more conscious about the viewers role in completing the work, bringing their own interpretation and meaning. Simply how perception and visual experience is unique to each individual is an impetus for making work.

Calum Johnston:
Games are at stake, and in play. In Calum Johnston’s work games function to designate potential ways of perception, which might subsequently be undertaken or may take place only imaginatively. But furthermore the work is characterized by humour, playfulness and in configurations of sometimes-manipulated settings and a well-developed sense of conception. Calum uses normal, everyday materials carefully turned into art works via a distinct deconstruction and reformulation of its simple everyday framework. His intentions are to direct the viewer’s gaze to the details of existence, to invite viewers into a space and challenge them via these transformations, not in order to confuse or alienate, but to suggest connections and open up for other perspectives and on showing the distinctions between art and life.

Laura Yolanda Lowe:
Form, space, light and movement are integral parts that make up the world we see everyday. Laura Yolanda Lowe is interested in what happens in this visual world, what we see if we introspect our visual sensations and concentrate on the actual nature of the information that falls on our retinas. The experience of the visual field is to be aware of the fact that you are seeing. Of the four main parts that make up our visual field, the phenomenon of light, which determines brightness, shadow and colour, is what intrigues me the most. The eye owes its existence to light; our sight is dominated by colour. Colour has no physical properties; scientifically it is a product of light. It is our visual system and the interaction of the wavelengths in physical light which creates our perception of colour. We see colour as the colour of something else, on an object for example, it isn’t a natural thing to see colour simply as itself. By allowing ourselves to see perception as the object we can begin to experience the meta-physical sensations of colour and light. Colour is the place where our brain and the universe meet as an energy.

Nick Davies:
For the project contained within the Title Art Prize, Nick Davies has undertaken the role of a cultural translator. In his practice the ideas drive the form, function and nature of the work undertaken. Most of the work will aim to be a part of the context that creates it, using the gallery space as a place to contemplate the results.

His main interests are our notions of intelligence, creativity, and our values surrounding how we both live, learn and relate to one another. This work is heavily underpinned by philosophy, cultural theory and by his own direct experience within our civic society.

He is heavily influenced by British conceptual artists such as Stephen Willats, Michael Landy, and Jeremy Deller, as well as by the thinking of figures such as Buckminster Fuller and Victor Papanek. Nick currently lives and works from his home in Devon.

Jamie Crewe:
Jamie Crewe is an artist, writer, and nightingale living in Sheffield. His work addresses structures and their discontents, contrasting the formalities of established architectures with acts and objects that undermine, exceed, or desolate them. Using a variety of adopted dialects, including gestures and utterances from cinema, amateur draftsmanship, and the materials of queer theatrics, he builds, empties, disassembles and rebuilds in order to indicate what is elided.

Framed by the structural concerns of the European avant-garde, from Dada to the Lettristes to Oulipo, and moving with the atemporal multiplicity of current technology, he works with video, photography, drawing, objects, texts, and actions to create works that react to each other and their habitat in ways that are lucid, ambiguous, and fragmentary. Particular concerns are gender, desire, and legacies, and the power relations therein. He is also co-organiser of the bi-monthly art event PRISM, which takes place in various venues around Sheffield, and editorial assistant for the Transmission lecture series at Sheffield Hallam University. He is currently introducing André Gide to his sister and building a set of ornamental dog figurines.

Jacqueline Wylie:
Jacqueline Wylie uses a variety of materials: wool, digital photography, text and video to paint and draw with, preferring to use simple readily available materials and processes. Her knitted paintings, such as Constellation or Shipwreck (after Mallarmé), refer explicitly to painting practice, but use wool instead of paint, to blur the boundaries between fine art and craft, and consider how value and worth are assigned to materials and processes.

“It is the ideas behind art that interest me most, not the processes, or craft. Hand knitting, is a laborious, obsessive activity rather like painting; the same movements are repeated endlessly to build up pattern and texture. By deliberately positioning banal, undervalued processes and materials within an art context, I direct the viewer’s attention onto the question of how we assign value to art or craft.”

Much of Wylie’s work is site specific, often made in response to historic buildings and landscapes, drawing on her previous employment as an archaeologist specialising in building conservation and vernacular architecture. In Manchester Time Piece, her most recent work with Tern Collective, Wylie used photography and durational performance to explore ideas of time, movement, dislocation, personal journeys, and the bucolic.

David Sargerson:
The esteemed artist Ivon Hitchens once said that landscape was ‘a peg on which to hang a painting’. “I understand this to mean that although landscape is the inspiration for the painting process it does not necessarily define the outcome of it. Ivon Hitchens used landscape as the genesis for his painting but was not bound to strict representational concerns. Instead the final image is a result of an exploration in to the method of painting itself. The exploration of composition, line, tone, shape, colour and form are also fundamental to my work and portraiture is very much my peg.”

Christopher Bethell:
Christopher Bethell’s current practice places him within the sub-culture of Urban Exploration: exploring what is usually out of bounds. Explorers interpret this in differing ways. Some favour infiltrating the network of drains and sewers deep beneath us, others prefer seeking out ways out onto cranes and the rooftops of city skyscrapers. However, most commonly they explore derelict or emptied buildings: the most popular of these being Britain’s asylums and hospitals.

His work considers the nature of wanting to see the unseen; attempting to evaluate what draws himself and other members of the community to these sites. Christopher tries to communicate the placid atmosphere that is experienced whilst exploring - a feeling that is amplified in such places as (derelict) hospitals in contrast to the noise of active ones.

Photography has changed what is commonly believed to be beautiful. Most would not wish to live (or even be) in these conditions, but once photographed they become an aesthetic fascination. Christopher’s images describe the serene beauty of these buildings that are now devoid of purpose.

Bartosz Beda:
Bartosz Beda has graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2011 and takes influences and inspiration from the world around him. Using his personal expression to develop these concepts into his paintings, Bartosz observes and focuses upon ordinary elements of reality to make synthetic summaries.

Susan Francis:
Susan Francis is a visual artist, born in Belfast but now living in the South of England. Her practice encompasses sculpture, installation and video, often residing somewhere in the spaces in between. It is quiet work, a vocabulary of cast offs, objects, liquids and processes, at times unstable and prone to decay, yet familiar to us all. Peering into the unspoken corners of our condition, the work unfolds as a constant inquiry, an unfinished sentence, a dialogue, if you like, articulated in material, object and space.

Ami Kanki:
Ami Kanki investigates the relationships between people, art and museums and proposes how to encourage people to deepen the engagement with museums and art. Visiting a museum is a contemporary leisure activity. We can choose how to spend our leisure time from many choices such as watching films, visiting amusement parks, playing sports and so on. Ami enjoys all these activities but visiting museums, especially art museums, has a different meaning from other activities for me. She considers that adopting art in our life possibly produces a spiritual influence.

The museum is a place to introduce art works and artists and also a representation of the world surrounded with art. Some people see museums as a church, where they can reflect themselves. Ami empathises with their experience at museums. Visiting museums and seeing art works offer her inspiration for her life. This experience makes Ami interested in museums and would like others to be aware of the power of art.

Stella Ouzounidou:
Stella Ouzounidou tries to reassess the products of our cultural waste. She often uses found objects from eBay or other sources. The notion of memory is somehow always interlinked in her work and she deals with it as an inseparable phenomenon of our everydayness. Collecting, archiving and gathering things is part of Stella’s process and often visible in the execution.

‘Our obsessions with memory functions as a reaction formation against the accelerating technical processes that is transforming our Lebenswelt (lifeworld) in quite distinct ways. [Memory] represents the attempt to slow down information processing, to resist the dissolution of time in the synchronicity of the archive, to recover a mode of contemplation outside the universe of simulation, and fast-speed information and cable networks, to claim some anchoring space in a world of puzzling and often threaten heterogeneity, non-synchronicity, and information overload.’ Huyssen, A. in Gere C. 2006

Hannah Devereux:
Hannah Devereux’s practice is an investigation into the abstraction of landscape. An interest in the extraction of reality from photographic images drives the work she makes. Divisions are a prime element within her work, holding a central role in the abstraction of an image. Her work values boundaries; edges which have the ability to considerably minimise an image, eliminating detail and complications, consequently forming something new which may be so pared down that any reference to its source is lost. The concept of comparison is important; this often manifests in the creation of parallel works. Their partnership calls attention to similarities, distinctions and subtleties, establishing that the smallest differences are able to encourage what the image is and how it may be seen.

David Dunnico:
David Dunnico is a documentary photographer from Manchester. He said of the piece:

“I put the individual breaths together in the order I found them, avoiding any attempt to make the piece melodic or rhythmic, it was supposed to be sounds, not musique concrète”.

Anne Charnock:
Anne Charnock’s art practice encompasses photography, painting, drawing and text-based installations. For her subject matter she turns time and again to her love-hate relationship with technology. Anne has smashed and burned mobile phones before photographing the charred fragments. She has worked with faulty computer printouts and corrupted data files. Anne’s studio has a stash of broken bits of technology, donated by friends and family on the off chance she’ll find a use for them in her art making. One such donation was a faulty point-and-shoot digital camera. Anne worked quickly to master the camera’s errant behaviour and produced eight portraits before the camera failed completely.

Coloured objects needed for new installation work?

Hello everyone,

Instead of telling you about a new exhibition i'm in, today I am asking for your help! I am in the process of making some new, very exciting, large scale installation work in which I need masses of purely coloured objects. I have been collecting purely coloured objects now for a while myself but have nowhere near enough.

Here are the rules and stipulations I set for making this collection:
1. The objects can be any size, no matter how big or small.

2. The objects can be made of any material, ranging from; plastic, cardboard, glass, porcelain, wood, etc. The sky is the limit, use your imagination.

3. The objects HAVE to be purely one colour. Any other colours present on the item (including black or white) means the object does not qualify. However, in the case of objects like domestic bottles, labels can be peeled off or removed to reveal the pure colour underneath.

4. I collect ALL colours and tones with the exception of black, Including: Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, Purple, Orange, Pink, White, Brown, etc.

5. If you a kind enough to gather any objects for me, please hand them to me (or someone who knows me) at either Rogue Artists Studios, BLANKSPACE or my home (all Manchester based).

Thanks everyone...