The Olympic Torch relay on Grove Lane.
"I’m so grateful for the digital technique - so grateful I don’t have to spend half my life in the darkness".
Augustinas, a visual artist from Lithuania is on the shortlist for The 2012 Woolgather Art Prize. His work consists of dreamlike scenes in sharp-milky black and white photography. These large scale, panoramic ‘simple inkjet prints’ feel real; comfortable despite the darkness and sometimes awkward, uncomfortable imagery.
The works lighting, detail and realism fools us in to thinking these are real moments photographed by the artist but it’s only when making sense of the image that the fairy-tales start to emerge. In fact, this series is the result of 7 years of documentary photography - consisting of imagery taken from over 1000 of his own negatives scanned and composed digitally.
"I always knew I wanted to make compositions" explains Augustinas "to compose [an image] rather than take".
"Creating these [works] feels much more like working on a painting. Digital gives you control to save and come at it again later".
With inspiration and great passion for the works of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Man Ray as well as the works of surrealist photographer Philippe Halsman, Augustinas’ confident and greatly detailed works are obvious labours of love, each one perfectly composed; sometimes busy with frequent anecdotes, sometimes more simple with stark narrative.
"You have to find images that match, or don’t match, or fall together in a way that’s unexpected" he told us before describing the process of searching though the negatives as "crawling through a mass of imagery". "Sometimes you just can’t find that thing”
The images above are hints of his four of his works which are currently on show at The Woolgather Art Prize, taken from his series ‘Requiem for a Post-Soviet Dream’.
Sneak peak at the @WoolgatherArt Prize! With #Precious behind the bar and screen-printed posters! Can’t wait for the opening event tonight, kicking off at 6pm!
Annie, Chris and John have been working their socks off to ensure tonight’s opening will blow the rest away! It’s set to be bigger and better than last years, and last years was ridiculously good!
26 Artists have been selected to exhibit this year. The building is amazing. You get to chose the winner. Everyone is lovely. There’s literally no reason not to be there.
The Loft, Cross York Street. Just behind Co-op opposite Leeds City Bus Station.
"The overall aim of the Leeds Art Map is to bring together as much information about the cultural events in Leeds and present them using a simple, easy-to-access interface". Great idea @Leedsartmap!
LMU Artists: Bozena Grygoriew - Graphic Arts and Design. Stacey Tempest - Fine Arts.
A quick example of two of the works currently on the schools site and a hint of things to look forward to at the LMU Final Show.
Claire is a cheerful, bubbly and very inspiring Leeds based Artist who has been shortlisted for this years Woolgather Art Prize. This interview from Leeds College of Art is a quick glimpse in to her lovely personality and includes a description of the piece she will be submitting.
"I’m really interested in skill. I want it to be good - well made".
Claire is among 25 artists shortlisted for 2012’s Woolgether Art Prize at The Loft in Leeds. Her piece, ‘Hair Brush’ floats upon a white background on a first floor wall and draws instant attention.
'Hair Brush' is composed of 416 human hairs of varying length and colour suspended from the tip of a rounded, wooden paint brush, entirely made by the artist herself. Despite it's small size and apparent neutral tones, the piece holds attention and almost insists that questions are asked.
"This was a project about identity" Claire explained, "I looked through my cards and counted all the numbers that could be used to identify me. There were 416!". "I knew wanted to use this number for something".
Describing identity further she acknowledged that hair is often a key feature of a personality. Colour, length and texture all play a key part in our recognition of another; ”I wondered what people would think of me if I didn’t have such big hair”
This process of thought resulted in the idea of collecting 416 hairs from 416 different people. It was important to Claire to ask permission for the hair which she gathered in small, plastic bags each with a name written on the side. “[It was} part of my courage to speak to people… My housemates tell me I’m sociable and that’s why I don’t have any time. This project meant I could talk to everyone”.
Recalling collecting a hair from a shop keeper whilst buying a birthday card for a friend, Claire’s face shone. Other hair donations came from people who worried she would frame them for a crime or use the hair to clone but overall the happy memories of talking to and including strangers in her project resonates through the Claire and her work.
"That’s why I like interactive work - it helps start conversations with people".
You may have seen me welcoming you in at the opening of The Woolgather Art Prize. In fact, it was so busy that I didn’t get chance to see the work in show! Over 700 people visited between 6 and 10.30pm. A very busy, very fun and very chatty night. The exhibition is open for a month - with artist talks throughout.
Just seen @carla_moss exhibition at MunroHouse. Beautiful, beautiful pieces made with Graphite, Pins, Varnish and various other media on card and paper. “Water is a dominant and vital part of nature and when it recedes, it leaves it’s imprint”. Carla Moss is a Leeds based artist inspired by our relationship with the environment and the process of change that happens over time in the landscape. Here’s one of my favourite pieces.
Although the Carla Moss exhibition is now over, @Cafe164 is still very much worth a visit with a gallery to one side, really lovely coffee and comfy sofas. I’m looking forward to my next visit!
Information from Leeds University Union: “If you live in the Headingley, Hyde Park & Woodhouse or Kirkstall wards, check out our videos of the candidates talking about themselves and why you should vote for them”
On May 3rd the people of Leeds are being asked to consider whether they wish to have a vote for an Elected Mayor - I acted as ‘roving-mic’ for this event and struggled not to hog it for myself and ask tons of questions. This link directs you to information about who was on the panel and further links of interest. Have a look at #LeedsMayor on Twitter for the opinions from the event.
On the 8th June 2012 Broadcasting Place will be the venue for the Leeds Metropolitan School of Art and Design’s final show. This will run over two days and will showcase the work of graduating students covering everything from Contemporary Art Practices, Graphic Arts, Architecture and everything in between.
There are over 350 students spanning eight separate courses, each currently focusing fully on creating their best work, summing up their studies and looking to the future.
It’s for these reasons that I am immensely happy to have been chosen to work alongside Emma Bearman from CultureVultures and two other students on a voluntary social media internship to spread the word and delve deeper in to the work of the people exhibiting this year.
Alongside this I will be discovering other events happening in and around Leeds, speaking to other artists and generally dunking my spoon in to the warm, runny custard of my local art scene and taking a big ol’ taste.
(If you don’t like custard here’s some other comparisons: ‘Jumping in to the river of - and taking a good ol’ swim’, ‘Sticking my nose in the wine glass of - and taking a big ol’ swig’, ‘Learning more about my local art scene’. Maybe I should have just written the last one.)
I have written blogs before, but not anything I’d ever expect anyone to read so keep me company with your comments and send me links to events - this time I’ll be working hard at being interesting and (hopefully) getting better at blogging as I go.
I am on Twitter, Instagram and other internet places mostly with the name ‘bessinabout’.