Great Peter Street Installation
We all like to personalise our working environment, but don’t always have the opportunity to do so. So when invited to propose an exhibition for Arts Council England’s national office, we came up with the idea of using the Axis Artist Directory as a starting point for the display, but giving Arts Council staff a say in what hangs on their walls.
We wanted to reflect the great artists at work around the country. An online vote took place with Arts Council staff tasked with choosing one artwork from each of the nine English regions. The selected work will live in their offices for eighteen months from July 2010.
View the works included in the exhibition:
Created over a long period of time using a simple spirograph kit, Lesley Haliwell’s drawings are feats of endurance. This apparently playful exercise in pattern-making is the outcome of a painstaking – and at times even painful – process.
Haliwell’s drawings raise awkward questions about agency and authorship. At the same time they delight and dazzle the eye, showing what can be achieved with the painterly qualities of the humble biro pen.
Catherine Bertona makes interventions in existing sites, objects and materials in order to uncover and re-animate their history. Her work often re-connects with traditional craft practices and implicitly celebrates the everyday rituals of women’s lives.
In these three pieces she superimposes her own image on photographs of early twentieth century interiors which she found in Manchester City Archive, imagining what it would be like to inhabit that bygone world of leisured domesticity.
This photograph documents Night Stations, a series of site-specific light installations set in the nocturnal landscape. The artist’s interventions trace the contours, paths, landmarks and boundaries which tell the story of man’s interaction with the natural environment, thereby making visible by night what often lies unseen during the day.
Monkhouse is a founder member of Arts in the Peak, which campaigns for and promotes the arts in rural areas.
Andrew is known internationally for his holograms and light-based installations, which have been exhibited in many parts of the world.
Cut Column is based on a holographic monoprint made in 1989 and now held in a collection in Germany. It takes the original column-like gestural 'scribble' and uses a micro-fine beam of laser light to 'excise' the drawing from traditional watercolour paper. The result is an abstract composition in which the marks are, paradoxically, registered by their absence.
Mounted slightly in front of the picture plane, the cut-out shapes take on an illusion of depth, moving us further still from the artist’s first calligraphic marks on paper more than twenty years ago.
Borrowing freely from the history of aristocratic portraiture, she creates a cast of sitters whose appearance is entertainingly transformed by the addition of such materials as sequins, stickers and glitter. The artist’s titles underline this irreverent mixing of high and low culture, and reflect her fascination with the aesthetic conventions that govern the formation of taste.
Lock's regular blog at www.hayleylock.com
records the daily demands and excitements of her life as an artist.
Rachel Thorlby draws on late eighteenth and early nineteenth century portrait and landscape traditions, while often using images culled from the internet as her starting point.
By combining and collaging elements from different sources, she creates images which hover between realistic representation and invention. This playful tinkering with historical and other material complicates the viewer’s reading of her work - as if a lesson in art history has gone strangely and inexplicably wrong.
Sin Mui Chong-Martin's densely worked pencil drawings combine botanical observation with anthropological enquiry. Having grown up in close proximity to the Malaysian rainforest, she is fascinated by the intricate structures and growth patterns of plants.
She renders her subjects with painstaking exactitude, looking, selecting, collecting and recording with an almost curatorial obsessiveness. She is also fascinated by the cultural and symbolic dimension of botanical history.
Cross delights in defacing anodyne source material - for example knitting patterns from the 1970s - and turning it into something altogether more troubling. With its references to violence and the paranormal, his work hints at the darker side of suburban life. Even as we laugh out loud, we are uncomfortably aware of a sinister subtext.
As the artist Alison Sharkey has observed, Cross introduces “… that haunting fear that horror is just waiting for us all around the corner or when we next catch our reflection admiring that new cardigan in the mirror.”
Stansbie's work explores the relationship between sculpture, photography and film and the transformative effect of working with the same subject across different media. She often uses the random connections generated by internet search engines to suggest a narrative for her work.
In Spitfire Beach she subverts the systematic instructions supplied with Airfix aeroplane kits to create a series of images that are once nostalgic and faintly sinister.
“I have discovered there are some very serious Airfix people out there”, she jokes. “I may get lynched by a gang of grey plastic miniature weapon-wielding fanatics. If this does happen I would like a coffin made from Airfix, where the undertaker has to break the individual sections and parts off the frame and glue it together.”