Approved: 30.09.2009

Spike Dennis

Artist, Maker, Curator, Arts administrator, Event organiser

Approved: 30.09.2009

I find inspiration in stories, folk tales, mythology and contemporary popular culture. My current area of research has been centred upon the history and symbolism of the Unicorn. The changing status of the unicorn throughout the ages can tell us a lot about ourselves. My recent work has sought to rescue this magnificent imaginary beast from the soft-focus, airbrushed new age mystical image with which

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  • Location: Cardiff, Wales
  • Activities: Higher education, Workshops, Curating, Events management
  • Categories: Curatorial project, Drawing, Film & Video, Installation, Textiles
  • Tags: Embroidery, Stitch, Subversive, Hair, Thread, Unicorn, Folk, Cross-Stitch, Mythology, Sex
 

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    Biography

    I find inspiration in stories, folk tales, mythology and contemporary popular culture. My current area of research has been centred upon the history and symbolism of the Unicorn. The changing status of the unicorn throughout the ages can tell us a lot about ourselves. My recent work has sought to rescue this magnificent imaginary beast from the soft-focus, airbrushed new age mystical image with which it seems to have increasingly become associated. As a symbol of innocence, rebirth and fecundity I strive to explore contemporary society through the unicorn bringing to light issues of gender, sexuality and rites of passage revealing both the beauty and the horror of dreams, myths and fairy tales, the futility of being and the crumbling of innocence. I seek to break down the boundaries between reality and imagination. My practice primarily revolves around process based practices such as drawing and stitch but has recently strayed into the realms of time-based media including performances and video work. Repetitive actions enable me to focus my mind upon those themes and ideas which inform my work as well as contemplating my own self in relation to this world and my work.

    CV & Education

    Qualifications and training

    • 2009 - MA Fine Art, Cardiff School of Art & Design
    • 2003 - BA (Hons) Fine Art Painting, Wimbledon School of Art, London

    Solo exhibitions

    • 2012 - Blessed, Moko, Cardiff
    • 2010 - Pandorum: The Persistence of Memory, The Stairwell Gallery, Durham

    Selected Recent Group exhibitions

    • 2014 - Stitch Fetish 2, The Hive Gallery, Los Angeles
    • 2014 - What is Textiles?, Kalopsia, Edinburgh
    • 2013 - Fibremen 3, Kherson, Ukraine
    • 2013 - What is Textiles?, Kalopsia, Edinburgh
    • 2013 - Once Upon Again, Winns Gallery, London
    • 2013 - Stitch Fetish, Hive Gallery, Los Angeles
    • 2012 - Hemmed In, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes
    • 2012 - Bodies, Cultivate Gallery, London
    • 2012 - Manifesto, The Sho Gallery, Cardiff 
    • 2012 - On The Map, Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, Hastings
    • 2011 - Experiments with Light, Leitzkau Castle, Germany 
    • 2011 - 9x12, Ferencvarosi Gallery, Budapest, Hungary
    • 2011 - 20-21 Visual Art Centre, Scunthorpe, UK 
    • 2011 - Experiments with Art, Galerija Balta, Kaunas Textile Biennal, Lithuania 
    • 2011 - Pre.Sense, Susan Projects, Oxford, UK
    • 2011 - The Vending Machine Project, Galleria Perela, Venice, Italy
    • 2011 - Trans-Siberian Art Centre, Kitchen Projects, Moscow-Beijing
    • 2010 - A Moving Exhibition, Acquire the Arts, London 2010 - A Moving Exhibition, UEL/AVA Gallery, London
    • 2010 - Latitude, Manchester Modernist Society, Manchester 

    Curated Projects 

    • 2013 - Running with Wolves, Stockholm Fringe Festival
    • 2013 - Running with Wolves, Cardiff Design Festival
    • 2013 - Project Cardiff, Milkwood Gallery, Cardiff
    • 2012 - Charmed, Print Market Project/Cardiff Design Festival, Cardiff
    • 2012 - Project Cardiff, The Senedd, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay
    • 2012 - To The Woods, To The Woods..., St Donat's Arts Centre, Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales
    • 2011 - Infographics, The Sho Gallery, Cardiff Design Festival
    • 2010 - Cut-Click Mail Art Project , Milkwood Gallery, Cardiff
    • 2010 - Peculiar Pleasures, Milkwood Gallery, Cardiff, UK Workshops 

    Publications

    • 2010 - A Moving Exhibition (ISBN:978-1-4457-7068-0)
    • 2010 - Mail Me Art: Medium Without a Message (ISBN: 978-0-9566320-0-5)