Monday, 16 July 2012

A Mini Retrospective and Kidnapping a Banker

A Mini Retrospective is the recent duo show of mine and Twinkle Troughton's work.  Spanning 6 years, the exhibition features previously unseen works and a selection from the back catalogue.  The show was held at A-side B-side Gallery July 5th - July 19th (The art space and studios I recently established with Catherine Magnani).  Although it is now officially closed to the public the work will still be installed for the next couple of weeks, and you are more than welcome to make an appointment to come and see the show.

Although retrospectives traditionally come at the end of an artist's career, both myself and Twinkle felt that we wanted to put on a retrospective exhibition.  From a personal perspective the opportunity to see works from 2007-2012 all assembled in the same room (in roughly chronological order), was really helpful.  Being able to have an overview of the progression and different areas of interest I have been exploring helped me to re-assess where I am now with my work and where I want to go next.  From the audience point of view we both felt it would be really interesting for people to see the development of our ideas, and chose to install the show in a chronological way to reflect this, we also produced an accompanying catalogue in true Tate style! The catalogue offered insight into each and every piece in the exhibition, this will be available to view online very soon.

Myself and Twinkle work as individual artists but we share similar motivations and creative concerns, social and political themes dominate the exhibition, illustrating our quest to highlight, expose and question, and to bring contemporary issues to the forefront.

Kidnapping a Banker

Although we work separately, we occasionally collaborate on interactive art pieces, for the exhibition me and Twinkle decided to Kidnap a Banker.  Similar to our previous collaborations 'Opinionated Objects' and our Traffic Warden free art giveaway, Kidnapping a Banker was all about public interaction and in this case responding to the issue of the economic crisis.  We waited outside RBS with some fishing nets and a sack, capturing a banker and holding him to ransom for the duration of the private view.  On arrival guests were given Tinsel & Twinkle bank notes, and asked to write their thoughts, solutions and opinions about the recession and the banking situation onto these notes, which were then pinned around the banker forming an insightful display which developed and grew throughout the exhibition.  It was all very tongue in cheek, and it was not about having a vendetta against bankers - far from it, the banker kidnap was all about bringing an issue which is forefront in the media and in politics, into an artistic arena.  To encourage debate and to give people the opportunity to voice their feelings and opinions in an arena which is ultimately about the freedom of expression.

We will be gathering the bank notes together and documenting it all online shortly, there are some fascinating and insightful comments.  It was quite an amazing coincidence that the Barclay's scandal and the rigging of the libor rates became headline news that same week! meaning that feelings and thoughts surrounding the banking situation were forefront in people's minds.

The exhibition was in support of Shelter, a charity providing not only help for the homeless but housing advice, we chose Shelter because they are a wonderful charity providing support to people who's lives have been directly affected by this recession. The show was featured in Zeitgeist Magazine, FAD and Hackney Gazette, you can also read interviews with us on Run Riot, Trebuchet and Amelia's magazine.


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