The current exhibition commenced in February 2017
Claudia de Grandi
1 Tower View & Control Tower
Claudia De Grandi’s work is a distillation of meticulous study and controlled thought inspired by music and meditation. The canvases Claudia calls moving mediations are to her a private performance of art – acts of body and spirit. When she’s ready, Claudia invites people into her personal space to view her large paintings -active contemplations on abstraction and transparency are expressions of the air we breathe and the nature of transmission through space and time.
In another dimension to her work she also welcomes audiences to be right here, right now, to witness her art as an actual performance -ready to alter their states of mind to look and listen to ‘Visual Sounds’ which are improvisations by Claudia and electronic musician Joshua Tennent.
Music, or ‘arte superior’ as Claudia describes it, is the basis for her art. She was classically trained at the piano at a São Paolo conservatoire where she first realised that music could be an abstraction. She carried these ideas with her when she studied fine art at University of Greenwich and gained a Masters in Transnational Art at the University of the Arts London,the latter, recognised as the main centre study of culture from the post colonial world to its development in a globalised world.
Her large canvases are a process of application and removal, colour on colour, mark making and minimalism. “I might start a painting with a very thin dark layer like black, I will brush it away until it is transparent, and I carry on removing until there’s nothing, then I apply a blue. Applying and removing. I want the viewer to see the colours. At first sight the paintings might seem minimal, but there is a lot going on. There are colours that merge and there are many colours beneath the darkness.” By definition large canvases require movement by the artist, so each work is an act of physicality.
Claudia’s work addresses the universal with her gestural brushstrokes and improvised calligraphy. “It’s about subtlety and being delicate. The human body takes up space. The mind takes up time. How do you paint space? How do you paint time?”
17 Kings Hill Ave & Control Tower
Having grown up in Margate, the unceasing movement of sea and sky have been a constant presence in my life. Their ever changing relationships form scenes and worlds into which my imagination can travel. I explore these elements in oil, varnish and resin.
My paintings always express my interest in the immediacy and emotional expression of colour and brush strokes.. I enjoy spontaneity and the emergence of the unexpected. A recent trip to China and a painting Fellowship next to the Great Wall of China has led to a deepening interest in calligraphy which I am exploring through a series of ink paintings. Many of my ink paintings were inspired by the Great Wall and the ideas from this ongoing series have influenced my paintings on canvas. I like the directness of starting with some fluid brushstrokes and colours and allowing the painting to suggest a place.
There is often an underlying reference to landscapes, cityscapes, and the female form. In particular, mountains have always inspired me and reflect my idea of my paintings being a journey through paint. But often I will start from a memory, word, phrase, or the painting evolves organically into its own world.
"Like the picture surface, colour has an inherent life of its own. A picture comes into existence on the basis of the interplay of this dual life. In the act of predominance and assimilation, colours love or hate each other, thereby helping to make the creative intention of the artist possible."
Botanics (2016-17) is a new series of paintings and drawings from Georgina. The work is inspired by many visits to the glasshouses of the Botanic Gardens in Glasgow. A variety of materials - oil, pastel, pen, crayon, pencil and acrylic - are used to explore the multiple layers and textures of the Gardens. The work considers the juxtaposition between geometric and organic form, converting light and space into a tangible form.
Georgina is a graduate of Edinburgh College of Art and currently lives and paints in Edinburgh.
1 Tower View & 17 Kings Hill Ave
Art is not just for galleries and museums. Art can bring meaning and a sense of place to any public area – transforming that space and becoming a symbolic point of reference in the minds of all.
As an artist, I believe in the simple definition that art is an expression of creative skill and imagination. However, it’s the meaning that it has to the viewer, which is most important. That, along with the accessibility of art in _the public domain is the reason I choose to make art for public spaces.
With over 25 years of experience in producing art in the public domain, I have established a proven track record of managing budgets and deadlines to deliver high quality, site-specific sculpture and functional artwork.
My material of choice is the durable and versatile medium of steel. My motifs are inspired by the inherent beauty of natural forms, which, I create through combining precision laser cut elements with hand forged blacksmithing techniques. Traditional and modern, nature and technology are fused into a space-defining structure designed to become the cherished focal point of a community.
All work is fabricated in my South London studio by myself and a small team of skilled professional makers. When necessary, I can draw on the additional resources of other trusted workshops and suppliers with whom I have developed a close working relationship over many years.
Community engagement has often been the starting point for commissions. I feel it offers the element of chance – inspiring the work through creative collaboration and allowing for questions of reason and role during the process.
Community participation through workshops is an ideal environment in which to attract the influence of wider historical, cultural and social factors.
I find it imperative to research the needs of every project on a case-by-case basis to achieve the best outcome.
A huge source of inspiration in India for me was the Pushkar camel fair, where camel traders gather from all parts of India to trade and sell over 11,000 camels and cattle. Camel traders walk for days to congregate at the loud, colourful, frenetic festival, with the sun beating down and drums booming from the stadiums. Camels are trimmed, beautified and dressed to be sold and take part in shows and tournaments.
Recycling has always featured strongly in my work and I have strived to replicate the camels' fur by using second hand materials; jumpers, blankets and even a onesie!
All of the decorations were hand selected and carted back from Pushkar. My aim for this project was to show my playful side, and essentially create something which people can engage with and enjoy.
42 Kings Hill Ave & Control Tower
British artist Shauna Richardson has received much critical acclaim. Her work has been exhibited internationally and at many prestigious galleries such as Saatchi Gallery, and museums including The Natural History and Victoria & Albert London.
Shauna invented the term Crochetdermy® to describe her realistic life-size animal sculpture created using crochet.
Pieces include ‘Bojo’ Mayor of London Boris Johnson depicted as a blond gorilla. Commissions include a portrait of HRH Prince Harry as ginger baboon and The Lionheart Project - a flagship project for the London 2012 Olympic Games for which over a period of two years she single-handedly crocheted three 25ft lions that toured the UK in a mobile glass vehicle.
42 Kings Hill Ave & Control Tower
I am a London based artist and did my BA in Fine Art at Camberwell School of Art in 1978-1982 where I studied painting and printmaking.
My still lives are based upon photographs taken with a macro lens. I use natural light to create dramatic shadows, therefore exploring my main interests of space, colour and texture. I am influenced by 16th/ 17th century Spanish still life artists.
I work in layers building up the image with varying thickness of paint, allowing each layer to dry before continuing, and finally finishing with glazing. The glazing makes a big difference to the painting as a whole, really bringing out the colour and depth to the finished image.
I also enjoy working in different scales. My work in monotypes which I sometimes use to inform my paintings, creates unexpected textures and marks which are difficult to achieve with oil on canvas. Monotypes are a kind of one-off print and I think of them as small, unique paintings.
6 Alexander Grove, 11 Tower View & Control Tower
Rachel McDonnell is a painter whose preoccupations include light, and our experiences of it, paying homage to the minutiae/neglected things in life through the medium of painting, optical trickery and pattern. Beyond that she had interests in philosophy and politics, feminism and the environment, amongst other things, all of which feed into her work. She tries to amalgamate thoughts and ideas about art and the world into something which draws the viewer in, and might lead them both to appreciate the work as an object in itself, and also to think about both the work and its subject.
Rachel studied for her Foundation Course in Fine Art at City and Guilds art school, before going on to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics at St. Anne’s College, Oxford, where she won a scholarship. The ideas encountered during this time continue to inform her work, specifically in terms of the links between politics, philosophy and art.
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