Image: Stu Allsopp

Davy & Fairies. Image: Stu Allsopp

 

O3 Gallery’s current show, ‘Underland’ is an exhibition of contemporary fine art by various artists. Taking its inspiration from established stories such as those found in Greek mythology, ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and the more contemporary ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’, O3 Gallery’s Underland explores the imagined terrain, characters and occurrences of the underworld.

Bristol-based husband and wife team Davy and Kristin McGuire are one of the artists exhibiting. Together they run an award-winning studio utilising the skills learnt from their different backgrounds: Davy’s in theatre and film, Kristin’s in dance. The duo design unique visual experiences through art installations and theatrical projects, producing delicate artworks built with fragile materials that are momentarily brought to life through digital projections and silent storytelling. The McGuire’s piece in Underland is  ‘Jam Jar Fairies’, a magical installation in which fairies are trapped in glass cages, knocking to escape…also known as a video sculpture to the less whimsical. We asked the pair some questions to find out what makes them tick:

How does it feel to be part of the O3 Gallery’s Underland exhibition? 

As soon as we saw the title and the description of the exhibition we thought: This is us! It‘s so fitting that we even considered asking you if we could use some of the copy for describing what we do.

Career-wise you come from quite different backgrounds, how has this influenced the work you produce? And who is responsible for what?

For every project we basically take on the roles that naturally appeal to us for the creative process of that particular piece of work. There are no fixed roles because every new work usually requires us to learn new skills and we find out who wants to do what as we go along. We think our different personalities probably influence our work more than our different backgrounds because they really compliment each other. When Kristin says that something is not possible because of time/budget and resources Davy says Let‘s do it!

The piece on display in the Underland exhibition is ‘Jam Jar Fairies’, but trapping nymphs in vessels is just one aspect of your work, could you describe some of your favourite pieces to us?

Davy‘s favourite piece is called Pinboard which really needs to be seen to be understood. It‘s a pinboard full of blank pieces and bits of paper which are mapped with video projections. The projections bring each paper to life in order to tell the story of a couple through a love song. It was one of our first pieces of work and people still really take to it. Kristin loves The Haunted Dress which is an installation in which the dress of a pretty malevolent fairy queen comes to life with video projections and sound. It‘s a really haunting experience of the ghost of a very beautiful woman telling the audience how she seduced and then abandoned a man who subsequently went mad.

Image: Stu Allsopp

Jam Jar Fairies. Image: Stu Allsopp

What inspired you to work in your chosen mediums, combining fragile detailed paper creations with projections, for instance? 

Hmm, projections are great for creating magic, for adding a surreal layer to the existing world. It‘s the perfect technique for the worlds we are interested in creating. We love the way paper takes light, so the combination of paper and projections was just a great match.  

Would you say your work draws on the same themes as some of the other pieces in Underland, on ancient mythology and historic folklore?

Oh yes! We love the combination of dark and beautiful and a lot of folk tales are about exactly that dichotomy.

Underland runs until the 13th July, so be sure to glimpse the fairies before they disappear back into the ether.

For enquiries about Davy & Kristin McGuire’s work please contact O3 Gallery:

E: info@o3gallery.co.uk

T: 01865 246131

To find out more about the current exhibition, visit O3 Gallery or keep an eye on our social media channels:

Twitter @o3gallery

Facebook O3Gallery

For more about Davy & Kristin McGuire visit: http://www.davyandkristinmcguire.com/

statue1

Underland exhibition at the O3 Gallery, Oxford

Underland is the current exhibition at the O3 Gallery which runs until Sunday 13th of July. For this occasion, the gallery has made available its evocative and dreamy walls (which once belonged to Oxford Castle’s prison) to give life and space to an alternative world, made by wild animals and dense forests inspired by the stories of Greek mythology and historic folklore, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Pan’s Labyrinth.
Through their artworks, many contemporary and international fine artists together depict the wonders that lie behind the shady but highly fascinating landscapes of an underground and secret world – such as the one which Alice tumbled upon down the rabbit hole. Interesting to underline is that the exhibition actually takes inspiration for its name from the first manuscript of Lewis Carroll’s novel, titled Alice’s Adventures Underground; whose protagonist now plays the role of guide within this unconventional and unique journey through Underland.

At first, it is very easy for our attention to be immediately attracted by two jam jars located at the lower entrance of the gallery, each one containing a fairy. Fluttering and tapping their wands on the glass of the jars, the fairies appear to have just been trapped inside this cage and are now trying to escape. Jam Jar Fairies by Davy and Kristin McGuire use not only projection but also sound to create this magical installation: to attract our attention, the mythical creatures create sounds and jingles forming a polyphonic musical composition. Again, it is easy to link the two creatures to Carroll’s novel, in which they appear several times.

'Jam Jar Fairies' by Davy and Kristen McGuire

‘Jam Jar Fairies’ by Davy and Kristen McGuire

The fairies are therefore followed by other mythological characters such as flying donkeys and Minotaur in the form of etchings and pencil drawings by the fine artist and illustrator Benjamin Parker. Through the naïve style of Minotaur Mother, Reclining Minotaur and The Flying Donkey, Parker’s aim is that of representing the perpetual battle between fighting and the acceptance of our animalistic nature. Moreover, displayed in the gallery, is also a cranked clay sculpture showing a mythological figure with the body of a human and the imposing head of a stag. Although at first glance, Last of the Old Ones by Simon Griffiths, may look disturbing and intimidating, by shifting one’s attention to the other works of art in the gallery, it is easy to realize that this is all meant to be part of an evocative scenery which leaves behind a trail of magic and curiosity. The sculpture, located just in the middle of the gallery, seems to act as a guardian of this unknown world.

Furthermore, Underland’s theme can be also felt inside the dense, pristine and enlightened forests as those that can be admired in the Urban Wildlife series by the photographer Patricia van de Camp. Through these photographic prints, the artist depicts wild animals such as hare and deer inside industrial spaces so as to symbolise her alter ego which seems to reflect mixed feelings, from tranquility to alienation and estrangement.

Minotaur1

Work by Benjamin Parker

‘Snow and the Owl’ by Vikram Kushwah

Similarly, other photographic prints through which I found the same hint of nostalgia but in a more dream-like atmosphere are those by Vikram Kushwah. The most striking of these, is certainly Snow & the Owl, which shows a girl sitting in a light green bathtub holding an owl. With her simple garments and flowing hair, the character seems to be at one with the plants that grow behind her. In a sense, it is almost like being the witness of metamorphosis that turns the fairy character into a climbing plant, outlining a certain similarity with the ancient Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo.

Presumably related to Kushwah’s background in fashion photography, the girl and the bathtub are recurring subjects in the artist’s photographic prints.The female character, better seen as an Alice-type figure, is often protagonist of a bizarre and perplexing world such as in the case of Elizabeth & the Bathtub in which a lonely girl is seen to be using a bathtub as an unlikely sailboat exploring a desolate forest.

The exhibition continues up the gallery staircase. The last image you encounter is a photographic print with a hand-lettered phrase which states “Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures”. Leah Flores, photographer and illustrator, seems to adopt encouraging words of this kind so as to spur people into the exploration of the natural world, as can be seen through the dimly lit forest and waterfall which play a background role within the print.

‘Blessed are the Curious’ print by Leah Flores

shop2

Underland themed merchandise in the Gallery Shop.

In addition, the fact that this work is located at the very top of the stairs makes me think metaphorically to the fact that a visitor from the lower part of the gallery has traveled all the way up until he reaches the artwork. Similarly, Alice’s curiosity led her to slip down the Rabbit Hole and discover the wonders of an imagined world. Actually, it is worth going up to the very end of the staircase, because this way you can also access the O3 Gallery Shop, which displays objects dedicated to the theme of Underland.

Here, it is unlikely for our attention not to be attracted by the small gift ideas such as cufflinks, brooch pins and necklaces. Kept in lovely boxes, the cufflinks by Literary Emporium show quotes from much-loved tales often linked to the theme of adventure and travel.  These, together with the more stylized animal-shaped pins and the necklaces by Phillip J. Jones, perfectly recall the delicacy and preciousness of a fairy-tale world inhabited by animals and mythological figures as well as landscapes and surreal atmospheres. And if that is not enough, also mugs, canvas bags, lace and linear wing wire fairies by Rachel Ducker and butterfly artworks from Naomi Greaves are available to purchase: ideal as adornments or just simply to treat yourself.

Cards, jewellery and gifts in the Gallery Shop

Undoubtedly, all the works of art that I could see inside the Underland exhibition at the O3 gallery gave me the feeling of keeping a secret, something that leads the visitor not to stop at the first glance, but rather to keep looking beyond appearances. Underland is meant to overturn the traditional dynamics of the fairy tale to make room for different points of view, leading the public to observe the world in a different way with eyes full of wonder; just like a child would. Moreover, a key role is also played by the emphasizing music in the background, which accompanies the visitor all along the journey into this enchanted world and which feels like it has been composed just for this exhibition.

Fairytale merchandise in the gallery shop

This is exactly what I felt when first walked into the gallery on my first day as an intern. Besides being a visitor, I also felt like the explorer of a mysterious underground adventure in the world that O3 Gallery has created for this occasion. It is fascinating to see how a person of any age can feel a bit like Alice, turning into the main character of an unforgettable journey, and is certainly impossible not to feel bewitched by this experience. As a result, Underland led me to consider the fact that we are never too old for dreaming because imagination and wonder has no age.

By O3 Gallery Intern, Kimberley Wild

Underland will keep its doors open to the public until July 13th so if you would like to experience the exhibition for yourself, do come and explore this fascinating space where you will encounter all the above-mentioned curious characters, artwork and lots and lots more.

For more information, visit our website: http://www.o3gallery.co.uk/

Follow us on twitter @O3Gallery
Facebook: O3Gallery

 

 

Alice LiddellOne summer’s afternoon, 4th July 1862, Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, Reverend Robinson Duckworth and the three daughters of Henry Liddell (the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University and Dean of Christ Church), Lorina Charlotte Liddell (aged 13), Alice Pleasance Liddell (aged 10) and Edith Mary Liddell (aged 8), went boating up the River Thames from Folly Bridge in Oxford to Godstow.

To entertain the girls, Charles Dodgson, an Oxford don and mathematician (b. 1832, d. 1898), narrated a story in which all those present were included. It told of a girl named Alice, who sitting bored on the riverbank with her sister, found herself chasing a rabbit down a rabbit hole and tumbling into an underground world of fantasy and adventure. The girls liked the story so much that Alice Liddell pleaded Dodgson to write it down. Dutifully Dodgson did so, and he finally presented Alice with the finished hand-written manuscript, illustrated by the author himself, on November 26 1864. The title of this story was “Alice’s Adventures Under Ground”.

Alice's Adventures Underground Encouraged by his friends, Dodgson revised and expanded the story and approached John Tenniel to illustrate it. This version, published as “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” in 1865 under the pseudonym ‘Lewis Carroll’, has since become one of the most loved children’s books ever written.

To celebrate that first telling of the story on 4th July 1862 Oxford has created ‘Alice’s Day’, an annual event which has been running since 2005 building up to the 150th anniversary of the publication of the story next year. For this one day, which this year falls on Saturday 5th July, venues across Oxford put on events including talks, tours, music, mad tea parties, storytelling, exhibitions and other Alice- related fun which you can read about on the Story Museum website (http://www.storymuseum.org.uk/whats-on/alice/) and in the special Alice Day newspaper edition ‘Frabjous Times’, on sale at the O3 Gallery.

This year, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the creation of the original manuscript (“Alice’s Adventures Under Ground”), Alice Day will be looking at all things ‘Underground’.

Urban Wildlife II by Patricia van de CampAs such, the O3 Gallery will be hosting ‘Underland’, an exhibition with a young female character as protagonist and which invites the viewer on a journey into a dark world of unlikely characters, bewitching and beguiling, inspired by ancient mythology and historic folklore. ‘Underland’ presents an alternative wonderland, showcasing the work of artists such as Deborah Parkin (Hiding Not Seeking), Vikram Kushwah (The Dark Room) and Patricia van de Camp (Urban Wildlife II) and many others who have been inspired by the notions of childhood, animals and the folkloric genre of fairy tales.

'Hiding not Seeking' by Deborah ParkinOn the day itself (Saturday 5th July,11.30am) storyteller Vergine Gulbenkian will be coming to the O3 Gallery to narrate ‘The fruit that couldn’t ripen’, a tale from Armenia set in the underworld. Gulbenkian has been working on the craft of telling traditional tales since 1991 and has an M.Phil from Oxford University in storytelling amongst Armenians.

Last but not least, the O3 Gallery shop is filled with Alice-related gifts; all of them designed and crafted in the UK. Some highlights include teacup necklaces by designers ‘And Mary’, Alice inspired artwork by Adriana Peliano, and Alice illustrated wallets by ‘Sweetly Wrapped’.

By Lydia Wright

The O3 Gallery Shop
For more information about ‘Alice’s Day’ or ‘Underland'; visit our website or follow us on our facebook page:

http://www.o3gallery.co.uk/o3_gallery_current_events.html
https://www.facebook.com/O3Gallery

Julia Brow CropIt’s the final week of O3 Gallery’s current exhibition, ‘Lo-Fi, a Celebration of Creative Analogue Photography’; a group show featuring the work of 10 different photographers. The exhibition is set across 3 venues; The Jam Factory, the Old Fire Station and of course the O3 Gallery.

As the exhibition draws to a close, we interviewed another of our exhibiting photographers, Julia Brow. Julia is a USA born, London raised student studying Geography (BA) at University College London. Before starting her degree Julia took a gap year, spending three months studying photography at Art College followed by four months travelling, much of which was documented on analogue cameras. Julia describes her interest in photography as mostly artistic, it is the experimentation that she enjoys which applies less to digital photography, and hopes to pursue it further, perhaps post degree.

How does it feel to be part of the O3 Gallery’s Lo-Fi exhibition?

I’m very excited about it. This is the first time my artwork has been exhibited in a gallery and everyone at the O3 Gallery has been so friendly.

As one of our younger artists, with digital being the dominant medium, what drew you to work in analogue photography?

I’ve always been attracted to film photography; it has a sense of nostalgia about it. When I was 15 I found my mum’s old SLR in a drawer and started shooting with it and I haven’t stopped since. I like the anticipation you get from waiting for your film to develop, especially when you’ve been experimenting with it as I often do. Film has a quality that just can’t be replicated in digital photography, even when using Photoshop. That’s not to say that there isn’t a place for digital photography and its instant gratification, I just prefer to use film.

Do you draw influence from any particular artists or photographers?

I admire a number of different artists and photographers. I like the work of the French street artist JR, who takes photographs and blows them up to huge sizes and pastes them on walls and so on. I’m not sure if I’m influenced by anyone in particular – I get ideas from what I see in galleries, museums, books, while browsing online and through experimentation.

You used some pretty unusual techniques both during and after the development of your films, could you explain what they were?

In my Beirut photomontage, I’ve experimented with forced light leaks on redscale film, which is like normal colour film that is exposed on the wrong side. This was following some accidental light leaks which I liked the look of, as they appeared to ‘set fire’ to the images. Luckily, I didn’t completely overexpose the film!

Some other experiments I’ve done involved treating the film prior to using it in a camera. My photomontages ‘Hard-Boiled’ and ‘Par-Boiled’ were created by soaking the film in bourbon whiskey and boiling water, respectively, before use. The different treatments (others included soaking in vodka and in lemon juice) had weird and wonderful effects on the emulsion and the colours of the film. When I took some of my ‘chemically-treated’ rolls to the lab, the technician told me to try using a hair-dryer to create colour casts, so I did that next. I’m always looking for new experiments to try; it’s part of the fun of shooting on film rather than digital.

Julia Brow piece

Beirut; light leaks on redscale film

Does the cost of processing film from analogue photography ever make you want to go purely digital, or does the result compensate the extra expense?

Analogue photography is expensive, but it makes you value each shot more. When you take photos on a digital camera, you might take thousands and never look at them again, whereas the limitation of having only 24 or 36 shots makes you consider more before taking a photo. Saying that, I’ve been known to be quite snap-happy with my film and then have to wait for ages to develop them as my (student) budget won’t stretch to developing more than a couple of rolls at a time! Investing in a decent negative scanner has been a good way of cutting costs for me.

I previously had access to a darkroom and it was great, it really cuts your costs and you have much more freedom to experiment with printing processes such as using liquid light. I miss it

You have used a variety of analogue cameras throughout your work, was each used for a specific reason or as a matter of experimentation?

I always shoot my ‘chemically-treated’ rolls of film using my Olympus Trip, given to me by my sister and my brother-in-law. It helps me tell the difference between the effects on the film, as everything else is kept the same.

Otherwise, I just change camera for the sake of it or for experimentation. I have a collection of about twenty or so inexpensive cameras, either plastic toy cameras or vintage. My favourite is probably my Canon AE-1 SLR. I love the distinctive ‘Canon cough’ it makes when the shutter button is pressed, although it’s not very helpful when you’re trying to be sneaky!

Many of the photos are from far-off lands, do you always travel with an analogue camera or is digital your go-to?

I usually bring a couple of different analogue cameras with me when I travel for flexibility: a toy camera or disposable when I’m worried it might get damaged, plus an SLR for all the other times. Sometimes I bring a digital camera along as well if I want to take more photos than I can afford to take on film, usually my GoPro. Last year, I went travelling for four months and had to restrain myself to about 10 rolls of film, so I supplemented with digital.

And finally, if you could only use one camera for the rest of our life, what would you choose?

Probably my Canon AE-1, it’s pretty reliable and I don’t expect to ever get bored of using it!

For enquiries about Julia Brow’s work please contact O3 Gallery:

info@o3gallery.co.uk

T: 01865 246131

To find out more about the current exhibition, visit O3 Gallery or keep an eye on our social media channels:

Twitter @o3gallery

Facebook O3Gallery

Matt Strong himcropO3 Gallery’s current exhibition, ‘Lo-Fi: a Celebration of Creative Analogue Photography’ is a group show featuring the work of 10 different photographers all working with film (not digital) cameras. The exhibition is set across 3 venues in Oxford; The Jam Factory, the Old Fire Station and of course the O3 Gallery.

London based graphic designer Matthew Strong is one of our featured artists and his piece; ‘From England to India’ is a photographic montage from his travels across the world, and features photos from Spain, Portugal, Turkey, England and India all shot on his Lomography Holga camera and a variety of films.

We asked him some questions to get his thoughts and feelings on the subject of analogue photography…

How does it feel to be part of the O3 Gallery’s Lo-Fi exhibition?

Feels great thanks, very exciting. I’m proud to have been selected for the exhibition. After many years, I’m slowly starting to get noticed, which is the hardest part for anyone.

You describe yourself as a graphic designer and seem to create work in a whole plethora of mediums. Do you see your photography as a part of, or separate from, being a designer?

My photography is definitely part of me and my job as a graphic designer. I have quite often over the years used my own photography to complete design projects. I use the rules of basic design when I am out and about with my camera, and I think that does reflect in the imagery I shoot and what I’m looking for.

The piece on display at the O3 Gallery is titled ‘Various from England to India’ and was shot on a Holga CFN. Do you often travel with an analogue camera such as this or do you use it only on certain occasions?

There was a stage when my Holga was with me on all my trips, I found it such a funny looking and basic camera, but I knew it could produce interesting photographs and has a big cult following. I’ve had many analogue cameras since I was a child, and I’ve had great results over the years, but I’ve also wasted a lot of film; it’s expensive. So more recently, mainly due to a lack of funds, I haven’t used my Holga as much as I’d like, which is a shame. Over the past year a friend gave me some very expired ProVeliva and Agfa 120 film which came back great, and then the Lomography Lab gave me a pack of four 120, which has given me the buzz again for the Holga. I still have six rolls of expired 35mm film in my fridge, and I carry a camera of sorts with me 99% of the time, just ask my son!

matthew strong_small

What is it about lo-fidelity, or analogue photography that appeals to you? How would you compare it to digital?

If I choose to shoot on film, it’s because I love a surprise and the quite often unpredictable results. I get the films developed as soon as I can after I’ve shot the rolls, and I go to collect them from the lab with the same enthusiasm as a kid opening a packet of collecting stickers for a football album, to see if I have any of the ‘shiny ones,’ the ones you know are good, have worked out well, and will be popular. Film Photography is one of the few luxuries I allow myself to indulge in; for some people its classic cars, for me its film photography. I’m not a film snob though, the world’s big enough to support film or digital photographers, and time after time I have stuck by the belief that it’s the end result which is the most important thing, regardless of what you have shot it on. Just because you have shot it on film, doesn’t mean its going to be a good photograph, and likewise, if you have a few grand’s worth of kit hanging from your neck, it doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t know how to use it. You have got to have the sensibility to see things, and to see them quickly. I approach the editing and post-production of film and digital photographs in the same way, and that is whatever works best for any particular image, usually its very minimal colour correction and nothing much else

Due to the wide spread availability and continually falling prices of digital cameras and the relatively low cost of printing photos, including from home, in comparison to the time, expense and effort of getting a film developed, analogue photography has fallen somewhat by the way side, what do you think the future might be for lo-fi techniques?

I feel it’s good, that apps like Instagram, Snapseed and VSCO exist. These are all web based digital photography apps that mimic film stocks, analogue cameras, and popular lab techniques, such as cross processing etc, which if used right can really make your images look like it was shot on film in the first place, and we all know about Photoshop and Lightroom for desktop computers. These apps may seem odd, and they no doubt cause endless boring arguments in photography forums, but at least they are keeping film photography alive, in a way, and are more accessible for the average photographer, who may then go and shoot some real film from what they have learned from the press of a button, and that can only be a good thing. I fear that film photography or lo-fi techniques will unfortunately get more and more obscure as the years go by, which will them make it more expensive and in turn become unaffordable for the average person. Which all saddens me, as one day I think that the new generations of budding photographers out there may not get that chance to feel the magic of the unpredictable.

For enquiries about Matthew Strong’s work please contact O3 Gallery info@o3gallery.co.uk

T: 01865 246131

To find out more about the current exhibition, visit O3 Gallery or keep an eye on our social media channels:

twitter @o3gallery

facebook O3Gallery

For more about Matthew Strong visit: http://matthewstrongbroadcastdesign.tumblr.com

Feng Ho Ethical Fashion DesignO3 Gallery’s very own Feng Ho; who manages sourcing and buying for the gallery shop, is opening up her home for two weekends in May to exhibit her work as part of Oxfordshire Artweeks. Artweeks is a free festival event in its 32nd year that takes place across three different regions in the county throughout May.

Feng Ho is an award-winning ethical designer who has recently relocated from central Oxford to Abingdon. Before the move Ho was a studio manager at Magdalen Road Studios, at which she had her own studio for four years. Leaving in September 2013 to give birth to her daughter she has since converted the living room of their new home into a studio space.

The recent one year anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster that took place on the 24th April, dubbed “Fashion Revolution Day” is of particular relevance as Ho works with both sustainable and end-of-line British textiles and is passionate about promoting sustainability and fair-trade. She was also awarded the Ethical Fashion Forum Innovation Award in 2010.

What influenced you to become an ethical designer?

“After graduating from my masters in Fashion Women’s Wear I applied to the Prince’s Trust for a grant to start up my own business. The mentor I worked with took me to London Fashion Week at which I discovered the Estethica section, which contained solely ethical designers. After talking to the designers and the Environmental Justice Foundation at the show about the social issues behind the fashion industry I decided to become an ethical designer.”

How does being an ethical designer affect your pieces and how you work?

“At the beginning it was a struggle to find material that was ethical. I had to source material from other countries, which worked on the one hand as it was made ethically; but on the other hand I was accruing a lot of air miles in getting this material to Britain. I am limited by the types of material I can use, whilst a design might work perfectly in one material, if it is not ethical then alternative is found.

For my current collection, Tessellate, I am concentrating on minimising waste. The patterns are simplified to waste less material and the scraps are donated to charity.”

 

tessellate

How does it feel to be opening up and exhibiting from your own home rather than as part of a collection of studios?

“Very exciting. It was wonderful to be exhibiting with others and to be part of a community; but exhibiting on my own allows my pieces to stand-alone, visitors will be concentrating more on textiles and ethics as there are no other mediums. Using my home was also an impetus to get all the jobs around the house completed.”

Has becoming a mother affected you designs?

“Since I became a mother my body shape has changed and this in turn has transformed my designs. I have a greater appreciation of the female figure and understand better now how fabrics can be used for different effects, to skim the body or to cover up certain areas; how to flatter through design and material.”

Has it affected your work now that your living space is also your working space?

“I think I have achieved a good balance between work and life. When I was living in London my studio was in my bedroom and I found it hard to separate home from work, but with my studio now I am able to separate the two as it is in its own space.”

What is the appeal/benefits of Artweeks?

“My focus for Artweeks is not so much to sell work but to educate people. I don’t want people to feel pressured to buy my pieces but instead to come and find out more about ethical fashion and design. I will have a pop-up haberdashery where people will be able to buy scraps of material and also be given the opportunity to buy organic cotton; this enables people to become familiar with the texture and feel of organic materials.”

Feng Ho’s studio will be open to the public on the 10th and 11th May between 12-6pm 2014.

http://www.fengho.co.uk/

Feng

 

 

Image

Jo Davies ‘Flare Vases’ in black – http://www.jo-davies.com @JoDaviesCeramic

 

Jo Davies creates beautifully hand crafted ceramic objects, with everyday functional use. Her designs range from light fittings and vases to kitchen table ware. Davies ceramics aim to bring together harsh lines and contrasting curves whilst visually projecting feminine sensuality. Her architectural designs appear as strong decorative ornaments. 


 

Image

Jo Davies ‘The Cup’ – http://www.jo-davies.com @JoDaviesCeramic

Jo Davies has been sculpting for over 10 years, initially trained at Bath school of Art then the Royal College of Art.  She has since taught at university level and continues her work on an award-winning practitioner level with stockists around the UK and exhibitions on an international scale. Having an appearance on the T.V programme ‘The Apprentice’ last year provided coverage and she has since established a strong public fan base in support of her work.

Jo Davies artwork displays clean sophistication, which has resulted from her “intuitive enquiry into clay”. Her objects are modern and crisp, coloured in neutral tones providing a foundation of ambiguity: This allows any buyer the freedom of choice and match making into their own home.  In reality Davies household items would sustain a smooth transition into anyone’s house, adding a small enhancement of stylish desire.


 

Image

Jo Davies ‘Flare Vases’ in white – http://www.jo-davies.com @JoDaviesCeramic

Her creations are Individual to the extent of uniqueness yet not too outlandish to be grotesque. From this unusual success Davies has mastered a harmonious balance of contemporary sculpture and practicality.

The O3 Gallery now stock Jo Davies ceramic The Cups and Flare Vases, available for you to treat yourself and your home or to buy as a special gift.

By Jasmine Smart

O3 Gallery Intern 

 

 

Image

O3 Gallery invites you to join London based artist Ikuko Iwamoto and her sea creatures for a bizarre tea ceremony, and dive into her quiet microscopic world to explore and experience the extraordinary in the everyday.

Initially trained in Nara, Japan, Ikuko studied ceramics at Camberwell College and later the Royal College of Art in London. Interested in invisible things and inspired by the world of micro-organisms, Ikuko has made her functional objects amazingly sculptural with her organic forms and minute decorative details – the tiny dots and spikes raised from the main body are interesting to touch, creating a different tactile experience in each container. The minimalist colour scheme, irregularity of cup bodies, and their quiet, understated elegance show the influence of the wabi-sabi aesthetic, which celebrates the beauty of transience and imperfection, and embraces the asymmetry and simplicity within natural objects and creating process. While the porcelain main body of each container is slip-cast, the decorative dots and spikes are individually crafted and attached by hand. Each detail in the intricate patterns is thus similar but also different, evoking the uniqueness and changing nature of things in the real world. But these ‘reality-bound’ objects also lead us into a surreal realm that transcends everyday mundanity, as Ikuko explains:

I make exquisite tea cups and other objects for a bizarre tea ceremony. They suggest the everyday, the ordinary, but are in fact extra-ordinary. They are the vehicles to make visible an invisible, microscopic world. A world of intricacy and detail, of mathematical pattern and organic chaos, of beauty and repulsion.

Image

The meticulously handcrafted sea urchin vessel embodies the unique materiality and tactility of Ikuko’s ceramic tableware.

The O3 Gallery has some of these delicate and captivating ceramic containers on display. The sea urchin vessels are available to buy for £140 each, and ceramic tea cups are £20 each.

Junyuan Xue

O3 Gallery Intern

Oxford Contemporary Music in association with The Sonic Art Research Unit are currently seeking proposals for a new commission for their 2014 Audiograft Festival.

Image

Audiograft: 

Audiograft is an annual festival of contemporary experimental music and sound art curated by the Sonic Art Research Unit (SARU) at Oxford Brookes University. The festival aims to engage the widest possible audience from Oxford and beyond with the challenging contemporary practices that are the focus of the Research Unit.

Oxford Contemporary Music (OCM): 

OCM co-promotes the festival, and for the rest of the year presents and produces its own live contemporary music and sound based events in Oxford and beyond. OCM aims to bring artists and their inspiring new work together with audiences and we like to support work that explores inventive and innovative audience experiences. For this commission we encourage submissions for work that actively considers the audience experience, for example by being interactive, playful, immersive or by engaging them in alternative ways. Please describe how your work does this within your submission.

The Commission:

OCM are now accepting proposals for new work with a deadline of noon on Friday 6th December. Please submit your proposal to info@ocmevents.org. Please read the guidance below before submitting your proposal.

Proposals should include: 

  •  a description of the new work (which can include images and sound files).
  • a budget for any materials and / or performers.
  • a short biography of your past work including images, sound files and/or links where available.

The work:

  • must be new work.
  • can be a performance or installation.
  •  if it is an installation, it must be suitable for indoor presentation and be small scale (for a modest sized space).
  • please indicate the ideal type of venue for your piece / performance, how you intend to present the work at Audiograft, and whether you would require any practical help in doing so.

The artists: 

  • must be UK residents.
  • must be available between 10th and 15th March for the festival and for time in advance to prepare for the festival.
  • can be solo, duo, or a group.

OCM has up to £1,500 to award either for one commission or to split between two commissions. The money awarded should cover artist fees to create the work, technical support, production costs, materials and fabrication costs, travel costs, and any other costs incurred to create and present the work (all inclusive of VAT).

Deadline: noon Friday 6th December 

OCM and SARU will select a proposal to commission by Friday 13th December. 

For more information see http://www.ocmevents.org or email them at info@ocmevents.org

Download commission details here: OCM

Studying at Oxford Brookes or Oxford University? Looking to showcase your own art writing? Today the O3 Gallery is launching The O3 Gallery Prize for Contemporary Art Criticism – a platform for students, and aspiring art critics, to showcase their contemporary art writing.

Image

To enter, students are asked to submit a review of up to 800 words, of an art exhibition which has taken place in Oxfordshire, since August 2013. Entries will be judged by a panel of three judges working in the contemporary art world, with particular experience and expertise in art criticism.

Joao Phillippe Reid

An Art History postgraduate from University College London, JP has a background in curating and art criticism having worked at a number of galleries and collections in England and Scotland, including Tate Liverpool and O3 Gallery.  JP is a contributor to the US Arts Blog Hyperallergic and co-curated the O3’s 2012 and 2013 summer exhibitions.

Tom Snow

A postgraduate research student and teaching assistant in the History of Art Department at University College London, Tom is a freelance art critic, working and researching in the UK and abroad.  His main interests include 20th and 21st century art writing, particularly the theoretical contexts involving globalization and spatial politics.  He has contributed to Frieze Magazine and Afterall, amongst other contemporary art publications.

Jonathan Powell

Jonathan is a writer and artist living in London. He studied fine art at Camberwell and is the editor of The Flaneur, an arts and culture journal with contributors from around the world. He thinks the world might be a better place if cricket was compulsory, the National Gallery let visitors borrow works like a library and everyone spoke Italian.

The O3 favours writing which is creative, original and forward-thinking, and that shows a flair for developing and expressing an artistic point of view. Students are invited to enter regardless of previous experience in writing art criticism. The author of the winning entry will have their submission piece published on the O3 Gallery website and their work promoted by the gallery. In addition, the winner will also be invited to write a further piece of critical writing for publication on contemporary online arts and culture journal, The Flaneur.

Image

Deadline for submissions: 3rd February 2014

For terms and conditions, full details on how to enter, and guidance on how to write art criticism, see www.o3gallery.co.uk

Like O3Gallery on Facebook 

or follow @O3Gallery on Twitter to be the first to be alerted to new updates!

For further information please contact o3artcriticismprize@gmail.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26 other followers

%d bloggers like this: