Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Boudica: Jessica Warboys at Norwich Outpost

A flame-engulfed, roman-slaying, chariot-riding, hula-hooping, semi-mythical queen of war. Is there anything Boudica can't do? Alicia Rodriguez investigates at Norwich OUTPOST.

Romans used wax tablets to write on, the surface of which could be scraped, smoothed and used again. This practice of writing over erased words or content, replacing them with new, is where the palimpsest originates.

The palimpsest as historical artefact and narrative tool is one of the starting points for Jessica Warboys’ Boudica, a film installation and one-off performance at Norwich OUTPOST. Boudica forms part of Invisible Fabrick, a month-long project dealing with the elusive and relevant relationships that run though landscape, geography, history and text. Warboys has executed an exhibition as powerful, epic and ambiguous as the Queen of the Iceni herself. 

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Catlin Art Prize 2014 at Londonewcastle Project Space

From a foreboding waxy chamber to repetitious Alpine vistas, Joe Turnbull surveys the spectacle of this year's Catlin Art Prize and finds the prospects to be tremendously pleasing.

Installation View, Neil Raitt's Catlin Prize exhibition

Now in its eighth year, the Catlin Art Prize is a showcase event for seven recent graduate and postgraduate artists, selected and curated from the Catlin Guide 2014 by Justin Hammond. The standard of work is so ferociously high that it could induce vertigo on even a seasoned veteran of multi-artist shows. The curation allows the art to speak for itself, successfully compartmentalising and arranging a series of immersive environments,  taking you on a weaving journey through each artist's own little world, and making excellent use of Londonewcastle's impressive gallery space.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Play What’s Not There

Alicia Rodriguez attends Raven Row's exhibition Play What's Not There which, despite claiming influence from the unlikeliest of bedfellows in Søren Kiekegaard and Miles Davis, manages to find coherence in a fusion of existential religiosity and noisy, neon-addled, mania. 

Katharina Wulff Tifaout ntitrit, 2014 

When Miles Davis said ‘don’t play what’s there, play what’s not there’ to his musicians, he succinctly entered a world of existential romanticism. He encapsulated a philosophical paradox where, in order to reach artistic self-knowledge, one must sacrifice aesthetic, stylistic and academic beauty. Did he mean the kind of aesthetic despair that, for example, Robert Motherwell suggests Marcel Duchamp transcends? Michael Bracewell explores this connection and more in his introduction to Raven Row’s current exhibition, which Bracewell himself has curated and named after Davis’ now iconic instruction.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Nessie Stonebridge's British Birds

A sceptical Joe Turnbull finds himself awe-inspired (and dare I say uplifted) by Nessie Stonebridge's aviary of extra-canvas paintings on display at Carslaw St Lukes.

Outside In My Comfort Zone (2014)

I have to confess that my heart sank a little when I first entered Nessie Stonebridge's latest exhibition at Carslaw St Lukes. I was greeted by a diminutive canvas underscored by two shards of wood and a black ball; adding detritus to paintings in an attempt to supply a different dimension of texture and make the work stand out is quite a tired method, and one that is often done hamfistedly.