Geography of the Body ; Geography of the Mind

presented by Briffa at the London Art Fair VIP Preview Night 12th January 2010 6.30– 9pm_Unit 306_2nd floor_ Business Design Centre_Upper Street_Islington N1

Featured artists_

Miriam Burke has made a new piece for this show, using paper cuts that resemble the structure of glacier, to construct a hanging ‘net’, part of a series that she is developing for an exhibition in March 2010. Working alongside the Geography Department at Keele University, she is collaborating with glaciologist Dr. Peter Knight, exploring and investigating the methodologies of art and science and the different means of comprehending environments.

In a project from 2008, Mim recorded a history of walks she had taken on the Isle of Mull, making cuts on paper to map trails she followed across the island. This topographic sculpture formed the lid of a model of the suitcase that she took on these travels, the artist stating that ‘By altering and toying with our sense of scale, I question our relationship to our environment.’

Michael Mayhew was Leverhulme Artist in Residence at the University of Manchester in 2007-8 within the School of Environment and Development. He embarked on an intellectual journey from one discipline to another, across the various sites across the university, looking at how the principles of mapping are used in different contexts. Michael is a ‘live artist’ who immerses himself totally within the geography of the human body, often using his own blood in the process. In 333 a durational performance lasting for 3 hours and 33 minutes, Mayhew hangs suspended from the ceiling, cocooned in cotton-wool, as the audience looks on. A bag of his own blood drips slowly onto his body as he repeats texts about neutrality, responsibility and witnessing.  333 developed from a residency at Theatre Arsenique in Lausanne, Switzerland, in which Mayhew lived in a bunker for 333 hours (14 days) in an attempt to answer the question, ‘Who are we as Swiss?” put to him by the promoter.

Presented here are mannequins exploring the geography of the body, remnants of a performance commissioned by the Contemporary Art Society.

Garry Hunter has traditionally worked with photography, but in 2005 moved into producing light-based pieces so presented here is work from both of these disciplines. The Pack of Nine is from a documented journey shot on a single roll of monochrome film, while The Dark Pool is an image from the award-winning book Trip_Transporting Grain. This was an internal journey by the artist, looking into locations visited by both himself and his father fifty years before, during the latter’s slow process of decline due to terminal illness in 2002. The Dark Pool can be found in collections from Canada to New Zealand and the UK. The neon piece Flag of an Imaginary Nation was born out of a response to the declaration of independence by the Mosquito Coast region of Nicaragua – as yet Moskitia is unrecognised as a separate country. This artistic enquiry has now led onto a planned trip to the newly-forming Indian state of Telangana, currently in the northern part of Andra Pradesh that includes the state capital of Hyderabad.

His psychogeographic conceptualisation of journeys can be triggered by ‘found’ or ‘given’ objects, as in the installation Name, Rank and Serial Number where a watch became the motif for retracing a route by it’s former owner, a 19 year old infantryman who was killed in action two weeks after the D-Day landings.

Garry is a Member of the International Curators Forum, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire.

Graham Carrick
explores in his painting the nature of seeing through memory, interpreting a faded print of a vague location, found in an abandoned hospital reception, into a lingering memento that fades from blooming summer flowers into an intense  and perplexing bloody battlefield ( Nil by Mouth 2008 ) Locations that remain inaccessible to most of us occur frequently in his work, such as in Down by the River an imagined landscape.

For this show, Graham has also specially produced two paintings that look at the geography of mind and body. In Pick an emotion a journey is depicted as a face reduced to an unrecognisable structure that jolts against a dark shadow ; all that remains of a familiar visage. For  From the Heart to the Head and Back Again  a trip is depicted through a body illustrated with the distinguishing colours of a London Underground map, with recognisable stations replaced with human emotions, a journey we have all embarked on.

Graham is a member of VAGA ( The Visual Artists and Galleries Association ) and a curator with London-based artists group Fitzrovia Noir.

Produced by Fitzrovia Noir. Part of The Curator’s Egg Project. Is it all good ?
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