Q&A with Alice Gur-Arie
Exhibiting at the Curious Duke Gallery
1st Dec 2016 – 28th Jan 2017

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Alice’s Gur-Arie’s work is being exhibited at the Curious Duke Gallery in London until the end of 28th January 2017.

Alice began her career as a copywriter and graphic designer, eventually responsible for positioning global brands, and developing and executing their marketing and communication strategies.
Returning to her creative roots several years ago as an artist/photographer, Alice has produced five exhibitions, including The Iceland Trilogy, held at the Embassy of Iceland in London, and Black, White and Red held in Nice, France.

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In what way has your previous career influenced your work?

Two ways. First of all, I know that communication that appeals to the head and the heart will be more effective. What do I mean by effective? Engage. Get attention. Pursuade. Shift attitudes.
Make an impression, be remembered. A message that resonates on both levels will usually have a deeper effect. Second of all, I learned to never make assumptions about how people will respond to a message or piece of creative. Every response is valid, and second guessing is not wise.
For both these reasons it’s vital for me to listen to viewers and understand how they feel about a work, what they think about a work, what they like and don’t like, which is just as important – 2, 20 or 200 people could result in 2, 20 or 200 different responses. And there is no right or wrong, there’s only how that individual responds. So very simply, I try to create work that engages on both levels.

Who or what is your greatest influence on your life and art?

The answer to this is not singular. To some great extent, I have to credit my parents with nurturing the seeds of those characteristics that make me Me. My mother instilled in me a romantic’s desire for adventure, and my father – who, in a different time and place could have been a successful pen and ink illustrator – fostered in me a sense of curiosity about the world, applauded the virtues of attention to detail, and as a young girl, introduced me to art. Both of them encouraged my talents (I am also a writer, and began life as a classical pianist), and taught me the fundamental importance of believing in, relying upon and trusting myself. The second significant influence on my life was the time I spent in Israel as a teenager, where I completed high school, and lived through a war. Aside from stimulating a lifelong appetite for travel, the years I spent there taught me not merely to tolerate, but to seek out and applaud “difference”, tutored me in resilience, and gave me the courage and confidence to choose the more difficult road if it offered what I wanted.
The the third influence is my education, where I gained a deep understanding that people are driven by a complex mix of rational as well as emotional factors. I try to apply this insight to my art, creating images that I hope appeal to both a viewer’s head and heart.
All this underpins my life and my work, and helps explain how and why I do what I do.

Where do you call home and where did you study?

I travel extensively and I’ve lived in France for the last year or so but London is my permanent home. I completed high school in Tel Aviv, and have three degrees from York University, in Toronto, Canada.

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Do you have a favourite piece of your own work?

It could be that an image evokes the memory of a certain place or experience, or I am delighted with the texture of air that I have been able to achieve. Certainly, as time goes by and my style and technique evolve, my thoughts and feelings about earlier work change.
It also is difficult because my work covers a range of themes. I am probably best known for landscapes and seascapes, but I also have exhibited wildlife (Merlin’s Forest), produced series of abstract art based on surfaces (Walls), and have a number of aerial series (LA Nights, Nevada
Desert, Over North). And of course, I also do “straight” street photography, always adding to my In Public Places collection. So there are many images that move me for different reasons, but there is not one piece that I favour over everything else.

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Texture seems to be a re-occurring ‘motif’ as it were in your work – why is this?

Texture evokes a sensory response, and whether it is felt with the eyes or the skin or finger tips it’s one of the way we engage with and understand the world. To me it’s as natural to explore texture as it is to explore colour or shape. It’s also a way to move beyond the flat surface of a photograph.

I have an image from Iceland called Mountain, which has received a lot of attention (including being auctioned at Christie’s and making the CultureLabel Top Ten Artworks List.) It has quite remarkable depth. So much so that I have seen more than once, in exhibitions, people actually looking behind it, to where it is hanging, to see how it’s projected! That’s what I want to achieve with texture….people literally reaching out to touch the image.

 

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Max Naylor
At the Prema Gallery, Uley
31 Oct – 11 Dec

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Max Naylor is an artist currently based in Bristol. Born in Cheltenham, raised in Cornwall and having spent time exploring Berlin, Delhi and London, a sense of place is deeply rooted in his practice.

His recent works warp the conventions of landscape painting, at times playing within the confines of perspective and scale and at others rejecting these notions completely. Somewhere between drawing and painting, his distinctive mark making approach combines the figurative with the abstract evoking a sense of mystery.

Familiar yet exotic, these mindscapes have as much to do with the inner subconscious realm as they do the external world.

Max recently completed a postgraduate course at the Royal Drawing School, he has exhibited widely in the UK and in 2016 won the Jackson’s Art Prize.
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Vasilis Avramidis – Harvester
A new series of paintings
At the START Art Fair,
Saatchi Gallery

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Vasilis Avramidis graduated from Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design with an MA in Fine Art in 2011.
Avramidis was shortlisted for the Salon Art Prize 2011 and he and his work has appeared in the Metro (UK), Sunday Telegraph (UK), Idol magazine (UK), Hi Fructose (LA), Rooms Magazine (UK), Juxtapose Magazine, Beautiful/Decay, Arrested Motion among many others.
His work is exhibited internationally and collected by University of the Arts London and private collectors in UK, Greece, USA and Japan.
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“Primordial Soup”
at the James Freeman Gallery
Carolein Smit, Chris Berens, James Mortimer, and Sam Branton
9th September to 8th October

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Opening Reception:
Friday 9 September, 6:30 – 8:30PM

Trusting instinct over reason is rather frowned on nowadays, the implication being that it is a lack of discipline to be tamed. But for many artists, unfettered magical thinking sits at the core of their artistic practice, allowing them to tap into hidden ideas and give some shape to things that don’t make sense. In ‘Primordial Soup’, we present four artists who each use this approach as a key part of their work: Carolein Smit, Chris Berens, James Mortimer and Sam Branton.
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RCA 2016 MA show – Highlights

Zhilu Cheng

Zhilu Cheng – MA Jewellery

Kenji Hirasawa

Kenji Hirasawa – MA Photography

Jiji Kim

Jiji Kim – MA Photography

Katie Spragg

Katie Spragg – MA ceramics and glass

Elena Gileva

Elena Gileva – MA Ceramics and Glass

Susannah Stark

Susannah Stark – MA Print

Fernanda Cortes

Fernanda Cortes – MA Ceramics and Glass

Burning Sculpture

Julia Parkinson – MA Sculpture

Karolina Lebek

Karolina Lebek – MA Photography

Sunyoung Hwang

Sunyoung Hwang – MA Painting

Josefina Nelimarkka

Josefina Nelimarkka – MA Painting

In Search of an Author by Lex Thomas
An Art Circus Book

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In Search of an Author is a collection of 62 fluidly drawn ink studies, individual drawings in their own right, but interlinked by the subject of belief and the stories we tell ourselves. Artist Lex Thomas examines unexplained natural phenomena such as the supernatural and paranormal as well as magic, cults and UFO religions. The effect is a non-textual, fragmentary narrative echoing the idea that ‘truth is in the eye of the beholder’. The title acknowledges the playwright Pirandello, credited with breaking through the ‘fourth wall’ with his creation of Mirror Theatre.

In Search of an Arthur is currently available at BookArtBookShop, ShoreditchGosh! London or direct from Lex Thomas’ Website.

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Elizabeth Price’s A Restoration
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

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As a fresh graduate from The Ruskin School of Art in 1998, Elizabeth Price worked for a year in the Bodleian Library’s underground stacks. She remembers the damp, the haphazard stacking of books, the way the floors got smaller as they went further and further down beneath the cobbles of Broad Street. A book could be declared lost for twenty five years and turn up in a pile a few centimetres away from its original place. In the stacks books were arranged by size rather than subject, and Price would spend most of her shift reading books in unexpected succession.

This sense of the subterranean, along with the archival practices of collecting, collating and cataloguing, are key components of Price’s new video installation A Restoration.

After winning the Contemporary Art Society Award in 2013, Price received a commission to make an artwork in response to the collections and archives of the Pitt Rivers and Ashmolean Museums in Oxford. During the course of her research, Price became particularly interested in the work of British archaeologist Arthur Evans. After holding the position of Keeper of the Ashmolean, Evans achieved fame for the excavation of the Cretian palace of Knossos at the turn of the 20th century. He set about restoring the site with what Price calls ‘a kind of energy that is unreserved and febrile and exciting’, adding concrete pillars and filling in frescos with an ‘extraodinary’ creative license. Continue reading

Island Hopping
The 2016 Setouchi Triennale

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From this week onwards a small cluster of islands in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea will host its third international art festival. The 2016 Setouchi Triennale will run for a total of 108 days, and is expected to receive upwards of a million visitors, along with over one hundred new artworks joining the permanent installations already dotted across the archipelago.

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Twelve islands in total will be taking part, along with Uno Port on mainland Honshu and the town of Takamatsu (known by fans of Haruki Murakami as the setting of Kafka on the Shore) on nearby Shikoku. This year’s thematic focus looks both inward and outward: paying particular attention to local Setouchi cuisine and traditions alongside ‘cultural exchange among Asian countries that are connected by the sea. Continue reading

Wu Lan-Chiann
Contemporary Ink Paintings

The first UK solo exhibition of the Taiwanese ink painting artist, featuring work produced over the last 20 years.

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Reflections is the first UK solo exhibition of Wu Lan-Chiann, Chinese ink painting artist. This exhibit shows a selection of Wu Lan-Chiann’s work produced over the past twenty years. Displayed in reverse chronological order in the museum’s galleries, the exhibition has three themes; early career work, dusk to dawn series, and current directions.

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At the core of Wu Lan-Chiann’s work, is a deep personal contemplation of universal themes and values that connect people across time and place. While continuing a tradition that is centuries old, her paintings are distinctly contemporary both in concept and execution. Starting from a young age, she combined Asian and Western modes of representation into a personal style that is intensely poetic. Blending two very different painting traditions, she has emerged as an artist with an authentic style marked by decisive brushwork and delicate application of colour.

In her recent work, Wu Lan-Chiann is interested in capturing the precious but fleeting moments of life through the depiction of free floating petals and leaves. She sees a comparison between the rhythm of nature and the human cycle of life. Her work captures special moments and at the same time represents the invariable and eternal cycle of life and nature.

Wu Lan-Chiann is exhibiting at the Museum of East-Asian Art in Bath