Taking time out to appreciate and talk about art at a Q and A event for artists at the Stone Space Gallery in Leytonstone, is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, Clare Conley discovered.
What makes an artist? How does that represent memories? Why did you frame that work? These were just some of the questions that the audience asked a group of artists on the last day of the Space Between exhibition on 3 December 2015. Artists talked about what had inspired them, how they created the work on display and took part in a debate with the audience and fellow artists.
Space Between featured 13 artists
The Space Between show included a diverse mix of artistic approaches, materials, artistic medium and interpretations received in response to the call out for work that inhabits the space between perceived reality and abstraction. Thirteen artists featured in the exhibition and four were able to take part in the artists’ talk event.
- Robert William Jackson: seeing the artistic in the everyday
Robert William Jackson is an artist with a “day job” as a furniture maker. He explained how he saved the basis of his exhibit, “Light and Dark” from being thrown away in the workshop where he works. It started as a board with a build up of different layers and textures of black and white paint, sealed with clear laquer over months and months. “To me it was special, I knew it was a piece of art”, explained Robert. And the beauty of art is that it means different things to different people. One member of the audience said it reminded her of an arrow slit window in a castle, while another person was interested in why Robert had decided to frame the work. “It had to be framed to give it that strength”, was Robert’s reply.
- Susan Eyre: dreams of paradise
The mythology surrounding paradise and what can and can’t be seen in everyday life, were some of the ideas that interested Susan Eyre. She visited places with the Paradise nametag including an industrial centre and an urban street, looking for structures, signs and symbols. These included plastic palm trees in a children’s playground in Paradise Road in Stockwell, which feature in Susan’s artwork, “Blackbird” – a screen print with circles representing the seen and the unseen. “Less than 5% of the universe is actually visible to us. There is a dark matter and dark energy that we can’t see,” she explained.
- Maria Kokkenon: what memories mean to me
Maria Kokkenon produced the two pieces displayed, “Body Became a Tree” 6 and 1, for her fine art graduation show in Finland. Maria was fascinated with how differently she and her older sister remembered childhood memories. This led her to think about how memory reflects our identity and how longterm memories are held in our body. Maria has interpreted this visually in two large black and white drawings on fabric representing imaginary trees in the “garden of my mind”. Maria’s pieces generated a lot of debate about how people saw her work and what memories meant to them.
- Sam Mattacott: creating art from sound
Sam Mattacott, who trained as an animator, explained that he created a series of six artworks from audio files using various digital processes. He chose two pieces for the exhibition. Sam added: “The process was quite experimental and I enjoyed seeing how I could push and play with the images, including different colours, until I felt that it was a completed image. I think of them as ‘action paintings’.” The audience asked if the artwork could be displayed with the sound files (Yes, but it would be white noise) and if they could be projected (Potentially but only with very expensive equipment!).
Opening up space for artistic enquiry
Championing artistic enquiry and giving a platform to art that provokes thought and debate, are two of the overall aims of The Stone Space and this event was a good demonstration of both. Do go along to join the discussion at any future artists’ talk events if you can.
Join the debate at our next artists’ talk event and subscribe to our mailing list.
Contours & Connections – watch two artists create new work at The Stone Space next weekend
Don’t miss your opportunity to watch artists, Diana Burch and Louise Scillitoe-Brown – currently exhibiting – make new work in the gallery in response to each other’s practice and the space.
Come along to our live artwork weekend on 11 and 12 December.
Are you an artist? Interested in exhibiting at the Stone Space next year?
We welcome exhibition proposals by individual and groups of artists.