TROVE: THE EVENT 2011
Launch night 21st October 2011 5 – 9pm
Open daily 22nd – 30th October 2011 12 – 5pm
Curzon Street Station, Curzon Street, Birmingham
Artists include: Wayne Chisnall, Stephen Cornford, Robert Jacobsen, Jaime Jackson, Markus Kayser, Rob Mullender, Alex Pearl, Ben Rowe, Martin Sexton, Laura Skinner, Minnie Weisz, Luke Williams and Adam Zoltowski
Curated by Charlie Levine of TROVE and Minnie Weisz of Minnie Weisz Studio
Creative Machines, Minimalist Sculpture
TROVE: THE EVENT 2011
21st–30th October 2011 12 – 5pm
Curzon Street Station, Curzon Street, Birmingham
Artist include: Wayne Chisnall, Stephen Cornford, Jamie Jackson, Markus Kayser, Rob Mullender, Alex Pearl, Ben Rowe, Martin Sexton, Laura Skinner, Minnie Weisz, Luke Williams and Adam Zoltowski
Curated by Charlie Levine, TROVE, Birmingham & Minnie Weisz, Minnie Weisz Studio, London
Creative Machines, Minimalist Sculpture is an exhibition that has developed from conversations between Birmingham curator, Charlie Levine, and London gallery director and artist, Minnie Weisz. Interested in forging and forming links with creative practices and artists outside their home cities, Levine and Weisz have formed a creative collaboration, which is linked by rail stations, both connecting north and south. So, very apt that this exhibition takes place at the very first station to link Birmingham directly to London; built in 1838, at the start of the Industrial Revolution.
Curzon Street Station had regular passenger services to London Euston until 1854. Then, it was a direct link from Birmingham to Euston, (a stones throw away from Weisz’s London studio in King’s Cross). After which it ran only cargo trains until its closure in 1966. The building, designed by Philip Hardwick, mirrored the Euston Arch Station in London, sadly demolished in 1960, just six years before the closure of Curzon Street Station.
For ‘The Event 2011’, Levine and Weisz have curated an exhibition entitled Creative Machines, Minimalist Sculpture. It brings together artists from all over the UK who either create their own machine art works or have used machinery, or the idea of mechanics, to create the final Heath Robinson-esque whimsical, playful, scientific and experimental pieces.
Jaime Jackson and Alex Pearl’s site-specific film work reflects the exhibition space and its heritage. Pearl’s series of short black and white films, created and filmed by small battery powered machines, and Jackson’s large scale outdoor projection (for the launch night only) of people passing through New Street Station, are all about trains and in particular train stations. They are diverse in scale though not in subject, Pearl’s microfilms verses Jackson’s building size projection.
The film works by Markus Kayser, are a prelude to the machines he makes, resulting in a cinematic narrative which forms part of his process and machine experiments. The audience is shown a view into his world, how he builds his machines, from start to finish.
Martin Sexton’s engaging film explores what happens when a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School interacts with 62 school children that all say they have witnessed a UFO landing and encountered its strange humanoid occupants.
Inspired by film, Ben Rowe and Laura Skinner make imagined/familiar machines come to life. Skinner’s recent final degree piece has been re-commissioned specifically for this exhibition; a dark and eerie swing moving on its own conjures up classic film noir and Hitchcock style horror. Rowe takes a lighter look at classic 80’s sci-fi film machines, recreating out of MDF such iconic machines as the ‘flux capacitor’ from Back to the Future and Bill and Ted’s time machine phone box.
Wayne Chisnall continues the lens-based theme by creating a modern cityscape from old camera lenses and found ephemera. It makes you think of the views from train windows, and how they in turn become a different lens/frame through which to see the world. Weisz exhibits a large scale camera obscura photograph, depicting an inverted reflection of St.Pancras Station, London, as if its gazing directly into the Curzon Street Station, crossing the present, past, time, memory and place.
Artists Luke Williams and Stephen Cornford continue the hand made theme of the exhibition. Williams has made two sculptural pieces that project light, both based on the cosmos, specifically the stars, while Cornford’s piece is an installation of tape cassette recorders that switch on when sensing motion. These then perform in light and sound. Both works encompassing the theme of creative machines and minimalist sculpture, they are hand made sculptural pieces which literally light up mechanically.
Finally artists Rob Mullender and Adam Zoltowski bring a 2D element to the show. Zoltowski’s multiple give-away piece of a robot drawing has been photocopied 1000 times, utilising the machine in both design and production. Mullender’s delicate rubbings of old machines have been shellacked and framed. Mullender has not used graphite to create these; rather he has etched away with his nail to highlight the original scratches and marks off the machines.
The exhibition crosses sound, film and object/sculpture all based around the narrative of creative machines and minimalist sculpture. It is a look into pure machines meets pure minimalism, in a unique gallery setting.
Wayne Chisnall is a London based artist who exhibits in the UK and in Europe. Although known for his sculptural work he is also a painter, print maker and illustrator. In 2005 Chisnall was awarded a bursary from the Royal British Society of Sculptors.
His work has been shown in galleries, magazines and for TV, his sculptures have appeared in the feature film, ‘Scratch’.
In 2008 John Malkovich chose Chisnall’s script (later turned into the animated short, ‘Snow Angel’) as the winning entry in the Sony VAIO Scriptwriting competition.
The artist also runs art workshops for schools and businesses.
Stephen Cornford’s practice exists at the intersection of sculpture and music using sound and noise to investigate the physical qualities of the world around him. His work inhabits both gallery and gig, always seeking situations in which the material; whether solid, spatial or sonic; controls the outcome as much as he. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Sound Art Research Unit of Oxford Brookes University. He studied sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art before completing a Masters in Time-Based Arts Practices at Dartington College of Arts.
Jaime Jackson is a video artist, curator and consultant project manager for the planning and delivery of artist initiative projects.
Specialising in socially engaged practice and public realm commissions, Jaime is the Project Director Hereford Photography Festival. Prior to this he worked for Milton Keynes Council, where he was a Public Art Consultant; he has also worked as an officer for South East Arts Board, Southern Arts Exhibition Services and Contemporary Art Society Projects, London.
Markus Kayser was born in Germany in 1983. He moved to London in 2004 to study 3D Design (Furniture&Product) at the London Metropolitan University.
After free-lancing and exhibiting his own work in London and Paris, Kayser went on to study on the MA Design Products course at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 2011.
His newly formed studio focuses on the hybridity of nature and technology.
Rob Mullender is an artist, who lives and works in London.
How do you record an object properly? Is it always appropriate to photograph, or draw something, for example? How about something which is similar to both, but is really neither? As a way for three dimensional objects to record themselves by imprint, making a rubbing produces an intimate but incomplete and unreliable map of something. These images are several things: time-based recordings of a tool’s journey, non-drawings, non-photographs, spectres, Atomist skins, trophies. But mostly, they are recordings of touch; memories more solid than visual.
Alex Pearl, born in Cheshire, educated in Birmingham and lives and works in Ipswich. In the last two years has shown in: New York, Berlin, Belfast, The Hague, St Gallen, Manchester, Munich, San Francisco, London, Marseille, Stoke on Trent, Lincoln Sydney, Cardiff and Valencia. His commission for last year’s Whitstable Biennale was based on a mistake and his 17 channel installation called “Pearlville” was shown as part of Unspooling, artists and cinema at the Cornerhouse, Manchester. He was recently unsuccessful in his Arts Council funding application to slaughter a large number of rival artists.
Alex makes mini epic films, video installations, games, photographs, sculpture, blogs and books. Throughout his work there is a sense of an acceptance of failure or disappointment as important parts of the human condition. Using readily available materials and software the work often has a feeling of improvisation, an initial throwaway idea made visible. It makes light with big issues and is, in turn, haunting and funny.
Rowe is interested in the escapism that cinema gives to the audience. Pulling from a huge wealth of sources of popular culture and primarily, films from the 1980s; Rowe reconstructs his own versions of infamous props and scenes from these films.
These handmade objects are painstakingly carved, sanded and cut from MDF (the only material Rowe allows himself to use). They are then glued and affixed together similar to the Airfix models that consumed a lot of his childhood. However now, not unpainted plastic aeroplanes (Rowe admits he never had the steady hand for painting) but life size unpainted ‘replicas’ of the props in the associated films.
These films remind Rowe of a time when he wasn’t burdened by the responsibilities of adulthood. A lot of the items Rowe chooses to focus on demonstrate a means of escape. Yet the innate un-usability of everything Rowe constructs is paramount to his concepts. By purposely adding each intricate detail to create an item that looks distinctively life like, the blandness and monotone MDF material throws back at you the frustrating fact that it is un-useable and still in many ways a fantasy.
Martin Sexton produces powerful and controversial art. He works at the interface of ancient history, metaphysics, the psychosocial aspects of ufology & the politics of aesthetics — all countered with an overpowering poetic vision that has echoes of the wilful extremism of rock n’ roll.
He has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally, including Tate Britain, Benaki Museum Athens & the Venice Biennale. He works with ice, fire, meteorites, sound, film and text.
Skinner’s was born in 1989, in Birmingham, England; where until the age of seven lived with both her parents. However after the divorce of her parents Laura went to live with her mother and sister. Laura’s exploration of art first began at school, where her interest in painting first began. This lead to Skinner continuing art subjects at Matthew Boulton College where she obtained her A Levels and then her Art & Design Foundation Diploma.
She has recently finished a Fine Art degree at Birmingham City University, where she attending the Margaret Campus. Creativity is her life, everyday brings new challenges that allow her to continually experiment with new ways of working and a variety of material in order to be able to create something new. By using a wide range of processes and materials, experimentation is the main focus of Laura Skinner’s artistic style. Her work has gone through many transformations from her early oil and acrylic paintings, plaster and fibre-glass body casts to her most recent series focusing on motorised sculpture.
Minnie Weisz Studio, ‘the last gallery before Paris’, which runs its byline, stands opposite St.Pancras International in a row of now relic Victorian arches, built in 1850. An exchange platform for artists, ideas and a common interest in art which is inclusive, engaging, and playful are some key elements which are the creative link in shows at her studio, and exhibitions she curates off site; sometimes in abandoned buildings or other buildings of historic or architectural interest which have withstood time.
She runs workshops in early 19th Century Photography, using the wetplate and collodion process, along with lectures given by the artists she chooses to collaborate with and show under the arches.
Her own work as an artist centres around buildings as camera obscuras, stories of rooms, buildings as witnesses to change and time, and look at the idea that camera obscura unlocks a dialogue between exterior and interior worlds, physically and emotionally.
Working using electronic components and mechanical principles Luke Williams produces devices which co exist with the space in which they are placed. Using light and sound Luke’s objects react with a space bouncing light and sound off of the walls and objects to produce an environment the audience is invited to experience or not.
Influenced by the films of the eighties the machines Luke produces also pay homage to the early pioneers of 18th and 19th century science through the use of woods such as oak and beech and metals like brass, steel and copper in their construction.
Born 1971. Adam studied sculpture at Camberwell and Loughborough in the 90′s. He now divides his time between his studio practice and working as an art director in film media.