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Art Lab: Experiments in collaboration
Crossley Gallery, Dean Clough, Halifax
30 July – 11 September 2022

This exhibition showcases work by 34 artists randomly paired to collaborate over the course of four months with a diverse range of practices and collaboration methodologies. The exhibition marks a return to the physical space after Covid restrictions and also relaunches the Art Lab monthly meetings.The closing discussion for the exhibition will take place on Monday 12th September at 7:00pm, Fletcher’s Mill, Dean Clough

Artists

Nadeem Baghdadi & Jeffrey Andrews, Michelle Baharier & Mike Clements, Becky Atherton & Jon Hoyle, Donna Coleman, Dave Pugh & Ian Pepper, Clare Smith & Abu Jafar, Janet Allsebrook, Helen Jones, Alice Hutt & Alice Bradshaw, Lucy Arden & Nicola Garvey, Susan Wright & Oliver Cloke, Jane Pugh & Fiona Pattison, Carrieanne Vivianette & Shahina Jaffer, Frank Darnley & Marianne Sice, Yvonne Carmichael & Carolyn Curtis Magri, Kimbal Bumstead & Andy Abbott, Siobhan Wall & Jon Eland, Eunice Gonçalves Duarte & Maggie Thompson, Paul Digby.

Artists websites & social media

Preview: 30 July, 12:00-2:00pm, Crossley Gallery, Dean Clough
Preview performances by:
Andy Abbott & Kimbal Bumstead, Siobhan Wall, Carrieanne Viviaette & Secret Pockets

Gallery opening times: Monday – Sunday 10:00am – 5:00pm, free entry.
Closing discussion: Monday 12th September, 7:00pm, Fletcher’s Mill, Dean Clough with Ebony Andrews & Ian C Taylor.

Nadeem Baghdadi

This piece depicts a working day and everything that is involved in the routine and often mundane rituals of a working day. For example; brushing the teeth, ironing the clothes, commuting to work. In the centre is the worker and the boss with the worker listening to the boss talking in his ear. I have used a collage of images to tell the story. Overall, the art work comes across as a busy piece of work as I tried to depict a busy working day. I use very bold colours and strokes and my work is very uninhibited. Price: £950

Jeffrey Andrews

‘This is not Nadeem’s cheese grater’

Oil pastel on linen 60cm x 70cm

My work is about ordinary, everyday domestic objects, tools, heirlooms and stories that trace our material history. I’m interested in the relationship between three-dimensional objects and their two-dimensional representation. My ArtLab exhibition partner is Nadeem and he offered his cheese grater which I wrapped and rubbed with oil pastels to reveal the surface texture and shape beneath the parchment linen . The uncovered object is viewed simultaneously from multiple angles to create an honest interpretation of the original. An authentic abstract representation. I overlayed the piece with images from Nadeem’s paintings to enhance and personalise the work.


Michelle Baharier

My artistic practice is strongly influenced by my everyday experience of disability, addressing barriers and prejudices about dyslexia and mental health - see: www.michellebaharier.co.uk

My oeuvre includes videos, sound, performance, poetry, colourful expressive paintings and portraits, using storytelling, phone drawings and digital collages. My work is in a number of public and private collections - my latest ‘The Walkie Talkies’ supported by Arts Council England, is at The London Transport Museum. It is the first piece of disability history they own. I studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, live and work in South London and exhibit internationally.

Mike Clements

I make artist's books see - www.mikeclementsartist.com

My artist's books are in public and private collections worldwide, including Bodleian Library, Oxford; Tate Gallery, London; Yale Center for British Art; and Manchester Metropolitan, UWE Bristol, Oxford Brookes, Cardiff Met Universities and Arts University Bournemouth. My ideas come from close observation of the world around me. Narrative is important for me – artists’ books tell stories. I collaborated with Michelle Baharier. We enjoyed working together via Zoom. It was easy to agree to make joint work featuring content from both of us. Maybe one day we’ll actually have the pleasure of meeting.

Collaboration

We are very different. Michelle is dyslexic. Mike had an academic education and working life. Michelle lives in South London, Mike in rural Herefordshire near the Welsh border. Our skills complement each other and we got on well in Zoom meetings. It was easy to agree that we would make joint artworks, with half the content from each of us. We both learnt new things. Mike loved Michelle’s free use of colour and fluid drawn lines. Michelle thought collaborating with Mike was wonderful. “I need organising and he is great at that, plus we have so many coincidences, of shared backgrounds, it enabled us to create what I feel is some very exciting work taking me out of my comfort zone. Zoom enables connections without the usual borders which helps us all to expand.”


Becky Atherton

Title : The Young Shamanka

I am very interested in female mythology, histories and stories, my interest has grown after completing my Fine Art MA at UCLAN last year. My painting ‘The Young Shamanka’ is a response to a conversation I had about shamanism ,it is based on a dream in which my daughter tangled up in sheets moved from my bed ,turned into a giant rat then into a swan and swam away. I also wanted to evoke a totem with in my painting so I have painted on canvas sections with a top tier of three.

Jon Hoyle

I am 64 years old, and started painting about five years ago. I am a self-taught amateur artist. I describe myself as the world's most unlikely artist.

For this exhibition I was paired with Becky Atherton. After meeting on line we discussed a few ideas and decided on a theme of transformation. I used the idea of an unexpected shamanic journey I had experienced and remembered vividly. After discussing our different approaches I sketched out my idea. With a few false starts and some minor changes I painted the image and wording. Salish is a Native American tribe from the North West USA/ Canada region.


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Donna Coleman

Donna Coleman explores the human condition using her own experiences of anxiety and depression. She experiments with ballpoint pens, graphite and charcoal on cardboard and paper, to create visceral images that sit between abstraction and figuration. In 2020, Coleman started an ongoing series of drawings called Covid Anxieties, about the effects the global pandemic and lockdowns have had on the public’s mental wellbeing. Many of us have felt scared, isolated and disconnected from each other, causing anxiety, depression and dissociation. She wants the viewer of her work to recognise the shared vulnerability we are all experiencing during these unprecedented times.


Dave Pugh

I worked with Ian Pepper, we were both interested in collage and decided to exchange work by post. We added images to each others collages and returned them. This formed the basis of my work, I scanned the collages and added yet more imagery to make two large digital prints. It was great working with Ian as we both seemed interested in similar themes.

Ian Pepper

Ian is a multi-disciplinary artist who enjoys exploring different approaches to art making. He has over the years worked in a variety of media including painting, collage, text and drawing but in recent years has been focusing mainly on collage and digital work. He has fairly broad artistic influences from German Expressionism and New Objectivity to Art Nouveau and Pop Art but his over-riding inspiration is Outsider Art. The work explores personal politics and interpersonal relationships within society. It is sprinkled with a sense of human warmth, mischief and fun often incorporating his dry, dark sense of humour.


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Abu Jafar & Clare Smith

Journey

24 individually worked boxes and 1 with a collaborative drawing.

Installed with LED lights and potentially with a film of the sea projected onto the installation. We will work with the space available.

During our initial conversation we exchanged information about each other’s background – Clare is of mixed Chinese/English heritage and Abu’s family is from Bangladesh, a country Clare happened to live in as a child. (Her father was posted to Bangladesh, then East Pakistan when working for the British Council). We realised that travel, migration, journeying was something we had in common. The first idea of drawing into each other’s work hit something of a dead end. The idea to create multiples, using boxes, came quite late in the day: it suits both our practices and there are multiple ways of thinking about boxes – box of surprises (surprise connection between us), Pandora’s box and its unforeseen contents, restrictive containers, a place to put stuff in (and store and forget about), something you need when moving house or country…. The significance of the number 49 is based on the idea of lucky numbers…


Janet Allsebrook

I’m a lifelong Artist - previously teaching art and now practicing. I use various media and techniques, but often work in print.

Helen Jones and I worked together on the theme of “scars,” our shared interest in human actions and how these might be repaired by nature. We collaborated in discussion and agreed to work as individuals.

I have produced some “nature printed” works on paper. The act of printing directly from a leaf or dead bird, records a life now passed and acts as a memorial to it. The prints become a natural archive, an act of mourning or a reminder of the briefness of life.

www.janet-allsebrook.com

Helen Jones

I am a painter using a variety of media. The freedom of walking in the woods, across moors or along a precarious coastal path gives me great joy. Encounters with butterflies, beetles and sun shining on leaves are never taken for granted. Gathering such sensory information with birdsong and the weather into sketchbooks, I have challenged myself to translate these encounters into pictures. Working with paint is just as enjoyable but like the horizon, the painting in my mind’s eye is unreachable. Compelled towards it, I strive for an authenticity that might resonate with others.


Alice Hutt

With only a few remaining fears Hutt lives alone in a woodland. Utilising foraged & found materials, her physical body and a mobile phone, she tells us stories of a place where human and nature intersect.

Hutt’s eye for the erotic, romantic, funny and mundane, bring alive narratives of growth and decay.

Of nature, Hutt says, we have more in common than that which divides us.

Discover more on Instagram:@aliceinWOOland

Alice & Alice: collaboration:human states of rust

Alice Bradshaw

Rust if you must, but wouldn’t it be better
to paint a picture or write a letter,
take a walk in the woods or plant a seed
ponder the difference between want and need?

Rust if you must, but there’s not much time,
with rivers to swim and mountains to climb
bird song to hear and books to read,
friends to cherish and life to lead.

Rust if you must, but the world’s out there
with sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,
places to go, in sun or rain.
This day will not come ‘round again

Rust if you must, but as a reminder,
Of colourful life, a life once kinder.
And when you remember, if only just,
Remember the traces, the marks, the rust.

(after Rose Milligan)


Nicola Garvey

Mother-Offspring

Unlike my previous crochet work, ‘Mother-Offspring’ is predominantly random, without intent, pattern or concern. The continuous red chains created different contours, which developed into all things mother-child. This was at a time when my son was diagnosed with having cancer, and undoubtedly influenced the course of my work. Each stitch bore my thoughts which grew from the anguish and helplessness I felt as his mother. The final piece with its foetus-like resemblance is secured onto what was a crisp hospital-like sheet; now a worn; crumpled; makeshift nightdress suggestive of life with its preponderance of uncertainties. The hands from which the gown hangs are symbolic of the times in which we found ourselves.

Lucy Arden

As a mother artist I strive to make the invisible, visible. I push against the expectations of my role as a mother and what my voice as an artist "should" sound like. I challenge internal and external pressure from this patriarchal society to go out and "get a proper job". The 9 to 5 paid work versus the 24/7 of the mental and emotional load, unpaid labour of motherhood. I fight these inner and outer worlds for the space and the time to create. Creativity is my oxygen, it feeds my soul, so I can return to my role as a mother, a little more restored and revived.

Woven Alchemy,

This That

Cotton Yarn

Talk, Reveal, Feel

Express, Expose, Disclose

Cogs In a Wheel

The underpinnings of our work were established after we both independently visited The Woven Child exhibition by Louise Bourgeois. It was clear from our initial conversations that collaborative work would be based on our experiences around life, motherhood, textiles and needlework. We realised that we had both learnt to crochet at the beginning of 2022. This became our starting point for the project. Lucy crocheted a large red needle, which sparked Nicola's interest. Keen to crochet, Lucy gave Nicola the remainder of the red cotton yarn...


Susan Wright

I am an artist who makes prints, my process is influenced by an interest in archives, artefacts, the lost and the found. The objects I collect and use in my work have a direct influence on my ways of thinking and seeing. Archives and artefacts hold stories and histories, which changes as the environment and humanity impacts upon them. My work aims to add to their narrative, to give the stories a chance to progress into the future, driven by my intervention as an artist and the individual interpretations of the audience who view them.

Susan and Oli are two people who haven't ever met, however they have been on a curatorial journey together. Images have been their communication tool and this game of pictionary crossed with sudoku is now presented for you to enjoy!

Oliver Cloke

I have been involved in a multitude of projects where collaboration, spaces, language, play are the keys to creativity. In each project participants to join in, explore and experiment in ways of communicating and making art. Ideas and materials are manipulated through discussion and collaborative construction; Physically, what is produced becomes irrelevant, except as means to highlight the process and exchange of ideas. I wish for this interactivity to provide a self-questioning, that will happen when viewers leave the situation and venture into the outside world of art. It’s all about getting others to find their own creativity.


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Fiona Pattison & Jane Pugh

Grow

Our collaboration is an ongoing art piece about surviving and growing through challenging times. In life, recognising who we are and shifting into what we want to become is hard, sometimes leading to compromise, loss and pain. In understanding and accepting that our identities, health, and environment are transforming, we experience many emotions and challenges. We have gratitude for what we have, as we encounter our evolving selves in a changing world. Taking time to stop, press pause, has allowed us to respond spontaneously, capturing moments from our lives instinctively, in its rawest form. This work is an automatic response to the words written and the images created by one another. Ours is a creative dialogue of self-discovery, showing fragility and sharing truth as we understand that nothing is permanent and all that we can do is to keep on growing. Instagram @fionalovemusicwords

Listen to Grow on SOUNDCLOUD


Shahina Jaffer

As a painter, I like to mix and experiment with different genres and techniques in one painting. I enjoy fauve and find it liberating to apply paint directly to the canvas surface. I then use tools from my printmaking studies to create a three-dimensional effect. I'm fascinated by paint as a medium and frequently experiment with different paints to create something new. My ethos is based on the quote by Degas, "Art is not what you see, but what you make others see," each painting can take the viewer on a visual journey based on their perception by incorporating the viewer's interpretation.

Carrieanne Vivianette

Shahina and I wanted our creative process together to be challenging and unpredictable. We began by separately working on half a canvas, to later exchange these and use the art work received as a stimulus for finishing the canvas. With this we also offered one another a quote stimulus. The art work and quote I gave to Shahina had an autobiographical nature, drawing upon my theatrical nature and love of play, ruminating on the character of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Alongside our collaborative pieces, we are both showing Individual pieces of our own work. All of my work for this exhibition is in oil paints, and each piece uses a different process of improvisation.

Collaboration

Shahina and Carrieanne have very different practices, so they are very curious to see how these will interact in the exhibition. Challenges are an integral part of collaboration for both of the artists. Carrieanne's figurative work is emotive and combined with Shahina’s abstract, often elusive work, this may challenge the viewer's perception. During the creative process, they provided a quote to their collaborator to ensure they understood the process of the creative execution, and gave ample support and provocation for creativity, to ensure a successful partnership. Shahina’s quote read: “There are more lines between the lines, some of them deep and others of them light, combining and galvanising the dusty copper to make it appear gold.” While Carrieanne’s quote read: “Follow me, I’m the Pied Piper, follow me, I’m the Pied Piper, and I’ll show you where it’s at”.


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Marianne Sice

Beliefs. Fragmentation. Defence Mechanisms. How often do you question your own beliefs and where they come from? Marianne Sice’s work explores the somatic experience of trauma from a female perspective exploring an individual’s beliefs, memories and behaviours resultant of trauma and some realisations from the recovery process.

Frank Darnley

We all have our demons. We can run and we can hide. Turning to look at them is a new thing. You must feel safe when you do this. Perhaps that's why I make art about household objects, to be surrounded by comfortable, familiar things. A kind of portable home.


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Yvonne Carmichael & Carolyn Curtis Magri

The Ghost in the Machine

Carolyn and Yvonne are both interested in forensic research and have chosen the joint subject of Linden Mill in Hebden Bridge to create new pieces for this exhibition. Carolyn currently has an arts studio on the top floor of the mill which she will soon will have to vacate as the building is due to be redeveloped into flats.

Carolyn has created her two works from the perspective of an ‘insider’ of the space, exploring the evidence left inside the mill by it’s creative occupants. Conversely, Yvonne is new to the mill and so her perspective is from the outside; only including information and research which has been made publicly available.

Both Yvonne and Carolyn are artists, curators as well as Project Managers with a joint interest in the intersection between arts activity and heritage spaces, and between regeneration and gentrification. ‘The Ghost in the Machine’ is the title of a book by Arthur Koestler (1970) that is part of a library of abandoned books housed at Linden Mill.

Carolyn holds a BA (Hons) Painting, an MA in Art and Design, an M.Phil Fine Art and a Lorado Taft Fellowship from the U.S. She has been an exhibiting artist since 1991, previously based in Manchester. Her practice is informed by forensic processes and unsolved crime, making drawings, small sculptures and digital art. Most recently Carolyn has curated a large scale drawing exhibition, entitled ‘Sixty Drawings plus Ten’, at The Whitaker. The show is open until 11 August 2022 (Rawtenstall, Lancashire).

600plus10.com     Instagram     Blog     Twitter

Yvonne Carmichael is an artist, curator and arts organiser. Previous projects have included guided walks and food maps; a four-year programme of events and exhibitions in empty shops in Leeds; a series of digital and new media commissions in heritage spaces in York; and the securing of a community asset transfer and 99-year lease for the South Square arts and community centre in Thornton.


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Andy Abbott

Andy Abbott is an artist, musician, writer and arts organiser. He has exhibited and performed internationally as an individual artist and in various collaborations including the art collective Black Dogs. He plays internationally solo and in various groups, and composes music for film, performance and installations. In 2012 he was awarded his practice-led PhD from the University of Leeds with a thesis on ‘art, self- organised cultural activity and the production of postcapitalist subjectivity’. Andy is Visiting Research Curator for the UNIDEE Residency Programs at Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto, Italy 2020 - 2022 where he has been programming a series of international artists residencies exploring aspects of embedded arts practice.

Website

Instagram

Kimbal Bumstead

Kimbal Bumstead’s art practice stems from his background in participatory performance art and his fascination with maps. His work explores ideas around imagining and “re-imagining” landscapes, and abstraction as a form of storytelling. He works across a broad range of media and disciplines including painting, drawing, video, performance and sound, sometimes on their own and sometimes in conjunction with each other. Originally from London, Kimbal studied Fine Art at the University of Leeds (2008), followed by a Masters in Performance and Theatre from Queen Mary University of London (2010). He has exhibited and performed internationally and currently lives and works in York.

Website

Instagram

Collaboration ,

Andy and Kimbal’s collaboration takes the form of an audio and print work. Starting from their shared love of landscape, field recordings and chance-operations in the creative process they began by taking a walk around their respective locales (in Halifax and York) simultaneously. The walks were documented through audio recordings and a linear trace of the route. They shared the results and used the other’s documentation as a guide for a further pair of walks - like the game ‘consequences’. This process was repeated four times in total. Andy and Kimbal then got together to jam with the audio recordings using sampling and sequencing equipment, and created an image by layering up the routes they had taken. The resulting 15-minute audio piece and print captures a process of local exploration, deep listening, being together-apart and collaborating over distance that reflects some of the artistic tools of the lockdown era.

Andy and Kimbal will be performing their collaborative sound piece live during the opening reception of the exhibition on the 30th July.


Siobhan Wall

Hair Less

I have hair loss as a side effect of taking medication for multiple sclerosis. I fluctuate between feeling embarrassed at losing my dark eyebrows and fringe and not worrying at all what other people think. I have been drawing, taking photos and writing poetry - all on the theme of alopecia. This project has enabled a new way of working, where ideas gradually and then suddenly evolve. It has been fascinating working with Jon Eland, who I've been partnered with. I think he is making me a woollen wig for the exhibition! Siobhan Wall is an artist, writer and curator based in Amsterdam. She curated Landshapes, an exhibiton of semi-abstract landscape paintings by Dutch and British artists, shown at Dean Clough Crossley Gallery a few years ago. She misses northern hills so tries to return to Holmfirth as often as possible.

Jon Eland

In early 2020 I realised I was drifting through life. This led to extensive introspection which identified negative narratives accumulated in my earlier years. Initial project conceptualisation extended from this and led to a recognition that, until a decade ago, my worth was limited by a poor self-image. This partially related to hair and perceptions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ arising from societal ideals of ‘man’, ‘beauty’ and gay culture experienced in the nineties (when ‘bearishness’ was unfashionable). This project responds to internalised voices (many manufactured by self-doubt) and visualising how I’ve reclaimed them as part of my current identity.


Eunice Goncalves Duarte

The work departs from found images of a family photograph album, here turned into 3 magic lantern films, and projected onto hand pulled prints. The found images are used to develop an imagined narrative, and reconstruct an imagined past based on my reading of the photos in the present day.
My proposal is to reinvent a new past for these images, considering the past goes beyond the recalling of distant and intangible events; it works as fragments of a story that can be rearranged and reinvented or even can bring the invisible to the visible world.

Maggie Thompson

The Past is a Foreign Country

The underlying theme of Maggie’s practice is an exploration of space. Here making work which was used for a collaboration with Eunice Gonçalves Duarte. Found images from an old Portuguese photo album were projected, using a magic lantern films, onto hand pulled prints which had been derived from present day Google earth images of the locations where of the original photographs were taken. For Maggie these are a virtual space which exists only digitally, but here made tangible in the present as a collaborative piece allowing the viewer to create an imagined landscape and past to create their own version of the original narrative.


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Paul Digby

Title: Untitled Material: graphite on paper Size: A2 Price: £445

This graphite on paper drawing is made in response to another artist who I had been partnered with where they had made a collage about the Ukraine conflict; unfortunately this artist has had to withdraw.

Date: 19th May 2022 Source: ohcr.org

From 4 a.m. on 24 February 2022, when the Russian Federation’s armed attack against Ukraine started, to 24:00 midnight on 18 May 2022 (local time), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) recorded 8,089 civilian casualties in the country: 3,811 killed and 4,278 injured.

This included: A total of 3,811 killed (1,429 men, 937 women, 87 girls, and 98 boys, as well as 70 children and 1,190 adults whose sex is yet unknown)

A total of 4,278 injured (774 men, 528 women, 103 girls, and 115 boys, as well as 164 children and 2,594 adults whose sex is yet unknown)

In Donetsk and Luhansk regions: 4,422 casualties (2,099 killed and 2,323 injured)

On Government-controlled territory: 3,794 casualties (1,973 killed and 1,821 injured)

On territory controlled by Russian affiliated armed groups: 628 casualties (126 killed and 502 injured)

In other regions of Ukraine (the city of Kyiv, and Cherkasy, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Sumy, Zaporizhzhia, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava, Rivne, Vinnytsia and Zhytomyr regions), which were under Government control when casualties occurred: 3,667 casualties (1,712 killed and 1,955 injured)

www.pauldigby.co.uk