Visual Arts Feature, Summer 2019
I was a self-involved photographer with a background in business management before attending Royal College of Arts. I was raised with art in my life. My grandfather was a painter and an art history teacher, one of the first teachers after the Republic of Turkey was founded. I completed a month long filmmaking program at New York Film Academy after my bachelors degree. Due to my country's political circumstances, I was also reared with a sense of activism. This led me to discover more about women and their place in society, especially in the chaotic circumstances of the Middle East.
Milk and the Middle East is a portrayal of how the politics of religion oppresses women in many Muslim cultures. A society grows up on women's' milk. Yet it demands women cover up. This kind of society prevents natural feminine pleasure, inhibiting the development of a full identity for millions of women. I believe that when a human condition is suppressed or prohibited, it comes back in absurd and mostly harmful practices.
As a living, evolving being, I am fond of fluidity. It's a sense of a continuous flow of the consciousness we live in, despite being limited by particular space and time. I find the discipline of photography in line with this essence of being. Authentic visual simulation enables the viewer to travel to someone else’s consciousness, to an unaware part of their own consciousness, to past or future or all at the same moment. A photograph can simultaneously capture past and present. The photos I take, especially the staged ones, reflect my own desires, fears, experiences, opinions. They also reflect my disturbance about causes larger than my own being, especially societal conflicts and political systems.
My goal is to create an umbrella of creative work which people feel safe to gaze upon and then connect to their suppressed sexual senses. I strive to construct a community conscious of its sexuality, therefore in control over it and in peace.
A R C H I V E : Previous "Performing & Visual Arts" Features
Athena Stevens & Lily McLeish (Performing Arts), Winter 2019
Alexandra Baraitser (Visual Arts), Autumn 2018
Visual Arts Feature, Spring 2019
Why am I so curious about women? I think it's because, as a woman, I want to find out why.
Why do we so often react according to stereotype; why do we let ourselves fade into insecurity; who are we here for? Is it for ourselves or for those around us?
"Desolation" from Voices in the Shadows
My work explores the many facets of being female. Using a camera, digital manipulation, digital animation, light, sound and the spoken word, I create photographs, videos, installations and performance art. At the heart of my work is a curiosity about females.
My work includes:
‘Red Lips’, an installation of eight mannequins. The 'ladies' speak with pride about their red lips. Normally silent, I have given them a voice.
Labeled for Life
‘Labeled for Life’ is an installation wherein a seated mannequin, dressed in an antique rusted gown, celebrates her own decadent decay. It's a challenge to the invisibility of the older woman.
‘Time Passing’ is a series of digital prints celebrating the strength of women in their sixties, seventies and eighties.
Voices in the Shadows
‘Voices in the Shadows’ was part of a cross disciplinary collective of four artists working collaboratively.
We produced a provocative body of work focused on how fear, despair, and loss of trust impacts our sense of reality and mental wellbeing.
The videos produced for the performance art focus on women’s vulnerability, lack of confidence and fear of isolation.
No. I have not exhausted my quest, it will continue to be a fundamental element in my future work.
Shoreline, a video by Chris Avis
Voices in the Shadows
"Blast" from Voices in the Shadows
1980/1990 Designer maker in porcelain glass and mixed media
1994 BA. Fine Art. First Class Hons
1996 MA. Art in Architecture
1996-2009 Senior Manager
2013 Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship six weeks researching the attitudes of the arts communities in the cities of Berlin, Copenhagen and Amsterdam towards older artists.
2014 Devised and directed a Barbican and Guildhall Open Lab.
Revelation: Artists of the third Age
2009 -2019 Exhibitions/ video screenings/ installations in London/ UK / parts of Europe
Visual Arts Feature, Winter 2019
Joan McLane is a painter living and working in Chicago, Illinois
Impending, mixed medium, 20" x 20"
In Joan's words...
About 18 years ago, I retired from training teachers of young children and after a long absence returned to painting . When asked what I do in retirement, I respond: “I paint.” But I don’t call myself a “painter”. This term implies a professional status I haven’t attained. On the other hand, I resist the term “hobby” because it sounds unserious—and I am serious about my painting.
It's difficult for me to categorize my work. My paintings are abstract. However, they often contain forms which suggest animated figures. I paint in oil, and several years ago I began to incorporate bits of fabric—linen, silk, cheesecloth. I now use mostly cheesecloth because its loose weave makes it an ideal medium to create interesting, fluid forms. These forms emerge in the process of manipulating fabric and paint—a process that is both exploratory and playful.
Dancing on the Edge, mixed medium, 30" x 30"
I examine aspects of movement and emotion, particularly with figures moving in and on the edges of space. Figures are in flight or on the verge of flight, some leaping freely into or through space, others on the brink of taking off. Many figures hover precariously on the edge of of a vast open space that is both inviting and terrifying, full of possibility and risk. Figures are caught at particular, unsettled moments which suggest possible relationships and narratives.The relationship between the figures and the spaces they inhabit is open to multiple interpretations: tension, excitement, fear, anxiety, exuberance, exhilaration, freedom and play.
Surprise, mixed medium, 24" x 24"
Exhilaration, mixed media, 30" x 30"
Elation, mixed medium, 24” x 24"
Visual Arts Feature, Autumn 2018
My recent paintings are my individual interpretation of what might be called 'contemporary culture' or 'iconic twentieth century design'. The fashionable scenes I paint are peopled, but focus on the non-communication or separation of each figure from the other. My aim is to infer an emotional absence. The iconic frozen-in-time scenes depict a human presence, but the characters in these minimal spaces are speechless and isolated. The work explores the relationship between the figures and the space around them and invokes the silences within the relationship.
I am both an artist and a curator with experience curating at ArtKapsule, APT Gallery, Cambridge University, Tripp Gallery and Stour Space. I have exhibited (and my work is in art collections) internationally, from Cork Street in London to Tasmania, Australia. I was selected for the final round of judging at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2017. Shows include John Moores Painting Prize, British School at Rome, NatWest Art Prize, Kettles Yard, Art Basel, University of Cambridge, Hirschl Contemporary Art, Mark Jason Gallery and Tripp Gallery.
See more of my work at www.alexandrab.org.uk.
'CHARLES AND RAY EAMES AT HOME'
Oil on Canvas 2015 120cmx110cm
The painting 'Charles and Ray Eames at Home' is based on a famous photograph of the couple in the house they designed and built at 203 North Chautauqua Boulevard in the Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles. I painted them alongside their unique and eclectic collection of objects and designed pieces. This work reflects my fascination with design and the way light falls on interior artefacts. I sought also to express the designers' emotional relationship.
IN THE DEMONSTRATION ROOM 1939'
Oil on Canvas 2016 26cmx100cm
I was drawn to this photograph taken in 1939 of Poul Henningsen in the demonstration room he designed for the Danish lighting company Louis Poulsen. Henningsen's startlingly modern electric lights orbit above the figures like planets and provide a glare of cool brightness.
'DONALD JUDD'S BEDROOM'
Oil on Canvas 2017 63.5cmx 79cm
The artist Donald Judd's bedroom in central New York is now open to the public as part of a museum on Spring Street. I love to paint empty interiors. Judd's minimalist bedroom and his iconic neon light pieces produce an array of coloured reflection on the polished wooden floor.
MORE ON ALEXANDRA BARAITSER
Awards and Prizes:
Grants for the Arts, Arts Council England (2005)
Commissions East, Awards for Artists for mentoring with Rachel Thomas (2001)
Shortlisted for MOMART Fellowship (1999)
NatWest Art Prize (1998)
The Abbey Scholarship in Painting, The British School at Rome (1997)
The John Moores 19 (1996)
The Ray-Finnis Trust Art Funding (1995)
The Florence Trust Studio Award (1995-6)
Collections: Design Centre, Tasmania, J Sainsbury PLC, BP Amoco, Cambridge University (Clare Hall Art Collection).
Essay by Eva Bensasson for the catalogue The Future Past March 2007 at Mark Jason Gallery: "Alexandra Baraitser's paintings pay homage to some of the greatest designs of the twentieth century. Visions of the future pertain to history, firmly rooted in the time-specific aspirations of the societies and cultures that create them. Yet the utopian dream that characterised twentieth century Modernism has left a vision so compelling that the revolutionary designs of the fifty years ago still inform the popular imagination today. Baraitser's paintings highlight the contradictions of the current condition of modern furniture, still denoting 'the new' while simultaneously acting as 'design classics'; embodying socialist thought while serving as symbols of social status. The relationship of painting to these subjects is itself highly relevant in Baraitser's work. Using paint she labours to represent the patina and tone of objects which were designed in order to be mass produced. Through her dedication to each painting she emphasises the fetishistic qualities that these objects have aquired. Baraitser's paintings are based on photographs, this imbues them with a quality at once slighlty distant and , through the human touch, particularly individual."
Visual Arts Feature, Summer 2018
Even in the Rain I was Happy choreographed by Catherine Lafleur, 2014
I’m based in London N4 , and have a lifetime love of photography. I’ve been taking photos for over 40 years. In 2010, I went back to college to study photography and to learn more about digital imaging. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to photograph this Montreal dance festival in 2012, and have gone back every year since. I love dance and I love photography, so for me it’s the ideal combination.
I had an exhibition in 2014 at Lauderdale House. It was a large body of work called “Without the Past the Future is Formless”. I used old photos of my friends, added up- to- date pictures and interviewed each person about their life then and now.
Photo documentaries, travel and dance photography continue as my focus.
A piece by choreographer Alix Dufresne, 2015
Dirt by Catherine Lafleur, 2017
Festival Quartiers Danses
Festival Quartiers Danses is a contemporary dance festival which has taken place in Montreal for the last 15 years. The festival aims to be accessible to all audiences, especially those who would not normally attend dance shows. The performances are in a variety of venues across the city, both indoors and outdoors. Works often feature both older and disabled dancers. The festival predominantly showcases local artists, but each year has included works from both national and international companies.
Tentacle Tribe performing Threesixnine, 2017
Under my Skin by choreographer and dancer Morgane Le Tien, 2015
Tiwalade Ibironba Olulode
Performing Arts Feature, Summer 2019
My name is Tiwalade Ibirogba Olulode.
I'm an emerging artist from Northampton. I trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. From there I moved to Lagos, Nigeria, where my writing sparked interest. One of my plays has been produced by respected theatres around London including Lyric Hammersmith, Barons Court Theatre and The Space Theatre.
I'm currently with the National Youth Theatre Rep Company. I will perform in three shows from October 2019 through January 2020: Great Expectations, Frankenstein and A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Southwark Playhouse and The Criterion in the West End. It's been deeply rewarding to build a relationship with a company of actors. I'm so excited to channel the incredible energy we've developed in workshops into our rehearsals for the shows.
I've always dreamt of a future as a respected artist-- acting, writing and directing. Acting is my first love, and I can't see that fading. I always enjoyed creative writing, but it wasn't until I graduated from drama school that I started my first play Rush. When it was selected for a couple of runs, I decided to put on the director's hat as I had a clear vision of how I wanted my writing to be presented. For now, I'm going to focus primarily on acting. But in the future, I can't see anything stopping me from being successful in all mediums. The future is bright!
The Colored Museum, George C. Wolfe
My friend recommended this play to me whilst I was at drama school. I hadn't read anything like it before. It made me laugh to the point of tears. I also felt the tension build in my stomach, emotions on two extreme ends. I knew I had to do a monologue from this riveting play. The Colored Museum is a dark comedy that looks into the African American story, spins it on its head and leaves you with a satire that at times can be hard to swallow.
The Girl with the Brightest Smile, Tiwalade Ibirogba Olulode
I wrote this poem shortly after I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. It was therapeutic to write about how I was feeling. I didn't feel ashamed of my inner thoughts. The smile is about the mask we put on for the world. A mask is needed in social settings, but it can be dangerous when you don't get the opportunity to be free. Growing up, my smile was repeatedly praised, something that became part of my core personality. I asked myself: when I don't have that, who am I? The smile is something that had become automatic, even when I was feeling terrible inside. This poem is an exploration of those feelings.
Athena Stevens & Lily McLeish
Performing Arts Feature, Winter 2019
Lily McLeish (left), Athena Stevens (right)
Athena Stevens wrote and stars in Schism,a play about two people finding each other, exploring what they cannot be for one another, powerful as is their twenty year relationship. Lily McLeish directed the production.
These clips, from the May 2018 north London Park Theatre performance, give a flavour of the connection between Katherine, played by Stevens, and her lover Harrison, played by Jonathan McGuinness. The interviews between director and writer/actor provide an insight into their creative process as individuals and as a team.
See an excerpt from Schism and two video excerpts from an interview with Lily McLeish and Athena Stevens below.
Lily McLeish and Athena Stevens in conversation about Schism
Prav MJ, PMJ Productions
Performing Arts Feature, Summer 2018
Prav MJ, PMJ Productions,
VIDEO EXCERPTS FROM FACELESS,
written by Selina Fillinger, produced & directed by Prav MJ.
Claire Fathi as Paige Round in Faceless, produced and directed by Prav MJ
Fiona Gent as Susie Glenn in Faceless, produced and directed by Prav MJ