Saturday, 27 November 2010

Last Days of Empire - g39, Cardiff

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, g39 has embarked on a project with twelve artists to produce new work. Each artist has worked with g39 in the past and have been commissioned to produce a limited edition print for the gallery.

The Last Days of Empire is a tongue in cheek title is a reference to the changing times that we are in, a time of austerity, re-evaluation, a time of change in the visual arts landscape. It’s the end of the year, a time of change, out with the old and in with the new and it all starts again. The future of g39 is uncertain, but that has been the case throughout the history of the organisation. We are used to adapting to change and re-inventing ourselves, it is a useful survival strategy in uncertain times.

This exhibition marks a departure for g39, revisiting a generation of artists that we have supported in the past, in many cases we have represented them – critically and Curatorially – in the early stages of their careers, in other cases they are artists that have developed their careers alongside g39. Given an open brief they have responded with a collection of works that gives a cross section of contemporary practise in Wales

Artists include S Mark Gubb, Peter Finnemore, Manon Awst and Benjamin Walther, Pascal-Michel Dubois, Miranda Whall, Bedwyr Williams, Richard Bevan, Simon Holly, Jo Berry, Will Woon and Casey Raymond.

Saturday, Dec 4 at 11pm - Dec 22 at 5.30pm

The print I will be producing has the qualities of a relic, evoking a pictorial meditation on the function of icons. Here the empire of the material world dissolves into formlessness. 

Age of Saints, edition of 20, (50 x 70 cm) 2010

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Lens Photography Festival 2010

During the 19th and 20th of November the annual Lens Photography Festival will be held at the National Library in Aberystwth

I will be opening up the weekend of presentations this Friday - Nov 19th at 7.30pm at the Drwm Theater. The theme of the festival is Wales and the World. In that context I will discuss my photographic work in relation to cultural mapping and boundaries. The title of my presentation is Dark Matters, Wales and the Worlds.

Speakers on the Saturday include
Peter Davies, William Troughton, Terri Morris, Llinos Lanini

Monday, 1 November 2010

Argos Centre for Arts and Media, Brussels

Argos Centre for Art and Media in Brussels Belgium is a wonderful organization which administers an archive of over 2500 titles of audiovisual art in electronic and digital format and their library of catalogues and theoretical texts is extensive. These materials are freely accessible to anyone. Currently they are exhibiting Open Archive #2 – which is based on their collection. They have just acquired a series of my films for the purposes of preservation and archive, this environment and context will be a fitting home for these 23 films which was originally shown in their 2006 exhibition Short Turns with myself, Monsieur Delmotte and Kuang-Yu Tsui.

If you are in Brussels go and pay them a visit

Short Turns exhibition, Argos, Brussels 2006

Thursday, 28 October 2010

RCA - Secret

Between Nov 12 - 20, The Royal College of Art are having their RCA Secret exhibition, these are original artworks on postcards, sold for £45 regardless who the artist is. This is a fundraising event towards student awards. If you are sharp eyed you may spot 2 of my postcard artworks there. This annual show, has a sense of fun and spontaneity about it and a whole range of very interesting artists are contributing to the event.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Exhibitions 2010

Some recent group exhibitions I have been involved in 2010, include the inaugural exhibition at refurbished Oriel Mostyn in Llandudno. Entitled - We Have the Mirrors, We Have the Plans and included 25 artists working in Wales today.

Earlier in the year I was involved in the Exhibition - The Silent Village, curated by Russell Roberts and Ffotogallery in Cardiff. Here myself, the author Rachel Trezise and the NY photographer Paolo Ventura were commissioned to respond to the 1943 Humphrey Jennings film - The Silent Village. A film which re-stages in Wales the nazi obliteration of the Czech village of Lidice and its citizens following the assassination of the SS leader Reinhard Heydrich by the Czech resistance.

This exhibition will later tour in 2011 to Oriel Mostyn in Llandudno and DOX (Centre of Contemporary Art) in Prague, Czech Republic.

Both of these exhibitions are accompanied by very finely produced catalogues.

Western Mail - Oct 2010

Architectural Review

The Architectural Review / March 2010 / Rut Blees Luxemburg on Peter Finnemore

To The Buddha - St Davids Hall Cardiff, Sept 3 - Oct 2

installation photograph by Nigel Williams

Dark Matters
The Art of Peter Finnemore and Johnathan Anderson

To the Buddha: Veils and Voids offers an alternative encounter with some of the ideas and motifs associated with Buddhist thought. Finnemore and Anderson share similar preoccupations with the material world and its perceived spiritual dimensions. Their work revolves around the visceral and poetic properties of things and the ways that they (both themselves and their material surroundings) are transformed – by light, by touch, by time, by consciousness, by belief. Both artists’ find in the familiar and everyday a space where experience of art as a process and as an object, connects with deeper personal and collective truths.
Anderson’s use of materials such as soil, sand, stone and perhaps most significantly coal, has vital associations with the social and political landscape of South Wales. Yet, by coating ordinary objects with a fine layer of coal dust, he combines a key reference to modernity with a greater sense of a substance forged by extraordinary and often violent forces; aligning geological change with the human condition. Anderson’s art carries with it associations of suffering and denial, these seemingly nihilistic tendencies are echoed in his treatment of clocks and watches where the measurement of time is made redundant and replaced with the weight of the material world. The raw, matter of fact quality of these artworks with their collision of the ordinary with an unsettling beauty with their coating of coal, belies Anderson’s fascination with the art object as mandala, a threshold to other ways of being where in this instance dark materials are a means to a more liberated (and illuminated) understanding.
Paradoxically, Finnemore’s work shows a preoccupation with darkness through photography, a medium of light. The dark in this instance is used literally and metaphorically in relation to the artist’s home – Gwendraeth House, the family home for several generations. This is a work in progress that began in the 90s and for this episode in the life of the house, Finnemore looks to reveal something of its inner world, a collaborative gesture where the artist is attentive to the rhythms and spiritual qualities of the home as if it had its own consciousness. These are photographs that carry a certain reverence, acknowledging traces determined by the vitality between people and place. They are pictures shaped by strong emotional threads that extend to animals too as embodiments of Buddhist values. Here photography, similar to his video work shown here, is a meditative act in itself, attuned to the resonances of a specific environment, always mindful of the appearance of things but ultimately seeking to reveal what lies beyond.
Both Finnemore and Anderson offer subtle and thoughtful accounts around fundamental questions of belief and what emotional tools might be used in order to navigate the ordinary and extraordinary aspects of our lives. To the Buddha: Veils and Voids is a fascinating example of the power of art to take us somewhere else, not necessarily to a better place, but a place where we might find something of value.

Russell Roberts Cardiff 2010