Disco Ball Soul: ArtAttack Interviews Emma Elizabeth Tillman

Opening on 11 August 2017 is photographer Emma Elizabeth Tillman’s debut solo show entitled Disco Ball Soul. The exhibition, consisting of more than 90 collages created over a ten-year period, is an accumulation of photographs and texts taken from her new book of the same title. Tillman began this body of work in 2007, recording precious moments, including her meeting of her now husband Josh.

1. Louisville, Kentucky, 2012 © Emma Elizabeth Tillman, by courtesy of the artist.jpg
Louisville, Kentucky, 2012 © Emma Elizabeth Tillman, by courtesy of the artist

ArtAttack caught up with Emma to find out more about her thoughts on film, travel and making the private public.

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New Geographies launches today!

Today, 18th July, marks the launch of The East Contemporary Visual Arts Network’s (ECVAN) New Geographies, a three-year Arts Council England-funded project that invites members of the public to choose locations for 10 major site-specific visual arts commissions across the east of England.

Petrified Oak Forest of Mundon, Essex © Glyn Baker.jpg
Petrified Oak Forest of Mundon, Essex © Glyn Baker

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Out of the wilderness: Maddie Rose Hills returns from Iceland for London show

Maddie Rose Hills paints visceral large scale canvases driven by an interest in play and experimentation. A mass of texture and colour, Hills paints using a physical and intuitive process to cut free from conscious actions. She has developed an acute interest in looking towards the detail of what she encounters, specifically within vast natural landscapes – reflected by the small details within her work.

Maddie Rose Hills - Studio Shot

You have recently finished a residency in Iceland, tell us about this experience. How did that particular environment inspire you as an artist?

Last summer, I was very excited to be accepted onto an artist residency in Iceland. The residency lasted two weeks and took part in the Westfjords where the landscape is essentially mountains and deep valleys leading down to fjords. There are no trees and the ground is covered in tough grass and flowers, as well as huge rocks covered in lichen and lava moss. The landscapes look baron and are inhospitable. The lack of visible wildlife as we know it makes it seem otherworldly. There are no reptiles or amphibians and the only land mammal native to Iceland is the Arctic Fox. We also didn’t see sign of another person the whole time we were there.

The programme brought together 10 artists working in different areas of the arts, there was a writer, photographer, filmmaker, sculptor, poet – I think there was supposed to be a dancer but they had to pull out last minute. But, the idea was that no matter what your practice was, your principal inspiration was natural landscapes and the wilderness. We walked for two weeks through these amazing landscapes carrying everything we needed for the whole trip. Due to the nature of the residency most of us couldn’t practice our art while we were there, it was purely inspiration & idea sharing. Interestingly, this allowed me to realise that I don’t paint from what’s in front of me but from a memory. The whole trip for me was gathering memories to go back and paint from after the residency was over. It was a trip in order to really focus on looking and noticing. What you then get when you make art is a response to the place – you are capturing an essence of something as opposed to trying to copy it. This has stuck with me and is now how I always work.

You often paint outside, does nature inspire how you practice your work? 

I absolutely love painting outside! I don’t get to do it often because I live in London, but my family home is in the countryside and I always jump at the chance to go home for a few days for some detox and outdoor painting. It’s the best because the light is amazing, the air is great, and I can use as many smelly paints as I like. It’s also amazing for weird reasons like when it’s really hot the paint dries so fast that it starts to form such amazing crackles that you just don’t get when painting inside.

Your process seems very free, when you start on a new work do you have a clear idea of where you will finish?

I always have a slight idea in my head of the general colours that I want to use. This usually comes from something I’ve seen when outside on a walk, but these colours are just in my head. I never photograph anything for use. Then I like to pop down to an art shop or a DIY shop and just go a little bit mad in there and probably spend a bit too much money for an artist’s budget. But, I like to get a load of materials that tie in with what mood I’m feeling in and from the loose image I have in my mind. This is probably some really good quality coloured paints, always a huge tub of white emulsion, and after that it’s just a free for all. I can spend hours in there looking at every single product. I have a few go to things I always like to get like certain inks etc., but mainly I’m trying to find new things that I’ve never used before. This inclusion of new materials means I’m always excited to start a painting because there’s this big element of experimentation as I don’t have a clue what the material will react with etc. Pretty much as soon as I start painting, the work begins to inform itself and I just go with the flow.

What is next?

My plan is to continue painting as much as possible. I’d like to have a few days to spend a bit of time visiting exhibitions and chilling in my local library. You get very wrapped up in making when you’re finishing a collection so whenever I finish a group of paintings I like to go back to the books and read some artists biographies or try and learn about some artists I don’t know about (public libraries are great for this kind of thing).  The collection that I am exhibiting with Loughran Gallery is my favourite yet, so I feel motivated to get back to it and keep progressing.

Maddie Rose Hills will be exhibiting her new Boundaries Collection with the Loughran Gallery for a pop-up private view at Farmacy, Notting Hill on Thursday, July 13th.

http://www.loughrangallery.co.uk/artists/maddie-rose-hills.aspx

Watch Maddie at work here.

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Bram Bogart Monochromes Come to the Saatchi

Opening tonight at Saatchi Gallery in the heart of Chelsea as part of their SALON programme is Witte de Witte, a presentation of 9 monochrome (or practically monochrome) paintings by the Belgian artist Bram Bogart.

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Bram Bogart, Witte de Witte, 2002, Mixed media

Staged in collaboration with Mayfair’s Vigo Gallery, the show takes what we traditionaly envision as Bogart’s style — bright, primary colours painted thickly and boldly  — and turns it on it’s head by showing only his rarely seen neutral colour paintings! Taken as a group, these works not only showcase a different side to Bogart, but also illustrate his dramatic, varied and unique contribution to modernist painting.

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It’s that time of year again! Head to the Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair This Sunday!

It’s that time of year again! The annual Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair is back, this time in its namesake of Vauxhall on SUNDAY, 9 JULY 2017 from 12 – 6pm.

This year’s brand-new theme, ‘The Original,’ promises to be a prime opportunity to snap up one-of-a-kind original as well as limited edition artworks all for a fraction of their usual prices. The one-day festival will take place in the streets of Vauxhall’s vibrant new gallery district with the support of Newport Street Gallery and U+I Plc, and will present an eclectic line-up of over one hundred artists who will be selling exclusive pieces from the boots of both new and vintage Vauxhall cars.

James Joyce, Hot Air, Acrylic on canvas, 35 x 45cm, £750.jpg
James Joyce, Hot Air, Acrylic on canvas, 35 x 45cm, £750

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A Turner Prize Nominee comes to Firstsite: Lubaina Himid’s ‘Warp and Weft’

This Saturday 1st July sees the opening of Lubaina Himid: Warp and Weft, a survey of works by the 2017 Turner Prize nominee at Firstsite gallery in Colchester.

1. Naming the Money, 2004. Collection of National Museum Liverpool International Slavery Museum, and the artist. Photo Spike Island © the artist copy.png
Naming the Money, 2004. Courtesy the artist, Hollybush Gardens and National Museums Liverpool: International Slavery Museum. Photo Spike Island © the artist

A key figure in the Black Arts Movement, Himid first came to prominence in the 1980s when she began organising exhibitions of work by her peers, who were underrepresented in the contemporary art scene. Her diverse approach disrupts preconceptions of the world by introducing historical and contemporary stories of racial bias and acts of violence inflicted upon oppressed communities.

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PhotoX competition winner’s announced

The Green Rooms play host to ArtGemini’s photography exhibition – displaying a wonderful mix of subject matter. Amongst the group of 30 or so photographers showing, are the winners of the PhotoX competition.

The ArtAttack take: Jakub Pasierkiewicz’s Natural Resemblance VIII, 2016 brings together a two shots: a carefully curated interior composition alongside a peeling, graffitied wall. Its elegant ambiguity offers the viewer with many different readings.

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The winners in full:

1st prize Matthew Joseph, River People – Louis, 2017  
2nd prize
Samye Asher, Prussia Cave, 2015

Monochrome Prize A.R. Shah, Onward, 2012
Artist Residency Prize Jakub Pasierkiewicz, Natural Resemblance VIII, 2016

The exhibition of the 35 short-listed works, with workshops, portfolio reviews and seminars running until July 1st. www.photox.co.uk for more details. The Green Rooms is a 12 minute journey from King’s Cross, address below:

The GreenRooms, 13-27 Station Road, Wood Green, London, N22 6UW

Explore the Unexplored with ‘Ed Gold: Other Worlds’ at Firstsite

Opening this weekend on Saturday 17th June at Firstsite, Colchester (private view tonight from 6-9pm!) is Ed Gold: Other Worlds, a compelling presentation of 100 photographs by the  social documentary photographer taken over the past 30 years during his time spent living in various isolated communities across the globe. There are five bodies of work by Ed being shown in the retrospective: Patagonia, Country Folk (Essex, Wales & Scotland), Afghanistan Bed Spaces, Positive Futures and Nowitna and each series is an in-depth look at what it really is like to be a part of those communities.

M’Hula Crew, Country Folk, 1999, Digital print, Dimensions variable.jpg

M’Hula Crew, Country Folk, 1999, Digital print, Dimensions variable

 

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A £10,000 prize will make this year’s HIX Award more exciting than ever!

The HIX Award is back this year and more exciting than ever with a £10,000 cash prize to be awarded to the overall winner thanks to new sponsors Coutts and Baxterstory! The award itself is even designed by art world legend Damien Hirst so artists, we’d suggest you get submitting as soon as possible!

The annual emerging art award, which is open to current students and recent graduates of UK art colleges alike, was created five years ago by restaurateur and art aficionado, Mark Hix, to give young artists a platform to showcase their work and take their first steps in their professional careers.

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Mark Hix

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