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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 DamienHirst 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, MarkHix, to give young artists a platform to showcase their work and take their first steps in their professional careers.
Thursday 24th May sees the opening of RobertPerkins: The Written Image at Benjamin Spademan Rare Books, the first of a two-part exhibition of the American artist’s 45-year collaboration with poets.
From Seamus Heaney to Allen Ginsberg, Perkins has worked with the best of the best when it comes to the world of poetry. In fact, his journey began back in the 1970’s when he was a student at Harvard University and took poet, Elizabeth Bishop’s creative writing seminar. Perkins explains that when he told Bishop that he’d always wanted to be an artist, she wrote out a copy of her poem TheFish and asked him to illustrate it.
This assignment launched The Written Image, which Perkins describes as ‘self-portraits of the poet in the moment.’ To begin a work, he takes the poet’s hand-written text and then melds it with his own imagery, thus constructing a visual representation around the words.
This wet weekend in London, you will struggle to beat a trip to The Dot Project. Their current exhibition is a fascinating examination of contemporary painting’s relationship with modern, and how this has affected and influenced the way painters work. ArtAttack discusses technology and art with Tabitha Steinberg, co-curator of the exhibition Searching for magic and the distorted image falling from your iCloud.
From 20th May, the De La Warr Pavilion will present Safari: An exhibition as expedition, an anthology of works by the British artist, Simon Patterson.
Interspersed throughout the gallery space and hence taking the viewers on their own mini safari, the works on view will span a quarter century of Patterson’s career and feature wall drawings, sculpture, prints, photographs video and installation, as well as a public intervention, a site-specific commission and on opening day, a staged sea battle in collaboration with Bexhill Sailing Club!
On Friday 19th May Gallery DIFFERENT will present 35-year-old contemporary painter, Tarek Sebastian Al-shammaa’s debut solo show Fall of Europe II (until 22nd May).
We at ArtAttack stumbled upon Tarek’s artwork last year and have been great admirers of his painting practice ever since. His painterly use of space is quite extraordinary, filling the canvas with symbols and figures that tell stories of our world within the greater context of mythology. Each tiny element he chooses to include says something powerful. No iconography is wasted.
The artist’s main practice is history painting as he explores historical and mythological subject matter juxtaposing it with the harsh realities contemporary Western society. Within each of the epic paintings he presents the viewer with poignant psychological insight into his own life and heritage; Al-shammaa is half French and half Iraqi, and so has found himself straddling two oft-opposing cultures throughout his life.
Recurring themes across the young artist’s paintings include consumerism, war, love, lust and political oppression, as well as the opposition and even conflict of Western and non-Western culture and ideals. In the body of work on view, Alshammaa depicts everything from iconic myths like that of the Tower of Babel to mythical iconography such as Mother Earth, all within a present-day context.
ArtAttack contributor, Franzi Gabbert, had the chance to interview Al-shammaa in regards to his upcoming exhibition as well as his general practice.
May 19th sees the private view of the first show from the revolutionary new arts platform, ArtCircle. Taking the pop-up exhibition format but injecting it with a real dose of the high brow — think museum quality work, top notch curators and posh postcodes only — ArtCircle will no doubt finally solve the conundrum of fitting a brand new business concept seamlessly into the restrictive and not always welcoming art world.
The launch exhibition, which will take place at 48 Albemarle Street in London’s Mayfair, is entitled FocusingRoom and will feature work straight from the Museum of Modern Art in Goslar Germany, mainly from the Zero, Kinetic Art and Op Art schools. Much of the art has never before been seen in the UK, so ArtCircle, with the help of curator, BettinaRuhrberg, is bringing us something truly special.
We had the chance to speak with Bettina, who is the director of the MoMA in Goslar about her experiences as a curator, her goals for this exhibition and her thoughts on the ArtCircle concept.