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.

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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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Sisters Doing It For Themselves: Brains & Lip Takeover at CNB Gallery

Monday 24th April sees the private view of Brains & Lip Takeover at East London’s emerging art hotspot, CNB Gallery. The all-woman exhibition, which showcases the work of nine fantastic artists, is curated by Claire Orme and Alice Steffen, the creative duo behind Brains & Lip.

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Controversial, brash and witty, the artworks on view challenge and reclaim what it means to be a woman in contemporary society. The subversive painting, illustration and sculpture that feature in the exhibition explore discourses of identity, sexuality and female empowerment, resisting the restrictive expectations of the elitist, patriarchal art world.

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Jess de Wahls, Consent, 2016

We were thrilled to be able to speak with the two visionaries behind the ‘takeover’ in advance of next week’s exhibition.

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Dirty Market’s The Hearing Trumpet

ArtAttack speaks with bricolage theatre group The Dirty Market about their new production of Leonora Carrington’s The Hearing Trumpet.
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The Dirty Market’s production of The Hearing Trumpet

What first drew you to the works of Leonara Carrington?

We had begun devising a new show. We usually start work asking the group to bring in elements they’re interested in and we throw all that into the space to see if there are any connections. With this process, we’d already brought material around the occult, table rapping and old age. Meanwhile Jon was preparing a lecture on Surrealism and had discovered The Hearing Trumpet. So Jon brought it to the group – and we all read it together and laughed a lot and felt so much affinity with Leonora’s book – especially it’s values… We were also fascinated and astonished by Leonora’s prodigious artistic output.

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Evening Conference, 1949. Photograph: Estate of Leonora Carrington

How did her art and writing feed into each other?

That’s a tough question. The Hearing Trumpet is a book that keeps rewriting rules, constantly morphing… her paintings seem to do that too. To us, they have a veiled quality and are of course full of riddles and jokes and allegories. Having reread the book a lot now, we can see she lays down so many clues at the beginning – which you’re unaware of when you first read it. For instance she references an old rhyme, The Man of Double Deed, in a single passing sentence really early on. The entire last part of the book uses that rhyme as it’s structure. Its an amazing moment when you start to notice those details. And we’re aware there are many we just haven’t spotted yet!

Why was she overlooked? Did the ‘artist’s muse’ label stick to her, or was it just a family nick-name? Was she aware of it?

Well in terms of being overlooked, that’s just in the UK / Europe. In Mexico she is very famous. From what we’ve read and watched, we think she may have been overlooked here because she steadfastly refused to let anyone else define her – or use her as an object. Perhaps she didn’t dance to the tune of gallerists or sellers. The idea of branding, explaining herself, being defined really in any way – other than as a woman and an artist (whatever those things might mean) – seems to have been anathema to her. She absolutely refused to be anyone’s muse – she was her own woman. This is so radical for anyone making anything now where the emphasis is so heavily on definition / description / explanation. It’s very inspiring

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Dirty Market’s Jon and Georgina

How does bricolage theatre compliment her fantastic literature? Do we know enough about her working process to identify a bricolage/ conscious trial and error approach in her own art or writing?

From what we can gather, she would go into her studio everyday saying, “I wonder who I shall meet today” – she seemed totally open to what came through or up or however you want to define it. She seemed to follow cues from her subconscious (though she may have defined it differently… other realities / selves?) without judgement. She was also an avid reader, so had so many resources to draw on. Her technique was extraordinary. The fusion of these things: a belief in self, rich influences, openness to ‘who I shall meet”, a classical technique… and the idea of an alchemical pot where you stir all those things together,  seem to make a lot of sense for us as Theatre Bricoleurs… Though who knows if she would like the results!

Performances: 4 – 29 April 2017, Tues-Sat 7.30pm (4-8 April start time is 19:45)
(Matinees: Sat 15 & 29 April 3pm)

Tickets available here.

Theatre Delicatessen, The Old Library, 39 Wells Way, London, SE5 0PX

 

‘Be kind. Be resilient. Remember that mistakes are part of the process.’ – ArtAttack Interviews SOLO Award winner, Victoria Lucas

After following the progression of this year’s SOLO Award since the competition was first announced, we are so thrilled to share that a winner has been selected!

Hopefully, you had a chance to view the incredible shortlisted artists’ works on our ArtAttack App, which we were honoured to exclusively showcase on the ‘Curated Art’ page. Well, one of these talented creatives is now the big winner! We are thrilled to introduce Victoria Lucas!

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Victoria Lucas, ‘Lay of the land (and other such myths,’ Detail of installation, Dimensions variable, 2016.

Victoria is a Sheffield-based artist represented by Mark Devereaux Projects. She received her BA (hons) in Fine Art (Sculpture) from Norwich School of Art and Design in 2004, followed by her MFA Fine Arts from the University of Leeds in 2007. Currently, she is a Fine Art Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston.

Victoria’s artworks are often initiated by a physical encounter with a place, site or landscape. By concentrating on these contexts and their current or former inhabitants, she develops conceptual narratives that subvert and categorise events and myths using a site’s materiality as a catalyst.

We had the chance to speak with Victoria about her SOLO Award victory and greater artistic practice.

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What happens when an Art Student ‘breaks up’ with technology? ArtAttack Interviews Caley Holmboe.

Chelsea College of Arts student, Caley Holmboe, has a flip phone and no Instagram profile. When I fell in love with a sculpture of hers at last year’s 2nd year show, I had to tweet at the Chelsea student union to get her contact information. When Caley receives an email, it comes to her laptop only. When Caley sends a text, she has to use the numbers as letters just like you did on your old Nokia circa 2004.

Her complete lack of online presence in an increasingly digital world, is something that makes Caley stand out immensely, and I wanted to know how and why she made the practically unheard of choice to be almost totally offline.

It turns out that the lifestyle choice started an experiment and a work of art. I like to call it ‘The Unplug Project,’ but the formal name of the piece is ‘I Want to Break Up.’

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I had the chance to speak with Caley about this fascinating project, which ended up extending into her daily life. You’ll notice this is a much longer interview than those we normally publish, but I encourage you to read every word as it really is a supremely interesting look into a very non-traditional choice.

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‘It is a little like a partnership working together with the ink’ – ArtAttack Interviews Bridget Davies

As you may have seen, ArtAttack has been interviewing a number of fantastic artists discovered at this year’s The Other Art Fair, London.

Bridget Davies, who’s interview follows below, drew us in with her elegant and evocative ink works of glamorous women, which in many ways feel reminiscent of another era.

We spoke with Bridget to discuss her artistic practice and delve a bit deeper into what has inspired her very specific and recognisable style.

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‘Marlene’

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Yayoi Kusama Comes to London! An immersive exhibition at Victoria Miro.

Victoria Miro presents a new exhibition by Yayoi Kusama. Spanning the gallery’s three locations and waterside garden, the exhibition features new paintings, pumpkin sculptures, and mirror rooms, all made especially for this presentation.

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MY HEART’S ABODE, 2016.

This is the artist’s most extensive exhibition at the gallery to date, and it is the first time mirror rooms have gone on view in London since Kusama’s major retrospective at Tate Modern in 2012.

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Sarvin Haghighi – ArtAttack Artist of The Week

ArtAttack is proud to present our first ‘Artist of the Week’, Sarvin Haghighi. Artists of the week are selected by the ArtAttack team from the diverse and eclectic group of artist users on our app.

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Born in Iran in 1979 in the midst of the Iranian revolution, Sarvin Haghighi experienced both great joys and harsh challenges from an early age. The privilege and independence of her early childhood quickly gave way to war and oppression. To fulfill the human need for self-expression, Sarvin took to art as a young girl. Sarvin found her unique voice flowing intuitively through oils and canvas. While working at her easel Sarvin captures cherished childhood memories, honours the timeless traditions of her people, and comments on the social and cultural dimensions of women’s experiences in contemporary Middle Eastern society.

As an adult, Sarvin has become a global citizen, leaving Tehran for Dubai and eventually Chicago, where she is a proud member of the Zhou B Art community. While passion for her Persian roots provides continual inspiration for the young artist, it is her cross-cultural exposure that provides universal subtext to her work. From her beginning as a single censored voice, Sarvin Haghighi’s art now amplifies the powerful voices of many the world over who long for peace and freedom.

I had the chance to talk to Sarvin about her career so far, and find out more about her artistic practise.

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