Category Archives: mixed media

Art must-sees this month: March

Jordan Baseman, Nasty Piece of Stuff 2009 (film still), Courtesy of the artist and Matt’s Gallery, London, Co-commissioned by ArtSway and The Photographers’ Gallery, London

Here are my visual arts picks from around the UK for March. Written for Culture24.

Richard Hamilton – Modern Moral Matters, Serpentine Gallery, London

60 years after his first solo show, Richard Hamilton is still making loaded images. His show at Serpentine is a mixed media commentary on conflict in Northern Ireland, the Middle East and Vietnam. It’s not a retrospective so much as a political demo.

Jordan Baseman – The Most Powerful Weapon in this World, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead

Taking candid interviews as his starting point, Jordan Baseman makes video art sound as compelling as it looks. Three pieces comprise this show by the American-born artist with themes ranging from gangsterism to gay rights via herb collecting.

Nicholas Hedges – Mine the Mountain, Surface Gallery, Nottingham

This show may serve as an introduction to the term ‘dark tourist’, as Nicholas Hedges visits sites of genocide and massacre. His search for a personal connections leads him to the Welsh mines, where he pays tribute to the fallen of the First World War.

Sonia Boyce: Like Love – Parts One & Two, the Bluecoat, Liverpool

Making work around the theme of care has meant working with those most in need of it for artist Sonia Boyce. A residency with young parents and a collaboration with adults who have learning disabilities both result in an inspirational show.

But what of Frances Stark, standing by itself, a naked name, bare as a ghost to whom one would like to lend a sheet?, CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow

Here’s a first chance for artlovers in Scotland to check out LA-based artist Frances Stark. White collages, which often take performance as a theme, also feature text by writers as diverse as Emily Dickinson and Mark E. Smith from the Fall. Be intrigued.

Imogen Stidworthy, Arnolfini, Bristol

These four recent works by Imogen Stidworthy have one thing in common, the human voice. Language is a social space in her multimedia show which listens to accent (scouse) speech therapy and a blackmarket slang known as backslang.

Preview: Nicholas Hedges – Mine the Mountain

Nicholas Hedges, The Wall. Photo courtesy Surface Gallery.

Exhibtion: Nicholas Hedges – Mine the Mountain, Surface Gallery, Nottingham, March 6 – March 19 2010

Artists may travel, but it is debatable whether they take holidays. Certainly, in his choice of European destinations, Nicholas Hedges has not made it easy for himself

While preparing his mixed-media installation for the new show at Surface Gallery, he visited the three former concentration camps and two World War One battlefields. Auschwitz, Belzec, Majdane, Ypres and Verdun are not renowned for their beaches.

What Hedges found at all these sites of historical trauma was an experience of ‘dark tourism’, a theme he explores in Mine the Mountain. Not so easy to find were traces of the individuals to whom he might relate.

Instead, he was confronted with mountains of shoes, piles of ash, lists of names  But on some of these lists were miners from Welsh mine which once employed members of Hedges own family. This was Hedge’s connection to the Great War

The discovery prompted a further trip, this time as a tourist of the self. On his visit to Wales, he attempts to open a dialogue with his own past. You can see for yourself if his artistic practice manages to overcome the facelessness of mass slaughter.

Written for Culture24.