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The Accumulation of Things featured by i-D 1 October 2018

Check out i-D‘s recommendation of the best things to watch, see and do this week (1 Ocotber, 2018)… including our current exhibition, The Accumulation of Things!

The Accumulation of Things / House of Wisdom: Preview in Photos 28 September 2018

Thanks to everyone who came along to yesterday’s double preview event… what a great way to launch our autumn season of exhibitions!

Special thanks to all of the curators and artists involved in putting together both exhibitions –


Bonington Vitrines #8: House of Wisdom
(left-right) Tuna Erdem and Seda Ergül (Istanbul Queer Art Collective), Dr Cüneyt Çakırlar, and Mine Kaplangı (Collective Çukurcuma)


The Accumulation of Things
(left-right) curator Adam Murray, Julie Greve, Joe Bloom, Evie O’Connor, Alicia Jalloul, Max Prus, Tom Godfrey.

Both exhibitions are now open until Saturday 27 October. For more information, visit the exhibition pages.

In Conversation with Adam Murray 3 September 2018

Bonington Gallery curator Tom Godfrey recently caught up with Adam Murray, curator of our September – October exhibition, The Accumulation of Things. Read on to find out more about Adam’s approach to curating and his interest in representations of everyday life – particularly in the north of England – as well as his background in photography and experience as an educator.


Preston is my Paris zine.

 

Tom Godfrey: The most recent exhibition that you (co-)curated was North: Fashioning Identity that I saw at both the Open Eye Gallery and Somerset House locations. The exhibition took quite a pragmatic and museological approach to presenting a history of fashion (with associated disciplines) connected to a geographical context. The exhibition at Bonington appears to be much looser in concept and suggests a more intuitive approach to putting together an exhibition. I wondered if you could expand a little on these two approaches and what your initial motivations were behind the formation of The Accumulation of Things.

Adam Murray: I agree, the two approaches to the exhibitions, and indeed the exhibitions themselves, are quite different in some ways.  However, they are both very much linked by subjects that I have been interested in for many years and I do think that there are similarities, particularly in the way the artists deal with their notion of the familiar.

Since I moved to Preston for university in 2001, the north west of England has been my familiar and the years spent there have been very influential on the work that I have made in the past, for example, Preston is my Paris.  This was an ongoing project produced predominantly with Robert Parkinson that dealt with our everyday life in Preston.  This then motivated a strong interest in how everyday life and personal experiences inform creative work, as well as a strong interest in representation and identity of the north of England.  The latter of which became manifest with the North: Fashioning Identity exhibition that you mention.


Installation view from the exhibition ‘North: Fashioning Identity’, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, 2017.

 

With this exhibition at Bonington, I wanted to move away from being so geographically specific and but still engage with work that was clearly about the circumstance, experiences and personal histories of the artists.  In my work as a lecturer I also work with and encounter a lot of work by early career practitioners, so I saw the invitation from Bonington as a fantastic opportunity to showcase this.  The sourcing of the work has been an intuitive process yes.  I encountered all of in the last couple of years at either degree shows, in tutorials or through recommendations by friends.  It felt like it came together very naturally.

TG: As evidenced throughout your projects there is a focus and celebration of the so-called ‘regions’ and the practices and associated histories that dwell within them. I wondered whether you could talk about this further, what is it about these geographies that motivates you and the others you work with?

 AM: Primarily it is to do with my own experiences and places I have lived.  I grew up in Shepshed, a small town not too far from Nottingham, then moved to Preston for university and spent ten years living there.  Although I now live in Manchester and partly work in London, I am still active in exploring regional towns and cities.  As you mention, this has been a feature of previous projects and exhibitions, I think because I have spent the majority of my life outside of major cities.  This has developed my awareness that these places matter.  For me, it is not about creating a hierarchy, but it is about encouraging the same exploration of smaller places in a similar way to large urban centres.

As the major ‘creative cities’ are given so much coverage, it is often, not always, but often the work by people from places other than recognised centres, that can offer an alternative and therefore more innovative view on things.  I think that is reflected in most of the work in the exhibition.  It is also why I am excited to collaborate with Bonington, it is important for these spaces to exist outside of London.


From ‘Preston Bus Station’ issue of Preston is my Paris, 2010.

 

TG: The group exhibitions that interest me always present practices that extend beyond the objects in a room, so the individual contexts, networks and histories represented by the artists protract, conflate and interrupt what might be physically on show. I wondered if you could talk a bit further about how you have brought together this set of practices and what might be represented by the exhibition that we might not see physically in the gallery. The premise that you present at first glance is quite simple, but the array and depth to the practices represented by the exhibition reveals to me something much more complex and nuanced.

 AM: All of the artists in the exhibition have produced work whilst being based in Britain for the last few years, so I definitely think that there are a number of narratives and reflections on recent general experiences.  However, it was also important for me to work with artists from different backgrounds so that their own personal approach offers a variety of interpretation.

I always try to present work in quite a simple way, without being over theoretical with text etc.  It is important for me to create a space that doesn’t feel intimidating and respect that an audience will be able to engage with the work without the need for extensive direction from a curator.


Installation view from the exhibition ‘North: Fashioning Identity’, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, 2017.

 

TG: I closely consider Bonington Gallery’s context of being an ‘art school’ gallery when programming and identifying the practices we present. I’m always drawn to people who have a lot of cross-over in their practices, and have done different things and occupied different contexts. I wondered if you could talk about your background, and the different projects you’ve worked on over recent years, and paint a picture of your own relationship to working with/across different artforms.

AM: My background is mainly rooted in photography.  I studied photography at university in Preston and as mentioned before, the first major project after this was Preston is my Paris.

Since I was a teenager though I’ve also had a strong interest in fashion photography.  This has manifest in different ways but most recently in North: Fashioning Identity which I co-curated with Lou Stoppard.  The exhibition included a range of different media and art forms all linked to one subject, the influence of the North of England on Fashion.

I have also worked in Higher Education for 15 years.  To begin with it was on the photography course at University of Central Lancashire, then moved on to Fashion Communication at Liverpool John Moores.  Now I’m working on Fashion Art Direction at Manchester School of Art and pathway leader for MA Fashion Image at Central Saint Martins.  I find it a real privilege to be working with new creative talent, learning what they are about, what they want to communicate and then responding to that.  It also appealed to me that Bonington is part of a university.

The main two things that I think link all of this is collaboration and exploring the relationship between different practices.  My work simply wouldn’t exist without this and I think putting exhibitions together is the ideal way for me to engage with an audience.


From ‘You could be in London, You could be in Vegas, But you’re in Brierfield’ issue of Preston is my Paris, 2010.

 

The Accumulation of Things opens with a preview on Thursday 27 September, alongside Bonington Vitrines #8: House of Wisdom. RSVP via email to confirm your attendance.

All images courtesy of Adam Murray.

Elijah - The Definition of Grime (To Me): In Photos 16 May 2018

Last night we welcomed DJ, promoter and Butterz cofounder, Elijah for an engaging lecture and Q&A; tracing his journey into and through different areas of the music industry, exploring the importance of questioning everything, and what happens when “what if?” is turned into “why not?”…

Thanks to writer, critic (and grime fan) Jonathan P Watts for hosting, and to Ashley Holmes, whose 2017 film Everybody’s Hustling set the scene for the evening. It was great to welcome a lot of new faces to the gallery – so big thanks to everyone who joined us, too!

Video Days Spotlight: Elijah 11 May 2018

Bringing the Video Days event programme to a close, we’re excited to welcome Elijah for a talk and Q&A on Tuesday 15 May, from 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm.

Elijah is a DJ and promoter, and along with Skilliam, co-founder of the grime record label Butterz. In these various roles Elijah has travelled the world and shared stages with some of grime’s biggest names. For six years he hosted his own grime show on Rinse FM. Over the past year Elijah has been Associate Artistic Director at Lighthouse Arts, Brighton, an arts and culture agency producing, supporting and presenting new art, film, music, design and games. Supported by Arts Council England, this initiative promotes diversity in the arts, of which, in the UK, only a small percent of artistic directors are black and minority ethnic.

In 2014, grime began to dominate popular music. In 2015, the Tottenham-based MC Skepta beat both David Bowie and Radiohead to the Mercury Prize. When Stormzy re-recorded the single “Shut Up”, originally a viral YouTube video, it entered the 2015 Christmas UK Singles Chart at number eighteen. Since then, grime has soundtracked the so-called ‘youthquake’ that, among other things, has been credited with blocking Theresa May and the Conservatives’ hoped-for landslide in last year’s general election. Grime is the music of a generation.

As well as plotting his own experience of working in grime, by which a history of grime will emerge, Elijah’s talk will address the interrelations between visual art and music culture. He will discuss the importance of inquisitiveness and creativity in work and explore how applying organisational skills learnt in the arts and culture sector could be used in music programming, and vice versa.

Elijah’s lecture will be followed by a Q+A, hosted by Jonathan P. Watts.

Ashley Holmes’ film Everybody’s Hustling will be played on loop all day on Tuesday 15 May, from 10 am to 5 pm, then played once at the start of this event.

» Join the Facebook event page.

» Find out more about Video Days Week Five screenings.

Images: courtesy of Elijah / Butterz

Video Days Spotlight: Emily Richardson 4 May 2018

Emily Richardson is a UK based filmmaker who creates film portraits of particular places. Her work focuses on sites in transition and covers an extraordinarily diverse range of landscapes including empty East London streets, forests, North Sea oil fields, post-war tower blocks, empty cinemas and Cold War military facilities. She is currently doing a practice-led PhD on modern architectural space in artists’ film and video at the Royal College of Art in London.

Richardson’s film Beach House, 2015 will be screened in the gallery on Tuesday 8 May (looped all day).

Beach House is a film about a unique example of rural modernism, built on the UK coast of Suffolk by architect John Penn. Penn was an architect, painter, musician and poet whose nine houses in East Suffolk are all built with uncompromising symmetry adhering to the points of the compass in their positioning in the landscape they use a limited language of materials and form that were influenced by his time spent working in California with Richard Neutra. They are Californian modernist pavilions in the Suffolk landscape.

Beach House is John Penn’s most uncompromising design in terms of idea as form. The film combines an archive film made by Penn himself on completion of the house with experimental sound recordings made during the same period and material recently filmed in the house to explore a convergence of filmic and architectural language and allow the viewer to piece together Beach House in its past and present forms. More info…

http://emilyrichardson.org.uk/

Images: courtesy of Emily Richardson and LUX, London.

Browse Video Days screenings:


» Video Days: Week one screenings
» Video Days: week two screenings
» 
Video Days: week three screenings
» Video Days: week four screenings
» Video Days: week five screenings

Video Days: Preview in Photos 20 April 2018

Big thanks to everyone who came along to the Preview of Video Days last night! We really enjoyed hosting Nottingham’s skate community for an evening of photos and film screenings – as well as a great talk from Chris Lawton, co-founder of Skate Nottingham. By the end of the evening a mini skate session broke out …inside the gallery…

A huge thank you again to Skate Nottingham, Varial Magazine, SkatePal, Blind Skateboards and everyone else involved for their support!


Skater: Vic Camilleri


Skater: Elliot Maynard


Vic Camilleri / Elliot Maynard


Vic Camilleri


Elliot Maynard

 

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Ahead of our next exhibition, The Serving Library v David Osbaldeston, we’ll be highlighting just a few of the 100+ framed objects that make up The Serving Library (TSL) collection, along with the accompanying text from TSL’s website.

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The Accumulation of Things featured by 10 Magazine 27 September 2018

Thanks to 10 Magazine for featuring The Accumulation of Things as their 10’s To See.

The feature includes a preview of the exhibition, plus interviews with three of the exhibiting artists »

Joy Labinjo » Evie O’Connor and Julie Greve.

Read the article here.

The Accumulation of Things featured on Dazed & Confused 24 September 2018

Our September/October exhibition has been included in the Dazed & Confused list of “Art shows to leave the house for this month”.

Check out the full feature here, which also includes exhibitions at Tate Modern, Barbican, and Somerset House.

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