29 Sep. 2016

Beneath the Air: Light and Dark (playlist)

Beneath the Air is a new music series taking place in The Model curated by two local independent record labels Bluestack Records and Art for Blind Records. Showcasing emerging artists from the island of Ireland, the series will commence with The Altered Hours from Cork and Belfast’s Sea Pinks this Saturday 1 October. These two bands represent the vibrance of Irelands diy music scene each having released LPs and singles and toured extensively across Ireland and Europe.

The Altered Hours are a five-piece based in Cork, their music evokes dark psych/shoegaze and elements of post-punk. They arrive in Sligo in what has been their busiest period in the band’s life; they released their debut LP “In Heat Not Sorry” in January on Art for Blind/Penske and then embarked on an extensive tour of Ireland, UK and Europe. They then hit the road again over the summer taking in many of the country’s top festival’s including Body & Soul, Castlepalooza and Electric Picnic. Internationally they have played at Lisbon Psych Fest, Cosmosis Manchester and Liverpool Psych Fest.

Co-headlining are Sea Pinks, the solo project of Neil Brogan, which he started while he was the drummer in Girls Names and then morphed into a it’s own entity with a full line-up of three having been joined by Davey Agnew on drums and Steven Henry on bass. Sea Pinks create jangly fuzz pop with a nostalgic edge and have been likened to “The Go-Betweens if they were born in a colder climate” (Clash magazine). Sea Pinks have released five full-length LPs and various singles and EPs on Brogan’s own imprint CF Records.

So as to whet your appetite for Saturday night, we here at The Model have collated a playlist for you to bang out of your stereo… or computer speakers! Featuring tracks from both The Altered Hours and Sea Pinks and veritable rag-tag ensemble of similar Irish and international acts of today and yesteryear including Girls Names, So Cow, Twinkranes, Singapore Sling, My Bloody Valentine and The Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Posted By

The Model

15 Sep. 2016

Culture Night 2016 at The Model

The Model will be celebrating Culture night 2016 in its usual elegant fashion. For you, our dear public, we are presenting and playing host to some top-notch events and workshops. Where to begin with this list of heart- racing affairs is this bloggers first world problem of the day. The celebrations kicks off at 5pm on Friday the 16th of September and end roughly at 10pm. During these hours you will be enthralled, baffled and entertained by the following acts and exhibitions:

The Miniature Theatre at The Model presents a magical evening of story-telling!

5.00pm – 7.15pm

The Model has commissioned Wayne O’Connor, a local illustrator to develop a unique set-design for this year’s Oiche Cultur children’s event. O’Connor, a talented Sligo- based artist, has been busy working on original artwork and set-design for the miniature theatre that will animate The Model’s bi-lingual storytelling event, Cití Cailleach, taking place from 5pm on Culture Night, the 16th of September.
The set was inspired by both “The Toy Theatre,” by Jack B. Yeats and his well-documented love of Victorian theatre. The notorious artist, who lived in Devon in the early 1900’s, crafted miniature theatre’s to keep the local children entertained. For more info, click here.

Jack B Yeats; Painted Universe – Exhibition

5.00pm – 10.00pm

While still on the topic of Jack B. Yeats, I thought it only fitting that “Painted Universe” come next on the agenda. “Painted Universe” is an exhibition that charts Yeats’ development from his earliest pen & ink illustrations to his last great, epic oils. This exhibition allows us to study Yeats’ oeuvre, revealing his abiding interest in people. Often depicted as ‘everymen’ or as archetypes of a particular emotion or characteristic, the figures of the clown, the singer, the sailor, the street seller, and the wayfarer were reoccurring characters throughout his work. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. “Painted Universe” is closing on the 17th of September so Culture Night is the last night to see the exhibition. Well, if it was good enough for Bowie…..

Ghosts of Other Stories – Preview of Exhibition

5.00 pm – 7pm

The Model is delighted to partner with the British Council in this centenary year of the 1916 Rising on an exhibition drawn from the British Council Collection. On Culture Night, The Model will be holding a preview of the exhibition. Pieces by internationally known artists such as Tomma Abts, Ed Atkins, Bank, Tacita Dean, Ryan Gander, Graham Gussin and many more will be on display.

Ghosts of Other Stories explores works within the British Council Collection where threads of lost stories or forgotten histories flash momentarily into the light. Each work has at its heart an elusive or mysterious quality that speaks of a story passing into history – untold, unheard or interrupted.

Kaleidoscope Night – Musical Tour

7.00 pm – 10.00 pm

A fascinating musical experience will take place in The Model in collaboration with Con Brio on Culture Night 2016. “Kaleidoscope Night” is a Dublin based salon music series that will see an eclectic mix of musicians perform in various spaces around the venue. Acts such as classical guitarist Redmond O’Toole, fiddle player and composer Claudia Schwab, flautist Linda Andonovska and multi-instrumentalists Shahab and Shayan Coohe will perform in various spaces throughout the building.
The audience will be led on a tour from one musical ‘happening’ to the next, and each tour will take approximately one hour. This journey of melodious discovery can be joined at any time and will be presented 3 times over the course of the evening between 7-10pm.

Pulled – Workshop and Music

5.00 pm – 10.00 pm

Pulled will be hosting a pop-up print workshop where visitors for Culture Night will get the opportunity to roll- up their sleeves and take part in a live art experience. Guests will be invited to print their very own super-cool tote bag using a pre-prepared screen print set-up, which they can show off to all their friends. When bragging it is advised to casually exclude any mention of pre-prepared screen prints so unknowing friends may be deceived into believing that you are actually a very humble, secretive creative genius. To make this deal even sweeter, the workshop will be soundtracked on vinyl by Turn It On.

Open Studio

5.00 pm – 9.00 pm

The studio artists of The Model will be opening their doors to the public. The artists in attendance will be on hand to greet the public and talk them through their creative process. This event gives the public a symbolic key-card to wander freely between the studios and get to know the artists behind the work. For any of those interested in the lives of artists and their work, this is an event not to be missed. It is a rare opportunity for a light-hearted interrogation on the innermost workings of the artistic mind. Questions are welcomed and will be answered in full, leaving no air of mystery or stone unturned.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

13 Sep. 2016

The Miniature Theatre at The Model presents a magical evening of story-telling!

5.00pm – 7.15pm

The Model has commissioned Wayne O’Connor, a local illustrator to develop a unique set-design for this year’s Oiche Cultur children’s event. O’Connor, a talented Sligo- based artist, has been busy working on original artwork and set-design for the miniature theatre that will animate The Model’s bi-lingual storytelling event, Cití Cailleach, taking place from 5pm on Culture Night, the 16th of September. Here at The Model, we are so excited for the debut of O’ Connor’s designs that we have decided to tantalize you all (we are known to be teases in that regard) with a few sneak previews of the artist’s illustrations. We hope that you are as impressed with them as we are!

Earlier this year, The Model collaborated with students from The Performing Arts Department, IT Sligo to create a striking replica of the toy theatre, featured in the well-loved painting The Toy Theatre (1906) by Jack B Yeats. The bespoke miniature theatre developed by the Sligo students was a beautiful homage to Yeats’ painting but now the torch has been passed to O’Conner and we can’t wait to see the finished piece!

The idea behind commissioning the theatre was inspired both by Jack B. Yeats’ ‘The Toy Theatre,’ which is a permanent piece in The Niland Collection, and the artist’s well known love of miniature theatre. The notorious artist, who lived in Devon in the early 1900’s, crafted miniature theatre’s to keep the local children entertained. He produced a series of plays featuring pirates, seafarers and a legion of circus characters. He carefully documented these miniature theatre productions, compiling notebooks full of set design notes, watercolour and ink cardboard cutout characters, illustrated by play-scripts and written in green ink. Seriously, did the man ever sleep?

In keeping with the spirit of Victorian entertainment, we invite you to join us on Culture Night at 5pm for an evening of dark and comical storytelling using our newly commissioned miniature theatre set. Come and be enchanted by this hilarious tale of a mischievous witch called Cití Cailleach, who adores everything black. However, she does find herself in a spot of trouble with her black cat Smúróg! The tale of Cití Cailleach, from the series Winnie the Witch, written by Valerie Thomas, has been translated into the Irish language by Liam Mac Cóil. These sessions are suitable for children ages 5-11 years. Children under 5 years are very welcome but must be accompanied by parents/guardians. This is a bi-lingual event and is performed in both the English and Irish language. This event has been generously supported and funded by Foras na Gaeilge.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

Related Programming

24 Aug. 2016

David Bowie's Jack B. Yeats up for auction

The Model is home to a substantial collection of Jack B. Yeats’ work. “Painted Universe” an exhibition of Yeats’ paintings and “A Broadside”, are currently on display at The Model. Although we possess a significant amount of Yeats’ work we do not, regrettably, have it all. The Model houses 50 of the artist’s oil paintings, a relatively small portion of the 1300 paintings in his entire body of work. The majority of Yeats’ oeuvre has been snapped up by various public art institutions, so that they may remain in public view, while others have been purchased by private collector’s, often never to see the light of day again.

It is always a curious, delightful surprise when a painting once thought lost, resurfaces in the public domain. It is even more curious when said painting comes from the collection of one of the biggest artists in history. “Sleep Sound”, by Jack. B Yeats (1955) an Oil-on-canvas, valued at up to £180,000, was owned by the late David Bowie. Bowie – an avid art collector with a keen taste for modern and cotemporary American and British Art – purchased “Sleep Sound” anonymously in 1993 at Sotheby’s for £45,500. The painting was previously owned by a private art collector, Eleanor de Bretteville Reid, an American who bought the painting for just £600, from the Waddington Gallery in London in the 1950s.

The painting was created in 1955 and is typical of the wild, abstract style that Yeats’ developed in his later years. According to numerous media reports, the painting depicts two figures lying on a moor beneath a heavy sky. The merging of these figures, to the sky and land, is a not too removed from the composition and style of “Leaving Far Point”, perhaps the most infamous of Sligo’s publicly owned Niland collection.

Just some of the artists claiming a space in Bowie’s enormous art collection are Damien Hirst, Frank Auerbach and Henry Moore. While certain pieces of the collection will be retained by Bowie’s surviving relatives, the remaining pieces will be up for auction. The collection is estimated to raise £10 million although it is expected that Bowie’s more enthusiastic and financially sound fans may cause a bidding war.

On the topic of Sleep Sound Bowie remarked: “I have a painting of his of two bums lying on a hillside, sleeping. The apocryphal story is that it was one of the paintings which influenced Samuel Beckett when he was writing ‘Waiting For Godot’, which I’d love to believe. “

On Jack B. Yeats, Bowie said: “There’s something about the life and death motifs in his work that maybe are not dissimilar. Just to have that kind of work around me, I find, influences me tremendously.”

“Sleep Sound”– and some others from Bowie’s collection – wil be exhibited in Ireland for four days from September 1st at the RHA Gallery, Dublin.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

23 Aug. 2016

New Chairperson appointed at The Model

The Model, home of the Niland Collection and one of Ireland’s leading contemporary art spaces, is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Bláithín Gallagher to the role of Chairperson of the Board of Directors.

A passionately motivated social scientist with a strong interest in equality, ageing, disability and gender, Dr Gallagher has many years of experience in research and management, both in the academic and not for profit sector. She has been the recipient of a number of prestigious, highly sought after fellowships, (HRB & Marie Curie). With a strong record in successful funding applications, strategic planning and implementation on a national and international level, The Model is delighted to bring Dr Gallagher’s experience and expertise to the board. She is currently Vice President of the European Network for Vision Impairment Training, Education and Research (ENVITER), and a member of the executive committee of the European Society for Low Vision Research and Rehabilitation (ESLRR). She is also a fellow of the Higher Education Academy UK (HEA).

Bláíthín has a long association with the arts having studied Communications and Media studies at undergraduate level and has keen interest in visual art, film, photography, creative writing, music and current affairs. She has been editor of the Leitrim Guardian journal since 2010, an annual snapshot of life and culture in County Leitrim, first published in 1968.

Commenting on the announcement, Acting Director Emer McGarry said: “Everyone at The Model is over the moon with Bláithín’s appointment and we look forward to working with her as Chair of the Board of Directors.”

Bláithín stated that she is delighted with the appointment and is looking forward to working with all involved to steer The Model over the next number of years. “I am very excited about the challenges ahead. To have the opportunity to build on the hard work and dedication of former board members and the many local people who have made The Model one of the most outstanding spaces for contemporary culture in the country, is something I particularly relish. I look forward to working with the staff and board, our local and regional artists, audiences and all of The Model’s stakeholders to build a strong future for this special institution”.

Dr Gallagher will take up her new position as chairperson with immediate effect.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

18 Aug. 2016

Soundtrack to an exhibition - a special playlist to Elizabeth Price

The Elizabeth Price exhibition draws to a close very soon, on the 28th of August, no less. For your listening pleasure, Edel Doherty (primarily) and Rebecca Kennedy (a little) have composed a playlist to accompany the exhibition. In a fitting homage to Price’s artistic process, the selected tracks have been painstakingly hunted down from the furthest corners of YouTube.

When selecting these tracks we delved into Price’s past as a member of the 80’s twee-pop band Tallulah Gosh. Of course, the best of the bands tracks are included on the playlist. Price, who sang vocals and played guitar in the notorious band, discussed her time in the music industry with Declan long at the launch of the exhibition. You may have a listen to said talk by clicking the link below.

The playlist begins with the three tracks that Price used in her films – Shangri La’s ‘Out on the Streets’ (The Woolworths Choir of 1979), Crystal Gayle ‘Don’t it Make My Brown Eyes Blue’ (K) and A-ha ‘Take On Me’ (User Group Disco) which launches us into such musical territories as twee-pop, post-punk, garage-rock and electronica.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

9 Aug. 2016

My Pick- Annie West

The thing I like best about the broadsides is the layout of the sheet. They are all the same layout and typeface so it’s lovely and clean. Yeats uses less rather than more. The illustrations are so simple but really annoyingly beautiful. He just gets it; it’s hard to explain. The colours as well, he doesn’t colour everything in, he leaves some of it so you’re drawn to what’s going on in the illustration. It’s just really classy.

His work is understated but at the same time he’s using heavy pens and inks. It looks like it took five minutes but I know it didn’t. I remember that my grandmother had a couple of prints of his illustrations of the races in her house. I always liked them when I was a kid because they were so readable. I just love the look of the whole exhibition. I think that students of illustration, graphic designers and publishers should see it.

Look at the way the broadsides are presented, I really just want to dive in and read them. The book cover is just lovely, it just whispers to you, “Open me.”

What I see now more and more in illustration, and particularly graphic design is the concept that more is more. It doesn’t have to be like that. Sometimes, when you are designing for people, it’s very hard to convince them that less is more. There’s a lot of empty space you can use to draw attention to the illustration.

The huge posters in this exhibition really grab you. It really hits you when you walk in the gallery. A lot of people aren’t aware that Yeats earned a living as a commercial illustrator as well as a painter. He had a nifty sense of humor too. If you look very closely you can see that there’s a few gags in there. Very tiny ones mind you but they are still there. Here’s one in particular, the one with the kids at the door at Halloween, “The bang on the door boys.” It’s fantastic; the characters have so much personality. Look at the little feckers! It gives it that little bit of a kick, which you wouldn’t expect. It works very well.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

26 Jul. 2016

My Pick- Imelda Ryan Jones

The painting that I have chosen for the My Pick series is Leaving the Far Point by Jack B. Yeats. I love that Jack depicted himself, his wife Cotty and his favorite uncle walking on a Sligo beach in the image. Jack presented the painting to his wife two months before she passed away. It is likely the last painting he ever gave her.

Leaving the Far Point reminds me of Chagall, there’s something about Jack’s use of colour that strikes a resemblance of Chagall’s work for me. I also like the vague way that the figures in the image appear. It’s a real skill isn’t it? To use loose brush marks but still have such defined figures within it. A lot of our collection of Jack B. Yeats’ work has that feature. It’s a big contrast to his earlier works that were illustrative in style; the lines are very clear and deliberate. I believe this loose, undefined style suits the story behind the painting. Jack’s figure is clear. The figure that is extremely faded is his uncle, who died many years before. The central figure is his beloved Cotty, whose health was failing at the time and Leaving the Far Point was in fact a gift for Cotty’s last birthday in 1947.

As his uncle, George Pollexfen, died in 1910 long before Jack painted Leaving the Far Point in 1946, I think that this piece has an element of wishful thinking behind it. Maybe he never had an opportunity to walk on Rosses Point strand together with his favorite uncle and his beloved wife? Maybe he wished that they could all be together again, and maybe his wife was too unwell to venture out? I have read that they are the two people he loved most in his life.

I really like that he depicted his uncle too. I can imagine them walking on the beach while Jack was young. Maybe his uncle supported and influenced him to become a painter. We rarely get the time to celebrate those who inspire us enough. We look at someone who has done great things with their life and we usually hardly know anything at all about the people who helped them get there. Jack remembers his uncle and his wife, and that’s inspiring.

After Cotty died Jack decided to donate Leaving the Far Point to the people of Sligo. The painting meant so much to Jack and he gifted it to us. This was a catalyst for Nora Niland to take her vision forward and create a collection of art for Sligo. That draws me to the painting too, and I love The Niland Collection book, published by The Model, that tells the story of the collection of art owned by the people of Sligo.

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

19 Jul. 2016

Interview with Elizabeth Price

Interview with Elizabeth Price

Friday, the 24th of June was a glorious, sunny day. Not that any of The Model staff noticed. We were too busy to be concerned with temperamental Irish weather. Turner Prize-winning artist Elizabeth Price was opening her first solo show in Ireland in The Model, the following day and the air was thick with excitement. While the last few details of the show were being taken care off, Elizabeth Price sat down with our marketing assistant, Rebecca Kennedy, for an interview. For the sake of continuity, the following interview has been edited slightly and condensed. If it weren’t for such edits, the majority of said interview would have focused solely on Jude Law.

You’ve had quite an interesting career. You started out in indie bands like Tallulah Gosh and The Carousel in the 1980’s, at a time when there seemed to be a prominent climate of subcultures. Can you tell me a little of your experience as a musician at that time?

When I was a teenager, I strongly connected the idea of making music with being an artist. Then when I went to art school I became aware of how different those two worlds are. When your eighteen, it can be difficult to know how on earth you can make a bit of visual art and have other people come to see it whereas with independent music, it was really possible to form a band, make a record and distribute it. There was a real sense that you could actually participate and create things. I suppose at the time the art world seemed like it often seems, aloof and impenetrable whereas music seemed to be more accessible to someone of my age and background, who knew no one that lived a life making art. I had no idea how that would be possible.

I felt like I could enter the music world and it was really quite tribal, people demonstrated their allegiance to different ideas of youth culture and subculture through their fashion sense. There were: Mods, Punks, Post-Punks, Rockabilly Punks and Teds, B-Boys and B-Girls. If you decided that you belonged to a certain tribe it wasn’t a casual gesture.

So, it was an interesting time to grow up. I remember briefly trying to go out with someone who was in a really terrible soft-genesis sort of prog-rock band. It lasted about ten days. We were from two completely different tribes and it really finished me off when he bought me a cuddly toy for my birthday and I just thought, ‘we have two completely different idea’s of women within these two completely different genres of music and this is never going to work’. I’m never going to be the type of woman who likes to be bought a cuddly toy. I hung out with punks who would never do that!

Were you happy to be onstage?

No, I was always really shy so I found it vaguely mortifying. We (Tallulah Gosh) kind of started out as an experiment. Being in a band was a way to make friends and to hang out with these really cool, interesting people. Weirdly, we were successful quite quickly. After our first gig we got written up in N.M.E., which was completely bizarre. It went from being a slightly crappy, funny band to having people show up to see us.

We were crap but it was regarded as a virtue. It was a post-punk attitude thing. I could only play four cords at the time; my guitar had cost 5p from a jumbo sale and it made the most terrible noise. It was really quite funny and enjoyable to do it by ourselves; to make these terrible noises and to write these stupid little songs. It was all quite funny until people decided they liked it and they started to turn up at our gigs. Sometimes we were good and sometimes we were a complete car crash.

You’ve spoken out previously about the state funding cuts for the arts in universities and the introduction of Ebecc scheme to the GCSE’s and how that might lead to the arts being something only that the privileged may pursue. How do you feel about that state of arts education and public funding today?

The things I said at the Turner Prize are still relevant. My generation was incredibly lucky in terms of the access to education we had. The idea that we would have to pay for our education didn’t exist to us so we could pursue what we wanted with almost complete freedom. We were young and we would be funded and given the support to pursue the things that we were interested in. It seemed to me to be the most natural thing in the world; I just accepted it like sunshine and spring.

It’s really damaging to see that the relationship between education and economic duress so tightly associated now. The defenders of the fee scheme say that students only have to pay it back once they earn a sufficient amount, therefore it shouldn’t impact students but I don’t believe that amounts to the freedom I had. I certainly think that whilst people will continue to go to university perhaps they will think, ‘I would really like to do art but that’s a crazy choice given the expense of the degree and the fact that I will have to bare that economic burden, so I will do mathematics, science or law.’ I think that people’s natural choices are being influenced or shadowed by the sense of a future economic burden.

When you add the fact that artists are being marginalized by the school curriculum, fewer people will have the opportunity to discover that they are talented at art. When I was at school I was always good at art and English, the so-called “soft-subjects” but it never occurred to me those classes weren’t as important as languages or maths. And I think that not only will students not gain access to art, those who are good at it will think that having artistic talent isn’t of any value. I believe that the changes have made art into something trivial, it’s nice but it’s not really important.

All those factors will conspire and amount to people from working-class backgrounds not becoming artists. That’s bad for not only the individual but for the art world too. Artists make art about their world and their experience. If only seven percent of the population is allowed to study at art school then art will be made solely by a very narrow demographic and that’s just not good enough. I think it’s really important that art is publicly funded. The art world needs to be made up of people from every different walk of life so everyone is represented.

How has winning the Turner Prize effected your career as an artist?

It always has an impact but for me it had an especially big impact. I had only just completed my first museum show when I was nominated. Although I had been an artist for ages, I had gotten nowhere and all of a sudden (within two years) my career really transformed. It was completely bizarre for me to be nominated for the Turner Prize. It was very funny, strange and slightly surreal to win it. It was a bit alienating to be frank. It was similar to the shyness I had felt all those years back in Tallulah Gosh. I found it very public.

In terms of my career, it accelerated it considerably. Having only done one museum show previously I now do quite a few throughout the year. When I won the Turner Prize- I felt a bit like I had my foot in the stir-up of a saddle on horse that was galloping away and I was sort of bouncing on the ground on my arse behind it – that’s how much I felt in charge off life and my career and circumstances. It was fantastic but really hard to get used to and only now have I begun to feel like I’m kind of settling into it. All and all it has been fantastic.

Jude law presented you with the Turner Prize.Is he really that good looking in real life?

Yes, yes he is.

Your work is complex and dense. When watching “The Woolworths Choir of 1979” I felt that I had just grasped a narrative before the images cut and it slipped away. Is the narrative intentionally elusive?

In Woolworths Choir there are parts of it when it’s really clear what it is telling you for example you are told about gothic architecture or the Woolworths department fire. The individual sections are straightforward in some sense. The thing about Woolworths Choir is how you can move in and out of these sections. I guess I really wanted to create a film in parts where you can move from one single story to another. In the first part there are all these images of gothic architecture and the second part features images of female performers but it’s really interesting that you end up with pictures of a girl group when you started with gothic architecture.

I wanted it to create a narrative that felt like, as you were watching, the floors would suddenly open out and you would fall in another kind of space that had a different sort of logic and then you move on to another. I was thinking of that it in relation to the folders in my computers. When I am making those videos I go through all the different archives on my computer. The videos are made of entirely different sections that were kind of important and intentional for me. I wanted to make a film about assembly and how we bring people together. I mean that as in an artistic assembly. I think of my films as collages. I mix lots of different materials and make them work together compositionally, formally and narratively, but also I wanted to think of human assembly and the idea of collective voice.

In the second part of the film, I assemble a choir from different materials of female singers making gestures with their hands. I edited it all together and make this chorography of hands and gestures. I thought about building this architecture as a choir, populating it with a choir that had been assembled because it was a chorus, telling you a story or a history.

I wanted this story to be a minor but significant social history. I decided on the history of the fatal fire in the Woolworths department store in 1979, which has been a relatively forgotten corporate disaster. I really wanted to extend the idea of a choir or a voice or a collective of people speaking and singing together to tell that story of the fire. The final section of the film is a narrative woven together from different accounts of the fire by various people, those trapped in the fire, witnesses, (the majority of which were working class boys and girls) the emergency services, journalists and the coroner. In the final section, these people gather and become a chorus, which communicates the story of the Woolworths fire to you.

That’s how I think of it. There is a strong, purposeful narrative to it but there are also deliberate, lurching surprises and changes of context. I think that happens in all my films, they are really rhythmic and change space. I really want them to have an intense dramatic shift. I want to tell these intense dramas that really focus collective history in a dramatic way. It’s actually quite difficult to film and narrate objects. One of the ways you can do it is through melody and music, percussion but also through what I call big formal shifts so a way of proceeding through a film is established and then that turned on its head and then another way of making the film is established.

Have you any advice for emerging artists?

Go to an interesting art school if you can. The most important thing for an artist at any level is to find other artists. When I came out of art school, I got together with a group of artist friends and we persuaded someone to let us use their building in Shoreditch, London. At the time, Shoreditch was a complete dead zone; it was all derelict or ex-industrial buildings. We held lots of shows there. We spent two years doing it, we worked together and we agonized over every decision. It was an amazing education.

You end up building up a network of support, a peer group. So, I think that whether it’s putting on exhibitions, setting up a studio, doing a website or publishing together, I think setting up a network of like-minded people with whom you can make art with really helps you get by in those lean years. Unless you are one in thousands and thousands, there are those lean years where it seems like nobody’s interested and so you find this small community for yourself. You learn a lot and I found it so enjoyable, so exciting and interesting. I think that that is the most important thing, is too find that peer group and community.

I mean obviously there are all kinds of professional things. The Art world is a weird world in which to build a career, where there is no obvious career progression. There are people who are really good at networking, they’re really gregarious and find it easier to socialize, that can be a real asset but many artists aren’t good at that.

I would see other artists and it’s easy to look at them and think “oh no,” because I was always terrible at that stuff but in art you have to use what you are good at, if you find that you not good at some part of it, don’t agonize about it. If you find that you are really good at socializing then go out, hang out and make friends, convince people how interesting you are.

If you’re really not like that then find a close knit group of friends, develop your own projects, work with them and then hopefully, gradually, it takes a bit of luck and a lot of perseverance but things can start to happen. You get a show here and there but it’s not a straight road. It’s sort of winding and wiggly road with a few bumps but I had some great nights, hanging out and being useless at networking. So, hangout and meet up with your mates and slag off the show. Yeah, I had some good times. Now, I’m very sensible and I don’t stay out all night!

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy

23 Jun. 2016

Elizabeth Price: A short note

Elizabeth Price has had quite an eclectic career. During her student days, the Yorkshire born artist fronted the indie band “Tululah gosh.” The band, which achieved notoriety in the U.K. and U.S., disbanded in 1988, two years after Price left. Their sound was a hybrid of post-punk meets sweetheart vocals in an audible homage to the girl bands of the late 50’s/60’s. Price then went on to study sculpture in the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford and the Royal College of Art, London. In 2012 she won the Turner Prize for her solo exhibition, ‘Here’, at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. Upon winning the Prize, Price made an impassioned speech about the degradation of art education in Britain.

Price’s work is the creation of immersive video installations, which feature a diverse mixture of historical materials, archival documents, digital animation, photographs and samples from pop music. Price’s installations are time-consuming productions, often taking over a year to complete as she regularly revisits old works to re-create and update versions. Price’s installations are created with the intention of being viewed by the audience in a gallery so the experience of the installations can be all consuming.

“The Woolworths Choir of 1979” (2012) is a film installation, which comprises three distinct sections; the first examines the choral architecture of churches and the examination of what the word “chorus” derives from. The second concentrates on coordinated dance routines performed by pop groups and backing singers; (a recurring theme in Price’s work, since her days in Tuluah gosh) and the third focuses on archive footage from the notorious fire at the Woolworths department store in Manchester in 1979. The video, combined with the text that appears on-screen is reminiscent of the aesthetics of advertising and propaganda, lending the piece the seductive undertone of ritual and desire. The footage of people in Price’s pieces is never directly filmed; they are scoured from across the Internet and archives of newsrooms.

Physical gestures recur throughout the film, and parallels are drawn between the movements of a woman hand waving from a window of Woolworths as she awaits rescue and those of the dancers and singers, twisting and moving their arms for musical emphasis. The hand gestures; the clapping, clicking, waving and dancing become the point of assembly presented in The Woolworths Choir of 1979. When combined with the recurring sounds, music and digital graphics, the effect is that of a dissonant, evocative chorus, which floats somewhere between social history and fantasy.

Next Page

Posted By

Rebecca Kennedy