Jan 7 2012: Twenty Five Maps Showing Layouts and Exhibits at The Festival of Britain (South Bank Exhibition Programme, 1951)

Following yesterday’s introductory miscellany of drawings, models and photographs, today presents what is, I suppose, the meat of the Festival of Britain programme, in the form of 25 maps guiding visitors through the various themed exhibitions that made up the South Bank Site in 1951. Ordered as in the programme itself, beginning in The Land … Continue reading

Dec 25 2011: Christmas Greetings from Television Wales and West (Cardiff and Bristol, c.1965)

Well, it’s a short but very sweet one for today: a very sincere Christmas Greetings card from a period I assume is sometime in the mid-1960s, as sent by TWW at Pontcanna Studios, Cardiff, and Television Centre, Bristol. TWW stood for Television Wales and West and it held the franchise for Independent Television in the … Continue reading

Mark McGowan’s Where’s Daddy’s Pig? (Trade Gallery, 2013)

You could probably argue that there’s no real reason to visit Where’s Daddy’s Pig?, the Mark McGowan exhibition that’s been running at Trade Gallery since May, on the grounds that everything it contains is already part of his own ARTIST TAXI DRIVER YouTube channel, where McGowan regularly posts campaigning rants (and occasionally more subdued musings) … Continue reading

Enfants Terrible : How The First Wave of British Pop Art Got To Stick Around (NVA, 2012)

“Pop did not count ‘ephemeral’ as an insult. It was for the present, and even more for the future: it was not for the past, and saw nothing to regret in the changes which had come about in England since 1945…” [John Russell in Pop Art Redefined, Thames & Hudson, 1969] “Hockney’s range is maybe … Continue reading

Magic Show at QUAD Gallery (NVA, 2009)

The conjuror and the conceptual artist, the con-trick and the act of construction: each shares something deeper than its ‘con’ prefix, a connection that goes beyond linguistic roots to evoke focus and misdirection, suggestion and the act of ‘making visible’, the arts of provocation and end-of-pier entertainment. It’s a range made explicit in Jonathan Allen’s … Continue reading

Taking The Michael (NVA, 2012)

Taking The Michael (Out/Side/Film, 2012) 78m Ian Nesbitt receives a call from Matthew Pountney, who has in turn received a call of his own – or at least, “a very direct communication” – from the universe. “It’s something to do with 2012”, he explains, referring to the Mayan Prophecy that is often interpreted as meaning … Continue reading

Art Made By All, or Art in the Public Realm? (NVA, 2013)

“The enrichment of life calls inexorably for the analysis of the new forms taken by poverty and the perfection of the old weapons of refusal…” Raoul Vaneigem: The Revolution of Everyday Life (1967) “I tried to map a space where the everyday was the focus. An everyday that is at one level a source of … Continue reading

Ian Breakwell’s The Elusive State of Happiness (QUAD Gallery, 2010)

There has been some confusion about this exhibition, which was initially billed as Breakwell’s first solo retrospective, then later re-branded as the first since his death in 2005, at the relatively young age of 62, but whichever it might be, it’s definitely his biggest showing to date in his home city of Derby, and one … Continue reading

Frank Abbott’s Saturday Night & Sunday Morning Remixed (Leftlion, 2012)

How did the remix version you’re currently making of ‘Saturday Night & Sunday Morning’ come about? I’ve been interested in remixing films live for a while, but this came about when I did a piece called ‘Spaghetti Powerpoint’ at Broadway as part of a Hatch event there earlier this year. Someone saw that and thought … Continue reading