In February, on the eve of her first major exhibition at GX Gallery London, Eleanor came and spent a week at Great Brampton getting away from it all. Read about what she got up to here.
Seasons greetings to you all wherever you are whatever you do or don’t celebrate. Our Matt Brown exhibition is still available for your viewing pleasure but we are open by appointment only until 27th January when the exhibition will end.
Please call Great Brampton House on 01981 250 912 to arrange a suitable time for you to visit. If you get no immediate response from this route please call call Craig on 0777 553 2291.
Opening Saturday 1st December 6-8pm
Down Stairs is proud to present Force Quit, an exhibition of work by artist Matt Brown that mediates between the ever increasingly blurred boundaries of virtual and real, artificial and actual, analogue and digital.
Showing a range of sculptural and two dimensional work produced over a twelve year period, Brown harnesses a diverse range of mediums including digital image creation, model making, painting, print making and embroidery. With a zealous and labour intensive attention to detail, Brown’s work utilises’s aesthetics from a more innocent age of virtual immersion to perhaps ask the question where actually are we when sat daily interacting with and via technology for the most part of our waking hours.
When writing his own synopsis of the exhibition, Brown’s original statement became digitally mangled through the transferal from one computer program to another. Reflecting upon this inadvertently remixed version, he decided it said as much as it had originally, if not indeed more:
“der and chaos.reating a turf war of ora random equivalent is overlaid ceate exquisite patterns to which red to crdere oronment. These cubes (pixels) arblocks of this enviesent the building reprthe cube as a bases to eciously constructed pieces user- His painstakingly peady faithful following.rconsequences to this alor this type of evolution with what realm soon mirrthe lightening fast development of the digital own raises the question willrcious thought, Bseate amazingly complex systems without any conrcIf assumed that the natural world is comprised of unthinking simple rules having the power to e of ourselves.resulting in technology becoming the centroportion of our everyday livesrge prough a larcomputer letting it become the pilot guiding us thol to there giving over contre aW world. ’ealronments rather than n the ‘rconstraints of virtual envie socially signicant in the isolatedronic ideal of becoming more even shifting into a perversely irae Wganized logical existence. rheir seemingly otinferior of their ability to multi-task and jealous of e than we believe in ourselves, feeling rome have come to believe in technology Wcomputers. elationships with ring a huge shift in peoples cSince the birth of the internet the world is experienStatement”
Showing alongside Force Quit in Down Stairs’ screening room is a video walkthrough of Computer Love, an exhibition that explores our love affair with computers. It takes the form of a virtual gallery that showcases the work of artists and research from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Computer Science in collaboration with Human Studio.
The gallery is closed this coming weekend as we await the arrival of work for Matt Brown’s exhibition Force Quit. We did ask what would be in it, and this is what was returned to us.
On the 29th September 2012 our current crop of shows opened. Lots of lovely people turned out. This is a fraction of them! Join our email list to know when the next opening is to which you’re very much invited.
They’ve been open for a couple of weeks, but we’ve put a selection of images for each current exhibition online for you to peruse. Please note, your experience of these exhibitions would be greatly enhanced by seeing them in the flesh as opposed to a slightly motley selection of very low resolution jpegs on a marginally cranky website (one day it will be truly shiny).
So! You have four more weekends to see these exhibitions:
This week we’re pleased to be having Kayley Gladwin to stay. Kayley graduated from the BA in Fine Art at our local art college Hereford College of Arts this summer, and is the inaugural recipient of the (snappily titled) Down Stairs / Hereford College of Arts Residency Award. The award is given to a graduating artist based not just on the work displayed in the final exhibition (although Kayley’s final piece was an exemplary work), but also from us seeing students practices via our collaborations with the college through off site projects, tutorials and lectures. Kayley took part in a project at Great Brampton House this time last year entitled Field Work, where her subtle approach to materials and their environment really shone through. We look forward to exhibiting work by Kayley at Down Stairs in 2013.
Kayley’s work is about the body as an organic vessel – the fine lines between life and death, survival and decay, fluid and solid, thick and thin, inner and outer; she use’s her work to communicate the impermanence of life, the remnants and traces that are left behind. She has often worked with found, emotive materials for their fragility and unstable qualities, for the tension that they can create – paper, textiles, latex and wax (thus relating back to the body). The processes she uses are also highly considered – she is interested in deconstruction; removing a material or object from its stable points of reference, and presenting it as a new form, suspended between perishing and flourishing.
Her work has diverted towards film and performance as of late; using the physical body as my material, rather than merely representing it – she feels that my message is conveyed more immediately in this format. Kayley is undertaking various projects that fuse concepts of temporality and varying degrees of emotional, physical and mental states with contemplated acts, often involving endurance. She expects to respond to Down Stairs and Great Brampton House on a very sensitive level, via exploring their historical contexts and surrounding areas; her ideas frequently challenge social constructs and the boundaries of humanitarian subjects.
Kayley describes her art practice has always been of paramount importance in her life: “I lived in a hostel when I was sixteen years old, just to pursue my early art education at Derby College. Although I was accepted into Falmouth’s College of Arts eight years ago, I declined the offer in exchange for some further life experience. It is since finally completing a First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art (at Hereford College of Arts), that I have discovered what my practice is constructed around; the inescapable thread between two extremes – life and death, lost and found, elation and sorrow, etc.; the uncomfortable yet intriguing moments in life that cannot be fully explained, or denied. By bringing these subjects to the surface, acknowledging them and presenting them to others, I am attempting to reconnect with what often seems such a desensitised world. My research often includes obscure objects or methods of travel (vintage ‘Housewife’ annuals, for e.g), but also spans across history and philosophy – from Duchamp to Hesse, Serra, Bourgeois, Beuys, and (Karla) Black; more recently I have been inspired by Abramovic and Viola. Aside from continuing with my art investigations, I expect to study further; a PGCE or MA in Fine Art, based in the South.”
Over the weekend Tainted Love was installed by the lovely Corinna Spencer (and Doug), Emily Fryer (and Ruben) set about breaking the back of Space, and whilst things arrived for The Stone of Folly William Cobbing and Jonathan P. Watts spent some time soaking up sun within wifi range of the Stables. Install this week. Lots of exciting things to come out of boxes and artists to arrive.
The gallery is now closed as one of us is busy taking When Shall We Set Sail for Happiness? to pieces and bubble wrapping it up for transporting to it’s next destination, and the other is driving the mother of all big vans around the country collecting things for our forthcoming trio of ace shows.
This time last year we also had three open at the same time. Non Obsolescence, curated by Trove, students from Hereford College of Art showing works in the grounds of Great Brampton House, and Mark Houghton giving the world his Upstare (or Upstairs depending on who you talk too). Here he talks about his practice, and some of those works from last year.
If you haven’t seen it already, you have four more days to catch our current exhibition by Craig Barnes and Dmitri Galitzine When Shall We Set Sail for Happiness? After that, it’s sailing off to London and will be pitching up at Fold, opening there on Friday 12th October if you happen to be in town for Frieze.
Back here in Herefordshire Down Stairs will be closed from Monday 17th September for instillation of our new exhibitions. Please do join us on Saturday 29 September from 6 – 9pm to celebrate the openings of:
The Stone of Folly HOLLY ANTRUM, MIKE COOTER, WILLIAM COBBING, KATIE CUDDON, BENEDICT DREW, MARTIN NEWTH, FRANCESCO PEDRAGLIO, HEATHER PHILLIPSON, NICHOLAS POPE, TOM WOOLNER. Curated by William Cobbing
Tainted Love ALICE ANDERSON, GEORGIE FLOOD, ANNABEL DOVER, KIRSTY BUCHANON, ANDREA HANNON, CORINNA SPENCER, JESSICA VOORSANGER, HAYLEY LOCK, PAUL KINDERSLEY, ALLI SHARMA, MARK SCOTT WOOD, CATHY LOMAX. Selected by Corinna Spencer
Space EMILY FRYER. A Down Stairs residency exhibition
We’re really excited about these exhibitions. It would be wonderful to see you at our Opening Reception Saturday 29 September 6 – 9pm. All are welcome.