I have now finished my residency at the school and received such a great send off. I have met some wonderful new people - staff and students and wish everyone well.
This will be my last post on this blog but a new artist-in-residence at the school has been appointed which is fantastic news and no doubt they will set up their own blog. I was the first artist-in-residence there so its good to know that I didn't put the school off the project. A lot of people have been surprised that it is not a permanent position but a permanent residency (if one did exist) would miss the point. Now I am embarking on the normal course of uncertainty of being an artist.
With the exhibition and wrapping up at the school and moving into my new studio I hadn't been to London for what seemed like ages so to reconnect with the wider art world I went to a few exhibitions. First, 'Skin' at The Wellcome Collection, then 'Mark Wallinger' at Anthony Reynolds then onto 'Newspeak: British Art Now' at The Saatchi Collection. The day started out promising with Skin - I particularly like the way this gallery space installs their shows but I think there were too many wax models and not enough contemporary art responses to the subject, unlike the previous 'Identity' exhibition. I loved the simplicity of Mark Wallinger's exhibition. Two very strong pieces - one a monumental black 'I' sculpture and a revolving reproduction of Velázquez’s portrait of Pope Innocent X. [ see reviews in the Telgraph, Time Out, The Times ] Both these pieces had more visual impact and spoke or rather shouted louder at the viewer than several floors and numerous rooms of The Saatchi Collection. I left that exhibition completely deflated and disappointed at the dismal array of what is supposed to be the best of British. It was certainly nothing I aspired to and I really questioned my role as an artist. I was also rather confused as I am familiar with quite a few of the artists work and have responded a lot more positively to their work in the past. Perhaps the space or the curating has not done it justice or it is just the nature of contemporary group shows without a common theme - they lack cohesion due to their not being a dominant movement or style (which is in turn the dominant style).
Anyway, I picked myself up and a few days later ventured back to London to see this summer's spectacular at the Hayward. I was not disappointed - it hit the mark completely. The double bill show of The New Decor and Ernesto Neto was a feast for my senses and uplifted my spirit. I was proud to call myself an artist again. I will leave you with some photos and some links to reviews.