Week 4, Wilson Road, 30 October 2009

An inspiring session!

Four presentations were given from groups working in collaboration. Two more will be made in week 6 (and apologies to these two groups for running short of time).

The first presentation reviewed the work of photorealist painter Nigel Cox, showing at GXgallery, Denmark Hill. A number of interesting issues arose, including questions of artistic skill, the importance of seeing actual work rather than reproductions (questions of scale, texture, finish), possible interpretations of the work (religious connotations, reasons for lack of faces), and contextualistion of Cox's work in terms of photorealism and associated theoretical frameworks.

The second presentation reviewed the work of Alexandra Blum whose drawings chart the demolition and construction of buildings in Dalston, based upon her 12 month residency, including access to a construction site. Alex's recent body of work, drawn in a sketchbook, and always in situ, explores movement in time and space, and plays with perspective. The work was contextualised in terms of notions of psychogeography, the notion of the flaneur, and writers such as Iain Sinclair and JG Ballard. What is the artist's role in such a residency?

The third presentation arose from visits to the Sophie Calle retrospective exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, Talking to strangers. The group had responded with their own display of texts in various forms - replying to Calle's own work integrating text and photography and the book. Questions were raised about the form and effectiveness of the Whitechapel exhibition itself as well as interpretations and criticism of Calle's work.

The fourth presentation was an exploration, in various ways of Ruskin Park, Denmark Hill. Reference was made to John Ruskinhimself and his connection with the park and the area. Mendelsson had visited the area and composed a piece originally entitled 'Camberwell Green.' Visits to the park were documented with photographs and writings along with extensive criticism of the park itself, looking at how it fulfils its 'function' in terms of the various ways that people 'use' it, the way that it is affected by weather and seasons, and also how it might be improved.
Other links: http://www.lambeth.gov.uk/Services/Environment/ParksGreenSpaces/Parks/RuskinPark.htm

John Ruskin, 1819-1900. Art critic, lived at Denmark Hill
John Ruskin, 1819-1900. Art critic, lived at Denmark Hill