# Flaunt It

Published 16th November 2019

I'm proud to present the second # Flaunt It exhibition of 2019, where I'm showing new work that explores self-image and the function of art in ritual participation, existentialism and a connection to our deeper conscious self (lightly served with wine and nibbles).

The project Flaunt It was conceived by Tony Spencer and Peter McGinnis to create a platform which brings artists together to foster collaboration, an exchange of ideas, an exhibiting opportunity and to offer a public event to enhance grassroots art in Southampton.

The first # Flaunt It exhibition took place on Friday 5th July 2019 and featured works by three Arches residents including myself Tony Spencer, Peter McGinnis and guest artist Jilly Evans.

Peter exhibited a set of extremely powerful portrait paintings, which he produced whilst undertaking a self directed residency at Eastpoint day centre for the West Hants NHS Trust. He explained to the viewers that he was exploring new ways of drawing and painting, describing the emotions of people, whilst reducing the mark making. The works were oil on canvas, and applied with a discipline that rendered oil paint with the smooth effect as with acrylic, whilst maintaining the rich vivid colours of oils.

Viewing the work I felt like he was reintroducing the people back into the world; each image depicted subtle movement and expression within the persons face. Peter talked about his experience of the residency, where he gained an empathic understanding of what each person was trying to communicate, despite there multiple disabilities.

Jilly presented traditional quilts with text which aimed to breakdown the historical notions of feminine politeness and linguistic taboos . Jilly integrated words within the pattern design, which were at first concealed from the viewer by the evocative complimentary colours and design. The work spoke about social identity and the use of slang and expressive language to address female empowerment.

The forthcoming exhibition features the same three artists, who will continue a visual conversation about humanity and their perceptions of the world.

Delighted to be exhibiting again, Jilly will present Bin Liner People, a piece made from sewn plastic bin liners.  The installation endeavours to comment on our current society, hoping to act as a catalyst for conversation on social change.

# Flaunt It takes place from 6pm on Friday 22nd November 2019 at Arch 4, Captains Place, Southampton SO14 3FE. The exhibition is free, and all are welcome to bring their positive vibe to the Flaunt It creative community.

a-n event link | vasw event link | artrabbit event link

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Let Us Dissent a CAS Associate Artist Show

Published 1st September 2019

As an artist who works within a socially engaged practice I really value being a member of CAS Associate Artists. I joined in 2019 and am thrilled to be taking part in my first group show Let Us Dissent an exhibition co-curated at SPUDworks, Sway.

For the show I created new work titled Flesh and Blood, presenting an artist statement describing the work as follows:

"The world is a state of mind where we have an ego, a story etc. However, we have to know who we are? In my work 'Flesh and Blood' I invite you to contemplate your emotional presence and natural wisdom, by engaging with a sculpture which creates friction between a spiritual act and an existential return to self."

The work is inspired by Robert Holden and Louise Hay, founder and author of Hay House, presenting notions of positive psychology. Drawing on their wisdom I used the method of pyrography to burn words into the wooden surface of a kneeling stool I made from disused wooden pallets. The words are presented backwards, and the only way to clearly read them is to kneel upon the stool and look into the mirror in front of you. This enables the viewer to look at themselves within the mirror and engage with mirror work, which Louise Hay describes as:

"Mirror work is the most effective method I’ve found for learning to love yourself and see the world as a safe and loving place."

So for me the notion of Dissent is to provide a space for people to take a moment away from the external issues in the World and journey within to confront a reflection of their true loving self and start with the deeper questions, such as "Who you really are?"

The exhibition Let Us Dissent is on at the wonderful SPUDworks exhibition space from 2nd to 17th September 2019.

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CAS Artist Tony Spencer talks about ‘mystical art’ and immersive sensory experiences.

Published 31st May 2019

I spoke with Tony Spencer earlier this month when he was exhibiting The Cube alongside artist Laura Eldret for ‘Acts’ a collaborative show at Bournemouth Emerging Artists Fringe Festival (BEAF2019). Tony is a visual artist and curator based at Arches Studios, Southampton. He investigates sound and light with sculptural installations, that transform space and effect elements of our consciousness. The sculptural forms are based on sacred geometry, which connect to science, nature and universal balance.

We talked about his self-managed residency in The Gambia, which involved setting up a traditional drum and dance troupe with locals, and his ongoing investigation combining sound and material to create a sense of sacredness in an immersive, sensory experience. His background includes training in ‘sound therapy’ using vocal sound healing techniques and instruments. Once a month he offers ‘Sound Baths’ on a Thursday evening at The Hilt, Chandlers Ford.

Click CAS link to read more

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ACTS at BEAF (Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe) 2019

Published 4th May 2019

I am delighted to announce that I have been awarded a successful commission to exhibit at BEAF (Bournemouth Emerging Arts Fringe) Festival 2019, and will be featuring work together with Laura Eldret in a two-person exhibition titled ACTS. Our combined exhibition considered ideas of sensory perception, ritualistic acts and feelings of 'wellness'.

For the exhibition I am presenting new work titled Cube, an enquiry into the human connection to intangible healing energy through sound and sacred geometry. Cube is a sculptural installation crafted from reclaimed wooden pallets and presenting an ultra-black internal space. The interior is accessible and incorporates natural light through inserted glass balls and sound designed to stimulate our sensory perceptions.

During the festival, as a qualified Sound Therapist I will be inviting audiences to participate whilst I enter the Cube and perform Metaphysical live Acts with sound which vibrates the Cube at frequencies encouraging wellbeing. There will also be an opportunity for viewers to participate themselves by entering the Cube and receive therapeutic sound whilst inside.

Laura Eldret will present Binder an enquiry into the haptic qualities of a library as a place for communal gathering, Binder explores books as a common sensory object. Libraries have political value beyond the content of books. Reading is known to have a myriad of mental health benefits (reducing stress and depression), and even making us more confident and empathetic. Binder abstracts the visceral characteristics of the book and customary acts of reading, bringing into question the potential for books to be an elixir for community and wellbeing.

Click link to find out about BEAF2019

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