Happy Lunar New Year! I thought I’d post some photos from the last Pig cycle (12 years!) These were taken in Liverpool, U.K. and shown as part of a Lunar New Year exhibition at the Chinese Museum of Melbourne Australia, now residing in their permanent collection.
As Liverpool has one of Europe’s oldest Chinese populations, the lunar new year celebration each year is always a colourful, noisy and fun affair. It is also really crowded, but as a photographer you have to try and find your angle somehow, which is an interesting challenge. The event is held underneath the gorgeous arch made to mark the millennium by expert artisans from Shanghai, Liverpool’s twin city in China.
Exhibition photos courtesy of curator Lorinda Cramer.
Last night was the opening of a pop-up art show in Downtown LA at Hatakayama Gallery, curated by Arturo Aguilar. The exhibition features work by myself and nine other LA based artists, in photography, painting and time-based media.
I included an Americana-inspired photography triptych and Chris exhibited his beautiful large scale series of the misty Golden Gate Bridge. The images garnered a lot of interest despite not currently being for sale – archival quality pigment prints will be featured as special short-run editions at our upcoming online store, I will update this site when they become available.
Thanks to everyone who came down to the opening, it was such a fun night!
Here’s some info on the artists:
Arturo Aguilar: Los Angeles lifer, photographer and computer artist. He has spent the last decade in the film industry creating simulation art for DreamWorks and Sony Pictures. Art-speaks.blogspot.com
Asylm: Asylm is an L.A.-based graffiti artist, fine artist and muralist. Asylm.com
Chris Cunningham: Photographs, lights, composites, musics, and 3D enthusiasts. Chasethelight.com
Liza Lemsatef Cunningham: Artist, photographer, designer of fine web and print offerings, art history nerd. Not necessarily in that order. Ellelens.com | Jaunty Angles blog
Eyeone is an artist and graphic designer based in Los Angeles. His work is rooted in graffiti, printmaking, photography, and punk rock. Eyelost.com
Sofia Gonzalez has been professionally designing and screen printing in LA since the 90s, yo! Sofialeegonzalez.com
Michael Hackett: Michael Hackett explores the space where an information system becomes so complex, that it’s orderliness diminishes and begins to take on organic characteristics.
Mad Guru: Adnan was raised in both the U.S. and Pakistan on a childhood of writing stories. Besides visual effects and animation on feature films for the likes of Disney and Sony, he works under his company Mad Guru, to create animated films and projects designed to provoke thought and bring diverse people together. Madguru.com
An exhibition of a series of mine and my husband Chris’ photography is currently on show in Maya Liverpool, UK.
Fifteen A3 and three A0 sized archival prints are exhibited in an atmospheric Mexican inspired environment. The opening night of the show was a great success (although I was on the other side of the Atlantic at the time) and included Mexican street food and libations, general revelry and calaca-style face painting in a Dia de los Muertos spirit!
As a transplant to Los Angeles, it was exciting to be selected for training as a Getty docent. Over many years at Tate Gallery one was encouraged to lead tours using dialogue-based, object-focused methodology, with the understanding that the passive receipt of information does not supply the tools or confidence to approach artworks, nor motivate individual engagement with them. It was refreshing to find that the teaching strategy at the Getty is just as forward-thinking and interactive, carefully avoiding a disappointing and didactic lecture-on-wheels experience.
With the belief that works of art reveal themselves over time, the focus is firmly on ‘close looking’ at a limited number of objects and sharing within a supportive environment, the resultant lively dialogue benefiting from a multiplicity of perspectives. Appropriate contextual information is introduced to extend the dialogue, not suppress other possible meanings nor suggest a ‘definitive’ reading.
Summer training incorporated a fun and well-organized balance of theoretical underpinning and practical exercises. A fascinating dossier of reading material led to animated weekly group discussions. As we were tasked with developing individual themed tours, any fears were allayed as we were supported by research materials and helpful, patient staff. We were also treated to curator time – the decorative arts lecture led to a widespread re-evaluation of tour plans to shoehorn in a fancy bed, marquetry tour-de-force or gilded sconce or two.
Selecting only four objects from the embarrassment of riches on display was a headache until the realization that one could develop several tours and rotate them as appropriate. Flexibility with object choices avoids dismay when the morning gallery mapping stars are not aligned. How liberating the ability to sneak off behind Titian’s back and leave Friedrich to his pondering whilst one runs away with Puryear and Hepworth or spends time striking poses with Batoni!
It has been such fun working with the mutually supportive, dynamic people in our group as colleagues and new friends. It is a pleasure to fulfil our collective duty to keep artworks alive by creatively engaging the next generation of visitors.
(Originally published in The Gazetty, the Getty staff newsletter)
This summer I was selected as a Gallery docent at the Getty Center in Los Angeles! It has been such a great experience going through training, meeting such wonderful people and getting to know the art work in more depth. ‘Docent’ is not a word we really use in the UK, but the role is similar to the one I held at Tate Gallery Liverpool whilst at university, as a ‘freelance artist’, facilitating workshops with visitors using close study, discussion and practical activities such as drawing.
It really is a great privilege to spend time each week up at the centre, The Meier-designed complex sometimes feels like some sort of utopian spaceship filled with treasures. I spend hours in the galleries with the works and exploring the campus discovering my favourite areas to sip coffee and study or gaze outwards at the cityscape below.
Next month we will start teaching school groups, encouraging them to look closely and engage with art, and have a positive experience of one of my favourite places in LA. I can’t wait!
During down time at the Getty I like sketching in the galleries. As well as pursuing a long tradition of sketching from master works, it helps to quietly focus on an individual piece and allow you notice nuances otherwise overlooked, which is good practice when developing tours.
At Getty Center there is also a designated ‘Sketching Gallery’ where artwork and replicas are displayed with materials provided for anyone to come and draw. The volunteers in there are so lovely and encouraging, it’s a veritable oasis of calm as visitors concentrate on their drawings.
Just launched, a website I created for the new exhibition at Whitworth Art Gallery, the University of Manchester’s art gallery.
The exhibition, curated by talented Helen Stalker, is based on the ‘shadow’ as an artistic device to cast reality into relief. Drawing parallels between modern technology and the primordial urge to create avatars of ourselves, with historical methods of trickery to inspire wonder and a sense of magic, the exhibition leads us through a variety of media.
Dark Matters is comprised of a major exhibition including new commissioned works from international artists, and a display gleaned from the Whitworth’s extensive collection of masterpieces from Van Gogh to Rembrandt. An interesting and varied series of talks film screenings and events is also programmed.
Go and see it if you can, now showing at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (September 24th 2011 to January 15th , 2012.) Visit the website at www.Darkmattersart.com