International Postcard Show 2016

Each year, The Surface Gallery in Nottingham hold an International Postcard Show. It is an opportunity for up and coming artists from across the world to participate in an exhibition.

The two postcards I submitted for 2016 were two shots from Portugal from 2015 of the aftermath of a forest fire.

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Horsforth Walk of Art

I saw a call out for the inaugural walk of art in Horsforth back in April and was drawn to it by the idea of exhibiting in unusual spaces. I really love seeing exhibitions in different and unusual spaces and think that it adds an extra challenge for the artist and also gives the work something unique, as you are unlikely to see the work in the same space somewhere else again. One of my favourite spaces is The Curve Gallery at The Barbican in London.

The call out for artists gave me the chance to exhibit in a garden shed and also to create a new piece of work about a Tourist Destination.

I set out researching the town of Horsforth and also went to meet the person who would be lending me their shed for the weekend. This also gave me the opportunity to do some Vine video recording and also find out more about the town.

Here are some of my Vine clips that I have used to base my video on as well as teaser in the run up to the exhibition next weekend:

https://vine.co/jameskowacz

There is a difference in how I am exhibiting this time. As a projection wouldn’t work inside the shed, I am exhibiting on a 24″ LCD Television screen and the sound will be played through a 2.1 surround sound system. The 6′ x 8′ size of the shed means only a couple of people will be able to view the piece at once and there could well be the influence of sounds from around the streets and definitely from aircraft flying above the area.

The video itself is also a bit different to my last piece as I use local history within the work and also pay homage to the towns sense of pride in its people and it’s heroes. However, the video still retains snippets of humour and the ridiculous to keep the audiences attention..

The exhibition takes place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July 2015 on King George’s Road, Horsforth, Leeds.

There are huge range of activities happening across the weekend and further information can be found on the Walk of Art website.

Walk of Art Logo

Hexopolis @ The Tetley

I was involved in an exhibition by Katya Robin in March this year and submitted some work to her piece Hexopolis which was part of Collections and Collaborations at The Tetley Gallery in Leeds.

HEXOPOLIS is an on-going research and participatory art project led by Katya Robin about hexagons in public spaces. The collection seeks to identify hexagon motifs and the possibility of unifying themes. ‘Hexopolis’ is a term assembled by Robins from ancient Greek: HEX meaning 6 and OPOLIS meaning city-state, run by its citizens. And so, using the hexagon as a framework, the project considers urban living.

Info from: http://thetetley.org/collections-collaborations/

This immediately reminded me of some photography that I did from the top of the Empire State Building in New York and this is what I contributed to the show:

Hexopolis

The exhibition ran from 7th – 22nd March 2015.

Surface Gallery’s International Postcard Show

So, After a break from writing, I have been up to quite a few bits and pieces. Back in January, I was part of the yearly International Postcard Show at Surface Gallery in Nottingham and the pieces I created were linked to my work about tourism and they were postcards that I wrote, imagining I was a tourist there and using peoples social media quotes to help paint a picture. Here they are:

 

Katharines Dock Postcard Sheffield Postcard Nortfolk Postcard

 

They were on show for one week at The Surface Gallery, Nottingham in January 2015.

Bank Street Internet Access

After a gallery visit to Bank Street Arts on Friday to discuss installation, I discovered that there was no 3G access in the basement gallery space where my exhibition is to be installed. This has some reprceussions on the use of QR codes within my show. As there is no mobile signal access, I can’t have framed QR codes hung near my work because if the audience try to access these, they won’t be able to as it depends on a 3G internet connection.

However, the idea is not completely lost as the audience can access the work by taking the promotional postcards away and scanning the QR codes on them to access the extra content away from the gallery.

The framed QR codes planned to be located by the gallery space for the audience to access will now be made redundant but could possibly be used in different gallery locations when the same or similar work is shown in future.

Vimeo Profile

 

Psychogeography

After it was mentioned in my tutorial that I should look at something called psychogeography I have picked up a book by Will Self called Psycho Too.

I thought it wouldn’t really be relevant to me and I have been putting off looking into this further. However, I was proved wrong in this case as the act of being a psycho geographer is something that I have been doing for a long time in relation to my art and photography work.

The Urban Dictionary describes psychogeography as:

The practice of exploring the urban environment while being led by curiosity and a paused sense of time and place. While it is important to let your senses absorb the spaces around you, it is equally, if not more important to find yourself in new spaces, spaces stumbled upon by chance; paying attention to the smaller details, the lost objects, the signage, the fragments that make walking a reward in itself, with a slower pace and an increased opportunity to revel in the simple pleasures of things. A sense of wander/wonder is essential to find the simplicity in urban living.

In an Introduction to a critique of urban geography, Guy Debord describes it as; “The sudden change of ambience in a street within the space of a few meters; the evident division of a city into zones of distinct psychic atmospheres; the path of least resistance which is automatically followed in aimless strolls (and which has no relation to the physical contour of the ground); the appealing or repelling character of certain places – all this seems to be neglected.”

So, how does this all link to my practice?

I visit tourist destinations as a member of the public, I’m sometimes alone, sometimes with others, but there is always instances where I see something that starts my creativity flowing and it could be anything, but there is something that makes me reach for my camera whether it is to photograph, record videos or to Vine. When this moment comes, I suddenly leave my surroundings behind me, it might seem to others that I am just trying to get a ‘good shot’ but there’s more to it than that. It’s about that moment and documenting it how I see it and how I’m going to remember it and this might include photographing the graffiti written on the side of a rubbish bin and these recordings are the stimulus of my own memory, 1 year, 5 years or however many years down the line.

psychogeography1

Image from: https://nearlynetworked.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/psychogeography1.jpg

The Most Difficult Thing Ever

A great example of the use of image and sound together in a video sent to me by my tutor. I really like how the commentary and images fit seamlessly together to give a real sense of place. This is Yorkshire, set in a Yorkshire countryside town like Huddersfield. Part of me regrets not trying to use more voices in the videos so far but it is something possible if the right excerpts crop up like in the St. Katherine’s Dock video.

Road Sign Name Tags

I have been looking at how I can use the tourist theme in more aspects of my exhibition and have had a go at making some tourist road sign name tags for my work. I have researched the font and style of the signs at this webite. I have also tried to colour match the signs from online images as I can’t find the exact colour that they use.

The two examples use two slightly different colours and also look at whether the museum or other symbols should also be used on the road signs. I could tie in the symbols used to the type of attraction been shown in the work for example. The highways agency website has all the different symbols they sue for different types of site.

 

Name Tags

Framing QR Codes

I have printed off one of my QR codes and framed it up as I am expecting to have them in my show. These will allow people to access extra content through their mobile phones other than just what’s on show at the exhibition.

DSC03880

I am in two minds about this particular framing, I am not sure whether the cream mount works and whether it needs to be white. I will get hold of one and see if it makes a difference. The QR code has gone out of focus a little bit as it has been enlarged and the edges have gone a bit fuzzy so i will have a look and see if there is a website or some software that create a better quality version or see if I can sharpen it up more in Photoshop. It does look better in this photograph than in real life.