Friday, 9 December 2011

The 6th and final 6DEGREES exhibition at The Monks Gallery

Alex Pearl

Dreadnought, digital video, 2011, 4’54”
Two weeks in the making this film examines the growth of one of the simplest of plants.

Every Second is a Universe, clothing, cress, 2011
These are part of a series of cress circles planted in discarded clothing. The sculptures are necessarily transient, growing and dying within a few weeks.

Alex Pearl’s humorous sculpture typically conveys a sense of the accidental, eternally on the brink of failure or collapse. His recent work has been heavily influenced by a feeling of post apocalyptic nostalgia and a rereading of science fiction classics.

Thomas Goddard

Secret Meeting

"Artists too frightened to tackle radical Islam," by Ben Hoyle in the Times

Britain’s contemporary artists are fêted around the world for their willingness to shock but fear is preventing them from tackling Islamic fundamentalism. Grayson Perry said that he had consciously avoided commenting on radical Islam in his otherwise highly provocative body of work because of the threat of reprisals.

The Secret meeting series originated from a discussion about how the burka, due to its full body coverage, could be worn to conceal and disguise. The series suggests unknown lovers in potentially different forms of love.

There is a suggestion that planting these burka wearing ‘lovers’ into the 17th Century English landscape, a time known for the British Empire’s rule of the world, represents conventional society seeking to destroy real love. This is represented in the architecture and man-made landscapes that surround the self consumed lovers.

The series looks to deal with the current Islamophobia evident across Europe and the paradoxical prejudice to same sex relations as well as affection in Islamic fundamentalism. The work shows that love is a powerful force that cannot be contained by any conventional social code, however much it maybe forbidden or frowned upon.

List of works

Forbidden love digital collage 20x20cm 2011

Mistaken for strangers digital collage 20x20cm 2011

Secret meeting digital collage 20x20cm 2011

Terrible love digital collage 20x20cm 2011

Peter Mills

No Choice, Don't Watch This, We Investigate S.E.L.F

No Choice, Don’t Watch This is an attempt to highlight the choices and freedoms we have, reminding us that we do or do not have to conform. The past is instructing us all, as we explore our roles within this space, and find how our inability to follow the instructions given from the past inform and create the future.

Questioning our position in society as a participant in a structured way of life, under surveillance and instruction the piece probes the audience to act.

Martyn Smith

Backpack Drawing Machine 

I have been fascinated by the concept of a drawing machine for a number of years. Drawing machines have though, existed for centuries. So the idea of drawing apparatus isn’t necessarily anything new. Previously however, drawing apparatus have been developed to make the act of drawing more accurate, from the camera obscure - used by old masters to accurately depict a scene or model, to the pantograph - used to accurately upscale an image.

Photography, however did away with the artist’s hand all together. In 1970 with the advent of the computer the hand returned. Yet artists continued to develop drawing machines.
This has become the focus of my practice based research project which has been developed through the MRes (Master of Research) program at the University of Lincoln. The aim of this research has been to provide a deeper understand of drawing ‘machines’ in a contemporary context. It specifically questions the machines function, after all, the hand is already a perfectly good tool to draw with.

So plainly put, why build a drawing machine? It also questions the relationship between these machines and the human body? - Do these machines act autonomously and maintain their own artistic ‘agency’ or do they become extensions of the user/artist/maker?

Amelia Beavis-Harrison

Adapa, Guardian in the Year 9999
 A performance and installation uniting a post-apocalyptic future with a mythological past. Adapd, Guardian in the Year 9999 acts as a collision between two points in time neither of which can ever truly be defined. Guests from the future are invited to attend a New Years Eve ritual from the year 9999 a time when the worlds population has dwindled following global rises in tides and a crash of world infrastructure. Civilisations have returned to a more basic religious way of life, promoted from ancient tablets said to be from Babylonian times that tell of a mortal fisherman who despite being offered immortality remained amongst the world of men.

Tom Duggan

Black and Red Screensaver Piece

Although seldom published, lists are a major part of Duggan’s practice. In his latest work, Black and Red Screensaver Piece, he has created a downloadable screensaver that lists items thought to be useful during a disaster or event in which food becomes scarce and law and order are severely compromised. The piece is partly inspired by Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, in which a father and son wander among wasteland America under persecution of extreme hunger and widespread cannibalism.

With a keen interest in end-of-the-world scenarios such as those depicted in The Road, as well as Dawn of the Dead style Zombie outbreaks, Duggan has spent time researching survival websites, where self-proclaimed ‘Preppers’ write lists of items and stock needed to survive certain events or incidents. He has observed that the lists are practical to a degree, but eventually become benign products of fantasy. It is in this sense that he sees the act of prepping as a lonely hobby.

Black and Red Screensaver Piece attempts to distribute a list Duggan has written himself. The items listed would help someone become a mobile and nomadic scavenger, rather than help someone live in a self-sustained bubble. It is thus a list to remember, rather than one to plan with.

By using a screensaver, reading the list in it’s entirety is made a tedious task; it is a list which people return to now and again, probably when they were not expecting to. This method of delivery encourages the items to be remembered in an incomplete way. A type of remembering which Duggan likens to much of the information we receive via our computers, in that it is incomplete, sporadic and foundationless.

Black and Red Screensaver Piece will debut in the exhibition Six Degrees at The Monk’s Gallery in Lincoln, which opens on Thursday 8th December 2011.

Following the exhibition opening, the screensaver will be available for download from

All Photos Taken By Tom Cretney

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