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Peaches and Pixie Geldof, Norman Foster and everyday Londoners who have had a profound impact on the capital will be the focus of a new exhibition of artworks by students from Central St Martins this summer.

Over 100 fine art students from the college were invited by student accommodation provider Unite to participate, and five pieces were commissioned. They will be exhibited in Blithehale Court, Bethnal Green, to celebrate the opening of seven new Unite properties across London this year.

Entries were judged by Central Saint Martins Fine Art course directors, Jane Lee and Andrew Watson, as well as Unite’s sales and marketing director, Nathan Goddard. 

The winning artists:

Ewan MacFarlane
Norman Foster
Ewan said: “Instead of painting the Gherkin itself I thought it more interesting to paint its architect Lord Foster.  However I wanted to make reference to the fantastic structural planning that made the building possible. The result is a painting made up of brush strokes but within each stroke a number of shades.”

Ewan MacFarlane - Norman Foster

Rose Stuart Smith
Phyllis Pearlsall
Phyllis Pearlsall created the London’s first A to Z of streets by painstakingly walking every street until she had mapped them all. Rose said: “As maps become available on mobile phones and sat-nav, the A-Z may soon fall out of use and Phyllis’ story will be lost, so I was excited to be given this opportunity to make work that commemorates her. She was, like me, a painter so it seemed fitting that the work should also be a painting.”

Rosie Stuart Smith - Phyllis Pearsall

Charles Drinkwater
Clara Grant
Charles’ work remembers The Bundle Woman of Bow who created farthing bundles of toys to give to poor children in the early 1900s. Charles said: “I chose Clara Grant because of her amazing actions. For a single woman, during that time, to make such a difference to children’s lives was remarkable. It reaffirms my belief in human kindness.”

 Charles Drinkwater - Clara Grant

Sue Kemp

Inspirational Londoners
Sue said: “The type of people that I think inspire students, are individuals they can relate to, everyday, ordinary people who through creativity, self-belief and hard work have achieved amazing things. I consider the people I have used in my work to be inspirational Londoners.”
Inspirational Londoners

Phoebe Mitchell
Peaches and Pixie Geldof

Phoebe said:  “The infamous daughters of rocker Bob Geldof and the late Paula Yates are the epitome of cool, trashy, teenage hedonism. They may not be saving the world, or carving out an enviable career…yet, but they can inspire us to enjoy ourselves and to take advantage of our youth.”

Peaches GeldofPixie Geldof

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A selection of photographs from the Travelling Light exhibition, which opened on Friday at the WW Gallery in Hackney, east London.

Turns out the artwork embroiled in bureaucratic battle (see previous post) was by Sri Lankan born artist Roma Tearne. She wanted to wrap a single black or crimson cloth over the eyes of the statue of Eros in Piccadilly, London, but the people in charge refused to give the gallery permission.

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Travelling Light, London>Venice Biennale

 

Travelling Light is an upcoming Venice Biennale art exhibition organised by a group of women from London’s East End: Sophie Wilson of Pharos Gallery, Chiara Williams and Debra Wilson of WW Gallery. The brief said all artworks had to be posted to the London venue for the first leg of the exhibition before they could continue on their travels to Venice, so the artists (among them Roma Tearne, Kate Davis, Maria Chevska and Oona Grimes) had to work to certain size and weight restrictions.

Submissions to Travelling LightThe travelling exhibition, which will showcase a total of 58 artists, is set to open in London and end up in Venice for the opening week of the Biennale. However, one of the submissions requires public interaction, and Westminster Council has yet to give the women permission to go ahead.

 

Read more about their efforts to cut through the red tape on their blog and on Twitter, and find further information, including a list of participating artists, on the website.

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Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Antony Gormley has officially opened the application process to members of the public who wish to stand on the fourth plinth of London’s Trafalgar Square, as part of his new artwork One & Other.

Every hour, 24 hours a day, for 100 days without a break, 2,400 different people will be able to occupy the plinth, and do whatever they like on it, as long as it’s legal.

“This is about, in some way, challenging the idea that only some people, people who are heroes or have served for their country, have the right to occupy plinths,” says Gormley.

According to the Guardian, 22,000 people have registered their interest so far. Which begs the question, what will people do with their hour as a living statue?

There will be the piss-takers; the dressing up enthusiasts; those who see it as a platform for showing off singing, acting or clowning talents; the campaigners; and, probably, a great deal of normal people who get up there with a book or an iPod, and simply wait it out, keen to simply become part of London’s artistic landscape for a while. At least, I hope that is the case.

But most, if not all, media coverage of the event will be given over to the outrageous: the nearly naked, the crazy, those with an incredible story to tell, and many other moments that are impossible to predict. It will be interesting to see if it really does represent a cross section of British society.

Antony Gormley’s One & Other will replace Thomas Schütte’s sculpture Model for a Hotel on 6 July 2009, and will be broadcast live on oneandother.co.uk and on the Sky Arts website.

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Thirty-eight years ago, the Tate Gallery (now Tate Britain) installed Robert Morris’s interactive artwork Bodyspacemotionthings in its Duveen Galleries, and all hell broke loose. Visitors went “beserk” playing on the walls, seesaws, stilts and tunnels, getting splinters in their bums and bruises.

Robert Morris: Bodyspacemotionthings

Photo: Tate

On May 22 this year, Bodyspacemotionthings is coming back to Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.

Assistant curator Kathy Noble told the Independent: “It was a landmark moment in Tate’s history. The idea was to encourage viewers to become more aware of their own physicality.”

Concerned art fans will be reassured to learn the new version of the work will be made with contemporary materials instead of the rough wood of the 70s.

This is a sly move on the museum’s part. Bodyspacemotionthings will doubtless be even more popular than Carsten Höller’s slides (2006), if only because of the controversy surrounding Morris’s original.

UBS Openings: The Long Weekend will run for four days from 22 May.

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Ian Bruce's studio in London

The Pink Portraits by Ian Bruce

Ian Bruce is an artist and portrait painter working in London. In this video interview, which can currently be seen HERE, he talks about his latest project – a series called The Pink Portraits.

The portraits all feature people in a state of transition: a clown who has just changed into his normal clothes backstage (but still wears the face paint); a burlesque dancer whose stomach still bears the marks from her bone corset; and Ian Bruce himself as a transvestite stripped of his wig and dress, but still bearing traces of his female alter-ego, such as red nail varnish.

My Windows Movie Maker died a horrible death yesterday, so I had to put the video together in a dodgy online editing suite called JayCut – hence the poor quality and rough cutting. An improved version will be embedded here soon.

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Introducing Annette Messager– my new favourite artist. Ok, I’m a little late to the table with this one, since her retrospective at the Hayward Gallery, London, opened at the beginning of March. But I have to say it’s the best exhibition I’ve seen in a long time.

Annette Messager: The Messengers

The striking image used to market the exhibition drew me into the Hayward.

Messager uses all manner of materials – soft toys, stuffed animals, fabrics, photographs and words – to create a feminine, and often strangely beautiful, body of work.

 

The eyes on this promotional poster turned out to be part of a small series, called My Trophies. Messager covers large-scale photographs of parts of the body in doodles, which are reminiscent of tattoos and children’s book illustrations.

Other works worthy of note:

  • Chimaeras – This work meets you at the door, and looks like a spooky nightmare full of evil fairies and bats with human faces.
  • My Vows (Mes voeux)– I have seen this before at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and it still impresses me now. Hundreds of photos of body parts are hung together to form a circle. The act of layering up the photos makes the chins, ankles, noses and, yes, boobs, seem like a collection of objects.
  • Casino – A sheet of red fabric waves over glowing, aquatic blobs, as if the sea has been turned into a womb. One of the most original works of art I’ve come across.

Annette Messager: The Messengers is on at the Hayward until Monday 25 May.

Read Adrian Searle’s review in the Guardian

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