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Work In Progress II

4 January – 24 January 2016

Recent Activity, Cathy Wade, Laurence Price, Thomas Doherty, Sarah Silverwood, Matt Gale

For the month of January, we have invited a selection of Birmingham based artists to use the Grand Union gallery space as a testing ground for work in progress or for new ideas.

The last Work In Progress saw the gallery space used by a host of artists, including Meghan Allbright, Rebecca Gamble, Andrew Gillespie, Callum Greaney, Brian J Morrison, Laurence Price and Emily Warner.

Please note: The gallery space will be closed during this time, however, there will be a number of public events happening over the course of the month, so keep checking our website and social media for information about dates and times.

Tuesday 12 – Friday 15 January: Grand Union hosts Recent Activity’s Nomadic Vitrine with Hannah Lees

Recent Activity is a curatorial collaboration by Birmingham based artists Andrew Gillespie and Andrew Lacon, delivering a program of intermittent exhibitions across the city.

Their first project, titled Nomadic Vitrine, invites artists to respond to a nomadic display case, either using it functionally to present work or intervening with it sculpturally. The vitrine, itself a redundant sculpture, replaces the gallery as a space for artists to create work in/on/for. The vitrine builds on historical notions of display and visibility both within and beyond the gallery. The vitrine will be placed in various locations around Birmingham, changing for each artist’s exhibition.

This iteration of the project, sees London based artist Hannah Lees respond to the vitrine, staging a public event alongside a presentation of new work at Grand Union.

Lees’ work investigates ideas of cycles: constancy and mortality; the sense that things come to an end and the potential for new beginnings. This constancy, be it in religion, science, history or in organic matter, is visible in her practice through her attempts to make sense of and recognise traces of life. Through appreciating this, her work is focused towards an understanding of the essential nature of the materials she uses. Her practice encompasses Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Installation, Textiles, Ceramics, Internet Art, Performance, Writing, Sound and Video.

The Nomadic Vitrine with Hannah’s work will be presented with a free public event on Tuesday 12 January, 6-8pm.

Monday 18 – Friday 22 January: 

Matt Gale

Mysophobia is the pathological fear of contamination and germs. Beside this extreme reaction, there is an increasing sense that if we don’t constantly douse our kitchens, bathrooms and even our bodies with cleansers and antibacterial agents we will be overcome by infection and disease.

Matt Gale is interested in our response to microbes, decay and perceptions of ‘cleanliness’. During his time at Grand Union Matt will explore how people feel about the microorganisms in our environment. The initial stages of his Mysophobia project involved small, often cryptic microbial sculptures being placed in public spaces individually or in small groups.

Matt’s practice examines the recognition of beauty in objects conventionally perceived as unattractive or repellent. He is interested in whether changing particular visual or tactile elements can alter the perception of such an object. Matt’s work often contrasts soft, appealing, non-threatening materials with more disquieting subject matters.

Sarah Taylor Silverwood

Sarah Taylor Silverwood uses drawing, text and print to investigate the construction of narrative through images, often creating works relating to architecture, women and pop culture. Sarah plays with the methodologies of existing formats, such as comic books, newspapers or fabric patterns, examining the value of the drawn image and its craftsmanship. The works aim to combine and critique the ideologies of ‘high’ and ‘low’ cultures.

During Work in Progress II, Sarah will be creating a new pieces, which will continue an investigation into the imagery of protest, particularly in relation to women. Sarah will be using existing archives as well as a new series of interviews and discussions around the work during the week.

Laurence Price and Cathy Wade

Cathy Wade and Laurence Price will utilise time and space through Jan to actively research and produce a new work that focuses on writing as a visual practice. Using the localised environment as a starting point. Repeator = Text = Practice will manifest: cut ups, methodologies, internal dialogues, streams of consciousness, aleatorial algorithms, bartering and the structures of language as used in forms and economics.

Repeator focuses the practices of Cathy Wade, Laurence Price and others as ongoing collaborative working processes in which works are layered, revised, regurgitated and replayed.

Thomas Doherty

Thomas Doherty is the elemental composition behind, and acting Chair, of the Wild Fantasy Praxis (WFP). The Attitude Era, a period in the World Wrestling Entertainment’s history beginning late 1990s, cited for its shift to a more adult-oriented programming content; increased depiction of violence, incorporation of politically incorrect and degenerate characters and greater inclusion of unconventional sexuality, stimulated this seven-year-old self’s sprouting sensibility for the wild.

Inspired by this glitzy-cum-greasy goldmine of bodies, costumes and competition that challenged the traditions and conventions of society at large, Chair Thomas launched The Wild Fantasy Praxis (WFP) – an ongoing performance federation which seeks to dislocate conversation from patriarchal structures and rehouse them in a fantasy environment.

During his sitting at Grand Union, Chair Thomas hopes to induct new characters into the WFP roster and bring them alive through the never-before-seen-in-the-history-of-the-WFP medium of internet television.