As noted in my previous post, I’ve begun blogging on the Artist’s Newsletter (A-N) website, in a section called ‘Artists Talking’. Here is a copy of my second post:
March 19, 2014
I realize, looking back at my previous post, that I didn’t describe what I actually do. While my artist’s statement is at the bottom of this blog page, I’ve found that one of the best descriptions of my work was provided by Louis Tuckman in an article in Culture Vulture, who playfully described what I do as “psychedelically religious sculptural homages to materialism.”
That seemed to capture both the ‘conceptual’ and ‘fun’ aspects of my work & it was a real pleasure to have somebody describe what I do (rather than always having to be the one to write about myself in the form of Artist Statements, proposals, etc.).
Louis wrote that article in November as a review of the Open Studios at Patrick Studios in Leeds where I’m based. That was the end of a hugely busy year for me, as I was completing a Canada Council Project Grant (funding a new series of sculptural pieces), and had been exhibiting in several shows, including Sampler in New York, Vantage Art Prize in Leeds, Click + Spill in York, The Independent Artist’s Fair (TIAF) in London, and Collision (Nancy Victor Gallery, London).
I also had my first international solo show – at ReTramp Gallery in Berlin – and took part in my first international residency: Ethnographic Terminalia in Chicago at the Washington Park Arts Incubator.
Beyond my solo practice, I also collaborate with another artist, Julien Masson, with whom I make large-scale sculptures – including a commission in Winchester in October/November for 10 Days/Creative Collisions. This was followed immediately afterwards by Quay Arts’ Duets Open, which showcased one of our new Perspex sculptures. Most recently we opened a new exhibition of our collaborative work at The Point in Eastleigh. The show, called Level Up, includes several of our 2D and 3D pieces, including a new sculpture commissioned by The Point, designed digitally and made from laser-cut Perspex and vinyl. It is open until April 2014.
Now that the show has opened, and some of the big projects from 2013 are all finished, I’m excited to get back into my solo artwork creation. I’ll post soon about the progress of new artwork…
To document some new projects I’m going to be working on over the next several months, I decided to start an A-N (Artist’s Newsletter) blog, titled “Art by Design”. Rather than simply publish images of my work once it’s completed or in a gallery, I thought it would be a good experiment to show everything in-process (mistakes & all). I’ve been meaning to blog for a while, but now seems a good time as I’ve started a new series of artworks that involve both analogue and digital techniques. Please follow me on Facebook or Twitter if you’re interested to hear about new posts!
Please click here to visit the actual post on A-N, or read below:
I recently read an article by Robin Sloan (http://www.robinsloan.com/note/flip-flop/) called “Dancing the Flip-Flop” which describes the practice of creating artworks, images or videos that were formed by an exchange between analogue and digital mediums. An example of a flip-flop would be:
1. Making a drawing
2. Taking a photo of it
3. Opening the photo in Photoshop and modifying it
4. Printing the modified image and physically drawing on it with pen & ink
5. Scanning the new artwork & posting it online.
While this act of moving back and forth between analogue and digital is something I (and many other artists and graphic designers) do in their everyday practice, reading the article made me more aware of the process & how it impacts my work. I realize that I ‘flip flop’ all of the time…but with an increasingly strong bias towards the digital. Whereas I previously used the computer as a small part of the process of creating hand-made sculptural pieces, I now use the computer almost exclusively – only using hand-sketches in a preparatory way…then finally at the very end I return again to the analogue world when I print and assemble my artworks. In other words, my practice has become almost completely computer-based.
This transition happened during a Canada Council for the Arts Project Grant I won in 2012. The project specifically involved an exploration of digital tools, in order to experiment with links between packaging design and contemporary art. There were clear reasons to work digitally: scale is flexible, changes can be made quickly – and images can be repeated, distorted, and adjusted much quicker than creating them by hand.
However, the move to digital began to estrange me from the manual aspects of my work – and it began to worry me that I might never again be able to interject hand-craft back into my work. I missed the physical act of creating art – the mess, the success of making a perfect mark, the unpredictability of materials like inks and paints.
So…I’m going to take a half-step back into the ‘analogue’ world again and create a new series of artworks that use the best of both realms…and see what happens. This blog will be a chronicle of my experiments and inevitable failures – as well my thoughts regarding intersections between contemporary art and design practice. Please stay tuned…
Two days ago I launched by new Facebook artist’s page – Ian Kirkpatrick Contemporary Art. I want to thank all of my friends & colleagues who took a look at it and ‘liked’ it – it means a lot that people are interested in my work. If you haven’t checked it out, please click here and consider ‘liking’ the page. Mostly it’s just a space to show new artworks (including art in progress) and announcements about new exhibitions. But it’s also a powerful way for an emerging artist such as myself to get his work out into the world – so any support would be greatly appreciated!
I’ve also updated my Twitter page and will be using it & Facebook over the next few weeks to post about some new projects I’m working on. These will also be documented on this website’s blog page. I haven’t maintained a blog before – previously I only used this blog page to write very infrequent posts (about one a year!) about recent exhibitions…so this will be quite a change. But I’m looking forward to the challenge and the routine of posting about new work every few days. I’ve got some exciting new pieces in the pipeline so please do check in regularly for updates and images.
More coming soon…
It’s been a busy year of work, thanks to the generous Canada Council for the Arts Project Grant I was awarded in Spring 2012. The grant provided living and material expenses for 10 months of artistic creation – and resulted in 6 large new sculptures, as well as smaller pieces. I’m still preparing the final images for my portfolio, but wanted to write a quick post here in the brief period of calm before the next set of projects begin.
The summer is going to be busy as I’m currently working on a commission with Julien Masson for 10 Days/Creative Collisions – a city-wide exhibition in Winchester, UK. Our proposal was selected for a bursary to create a new large-scale sculpture in the spirit of our Transformer (please see the Porfolio page for images). The new piece, titled TOTEM, will be themed on intersections between science and history.
I am also still working on a Woolgather commission to produce a series of mini artworks for ArtVend (vending machines full of art! Each artwork comes packaged in a small plastic bubble and can be found at selected sites across Leeds); I have also recently been commissioned by East Street Arts to create a new packaging sculpture for Juliana’s Bike, a major new initiative.
Finally, I’ve been invited by the curators of Ethnographic Terminalia 2013 to take part in their residency-as-exhibition event in Chicago this November – a very exciting and challenging opportunity. Ethnographic Terminalia is a yearly exhibition occurring in tandem with the American Anthropological Association’s annual meeting, and seeks to explores intersections between art, curatorial practice and anthropology.
In the meantime, I’m soon to be off to Turkey to join the University of Southampton / University of York’s visualisation team at the site of Çatalhöyük, a 10,000 year old Neolithic settlement. This will be my 5th year with the team, led by Prof Steph Moser and Dr. Sara Perry. Read more about it here.
I just realised that it’s been a year since my last post–clearly time for another one! It’s been a busy few months and the upcoming schedule looks to be no less hectic, as I’m currently working on a series of artworks as part of a Canada Council for the Arts Project Grant that I received in Spring. This generous funding by the Canadian Government allows me to work on a new body of sculptural work, some parts of which are in production already and others which will be developed over the next few months.
Beyond this, I’ve had the good fortune to be part of several exhibitions recently, including the CUBE Open in Manchester (at which my work received a commendation), Digital Romantics (curated by David Hancock at the Crossley Gallery, Dean Clough), There is Thunder in Our Hearts (aspex Gallery, Portsmouth), Standpoint Open (QuayArts, Isle of Wight), and the Bar Lane Studios Open (Bar Lane Studios, York). I would especially like to thank Danny Cameron for his support and for offering me a solo show at Bar Lane Studios in March, and for putting me in touch with the great network of artists at Bar Lane, York’s contemporary art hub. Upcoming exhibitions include Reincarnation at London Print Studio (as part of the London Design Fair 2012) and POP! at Marburae Art Gallery in Macclesfield.
Also I would like to thank curator Rose LeJeune, Matthew de Pulford and Jake Taylor for helping to coordinate the exhibition of my Creative Campus Initiative artwork Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger at the Kent Games in Canterbury this upcoming November.
My wife Dr Sara Perry and I moved up to York at the beginning of 2012 as Sara won a permanent lectureship at York University in Cultural Heritage Management. I had to say goodbye to the great crew at the Arches Studios in Southampton, and have now moved to the excellent Patrick Studios in Leeds, where I’ve been located since February.
Other notable moments over the last year include presentations at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds (thanks especially to Kirstie Gregory for including me in the panel) and the John Hansard Gallery in Southampton. I also want to say thank you to the Ethnographic Terminalia team (Kate Hennessy, Fiona McDonald, and Trudi Smith) for their support and for commissioning my work for their most recent show in Montreal (in November 2011).
It’s been a busy year so far with lots of new and challenging projects. 2011 began with the launch of my collaborative installation with Julien Masson, titled Realms of the Unreal – a cinema-inspired piece involving elements ranging from banners to popcorn boxes, to a large-scale freestanding sculpture made from digital prints and MDF. We also collaborated on the RELAY exhibition, curated by aspace (Southampton) and QuayArts (Isle of Wight)—to create a sculpture inspired by children’s toys and world events. Finally we co-produced a 2D piece for OUTPOST which invited archaeologists and artists to explore new art/science hybrids as part of an international conference exploring visualization in archaeology (www.viarch.org.uk).
2011 also began with the amazing news that I’d been shortlisted for a Festival Makers Award, sponsored by The Making. After a presentation and interview at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, I was selected as one of this year’s four artists to complete a residency and produce a large-scale public sculpture. The Making was also very generous and selected me as the Maker of the Month to coincide with the launch of my artwork at Basingstoke’s World Party in the Park this July.
Also, I just received news that my Creative Campus Initiative (CCI) commission from last summer, Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, has been selected as one of 10 artworks from the CCI that will be going on a tour of UK galleries across the Southeast leading up to the Olympics. The first venue on the tour will be the Herbert Read Gallery in Canterbury this October.
I recently returned from New Orleans with Sara Perry, who was presenting at the AAAs in multiple sessions (please see her blog for more details). We both attended the launch of Ethnographic Terminalia 2010, sponsored by Stella Artois, at the DuMois Gallery on Freret Street. The DuMois is located in a classic New Orleans ‘shotgun house’, whose domestic setting suited my ‘Delftware’ series of artworks very well (please see the exhibition image below). Thanks very much to the organizers of the exhibition—especially Fiona McDonald, Kate Hennessy, Trudi Smith and Craig Campbell—for their generous support of my work.