Sunday, 19 October 2008

Scope 2008

Fresh Air Machine

A Walk In The Woods

Chutney Preserves - Two:
'The Rot Sets In’

Sunday 22nd of June, 2008, on Camberwell Green, Camberwell – 2pm till 7pm

A juxtaposition of workplace with exhibition stage, or perhaps more coherently, experimental lab with ceremonial site, ‘The Rot Sets In’, is decorated like a fete with small gazebos and stalls, and a rotten twist. The fete is in effect, a one day public art work, which visitors to the green can interact with, or just observe if they choose. It will be a humorous and thought provoking display of a broad range of temporary art works and artists that will make reference and take resources from the fine borough of Camberwell.

Sarah Doyle will offer weeds, rescued from between the cracks of the paving stones of Camberwell’s’ streets, from her garden stall, whilst Naomi St Clair Clarke has made an effigy which you can ‘make clean’ with a wet sponge missile. Lady Lucy is a rotten portrait artist, offering to make rotten portraits of visitors to the green from her park bench, possibly beside Rachael House who shall be sharing edible dog poo from a dogs bottom. Ami Clarke will pluck small gifts from her bearded chin, Ben Woodeson will display a number of hand-printed t-shirts of Mayor Johnson, and Miriam Craik-Horan shall respond to Mendelssohn with a lawn mower engine on her face. Jo David proposes to create a cardboard obelisk and miss-information desk with rotten visitor information about Camberwell, Sarah Sparkes will send down messages from her nest in the hanging tree. Andrew Cooper has a composting Wicker Man lying on Camberwell’s lawn and Dean Kenning will ceremonially hoist a totem pole at sundown, made during the day, from collected bottles and cans. Rebecca Feiner will invite passers-by to rant about issues in ‘Ranter’s Corner’. As they do she will make a picture of them and display these, framed on a table. Julian Wakeling has taken a beautiful photograph of pears decomposing. He has made it into postcards and will write messages for visitors to take away. Libby Shearon has transferred images of hobby horses and other spirits from the land onto business men’s white shirts, and Marq P Kearey has a muddy pool with ambitions to facilitate low ebb’s, whilst Geraldine Swayne shall cheer us all with rotten ballads, channelling voices from folk singers who frequented the green in days gone by. Continuing the musical responses, The Lonesome Cowboys From Hell, Calum F Kerr, Tim Flitcroft, Jan Maat and Marc Vaulbert de Chantilly, parade as The Wild ‘Worst’ on Camberwell Green with a rotten western arena, complete with fake camp fire. cApStAn StRiNg a rebel rouser, will embody the spirit of Captain Swing, the long dead peasant agitator. Darren O’Brien has been trying to train worms to make paintings – visitors will be invited to pick a worm to make a muddy painting that they can take away. Be repulsed by Gavin Toye’s revolting paintings and then hit a rotten egg on Ben Newton’s dart board game and take home a jar of green chutney.

Come, come, come along to the great festival of Camberwell Green – ‘The Rot Sets In’.

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Poetic License

Harry Pye & His Friends
110 church street N16 OJX June 13th - July 6th
pv Wednesday 11th June

Harry Pye asked me to make a drawing based on a poem that had moved me and I chose

'Twenty Poems Written After Drinking Wine' - number 5by T'ao Ch'ien (365AD–427AD)

I had just moved to London to study on a Foundation course, and was browsing through a display of Chinese poetry books at a shop called Neal Street East in Covent Garden, when I came across this poem by T'ao Ch'ien. Everything seemed to stop around me as I was within the scene and the moment conveyed by this poet writing over a thousand years ago.I couldn't afford to buy the book, so I copied out the words and the poet's name in an address book I was carrying. I learnt it off by heart.Later, with the arrival of the Internet, I searched and found many translations of the poem and interestingly although each time the words were different, the essence of the meaning and the images and feeling conveyed remained the same in each translation. The western alphabet is made up of letters whose formations bear no visual resemblance to the things or ideas that they are describing, but T'ao Ch'ien was writing using Chinese pictoral, representative characters and maybe this is why the meaning is unchanged by the different translations. On the many occasions when I've sat in my rented garden in noisy Camberwell, watching the sunset behind Kings College Hospital incinerator and drinking a gin and tonic, I experience the same moment of profound meaning which cannot be put into words.

Below is a translation of the poem - you can find many more on the internet

translation by David Hinton: Drinking wine - Poem number 5 by T'ao Ch'ien (365AD–427AD)

I live in a town without all that racket
horses and carts stir up,and you wonder

how that could be.Wherever the mind
dwells apart is itself a distant place.

Picking chrysanthemums at my east fence,
far off I see South Mountain: mountain

air lovely at dusk, birds in flight
returning home. All this means something,

something absolute: whenever I start
to explain it, I've forgotten the words.

Thursday, 1 May 2008


'and I shan't get home tonight' Sarah Sparkes
acrylic and collaged wallpaper

Group show May 1st- Jun 1st / pv Wednesday 30th April

Crimes Town
110 church street N16 OJXW
open fri-sunday 12-6 and by appointment. Just ring the doorbell!

Katarina Forss, Harry Pye & Mat Humphrey, Charlotte Bracegirdle, James Unsworth, Cathy Lomax, Gavin Toye, Sarah Sparkes, Chris Randall, Luke Gottelier, Ben Newton, Kes Richardson, Jimmy Conway-Dyer, Peter Lamb, Jonny Dawe