Monday, 22 August 2016

Introducing David Hurley

David Hurley: Sketch #6, 2016 [acrylic and pen on wood]

David Hurley: Sketch #2, 2016 [acrylic and pen on wood]

We live in a cultural world of rich diversity. We live in a world where for the first time in our history it appears as if everything is at our fingertips. We are rich in knowledge and information. We can and are our own collators, we can become what we choose to become just by pulling together the strands of existence that suit us and that meld for us, 

A reflection of the rich diversity, and of the collating of that richness, is of course mirrored in that of the contemporary art world. Artists have begun to draw in dimensions of work that are truly broad and complex. A number of contemporary artists can now truly begin to term themselves as multimedian, multidimensional, and multidisiplinarian, These are aspects of the artworld that a few years ago might well have appeared to be little more than a gimmick. 

David Hurley: Sketch #1, 2016 [acrylic and pen on wood]

David Hurley: Sketch #3, 2016 [acrylic and pen on wood]

But we live in different times, we live in a century where the artist now comes first, and the discipline second. This is art for a new century, one where the artist brings together disciplines, connects them temporarily for an art piece, and then allows them to dissipate. It is the artist that is the collector and the connector, not the discipline. An artist can decide to use paint for a piece of artwork, but that does not define them as a painter, they can use photography for another piece, but that does not define them as a photographer, what it does do is define them as an artist.

It might appear as if I am just playing with words, playing with definitions, but it is a really important point to get across. We have to understand and recognise that a whole range of young contemporary artists are changing the position of the artist, creating the ideal of the artist outside of the definitions of discipline. And this leads me to David Hurley.

David Hurley: Sketch #5, 2016 [acrylic and pen on wood]

David Hurley: Sketch #4, 2016 [acrylic and pen on wood]

David Hurley is one of those new contemporary artists, those who define themselves by not defining themselves. David works within a whole host of disciplines, from painting to collage, from animation to sculpture, from video to installation, to performance. All have equal measure and all are used or not used by the artist depending on the perspective and vision that they are working through at that moment in time. 

To David, disciplines, materials, mediums, are fit for purpose. They are part of his exploration as an artist, and they are part of the enjoyment he gains from experimentation, from mixing and matching, from using the diverse, the untried, the untested. Compositions are complex relationships between materials and disciplines, and all of David's work shows a dynamism that comes from freedom, the freedom to express himself as he wishes.

Of course, while the diversity of experimentation and the relaxed use of medium plays an important role in David's creative life, he is also aware that there are constancy of themes that run throughout his work. For example, he is aware that we as individuals achieve our identity of the moment through the coming together of points of being. We are a conglomeration of past and present moments, of nodes of meaning and mismeaning, of sporadic, even cascading elements of self, some of which are imposed from outside, and some well up from within. All go to make up who we are, at least for the present moment.

David Hurley: Noe, 2016 [mixed media on wood]

David Hurley: Summer Eyes, 2016 [mixed media on wood]

David Hurley: Swallows, 2016 [mixed media on wood]

This sporadic cascading can be seen throughout David's work, and it makes for a wonderful cacophony of meaning. Small pieces of dialogue, boxed in scenes, solitary written names and subjects, all move around his compositions as readily as they do inside our heads. In fact, these compositions are just as much ours as they are David's. We are the connected and the unconnected, we are the juxtapositions and the tangents, the odd word, and the huddled scene. The artist often points out who we are by pointing out who they are, and for that we always have to be grateful.

It is has been a real privilege to introduce David to you, and I hope that you look into him and his work further. He can be found at: davidhurleydavidhurley.com. And you can connect with him on social media at: twitter, facebook, instagram, youtube.

Please be aware that all of the imagery used for this article was supplied by the artist. If you wish to reuse it, please ask David first. Thanks!

David Hurley: E.E.C. 1: Demo, 2016 [digital collage]

David Hurley: E.E.C. 2: Demo, 2016 [digital collage]

David Hurley: E.E.C. 3: Demo, 2016 [digital collage]

Monday, 8 August 2016

Andrew G Fisher - The Passage of Time

Andrew G Fisher: Forgotten Corners No 1
Andrew G Fisher: Forgotten Corners in ink No 1

The movement of time, taking us from one point, and then the next, seems fateful. It is a process that is both unchangeable and inevitable, one that dominates so many aspects of our lives, but one that is also so often dismissed or disregarded. It is always with us and it is always moving events and processes, so that nothing can ever really remain static or frozen.

However, photography does in a sense, freeze time. It is a tool that has been supremely popular since the day of its invention, and it continues to be used today by both amateur and professional. Artists have always seen the potential of the camera to convey ideas and concepts, to compose and narrate individuals and landscapes, to freeze moments in time, 
Andrew G Fisher: Beside the Seaside No 1
Andrew G Fisher: Beside the Seaside No 4

The artist Andrew G Fisher has found the camera to be the perfect tool in which to document frozen moments in time. Andrew has always been fascinated and intrigued by the passage of time, and has used the camera to capture instants in time, points that have ceased to exist as those instants.

Instants are just that. They are there for a flash, no more, no less. The moment speeds by and the panoply of senses and the framework of the landscape that was brought together for that moment, has gone, never to be repeated in the same order or in the same sense again.

In capturing the fleetingness of moments, of solidifying flashes of the instant, Andrew, through his photography, has given an insight, not into how time can be stopped, or even how time can be registered, but in how time reflects the journey. Whether it is the journey of a place, or a person, or an event, Andrew explores the relationship that all have with time itself.
Andrew G Fisher: Forgotten Corners No 7
Andrew G Fisher: Forgotten Corners in Ink No 7

Time can be both tangible and abstract. It can have a physical effect and it can be thoroughly conceptual, but whatever form it takes, or appears to take, it has a fundamental relationship with all things. Nothing lasts, everything is in a constant flux, everything is moving, going through processes, being born, living, dying. The rhythms and ripples of life cycles are an aspect of time, its passage and its inevitable route.

If you piece together sequences of photos, you produce points of instant that document the ascents and troughs of the passage of time. Photographic sequences can show the slow deterioration of a building or community, but can also show the subsequent regeneration of that same building or community. That that regeneration inevitably leads to subsequent neglect and deterioration, shows that the cycle is never ending. It gives us a fascinating glimpse of the passage of time. One that we rarely see or consciously notice within our self involved lives.
Andrew G Fisher: Beside the Seaside No 6
Andrew G Fisher: Beside the Seaside No 13

The imagery for this article highlights two of Andrew's most important projects, ones that took a number of years to produce. Both Beside the Sea and Forgotten Corners deal with the relationship that forms, collapses, and reforms between people and places, and the constancy, or perhaps relentlessness of time.

Nothing is forever, we all live for a few moments, and then we die. The same is true of our towns and cities, our landscapes, our planet. In the end, as Andrew says, all that remains is time.

More of Andrews work can be found at his main website - andrewgfisher.org
He can also be found and followed on instagram - @andrew.g.fisher

All work illustrating this article was kindly supplied by the artist. Please contact Andrew before sharing. Thanks!
Andrew G Fisher: Forgotten Corners No 8
Andrew G Fisher: Forgotten Corners in Ink No 8

Monday, 25 July 2016

Tom Abbiss Smith - Bold, Confident, Positive

Tom Abbiss Smith: Shade

It is always wonderful to experience an artist launching themselves upon the world, always great to see artists that have the confidence, the positivity, the understanding that is so needed in our contemporary era, and so lacking by so many. In many ways, it is what the arts are for, they feed us the fuel in which to carry on.

Work that is bold, strident, confident, has a way of reflecting back on the viewer, and can give us at least elements of those themes, and for that we should be thankful and grateful. It's not always easy maintaining that level of confidence and positivity.

Tom Abbiss Smith: Blueberry Seed

Tom Abbiss Smith: Conceal

Recent graduate from Norwich University of the Arts, Tom Abbiss Smith has that confidence, positivity, and understanding. His intuitive style of image making frequently manipulates mark making and texture in conjunction with colour and composition within his work.

Tom's attention to form and shape, through a cut and paste technique, allows his creations to take a naturally dynamic abstract style. Digital software is often used to aid his process, which occasionally allows him to translate digital work into limited edition or original screen prints.

Tom Abbiss Smith: A Ceramic Pot

Tom Abbiss Smith: Enthusiasm


His most current and interesting project so far, has been commissioned by Atelier Pichita, and explores animation as part of a 4 chaptered promotional video for Fashion Model, Pichitra.

Tom's work definitely stands out from others of his generation. It is surprising to see such form in one so young, but perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. Tom' compositions sit so well with him, his creativity seems boundless and certainly open-ended as far as natural development is concerned.

Tom Abbiss Smith: Happenings

Tom Abbiss Smith: Midnight Shower

There is an obvious and all-pervading confidence and boldness in line, colour, shape. Tom has the talent to do much with little, by that I mean that his compositions have taken out the extraneous, the fussy, the redundant, leaving just the bold vibrancy that has become his landmark style.

Obviously this artist's work will change over his career, and obviously he will grow and mature, but to his work at this stage, to recognise the maturity already in place, is an extraordinary achievement for an artist that has only now graduated!

Tom Abbiss Smith: Nighttime wonder

Tom Abbiss Smith: Pelagic Clay

We can expect to see more and more work from this talented and confident young artist, ans for that we should be truly grateful.

More of Tom's work can be found at his website: www.tomabbisssmithart.com

He can also be found at various social media sites including:

If you wish to email him regarding commissions of sales he can be contacted here: tomabbisssmithart@gmail.com

Please be aware that all imagery was kindly supplied by the artist, and therefore is the copyright of Tom. Thanks.

Tom Abbiss Smith: Pulp

Monday, 11 July 2016

Inspirational 11 is released Today!

Today sees the release of Inspirational 11, which has the theme of Word & Symbol. Twenty Two contemporary artists that range from painters to poets, from needlework to collage, from the aesthetic to the cheeky, all have a place in this issue.

Inspirational 11 comes in at 224 pages with 174 full page, full colour illustrations. Each artist has a segment of this portfolio Inspirational, each giving a description of their work and how they personally work with words and symbols. Then each artist has chosen 6 to 8 images of their work to illustrate their personalised text. 

It was important to me that Inspirational move on from me giving essay crits of artists work, I thought it time that they spoke for themselves through text and imagery, so that is what I have done here. I have pulled back and allowed the artists to be their own voice.

Pulling together such a large and diverse group of artists, isn't easy, and at times I didn't think that I was going to make the deadline in time, but I did, like I always do, and to be fair, you couldn't ask for a more generous, and genuinely friendly bunch of people as those featured in Inspirational 11, I am fortunate indeed.

The list of artists appearing in this new issue of Inspirational are, in order of appearance: 

Alicia Eaton Lewis - mixed media artist
Anatol Knotek - artist and visual poet
Brian Kenny - multimedia artist
Chazalon Respress - fine art painter
China Marks - fiber artist
Dana Frankfort - fine art painter
Emma Parker - fiber artist
Emmanuel Signorino - fine art painter and photographer
Gregory Siff - visual artist, designer, writer, actor
Henry Hussey - fiber artist
Ines Seidel - mixed media artist
Johan Deckmann - text based artist
Jordan Alan Brown - poet and photographer
Laurie Doctor - fine art painter and calligrapher
Lisa Anne Auerbach - fiber artist
Maria Wigley - fiber artist
Mark Hopper - fine art painter
Meg Hitchcock - sacred text collage artist
Peg Grady - fiber artist
Peyton Freiman - visual artist, writer, actor
Sara Impey - fiber artist
Sergio Albiac - fine art painting and collage artist

...and the guy gracing the cover of Inspirational 11? Gregory Siff

I hope that you enjoy this issue of Inspirational. I really enjoyed the journey of putting it together, learnt so much from connection with all of the artists. Wonderful!

Anyway, this issue along with Inspirational 1 through 10, can be bought from the Inspirational page by simply pressing HERE

Please enjoy.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Stiofan O'Ceallaigh - Journey of an Artist

Stiofan O'Ceallaigh: You Don't Have to Have Surgery to be Trans, 2016

Stiofan O'Ceallaigh has been producing artwork since he was seven years old. He has always seen it as a great healer, an ongoing cathartic process. Creativity so often has a life of its own, even a mind of its own, with many artists being fascinated by what they produce, the finished piece often being a whole trip away from the original intent. The same with Stiofan, his work is full of subconscious intent, happy accidents, synchronicity, unconscious bursts of intervention.

Stiofan works mostly with photo, digital, video, drawing, and painting. Although, lately he has found himself being drawn towards a more private performative element in his work, one that allows his works to talk and dance with one another, get to know each other, and who knows, sometimes have sex and argue with each other.

These works are very much part of Stiofan, they are an integral part of his personal journey. He sees them in fact as chapters or codes, messages to himself, produced by his private and personal performances.

Stiofan O'Ceallaigh: James, 2016

Stiofan O'Ceallaigh: Charlotte, 2016

It is an important point when considering the work produced by an artist, just how autobiographical, sometimes intensely so, that work really is. It is so often a form of necessary self-therapy, not because artists are somehow damaged, or flawed, but because we all are. Artists use their work as a healing tool because it is available to them, which begs the question, what does everyone else use?

An important element within Stiofan's working process is music, which I can well understand. For Stiofan, music adds additional focus for his creativity. Through rhythms, instruments, vocals, and more, he is able to focus and refocus, driving himself forward.

Under the surface of most artists work there lies layers, often many in number. They are frequently physical, mental, or both. In Stiofan's case it is definitely a matter of both the physical and the mental. 

Physically, he often over paints previous work. He readily admits that this is partly due to limited resources, but it is also part of an intriguing journey of each piece of work, necessity has in many ways created a form for Stiofan to follow and explore. He intriguingly documents each layer of work that is built up, on instagram. 

Stiofan O'Ceallaigh: Everything is Connected and Lost Line Wise Man, 2014-2016

Stiofan O'Ceallaigh: Lost Line Wise Man and Everything is Connected, 2014-2016

The use of instagram as an additional tool allows Stiofan to travel physically along a journey with an art piece, but also to electronically document that journey, so that both aspects become integral parts of the work, the documentation being just as important in some respects, as the physical process.

Stiofan O'Ceallaigh was actually named Stephen Kelly at birth. In 2016 he purposely made a decision to dedicate himself to his art work, and the making of that art work. In that respect, he renamed himself Stiofan O'Ceallaigh, the Irish original of his name. So now he becomes through his renaming, as he himself terms it, "my artist, Celt, queer name; ergo the inner self." 

He is currently exploring what this all means to him personally. The "queer aesthetic" he terms it. It is a voyage a creative and personal discovery, one that is integral to his working process. It is a journey that will entail a kaleidoscope of feelings and understandings, the highs and lows, the expansive and introspective, all aspects of a life well-lived.

Stiofan O'Ceallaigh: City Point, 2014

Stiofan O'Ceallaigh: Personal Stigma(ta), 2013

This is an artist that has already explored much of his psyche, pushed down into the depths of his soul, but he still has a long way to go, a lifetime in fact. Stiofan has a journey ahead of him that will see him explore his life as it unfolds, and he will be ready for it. He has the tools of an artist to help him, and that will richly help him to explain himself to himself, and perhaps in some form, to others as well.

More of Stiofan's work can be found at his website: https://stiofanoceallaigh.wordpress.com/
His work can also be explored through his social media connections: twitter, instagram

All works shown here were kindly supplied by the artist. Please ask that artist before using them elsewhere. Thanks.

Stiofan O'Ceallaigh: Self Portrait, 2014

Monday, 13 June 2016

Titus Schulz - The Machine of Technology

Titus Schulz: Switchboard (blockprint with offset ink on paper), 2016

Technology is one of the pivotal factors of who we are as a species at this moment in time, and the history of technology, particularly through the twentieth century, is still very much part of our recent history. 

Whether you embrace, rail, or sit somewhere between, the notion of technology and the part it has played, continues to play, and will play in the future, seems hard to deny, which is perhaps why it is remarkable that it doesn't feature more prominently within the visual arts. 

There are artists that use human technology as a theme, some to criticise, some to reflect upon, others to embrace. However, there are few artists that include technology in such a way as to visually engage as prominently as the artist Titus Schulz. 

Titus Schulz: Machine 1 (blockprint with offset ink and drawings with black Indian ink on paper), 2016

Titus Schulz: Machine 2 (blockprint with offset ink and drawings with black Indian ink on paper), 2016

Titus work is ablaze with colour, with features, connecting lines, spirals and circles, a complexity that puts you in mind of circuit boards, of the insides of old twentieth century radios, telephone exchanges, short wave radios.

Titus has been fascinated with the world of technology since he was a boy. Exploring and playing with various pieces of technology he has developed a feeling for the scope and feel of our invented science.

Titus Schulz: Photographs 1 (blockprint with offset ink on paper), 2015

Titus Schulz: Photographs 2 (blockprint with offset ink, plaster, carbon, cobweb, and rust on paper), 2016

He sees technology as a means and expression of human development, or at least the need to evolve. We are creatures that can project both backward and forward, supposedly the only ones on the planet that can. In this respect, we engender the future, we give it substance if you like, give substance to an entity that has yet to exist. 

Our faith in technology in many respects is a faith in the future, it is a positive and life-affirming faith, and it is one that Titus reflects on in his work. He often sees our use of technology as a means of organising chaos, of creating order and focus in the chaotic world around us. However, all is ultimately illusion. 

Titus Schulz: CNIRBS Radio (blockprint with offset ink and drawings with Indian ink on paper), 2016

Titus Schulz: Bomber (blockprint with offset ink, ultramarine pigment, and drawings with black Indian ink on paper), 2016

Order is transient, and chaos is quick to step in and reassert itself whenever that seeming order falters. It is a dance between the two, and it is a dance that Titus is well aware of, and one that he uses over and over in his work.

Much of the imagery Titus uses as an artist is technology made redundant. It is the leading edge of science, that has over time crumbled, faded, decayed, been pushed aside by new strides in science. It is one that is quickly forgotten, as is its contribution towards who we are as a species. Nothing is as cruelly indifferent as succeeding generations.

Titus Schulz: Demolition Charge (blockprint with offset ink and drawing with black Indian ink on paper), 2016

Titus Schulz: Gravestone (blockprint with offset ink and drawings with black Indian ink on paper), 2016

However, it would be a mistake to think that Titus dealt in nostalgia, evoking a twentieth century world of valves, dials, switches. It is much more a case of the artist observing, understanding, and reusing these references of technology in order to on one level, celebrate that achievement of human ingenuity, and on the other to be aware of the cyclical nature of chaos, disintegration, and then regeneration of resources, of reinterpreting the discarded, breathing new life into the junk of yesterday, that in its own time helped construct the future.

This is both an empowering and humbling strategy on Titus part. We are in a constant tug-of-war between yesterday and tomorrow, with the only breathing space being the 'now' that we inhabit. To understand that, is to understand what it is to be human, and to understand at least part of the role we play being a creature caught between space and time.

More of Titus work can be found at his comprehensive website: http://titusschulz-drukwerk.jimdo.com/

All imagery was kindly supplied by the artist. If you wish to reproduce any piece of Titus work in this article, please ask him first. Thanks!

Titus Schulz: The Movement of Electronics (blockprint with offset ink on paper), 2016