Delayed Art Commentary – Feedback Loops at ACCA Melbourne

Back in the heady pre-pandemic days of 2020, I was lucky enough to be visiting Melbourne in Australia. When I discovered there was a group show at the ACCA, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art featuring Zadie Xa, I naturally had to visit. I’d heard about her work, but not seen it in the flesh. And I was intrigued to see the work of the other 5 artists showing alongside her.

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An Ode to Retail

It has been a tough year, not least for our retailers. I’ve been thinking of them. I always do at this time of year. Most of my working life has been in retail, be it on the shop floor or in the boardroom. How strange our shops have been shut … like the stages and cinemas, the theatre of high street retail temporarily closed. I have missed them, almost grieved their absence.

Shops are extraordinary things. They inspire and delight. For many years retailers have sought to add panache and ‘experience’ to fight off the onslaught of the juggernaut of online competition. But in these dark times, shops provide something more vital — a human interaction, a moment of being cared for and looked after.

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Just a great article about drawing from the Masters

Drawing from other artists’ work – be it casts, statues or paintings – has a long tradition in art education. This article has a great rundown of this vital part of self-education for many artists. Some great historical titbits too – for example when it first opened the Louvre in Paris used to reserve certain days for artists to work from their collection!

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On becoming an artist

In October 2018, I moved my life to Valencia, Spain, in search of a more artistic life. It was one big experiment to see what could happen if I put most of my time into making art. I thought of my first year as a ‘self-taught foundation year‘ and even put on my own end of year show.

Now, another year on, with the world turned upside down by a pandemic, I’ve decided to relocate to Kent, in the UK, for the foreseeable future. (Not that the future is desperately foreseeable these days, but you get the gist!) It’s a decision I wasn’t expecting to make and it is with a heavy heart. Living in Valencia over the last two years has been a hugely significant period in my life. So I thought I would take a moment to reflect on what I’ve learnt from my time in Valencia and on becoming an artist, so far!

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Delayed Art Commentary and Purvis Young

Sometimes my art writing verges into serious Delayed Art Commentary … actually I quite like that phrase, and also the notion, of having a little time to digest and process a show. But there’s definitely a sweet spot, the optimum amount of time for the work to muddle round my brain a bit, but also for my initial reactions not to be too distant, to be able to call them back, dig into them, turn them over and figure out a bit more what it all means.

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Open – Shut – Open, the SFAI

The San Francisco Art Institute, SFAI, opened in 1871 and is one of the oldest schools dedicated to Contemporary Art in the United States. In March 2020, I was sad to read that the school was closing due to financial pressures exacerbated by COVID-19. Since then many supporters have emerged, citing its unique contribution to the arts and mustering the funds and motivation, for it to continue. So students will be able to complete degrees, public art courses and exhibitions can live another day. But why do I, a British artist and write care about this? How did I even come to know of SFAI?…

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