‘The Natural World’ by Oliver Hoare

A beautiful ammonite spiral, the arc of a giant seedpod, a softly lit room with spotlights highlighting all manner of incredible artefacts. Each item beguiling, glistening in the light and laced with all manner of geographic and historic provenance for the visitor’s delight. So many small marvels, yet why did this rendering of “The Natural World” by Oliver Hoare leave me feeling so queasy?

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We Will Walk – at Turner Contemporary

In 2020 the Turner Contemporary in Margate, Kent hosted a show called ‘We Will Walk – Art and Resistance from the American South’, celebrating and documenting the art of black communities in the 20th century. It was an exhilarating and moving show, with such a rush of humanity and bathed in an art spirit of the highest order. I wrote a little delayed art commentary afterwards but the show felt so profound, in many dimensions, that I struggled to do a full write-up. Here at least are some of my reflections gathered together with some photographs, to document this show.

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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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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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Making Art Public: 50 Years of Kaldor Public Art Projects

Thinking about the term ‘public art’, the immediate connotations that spring to my mind are: (i) big things (ii) outdoors and (iii) as I’m a Brit, The Angel of the North by Antony Gormley. Thinking a bit further, I wonder about all the statues commemorating various men (mainly) and women (occasionally) standing in our towns and cities. Pondering a bit more, I recall some wonderful works I’ve seen dotted around Folkestone, Kent, the lasting legacy of their inspiring triennials.

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Singapore: Art amongst the high-rises

Singapore is more known for its financial industry than its art scene. A jungle of hi-rises, 5-star hotels with rooftop swimming pools and vast quantities of air conditioned shopping centres. The population seems to be composed of armies of neatly dressed office-workers – both expat and locals. Young people here study under one of the most intensely pressured education systems and a supporting cast of foreign domestic workers is shipped in, to keep everything running smoothly.

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