Art Blogger’s Review

Installation : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

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Ruth Millington is a very active art blogger and, following on from the previous piece she wrote for the show, she visited the show in order to write her more independent, fulsome review.

On the projected series she writes  “This is my favourite part of the show. As each set of images are paused, silently, the eye is drawn to shafts of natural light, which illuminate aspects of the architecture. The film requests a meditative, reflective response. Within the space, a solitary coat hanger or empty duo of chairs mark moments of humanity, the objects acting as vessels of memory. The transience is transfixing, celebrating the nuances of life”.

 

Link (accessed 8.2.2018)

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http://ruthmillington.co.uk/exhibition-review-philip-singleton-birmingham-dust-at-argentea-gallery/

 

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Preview Text

Installation : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

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As another part of the exhibition preparation falls into place, it is naturally pleasing to receive the text from the art blogger, Ruth Millington, fig 1.  Following two briefing meetings, the following has come from her pen and will be used in the exhibition.

 

Gilders Yard Doors

‘If we turn concrete to dust, where do those memories go?’ – Christopher Beanland

‘Birmingham Dust’ captures a city changing, physically and culturally, amidst rapid regeneration. As part of Philip Singleton’s larger ‘Pause Project’, this exhibition presents the artist’s photographic interventions across twelve sites in Birmingham, ahead of their demolition or redevelopment. Through printed photographs, a projected film and an installation of concrete tablets, Philip Singleton preserves those places where dust has settled, before they disappear. 

An architect-turned artist, Philip Singleton began the ‘Pause Project’ by taking photographic images of Edgbaston House, left empty, in 2016. He was struck by the discarded objects – food, tables, pictures, signs, even a suitcase –  recognising them as signifiers of a peoples’ lives and memories. His series of photographic prints explore uninhabited urban sites, including the Roundhouse, Municipal Bank and Birmingham’s Conservatoire. Uncanny images, such as ‘Gilders’ Yard – Looking Through’, suggest mystery in the mundane, with multiple doors left curiously ajar, above. Other photographs display dust, the signifier of time passing, as it settles and shrouds spaces. 

Alongside the photographs is an installation of 21 unique concrete tablets, onto which the artist has transferred decal prints. He is amongst several contemporary artists, including Anselm Kiefer, Rachel Whiteread and Stefano Canto, to exploit the association between architecture, concrete, construction and memorials. The tablets appear as archaeological exhibits, and each solid slab is textured with indentations and imperfections, its patina perceptible through and in the space surrounding the photograph. These permanent concrete casts, which will grow harder over time, preserve the fragile prints of places soon to be lost, becoming mausoleums of memory.

The exhibition’s third component is a projection which casts a series of paired photographs of vacant buildings onto the gallery wall. As each set of images are paused, silently, the eye is drawn to shafts of natural light, which illuminate aspects of the architecture. The film requests a meditative, reflective response. Within the space, a solitary coat hanger or empty duo of chairs mark moments of humanity, the objects acting as vessels of memory. The transience is transfixing, celebrating the nuances of life.

‘Birmingham Dust’ shares a city’s collective history, locating memories in empty architectural space and abandoned objects. The exhibition highlights the role of photography in archiving actual, past realities. At the same time, Philip Singleton brings his own experiences – as a resident and architect of the city – to his ongoing ‘Pause Project’. Having spent hours alone in each of the twelve buildings, his imagery betrays his personal interpretations, encounters and memories of Birmingham’s urban spaces, before they disappear into dust.

Ruth Millington

http://ruthmillington.co.uk/ 

 

Writing

Installation Development : Final Major Project

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 5

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Running a number of actions in parallel, as I move towards the multimedia installation, I was keen to meet with a writer and arts blogger, Ruth Millington, fig 1.  We had first met in February at the launch of Stephen Morgan’s exhibition at Argentea Gallery, having previously been retweeting each other’s social media posts for some time.

Ruth and I had a discussion on 16th March 2018 about the opportunity to either review the exhibition or work in advance of that, on writing an independent piece, as a commentary on the ambition of the practice, its methodology and intent as the instalation was being crafted.  We decided that the latter would be most appropriate.  I was keen to note that Ruth should not be beholden to me even though I am to propose that the gallery pays her modest fee and, if that is not the case, that the gallery and I share her fee.

We talked through the work, the gallery plans, and the portfolio for about two hours.  We will meet again when the work is developed more, especially as the concrete tablets develop.

It is the intention to use Ruth’s words in the gallery as part of the show’s introductory narrative and within the gallery hand-out and also the planned zine.

One immediately useful outcome of the meeting was that Ruth, of her own volition, chose to post on Twitter and Instagram about the meeting and selected images from my website and as I result of that I have added followers on both channels, fig 2

 

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Links

Ruth Millington’s website http://ruthmillington.co.uk/

 

Common Sense on Buying Art

MA in Photography, Falmouth University, Module 4, Sustainable Prospects; Week Four

 

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This latest blog from art and culture blogger Ruth Millington  sets out concisely and sensibly the considerations to make when creating a collection. Reference is made to contemporary photography and the work of Sophie Hedderwick (whom I interviewed and wrote about).

This is assisted by this article in The Guardian  regarding the warming of the photography market.  Patrick Collinson writes “Photographers have responded by limiting their reproductions to just a few signed images. At the Photographers’ Gallery in London, the first public gallery devoted solely to photography and which has championed up-and-coming photographers since opening in 1971, Anthony Hartley says: “The assumption among the general public is that the supply is endless, but that is not the case any longer. Editions tend to be limited, and dramatically so. Just five or 10 prints are standard and the negatives kept by the photographer. All the prints in the edition are produced at the same time, so buyers know that there will never be, say, another 25 produced.

Reference

http://ruthmillington.co.uk/how-do-i-start-collecting-contemporary-art/