StudioBook 2015/16 Participating Artists

Mark Devereux Projects are delighted to announce the following 11 artists for our inaugural StudioBook artist development programme:

Sarah Binless (www.sarahbinless.com)

The world is a really confusing place to be. The demands and pace of modern life mean that it has never been harder or more important to look beyond the surface. Making work is how Sarah Binless looks for an understanding of the world, and finds out if there are other ways to see. The process is always a question, answered with another question.

The way Binless works with objects varies greatly, sometimes the ways that she acts on an object are quite simple or slight such as placing an object in rather than on a shelf as in Intersected Shelf. At other times the process is much more destructive, such as Burnt Shelf where the middle of a shelf is entirely burned away. Binless looks for moves that are subtle and radical at the same time.

She works with the sort of objects that people might have in their homes but seldom pay any attention to: a shelf, a book or a chair. The selection of these objects is about finding a direct connection to the type of object that the viewer is likely to be familiar with. Creating intrigue by making something unusual happen to something familiar.

Binless likes to make things happen to ordinary objects so that it is easy to connect to the world outside the artwork; to allow the questions that may arise from the work to be reflected back into the real world.

Andrew Brooks (www.andrewbrooksphotography.com)

Andrew Brooks is interested in the history and stories of locations. Getting lost amongst and within the buildings, cityscapes and landscapes, he archives the forgotten spaces to tell the tales of these sites.

As a reaction to a life spent living in and photographing the city he is driven to explore and document the city but also in parallel, the natural environment. The process is intuitive; about being and experiencing and then showing how this felt through images and film. The sublime is a key concept within Brooks’ process and output, as he aims to understand its context within alternative locations. Taking inspiration from paintings within the Romantic era, Brooks uses small details and studies of the landscape to create larger scale works that become his interpretation of a location.

Through the act of building images, Brooks aims to capture the forms and rhythms of nature and the city. Often as imagined or re-imagined scenes, he aims to create a heightened sense of place and the audience’s interaction with it.

In his practice Andrew Brooks uses photography, film and digital technology as a prism for seeing and experiencing the world, particularly the natural and urban landscape. He then processes and builds on what he’s recorded, presenting this to an audience through immersive experiences.

Jenny Cashmore (www.jennycashmore.com)

Jenny Cashmore is a multi-disciplinary artist. Her practice interrogates the individual and collective experience of contemporary society. Her recent research focuses on the individual relationship with the built environment; the very fabric of this space and how we inhabit it. She creates site specific responses in an effort to renegotiate the social and psychological control that is exerted by this environment.

Valerie Driscoll (www.valeriedriscoll.com)

Valerie Driscoll’s research centres on the role of the photographic apparatus in the age of information. Investigating the materiality of the photographic camera, with specific interest in the political and hegemonic forces embedded in the apparatus of capture as a desiring machine, her research reflects photography as process and its context within the study of cybernetics. By focusing on the material qualities of the photographic machine rather than on visual images her work explores the co-dependent relationship between living bodies and machines. The merging of human information and mess with machinic precision is played out in bulbous, sticky shapes.

Sophie Lee (www.sophiemeganlee.com)

Sophie Lee is interested in culture as philosophy, research as practice and multidisciplinary communication. Her work is rooted in a sociological interest concerning institutions. How these social structures can guide us in our pursuit of personal well-being, acting as a scaffold on which to enact our lives in a meaningful way. Whether we choose marriage and domesticity, religion or academia, we make a choice and live our lives in accordance with a role complying with that chosen framework. Sophie is interested in the conflict between the safety and potential confinement found within these structures.

Dominic Mason (www.dominicmason.com)

Dominic Mason’s work is interdisciplinary, varied and intuitive, often responding to specific spaces or circumstances. Over the past five years works have included the recreation of kitsch cartoon-esque clouds, based on photographs taken during the demolition of Scunthorpe Leisure Centre; an ongoing series of poured resin paintings; and participatory piñata events at Ceri Hand Gallery and East Street Arts.

Tabitha Moses (www.tabithamoses.co.uk)

Tabitha Moses’ practice is rooted in the meanings and possibilities of materials and objects. She uses domestic matter and craft processes to create works with conceptual weight and emotional depth. Fabric and stitch are central – through the language of textiles she discovers rich connections and communicate latent emotions. Moses is interested in the transformation of discarded or overlooked subjects and materials into objects that tell stories.

Recent work explores magical thinking and medical intervention with reference to her experience of infertility and assisted conception.  Moses hand-embroidered hospital gowns for three women, myself included. The embroidery told individual stories and included images such as lucky knickers, fertility deities, an acupuncture body map, a thermometer, an auspicious tattoo and IVF drugs and syringes. The subjects were photographed wearing the gowns at Hewitt Fertility Centre, the clinic where treatment had taken place.

Tabitha Moses’ work is often quiet, non-monumental, intimate – an exchange to which the audience bring their own experiences and associations.

Darren Nixon (darrennixon.wordpress.com)

Darren Nixon’s recent work has involved making shifting sets of structures from groups of painted elements. Looking at what painting is and what it lacks, he focuses on the places painting fails to reach as successfully as other media. The use of movement in dance; architecture’s incorporation of its surroundings; cinema’s exploration of real time; music’s manipulation of sound in space – Darren uses each new piece to consider themes and concepts which other media have come to dominate, as a way questioning what painting still has to offer today.

Susie Olczak (www.susieolczak.co.uk)

Susie Olczak creates sculpture, photography and installations that explore how she perceives geometry, light and materials as she moves through urban spaces. Olczak uses materials that she is surrounded by in cities such as concrete, metal, electrical lighting and stone. Olczak’s work is minimal, colourful and geometric and is influenced strongly by her time living in Japan. Olczak’s work has been shown around the UK, Japan and Finland, both in galleries and the public realm. Commissions include work for BBC Scotland, The Cambridge Institute of Astronomy, Charles Saatchi at the Big Chill Festival, King’s, College Cambridge and the Fitzwilliam Museum.

Helen Stokes (www.helenstokes.net)

Helen Stokes’ work is about our interaction with objects, materials and the built environment. She creates paintings and assemblages, handling iconic and everyday subject matter with a distinctive irreverence. Stokes presents subjects to remind the viewer of their physical connection to and separation from the world of materials – prompting them to wonder what they can be sure of, to reconsider any sense of familiarity or knowledge.

Stokes draws inspiration from contemporary visual stimuli – pavements, football fields and rubber gloves – and from her engagement with images of the Classical past. She reads into the stuff of antique lands – teetering columns and crumbling arches – the ruins of Shelley’s colossal wreck. The images Stokes produces are playful reinterpretations of the artefacts of other cultures. She makes new structures from the remnants of others, as a way of reconsidering what we belong to and what belongs to us.

In her sculpture, Stokes re-assembles the relationships between objects in the world, assigning form to the space in between. Constituent parts of an assemblage are often theatrically misaligned – she prises things apart to reconsider their significance. Within her paintings, subjects rarely overlap or even touch. They are instead self-contained, with well-defined borders and edges, questions of themselves. Forms become flat descriptions; texture is abandoned as nostalgia for the real world. Stokes creates simplified, essential shapes because her work trades in generalities rather than specifics. Stokes’ choice of colour is informed by an imaginative and anarchic response to her subjects; she rejects slickness as a hallmark of consumerism. Stokes communicates ideas with only passing reference to facts or academia, in defiance of the dictates of realism and pedantry – her work is an appeal to instinctive understanding. She uses painterly abstract language to question the things we think we know.

Jacqueline Wylie

Jacqueline Wylie makes art about how value is assigned to materials and processes in art practice and her recent work has focused on communication as mediated by technology, history, location, gender, and disability. She makes use of a variety of media ranging from photography, video, knitted paintings, concrete poetry and social media to produce work that is abstract and minimal. Wylie’s preference for quotidian materials like wool and text is strategic and places great emphasis on language, instructions, collaboration and participation to realise and activate the work.

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