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dickiewebb

Nope this isn’t a post about some amazing achievement or that I have somehow have a bank account in the black.  Its more of a reflection on what success is for me, and specifically in my art practice.  Whilst teaching here in Saas Fee (means to fund my art practice) I get asked a lot by my guests whether my artwork/practice is successful.  The two means for validation lie mainly on me telling them whether I sell my work regularly or am I famous.  I guess in this day and age you know one unless you are on some list of success even if you are Z list Celeb…

I am honest with my guests, I am not known however like most emerging artists we are labeled so for that very reason.  As for selling, it has not been a focus within my practice to make specifically objects.  Commodifying an art practice is something we all contemplate throughout our years.  However at present I rely on my snowboard coaching as a source of income whilst I develop my voice and direction in my practice.

Success for me is nothing to do with money or notoriety and its something I feel is harder to gain.  It is purely one thing for me and the works I make which is conversation or discussion (discourse if you want art-speak 2.0).  This very basic element within the art world and beyond is not that easy to gain.  Yes in the era of social media it is easy to put work out there for more to see but to hear back is not so simple.  There is very little echo from the majority of not just my work but my peers.  The little that does come back is more of support from fellow creatives who spur you on.  However for me I seek success in the form of something more in the conversation that good art creates.  Don’t get me wrong this is not purely about adulation or people describing works as life changing its the chat surrounding how it engages and interacts on different levels and people.  This discussion is not always sought from those that like or get the work but rather negative and constructive response is just as valid.  I come from a belief that good work is so when you have a response to it this can be in the form or negative: repulsion, hate or anger.  Whilst also the positive: resonates, refreshes perspective or challenges existence.  Work that sits in the middle is what just fades.

Following on from my previous post about being adrift, the reason to currently make work whilst not be located within a place or group.  I see this isolation as a hard time to know where to exhibit or present work when I barely exist.  For me the motivation of making work when I deep down know that the rational for the work being successful is this conversation adds to stalling of making.  The works are still there in my head and whilst I navigate the next few years I will create. However finding a means to connect with networks or environments where I can gage the validity of the work is part of the process and for me right now is the biggest challenge.

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Since arriving here in Stockton my time has been spent exploring not just the local landscape but also my current limits of my practice. I came here looking to examine how I install current workings of sonic works and how I can develop or bridge the gap that I find between what I am making and what I am trying to offer.

The first few weeks were spent contemplating speaker architecture and how installing speaker drivers within a form that dissolved or collapsed whilst it functioned worked.  Drawing on the inspiration of the local area and its regeneration hopes/plans.  I have been thinking heavily about addition and reduction as methods of creation both in sound and process works.  Glitch process that I have been known to use is a perfect example of how regeneration seems to operate, existing ideology is rehashed the result is urban planning that though clearly considered it is not until it is implemented you realise the functional errors of such planning.

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The focus on heritage and community, the life and death of generations that have called a place home.  The time that passes by and the marks those leave on a place last longer than structures in many cases.  Replacing old is not something that should be done without consideration and awareness for those that live within it.  The Auxiliary residency is based within a community that is exposed to many different social factors.  It is an opportunity to live within a place that is struggling to come to terms with how it should function.  The oddity is that with all the trials and time that it takes to rejuvenate a place it somehow still continues, functions without much thought.  Time will change the nature of a community however daily this is not something that is really brought to your attention as each day was like the last.

Mid way through this residency my father has a stroke which alongside my research here at the Auxiliary has given me a new perspective.  Seeing a parent go through a life changing moment in their existence brings reality home.  I have recently been back and forth between the residency and my parents to see how my father has progressed with his recovery.  Even though I have not been making as much as I would of hoped it has provided much needed reflection, thinking more about the sound works that have been started yet not finished.  The last few weeks here in Stockton I hope to realise some new works with little or no focus on completion yet more or presenting something that is mobile/fluid and evolving.  15107435_10157615606300018_3800575047413753897_n.jpg

 

 

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DIP YOUR TOE

Govanhill Baths Community Trust

99 Calder Street, G42 7RA Glasgow, United Kingdom

Preview: Thursday 16th June 6:00 – 9:00pm
Open: 17th – 25th June (Thurs – Sat each week)
Weekdays: 12:00noon – 6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00 – 1:00pm

This exhibition, which is part of Print Festival Scotland, showcases 5 artists who share a contemporary and diverse approach to printmaking. For this show the artists have taken over the Slipper Baths within The Govanhill Baths, adorning each cubicle with a selection of work that reacts to the space through an array of styles, techniques and materials.

Nicola Massie (b. Aberdeen) currently lives and works in Glasgow specialising in printmaking and sculpture. Since graduating from Painting and Printmaking at The Glasgow School of Art, she has received the Glasgow Print Studio Prize, RGI New Graduate Award and was nominated for the Saatchi New Sensations Prize.

Andreas Behn-Eschenburg (b. Zürich) graduated from Painting and Printmaking at the Glasgow School of Art (2014), and continues to live and work in Glasgow. Andreas investigates the artist’s agency and deconstructs the traditions of painting into elements that are then reassembled in other media as installations within a space.

Fionnuala McGowan (b. Belfast) is another Glasgow based artist, who explores the boundaries of printmaking through creating sculptural prints. She was a recipient of the Glasgow Print Studio prize (2014), was featured in the summer 2015 edition of Printmaking Today and completed a residency in Frans Masereel Centrum, (Belgium, 2014).

Dickie Webb (b. Oxford) migrates between North and Southern Hemispheres, operating from a nomadic studio and artist residencies – SNEHTA, ACSL, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshops and Chisenhale Art Place. Recent exhibitions include Early Warning – & Model, PNEM, Netherlands, Things Are Different Now – Art Athina and Beyond Tinted – MAMY, Armenia.

David Farrar (b. Oxford) is a Glasgow based artist whose work focuses on the relationship between form and function. He has exhibited internationally, most recently in The National Original Print Exhibition (London) and has attended residencies at Frans Masereel Centrum (Belgium), The Artist House in St. Mary’s College (USA) and VCCA (USA).

 

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My work “Concept Of Since – 24 Options”, is currently part of an exhibition curated by Robert Montgomery.  The exhibition is at the Lights of Soho gallery in London.

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London’s home of creative neon and light art formats is opening its doors for its inaugural open submission show entitled “Signs that Say What You Want Them to Say…” Lights of Soho will be accepting submissions from new and established light artists for a show that will be guest curated by artist Robert Montgomery.

Taking inspiration from the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Lights of Soho is inviting young artists who use light as a medium in their work to exhibit alongside established names in light art. Lights of Soho curator Hamish Jenkinson states, “Lights of Soho is more than an art gallery – it is a window of opportunity for young artists to get involved in the art scene. With this show, I’m hoping that we can reach artists who are well into their craft or just discovering it. I’d like to show young artists that art is a democratic experience and that they too can be featured in a London gallery.”

Having started his career off by vandalising billboards and bus stops with his poetry, Robert Montgomery directly communicates with his audience through text and light. Inspired by Roland Barthes and Guy Debord, Montgomery has paved the way for young artists to write their own story. Creating large LED light pieces with his poetry, Montgomery has seen his works showcased around the world including the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India and a current project which hijacks an entire city block in Seattle.

Montgomery says, “When Bruce Nauman made his seminal artwork in neon “The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths” in 1967 it represented the beginning of a kind of democracy. Artists, for the first time could now hijack a medium previously only the domain of commercial and corporate voices, and begin to say much more interesting things. When I was a teenager I was obsessed with the pure form of commercial signs. I would fill rolls of film on the family holiday camera photographing the neon signs on abandoned petrol stations in France, and endure the blank looks of my father as he returned from Boots later with far fewer smiling family portraits than he expected, “why would you take so many pictures with no one in them son?…. Jeez, what a waste of money.” I knew that as soon as I had any money of my own I would make my own signs saying the most whimsical things possible. Perhaps even something as whimsical and useless as poetry.

In 1992 Gillian Wearing made the important piece, “Signs that Say What You Want Them To Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You To Say”. This was a lovely and delicate artwork about democracy, and the idea of an open exhibition of light art takes its inspiration from Wearing as much as from Nauman. In an ideal world we would give the billboards back to the people and everyone could write their dreams in neon. “

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Seoul-based Korean artist Seokmin Ko’s photographic series The Square evokes both a peaceful sense of being at one with the world around us and a feeling of being lost. Addressing ideas of normalcy and identity, the artist holds up a giant mirror to reflect his surroundings and camouflage himself from the viewer. “We live locked by each other’s view and even our eye views sometimes serve as surveillance over each other. When individual views tamed by cultures and customs in societies aggregate and then serve for views of groups, each individual has no choice but stays as a standardized human being hiding himself or herself. Like this, under society strongly influenced by views of group, a real individual can’t co-exist… We begin to change ourselves to become ‘A normal human being.'” (via)

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Vittorio Ciccarelli

With the taste of summer around the corner here in the UK, blue skies teasing to what the summer could bring.  Having personally not had a summer in 15 years these photos by Vittorio Ciccarelli suggest the warmth that a summer brings.  They tempt whilst also remind me of the endless heat that also accompanies these long summer days, maybe less so here in the UK.  Click here to see his website

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Here are some recent photos from Beyond Tinted exhibition which took place between the 19th-23rd of November 2014 at the Modern Art Museum, Yerevan MAMY.  These works I created after participating on the ACSL artist residency here in Yerevan.  Through the support from the residency as well as ECF Labs which helped fund my time here in Yerevan.

Beyond Tinted consisted of four series of work incorporating past and present processes and mediums.  The works developed on previous themes and new concepts researched whilst here in Yerevan.

U – DYS – HET
(Audio/Visual Digital Collage)

Watchers
(Digital Prints)

Folded Control
(Mixed Media)

Contained Spaces
(Mixed Media Sculptures)

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