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.
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. “