Vanessa Billy - End of Days closeup - Photo by Sarah Packer

The sculpture season kicks off – good things come… to Plymouth

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L to R - The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art acting Exhibitions Manager Zoe Li artist Susan Collis and curators Hannah Jones and Kevin Hunt
L to R – The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art acting Exhibitions Manager Zoe Li artist Susan Collis and curators Hannah Jones and Kevin Hunt

Opening the Sculpture season in The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art, good things come… is a new exhibition curated by Liverpool-based artist and curator Kevin Hunt, in collaboration with The Gallery’s exhibitions manager, Hannah Jones. Bringing together over 35 sculptural works by 17 artists, the exhibition tackles the themes of time and scale implied by the dual readings of the titular phrase.

good things come… launched alongside a simultaneous sculpture exhibition, F*** Newton, at KARST, an artist-led contemporary art gallery and project space on George Place, Plymouth. The public exhibition of good things come… will run in The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art run until Saturday 4 June 2016, (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-1pm, closed Sunday).

In his description of good things come…, curator Kevin Hunt talks about what he perceives as the modern problem of the passing of time and our desire to control it: “Blink and you’ll miss it. The words conjure up a kind of panic of not wanting to lose sight of the protagonist ‘thing’ by keeping it locked into view. This ‘thing’ could be small, it might even be tiny (and therefore easy to miss) yet once found, the inevitability of time means that sooner or later you’ll have to give in and blink.”

Kevin views good things come… as an attempt to provide an antidote to these kind of time-based problems. Featuring work by national, international, emerging and established artists, the exhibition includes: Agnes Calf, Alex Frost, Clive Murphy, Eric Bainbridge, Hayley Tompkins, Jack Lavender, Jo Addison, Leo Fitzmaurice, Oliver Tirré, Peter Amoore, Richard Wentworth, Ryan Gander, Ruth Proctor, Sean Edwards, Susan Collis and Vanessa Billy alongside Kevin himself.

Kevin Hunt is a sculptor living and working in Liverpool who gained a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from the North Wales School of Art & Design in 2005. His works reconfigure found and utilitarian objects by resituating them back into the world in ways that defamiliarise the items he employs. His drive to revel in the form of everyday objects, taking time to reconsider that we might otherwise overlook, partly inspired the curation of good things come… in collaboration with co-curator Hannah Jones.

Hannah Jones is exhibitions manager at Plymouth College of Art (currently on maternity leave) and one half of the artist duo LOW PROFILE. Hannah has worked at the college for over 10 years and helped to establish The Gallery and its programme of high quality public exhibitions and events.

Hannah has also worked as one half of LOW PROFILE, in collaboration with Rachel Dobbs, for over 13 years. Most recently they delivered the artist led residential workshop Jamboree and were commissioned by ICIA (Bath) to open its new centre of the arts, with their solo exhibition Impromptu and permanent installation of their public artwork Picture in the Paper.

Speaking of the exhibition, Kevin said: “I feel like there’s been a huge shift recently in the time people take to digest artwork, to digest anything really, it has been radically shortened. As soon as something new exists in the world and is seen on a screen it’s happened and is over, like we’re already moving on… I wanted to do something to counter that.

“good things come… attempts to slow things down for the viewer, establishing that sometimes a longer period of time can change the meaning and understanding of an artwork, even in the tiniest of ways.

“This was something Hannah and I were very interested in when we were planning the exhibition, we wanted to bring works together from different time periods (some made this year, others nearly 30 years ago) to think about how the world has changed and continues to change at rapid speed (on and off screen) and how that in turn affects art.

“We both think that playing with the scale of an object (be it warped and enlarged or small and discrete) can help us spend more time with it.

“One of the artworks that best exemplifies the joint themes of good things come… is Peter Amoore’s ‘A rock I have only touched with my feet’, 2011 – present. In this work the artist has imbued an inconsequential natural object that may have gone unnoticed with a new history through its encounter with him, but more than that, its new existence as a work of art with this implied narrative is only possible because of its size – if the rock had been much bigger the artist wouldn’t have been able to continue to only touch it with his feet!

“Oliver Tirré’s ‘Not Titled’ pieces also have a history to them, existing now as artworks once again after being cast aside for nearly 3 years by the artist because he simply didn’t like them anymore… Years later his reappraisal of the works came when he realised he liked the backs more than the fronts, the passing of time (and everything that had happened to the artist during this time) causing him to reconsider his relationship with his earlier works.”

As part of the Sculpture season in The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art, on Wednesday 4 May from 5:30pm until 6:30pm, good things come… artist Leo Fitzmaurice will give a free public talk to discuss his long and varied practice and the sculpture he will show in the exhibition, some of which dates back to the 90’s.

The Liverpool-based artist, who regularly exhibits with London based gallery The Sunday Painter and recently presenting work with them at Frieze Sculpture Park as part of Frieze Art Fair in Autumn 2015 makes work that draws on the vocabulary of the familiar: urban architecture, traditional landscapes, branded packaging and cleaning products.

Everyday materials that he uses include objects, surfaces and spaces that are re-worked with simple interventions applied in unexpected ways. These alterations allow objects and materials to be encountered afresh and reassessed. He has said of his work that he sees it as simply a way of ‘refreshing language’.

Also as part of The Gallery at Plymouth College of Arts’ Sculpture Season, artist Sean Edwards will visit the college on Wednesday 25 May, from 5:30pm until 6:30pm, to give another free public talk about his practice and new work being made for good things come…

The Welsh artist’s works are often described as ‘objects being in-progress, indeterminate and open to change’. In installations, sculpture and photographic images, Sean’s work intentionally holds within itself a sense of failure, often through impoverished materials and techniques used which acts against the moves of minimalism by allowing the remnants of previous activities to form the starting points for his continuing work. His recent solo exhibitions include Just a little glass of water at Treize in Paris in 2015 and Drawn in Cursive, a three-part exhibition touring Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, Netwerk in Aalst, Belgium and MOSTYN in Llandudno between 2013 and 2015.

Zoe Li, acting exhibitions manager of The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art, said: “This is a rare chance to see work by prominent British artists such as Richard Wentworth and Ryan Gander. good things come… has an introspective view that focuses on the scale of a number of different works, revealing a lot about the thought processes of the artists themselves. This is an exhibition that had a long gestation period so we hope that visitors will take the time to come and truly experience these works of art.”

The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art also offers a multitude of opportunities for students at the college to engage with visiting artists and contribute to the programme of events. 21-year old BA (Hons) Photography student Gemma Hall has worked with The Gallery team for a week as an intern, photographing the installation of good things come…. Second year BA (Hons) Fine Art students will also soon receive a Masterclass by visiting good things come… artist Susan Collis and have been briefed by the curators to enable them to act as Gallery Assistants throughout the duration of the exhibition, which will allow them to be on hand to discuss the works of art with any visitors to The Gallery who want to learn more.

 

(from a press release)