I was very lucky to be offered the use of an empty antiques shop in Fulham. Ross McCormick and I initially planned a furniture design related show to coincide with the consumer orgy that is Christmas. We are both fairly well acquainted with capitalism and felt that it could be a good opportunity to fill the coffers in readiness for rash art related expenditure in 2018. So it began…. We then invited Ancel Daniel, Lora Nicolova, Rayvenn D’Clark and Monika Tobel. I felt we should give it a title that would describe the potentially disparate nature of our practices but also the fact that we are all sharing a common goal in our course at Chelsea. ‘Glue’ seemed appropriate. . I was thrilled to be invited to show with Lora, Ancel, and Monika in the MAFA gallery in March, in a women only show. This makes sense firstly because I am female and secondly because I had up to this point been working on an odd ceramic which had a strong feminist undertone. With this in mind I grabbed a copy of Irvine Welsh’s novel of the same name GLUE (about a group of drug addled maniacs from Edinburgh – kind of appropriate) and happily opened it up on a page describing the disintegration of a female pop icon called Katherine Joyner. This may not have been the most obvious feminist Icon to spring to mind but it had tragi/humour, a strong transatlantic message and also was derogatory enough about women to be worthy of comment, so fairly rich pickings I thought. Lora and I made a piece in response to the text. We originally intended it to be the flyer and we were off with that. This didn’t really appeal to our original aim of enticing rich furniture dealers into our lair, so Ross and I decided to make a different furniture friendly flyer for our target market. This involved using my drawing of the chair in monochrome to keep costs down. I wasn’t comfortable with using this as the main flyer really as I felt it wasn’t democratic or inspiring work for other people in the show. It was definitely more mainstream than the text though and since we were aiming to sell stuff to dealers we felt it might work better. Unfortunately it got leaked! The potential diplomatic incident didn’t happen and everyone didn’t think I was an ego maniac and felt the chair flyer was better. This was OK but it did rather pull things away from the idea of making work towards the MAFA show in March….hey ho…. Can’t please everyone all the time. So……the van got hire, the wine purchased and the chairs and glasses delivered and we were off.
We are all still friends and most people got a bit pissed so it was in the main a resounding success! Thank you to all the brave soldiers who came from CCA and supported us. You were like the cavalry rolling in at just the point we thought it was all going to be a wash out and we would need to consume 30 bottles of mulled wine between six of us… well actually five because I don’t drink. The arrival of reinforcements also brought extra terrestrial beings from other worlds like antiques dealers and an odd art dealer. Ancel’s Train professor came which was fabulous and some of the locals popped their heads in to ask about the work and share some of their’s which was also a really welcome surprise. The rooms filled up nicely and we all felt warm and fussy. I made some new contacts and had a very kind offer from a dealer to support my next show by allowing me to use his client list for invitations. Not too shabby really for a £30 a head last-minute flung together a bit in a rush sort of thing. We had intended to invite 50 people each from outside school but I guess we didn’t have the time or the confidence to really make a go of it. Next time …..
What with the Christmas break and the amount of mulled wine on the night we haven’t had a chance to discuss the work or how the show worked as a whole. I felt there was some great synergy between the pieces. Rayvenn’s awesome foot sculpture look suitably grizzly hanging from the light fixings over the top of Lora’s Ode to Katherine Joiner on the floor. My video installation Sisyphus was a Queen ran in the corner and I felt they hung together well in a theme of feminine trauma of sorts. Thankfully the mulled wine wasn’t too far away and no one seemed too depressed. Ross had his candle lit tribute to his grandfather which was very beautiful and gave the room a very sombre religious air. Upstairs we had mostly paintings from Ancel, Monika and myself. We also had Monika’s animal spirit sculpture. If we had had a proper hanging system I think Ancels’s paintings about her experience of living under colonial rule in Barbados would have been interesting against my painting about British Colonialism in India in the 1940’s. Monika’s feminine painting was great and Ross’s gilded chewing gum mirror sat perfectly against the window making its anti consumerist statement. My Donald Trump inspired Adam’s table sat along with another form of ornamentation in the jade lion painting. Whilst the upstairs show didn’t make a great deal of sense it was still very interesting and we made do with easels and small tables where the hanging system was delivered to late to be installed effectively.
We had a great evening. We learned a lot and really looking forward to doing it all again and even better!