Wednesday, 24 April 2013

It is what it is…

Exhibition statement

"Art can serve as a universal lexicon. In this sense, it has no cultural boundaries and can be heuristically discussed.

It is difficult to make comment on an event, which was not experienced first-hand. It is problematic to assume cultural knowledge or understanding of the devastation felt by people directly affected by the al-Mutanabbi Street car bomb. Additionally, it is almost impossible to measure the impact it will have on future generations.

Instead, this work serves to remind and stimulate deeper consideration. It aims to encourage us to learn, discover, question and increase awareness of what has been lost forever, on our own terms.

In 2009 Jeremy Deller began to draw attention to the atrocities of the Iraq war by touring the remnants of the car bomb which blew up the main book-selling street of Baghdad. To many, al-Mutanabbi Street seemed far away from everyday living.

By putting the vehicle back on the road, so unrecognisably compounded and disfigured by a bomb, he aimed to increase awareness of the realities of war, targeting the voyeurs who had been observing through the safety of the media.

This responsive piece of work is a focus for discourse, drawing attention to the devastating attack on cultural life, intellectualism and power. It stands as a metaphor for the rich historical knowledge lost and acts as a cenotaph to the absent lives.

By presenting the work in a typical museum display box, the artist aims to promote a feeling that this is a time capsule - the significance of which is never to be forgotten."

Material: Childs Toy Car and Trailer, Pages from an ‘unwanted book’, Perspex Case.

Original Trailer by Jeremy Deller with original car bomb

Thursday, 27 January 2011

In Flagrante Coll├ęctum: J. P. Tabiners Cathexis

This installation was shown for The MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking Show at the School Of Creative Arts, on the 18th to 24th June 2010 at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.

Exhibition Statement
‘In flagrante’ is Latin for ‘caught in the act’, a legal term used when someone has been found in the act of committing an offence. ‘Cathexis’ is a word defined in psychodynamics as the process of investing huge amounts of mental and emotional energy in a person, object or idea. In psychoanalysis, Freud defines the term cathexis in sexual terms, meaning the ‘libido’s charge of energy’.

Collectors fill voids physically and metaphorically. The house today feels like a framed absence, filled with ghosts which inhabit the objects. The space a collector occupies becomes a conceptual, displayed, sense of self. Fulfilment is never attained because the effect of acquisition constantly drains away on ownership.

The house is packed to the roof with items. Snippets of humour or evidence of madness transpire in the labelling and taxonomy.

Mr. J. P. Tabiner was a man who lived a solitary life after his wife’s death in 1958. He was born in 1916 and died in 1989 after having spent 31 years with only his collections and fictitious scenarios for company. There were very few that knew John well enough to say what he spent his days doing, however notes were discovered on scraps of paper, taken by Social Services after Joan Tabiner's suspicious death:  
'JPT keeps busy, pottering around the house making models which he says are 'his salvation from a hostile world'. Concerns: Has taken to sleeping on the living room floor where he 'can look after the budgie'. Argumentative and uncompromising in nature however he appears to be compos mentis....' Anon.
After Mr. Tabiner's death, the house was boarded up and left untouched until now, prior to its demolition. Soon a clearance team will come and collect anything of value and remove anything else remaining for incineration. The house is deemed inhospitable.

Trans-Atlantic Print Exchange: Collaboration with the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, USA

The Trans-Atlantic Print Exchange

12 - 19 February 2010 
Private View: Thursday 18 February 2010, 17:00 - 19:30 

The Trans-Atlantic Print Exchange developed during the Impact 6 conference held at UWE in September 2009. Through discussion with academic staff at both the University of the West of England and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the print exchange was established as a means to open dialogue between the two universities’ Master of Printmaking and Books Arts degrees. There are eleven participating student artists from each university, that together form a collection of twenty-two prints.

The prints show the diversity of printmaking processes, as well as the diversity of the artists themselves. It can be observed that while each artist is unique in his or her practice and concepts, the overall approach to creating work is not isolated by country.

Contact for inquiries:
Helen Allsebrook
Maria Bowers

Tortie Rye

Melissa Olen

Yuka Petz (UArts)

Sean Dyroff (UArts)

Please see website for complete listing of artists and larger images.

Surplus the Requirements - Manchester Metropolitan University

This is a collage created from an unwanted book named, The Exercise Diet, 1985. This will be included in the book Surplus to Requirement and will be published by Righton Press in 2010.
Information on the soon to be published book by Righton Press: This is one page from a book which is a collaboration between groups of artists at Manchester Metropolitan University (Made Collective) and the University of the West of England, Bristol, working from research gathered around an overarching theme of 'Surplus to Requirements'.

The artists have produced a creative response to two diverse collections in their respective cities, surplus books from the closing Bookbarn in Bristol and the Herbarium at Manchester Museum.

"Books like these should be treasured representations of society and not demoted into the unwanted pile. This work aims to be an amusing yet important representation of the wrong and politically incorrect writing from only 25 years ago." Helen Allsebrook, August 2010 

MMU (Made Collective): Lucy May Schofield, Nick Fleming, Liz Machin, Tony Eve, Joan Beadle, Hilary Judd, Sylvia Waltering, Jacqueline Butler; UWE: Sarah Bodman, Paul Laidler, Guy Begbie, Andrew Eason, Tom Sowden, Helen Allsebrook, Teri Makassih, Angie Butler, Natalie McGrorty

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

The Hankie Project : Julie Barratt

"This project was borne out of the recent sudden death of my father, a handkerchief, some emotive words written by a sibling on his death and the traumatic aftermath of a death processed according to particular societal and cultural mores. Interested artists and Individuals are invited to create an artwork on a handkerchief (any handkerchief not necessarily a man's) based around death/grief/bereavement and return it to me by end of April, 2010 for inclusion in a collaborative exhibition." Julie Barratt

'Omnia Mors Aequat: Death Renders All Equal; levels all distinctions; distractions; pain.
(Helen Allsebrook, Daughter of David, 2010)'
Handkerchief and screen print, 2010

 A project organised by Julie Barratt

Secrets: A Collaborative Print Exchange

The University of the West of England and the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Exhibition and Print Exchange Curators: Helen Allsebrook, UK and Sarah Noreen, USA
View all artwork here:

Exhibition: 27th November - 4th December 2009
F-Block Gallery
University of the West of England
School of Creative Arts,
Bower Ashton Campus
Kennel Lodge Road,
Bristol BS3 2JT

Helen Allsebrook and Sarah Noreen met in Maine, USA in June 2009 after Helen won the Marlin Miller Scholarship to study at at Haystack Mountain School of Craft. As a result, a collaborative print project was created entitled ‘Secrets’.

Fourteen talented practitioners took part: Seven from the UK and seven from the USA creating an edition of fifteen prints each. The show clearly identifies an exploration of hidden meaning and image spanning two continents. The methodologies employed are innovative, varied and a diverse use of printmaking methods are evident throughout.

From the 27th November - 4th December 2009 the resulting work was displayed in F Block Gallery, Faculty of Creative Arts at the University of the West of England before travelling to several institutions throughout the UK and USA.

Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead’
Genevieve Browne UK
Lithography, Expantex Screenprint. 2009.
Tracy Honn USA
Letterpress. 2009
‘A Letter To A Wife’
Melissa Olen UK
Pigmented Ink. 2009
Paul Laidler UK
Pigmented Ink. 2009
‘Confession: My Knickers Were Made in an Economically Developing Country’
Helen Allsebrook UK
Found Ephemera, Emboss, Stitch. 2009

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

24th Annual Miniature Print Show

Venue: Blackwells Bookshop, 89 Park Street, Bristol, BS1 5PW
Dates: Private View: Friday 4 December 2009. Exhibition continues until Spring 2010.
Co-ordinated by: Tortie Rye 

Staff and students from the University of the West of England, will be displaying prints at the 24th annual Miniature Print exhibition at Blackwells Bookshop, Park Street in Bristol, from 5 December through to Spring 2010. 

Exhibition organiser Tortie Rye says, “The exhibition contains work by 30 different artists - all of whom are either UWE staff, or MA students. The variety of print methods and media used is broad, resulting in some truly unique artworks. Each print is produced in a limited edition of 60. The first 5 prints in each edition are archived, 25 are available for sale, and the remaining 30 are collated in sets of 30 miniature prints (one by each artist) and are presented to participating artists in return for their contribution to the project. All prints are displayed together, and are available to buy either framed or unframed. Unframed prints are at the affordable price of £15, making them ideal original Christmas presents.”
The exhibition showcases a variety of print techniques including screen-printing, etching and letter press, laser cut and digital print. The only constrictions put on the artists are that of size. The image must conform to 7.6 x 10.2cm placed on a 20 x 25cm sheet of mould made paper, which is then presented in portrait format.

The exhibition was originally designed by Richard Anderton and Steve Hoskins, at UWE's Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR), as a way to raise funds for the printmaking area, and also as a memento for existing printmaking students. 

Each year, the first three editions of prints are archived at the CFPR. The Centre now has an archive of mini prints going back 23 years – a collection of tens of thousands of individual prints, produced by hundreds of staff, students and invited artists using every print process. Prints have been exhibited nationally and internationally, in galleries and print shows from China to South America.

View all prints here.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Steve Hansons 'International Postal Art Project, Bristol, 2010' Contribution

"Just forwarded my entry for the Bristol International Postal Art Project, 2010, started by Helen Allsebrook, at UWE, Bristol. It arrived with a stitched and printed map contour design with a chunk knocked out, hanging by a thread. This was created by Soo Min Leong. It reminded me of the Highland clearances, for some reason. I eventually added a quote from Raphael Samuel on botanical gardens, which I have already used in my review of the Art of Location conference at The Courtyard, Hereford. I did this because one of the postcard backs had ‘monkeys in a botanical garden’ as a caption, so I also included the message ‘what’s a monkey to do? In all this Empire rubble…’ and then sent it on, to Erik Kok, at the Enschede Academy of Visual Arts, in The Netherlands. Can’t wait to see the exhibition." 

Steve Hanson, December 9th, 2009

Monday, 22 March 2010

Air Gallery Launch & Private View

14th November 2009, 4-6.30pm

6 High Street, Wells, Somerset BA5 2SG

A great gallery and a wonderfully refreshing change to see contemporary art from established and up and coming artists, situated in the centre of Wells. A gallery which I'm sure has huge promise for the future. 

Somethink Collective : Collective Atlas

Monday, 8 February 2010

"Another contribution sent in for the Collective Atlas - sent in by a few weeks ago by Helen Allsebrook. Sorry for the late posting!

A small book measuring 7.5 x 10cm packed full with information on Ilkley including facts and personal memories. The information is handwritten and then photocopied in negative and is written in small spaces and across pages, upside down and round about. This makes for a really intimate read as you try to follow the meandering text and diagrams/illustrations. What is written gives the reader a good sense of the place from the artist's perspective, which is intriguing, humourous and inviting. These are pieces of information you would not pick up on during a quick visit through Ilkley and so make the book a real discovery of the place. Thanks greatly for the contribution. Look forward to meeting you at the Leeds Artists Book fair!"

From Sarah @ Somethink Collective
Book to be displayed at Leeds and Glasgow Artists' Book Fair

Spike Print Studio : Press-n-Peel Etching Workshop

Spike Print Studio Courses and Workshops
Saturday 27 March, 2010, 10–4pm

Led by a selected MA Multi Disciplinary Print student, this workshop provides a rare and exciting insight into the variety of print processes available. The day will include a talk and demonstration of the student’s current practice and you will be assisted in preparing your own work for printing in the afternoon. Be prepared for the unexpected and sign up to a day at the edge of printmaking.

New Hampshire Institute of Art Portfolio Exchange : 'You Bastard' : Curated by James Chase

Friday, 02 April 2010, 5:30 – 8:00pm
Launch Art Gallery, 28 Grove Street, Peterborough, NH, USA

“You Bastard” is a portfolio exchange by artists from The New Hampshire Institute of Art, around The United States and abroad. Each artist was asked to create an edition of 23 prints interpreting the phrase “You Bastard” in any printmaking method including (but not limited to): woodcut, lithography, photo lithography, etching, digital, handmade prints, and screen-printing.

Works by:
Helen Allsebrook ~ Michelle Blandina ~ Lyell Castonguay ~ James Chase ~ Matthew Cohen ~ Ian DeCelli ~ Aaron Drew ~ Kenny Duquet ~ Peter Fischer ~ Grue ~ Sammy Johnson ~ Elise Lacasse ~ Daniel Larson ~ Jennifer Liseo ~ Ashley McCarty ~ Sara Plourde ~ Ned Roche ~ Lisa Scanlon ~ Patrick Scully ~ Andrew Super ~ Sylvia Taylor