The Tickle

I am super thrilled to be joining two dynamic creators/editors – Jess Britton and Johnny Dean Mann on their digital art magazine The Tickle. I am writing a monthly column – starting with Issue No.80, about the history of this field – each month a new topic. I’m looking forward to covering some historical subjects that still have relevance in the art world today, especially with reference to technology, society and early digital art. First up is Stroud Cornock and Ernest Edmonds with a work from 1970!

New paper on Robert Mallary just published

Robert Mallary QUAD III, 1969. Plywood, metal and resin on plywood base. This was exhibited at the Whitney Annual Sculpture show (NY 1968-69) and New Tendencies (Zagreb 1969). Now in the collection of Tate London (as seen here)

My latest research on artist Robert Mallary (1917-1997) has just been published, part of the Review of Machine Art Special Issue of Arts. Read “An Element of Perfection: The Transductive Art of Robert Mallary”. Before the realm of techno-art became a recognizable construct, Mallary was interested in a system of relationships, seeking in his words, ‘an element of perfection’ in combinations of materials and technologies to make ‘a beautiful whole’.  I argue there is an art historical trajectory of a 3D immersive type of art that takes place in a specific defined environment – a concept that I link from Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siquerios through Kurt Schwitters via Mallary and the bourgeoning field of “art & technology” in the middle decades of the 20th century.

New ebook version of A Computer in the Art Room out now!

It’s been 13 years since A Computer in the Art Room was published.  My original intention was to provide a highly-illustrated, accessible introduction to a subject that was, in 2008, little explored and to give voice to the very many pioneering artists and practitioners who made work in the 1960s and 70s in Britain.  For many, this was the first time they had told their stories. Sadly, a number of these individuals are no longer with us, which now makes me grateful that I was able to record their contributions in the way that I did, placing their work within a wider art historical context. Today an increasing number of scholars are working in this field and there have been many more contributions to this history; this book still contains valuable information about the early days. It’s now available as an ebook for an affordable price – see SHOP tab above. Also available on Apple Bookstore – search the title. OR CLICK HERE

CONNECTION : OPEN 2018 up and running

The Wells Maltings, Wells-next-the-Sea

The Open I have curated for Wells Maltings, in North Norfolk is now up and running.  CONNECTION is the inaugural exhibition in the Handa Gallery and celebrates the quality and diversity of art in East Anglia today.

The Selection Team: Veronica Sekules, Tracey Ross, Catherine Mason

A call to artists with connections to East Anglia was made in October 2017, via an anonymous entry process.  We were thrilled by the enthusiastic response, indicative of the large amount of talent in this region.  A wide variety of styles, materials, methods and subject matter was immediately apparent as was the high standard of works submitted.  From over 900 entries around 250 two-dimensional works of art were selected.  The idea was based on a true Open, taking inspiration from the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, giving visitors an opportunity to view and purchase work by artists at every level of their career, from emerging talent to established figures.  Come and see!  Open every day from 10 to 6, until 30 September. Free entry.

More pictures here.

Elizabeth Monahan, Blue, 2017  First Prize Winner

Wells Maltings Arts

I am thrilled to join the Wells Maltings Trust as Art Advisor.   The Wells Maltings is a historic Grade II listed building in Saithe Street, Wells next the Sea, Norfolk currently being redeveloped to create North Norfolk’s Premier Arts & Heritage Centre.  I am devising a programme of exhibitions and arts events for the new art space, under construction and due to open Spring 2018.

Roger Law

I very much enjoyed a talk given by Roger Law in aid of the Wells United Charities, in Norfolk this week.  Law, as one half of Luck & Flaw created the fantastically satirical Spitting Image for television in the 1980s & 90s.  He brought along one of his brilliantly-crafted Margaret Thatcher puppets (in all they made over 2,000 different puppets all by hand):roger-law-2However Law always made ceramics on the side (remember the ‘ugly’ mugs of politicians and royalty?) and what was most interesting was hearing him describe his recent experiences making pots in China.  These 3mm thick vessels are carved deeply into the surface by the artist with beautiful images of flora and fauna, seen during the time he was artist in residence at the National Art School, Sydney.  In fact he says he often had to reassure his Chinese assistants that such creatures as mudskippers really do exist!

Roger Law is a remarkable draughtsman and his talk was illustrated with his own sketches to illustrate the processes of making and the characters he encountered in Jingdezhen, a city famous for porcelain.  Here he is able to work with highly skilled specialists and as he says, it was “very good to learn to fail, which was impossible in the UK”.  Experimentation is difficult in the UK due to the high overheads in the industrial potteries meaning commercial interests must take precedence.

This is his postcard-sized work of art created for my recent Secret Postcards project, in aid of the Maltings, Wells-next-the-Sea.

Roger Law, watercolour & ink on card, 2016
Roger Law, watercolour & ink on card, 2016

Ninety-nine artists from across East Anglia produced a total of 123 miniature (6x4inch) paintings which we sold at a fundraiser on 6 October at Holkham Hall for £60 each.  This event raised in excess of £30K.  I worked on this project for many months and was incredibly touched by the generosity of all the participating artists including the hard work which had clearly gone into each and every card – the beauty and sheer high quality, they truly were miniature masterpieces.  Thank you again to Roger Law.

Book Launch Photographs!

My recent book launch – Janice Sylvia Brock: My Life on Canvas was a huge success with over 200 people in attendance, welcomed by Sir Cliff Richard at Sugar Hill Club House, Barbados.  See photographs here.

To purchase the book in the UK click here or in the USA click here (if you would like a signed copy please email me; you can also collect copies from me in Barbados until end of April 2014.)

The artist and I
Janice and I, 23 January 2014

I’m in a new film – Cley Marshes

See me speaking about the history of landscape painting in North Norfolk in the new film Cley Marshes: A Wild Vision, produced bycley film David North for the Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Cley Marshes Appeal. If you are visiting Norwich in September, do pop in to the Forum to see this inspiring film featuring Bill Oddie, wildlife experts, artists and others sharing their stories of this special place.

The NWT is the oldest of a national network of wildlife trusts.  The 400 acres of Cley Marshes were purchased by Dr Sydney Long in 1926. Long went on to found the Norfolk Wildlife Trust with Cley becoming the Trust’s first nature reserve. For generations this site has enjoyed a worldwide reputation as a superb site for watching birds and experiencing nature. The appeal is raising funds to purchase an additional 143 acres – this is a unique opportunity to ensure that coastal land from Blakeney Point to Kelling would all become one continuous nature reserve. Find out more about my landscape art project, Spirit of Place.