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Mead Gallery Exhibitions 2011

Mel Brimfield: This is Performance Art

Mel Brimfield Exhibition

Sat 1 Oct – Sat 10 Dec 2011

This is Performance Art sees Mel Brimfield’s complex practice take a shrewd and tangled romp through the development of performance art, simultaneously revealing and inventing a rich history of collaboration between artists, dancers, theatre makers, political activists and comedians.

Mel Brimfield’s meticulously drawn and painted posters and programmes for fictional interdisciplinary cabarets, together with costumes and props, are produced alongside documentary-style films and live works that playfully associate performance art with most significant cultural developments of the last 100 years, from Gilbert and George to Morecambe and Wise.

This project is a result of Brimfield’s residency at Camden Arts Centre and is toured by Yorkshire Sculpture Park in association with Ceri Hand Gallery.

Dickinson & McCarthy: Greenwich Degree Zero

Dickinson and McCarthy Exhibition

Exhibition organised by Mead Gallery in association with the Arts Council Collection
Sat 1 Oct-Sat 10 Dec 2011

Rod Dickinson & Tom McCarthy’s Greenwich Degree Zero offers visitors to the Mead Gallery an opportunity to witness a multimedia installation about a would-be nineteenth century act of terrorism.

On 15 February 1894 a French anarchist named Martial Bourdin was killed when the bomb he was carrying detonated. The explosion took place on the slope beneath the Royal Observatory in London’s Greenwich Park and it was generally assumed that his intention had been to blow up the Observatory.

Dickinson and McCarthy re-imagine Bourdin’s act as a successful attack on the Observatory, reworking newspaper reports to fit their version of events. They also present a film made with a hand-cranked Victorian cinematic camera that captures the moment of the Observatory’s destruction and photographic images that depict the building’s ruin. Audiences are invited to piece together this episode and to participate in the making of a history through the processes, institutions and technologies that authenticate the narrative of time.

Greenwich Degree Zero is a Beaconsfield Commission, acquired by the Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London in 2010.

Tom Hunter: Unheralded Stories

Tom Hunter Exhibition

Exhibition organised by Mead Gallery in association with Purdy Hicks
Sat 1 Oct – Sat 10 Dec 2011

Unheralded Stories is the latest series of photographs by Tom Hunter that continue his exploration of his neighbourhood in Hackney through the imagery of iconic paintings. He weaves the epic narrative tableaux of artists like Delacroix and Gericault into the east London landscape, to describe the local myths, covert struggles and secret dreams of its inhabitants which are typical of any community, the world over.

Photographs are presented in pairs; the calm serenity of the smaller images is a counterpoint to the drama of the larger works. By evoking the gestures and mannerisms of old masters, Hunter commemorates local stories, known only to the people of Hackney but which resonate in communities across the world.

This exhibition has been organised in collaboration with Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.

Hubert Dalwood - Landscape into Sculpture

Hubert Dalwood Exhibition

Sat 7 May – Sat 25 Jun 2011

Hubert Dalwood (1924-76) was a leading post-war British sculptor, described by the art critic Norbert Lynton as ‘one of the most original and inventive minds in the field of modern sculpture’. In the 1950s and 1960s his work received considerable critical acclaim both at home and abroad, winning prizes and prestigious commissions.

Dalwood’s early works, modelled in clay and plaster before casting, reveal his fascination with qualities of surface. Focusing initially on the female figure, from the mid-1950s he created a series of ‘mysterious’ objects. Their heavily worked and textured skins recall those of archaeological artefacts, excavated from the earth, as well as the craggy terrains of natural landscapes.

From the mid-1960s, following a period spent teaching in North America, Dalwood became increasingly interested in architecture and its relationship to landscape. He started to create monumental architectural forms out of polished aluminium and sheet metal, which reflect their surroundings; and imagined, magical environments – vast landscapes on a small scale – which can be understood in their entirety when seen from above.

The exhibition has been developed by the New Art Centre, Roche Court and includes works from the Dalwood Estate as well as from private collections. An illustrated catalogue accompanies the show.

Anni Albers: Design Pioneer

Anni Albers Exhibition

Alan Cristea Gallery, Ruthin Craft Centre and The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
Sat 7 May – Sat 25 Jun 2011

Anni Albers was one of the pioneers of modernism. A pre-eminent textile artist, she studied with Paul Klee at the Bauhaus. Throughout her life she was uncompromising in her approach to art – pushing boundaries and experimenting with every medium she employed. She left the politically hostile Germany in 1933 with her husband, abstract painter Josef Albers, to work at the experimental Black Mountain College in North Carolina.

As well as working in textiles, she also made inventive jewellery from ordinary household objects and latterly worked in printmaking. Works have been generously loaned by Alan Cristea and by The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Connecticut USA. This is the first time that Anni Albers’ prints, textiles and jewellery have been seen together in Britain. It is fitting that the only English showing of this exhibition is in Coventry, a centre for weaving since the medieval period and now at the forefront of innovative material design.

Anni Albers: Design Pioneer is curated by Brenda Danilowitz and Ann Jones. The exhibition has been produced in collaboration with Alan Cristea Gallery, Ruthin Craft Centre and The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. It is accompanied by an illustrated publication.

Hannah Starkey: Twenty Nine Pictures

Hannah Starkey Exhibition

A Mead Gallery Exhibition
Sat 15 Jan – Sat 12 Mar 2011

Hannah Starkey is one of the most influential and significant photographers of her generation. She creates images that emerge from the split second of the everyday and are resolved into what appears to be an extended moment in time.

Her work is exquisitely composed, drawing on the languages of cinema and of painting to create scenes in which the figure and the surroundings are held in perfect tension, each defining the other. This is the first retrospective exhibition of Starkey’s work in a decade.

The exhibition has been curated by Diarmuid Costello who is a member of staff in the Philosophy Department of the University of Warwick. He is interested in the philosophy of photography and particularly in what distinguishes photography as an artistic medium. He is Co-Director of the AHRC funded research project, ‘Aesthetics after Photography’, in collaboration with Margaret Iversen from the Department of Art History and Theory at the University of Essex.

A fully illustrated publication, which includes an interview with Hannah Starkey by Diarmuid Costello and an essay by Margaret Iversen, accompanies the exhibition.

Hannah Starkey is represented by Maureen Paley Gallery