Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Small Change - Lauren O'Grady and Neighbourhood Association Quartier Midi - by Zo Maltby-Baker



Small Change opens at AirSpace this Friday 8th November, and in her continuing look at the exhibition's contributing artists, Zo Maltby-Baker highlights the works of Lauren O'Grady and Collective Quartier Midi an artists group from Belgium working in the public realm.

Lauren O'Grady
Lauren navigates a world of contradictions, weaving narratives, implying unusual or phenomenological events. Trying to understand her own aspirations and limitations by looking at shared experiences, fears and concerns: social, economic, environmental and political. Creating varying plains and facets of reality and fiction. www.weareprimary.org
Lauren's sculptural-esque works  are an eclectic mix of mediums which play with the imagination. She was the Resident Artist at Studio B5, as well as being involved in a number of  group exhibitions,

Nottingham Castle Open – Sept/Oct 2012
World Event Young Artist: Selected to show in Paul Smith’s flag ship store – Sept 2012
CUBEOpen, CUBE Gallery Manchester – Dec 2011

Flout, Axis Arts Centre Crewe – Sept 2011
This Impossibly Conjured World, Glove Box Bristol – Apr 2011
Pile, Chapter Cardiff – Feb 2011
To find out more about Lauren's Practice visit her website @ laurenogrady.com


Lauren's work in her own words: 
"Borrowing from languages already established in cinematography, model making, folklore, history, science fiction, modern sculpture, architecture, landscape painting and museology, I fabricate scenarios and artefacts. They are familiar to the point of unfamiliarity, imagery compiled and accumulated from memory. Capturing a moment in object form, future relics of past events, commenting on the collector and the collected. I navigate a world of contradictions, weaving narratives, implying unusual or phenomenological events. I try to understand my own aspirations and limitations by looking at shared experiences, fears and concerns: social, economic, environmental and political. Creating varying plains and facets of reality and fiction. I consciously model without an image or reference; I want the models to be strange, warped representations of the real thing not faithful copies. I make sculpture in an attempt to physically capture and collect something: a vision, a spectacle, a sentiment, an impression. In an attempt to grasp an idea of vastness I play with scale, allowing myself, and the viewer, a way in. I enjoy the idea that something model sized can transport you in your imagination or visually (in film) somewhere else. It can make a tiny model seem like a huge space. I think of myself as an explorer, a somewhat fearful one. Drawing parallels between expeditions and the way in which I approach making work. Putting everything I have into achieving something that can often seem unachievable." 
www.axisweb.org/p/laurenogrady
Here are a couple of Lauren's works that caught my attention.
First Light 2012



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                                                        50cm x 50cm x 50cm (approx)
"This is a moving installation - the modelled clay sits on a spinning platform in front of the light creating movement in the shadows cast on the floor." 

Only give me back the world I threw away 2010

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                                                           77cm x 63cm x 52cm


"This work is a set of sculptures (3 in total). The title for the piece was taken from the novel, 'A Far Sunset' by Edmund Cooper." 
 Quartier Midi (BE)
"Quartier Midi (BE) is a neighbourhood association (Comité) from the area around Brussel’s South (Midi/Zuid) railway station. Acting within a context of private and state-led investments, it opposes house demolitions in order to build office buildings and shopping malls. The association visualises its efforts and exposes the politics behind the area’s transformations through a series of video’s and posters that are created collaboratively."
Brussels-Midi, the Planning and sacrifice bits of string - A book Gwenaël Brees



"Brussels-Midi, the Planning and sacrifice bits of string" was written from experiences, stories and testimonials from people, interviews with various stakeholders in the issue, as well as abundant written records and audiovisual (articles and press reports, correspondence, minutes of political debates, legal texts, prescribed urban, court documents, progress reports, etc..)."

I Recommend that you give this a read i'm about half way through, it is an highly informative, 

" look back at the political and financial saga, still unfinished and which led to the demolition of the south district. Through a thorough and documented investigation, this book reveals the below one of the largest urban fiasco of the past two decades in Belgium." 
www.bruxelles-midi.be/presentation








Find out more about Quartier-Midi @ www.quartier-midi.be

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