Sunday, 3 March 2013

Coming soon at AirSpace

The Gallery's Spring programme has now been finalised and we can confirm three great new events and shows which will take us up to the end of May 2013.

The Site is the Question - 14th March - 2nd April, 2013

First up is "The Site is the Question" - an international, multi-artist exploration of the socio-economic histories, industrial architecture, and production and material remnants of the Spode factory site in Stoke Town, Stoke-on-Trent. Bergen Academy of Art and Design (KHiB) in Bergen, Norway, have been invited by The British Ceramics Biennial to deliver a series of events for their 2013 festival. 

In September 2012 the first of three interdisciplinary workshops at the former Spode Works, was led by Neil Brownsword (UK) and Anne Helen Mydland (NO), in collaboration with staff and students from KHiB and other partner universities in Britain, Denmark and Germany. 

Encompassing a variety of artistic practice, including mapping the site through various media, object appropriation and re-contextualisation, lens-based work through to performative gesture, "The Site is the Question" exhibition will be an exhaustive presentation of the workshop's findings and a fascinating and invaluable insight into the history of one of Stoke's iconic sites.

Installation for "The Site is the Question" begins at AirSpace this week, with the opening night on 14th March from when the exhibition will run until April 2nd.

click here for more information.

[OCCUPIED] - 14th-17th March, 2013

Running concurrently with "The Site is the Question", AirSpace is hosting a part of [OCCUPIED] in the Gallery's resource room exhibiting space. [OCCUPIED] is a 4-day, 7-artist, multi-venue event, where each exhibition component is a response to the space in which they occupy, encompassing a range of artistic approaches; installations, sculpture, photography, video, performance and live painting. The artists are all final year fine art  under-graduates from Staffordshire University.

For the full schedule, and venue details for [OCCUPIED] visit -!schedule/cj8l

Speaking in Tongues - A Solo Exhibition by Sarah R Key

"Speaking in Tongues" is AirSpace's first major exhibition of 2013 and presents a two-part series of paintings by 2011 Threadneedle Prize nominee, Sarah R Key. The exhibition presents a mix of new, previously unseen paintings as well as previously exhibited works.

Goldfinch No. 17, oil on canvas 30cm x 25cm

In Bird Songs To My Father Sarah presents a series of beautiful paintings of birds taken from a list made by her father of birds he had spotted and noted down in the back of his bird spotting book while visiting Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve, on the East Coast of England one weekend in 1976. The paintings of the designated birds are numbered according to where they fall in the list. The works highlight themes of human behaviour, and a sense of archiving, but is also a personal response for Sarah, as she notes that, 

"The list, written in the back of my father’s bird book is his only remaining personally authored document, a snapshot of a longstanding preoccupation with something."

The Philosophy of Constant Movement, 2012, oil on canvas,  60cm x 50cm
Birds are also prevalent in the series of paintings comprising The Sky Is Falling In, though the focus here is less personal and more conceptual and theoretical, investigating themes of failure, hope and the abstraction of death and the ability of painting to adequately communicate these ideas. Sarah says about this series, 

"The impossibility of using painting to make pictures that can cope with these subjects, leads the work into areas of digression: And to imagined scenarios and relationships between people, animals and birds."

Over the past decade, Sarah has developed a profile in contemporary painting, both nationally and internationally, exhibiting in major art venues in London, Stockholm and Dresden. Sarah’s work is represented in numerous private collections, has been awarded Arts Council Grants, as well as garnering art prizes and nominations over the past five years.

In 2010 her work was selected for the Royal Academy Summer Show; in 2011 for the prestigious Mostyn Open and Threadneedle Prize, where Sarah was a shortlisted finalist. Sarah has had four solo shows since 2009.

Currently Senior Lecturer and Award Leader in Fine Art at Staffordshire University, Sarah has been teaching in higher education since completing her MA in Painting at Wimbledon School of Art in 2001. During this period she also completed a PhD in Fine Art at Loughborough University.

Speaking in Tongues opens on 20th April and runs until May 11th and has been commissioned as the final act of Conjunction 12 to coincide with the grand opening of the Bi-ennial's YARDEN project which is looking at the transformation of an unused small urban space into a communal creative activity space with a focus on becoming a haven for local urban birdlife. 

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