Exhibition #38

29 November 2014

Every few years Bocs organises a show of most recent work created by Bocs Members. The last show that exhibited work by Bocs Members happened in December 2012 - exactly two years ago, and was the first show to be shown at Bocs’s new premises. Two years later, in 2014, we are exhibiting work by 6 Bocs Members: Cathryn Griffith, Dion Hamer, Rebecca F. Hardy, Nader Kohbodi, Catrin Menai, Sarah McEachran, and Yvonne Tsang, all of whom have been members for a significant amount of time. This exhibition the brings members together again and gives an opportunity to see the evolution of their work over the course of the last 2 years. Along with presenting the current work of our members, this exhibition also connects us to the past and to the future of both Bocs and its members. This isn’t a retrospective, but we can look back and look forward and see where we were, where we are, and where we can be.

Eventbrite Event

Cathryn Griffith

Statement:
The work is a selection of screenprints made earlier this year. I have worked with collage, layers, and colour previously, and it has felt natural to begin producing work using this technique. The pieces explore balance, structure, and composition and they are mostly a result of experimentation and are not a part of a planned process.

Biography:
Cathryn is an artist living and working in North Wales.  She works with a variety of media, predominantly with collage and layering.  Her work often references elements of architecture and aspects of childhood memories.

Dion Hamer

Artist Statement:
Hamer explores human relationship to its environment, with the physical relationship often being a great interest, experimenting with scale and perception with the intention of engaging human senses. Memory is central to his practice, with the mundane memory of the everyday being as equally important as the significant ones.
Hamer primarily works in the medium of film, though often its viewing source or surroundings; whether it being televisions, built installations or specific sites, are integral to the work.

Biography:
Dion Hamer lives and works in Rhosgadfan, he received his BA (hons) from Glyndwr University, Bangor in 2012. Since graduating he has exhibited in a number of shows, including Blinc Digital Arts Festival, Adain/Avion, Haus of Helfa and had his first solo show with Bocs in 2012. Hamer has been selected for Welsh Artist of the Year 2012, shortlisted for Galeri Open 2012 and was part of World Skills London 2011.

Rebecca F. Hardy

Artist Statement:
The contemplation of the human mind, the conduct of human nature, its behaviour to perform consciously and subconsciously and the complexity of these emotions upon the individual and within society. This is Rebecca’s visual exploration and journey into understanding the dense sociology, psychology and biology of this process.
She works in a range of materials and projects, from mixed media, collage, sculpture, installations and photography. She continues channeling, experimenting, expressing, exploring and playing with her new found language, revisiting materials like wax, clay, and varnish and in bedding and marrying them with found objects and drawings.

Biography:
Within the past 8 years Rebecca has been involved in several group exhibitions in London and in Wales. Selected exhibitions include Repeat & Reprise, East Gallery, London; Wunderlust ll, tactileBOSCH, Cardiff,  Galeri Open 2014, Galeri, Caernarfon and the social art engagement project I Know You, You Can Come With Me, Oriel Wrecsam. In 2014 she had her second solo exhibition ‘neuroanatomy’ which she exhibited in all three galleries in Bocs, Caernarfona nd collaborated with seven female British artists,  and at the beginning of 2015 she will be exhibiting new work in her solo show in Oriel 2, Oriel Wrecsam.

Nader Kohbodi

Artist Statement:
The images Mr Kobo creates contain strong symbolic elements and are typically orientated around a central character.
Some of his works express his personal experiences in life, whilst others are based upon inspiring myths and legends. Many are also heavily influenced by the people he has met throughout his journey through life. Drawing influences from art forms such as the Graphic Arts and Graffiti to art movements such as Pop Surrealism & Art Nouveau, his work treads the borders between fine art and illustration.

Artist Biography:
Mr Kobo (Nader Kohbodi) is a local visual artist based in the beautiful Snowdonia region of North Wales, who is quickly gaining recognition for his unique and imaginative artwork.
Although with an academic background in computer visualisation, having graduated from the NCCA (National Centre for Computer Animation), in recent years Mr Kobo has chosen to focus instead on more traditional methods.
The change in medium initially arose after an extensive period of travel, subsequent to his academic studies, where he regained a passion for more traditional art forms. This ideal was strengthened as he found himself more at ease with the physical process of drawing as opposed to digital creation, appreciating the texture of paper, the effervescence of colour, shades, tones and true lines that can only be obtained when working by hand.

Catrin Menai

Artist Statement:
“Closed place. All needed to be known for say is known. There is nothing but what is said. Beyond what is said there is nothing”.
 -Closed Space, Samuel Beckett

I am interested in the nature of language, documentation, and the underlying questioning of how narrative and storytelling exists privately and publicly in the spatial and the temporal. Within the work there is a questioning of the relationship between images and information and how they configure and correspond with ourselves. The space in between this configuration, the ‘ecstasy of the gap’, is often where I land: a multidimensional plane where disappearance and loss coincide with romance and fiction.

Biography:
Catrin Menai is a multi-disciplinary artist who is based in North Wales. Menai creates multi layered works that explore the nature of language and documentation and the underlying questioning of how narrative and storytelling exists privately and publicly in the spatial and the temporal.

Sarah McEachran

Artist Statement:
With this series I took an old idea and came at it from a different angle. Some time ago I was looking for photos of old Victorian dolls but came across these peculiar stiff photos of people, I took a look and realised these people were dead and that they were “memento more”. I was shocked to find this practice but I delved deeper and found a very sad truth, people could not afford a photo of their loved ones in life. These photos were cherished for a long time. It made me realise that this generation has been spoilt, photography is now a throw away commodity, we can take photos anywhere and share them everywhere. Even the word “selfie” is now in the dictionary. It also made me think of the class divide. Only the wealthy could afford photography, the middle to lower class only could afford them as “memento more” and the working class could not afford it at all. Now with the economy in crisis are we slipping back to a class divide?

Biography:
Sarah McEachran is a young artist living in Caernarfon. She has studied in Coleg Menai in Bangor and graduated from UWIC in Cardiff BA Fine Art degree.
She paints self-portraiture as a means to help figure out where she stands in society. She has painted portraits of herself in contrasting attire, that expresses different sides of my personality. For example one of my pieces concentrated on my “girly” side since in person it is the least visibly apparent aspect of myself.
From an interest in capturing personalities I paint portraiture of other people. I usually paint people I know very well because I want the viewer to know them as I do through looking at my paintings.
Memory plays an important part in my work by helping me to visualise the character of the person I am painting.

Yvonne Tsang

Artist Statement:
The manipulation paper as a medium in its own right has been something that has passed down to me as traditional and cultural heritage, through paper folding and papercuts. A lifetime of use hasn’t diminished my pleasure when using this material that demands slow, meditative, and precise manipulations. I find the tactile quality of paper and its versatile nature immensely fascinating; it can be folded and cut with mathematical precision into the hard angular structures of Richard Sweeney; Mia Pearlman uses it to create giant soft, delicate and billowing forms; the apparently simple act of cutting and layering pieces of paper can produce startlingly diverse pieces from Anish Kapoor’s Wound, through Noriko Ambe’s organic topography to Jen Stark’s explosion of colour; it can even achieve spectacular movement through employing paper engineering techniques as evidenced by the kinetic sculptures of Mattew Shlian.
Using geometric structures that act as visual interruptions to break down, distort and reconstruct the space, this piece draws a great deal of inspiration from the work of Georges Rousse. Whilst his work culminates in a forced single-perspective photograph, I am taking a more anamorphic approach in which the viewer first perceives distorted clutter but as they actively view the space from different perspectives they will eventually find the sweet spot themselves. The point at which the chaos becomes clear in one convergent moment depicts the collision of engineering and art; where structured geometry meets sensual organic curves, capturing that delicate space in between where one becomes the other.
Title: Collision
Materials: Paper, card, glue

Biography:
Yvonne Tsang is a designer living in Caernarfon and working in Bocs. Whilst her family were originally from Hong Kong, Yvonne was born and raised in North Wales. She studied Artificial Intelligence at Sheffield University, but soon turned her hand to art and design upon her return to Wales.

Abstract Devices

1 November 2014

Abstract Devices

Curated by James Harper
A dual display of works by Mike Carney & Ed Spence
06.11.14 – 30.11.14

Commissioned to curate an exhibition of new media work, James Harper has brought together two artists whose work both complies with and opposes this theme. Presented here are two contrasting devices for the production of abstract mark making.

While Mike Carney’s drawing and collage works have a clean, modern aesthetic it is the method by which they have been created that aligns them with the term ‘new media’. The works are all made with the use of an iPad and her, in part, are displayed on flat screen monitors.

By contrast, Ed Spence has produced a body of work with an instantly recognisable, digital aesthetic. The images blur from the realistic to a pixelated abstract core. This ‘pixelation’ however, is an entirely hand-produced, analogue process of collaging found images. In this case the images are taken from Beautiful British Columbia Magazine.

This two-layered contrasting between the two artists work reflects a society torn between accepting and embracing new technologies and clinging on to our past. The abstraction within these works serves to heighten this societal tug-of-war with new media.

Accompanying the 6pm opening of this exhibition will be a live performance from Drawing Sessions with sounds provided by Bantam Lions.


Abstract Devices (curated by James Harper) by Bocs on Mixcloud

Artists are roaming the streets of the UK

11 September 2014

As much as this sounds like a zombie apocalypse, unfortunately it is not. It is a crisis of identity and life that hits every graduate in the world, in the UK, and more specifically, young graduating artists. Speaking with students, artists, and tutors, and being a recent graduate myself, I’ve heard things that I’ve asked myself many times – what am I going to do? Am I going to do something at all? How do I make a living from this? Should I do something else entirely? What I found to be important is structure and planning. As boring as this sounds, it might be the only way except pure luck to get your work out there and start receiving offers in a highly competitive world overcrowded with artists.

When an artist graduates he has three paths: stop trying to be artist, be an amateur, be a professional artist.

Stopping being an artist means forgetting the whole thing and doing something else. As depressing as this option sounds, it is a frequently taken path, for many reasons – sometimes superficially practical ones. This way is understandable and most of all honest. It is also considerate of other people – there are few things that are worse than experiencing uninspired art.

Another option is to continue making art, but in an amateur way. You casually work without specific projects in mind, with no deadlines, responsibilities, or fear of failure. I would say this is the easiest way out – you don’t take any risks, while being able to soothe your ego and tell yourself that you’re still doing what you want and call yourself an artist in front of your friends and family.

The last way, is being an artist. Full-time. You may still have day-jobs for years to come, still work in the creative sector and make a living from the more practical aspects of your art (design, video, or sound editing), but what remains is that you work on your art methodically and daily, even if burning all your work is the only thing you did today. Although, even if you don’t work daily you can still be an artist - by always having a deadline and a sense of urgency about your work.

The question you have to ask yourself is – which path are you on?

Helfa Gelf 2014

1 September 2014

Like last year, this year Bocs is taking part in Helfa Gelf by renting out its galleries as studio spaces. 4 artists will be working at Bocs in September as Part of Helfa Gelf: Natasha Brooks, Louise Cliffe, Catrin Menai, and Joy Williams. Also, Sarah McEachran and Sadie Williams are occupying Bocs’s permanent studios.

Natasha Brooks

Statement:

Language, the thinking on the problem, is a more important sculpture even than the end process existing in tools or in paintings, or in drawings, or in carvings. This transcendent character of information, in an invisible world, gives us at the same time the proof… that we are not only biological beings, material beings, but first spiritual beings, not existing on this planet”

Joseph Beuys

With modern technology, forever at our fingertips, stimulation and bombardment from external forces is ever present meaning that peace and solitude are a rarity. Even when time and space is made for mindfulness and the spiritual, true stillness is fleeting, as we are always catapulted back into our chattering individual selves. I am fascinated with this internal battle, the veil that lies between the internal and external, spiritual and material. Within my work I often use water to symbolise this veil that is temporally permeable. Water has the obvious multi-faith connections with spiritual cleansing and baptism. It is completely immersive, all encompassing and has a powerful effect on our physical and mental states.
Biography:

Originally from Yorkshire, Natasha Brooks is a local artist based on the Isle of Anglesey. Whilst recently studying a B.A in Fine Art she has increasingly come to use video and photography as means of her expression, although still classes herself as a mixed media artist.

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Louise Cliffe

Statement:

My practice reflects an ongoing attempt to make sense of the world through photography, text and drawing, often incorporating elements of interaction and social media to explore communication between artist and audience. A thorough investigation of social mores enables me to unpick the values and beliefs to which we adhere, and to pinpoint my response as directly as possible in a thought-provoking and humorous way.

Biography:

Louise is from the Mold area and is now based in Bethesda. Originally a sound engineer, she graduated with a BA (Hons) Fine Art from Coleg Menai in 2014.

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Catrin Menai

Statement:

Catrin Menai (b.1987, Wales) is a multi-disciplinary artist who is based in North Wales. She creates multi layered works that explore the nature of language and documentation and the underlying questioning of how narrative and storytelling exists privately and publically in the spatial and the temporal. Within the work there is a questioning of the relationship between images and information and how they configure and correspond with ourselves. The space in between this configuration, the ‘ecstacy of the gap’, is often where the work lands, a transitory or multidimensional stage where disappearance and loss coincide with romance and fiction.

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Joy Williams

Statement:

Within my work I explore the confines of my physical self mainly through photography, in order for people to question what today’s woman looks like, to question the objectivity of woman, and what we are told a woman should be, though I also enjoy exploring how light, colour, depth and textures alter the overall image that you see, both in nature and in a controlled space.  I want people to feel like they could step into the image and feel it, as though it was right there in front of them, that they would be able to experience it through all five of their senses.

Natasha Brooks - Collectivity

26 July 2014

Biography

Originally from Yorkshire, Natasha Brooks is a local artist based on the Isle of Anglesey. Whilst recently studying a B.A in Fine Art she has increasingly come to use video and photography as means of her expression, although still classes herself as a mixed media artist.

Having extensively travelled over the past decade, she has drawn from her experiences and chooses to focus on the uniting characteristics of humanity that span the globe despite geographical and cultural divides. Because of technological bridges that have been created in the modern world, the chance for connectivity, empathy, and understanding have never been experienced on such a scale before. In this increasingly small world Natasha believes that it is important to focus on unity to tread a sustainable path through our increasingly precarious future.

Natasha chooses to look within, to deeply understand and express the human condition. Her work is highly personal and visceral, placing herself in, and highlighting the fragility of the natural life cycles that encompass all. She often uses water to symbolise the barriers observed between the physical and the spiritual, the internal and external. Her work is influenced by the ideas and works of Marcus Coates, Joseph Beuys, James Turrell and the Psychologist Carl Gustav Jung.

Since graduating this year Natasha has exhibited in Cardiff for the Modern Alchemists. She has been selected, and is currently exhibiting for the National Eisteddfod, Llanelli, and will shortly be exhibiting in West Yorkshire. Collectivity is her first solo exhibition.

Artist Statement

Language, the thinking on the problem, is a more important sculpture even than the end process existing in tools or in paintings, or in drawings, or in carvings. This transcendent character of information, in an invisible world, gives us at the same time the proof… that we are not only biological beings, material beings, but first spiritual beings, not existing on this planet”

Joseph Beuys

With modern technology, forever at our fingertips, stimulation and bombardment from external forces is ever present meaning that peace and solitude are a rarity. Even when time and space is made for mindfulness and the spiritual, true stillness is fleeting, as we are always catapulted back into our chattering individual selves. I am fascinated with this internal battle, the veil that lies between the internal and external, spiritual and material. Within my work I often use water to symbolise this veil that is temporally permeable. Water has the obvious multi faith connections with spiritual cleansing and baptism. It is completely immersive, all encompassing and has a powerful effect on our physical and mental states. Long distance swimming shuts out the external world and allows me a meditative state. When surfing I find that the speed of action required to harness the waves energy results in a take over of an instinctual reflex, a focus that is so strong it eclipses all other stimuli. In this primeval state, personal energy is so wound up in the energy of the surroundings, the two are harmoniously intertwined.  I have also attained elevated states of mind through free diving, not only because the lack of breath, but because of the experience had in the water, the deeper you go, the more ‘other worldly’ it becomes. Whilst the physical pressure felt on all the body makes you extremely aware of your physical self, being surrounded by the beauty of such an expanse of heavy water around and on top of you allows an incomprehensible, yet deep understanding of our fragile personal existence and eventual unity with all existence.

This body of work has been heavily influenced by the works of Marcus Coates, by both his attempts to blur the barrier between human and animal, but also by his more recent ‘communal works’ which emphasise a needed yet weakened connection between people. It is this connection that I explore in my work. Believing that we are all individual expressions of a single divine source, I feel it is essential to unite with this divinity that is collectively at the heart of us all. I am interested in Jung’s ideas of the ‘Collective Unconscious’ and ‘Individuation’. The idea of the uniting of a persons conscious and unconscious mind so that their original unique promise might be fulfilled. For this to be possible it has to be realised that the larger conception of the self is also based on the idea that humans are expressions of a deeper layer of universal consciousness. To grasp the uniqueness of each person, paradoxically we have to go beyond the personal self to understand the workings of this deeper collective wisdom. As Jung states with ‘Individuation’ The deeper we understand our collective unconscious, the more we can flourish as our individual expression.

Opening

The exhibition opens on the 7th of August at 6pm. Attendance is free, but please register here for free drinks and snacks.

Workshop and talk

The artist’s workshop in Shadow Photography will run on the 16th of August at 11am, followed by the talk at 1pm. Please book your places for the workshop by following this link.