Monthly Archives: April 2008

Update from The Big Picture

Big Picture online Editor Jon Bounds sends this update about the site:

I’m pleased to say that it’s now possible to be part of The Big Picture direct from your mobile phone, so you can show us whatever you’re doing!
To add a photo by MMS send it with BIGPIC first in the text of your message to 60300.
You can add a title if your phone gives you a Subject: field, and tell us a story in the text of your message (even leave your name).
Texts cost your network operator’s standard rate. We may in the future use your number to send you free information about The Big Picture – you can text STOP to 60300 to stop those.
Pictures uploaded by text go into our “byMMS” album:

There are around 36,000 images on the site now and they need around 100,000 to break the world record so get sending.

If you have any problems uploading/sending email


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Starstruck Exhibition at New Art Gallery Walsall

New exhibition explores fame and our connection to it through the work of eight artists.

“Starstruck, a new exhibition at The New Art Gallery Walsall from 25 April – 15 June 2008 explores our obsession with celebrity through the work of eight artists ranging from the photography of Mario Testino, Alison Jackson and Yasumasa Morimura, through to a specially commissioned performance/installation by Jessica Voorsanger and a video installation by Candice Brietz.”

Includes work by artists: Mario Testino, Yasumasa Morimura, Gavin Turk, Jessica Voorsanger, Peter Davies, Candice Breitz, Francesco Vezzoli and Alison Jackson.

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Animal Magic at Eleven Fine Art in London

Eleven Fine Art will be hosting an exhibition ‘Animal Magic’ featuring the work of Tessa Farmer and Polly Morgan (previously seen in Fused Magazine) along with Olly & Suzi.

“Borrowing its title from the legendary BBC programme, Animal Magic gathers different contemporary practices exploring the animal realm. Tessa Farmer, Polly Morgan and Olly & Suzi have all contributed to this exhibition with new work.

Originated out of a fascination for anatomy and the behavior of insects, Tessa Farmer’s intricate sculptural installations (above) play out the surreal universe of warrior fairies. Messy and incomprehensible at first, Farmer’s pieces reveal on closer inspection incredibly complex scenarios of microscopic slaughters, led by feral little soldiers made out of roots and fragments of insects. The fairies’ behaviour parodies recorded accounts of torture of the innocent, of evil begetting evil through the direct experience of torture and punishment and crime perpetuated through ‘ethnic cleansing’. Farmer’s tiny creations are decreasing in size with each generation, the difficulty of their execution becoming another manifestation of their sadistic violence. In Farmer’s meticulous works, fantasy and cruelty, dream and scientific details, are never far apart.

Polly Morgan has developed taxidermy into a refined, if twisted, art practice. She often seeks to subvert the public’s long-held perceptions of animals as ‘bad’ or ‘sweet’. Only using animals that are road casualties or donated to her by their owners after their natural or unpreventable death, Morgan arranges birds, rats, or squirrels – her subjects of choice – into delicate ‘still lives’; a dead sparrow reclines on the leather-bound old testament, a little chick mourns the death of its pigeon friend, sometimes a rat spills out of champagne glass. Usually Morgan doesn’t try to hide the fact that her subjects are dead, the rigor mortis of the animal enhancing their fragile beauty. Yet recently, she started to develop compositions that juxtapose the obviously dead with animals that appears so lively that they seem about to move. Morgan’s pieces both evoke the fleetingness of life and celebrate nature.

For the last twenty years, Olly & Suzi have worked together in some of the most remote and less domesticated habitats on earth. At the core of their art is their desire to record from life their experiences of nature. Their works function like snapshots of the artists’ encounters with the wild, the fluid lines of their paintings encapsulating the fleetingness of these exceptional moments. After numerous expeditions all over the globe, painting anacondas in the marshes of Venezuela or great whites in South Africa, Olly & Suzi have now chosen to focus on African wild dogs and polar bears. In their works these endangered predators reach the status of symbols epitomizing all species in danger of extinction. They remind us of the fragility of the planet’s eco-system and point at our responsibility to preserve its bio-diversity.”

For further information on Animal Magic call 020 7823 5540.

Exhibition Dates
1st until 24th May 2008

Gallery Open
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 11.00 – 6.00
Thursday 11.00 – 7.00
Saturday 11.00 – 4.00
At other times please call for an appointment

Eleven  11 Eccleston Street  London  SW1W 9LX

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Gail Troth exhibition at The Mailbox

At the end of April Three White Walls Gallery, at The Mailbox, will feature local artist Gail Troth.

“Troth’s latest collection is created using a unique painting method of concentric circles created from single drops of paint into pools of fluid. Rather than using more traditional techniques this unique use of materials allows the paint to formulate naturally in a way that is hard to emulate.”

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The next Pub Conversations is announced

We’ve just had an email announcing the forthcoming Pub Conversations event with London based artists Melanie Carvalho and artist and writer Ross Birrell who is also lecturer and researcher at Glasgow School of Art and editor of the online journal, Art & Research.

Tuesday 29th April
The Lamp Tavern, 257 Barford Street, Birmingham, B5 7EP.

Places must be booked in advance by emailing

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Eastside Projects

Fused has just been to the new Eastside Projects space to take a sneak preview. At the moment it is empty apart from the amazing structure that will be used as office space. Gallery Director Gavin Wade explains a little more:

“Pleasure Island was first commissioned for the Wales Pavillion at the Venice Biennale, and the structure is 1 of 2, the other built in the artists Wood near Barmouth where Heather & Ivan Morison live and will be converting the wood into an arboretum over the next 40 or so years!  so they cut down the trees on their land and then produced Pleasure Island and Fantasy Island, named after fairground style attractions on east and west coasts of england.  The structures emerged out of early discussions and plans that I made with Heather & Ivan when they asked me to come and work with them on designing a building for their wood and they developed it further.  Heather & Ivan are planning a puppet show for the opening night in Pleasure Island which will further extend the fiction of the building and its new home and function within an artist run space in Birmingham.”

Gavin and the rest of the board of directors (Simon & Tom Bloor / Ruth Claxton / Celine Condorelli / James Langdon) have some very exciting plans for the space over the next 3 years. There will be a host of amazing artists exhibiting from all over the world as you can see by their vision statement here:

Eastside Projects is artist run space as incubator of new ideas and forms for the City of Birmingham and beyond.  Eastside Projects proposes the development of a new type of physical space for the gallery, a complex evolving programme of commissioned works and events based on radical historical positions and a new gallery spatial identity providing vital distinctive features to the area.  Eastside Projects in partnership with Birmingham City University is revenue funded by Arts Council England West Midlands and aims to commission and present experimental contemporary art practices and exhibitions boosting confidence in the cultural activity of the city both inside and out.

The programme would present the work of challenging and dynamic emerging artists as well as more established practices aiming to expand the growing critical regional arts audience and encourage new audiences within Eastside itself, Birmingham and the region; it would also strive to achieve an influential position within the UK and Europe’s thriving art world.  Eastside Projects will be a space for collaboration, dialogue and exchange aiming to examine contemporary society and the conditions of artistic production by confronting existing artistic and curatorial practices. Through links with like minded institutions Eastside Projects would aim to contribute to the support network and infrastructure of visual arts practice in the UK.

Eastside projects will promote the idea of art as an important form of alternative knowledge production.  The space and programme would offer a tool for the comprehension of contemporary visual culture and the immediate context of the development of Eastside and engage with the role and function of art within the urban environment.

The first show will open towards the end of May and will include: Marc Bijl, Chen Shaoxiong, Spartacus Chetwynd & Marte Eknaes, Bill Drummond, Peter Fend, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, Liam Gillick, Joseph Hallam, Matthew Harrison, ISAN, Ben Kinmont, Kelly Large, Heather & Ivan Morison, Mithu Sen, Support Structure, Mark Titchner, Laureana Toledo, Lawrence Weiner.

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Images from Ruth Claxton Exhibition

Fused popped up to the Private View of Ruth Claxton’s exhibition at the IKON gallery this evening (see post below). Dave Fused kindly handed me his iPhone so I could take a few pics of the work.

It is the first time I have seen Ruth’s work on such an extensive scale and the sculptural pieces mixed with the ornaments look very impressive. The gallery space is filled with mirrored shiny round structures on which the pieces sit and it makes for a great display.

Here are a few of my personal favourites:


Whilst at the exhibition we also bumped in to curator Gavin Wade who filled us in about the new Eastside Art space that he is director of. Sounds like he has some exciting plans and will be working with both Birmingham based artists as well as International  artists.

We also had a quick chat with award winning photographer Stuart Whipps whose images will be on display at New Art Gallery Walsall. The private view is this Thursday and the exhibition is accompanied by an 80 + page book designed by James Langdon and  features 2 essays. Most of the images haven’t been exhibited before and are from Stuart’s Longbridge and Nanjing series.

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