Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Salon Event # 6

Christmas Exhibition (Tony Knox, Paula Smithson, Magda Stavarska and David Henckel) [07.12.2010 - 28.01.2011]

To conclude our Salon Events series, They Eat Culture’s Assosiate Artists and Salon curators, Kathryn Wheatley and Lisa Wigham, put on a show of the work of four contemporary printmakers, showing a diverse range of theme, process and practice. This selection presented bold, playful and thoughtful interpretations of traditional printmaking from artists based in the north-west of England, exhibiting nationally and internationally. Our four artists were David Henkel, Tony Knox, Paula Smithson and Magda Stavarska.

Tony Knox

Tony Knox is best known for the performance of his character of 'Mothman', a faded superhero and pseudo wrestler. The performances of this character are explored in different contexts from Grand Pro Wrestling rings to gallery spaces and international residencies, and earlier this year ‘Mothman’ travelled to India. These adventures are depicted through comic books.

Tony Knox enters into situations as an artist and photographer and the results blur the edges between the art world and popular culture. For this exhibition he shows a set of screen prints presenting themes of icon. Along with making these works Tony seeks out and documents meetings between him and his subjects- comediennes of past and present fame. This act excavates both the layers of celebrity and the bold and playful colour schemes at work in the prints.

Further information on the artist and his current research can be attained by contacting the artist at tonyknox99@hotmail.com or +44(0)7908575211


Paula Smithson

Paula Smithson’s practice as an artist focuses on printmaking and the intricate labour of the handmade. Paula utilises strategic collage techniques, passionately assembled to make detailed collagraph printing blocks that come to life with the application of colour.
In the Salon Event her work presents lavish culinary illustrations, interspersed with intervening characters extracted from Preston’s Harris Museum collection of artefacts. Source materials are also discarded yet precious objects inspired by a combination of visits to charity shops, museums and stately homes.

Cakes, crockery and tableware play both hero and villain in Paula’s prints. Drama and a tragic narrative play a central role. Desire, temptation and guilt are underpinning themes, the preparation of food for entertainment, pleasure and anticipation, along with the enjoyment of indulgence and guilty pleasures.

For more about the artist, visit her blog: http://www.paulasmithson.blogspot.com

Magda Stavarska- Beavan

Magda Stavarska- Beavan often combines print based work with sound and moving image. This initiates a conversation between traditional printmaking process and advancing digital technologies. The connection between thought, language and communication is central to Magda’s practice and questions how language can affect our cultural identity? In print based work this is often explored through text as visual notation.

The piece exhibited touches upon feelings of inclusion and confusion through its use of the International Phonetic Alphabet- a visual composition of symbols designed to represent qualities of speech. Here the viewer may seek out familiarities, to be met with a code. The only way to break the code is to utter the sounds out loud. By hearing their own voice, the viewer can decode the narrative.

The typographical arrangements and ephemeral qualities in Magda’s work conjure memories of play, conversation and bilingual language exchanges. The narrative in the text is not the most important aspect of the work, but the process of exclusion and finding the key.

Visit Magda's website to find out more: http://www.magda-stawarska-beavan.com

David Henckel

David Henckel was recently commissioned to produce interactive digital wallpaper for the iPad. David’s prints continue to embark on an ever morphing playful path, treading between design and fine art. The work displayed was born out of his award winning AA2A residency at UCLan and marks a shift in interest from character and drawing based work to that derived from random mark making and the collaborative action of others.

David has extracted marks from surfaces such as a tabletop covered in scratches and marks made by hundreds of cutting actions. This serves as a record of the everyday activity of life in a communal workshop. These traces re-occur in screen prints; they take on a new life and interact with overlaid images of handmade models made by David using shaving foam. In his piece ‘The Ambassadors Reception’ the shaving foam models of skulls seek to reference anamorphic tricks of the eye made in a painting by Holbein entitled “The Ambassadors” featuring a distorted skull, initiating a playful exchange between ‘low’ and ‘high’ technologies and ‘low’ and ‘high’ art.

See David's work here:



Artists featured in this exhibition are all members of the Art Lab Contemporary Print Studio at the University of Central Lancashire. For further information please visit: http://www.artlabcontemporaryprint.org/

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