Noemie Goudal: Southern Light Stations – The Photographers Gallery

7 January 2016 § Leave a comment

This post is also featured on the online cultural magazine CELLOPHANELAND* –

Photography has since its invention been primarily seen as a medium which reproduces reality, albeit more or less honestly. There are of course many photographers who are still documenting reality, and in the digital age these resulting images have an ever increasing shape-shifting flexibility transferring with ever-greater ease from the camera to the screen, internet, print, photo-book, advertising hoardings and even T shirts or mugs.

Noemie Goudal: Southern Light Stations - The Photographers Gallery

There is however an increasing movement of younger photographers who seek to deconstruct, alter and redefine the medium by foregrounding such formal aspects its physical form and the chemical or technical processes involved. Grouped loosely under the term ‘constructed photography’, the work of artists such as Matt Lipps, Walead Beshty, Daniel Gordon and Antonio Marguet makes the scaffolding of the photograph explicit whilst re-building photography as both a physical and technical art.

Noemie Goudal: Southern Light Stations - The Photographers Gallery

Noemie Goudal is one of the latest wave of these photographers having only graduated from the RCA as recently as 2012. Our attention was originally drawn to her work in an excellent High House Gallery group exhibition Re:Vision at 44AD in Bath and it is a significant comment on her talent that after such a short time The Photographers Gallery has given her a solo exhibition.Noemie Goudal: Southern Light Stations - The Photographers Gallery

Southern Light Stations continues Goudal’s interest in man made interventions within the natural world. Her practice is to use props, large photographs or constructed photographic sets and rephotograph them within natural settings or other existing backdrops. For one set of images she looks at historic celestial and solar perceptions – the sky once being considered for example as a solid plane. Roughly built circular forms are hung within landscapes, their theatricality clear to see, and photographed.

Noemie Goudal: Southern Light Stations - The Photographers Gallery

Reflecting a fascination with our relationship to the sky, the exhibition draws upon a rich history of myths, legends, religious symbolism and early scientific theories. Through photographs, stereoscopes and architectural installations, the exhibition aims to explore the intangible nature of celestial space – long considered a mirror of terrestrial turmoil as well as an expression of the sacred.

Noemie Goudal: Southern Light Stations - The Photographers Gallery

For another series of architectural objects Goudal has digitally manipulated images of concrete buildings before affixing the collaged prints on to wooden constructions. These are then placed within barren landscapes or seascapes and again rephotographed.

Noemie Goudal: Southern Light Stations - The Photographers Gallery

Moving a work in to position

Both series draw upon the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, highly influential German deadpan photographers – who documented German Industrial architecture with multiple images of similar objects such as water towers. Goudal’s work nevertheless adds to their work, is thought-provoking and fascinating.

Noemie Goudal: Southern Light Stations - The Photographers Gallery

NOÉMIE GOUDAL: SOUTHERN LIGHT STATIONS The Photographers Gallery, London until 10 January 2016.

For more information visit   

Stephen Goodman at High House Gallery

16 October 2014 § Leave a comment

For their last exhibition of the current season, and neatly timed to coincide with the seasonal burst of gallery activity that marks the Frieze Art Fair, High House have adventurously selected an emerging young talent. Originally from Oxfordshire, Stephen Goodman is a graduate of Bath, now returning to his home county for this, his first solo show.

Stephen Goodman Test of Time High House Gallery

Goodman’s abstract paintings are the outcome of an open-ended process, where varied materials such as bitumen oil paint, acrylics and spray paint are combined in a sort of alchemical speculation. Using time, gravity, instability and chance Goodman applies varied materials liberally before allowing them to coagulate – an eventual arrangement being realised through the drying process where chance is allowed to play a large part in the outcome.

Stephen Goodman Test of Time High House Gallery

The end results are fascinating works that swirl and flow in an apparent 3D effect. Largely featuring combinations of black, white and blue the patterns created hold a significant affiliation with the geological and seismic occurrences of our planet. Goodman infact draws his own parallels to aerial photography of an imagined world that is ficticious and yet somehow familiar, and where he has begun to create his own particular mythology.

Stephen Goodman Test of Time High House Gallery

He has a particular affinity for Iceland, the place where these internal forces meet the external world in the most spectacular fashion. Here too myths and legends have been created in parallel as a means of human attempts at explanation. Similarly Goodman aims to connect and mediate between these two worlds manipulating his materials in his own attempts to control these conflicting forces.

Stephen Goodman Test of Time High House Gallery

His canvases hold a captivating beauty that alternately conceal and expose the extreme violence of the processes that they reflect – an eternal duality of destruction and re-creation also reflected in the world around us.

Stephen Goodman Test of Time High House Gallery

The results are attractive yet enigmatic – we need to be wary of their fragile beauty. Our desire to succumb to their charms is mitigated by our impending realisation of what these marks represent; it is a beauty found at the margins of violence and desire.

Stephen Goodman Test of Time High House

Of course time is the ultimate force and its unstoppable power is evident in Goodman’s artwork, as he continually engages with, and manipulates it as an aid for creation. We are unable to control time, but these paintings embrace this lack of control and embrace progression, a natural component of time, and the joy of the unknown.

David Blackburn

Shown alongside, and unexpectedly perhaps, complementing Goodman’s work are a small series of beautifully executed works from one of Britain’s Modern masters, David Blackburn. Inspired by the landscape he is now accepted, in his 75th year, as one of the world’s leading exponents in the medium.

For more information please visit

Antonio Marguet at High House Gallery

4 October 2014 § Leave a comment

The oasis within the Cotswolds contemporary art desert that is High House Gallery has come up with yet another excellent exhibition. Their latest is a solo show from emerging Spanish photographic artist Antonio Marguet, selected to complement the new Photo Oxford fair that runs over the same period.


Whilst Marguet has a background in fine art his works bring together a remarkable range of interdisciplinary skills. He carefully constructs highly theatrical re-presentations of nature and forms by using an eclectic selection of artificial props.

marguet_020914ss 2

At least part of the pleasure in examining his colourful work lies in the attempt to work out precisely what materials have actually been used. Uncontaminated Bites (2013) for example features a cute pink plastic hamburger-like object with a mustardy-yellow filling that sits adjacent to a balanced and embossed red form. They both stand before a primal and earthy brown mass that looks like (but surely is not) solidified mud. All sit on a mosaic of bathroom tiles.

marguet_B020325ss 2

Other works feature egg-like organic forms in red or blue made from very inorganic-looking materials, assorted frames and block of unidentifiable plastic or foam. Much is made to fit the artist’s imagination, but if sundry objects gleaned from shops and market stalls fit the bill then all the better – not even a worn kitchen dish brush is safe from inclusion in one of Marguet’s unique constructions.


Bizarre and witty captions offer an insight into the thought process behind these striking candy-coloured arrangements: Pending Marshmallow in a Seascape, Postmodern Nude and remote Crocodile Tears are examples..

The delightful range of colours and textures presented within the images immediately invites a tactile response which is firmly denied. These sculptural installations are captured as images before being destroyed. The photograph ultimately therefore becoming the only remaining record of the object. We are left to examine and consider – our imaginations can run wild.


Working at the boundary between sculpture, installation and photography Marguet is fascinated by the use of props and surrogates. Images become objects, the real is concealed and the photograph becomes a mythological or fetishistic object.


Marguet notes ‘Where the image as an object is used to replace or resemble a real thing is what interests me. In particular, I am fascinasted by the implications on how the image become a fetish. Pointing to certain phantasmagoria questions the image as instrument and as a methods of concealment, by which the ‘real’ is hidden and transformed into illusory appearance.’

photo 1 copy 2

The particular series exhibited is entitled Toenail Constellations referencing the notion of self-absorption and projection into a deep space of immensity and fantasy. The ‘toenail’ working as a metaphoric surface which is connected to the local, familiar and intimate. Familiarity and strangeness combine.

Marguet’s work has received widespread recognition including selection for the highly respected Catlin Guide and as a Saatchi ‘New Sensation’. On this evidence more well-deserved acclaim and recognition is sure to follow.

A selection of top quality work is being shown alongside and include John Stezaker, Minhong Pyo, Gilbert & George, Julie Cockburn, Tacita Dean, Virgilio Ferrera,  Martin Parr and Giacomo Brunelli.

Exhibition runs until 5 October 2014

Hugh Mendes Obituaries & Other Works at High House

13 June 2014 § Leave a comment

‘It’s a simple idea, and it’s perfect for the genre. The newspaper, that man-made butterfly that ends its brief but glorious day-long life in the bin, the gutter, or floating piecemeal through a Tube tunnel, is offered up for the kind of sober contemplation that it rarely, if ever, enjoys.’ Kate Quill (The Times)

Hugh Mendes_SYdBarret(CrazyDiamond)

Hugh Mendes has been painting images of newspaper clippings for about ten years now. Most recently he has been working on an ongoing, and never ending, series of obituaries where a life is condensed into a few column inches. Locating a hidden melancholy in our society awash with imagery the relentless stream of stories from the press is halted and everyday death is revealed beneath a grand narrative.

ESTHER Williams Hugh Mendes

A single image, a scrap of newsprint, becomes a heavy token, a memento, even an icon, when rendered in paint. The act of seeing is frozen in time and the act of painting, and therefore sustained concentration, brings a degree of focus and depth to what otherwise would be a fleeting moment in the ephemeral daily press. 

Elizabeth-Taylor-Hugh Mendes

Also shown are a series of works commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Great War. Mendes was actually born on Armistice Day in a British military hospital in Germany: his mother a nurse and his father a British Intelligence code breaker. Using the same approach as with his Obituaries series ephemeral newspaper cuttings are elevated to poignant memorials for those who served and died.

Kevin Ayers Hugh Mendes

A journey in to the Cotswolds is always enjoyable, and this is as good an excuse as any to drop in to High House Gallery – one of the few outposts where you can find real contemporary art outside London.

war activists…Hugh Mendes

Hugh Mendes Obituaries & Other Works is at High House until 29 June 2014

Giacomo Brunelli – Animals at High House Gallery

21 April 2014 § 1 Comment

A duck attacks the lens, a dog snarls at the camera and a toad lies dead in the road. In his own truly unique way Giacomo Brunelli pictures animals unlike any other photographer today. Typical wildlife photography is very much of a kind – candid images taken with long lenses, one imagines the result of hours of patient waiting . It is worthy and pretty but not very, how shall I say, exciting. Brunelli on the other hand records his animal subjects by approaching them provocatively and from unusual angles.Giacomo Brunelli Untitled_Toad

He not only takes his photographs very quickly and almost instinctively but frequently from very close up indeed. We are invited into a different place – where animals are not just neat text book images but as they really are in, what is essentially, a human world. We somehow can empathise more with their experiences, understand their fears and see their problems. Can we perhaps feel their animalistic urban angst?

Giacomo Brunelli

Often working in the early morning he exploits the low light, shadow and contrast. Locations are backyards, streets, small villages, fields and farms. Hopping on his bicycle he will frequently work in the streets and parks local to his Wimbledon home.

Giacomo Brunelli  Untitled_Horse Could

Brunelli entitles this juxtaposition of styles ‘animal focused street photography’. Working entirely in analogue format with an 1960’s Eastern European Miranda Sensomat 35mm camera his practice includes the meticulous hand printing of his photographs as limited editions.

Giacomo Brunelli Bird

I have been fortunately enough to view the work of Giacomo Brunelli at two exhibitions. He has been commissioned by The Photographers Gallery to create a series entitled Eternal London. Using his distinct film-noir style he created a unique and evocative view of the capital and its famous landmarks. This excellent show finishes very shortly whilst Animals, at the wonderful little Oxfordshire space – High House Gallery – only opens this week.

Giacomo Brunelli  Untitled_Horse Cloud

The artist will be present this Thursday 24 April 2014 for an evening preview event from 6-8pm. The gallery advise me that all are welcome but should first rsvp to for an invitation.

Giacomo Brunelli – Animals is at High House Gallery. Exhibition runs from 26 April to 18 May 2014. Open Thursday – Sunday 12am – 6pm

Giacomo Brunelli Untitled_Eternal_London__2012-2013___Giacomo_Brunelli____Courtesy_of_the_artist_and_The_Photographers__Gallery__London-3

Giacomo Brunelli – Eternal London is on until 27 April 2014 at The Photographers Gallery16 – 18 Ramillies St, London W1F 7LW and thereafter by appointment with the sales department.


Artists to Watch – Luke George & Elizabeth Rose

8 December 2013 § Leave a comment

Is it me or have I been noticing more and more artistsic partnerships lately? The likes of Gilbert & George and Jean Claude &  Christo have been around for a while, but more recently it seems that artists working together has become more accepted, with well known pairings like Allora & Calzadilla, Elmgreen & Dragset, Noble & Webster, The Chapman Brothers and Doyle & Mallinson. On top of these more recently emerging or paired up are Nerhol, kennardphillips, Keeler & Tornero, Swales & Sinclair and so on. There is even the notable pretend pairing – Bob & Roberta Smith – that is actually a single artist Patrick Brill.

Griffin Art Prize

Griffin Art Prize

Then there are Luke George & Elizabeth Rose who met at City & Guilds London, and who have recently come to prominence as winners of the Griffin Art Prize (see recent feature) – a newly established prize for recent graduates that is rapidly becoming one of the most important of the London art world.

photo copy 15

As deserved winners they are keen to investigate the possibilities of materials – in their case primarily paint and canvas. They manage to draw a remarkable range of texture and depth from such traditional and well-used materials and their medium to large sized canvases are a joy to examine at any scale.

George and Rose,Gate,2013,220x300,mixed media on canvas copy

Channelling the unpredicatable ‘avenir’ of Derrida (“There is a future which is predictable, programmed, scheduled, foreseeable. But there is a future, l’avenir (to come) which refers to someone who comes whose arrival is totally unexpected.”) they look to shared intuition and “happy accident” to takes the artwork in a entirely new direction.

Georgeand Rose,l'avenir, 2013,153x168,mixedmedia on canvas

They are “excited by the notion of our paintings eventually making themselves; by responding directly to the surfaces and working in such a way that our actions are dictated entirely by the process rather than our own aesthetic needs as individuals.”

Their work is excellent, inventive and attractive – and if it takes two to tango – then why not?

The Griffin Art Prize tours to High House Gallery in the Cotswolds from 18 January to 16 February 2014

Exciting Contemporary Art Arrives in the Cotswolds

20 November 2013 § 2 Comments

‘Exciting’ and ‘contemporary art‘ are not words that you would usually associate with the word ‘Cotswolds‘ – Land Rovers, Labradors and Leaders of the Conservative party perhaps come to mind more readily. Other than a mere handful of galleries in Oxford and Bristol the whole region has a desperate dearth of places where one can reasonably claim to be able to enjoy the type of contemporary art which one could genuinely define as being ‘innovative’ or ‘fresh’.

Jonny Briggs

Jonny Briggs

Fortunately this has now changed. The new owners of an historic grade II listed Victorian gothic mansion (apologies for the mouthful, but that’s exactly what it is) have opened a new contemporary art space, High House Gallery. For the last 18 months they have been bringing all that is innovative and interesting from the London art scene out in to the (contemporary) artistic wilderness that is ‘Poshtershire’.

Adeline de Monseignat

Adeline de Monseignat

Located in Clanfield, close to the border between Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire the indoor space has a rotating exhibition programme whilst the formal gardens have hosted garden displays of contemporary works – do not think stone and bronze, instead how about concrete, glass, steel and whalebone (!).



Exhibitions so far have mostly tented towards the pick of recent graduates from top London art colleges such as Chelsea, St Martins, Goldsmiths and RCA. Lindsey Bull, Gabriella Boyd, Tom Howse and  are excellent examples of HHG artists that should go far.

Gabriella Boyd

Gabriella Boyd

In addition there are a sprinkling of talented overseas artists like the Portuguese photographer Virgilio Ferreira and US artist Andrew Leventis.

Andrew Leventis

Andrew Leventis

Furthermore the gallery not only consults on all aspects of contemporary art but holds a stock of top international artists. Quality pieces are currently available to buy from the likes of George Shaw, John Stezaker, Ryan McGinley and Mariah Robertson.

Mariah Robertson

Mariah Robertson

The big news for the start of next year is that the opening exhibition of the 2014 season features a touring version of the highly regarded Griffin Art Prize. Fitting well with the gallery ethos it is limited to recent (5 year limit) graduates. The shortlist for the prize is currently on show at the Griffin Gallery in West London. For those who have not been able to see the show there its excursion out to the Cotswolds is well worth catching.

Griffin Art Prize

Griffin Art Prize

Visit the High House website to register for news of new exhibitions and events by email, Facebook or Twitter.

Griffin Art Prize 2013 touring show is at High House Gallery 16 January – 16 February 2014.

The Griffin Art Prize 2013 winners – Luke George & Elizabeth Rose

6 November 2013 § 3 Comments

The winner of the prestigious Griffin Art Prize 2013 has just been announced this evening. At the awards event at the Griffin Gallery in West London the artist duo Luke George & Elizabeth Rose were announced as this years deserving winners.

Luke George & Elizabeth Rose

Their expressive painted abstracts wooed the judges Zavier Ellis (from Charlie Smith), Andrew Grassie, Jessica Lack and Jenny Linden Urnes. Subtly coloured and delicate despite their size they are very impressive works and it will be exciting to see their exhibition at Griffin Gallery next year after their near year-long residency.

George & Rose

George & Rose

The prize is an exciting opportunity for emerging artists in painting and drawing and has already built a reputation for producing shortlists and exhibitions featuring some quite outstanding new talent. It is supported by the world’s leading fine art brands, Winsor & NewtonLiquitex and Conté à Paris. The prize offers one outstanding candidate a six month residency in the Studio Building, 21, Evesham street, London W11 4AJ. A large, well-lit studio, materials and a small financial allowance are provided for the winning artist to develop new work for a one-person show in the Griffin Gallery, London W11.


Meanwhile the 20 artists selected for the long list of the Griffin Art Prize 2013 will have their work featured on the Griffin Gallery website and will receive a year’s membership of

An exhibition of 10 short-listed artists will be held in November 2013 at the Griffin Gallery. The short list exhibition will tour to High House Gallery, Oxon in January 2014 and White Moose, Devon,  in February 2014.

Griffin Gallery The Studio Building21 Evesham StreetLondon W11 4AJ   +44 208 424 3239

High House Gallery Main Street, Clanfield, Oxon OX18 2SH  +44 1367 810126

Artist image courtesy of Kallaway Live

Dan McDermott – The Lumiere Project

23 October 2013 § 1 Comment

I recently had the fortune to see the latest exhibition by Dan McDermott at High House Gallery. This is ‘an on-going project’ which he has been working on over the last couple of years alongside his admittedly more commercial works. These are offered through a number of galleries including Alon Zakaim Fine Art in Mayfair.

Lo-res Lumiere, oil on canvas, 2012It has been described as: ‘an investigative journey consisting of paintings, photographs, prints and moving image, all based around one source, The Lumiere Brothers Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat, 1895. One of the earliest examples of cinema, this short film shows a train pulling into a station in France and people entering and alighting and lasts less than one minute.  In The Lumière Project this seminal piece of film becomes a tool through which McDermott explores different notions of time and attempts to reveal a paradox with which we all live on a daily basis – the paradox of the present moment.’

edited Lumiere intillation shots 2013 med-31After fifteen years as a professional artist, with an extensive cv of exhibitions and commissions already under his belt, Dan McDermott recently returned to part time education, completing an MA at City and Guild University in 2010.  Inspired to re-visit his continually expanding archive of film, documentary and TV stills, each one emotionally resonant from their entrapment in the decades in which they were born and forgotten, McDermott identified his long term fascination with the present momentness of past events and embarked on an advanced level of creative inquiry.
edited Lumiere intillation shots 2013 med-43The  Lumière Project marks this significant point of change in the artist’s career. Prescribed by McDermott as an open ended project it consists of paintings, photographs, prints and moving image. This seminal piece of film becomes a tool through which the McDermott explores different notions of time and attempts to reveal a paradox with which we all live on a daily basis – the paradox of the present moment.
edited Lumiere intillation shots 2013 med-39The true nature of the present is described by the French philosopher Henri Bergson as duration. The nature of the present is one of continuous change. It can be seen as pure becoming, which is to say that at every single instant it is outside of itself as it becomes the past. Got that?
The Lumière Project was shown for the first time in its expanded form at High House Gallery from 6 – 21 September  2013.
For further information please contact:
Anstice Oakeshott | 07970 266127 |  or
High House Gallery at 

Griffin Art Prize 2013 Touring Venues Announced

22 October 2013 § 4 Comments

The excellent Griffin Art Prize, sponsored by Colarts, has announced that for the first time it will be touring the south of England. The prize exhibition, which opens on 6 November with an evening Private View and the announcement of this years winner, runs through November at the West London Griffin Gallery.

Rae Hicks

Rae Hicks

First stop for the touring exhibition is High House Gallery in the heart of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds – a wonderful oasis of top quality art in a region where contemporary galleries are more likely to feature watercolours of cows than ones suspended in formalehyde! Provisional dates for the exhibition are 16 January to 16 February 2014. Register your email on their home page to receive updates on the event and an invitation to the opening Private View.

Susannah Douglas

Susannah Douglas

Next up is the fine White Moose Gallery in Barnstable, Devon. Recently opened in a renovated historic hall the gallery combines exhibitions by local artists with a selection of high quality contemporary artists. The exhibition will run from mid February for about four weeks.




High House Gallery, Main Street, Clanfield, Oxon OX18 2SH Tel 01367 810126

White Moose Gallery, Moose Hall, Trinity Street, Barnstaple, Devon EX32 8HX Tel 01271 379872

Griffin Gallery, The Griffin Gallery, The Studio Building, 21 Evesham Street, London W11 4AJ Tel 0208 424 3239

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing entries tagged with high house gallery at a kick up the arts.

%d bloggers like this: