dividing line at high house gallery

6 October 2012 § 1 Comment

Running alongside Imagined Pasts / Unknown Futures (see recent post) at the Oxfordshire High House Gallery is the sculpture exhibition Dividing Line. This takes place in the beautiful formal gardens that run around the Gothic grade II listed mansion. If you did not quite feel that a visit to Imagined Pasts / Unknown Futures was good enough a reason to cruise out in to the lovely Oxfordshire countryside then this should more than tip the balance. 

The dividing line of the title stands as a conceptual separation or distinction; a line from which contrasts can be observed and old ideas re-examined. This exhibition boldly aiming to “spotlight contemporary outdoor sculpture that has escaped the tradition of re-regurgitating stale figurative and modernist modes.”

This is a bold statement and a brave exhibition to hold right in the beating traditional heart of conservative  ‘Middle England’ – in David Cameron‘s home constituency infact. Whilst it is possible to site examples of contemporary outdoor sculpture within the public realm, the private market – and no doubt especially here – still trends towards more historically established styles. 

At High House shunning conventional expectations has allowed the exhibiting artists to create outdoor sculpture that embodies truly contemporary themes, materials, production and ideas. Many of the participating artists are primarily known for their indoor works; and in some cases this exhibition presents their first foray into outdoor sculpture. 

Nika Neelova‘s Partings is the first work to greet you to the garden – quite appropriate since its main feature is a door. Cast in black concrete from an original from Somerset House it is a bold an powerful statement on the old vs new theme. Adeline de Monsegnat‘s contribution is Mother HEB – a blown glass ball filled with red fox fur (vintage of course!) – a surrealist style object that reflects the light, building and surrounding gardens to great effect. Her tubular Spworms emerge from the water features elsewhere in the garden.

Other strong works are Alex Chinneck‘s Concrete Cross Dresser – a playful concrete version of a Persian Carpet, Amy Stephens‘ Social Pod which gives new life and meaning to whale vertebrae which are mounted on steel poles like re-imagined fighter-jets and Jiho Won‘s self-explanatory Transformed Memory.

The exhibition is an excellent cohesive whole where the works bravely fit the formal Victorian garden beautifully. It does beg the question of whether the locals in a region where red corduroy trousers matched with some green tweed is considered the height of good taste ever be persuaded that a concrete door supported from a charred pole is a sensible garden sculpture? I am intrigued to discover the answer, although I would be more sure that the red fox fur  inside a glass ball (of Adeline de Monsegnat’s Mother HEB) will at least find some support with the hunt followers.

You can visit and make your own decisions up to 14 October 2012. (I understand that although this is the official end of the exhibition most sculptures will be installed until 29 October 2012. You may wish to call to arrange a visit after the official exhibition closes).

Exhibition curated by Sumarrialunn in co-operation with High House Gallery.

high house private view

27 June 2012 § 2 Comments

The extremely observant amongst you will have noticed that my last blog referred to our new gallery – High House. This is located in the leafy village of Clanfield in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds– which I would note lies in the UK for our followers in strange and distant lands.

Harry Hill Batting Stallions

The exhibition will comprise The Momentarily Absurd – a look at humour in contemporary art – in the gallery space, whilst outdoors in the gardens will be Dividing Line – gallery sculpture ‘crossing the line’ to be shown outdoors.

Nika Neelova Partings

The gallery opens is hosting a champagne Private View weekend on the 14/15 July. I will send an email invitation to those email followers who are able – and willing – to come along. To other, please click on one of the links to the gallery website, where you will be able to register with your email address. All those registering before the PV weekend will be sent an invitation.

Glen Baxter

I hope you can make it and look forward to seeing you there!

Doyle & Mallinson Wendy Squat (3)

I will attempt to make a few blogs and feature some of the exciting artists that we’ll be showing – keep your eyes peeled!

Julie Cockburn Bird

High House
Clanfield
Oxon
OX18 2SH

beyond ourselves at the royal society

10 April 2011 § Leave a comment

Chris Dunseath

Beyond Ourselves is a fascinating new exhibition staged in the dramatic surrounds of  The Royal Society.  At first it’s difficult not to become overly distracted by the spectacular Venetian style marble hall – a fitting home to the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence – or the glass cases crammed with ancient artifacts belonging to the world’s most eminent scientists (one can even view a piece of wood purported to be from Isaac Newton’s apple tree!). But then it soon becomes apparent that the exhibits residing outside the glass should be as equally commanding of our attention.

 

Central to art practice is the artist’s subjective opinion or interpretation of the world. Science and maths cannot be directly latched onto this as by nature, they seek out a more objective truth. However, there is a crossover as both artists and scientists are looking at the world and trying to understand it. Beyond Ourselves investigates the nature of scientific discovery through the artist’s eye and the results are intriguing to say the least.

Chooc Ly Tan – Problems

This exhibition brings together six innovative contemporary artists who have all placed the potential of enquiry and thought at the core of their work. Ingrid Hinton, curator comments that ‘these artists are encouraging the viewer to consider the role of imagination in our quest to understand our world better. Their interest lies in creating innovative work that seeks to inspire all of us to question what we know and do not know. I would like the viewer to feel as though a door has been opened for them.’

Sam Knowles

The exhibition should not be missed – at the very least to get a glimpse in to the beautiful interior of the Royal Society.

It is open to the public with no prior arrangement necessary: 11, 18 & 28 April, 11am – 4pm or by appointment.

Further dates will be announced, please visit www.beyondourselves.eu for more information

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