TBA 002: OCCUPATION

The choice to title our second show Occupation is located in the name and place of The Shoe Factory itself in the context of our community, and how we respond to notions of the art object’s occupation as physical and epistemological  space, occupation as work and occupation as protest. As sites such as The Shoe Factory demonstrate, Norwich artists increasingly occupy spaces left empty by changing economic, cultural and industrial conditions. While churches in the city centre have long been turned over to arts and crafts communities to maintain historical buildings as the demands for them as spaces of religious worship has declined, high street shops and factories left empty stand as signifiers for the failure of consumer and industrial capitalisms to sustain themselves in everyday communal sites, into the 21st Century. As we acknowledge and position ourselves within these contexts of our community and its connection to industry and production, we also examine the changing meaning of the art object itself as it occupies these shifting realms. 

 

We also incite questions around occupations past of these spaces and how the industrial labour therein created a community of workers. As Norwich businesses and enterprises continue to name themselves after the addresses of the buildings they inhabit or the sites of work for which these buildings were once used, clutching at the spectre of past industrial working communities to which the majority of city dwellers no longer or have never felt attached, this motif is more than an everyday rendering of the postmodern condition. It renders the idea of use rather than a practice of use; it references the memory of industry in the pursuit of authenticity and identity in the locale; it layers former meanings until the space itself is left without, what we might try and define as, real meaning. 

 

What we reference here is not, ironically, a new criticism of late capitalism: that our abilities to perceive meaning have been compromised by the overwhelming simulation of reality, a hyperreality (Baudrillard, 1981), wherein meaning itself is overwhelmed by the blurred and infinite interconnectivity of cultural artefacts, and that this condition is responsible for the subsequent disconnection of people, leading ultimately to the loss of community (Macdonald, 1953; Thomson, 2005). 

 

However, our intervention into this is site specific, contextualising this exhibition in the active shifting landscape of the community space and how we, as artists, participate in its Occupation; as a participant at our first show at Nunn’s Yard wrote on the community piece, which you can see on display at on the ground floor of The Shoe Factory, Community Will Thrive if you Give it a Home. 

 

Baudrillard, Jean (1981) Simulacres et Simulation. Éditions Galilée

 

Macdonald, Dwight (1953) ‘A Theory of Mass Culture’, Diogenes, 1(3), pp.1-17 

 

Thomas, Irene Taviss (2005) The Theory That Won't Die: From Mass Society to the Decline of Social Capital, Sociological Forum, 20 (3), pp. 421-448

- Text by Erica Horton

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Rob Terrestrial

Rob Terrestrial’s audio-visual installation explores ideas of space and memories. Having spent time with participants, discussing the places that are important to them, documenting them in the work. This installation allows artist, and audience alike, to explore themes of travel, space and personal connections to their surroundings.

 

White/Black/Red 1 - 7

2018 - 2019

Pen and Ink on Paper

 

Movement / Space / Dialogue

2019

Multimedia Installation

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Richard Wood

Exploring the way that place is defined and redefined by language, industry, culture and subculture, Richard Wood is a graphic designer who works with traditional and contemporary processes including signwriting, gilding and printmaking.

Gweilo

2019

Enamel on Wood

Man Mo

2019

Risograph Print

Sham Shui Po

2019

Risograph Print

Mong Kok

2019

Risograph Print

Racer X

2018

Risograph Print

Mustard City

2018

Enamel on Board

Boots

2018

Risograph Print

Gardens of Gods

2019

Risograph Print

It Is What It Is...

2019

Risograph Print

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Ingrida Bagdonaite

Ingrid Bagdonaite’s current work explores a society where self-image is overloaded and overrepresented. She is interested in disconnection and abandonment of individual through spaces that are cultural, institutional and discursive, that are somehow ‘other’: disturbing, intense, incompatible, contradictory or transforming. Places that have more meaning than meets the eye at first glance, spaces that somehow are transitory or are empowering the spectator by being connected to others. 

Clock In / Out

2019

Ink on Paper

Space Without Title

2019

Ink on Paper

Transition

2019

Charcoal on Paper

Formations

2019

Charcoal on Paper

Ephemeral

2019

Charcoal on Paper

Diptych 'Gathering'

2019

Charcoal on Paper

Filipa

2019

Ink on Paper

Elevation

2019

Ink on Paper

One O'Clock and Heading Nowhere

2019

Oil on Canvas

Richard & Rosie

2019

Oil on Canvas

Determination

2019

Oil on Canvas

Animal Farm

2019

Oil on Canvas

Waiting

2018

Oil on Canvas

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Harriet Grace Catchpole

Harriet Grace Catchpole is interested in traditional military heraldry and how this idea can be reconfigured to create crests and emblems relevant to the modern age. The idea being that contemporary living, replete with rising mental health crises, environmental toxicity, and ever dissolving boundaries between reality and fiction in our digital lives, is analogous to a kind of spiritual warfare, for which we must adopt the discipline and bravery of the archetypal warrior, if we wish to combat the vast spectre cast by high velocity modern age living.

Heraldry for the Modern Age

1. Robots.  2. Gaga.  3. Craziness.  4. Malaise.  5. Fucked.  6. Art.  7. Cunt.  8. Brexit.  9. WTF.  10. Mental.  

2019

Photocopied Drawing

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Liam Ashley Clark

Liam Ashley Clark’s gravestones are an experiment in pushing drawing works into 3D objects. Through the black comedy of the text and the naive cardboard construction the subject matter of mortality becomes more approachable for the viewer. The artist’s interest is not only in the subject of death, but also how cultures celebrate and remember the dead, the associated rituals and the time and space we give to them.

Gravestones

2018

Spray Paint and Chalkboard Paint on Cardboard with Gaffer Tape

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Chris Geale Richford

Chris Richford is fascinated by the potential of repeat pattern design in his printing practice. As a decorative medium it connects the personal to the communal and further to the continuum of cultural aesthetics through the ages. The patterns themselves most repeated as a form of mandala: initially a physical connection to the spiritual or divine, then to the ideals of high culture and the bourgeoisie and finally as a commodity for subscribed expression, an edifice enclosing capitalism. His work aims to create a simultaneously profaned and sanctified space with this new installation, drawing this narrative of descent together with the oldest hero’s journey, the epic of Gilgamesh and his personal experience and revealing the spheres of the self and the community as, experientially one and the same.

The Eye In We In Them In Me For Our Entire Life Until I Die

2019

Mixed Media Installation

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Erica Horton

Text & Installation

2019

Cardboard, Spray Paint and Emulsion

 

 

Selected Artists

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Kristoff Lamb

Kristoff Lamb take’s photos with a drone to create his digital collages. He is attracted to the ‘ordinary’ over the ‘spectacular’, which appears to be an attempt to reveal the strange beauty of the everyday. His collage process varies for each work, accentuating and sometimes imposing patterns or symmetries and creating tension between representation and abstraction. The combination of the drone’s eye view and the digital manipulations gives a new perspective on our own relationship to the world around us. In particular, it speaks to the awesome power of the human species to alter its environment, for better and for worse. In the UK, at least, hardly a square inch of the landscape has not been shaped by human hands: even areas of wilderness have become artefacts of our decisions. In this sense, the pictures form a portrait of our human occupation of the natural world. 

Seaside

2019

Digital Print

S-Bend

2019

Digital Print

A Lot of Allotments

2018

Digital Print

Harvest

2019

Digital Print

Development

2019

Digital Print

Panel Show

2019

Video

Pyramid Scheme

2019

Digital Print

New Build

2018

Digital Print

The Marshian

2019

Digital Print

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Sam Elliot

Sam Elliot uses the tactile and meditative qualities of collage to address an increasingly fractured world. Abstract compositions are created intuitively inviting the audience to consider the ways in which humanity understands, interacts and changes its environment.

Structure

2019

Paper Collage

Structure (Pinch)

2017

Paper Collage

Dream

2019

Paper Collage

Network

2019

Paper Collage

Structure (Flow)

2019

Paper Collage

The Magicians Snug

2018

Paper Collage

Monochrome Composition

2019

Paper Collage

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Kevin Parker

Kevin Parker’s portraits are process based works, the fun is in the making; the layering and removal, adding and subtracting until the image is seen as finished by the artist. His history is in graffiti halls of fame* derelict and non-public spaces, building sites. These places have a different vibration; industrial materials get put through their paces, layers are revealed by the elements and strange transactions take place. These are then replaced or covered as the new replaces the old, often in economical fashion and it becomes a war of attrition.

This world comes into the work, as if by osmosis. The process does its own thing, the artist can mediate where he can, and coerce the aerosol paints, paint strippers, wallpapers, plaster, emulsions, bitumen, dust, wire brushes, spray bottles of turps, petrol, bleach, sanders, tape - but sometimes they are insouciant children. Works are painted over and re-worked numerous times.

The ‘Poledancers’ series reflects the artists ongoing love of collage, as a mechanism for punning, and his interest in how new and consoling things can grow out of something facile.  *A hall of fame is a dedicated space for graffiti writers to produce ‘burners’. Some of these are less than salubrious shitholes and often illegal in nature. 

West Coast Patwa

2018 - 19

Mixed Media

Norfolk Girls

2018 - 19

Mixed Media

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Moroccan Mint Tea

2018 - 19

Mixed Media

Poledancers (1 - 4)

2019

Mixed Media

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Tracey Meeks

Tracey Meek is an artist based in Derby, originally from Middlesbrough. Her work is instinctual and flows through various methods and mediums, from 2D visual art forms such as watercolour and collage in illustration to ceramic and further sculpture. At times there is a clear illustrative style with a focus on people, character and narrative and at others, any human influence is stripped away to texture and colour, often with a link to nature, the detailed natural observations in geology and ecology such as eukaryotic organisms, mineral forms and marine invertebrates. 

Occupy

Oc-cu-py

tr.v. oc·cu·pied, oc·cu·py·ing, oc·cu·pies

1.Reside or have ones place of business.

i. 'A thick tangle of weeds spent some time there, soaking up the sun and drinking down the rain.'

ii. 'Sir Lancasters' brain has remained motionless and without thought in a glass jar for over 200 years and now shares a shelf with a two headed cat and a letter from Pablo Escobar in the Victor Wynd Museum of Curriosities, where time stays still for inquisitive eyes.

2. Fill or occupy the mind.

i. 'Her mind was occupied with alarming questions.'

ii.'I held onto you in my mind and in my heart, until the fifth spring when the air changed, and it was time to let you go.'

The occupation of transience and object hold equal importance. A physical treasure can occupy a number of different spaces and see many lifetimes pass, and a thought or feeling can be held onto and transformed into energy that can pass down through generations. 

Occupy My Mind

2019

Ceramics and Mixed Media

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Alex Day

Alex Day is a textile artist and feminist art historian, working with found media and everyday objects.  Following a BA in Fine Art and Art History at Manchester School of Art and an MA in Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths London, Alex currently works out of a studio in the city centre of Norwich.

Found Shopping Lists (1 - 5)

2018

Embroidered Material

Graffiti (Norwich I)

2019

Embroidered Material

Graffiti (Norwich II)

2019

Embroidered Material

Graffiti (Manchester)

2019

Embroidered Material

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Jemma Watts

Jemma Watts’ practice is centred around ceramics and sculptural forms, with an interest in transforming the familiar into the strange. This new work is an ephemeral construction of mostly found object questioning ideas of space, reality, communication and interaction. Constructions of communication, their material success is fraudulent and ultimately illusory, however, there are other ways of thinking, other realities, other ways with interacting with society.

Promulgate

2019

Mixed Media Installation

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