Monday, November 20, 2006

Re-enactment Day at Transition

The sixteenth century re-enactment day at Transition went very well and as promised I am attaching a couple of images of Sigrid Holmwood, Ruth and Mark Goodman in their Tudor clothes

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mixing Paint and Pansies at Transition

It is going to be a busy weekend at Transition. On Saturday 11th November Paul Harfleet is bringing his Pansy Project to the gallery. He will be here between 2&4pm with pansies to give to people who want to mark sites of homophobic abuse. The project really seems to have captured imaginations, there is something funny yet moving about it. Feel free to come along

On Sunday 12th November between 1&5pm Sigrid Holmwood, whose show has been up for a couple of weeks, will be doing a paint making performance in sixteenth century clothes. It is all part of her fascination with re-enactment and later in the afternoon at 3pm she will be talking to Ruth Goodman from The Tudor Group. You will also be able to see Sigrid's hovel (based on a pigsty) that she has built in the corner of the gallery and from which she will be doing her paint mixing. Do not miss - it will be fascinating.

I will post images from both performances when I get them

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Nicole Wermers Earring

This is the earring as mentioned below - pre installation

Laura Owens, Nicole Wermers + lots of Others

As I mentioned in my previous post I have been out and about over the last week or so and have seen loads of art. My favourite things are Laura Owens at Camden Arts Centre, Pat O'Connor at Ashwin Street and Pierre Klossowski at the Whitechapel Gallery. I have also seen Hans Holbein and The Turner Prize at Tate Britain (and that silly Steam Roller thing that everybody is going on about on their blogs), Valesquez at The National Gallery (I thought there was going to be more in it) and Carsten Holler's slides at Tate Modern.

The Camden Arts Centre is a particularly strong candidate for public institution of the month. Laura Owens' show (who I have never been absolutely sure about) is stangely alluring. There is an annoying air of cleverness and fashion about her mish mash of styles and subject matter but there is something about the work which just makes you like it despite yourself. I can't easily talk about any of ther individual works because they are all untitled but there is one huge one with trees and butterflies (I have managed to find an image of it - above) which is really beautiful. Also at Camden is Edwina Ashton who has done a drawn on wallpaper and potted plants installation which is nice and almost my favourite piece - an installation by Nicole Wermers which is a giant earring (flamingo pink and pearly white) pierced onto the side of the gallery.

Oh and remember if you do go to Camden or any of the other galleries you can buy a copy of the new fab Garageland Nature as recommended by Steve Smith on his Golgonooza blog

Garageland, The Nature Issue

The new Garageland is now out and I have spent the last week touring all of the London galleries and art bookshops delivering magazines. The theme this time around is Nature and in particular man's relationship with the natural world.

So if you have any interest in nature and the most exciting new art and art practitioners I advise you to get down to one of our many stockists (not all in London) or buy a copy online. We also do a really great subscription deal - 3 issues for £10 and if you subscribe before the end of November 2006 you might just win a copy of insanely kitsch Alfred Hitchcock, The Master of Suspense by Kees Moerbeek.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


A new show has just opened at Transition - it is the second in the Supernature series and is Annabel Dover's Oriole: The Birds of the British Isles. The show features a papier mache tree full of cute plaster birds. The birds have a distinctive folk art look to them, they could almost be part of some elaborate rural ritual. Annabel is particularly interested in the folklore which grows up around the birds and has made a series of vivd ink drawings which highlight various bird myths. The whole thing is accompanied by the plaintive song of the nightingale (the nightingale sings to attract a mate, the better the song the better the mate). The Oriole in the shows title is an amazing looking golden coloured bird that stops off in East Anglia enroute from America. Apprently one of the ultimate audio experiences is to hear the Oriole singing at the same time as the Nightingale, this is something which happens very rarely because the Oriole generally arrives when the nightingale has finished its courting.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Vacuous Vyner

In this week's Time Out Sarah Kent reviews Vyner Street. Almost inevitably the review annoyed me, it is so easy for her to bluster over the whole of the London contemporary art scene call it vacuous and compare it to the eighties before the stock market crash. This is not the art scene I recognise where we struggle to afford to put on shows by really interesting artists. All those spaces should be applauded I thought. And then this afternoon I had to go to Vyner Street for the first time for ages and I think she is just about right. Although there are good individual pieces of work, overall the street has a really nasty air, a kind of how dare you come into this gallery, who do you think you are attitude about it.

So my advice this weekend is to have a quick look at Vyner Street but then come over to the spaces where the real excitement is. At Transition it is the last week of Laura White's fabulous 'Into the Cold Light', a magical installation of discarded electrical goods and phosphorescent sea creatures, whilst upstairs from us is MOT which has a really interesting sounding Casper David Friedrich show on, oh and then there is Cell + Flaca and it looks like there is something going on in Ada Street and so many others.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Publish and be Damned

Transition Editions took part in Publish and be Damned in Shoreditch yesterday. It was the third time for me and there seemed to be more participants than ever. All the ususal suspects were there Tangent, Sarah Doyle, Rachel Cattle, The High Horse, Interlude and Pin Up. The archive will now be at Canal on Vyner for the next few weeks.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Guardian

I was in the Guardian on Monday, I wasn't going to tell anyone as it was tucked away in the office hours section and its a bit rubbish but what the hell.

Before that I spent a fab birthday weekend at the gorgeous Gravetye Manor pretending I was an aristocrat and then a Sunday morning carbooting at Greatstone.

Also have just had this Saatchi associated blog pointed out to me - I think that Cedar is trying to do a Russell Herron type thing but without the wit. A teeny mention for Rosy Wilde and Vignettes on this entry check out Saturday.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Russell Herron Was There

I urge everyone to check out Russell Herron's blog which documents artworld happenings and openings. It is amazing that he manages to get to so many things I am in absolute awe. I am particulary drawing attention to it now because of course my show - Vignettes has just opened and Russell has done a fab write up

Friday, July 07, 2006

Little Mary

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Rosy Wilde

Vignettes opened at Rosy Wilde on Tuesday. It was a really great private view, lots of people and Stella organised trays of gorgeous Patisserie Valerie canopes which gave the whole occasion a touch of class. I'm really pleased with the way the show looks and if anyone hasn't seen it or the space it is on until 29th July, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 12-6pm. Rosy Wilde is at 79 Wardour Street (above the Anne Summers shop - entrance in Tisbury Court), London W1

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Cathy Lomax

Sad stories of beauty, exploitation and prestige

Rosy Wilde 79 Wardour Street, Soho, London

4th -29th July Thurs, Fri & Sat 12-6pm
Private View Tuesday 4th July 6-8pm

"The women that I always wanted to look like. Sweet little Mary Bell, forever faded in inky newsprint and reproduced again and again. Marina Duchess of Kent, mid century Beatonesque icon, now slipping out of relevance. The Royal Sisterhood, bound by duty. Impossibly beautiful ballerinas

My vignettes are groups of characters fading in and out of history, in and out of my consciousness. These little snippets are brief scenes from a bigger picture, tiny clues that when pieced together make a story. The women inside the paintings are freed from association and regrouped. They cluster together, receding or rising from the frame.

The romance of popular culture is a powerful thing."

Goodbye to the Old, Hello to the New

The recycled weeds have been packed away and the Paperworld show is over. But hey ho life goes on and this week we are installing Things We Lost in the Fire, a beautiful looking show curated by Gordon Dalton. The show opens on Friday evening so why not watch Germany v Argentina and then come along to Transition.

This image is of one of Merlin James's strangely atmospheric paintings

Friday, June 23, 2006


I have a show opening on 4th July at the new Rosy Wilde which is above the Ann Summers shop in Wardour Street. The show is called Vignettes and features a series of paintings which contain either groups of disperate characters or bits of people slipping out of frame.

This painting - Peeress - features the moment from the 1930s coronation where the Peeresses all raise their coronets.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Thumbs Down for an
There is a review for the last show at Transition - Baroque My World in the new June issue of an magazine. Following on from the reviews in Metro and BBC Collective it isn't exactly good but as they say all press is good! So I will refrain from any anti-an talk because it just isn't worth it and just say thank you for the mention. Incidently one of the artists that comes off well is the fab Petros Chrisostomou whose Bigwig illustrates both the an piece and this post.

What would really cheer me up now is for someone, somewhere to come and review our current show - Paperworld which is going down very well with the everyday gallery goers and really deserves a bit of attention.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


Paperworld opened at Transition this weekend and the initial feedback is really good. On Saturday a coach party of Serpentine Gallery patrons decended upon us and although I wasn't there the very capable Sarah Doyle gave them a little talk about the show.

Sarah has been fantastic in the run up to the show and as well as designing the flyer at a moments notice made a window display and a huge Paperworld sign for the back of the 'faux shop'. The most impressive thing however was that she had no fear when I needed to assemble an IKEA cabinet and showed me how to do the whole thing (the trick is to look really carefully at what the men with closed eyes are doing in the instruction drawings)

One of the big hits of the show is Leo Fitzmaurice (Julia Peyton Jones underlined his name on the press release she took away with her) with his modernist town plans, cigarette packet football shirts and rolled holiday brochures. You can read more about him in his profile in the current Garageland magazine.

As well as artworks the show also includes a curated selection of artist made publications including many from the artists participating in the show. I will describe them more in a future post.

The picture above shows the end of the private view and includes Russell Herron, Karen D'Amico and Arabella Lee

Friday, May 05, 2006

Garageland Baroque

The new issue of Garageland has arrived. It's even here in time for its own launch which will be at Transition Gallery this Sunday between 4 and 7pm (7 May) . It looks fab even if I do say so myself and is themed around the Baroque. There are numerous highlights including a fantastically crazy painting of Chantelle by Stella Vine and a short story by Paul Gorman whose new book 'The Look: Adventures in Pop and Rock Fashion' is launched this week.

You can even buy a copy online

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Good and Bad

The last few weeks have not been good (mainly because my laptop got stolen and of course hardly anything was backed up) but despite lots of little disasters there have been good things happening. Transition is now settled in to its new home in Regents Studios E8 and our first show here has been great. The private view was massively busy and there has been lots of press - I have put links in at the bottom of the Baroque My World home page. You can read the entertaining account of this private view and many others on Russell Herron's blog
Lots Of Art in Chicago

If anyone reading this lives in Chicago they must immediately go along to Art Chicago (it is on until tomorrow) because Rosy Wilde are there and there is some fab stuff on show.

Also in Chicago are The Clapham Art Gallery who are at the NOVA Art Fair at the City Suites Hotel, 933. West Belmont, Chicago. They have a good selection of artists on show including some of my Alleyoops series.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Becks Futures at The ICA

Very good this year. I like loads of it but my absolute (surprise) favourite is Seb Patane. His was the first work I saw as entered the lower gallery. It consists of a large monitor on the floor, a set of proper, big speakers, a large drawing of a mountain (which has some kind of occult connection – one of the themes of the moment) and one of his Victorian photos with ink blot type drawing obscuring part of it. The video and the soundtrack are the big hits for me. The video shows two men wearing old fashioned, Tyrolean mountain climbing gear against a white background. One of them is leaning on the other and neither of their faces is visible. Although it is ostensively a series of still images they occasionally wobble and sway with the physical effort of leaning and supporting. There is an impression of painful endurance about their performance. To accompany this there is a loud soundtrack of what I would ignorantly describe as mindless dance music but which I have since been told (thank you Russell) was Hardcore. For some reason this whole thing is ridiculously moving.

I also liked Daniel Sinsel a lot, his delicacy and precision is really gorgeous and I love the idea of painting on an eggshell.

So in agreement with all the other reviews I’ve read Beck’s Futures knocks the Tate Triennial into a cocked hat.

Oh and Seb has a solo show at Bureau in Salford until April 29th

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Openings and Closings

Since my last post lots has happened:

- I have been on a very short holiday to the Scilly Isles where it mostly rained.

- Godwottery has finished and Transition in Lauriston Road has pulled down its shutter for the last time. Everybody who has told me that they really loved the space and its such a shame that we are moving should have 1: told me this while we were open, 2: try sitting in a freezing cold garage for 5 hours in sub zero temperatures with no punters, 3: open their own gallery.

- Stella Vine is well on the way towards opening the fab Rosy Wilde mark 2 in Soho. She is brimming over with exciting new ways of doing the gallery thing. It is fantastically refreshing and a real antidote to all that art world subfusc intellect, shark like commercial dealing and basically nasty backstabbing. Check out its progress at her always entertaining blog.

- Very excitingly me and Stella are going to be doing a show together in September called Sweet Love and Romance at a venue yet to be confirmed. Watch this space for more details.

- I have a solo show opening at LANGE GASSE 28 artist studio in Augsburg Germany on 7th April. It is called Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary and features a series of obsessive, repeated paintings of Mary Bell.

- I went to a very exciting party for the launch of GQ Style with Stella. We had a great journey to the Bond Street venue, winding our way through an Absolute Beginners esque soho and stopping off to check out the new Rosy Wilde. The highlight at the party was the appearance of Chantelle and Preston accompanied by legions of bulb flashing paps. They looked really cute and like they were really loving it.

- Everything is coming along nicely at the new Transition venue and hopefully it should all be ready for the opening of Baroque My World on friday night (7th April 6-9pm in case you wanna come along).

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Andrew Mania

Went to see Andrew Mania's show at the weekend at Vilma Gold - it is fantastic, my absolute favourite thing of the moment. Mania's show at the Chisenhale was great but I think that this one is even better. The show is billed as a collaboration between Andrew Mania and Carl Van Vechten but is really more Mania's homage to Van Vechten who is an American photographer who died in 1964. Van Vechten's photographs have that slightly campy, aesthete, early 2oth Century look and interestingly all of the works in the show are from Mania's own collection.

So to the show... The gallery is dark and Mania has placed the photographs in little shrine like groups, some propped up on shelves, surrounded by bits of his own work and other found objects. The light that there is in the gallery is supplied by different coloured light bulbs, which are clipped on to various gallery objects. The whole show has a faded, nostalgic, decadence to it, when you leave the gallery you are left with a real sense of something that is hard to put into words, something akin to a romantic mood or a seductive smell that lingers in your nostrils.

Vilma Gold don't really give a whole lot away about the show on their site so I'm afraid that the image I've pasted in doesn't really describe the experience at all.

I first came across Andrew Mania when Annabel Dover wrote about him and how she wanted to marry him in the Our Idols issue of Arty and then again in Arty Greatest Hits, Lady Lucy named him as one of her great Bristolians.

Friday, March 10, 2006


I'm invigilating today and tomorrow at Transition where we are showing the zany, Godwottery a show by Jacob Cartwight and Nick Jordan. The show is made up of a series of small pieces which are like bits of a jigsaw which don't quite fit together. My favourite pieces are Minotaur - a speaker from an old gramophone fixed on to a miking stool which croaks like a bullfrog, Edgar - a creepy black and white film about a magpie and a crane which references hanging and gallows and The Last Dream of Francois Mitterand - a triptych of paintings by Jacob Cartwright which is jam packed full of references, including stories about the little bird that appears in painting c. Jacob has sent us a whole ream of stuff about it and I am pasting in a bit below -

"When François Mitterand, the former president of France, realized that he would soon die of prostate cancer, he engaged in a stupendous act of abligurition; that is, he squandered a small fortune on a lavish and bizarre meal for himself and thirty friends. The meal included oysters, foie gras, and caviar, but the piece-de-resistance was roast ortolan, a tiny songbird that is actually illegal to consume in France. Traditionally, the two-ounce warbler is eaten whole, bones and all, while the diner leans forward over the table with a large napkin draped over his head. The napkin, according to food lore, serves two functions: it traps and concentrates the aroma of the petite dish, and it conceals the shameful exorbitance of the meal — the abliguration — from the eyes of God. In origin, the word abliguration derives from the Latin preposition ab, meaning "away," and the verb ligurire, meaning "to eat delicately." Even further back, ligurire evolved from lingere, meaning "to lick," which is also connected to cunnilingus and linguine. As for the ortolan, the tasty object of Mitterand's abliguration, its name means "gardener" in Provençal, and it derives from the Latin hortus, meaning "garden." "

There is more about Jacob and Nick in the current issue of Garageland magazine which is available at Transition, and all good bookshops!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Tate Triennial

I have been to see the Tate Triennial today and it has made me very depressed. I saw the review of it on Newsnight Review on Friday night and Mark Kemode and Ekow Eshun remarked that it was impenetrable and it surely is that.

It is curated by someone outside the British art scene and although the overall theme of appropriating and reusing material is fine, the artists that she has chosen are bizarre. I have never heard of loads of them and what Cosey Fanni Tutti has to do with the current art scene I really am not sure... blah blah blah.

As far as I'm concerned London is the most exciting art producing place in the world at the moment, there is a whole new movement afoot that combines making and thinking. So why the Tate has chosen an outside curator I'm not sure and maybe because of this the show is all about that old style thinking art, that same boring old conceptual "I don't need to make any work myself its all about the ideas" stuff (yes I know there are painters in it but they are mostly so tight, there is none of that 2006 exuberance). How much more exciting would it have been to see the inclusion of artists such as Zoe Mendelson, Stella Vine, Sigrid Holmwood, Andrew Bracey etc etc.

The image I have included is from pretty much my favourite piece in the show and is by Jonathon Monk. However when you read the show notes everything is ruined when you find out that "Monk has pinned a different coloured drawing pin to the ear of each woman depicted in these anonymous portrait drawings from the 1930s, found in a flea market in Berlin. Through this simple act he attaches the work to the wall and claims another artist's work as his own, questioning notions of authenticity and authorship." - I only have one word for this - Lame - this has been said and done before so many times. He should just make some beautiful drawings himself or display these and make apparent their origins. The drawing pin authorship debate is nonsense and cliched.

I may well write a proper review for the new issue of The Critical Friend. So look out for that at The ICA etc, soon.

Friday, March 03, 2006


Finally after what seems like months the new Arty has arrived back from the printers. It is very different from before because it is now A4, it is printed rather than photocopied, it has an extra colour and it is what I am calling more 'practice based'. By this I mean that each issue will have fewer contributers but that they will each have more space to develop their themes. Contributors will be chosen because their work in some way adds to or clashes with the chosen theme of the issue.

It is good for Arty to have a change and now that Transition Editions publishes Garageland which contains some of the forthright and opinionated writing that was the old Arty it gives new Arty a chance to develop a different identity. I am also trying to link Arty a lot more to my own interests and painting practice. Putting it together is such a personal, labour intensive thing that it makes sense for it to join up with my other work. So fear not it still has that undesigned haphazard look about it!

Anyway it looks pretty good and I am quite pleased with it but printing rather than photocopying raises all sorts of different problems (not the least of which is the cost!)

So... please get out there and buy a copy. It is already in Transition and will be at other stockists over the weekend (some maybe not until next week)

Contributors for this dark issue are Rachel Cattle, Annabel Dover, Sian Emmison, Alex Michon and me

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Garageland Magazine

Transition has a new magazine - the fantastic Garageland. It is available at all the usual places and a few more.

The magazine takes themes that arise from shows at Transition and expands on them to create a reference book about the chosen subject. The current issue no.1 is all about Machismo. Issue 2 (due out in May) is Baroque and issue 3 is Nature.

My contribution to issue 1 is a series of paintings and texts about skinhead girls.
So Macho