Meryl McMaster: As Immense as the Sky

Anneka French reviews a solo show of work by Meryl McMaster, her first in the UK – via Photomonitor

The 6 bursary artists for Living Memory have been announced. Working alongside 6 commissioned artists, the bursary artists will be working with partner venues across the Black Country to undertake new research circling community, archives and photography in Sandwell.

The Sower/ Aleppo Pine (2017), Fred Hubble.

Frederick Hubble: Hypha 
Launch: Friday 24 May 4pm – 7pm
Opening hours: 24 May – 7 June 2019
KH7artspace, Sydhavnsgade 7, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark


The Sower/ Aleppo Pine (2017), Frederick Hubble.

KH7artspace is delighted to present the first international solo exhibition by UK artist Frederick Hubble.

Through materials including glass, water, snow, chocolate, fish, wine, wood and brass, Hubble’s practice responds to place through sculpture, video, photography, performance, drawing and ephemeral gesture.

For Hypha, Hubble will transform the gallery with a body of new site-specific works that respond to the contexts of Aarhus and its surrounding areas.

Hypha takes its title from the branching filaments that form mycelium in fungi. Using this natural structure as a starting point, the exhibition brings together interconnected spaces, places and peoples.

 From the cool of the forests, to the saltiness of the sea and the blueness of the sky, Hypha explores climate, transit and the changing experiences of place that link Aarhus to the West Midlands region of central England.

The idea of the “foreigner” and the skewed Romantic ideals (both historic and contemporary) attached to international travel, the impact of tourism and the slow unfolding of time all play a part in the works produced for KH7.

Via Hypha, the gallery becomes a site of production, experimentation and display, with works made in anticipation of the exhibition, as a direct response to the site and after the exhibition ends as part of the ongoing legacy of Hubble’s practice.

Hypha is curated by UK-based curator and writer Anneka French, with critical curatorial support from artist Mette Boel.

Fred Hubble (b. 1993 Birmingham, UK) received his MA Fine Art from Birmingham School of Art, Birmingham City University, UK in 2016. Recent exhibitions include Forward, Medicine Gallery, Birmingham, curated by Ikon Gallery (2019); Silent Stage, Yaga Gathering, near Vilnius, Lithuania (2018); Firn, Asylum Gallery, Wolverhampton (2018); Slow Cooker, Stryx, Birmingham (2017); Lunch at the Nipple Dome, Art Licks, London (2017) and The Twin, Coventry Biennial of Contemporary Art (upcoming). He has undertaken residencies at JOYA Arte + Ecologia, Sierra Maria, Almeria, Spain and at Stryx, Birmingham (both 2017).
The exhibition is generously supported by Aarhus Kulturudviklingspulje

New Art West Midlands alumni artist Frederick Hubble is currently showing at KH7artspace, Aarhus, Denmark. Curated by our Project Co-ordinator Anneka French, Hypha is Fred’s first international solo exhibition.

Clare Woods - Something Bigger

Anneka French interviews Herefordshire-based Clare Woods on her solo exhibition at the Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, for a-n news.

Longbridge Light Festival reportage

The Longbridge Light Festival Shadow Factory (LLF) in October 2016 marked the near culmination of 5 years of the Longbridge Public Art Programme (LPAP). LPAP and LLF are interrelated, devised and produced by independent art organisation WERK, who specialise in working site-specifically in the urban realm.

The large-scale LLF event featured 35 artists and took place across a range of public, retail and education spaces both indoors and out. Its intention was to encourage visitors to explore the urban landscape through light, art and curious encounters in unusual places.

In the past 5 years, LPAP has encompassed a long-term artist residency and public event programme embedded within one of the largest regeneration schemes in the UK, and within one of the most historically significant areas relating to British car manufacturing – Longbridge in the south of Birmingham. Once the site of a thriving motor factory (1905-2005), Longbridge has been in the midst of massive regeneration after a long fallow period. WERK’s creation of both LPAP and LLF are at their heart about the history, transformation and recreation of Longbridge. They are also, perhaps most importantly, for Longbridge.

Core objectives for both the project and festival were to explore place making, socially engaged and new genre public art practice by placing this approach at the heart of this unique and complex development. Within the long-term artist residency and guest artist programme, incremental artist commissioning has involved a wide range of artistic practices, with the intention to mirror important junctures within the regeneration scheme and the significant transition of the area.

LLF 2016 and its theme Shadow Factory curated by Claire Farrell, WERK, related to the history of Longbridge and explored the multiple social, physical and political narratives that are embedded within the area including its industry. Shadow Factory featured an ensemble of installations, interactions, fleeting interventions, performance and experiences devised and made by artists from Birmingham, elsewhere in the UK, Spain, Germany and the USA. The result was a notable body of newly commissioned temporary and permanent work for Longbridge.

Many of the artists were part of the LPAP long-term residency programme making work through extensive research, sensitivity and close collaboration with members of the community and local groups in response to the population, heritage and possible future of the site. The festival further included a series of dance and music performances, street food and family activities assembled to activate the new built environment.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter, General Public, 2016

One of the centrepieces of LLF, for instance, was a community parade devised by artist duo General Public who brought a touch of 1960s idealism with their ‘very civil’ rights march. Taking its title from a Martin Luther King quote Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter, the parade featured local community groups and school children marching with banners and placards, made by the people that took part, highlighting the things that are important to them.

Among other works, artist Cathy Wade developed a community garden at Longbridge train station, created and tended to by local residents and showcased three other commissions as a result of her long-term residency. Wade’s Star Map is a visualisation of the night sky over Longbridge at the time of Lord Austin’s visit to select the site for the car plant, while Found Sculpture: Sightlines of Longbridge used light to transform redundant elements of local architecture into markers of industry and as an enduring signal of the ingenuity and creativity that evolved industry in Longbridge. She also devised a permanent lighting and planting scheme situated across the regenerated site.

Artist duo Industry of the Ordinary spent time with Greenlands Select Social Club and installed new sculptural doors on its façade that record the names of every member in its history alongside oral history recordings emitted during LLF. Longbridge TV, a project by Emily Warner and Sarah Taylor Silverwood, saw the creation of a playful video project made in collaboration with local residents who shared advice, tips and hacks with their community shown on a large screen outside Bournville College.

Partnerships with businesses and other on-site organisations have proven vital and unique site archives have been mined by the artists working commissioned for LLF and LPAP. Matthew J Watkins’ commission using archival photographs, for example, was shown on digital and slide projectors for Marks & Spencer’s large window and is testament to the effective partnership working that LPAP has achieved. Sited within a multi-storey carpark, Bobby Gardner and Anna Schimkat’s experiential work featured a choir of local voices, sound and coloured light. Ian Richards exhibited Serodiscordant and A New Death in an empty retail unit in Longbridge, a series of new text-based works that suggested a clandestine domain of secret languages and communication systems. Stuart Whipps developed a number of audio, photographic and process-based works exploring Longbridge in the 1970s with multiple archival sources and the help of former plant workers who have generously volunteered their time.

Other notable works were produced by Juneau Projects, Gizzago, Sam Williams, Joseph Potts, Mark Murphy, Dan Newso and Luke Perry. Barcelona-based collective PlayMID presented their large-scale work Axial made using beams of light and reverberating sound to animate Longbridge’s outdoor space. This was one of the most striking works from LLF and served as a dramatic tribute to Longbridge’s industrial past.

Text by Anneka French




Watch a new video highlighting the light-based artworks commissioned for Longbridge Light Festival 2016.