Notes from the Studio

An air of seriousness and enquiring quietness encompass the studio.  It is filled with materials: plastic sheets, a smoke machine, water, boards of frigolite, large paper cut outs of body shapes. Hanna, sitting by the table with a book in her hand, looks at me with a secretive smile - as a magician about to reveal something extraordinary. The book she is perusing is about classicism, or more precisely, Greek sculpture. "Did you know that Chiswick House once received a bequest of one of these sculptural bodies?", she says pointing at a very perfectly shaped Greek sculpture in the[...]

— Read more


Cover of Exh. cat., Serial/Portable Classic: The Greek Canon and Its Mutation, Fondazione Prada, Milan, 2015

Hanna Haaslahti Interviewed by Claire Mander - Part 2

CM: How did you approach your Sculpture Shock residency and making the work? HH: Not in front of a computer screen.  Chiswick House and English Heritage have been very supportive and I have spent many days at the Temple, in the archives and in the grounds. The history of the Ionic Temple is fascinating and many layered.  As with all historical research, as many things are hidden as are revealed. Just as the obelisk that stands in front of it, the Temple itself is a monument and monuments are selective in their statements about past deeds.  Certain[...]

— Read more


Ionic Temple, Chiswick House

Hanna Haaslahti Interviewed by Claire Mander Part 1

CM: Who are the artists, thinkers, theorists from any field of endeavour that you most admire and which have had the greatest impact on your thinking and your work?  HH:  Many people influence my work and thinking as research is an important part of my working process.  At the moment, Timothy Morton, an English philosopher who writes about object-oriented ontology (OOO) is of particular interest. The idea that objects comprise both surface and essence – the surface/appearance being easily comprehensible while the essence can never be seen or known is somehow magical and endlessly sought after. [...]

— Read more


Oase no 7, Fridericaianum, documenta 5, Kassel 1972. Photo: Hein Engelskirchen

Gaps, glitches and speed bumps - Dave Beech

"we understand space as the sphere of the possibility of the existence of multiplicity in the sense of contemporaneous plurality; as the sphere in which distinct trajectories coexist; as the sphere therefore of coexisting heterogeneity." - Doreen Massey Performance is often described in terms of the body, spectatorship, duration, the spoken word, narrative. In art institutions it is included among what has come to be known as time-based practices or live arts. Amelia Jones, for instance, notes that performance has been “privileged precisely through its ephemerality and immediacy”. The current anxiety about the documentation and reenactment of[...]

— Read more


William Mackrell, Gaps, glitches and speed bumps. Thursday 10 September - Sunday 13 September 2015. Image AK Purkiss

William Mackrell Interviewed - Part 2

ZK: As chance encounters and happenings appear to be such an important part of your practice, what kind of preparation and planning goes into each of your pieces? WM: Preparing involves rehearsing the context of a site or situation. With the upcoming public performance being worked towards for September, Gaps, glitches and speed bumps, the singers will have nothing to follow or fall back on, responding instinctively to how their bodies mould with the fluctuating movement of each journey. As my work often tilts speculatively between the possible and the unlikely, chance tends to enter into the work and carries[...]

— Read more


William Mackrell in the Sculpture Shock Studio. Image: A K Purkiss

William Mackrell Interviewed - Part 1

ZK: What made you decide to become a sculptor and when did your interest in performance develop?  WM: The fluidity of working from a sculptural perspective has always appealed to me. Much of my work doesn’t follow a particular medium, its Sculpture’s looseness that embraces my shifting process and the varying materials both made and readymade that I work with. Though sculpture is probably the closest category I identify with, I actually started out studying Painting for my BA when I was at Chelsea College of art, but even over the course I could see[...]

— Read more


William Mackrell, 1000 Candles, 2010. Image: Courtesy of the Artist

Notes from the Studio

Why are certain subjects harder to describe in words than others? Why is it that it has taken me weeks to try to find the right words to describe William Mackrell’s art practice for the Sculpture Shock Abulatory award. A white sheet full of expectations. While it’s fresh and clear in my brain-the words just make me stumble. So here I am stumbling, struggling with too much effort, trying to grasp the right: Language. Language can hinder us, make us be misunderstood, embarrassed. Despite its constructive beauty, the written or spoken language can appear superficial[...]

— Read more


William Mackrell in the Sculpture Shock Studio. Image: A K Purkiss

William Mackrell in Context - Deciphering Duration

Art can explore the concept of time and humanities’ relationship with time in a variety of ways, artists having often chosen to engage with ideas of time through the nature of the medium itself.  As performance art happens in real time a connection with the audience or participants is made as they are fully immersed in the experience of the piece. The fact that, in pieces such as Allan Kaprow’s Happenings, the art existed in a temporal rather than physical sense served to elevate the experience as it itself became the art, as opposed to a[...]

— Read more


Allan Kaprow, Fluids, photographed by Dennis Hopper in Beverly Hills, October 1963