Axe Head Collective Joins GS Artists

AXE HEAD COLLECTIVE @ GS ARTISTS 10 19 Photo by Mitja Zupanc

GS Artists is pleased to welcome as interns the Axe Head Collective, four postgraduate Swansea College artists.

Axe Head to Everything at GS Artists, October 2019
Photograph by Dylan Fyodor Monk

Axe Head Collective was founded in 2017 by four UWTSD Swansea College of Art Fine Art undergraduates, Alina Skorohoda, Demian Johnston, Jeremy Gluck, and Melissa Rodrigues, who, having become friends and discovered an ease in communication and collaboration, determined to curate a self-directed group show at Volcano Theatre.

Named after a quip from Alina, to considerable aplomb the first Axe Head to Everything show took place in March 2018 at Volcano, featuring nine UWTSD undergrad fine artists. The following November the four curated a show of their work exclusively for Creative Bubble, Studio 95 – Promote Harder. And in March 2019, the second Axe Head to Everything show, subtitled Cut & Run, took place at Volcano.

With work spanning painting, installation, video, sound art, and digital art, the Collective aspires to collaborate with and celebrate Swansea’s thriving art community, curating further shows and soon seeking funding to this end.

Interning at GS Artists is a fantastic step forward for the Collective, and for GS Artists will bring to the table diverse skills including exhibition curation and planning, public relations and social media expertise, energetic engagement with the UWTSD and wider local artist community.

Axe Head Collective looks forward to learning requisite skills and following in the footsteps of UWTSD postgraduates now co-directing the gallery and, of course, benefiting from working closely with Jane Simpson, whose experience and initiative inspires and motivates them to grow under the GS umbrella into a Collective with a future in the local and larger art community.

An Axe Head exhibition at GS Artists is opened October 18th, 2019, running until October 31st.

Axe Head Collective Artist Statements and Instagram

Alina Skorohoda @skorohodalinaart

Alina’s artwork explores the notion of woman’s duty to the world. She responds to the feelings of obligation that haunt women everywhere. Alina uses domestic objects in her work. Through altering these objects, she questions attitudes, fears and unwritten rules which have formed a hostile environment for women and their behaviour within it.

Demian Johnston @demonstuff

Demian’s practice looks to develop internal mindscapes involving multiple symbols and thoughts to bridge the physical process and mental or spiritual state, and individual and collective consciousness. Building on a growing body of work featuring dynamic installations with energy concentrated by their confinement, his work is rarely figurative, encompassing dimensions of unpredictability and naturalness.

Jeremy Gluck @nonceptualism

Working as a fine artist in digital art, film, installation and mixed media, Jeremy Gluck’s uncompromising works confront the viewer, encouraging a physical, sensitive, or conceptual experience of each. Radical artistic engagement is the mission statement. 

Rejoicing in subverting the artist’s self-concept and corrupting the canon in ways playful and perverse, undermining previous hierarchies and perceptions of what is ‘art’ and is not, Gluck’s work reflects the powerful dichotomy, which exists between the narcissism of the digital age and the need for a stark, political commentary on the post-millennial landscape.

Through the utilisation of a raw typography and a monochromatic palette, Gluck invites the audience to consume less and engage more, therefore negating the idea of art having a literal presence.

Melissa Rodrigues @missbalencantefineart

Rodrigues’ work uses a variety of materials to explore issues of displacement, belonging, and cultural identity. Addressing issues concerning the movement of people across the world, immigration, sense of belonging, cultural identity and the rhetoric of otherness are the bases from which Rodrigues’ work blossoms. Rodrigues’ work has developed with the notion of cultural identity and aims to explore the influential factors in the construction of a cultural being. Lately Rodrigues’ work has a new element added to it, recognising textile as a piece that plays an important role in collectiveness and collective identity, Rodrigues has been exploring and researching the routes of these pieces of cloth throughout history, their importance in our understanding of self as members of social groups, and the misconceptions about them. For this piece, Rodrigues proposes a destruction of labels, symbols, preconceptions and expectations we place in and on “others”, based in our understanding of “them”, instead seeking similarities.

Axe Head to Everything II: Photography by Mitja Zupanc

GS Artists Launches Its Summer Line!

This summer GS Artists is proud to announce the launch of an inspiring new line of unique artist products designed for us by recent GS guest artist and speaker Simon Periton.

These will be available next month to buy. The badges are in packs of 6, edition of 100 each set signed by the artist at £15?  Mugs? you got it at £12 a pop!

GS Artists products
The new Simon Periton merch line from GS Artists!

Tim Davies Show

Tim Davies -Artist at Work.

GS Artists are delighted to be hosting the latest in our series of ‘Artist At Work’ residencies. Tim Davies is occupying 217 High Street and creating a new series of works. The residency recognizes the difficulty for professional artists to create new experimental works and so offers the surroundings of the gallery, 24/7 access and the support of the GS team, over a period of 6~8 weeks.

Tim is working on a series entitled ‘Survival is not a crime’ He’s says about the plans for the space – “A few years ago I made a work called “Figures” (One year to heaven) which was a written description of all the photographs used in a broad sheet paper for a whole year. This was done daily from August the 17th of one year to August the 17th of the next and from front page to back (missing out retrospective moments as found in obituaries etc).

I saw this as an alternative portrait of that time – as reliable or unreliable as any other means. I accepted that it was my reading of the images and that it would  vary from person to person – as many times as the image was read (accepting also that the image was ‘taken’ and then selected by another) – but it was a way to witness humans (figures) in various circumstances and their responses to them from global to local and from the banal to the traumatic. This I understood as not just an observation of others but a reflection of ourselves(members of the human race) through a means of empathy or at least an invitation to empathize if at all possible and at whatever level.

By removing the image and describing the scene in words the emphasis was less on the pictorial and more on the figurative, although of course site provides context and so would be noted when relevant.  Occasionally too I would note the words they may have said to a journalist, been overheard or placed on a placard.

These words or quotes I have been looking at more closely for this project – working title ‘Survival is Not a Crime’. This time I have extended my search into online media.  This is an especially disturbing time as the gap between the haves and the have-nots, truth and untruths has widened. I’m collecting the voices of dismay and disbelief”

The residency culminates with the Second Soup Talk on February the 17th…more details tbc…

Tim Davies, is one of Wales’s leading artists, he is primarily an installation artist whose work often derives from environmental or political concerns, working in a range of different materials, including film found imagery and sculpture. He was born and brought up in west Wales. After working and studying in London, Norwich and Canterbury he returned to Wales in 1994. He lives and works in Swansea.

 Much of his work involves meticulous, repetitive and time-consuming actions. Pristine, orderly formalism is evident from early work through to more recent video installations, but the end result is often beguilingly simple, minimal and aesthetically beautiful. The labour-intensive process undertaken by Davies speaks loudly with a quiet voice.Winner of the Mostyn Open Prize in 1997 and the National Eisteddfod Fine Art Gold Medal in 2003, he has exhibited extensively including the UK, Ireland, Eastern Europe, Hong Kong, Australia and central America. including ; 2013 Drift National Museum Wales, Cardiff, 2012 In and Amongst Fold Gallery, London, 2011 Tim Davies – Wales at Venice 54th Venice Biennale, 2010 Year to Heaven Chapter, Cardiff, 2010 Seeriad/Series Tallinn Art Hall, Estonia, 2009 Between a rock and a hard place Glynn Vivian Gallery, Swansea, 2009 Kilkenny Shift Butler Gallery, Kilkenny, Ireland.

Soup Talk-Tim Davies in conversation with Simon Periton

SOUP TALKS Part One. Simon Periton’s talks ‘Your War, My Love’ ‘Soup Talk’ with Tim Davies.

Tim and Simon have been brought together in a form of artistic matchmaking. GS Artists have invited the artists to exchange studio visits as part of this ongoing process and have provided recording equipment, for either a podcast or a transcribed conversation (to be edited at their discretion). This inaugural talk is part of a planned series, part two (the return match) will take place in Spring 2019, when Simon will return to interview Tim, after his “Artist At Work’ residency at the gallery. Before settling down, we will invite the audience to venture out to Kings Lane, to look at Simon’s wall painting ‘Seersucker’ (below) that he has created. Further Soup Talks are planned, the next being between Craig Wood and Fiona Banner when she returns to Swansea to create a new wall piece in Kings Lane. Each event will begin with a meal, in this case, a Sunday brunch, then we settle for conversation. The event is free but ticketed – follow the link here. This event has been very kindly supported by the Arts Council of Wales.

poster tim and simon

G39’s UNITe group come for lunch.

At GS Artists,  we ALWAYS have a decent lunch on a Wednesday. This week we slightly expanded this and invited our mentors and UNITe gang to sample our wares.  So nice to see them and look forward to seeing more of their activities in Cardiff.  They spent the day looking at the BEEP show and all the extra associated shows all over Swansea.

With thanks to Kate Mercer for her photographs