Scott Mackenzie in conversation:

September 6th 6 p.m.

Scott Mackenzie

GS Artists is proud to host an in-conversation event featuring current Artist at Work, GS co-director Scott Mackenzie, whose superb show, NOTHING HAS CHANGED is exhibiting now.

Subtitled “From Aberfan to Grenfell”, the work provides a cross-section of the zeitgeist, exposing raw nerves and shattered attention bearing on our personal and political stasis at a time of great…change?

September 6th at 6 p.m. Scott will be live at GS, taking questions from gallery directors and interns, and the public, on the nature, content and sensibility of his new work. Please join us then for what will be an energising exploration of the work of an inspired young Welsh artist!

Part of GS Artists’ “Artist at Work” scheme that has already featured estimable talents such as Tim Davies, Tomos Sparnon and Sarah Poland, Scott’s show is a fine addition to this series of shows highlighting contrasting techniques and perspectives across a wide spectrum.

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

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Summer 2018

This summer in Swansea, we are bringing together five important contemporary painters in a new exhibition celebrating paint in all its glory.

When choosing a title for a show of 5 painters who are all old enough to know better, it’s no surprise that when we arrived at JOY REVISION, it was pretty unanimous. Perhaps not just about that period of time but maybe its to do with our journey through the purpose of art. Joy, hand in hand with re- vision, reassessing how art has the power to transform. All of the artists involved in the exhibition have been a vital part of the creation of a contemporary art painting history. Angela de la CRUZ, Sarah PICKSTONE, Andreas RUETHI, Anne RYAN, and Stephen SNODDY will present all kinds of painted surfaces.

In discussion with the artists, Anne Ryan said the following “Joy Revision is a great title for a painting show. Painters have an innate understanding of the concept of jouissance, as described by psychoanalysts – a rapturous, excessive, sensual pleasure. This is not just found in the visceral materiality of the medium, but more importantly in the zen-like, empty-headed meditative state – ‘the zone’ – that many painters cite as the optimum state for painting. In working and re-working, stating, erasing and re-stating painters attain the point where all negative thoughts and influences have left the studio and ideally (according to Philip Guston) thepainter has (mentally) left as well” The colour transcends all in many of these works, and that State is evident and addictive for all.

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At first glance, Angela de la Cruz’s paintings appear to have been vandalized or flagrantly abused. Mangled stretchers, slashed canvases, twisted and violated, are hung on the wall like macabre trophies, and yet it is this deliberate and systematic desecration of the canvases, which informs the end result. Emotionally raw, yet canny and sharply ironic, De la Cruz confronts the ‘problem’ with painting by incorporating its very destruction into the work itself. Her work for Joy Revision is just a tease. She has meticulously prepared a canvas and then perforated a edge around the painting that she has enjoyed pressing through. Looking at the surface you have to resist the urge to carry on pressing through the perforation, like being confronted with a pile of large bubble wrap and not being able to burst one bubble.

SARAH PICKSTONE-  Rose 2017 240 x 200 cm acrylic on panel .jpgDamascus Rose 2017, by Sarah Pickstone – is a painting about the possibility of renewal. At its base is a line drawing stolen from an outstretched hand in Guernica – painted by Picasso in 1937 and a universal anti -war emblem. In Sarah Pickstone’s painting – a large rose, springs from the palm of the hand – both a symbol of Englishness and a nod to its origins, in Syria and Damascus. It is meant as an image of transformation.

 

ANDREAS RUTHI - Field 1.jpgAndreas Ruethi

Happy, happy, joy, joy

Happy, happy, joy, joy

Happy, happy, joy, joy

Happy, happy, joy, joy

Happy, happy, joy, joy

Happy, happy, joy, joy

(The Ren and Stimpy song)

Commenting on the word “joy” Beethoven calls to the people:
“Be millions entwined!” And this word will be the language of the artwork of the future. (Richard Wagner on Beethoven’s Ode to Joy) The paintings of Andreas Ruethi celebrate the hallucinogenic power of colour, energizing the viewer in a similar way to listing to music. They investigate new possibilities held within the tradition of painting: playing with the nature of reproduction, imitation, re- presentation and scale. The inspiration for these paintings range from found old colour lithographs, to photographs taken by his wife, artist Helen Sear. The intention to extend the potential held within a reproduction through the act of gesture and reinterpretation is the uniting element across all the works.

Anne Ryan 12.jpgAnne Ryan’s ‘cut outs’ are loose and playful, they are about letting the painting come to life and break free from the stretcher. Her ceramics explore similar themes in a similarly open and painterly way. Using a new medium such as ceramics is interesting as an artist can come to it unaware of the conventions and rules. A whole new way of working and thinking through making becomes suddenly possible.

Untitled.jpgStephen Snoddy wants viewers to look at the relationships between his works, and how he carries lines and formats from one picture over to another. He sometimes regards two consecutive paintings as a diptych, with left and right-hand panels forming parts of a composite whole. There is an obsessive commitment to playing out endless permutations of specific forms and he goes along with an ontological methodology. The work becomes defined by its geometries, serial approach and limitless variations. ‘The paintings often come in a small series and incorporate architectural and geometric structures with colour to get everything right – space, line, form. The final result is a balanced resolution made through corrections, revisions and re-workings that show a mixture of judgement through the intrinsic process of making. I both pay attention and call attention to the means and alertness of the language of painting and in particular in ‘Homage’ the paintings of Henri Matisse from 1913 -17.’

 

Artist Biographies

Angela de la Cruz was born in La Coruña, Spain in 1965 where she studied philosophy at the University of Santiago de Compostela before moving to London where she studied at Chelsea College of Art and later at Goldsmiths College and Slade School of Art. She has exhibited in galleries all over the world including the show entitled “After”, her first solo exhibition in the UK at Camden Arts Centre in April 2010. In May 2010 she was nominated for the Turner Prize.

Manchester born Sarah Pickstone studied Fine Art at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, followed by a postgraduate at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. She now works from her studio at Cubitt Studios in central London and teaches at several art schools including the Royal Drawing School. Sarah won the first prize in the John Moores Painting Prize 2012 with her painting Stevie Smith and The Willow, and was also a runner up for the prize in 2004. She won the Rome scholarship in Painting and spent a year at the British School at Rome.

The Royal Academy of Arts has commissioned Allegory of Painting: two large scale paintings for the entrance of Burlington House, as part of RA 250, which will go on display in September 2018.

Andreas Ruethi studied Fine Art in London and Amsterdam. From 2005-2017 he was a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the University of South Wales. Since 1996 his work has been exhibited in the UK and internationally.

Anne Ryan was Born in Limerick City, Ireland & attended the Limerick School of Art and Design before moving to Birmingham, England where she completed the M.A. course in Painting at Birmingham School of Art.
In recent years Anne’s work has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions at venues including greengrassi, London, Kunstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt, Limerick City Art Gallery, Ireland, CAPC, Bordeaux, France, Lia Rumma, Milan, and The British School at Rome. In 2016 Anne was an Abbey Fellow in Painting at The British School at Rome. She lives and works in London.

Stephen Snoddy was born in Belfast, N. Ireland, He has painted alongside a long and hugely successful career in the arts, with Solo Exhibitions in 2018 at The Old Lock Up Studio, Cromford, Derbyshire and in 2017 ‘Looking At’ at Southampton City Art Gallery and in 2016, Recent Work, Artistsworkhouse, Studley, Warwickshire, “Conversations” Rabley Contemporary, Marlborough and ‘Looking Out’ at the Roberto Polo Gallery, Brussels.

Stephen also has an extensive career within the museums and gallery world. From Exhibitions Organiser at Arnolfini Gallery 1987-91, he worked on an exhibitions with Richard Long, Giuseppe Penone, Gillian Ayres, Rachel Whiteread, Jack B. Yeats and Juan Munoz. Exhibitions Director of Cornerhouse, Manchester, then Director of Southampton City Art Gallery, where he organised the 1998 Chris Ofili solo exhibition which won Chris Ofili the 1998 Turner Prize. In the spring of 1998 he moved to Milton Keynes to direct the construction of a brand new gallery as part of the £30 million Theatre and Gallery complex. Milton Keynes Gallery (MK G). In 2003 he was appointed Director, BALTIC Centre of Contemporary Art, Gateshead then In May 2005 he moved to the The New Art Gallery, Walsall where he is currently Director.

ITS ALL AROUND US, BUT THSE LITTLE BITS WE CALL ART.


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Craig Wood has been working in the gallery space for a month and is ready to share some aspects of this process based residency. Over the last few weeks we invited Craig Wood to inhabit the gallery, we gave him the keys and invited him to explore….    Now we have been allowed back in to see the results.

Wood’s work can be described as site specific or site sensitive. His practice has evolved from being architectural site specific in the early 1990’s, into the current more nuanced investigation into social and cultural situations. He frequently works in the exhibition space rather than a studio.

Craig came to prominence as part of the initial YBA generation of the early 1990s completed a Foundation Diploma at Carmarthen College of Art in 1986 and a BA (Hons) in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, London in 1989.  He has received the prestigious DAAD residency in Berlin  and has been Gregory Fellow in Sculptural Studies with The Henry Moore Foundation at Leeds University, 1997- 2000. Since 1995, he has been based in South West Wales which has been a major source of inspiration for his practice.   He consistently exhibits internationally, most recently at the Three Gorges Museum in Chongqing, China, 2015, and is currently a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, at Swansea College of Art, University of Wales TSD.

SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST…


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FIONA BANNER – “SNOOPY VS THE RED BARON”

Snoopy is the star character in Charles M.Schulz’s comic strip, Peanuts. As well as being a pet beagle and an aspiring novelist, Snoopy is a World War I flying ace. In this latter incarnation he wants to both become the Red Baron, and kill him. The Baron however, exists only in his mind: a heroicised representation of fear.  In The complete text of Snoopy’s Novel the image of Snoopy appears in the centre of The Baron’s Family crest. Behind this is the absurd, hubristic text of Snoopy’s novel.

The title of this series references the 1966 pop hit Snoopy Vs The Red Baron. Shortly after The Baron first appeared in Schultz’s cartoon, the Florida based band The Royal Guardsmen, released their song and Snoopy’s owners promptly sued.  In 2012 banner staged a performance of Snoopy Vs The Red Baron in The Welsh Chapel, London.

In this work the image and words are somehow defiled. They allude to the acts of unmaking and destruction, as much as the creative act, examining how we mythologize ourselves and our histories and how we are seduced by the myths of our own creation. Banner references the combative relations not only between Snoopy and his nemeses, but also the heavy handed copyright issues surrounding creative ownership.

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TOM GIDLEY – “THREE MASKS” 

This print is based on one of a series of works on paper made with watercolour inks. They were partly inspired by Rorschach tests, the ink allowed to flow and settle once applied. This one is of three masks, or heads. They float in space, interlinked, their extremely long noses pointing in different directions. They remind me of a speech or thought bubble. They might seem grotesque, sad, or happy. One of them is winking, or maybe squinting. Perhaps it all depends on your feelings about extremely long noses.

His paintings could be described as ‘psychological portraiture’, teetering between figuration and abstraction. The subject often appears to be conflicted or resistant to being represented and viewed – something is always held back, deleted. Backgrounds blend with limbs, faces are altered or erased altogether. Gender is frequently unclear, and beneath the surface tranquility, there is contained chaos. Working in intense and unusual colour combinations, Gidley has said that: “The relationship of colours in my work are ‘unnatural’ just as my subjects appear in relation to or against their backgrounds, because all representation is an act of violence and dislocation, to some degree. The fragile nature of identity is central to my art and my writing.”

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MICHAEL LANDY – “FILL MY BIN”

Landy studied at Goldsmiths in London, having been inspired to take up art professionally after having a picture selected for display on the BBC television art program Take Hart. After graduating in 1988, he was part of the YBA generation that created the Freeze exhibition.

Landy’s first solo exhibition was Market (1990), an installation comprising of numerous empty market stalls. Like much of his later work it was intended as a comment on consumerism and society. In 1995 Landy created “Scrapheap Services” a fictitious cleaning company which sought to change society by way of “a minority of people being discarded”. Promotional videos were made for the company and a large number of cut-out men were swept up and destroyed.

On 29 May 2008, Landy was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. His Art Bin installation for the South London Gallery, which was described by the artist as ‘a monument to creative failure’. A large transparent skip was installed at the gallery, into which he invited the public to throw art work with which they were dissatisfied….

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RACHEL WHITEREAD – “LLANSTEFFAN STAIRWAY”

This is a photograph of a concrete staircase on Llansteffan Beach in South Wales in 2012. Rachel has worked with staircases for many years, taking photographs, moulding and casting, culminating in large sculptural forms.

Whiteread is one of Britain’s leading contemporary sculptors. Born in London in 1963, she studied painting at Brighton Polytechnic from 1982–85 and sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art from 1985–87. She shot to public attention in 1993 with her sculpture, “House,” a life-sized replica of the interior of a condemned terraced house in London’s East End which provoked intense public debate until it was eventually demolished in 1994. She won the Turner Prize in 1993.

Over the last decade she has developed a significant international reputation, creating major public works in both Europe and the United States. Her winning proposal for the Holocaust memorial at the Judenplatz in Vienna was one of the most prestigious sculptural commissions in Europe in the 1990s. This piece involved placing the cast interior of a library, including imprints from the books on their shelves, into the centre of the square. It was unveiled in October 2000. She represented the UK at the 1997 Venice Biennale and created “Monument” for the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square in 2001.

A THIRD SELECTION FROM THE BOX…


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GEORGIE HOPTON – “JUNE BUG”

Georgie Hopton says about her beautiful hand made print is inspired by her  “abundant vegetable gardens in upstate NY – and each summer I gather my excess crop, haul it into the studio and cut it up. Dried flower stems crammed into vases, gathered the season previous, the Leather Leaf Vibernum outside the door, thicker and brighter, despite my annual plucking, and the harvest heap, all await my usual pilfering and tinkering. June Bug is a result of these encircling riches and the now habitual printing that feels like a natural response to all this excess”.

Georgie Hopton was born in 1967 in North Yorkshire. After studying at St Martins she has continued to expand her use of different medium, not caring to settle on one as definitive. Her works in photography, collage, printmaking and sculpture are made in conjunction recently with wallpaper and fabric designs – a natural extension of the vegetable prints she makes each summer from her temporary but extensive vegetable garden. Self portraits, studies of flowers and still life are consistent subject threads, woven through forays into abstraction and decoration. Like her heroes of the Wiener Werkstaette and The Arts And Crafts Movement, her heart lies in creation with no boundaries, the melding of art and life, the one reflecting and intersecting the other.

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SIR PETER BLAKE- “PRINTEMPS”

Peter Blake’s delicate screen print is part of his “Found Art” series. Collaged together and embellished by recreating the gold that has faded over time.

Sir Peter Blake  (b. 1932, Dartford, Kent) is a British painter, sculptor, draughtsman and printmaker.  He is known as one of the leading figures of British Pop art. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1956, Blake has appropriated pop culture icons and advertising imagery to create sincere homages to the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Elvis Presley and professional wrestlers. His iconic 1961 Self-portrait with Badges, in the Tate Collection, shows Blake holding an Elvis album, dressed in American jeans, Converse trainers, and baseball badges; here is the artist as a genuine fan. In other work he composes assemblages of found objects with humorous allusions to the history of art and childhood fantasies. In 1967 he designed the album cover for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in his distinctive style of collage.

Blake studied at Gravesend School of Art before being accepted into the Royal College of Art, London, where many of the key British Pop artists, including David Hockney, R. B. Kitaj, Joe Tilson, Allen Jones, Peter Phillips and Derek Boshier, have also studied.

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JANE SIMPSON – “SACRED”

Simpson is creating a unique piece for each box. Hand cut ‘cabinets’ are gathered and arranged on the paper,  which is then hand  marbled. Each piece will be unique and the marbling will vary.  She says of the work. “Sacred” 1994 was a sculpture that was very important to me personally.  A labour of love, hand built and crafted, on a creative journey that took nearly a year.  It lived a short but eventful life, exhibiting at the Serpentine and going on an international tour. It came to a sad end, burning in the Momart Fire of 2004. This piece for the box is about my desire to remake this work, re-animating it and revisiting,  focussing on its animal like qualities.

Jane Simpson – is an artist, curator and publisher.   She was born in 1965. She graduated from the Chelsea School of Art in 1988 and earned an MFA from the Royal Academy of Art in 1993. As an artist, she is probably best known for sculptures made from rubber, ice and refrigeration units, with shows around the world including New York and London.  Her work is held in leading collections and has been featured in seminal exhibitions,  In 1994 she was included in the seminal exhibition “Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away,” curated by Damien Hirst, at the Serpentine Gallery, London. Simpson’s work was also part of the controversial “Sensation” exhibition of 1997. Her work has been exhibited internationally in London, Madrid, Stockholm, Edinburgh, Berlin, Seoul, Caracas, Rio de Janeiro, and New York.

Simpson’s work is part of many public and private collections including the Saatchi Collection, Arts Council of England, Damien Hirst’s Murderme Collection, Contemporary Art Society, London, British Council Collection and the Colección Ciudad de Pamplona.  During her career solo shows have been accompanied by regular curatorial and collaborative projects, including kissingcousins (2007, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds) and Daddy Pop (2004, Anne Faggionato, London).   Appointed as production manager for several high profile charities, she has created portfolios for Cubitt Artists and The House of Fairy Tales, publishing limited edition prints with some of the world’s leading artists including Rachel Whiteread, Gavin Turk, Sir Peter Blake, John Stezaker, Alex Katz, and Harland Miller.

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JAMIE REID – “LUNAR HARE”

This hand printed and painted watercolour piece is playful and  full of references. Reid says that “the Hare is the Trickster, the Free Thinker… and is a specific reference to  Beuys. The moon is female. The primary colours are also a nod to the Bauhaus and Kandinsky’s Colour Theory”.

Jamie Reid  (born 1947) is an English artist and anarchist.  His longstanding practice as an artist sits firmly within a tradition of English radical dissent that would include, for example, William Blake, Wat Tyler and Gerard Winstanley. Like them the work of dissent must offer, out of necessity, other social and spiritual models and Reid’s practice is no exception.

Although Reid is known primarily for deployment of Situationist strategies in his iconic work for The Sex Pistols and Suburban Press, the manifold strands of his art continues showing us other ways in which we can mobilise our energy and spirituality. It is this dialectic between gnosticism and dissent that lies at the heart of Reid’s practice and makes him one of the great English iconoclastic artists.

 

DO YOU WANT TO SEE SOME MORE…


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SIMON PERITON – “GOLD DIGGER”

We are delighted to have this wonderful sculpture set into the base of the box. Periton says the work- “is a re-working of an earlier cut paper piece, developed out of my  fascination with alchemy and transformative chemical processes. It might be a mask or possibly a tool to delve deeper beneath the surface. It has been water cut in brass and double dipped in gold”

Periton studied at Central Saint Martins School of Art, London. “Much of my work has been concerned with ideas of the decorative with a focus on the subversive potential this can open up. Decoration and the decorative surface have always been fertile ground for me, allowing a degree of creative manoeuvring that can be both playful and thoughtful. Penetrate and slip beneath this surface, and there is often a rich murky underworld to be explored”

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GARY HUME- “BLUE NUN”

Blue Nun is an exquisite work. Each silk screen is hand cut, printed onto an exceptionally thick paper in layers of high gloss, making the blue colour sing and the surface feel three dimensional. Expertly produced by Mark Jenkins at K2, each print is full bleed with the image hand cut.

Hume RA first came to prominence with his Door paintings in the 1990s. Hume represented Britain at the Venice Biennial in 1999 with his ‘Water Paintings’ which consisted of the overlapping outlines of female nudes. Other notable phases in Hume’s development as an artist include his ‘Cave Paintings’ with images made of different marbles, and ‘American Tan’ which explored the impact of the global spread of American culture. Since then his work predominantly consists of appropriated images from popular culture or nature, depicted in glossy paint on aluminium. Recent solo shows include Tate Britain, London, ‘Gary Hume: Flashback’, Arts Council Collection, touring; ‘The Indifferent Owl’, White Cube, London; ‘Structure and Absence’, White Cube, London.

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RACHAEL HOWARDS – “SUZIE”

“Suzie” is a subtle, beautiful & delicate work, wood block printed onto Japanese “Shiohara paper.  Each print put through a press and then hand finished with a traditional Japanese Baren tool.  Rachel says that, ‘since seeing the exhibition at the Royal Academy in 2009 of the Japanese artist Kuniyoshi, she has beem affected by the delicacy of his line and medium as a whole, especially the way he represents rain and pattern, violence and beauty and have since ventured into this territory making many woodblock prints of which Suzie is one, the contact of the sharp tool on the block is so satisfying but also unforgiving not unlike painting’

Howard was born in County Durham in 1969 and graduated from Goldsmiths College, London in 1991. She grew up on a farm in Easington, County Durham. She attended a Quaker school from the age of sixteen, and the stories, concerns and questions raised by religion have had a profound effect on her work throughout her career.  With an oeuvre that suggests the delicacy of flesh, the subjectivity of perception and the complexity of our emotional spectrum, Rachel Howard could be described as a painter of life.

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GAVIN TURK – ” GT  BISCUIT”

Gavin has created us a biscuit, in resin for our Selection Box.

Turk has pioneered many forms of contemporary British sculpture now taken for granted, including the painted bronze, the waxwork, the recycled art-historical icon and the use of rubbish in art. Turk’s installations and sculptures deal with issues of authorship, authenticity and identity. Concerned with the ‘myth’ of the artist and the ‘authorship’ of a work, Turk’s engagement with this modernist, avant-garde debate stretches back to the ready-mades of Marcel Duchamp. In 1991, the Royal College of Art refused Turk a degree on the basis that his final show, ‘Cave’, consisted of a whitewashed studio space containing only a blue heritage plaque commemorating his presence ‘Gavin Turk worked here 1989-91′. Instantly gaining notoriety through this installation, Turk was spotted by Charles Saatchi and was included in several YBA exhibitions. Turk’s work has since been collected and exhibited by many major museums and galleries throughout the world.

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SARAH STATON – “THE ESPERANTO OF CURRENCY”

Staton has made us some money…  A beautiful digital print, embellished with a silk screen gold coin.  She thatthe work- “¥ € £ $ and  ₹; is a repeat motif created from these overlaid global currency symbols. The Esperanto of Currency was created for a recent exhibition of the same name, offering a topical riposte to current debates on global markets, stretched economies and siphoned hyper-wealth.  For Galerie Simpson a golden Bit Coin is gloriously embossed over this net of interlocked nation specific currency.

Staton was born in 1961 in London.  After studying at St Martins College of Art, she co-founded Milch Gallery, the first of many collaborative artists  initiatives, that include SupaStore, THE SCHTIP and most recently Pea Proposals.  Within her commissions and studio work Staton uses materials’ affective dimension – their ability to trigger associations and psychological responses – to supplement the established modernist coupling of form and function with a third term, feeling – an important but elusive texture for public art and urban design.Through ‘threshold sculptures’ which are simultaneously formal and functional, aesthetic and utilitarian, her off modern practice questions how design and the specific haptic properties of materials can dynamise site and experience.