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

Sarah Poland Artist At Work

Treasure in Stillness

Sarah Poland has been GS Artist‘s latest resident, using the space to create new works. Supported by the Galerie Simpson Artists team and very generously by a Research and Development grant from Arts Council Wales. On Sunday May 26th, at 2pm she will be quizzed by Artist Alex Duncan about her activities. 

She says of the time, `This opportunity has enabled intense work and playful development through use of the gallery space. Having the extensive space to lay out works and view them all together has helped create surprising relationships and unexpected collaborations. Endlessly moving work around the room, I create situations where I observe the changes in surface, the magic of the oak gall and its ability to change on differing supports. There is a fascinating ‘coming and going’ of the colour and in different moments, colours flicker and come to the surface or recede within the overall structure.

Making larger work I can engage physically and spatially, hoping to build relationships between the materials and the abstract, between nature and transformation,  The presence of landscape and being in it is the source. The project title Treasure In Stillness relates to the wisdom found when one is still and also to the duality of combining an art practice with the challenges of motherhood” 

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