Summer 2015

This has been one of busiest periods of my life with an explosion of exhibition, films and album covers.
Here’s a whistle stop tour of some highlights and a few pictures before I have to get back to the drawing board.

Lesley Christiane and Trevor Baylis

Lesley Christiane and Trevor Baylis

Twickenham Film Festival Award
I picked up an award alongside Kelvin and Lesley Christiane of Twickenham Jazz Club in June for our short film – Twickenham Jazz Club Sketchbook.
It was a wonderful night on Eel Pie island as we rubbed shoulders with some inspirational characters like inventor Trevor Baylis.

Alen Ilijic outside the Lepa Brena apartments in Nis, Serbia

Alen Ilijic outside the Lepa Brena apartments in Nis, Serbia

Stone Upon Stone Festival
In April I flew out to Serbia to be artist-in-residence at the inaugural Stone Upon Stone festival in Nis. It was my first visit to Serbia and I was well looked after by my hosts Dejan, Alen and Milica Ilijic. I sketched for three nights at the festival and captured 6 different bands/groups. It was an opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to discover new music and explore another country and culture. The highlight was being able to stay amongst the local people in the ex-communist Lepa Brena apartment block on the edge of town.

Magna Carta Suite - Alex Hutton Trio

Magna Carta Suite – Alex Hutton Trio

Alex Hutton and Partikel
Over the past couple of months two of my album covers have been featured on new releases by Alex Hutton Trio and Partikel.
This is my second album for Alex Hutton. His album ‘Magna Carta Suite’ celebrates the 800 anniversary of the charter.
The new Partikel album is a cracker. They have composed and recorded and album with a supper talented string quartet, featuring one of my favourite musicians Benet Mclean.
It is my third album cover for Partikel and once again they release on Michael Janisch’s Whirlwind Label.

Onstage at the Rose Theatre Kingston

Onstage at the Rose Theatre Kingston

The Art of Caring and Nursing’s Got Talent
A massive organisational headache but well worth the extra effort. In May 2015 I organised the Art of Caring exhibition that brought together 255 artworks from 133 artists on the theme of Caring and Care. The exhibition helped celebrate International Nurses’ Day 2015 and we had submissions from all around the world. More info – http://www.artofcaring.org.uk/

As part of this week of celebrations I worked alongside Kingston University to organise a day of performances at the Rose Theatre, Kingston. I was last on stage drawing live on large paper canvases, beside me was talented Duncan Eagles (saxophone), Max Luthert (bass), Chris Nickolls (drums) and Bill Mudge (Keys).

Walk Exeter Random

Walk Exeter Random

Walk Exeter Random
Never one to be pigeon-holed I took to the streets for something a bit more subversive at the NOSE 2015 festival in Exeter. It’s fast becoming one of our favourite platforms for testing out the freshest of ideas and artworks. Last year Harvey Wells and I placed magnetic images of one-sided conversations on the cities streets. This year we made the city centre of Exeter into a giant maze. Harvey and I armed ourselves with cameras and a dice, fate was our mistress for a day. We also commissioned a piece of random inspired music from long time collaborator Juan Maria Solare called ‘One of these dice’.

Aspic film poster

Aspic film poster

Wellington Underground Film Festival
May was an exciting month as we also premiered a new film called Apsic at the Wellington Underground Film Festival in New Zealand. Apsic was made as part of mine and Bill Mudge’s trip to the TANE house on the Isle of Wight. It has a brilliant score that is part written and part improvised by experimental trio Toy Rokit.

Disordering Chaos at Fringe Arts Bath

Disordering Chaos at Fringe Arts Bath

Disordering Chaos at Fringe Arts Bath
I exhibited Murder Minutes 1 and 2 at Fringe Arts Bath this year in their excellent Disordering Chaos show. The exhibition looked at systems of order in art and the wider world, the show presented works which utilise or disrupt ordering, cataloguing or organisational systems. There was a little bit of excitement as my work Murder Minutes 2 was stolen from the exhibition. It was returned a day after with a full annotated solution its Agatha Christie puzzle, put it is still mystery who the light fingered code cracker was? Curated by Mark Fearbunce.

Piers Green portrait at Twickenham Jazz Club

Piers Green portrait at Twickenham Jazz Club

Musicians in Motion Exhibition
Thank you to hosts Lesley and Kelvin Christiane at Twickenham Jazz Club and all the staff at the Cabbage Patch for putting on our Musicians in Motion exhibition in June. What a fabulous day as part of the Twickenham festival.

Dr Adebayo Alade

Dr Adebayo Alade

Dissecting Room
It is an experience that changes the way you think about your own body and those pressed tight against us as we go about our daily lives. In April I was given the opportunity alongside poet Kevin Acott to enter the inner sanctum of King’s College Dissecting Room. The days before were full of visions of unimaginable deaths that spawned in the mind, for this was my first encounter with a dead human body. Hopefully we’ll have an exhibition of the work later in the year.
Watch this space.

Alban

 

 

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Threshold V

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In March 2015 it will be the first opportunity to see the work which has come out of the TANE project.

Toy Rokit and myself will be showing our film ‘UpDownGreen’ at the cutting edge Threshold V Festival from the 27th-29th March 2015 http://thresholdfestival.co.uk/

Bill_Mudge_photo_Tane_IOW

TANE copyright of Bill Mudge

In July 2014 Bill Mudge and I were given the opportunity to stay in the TANE house, Isle of Wight, UK.  The award-winning house was featured as part of the Grand Designs series when it was built in 2010 and was short-listed for the Grand Designs Award and in 2013 was nominated as one of Kevin McCloud’s Top Ten Grand Design Projects following their 100th series. In addition, Tane won the Architect’s Journal Small Build Award 2011 and the RIBA 2011 (Isle of Wight) Award. It was designed by its then owner, Lincoln Miles, and influenced by his partner, artist Lisa Traxler.

UpDownGreen film

UpDownGreen film

The stay in the house was unusual in that it had been recently purchased, and only sparsely furnished. It gave us the chance to see the building in its purest form. It was our desire to find the narrative and theme of the property, both visually and musically. Alongside electronic trio Toy Rokit we’ve made 4 films inspired by Tane itself. UpDownGreen is the first of these to be exhibited.

View Bill Mudge’s portfolio from our visit. HERE

The story of the building can be watched here, courtesy of Grand Designs – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Enmqk…

Buy a weekend pass to the festival for £15

AL.

On the map exhibition

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I’m currently researching my map for this interesting exhibition at the Sunbury Embroidery Gallery.

For the ON THE MAP exhibition I’m bringing together artists from around the UK to create contemporary maps that are a conceptual adventure challenging our relationship to the environment we pass through. Some of the maps are local to Sunbury others are further afield. This is a three fold exhibition including an exhibition, physical walks that anyone can complete and a series of published maps.

Keep Thursday 23rd April free for the Private View at the Sunbury Embroidery Gallery.

The exhibition will run from the 14th April to 10th May.
The Sunbury Embroidery Gallery,
The Walled Garden,
Thames Street,
Sunbury-on-Thames,
TW16 6AB
Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am – 5pm (summer) 10am – 4pm (winter)

The other map makers include –

Natasha Day
Peter S Smith
Bill Mudge
Robert Good
Jill Hedges
Melanie Ezra & Rose Davies
Dean Reddick
Bryan Benge
Glyn Walton

Art of Caring exhibition call-out

Art of Caring Call-out

 

I’ve been luckily enough to be artist-in-residence at the Nursing Faculty of Kingston University and St George’s University London over the past two years. To help celebrate International Nurse’s Day on the 12th May 2015 I’m organising the Art of Caring exhibition at the Rose Theatre in Kingston-upon-Thames. If you would like to contribute we have 250 spaces for artwork available. See all the details below.
If you would like to come along and visit the exhibition then it will be open from 10am-6pm daily from 12th-16th May 2015. I’ll be exhibiting my work alongside hundreds of other artists and it would be lovely to see you there.Get involved in this exciting open art exhibition at The Rose Theatre in Kingston-upon-Thames. The theme is Caring/Care and it is FREE to enter. If you would like to submit your artwork then follow the guidelines below.

Where do I send my images?

Send up to 3 Jpegs/photos of your work to collectconnect4@gmail.com
before Tuesday 31st March 2015 (Midnight).
The images should be approximately postcard size – A6 (10.5 x 14.8cm)
Include your name, title of the image/work and your website address if you have one.
The Theme
Your art/photo should respond to the theme of Caring/Care.
Feeling or showing care and compassion. Relating to professional social or medical care. To be troubled or concerned; be affected emotionally. To have regard, affection, or consideration. To have a desire or taste. To provide physical needs, help, or comfort. To agree or like (to do something). 

Or your interpretation of the theme…….

The Rose Theatre, Kingston

The Exhibition

We will print two copies of your artwork as an A6 postcard. One for the exhibition and one to send to you. Your name and title will appear beside your image.
The exhibition will be at The Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston-upon-Thames, KT1 1HL. Open from the 12th-16th May 2015 (10am to 6pm) in the circle gallery space.
The exhibition will also be part of an exciting day that celebrates nursing around the world, with poetry, live music and drawing, expert speakers on the challenges of modern nursing on Friday 15th May.
A panel of artists and Kingston University Nursing Society members will be selecting 10-20 of their favourite images. These will be printed at an A3 size and framed.Will my work be selected?
Yes.
We are working with the artists’ collective, CollectConnect, who specialise in inclusive exhibitions. We aim to include at least one artwork by each artist but if you send us 3 then we hope to include them all. We have a ‘First come-First served’ policy, this sometimes means we close before the deadline.
Keep it Simple
Send your images to collectconnect4@gmail.com and be part of the exhibition!
 Visit the Art of Caring exhibition pages Submit, Exhibition, Artists and Festival to find out more.Alban

Dwell exhibition and book

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I’ve helped organise this month’s Dwell exhibition on the streets of London. It’s also included a new book by CollectConnect artists which has just been published by Sampson Low Ltd. London based artist and art therapist Dean Reddick has brought together  artists from around the world to publish a book of 30 practical Nets. Each black and white page is easy to photocopy and ready for all ages to build themselves. The Nets are graded with completion times and building tips. A magical book about 2D plans with the potential to become 3D dwellings that can be adapted and coloured by the reader.

Alban Low Dwelling -  Scrunchy Shed

Alban Low Dwelling –
Scrunchy Shed

Dwell: A book of Nets
Published February 2015
ISBN  978-1-910578-00-1
64 pages A4 Softback
Author – Various Artists
SLB0008

Visit the CollectConnect website to buy
Dwell: A book of Nets for £6 (+£1.60 Postage and Packing)

Authors
Alban Low Scrunchy Shed
Beth Davis Hofbauer Castle in the Sky
Bryan Benge City Scape
Catherine Wynne-Paton Raft at Sea
Dean Reddick Shelter One and TreeHouse
Eleanor Bedlow Container
Ella Klenner & Fausto House by the Wild Sea
Eve Allsop Home
Gavin Blackhurst 46 Malbet Park
Helen Hunt Thoreau’s Room
Holly Daniels Fairy Dwelling
Jane Hellings Shipping Container
Jay Snelling Pyramid
Jessamy Low Ocelot Villa
J Masson Abri
Keziah Reddick Dream dwelling
Kim Reddick Crates
Lisa Howes Flat Pack
Malc Dow Escape Dwelling
Melanie Ezra Caer Hecsagon
Mike Russell Negated Obstacle
Natalie Low Dwellow Submarine
Nick Gammons Castle
Rajaa Khalife Paixao Confessions of an artist
Sabatin Bascoban The Caravan
Sara Lerota Table as a place..
Steve DT The Sistene Chapel
Stuart Simler Trojan Horse
Tamara Jelaca Little house in Prairie

Visit the CollectConnect website to find out more about the authors.
http://collectconnect.blogspot.co.uk/

Juan Maria Solare – Silent word films

They Go film Alban Low & Juan Maria Solare

They Go film
Alban Low & Juan Maria Solare

In the past month I’ve started a new project with modern tango composer Juan Maria Solare. As you know I like to balance several genres, ideas and themes so that one can feed into another. I’ve always enjoyed using words in my work and along with Juan Maria Solare we have made a film called ‘They Go’. It is based upon the repetition of designs, the repetition of our lives, the going to work and coming home again, the cycle of our working days. Taking the subverted vernacular of advertisers and altering them to suit my own sentiments and to suggest new meanings.

The film has been selected in the online exhibition Stack at Gallery 202, Northampton, UK. They aim to bring contemporary art to rural and urban communities through exhibitions and artist involvement with the public. See the full exhibition here – http://gallery202.wix.com/gallery202#!untitled/c7xa

Watch the film HERE – http://youtu.be/Z3XuD_3A7iI

Aphorismen album by Juan Maria Solare

Aphorismen album – Juan Maria Solare

This isn’t my first creative rub with Juan Maria Solare. Over the past year I have created a book jacket design and 3 album covers for this prolific musician. Here are the albums on iTunes –

Gardel al Piano
Acuarelas Junto al Río Inmóvil
Aphorismen

Juan Maria Solare was born in Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 1966 and has lived in Germany since 1993 as a composer and pianist. Currently he teaches Tango Music at the University of Bremen and Composition and Arrangements at the Hochschule für Künste in Bremen. At the Jacobs University Bremen he conducts the Jacobs Chamber Orchestra, which repertory a stress on classical music.
www.juanmariasolare.com/

I already have a new film on the drawing table or tripod, this one has words by Natalie, my wife and uses a sound recording of a Parker Knoll chair being dismantled as its score inspiration.

AL.

What’s real is home exhibition

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Role-players take in the exhibition photo by Bill Mudge

Earlier this month I exhibited my most recent artwork from my time on the simulated mental health ward at Kingston University and St George’s, University of London.  ‘What’s real is home’ included over 30 sketches at the Scene Of Crime House, Kingston University. It is a body of artistic work that has enabled me to delve even deeper into the mental health labyrinth. It has also increased my appreciation of the people who help guide us through it’s twists and turns.

This time last year I took my first tentative steps into the simulated mental health ward at Kingston University and St George’s, University London. I was unprepared for the process and theatre that awaited me. Since then my artistic life has dovetailed with the course, actors and staff. The sketches from last year formed a successful exhibition, a film which was screened at the BFI London, a loan of work to the Recovery exhibition at the Institute of Mental Health (Nottingham) and a series of articles online and in print.

Putting up the show

Putting up the show. Photo by Bill Mudge

I returned to the ward in 2014 alongside psychotherapist and tutor Harvey Wells. In addition to sketching, we also recorded the dialogue between patients and nurses on the simulated ward. These sound recordings inspired two short films that have been embraced by the international film circuit.

‘Ping Pong Paranoia’ was screened at the MORPHOS Immersive Video Dome Art festival in Los Angeles, USA.

‘What’s Real Is Home’ features the poetry of Robin Vaughan-Williams and premiered at the Filmpoem Festival (2014) in Antwerp, Belgium.

This year we recorded the voices of the ‘patients’ on the ward. We used these monologues as a creative springboard to explore a whole range of mental health themes. One of the most powerful sound recordings was from ‘Sandra’ who is played by actor Lindsay Shepherd. We were honoured that Lindsay attended the opening of the exhibition with some of the fellow role-players. It is her voice that appears alongside experimental jazz trio Toy Rokit on the film ‘Ping Pong Paranoia’. The film explores the ever increasing anxiety and claustrophobia felt by the paranoid patient ‘Sandra’ as she voices her concerns about being stuck on the ward.

Kevin_Acott_mental_health

Sketch of Kevin Acott. Photo by Bill Mudge

The story isn’t over for ‘Ping Pong Paranoia’ either, just last night I attended another screening of the film at the Greenhorn Film Festival’s Animation Freakatorium in Crouch End. Amongst a high quality programme of short films, our modest film held its own despite its small budget. The full programme can be found at http://www.greenhornfestival.com/programme-2014/film-programme

It was both unnerving and exciting to be able to hang the exhibition at the Scene of Crime House at Kingston University. It was one of those nights that seemed very dark indeed. Luckily we had the services of photographer Bill Mudge, who captured some evocative images on his camera. See his full portfolio from the night here – http://mudgephoto.wordpress.com/portfolio/whats-real-is-home/

One part of the exhibition that brought a smile to everyone’s lips was the Train or Ward installation. This was comprised of 48 vignettes that documented one-sided conversations heard on trains from around the UK and within the Simulated Mental Health ward. Visitors to the exhibition were asked to guess where each conversation originated from. Was it Train or Ward?

courtesy of Bill Mudge

Outside the Scene of Crime House. Photo by Bill Mudge

These vignettes were first exhibited at the NOSE Festival in Exeter on the 29th March 2014 as a set of magnetic artworks each measuring 5 x 7cm. They were placed on lampposts and railings throughout the city. The public were invited to pick them up and collect or to leave for people to discover throughout the festival. Harvey Wells joined me both in installing the magnets and in the simulated ward where we instigated the project.

The ‘Train or Ward’ instillation aims to break down the boundaries by taking Art out of the gallery and into public spaces but also by challenging attitudes towards Mental Health in the community. The ‘normal’ lines are blurred, it is impossible to detect whether a conversation has originated from the mental health ward or the local train. It is clear though that there is humour and pathos in abundance in both these environments.

AL.