Winter 2018

Exhibitions
Christmas is behind me now and I’m busy preparing for two exhibitions, Small World Futures and The Art of Caring. Small World Futures will be a reasonably small group show, with around 15 artists exhibiting miniature worlds on the streets of London. Dean Reddick and I have been cultivating niches, railings, nooks and crannies around London Bridge in the past few months. We’ll be placing the worlds throughout February (1st-28th), photographing them and posting them on the CollectConnect blog. Members of the public will be able to view the worlds in situ, and even take them hope if they wish. We have also invited several writers to create poems, short stories and creative responses to the worlds. I’ll create a specific page here on my website in the next few weeks, as I’ve become fascinated by this kind of dystopian vision. Inspired by both by Brexit and the tragedy at Grenfell.

Our Small World Futures exhibition will then go onto Aabenraa in Denmark where Eskild Beck will be having his own miniature dioramic exhibition in May and June.

The Art of Caring is now in its fourth year and I’m incredibly proud of what we do to support Carers, Nurses and the NHS. It would be wonderful if you could get involved. As always we’re totally inclusive, so there are no excuses, just do it. The International Council of Nurses have come up with a powerful theme this year, so I hope that ‘Health is a Human Right’ will inspire. All the details are HERE. The exhibition will be displayed along a corridor in the Atkinson Morley Wing at St George’s Hospital, Tooting in May 2018.

The exhibition will be moving onto St Pancras Hospital later in the year, July to September. So keep an eye out. We always have a good party with Peter Herbert.

Jazz
In November this year I performed at the London Jazz Festival for the first time. Alongside the Stefanos Tsourelis Trio I sketched live on stage, using spirit ink and 6 huge canvases. It was an amazing night, one I don’t think I’ll ever forget. I’ve been sketching musicians for nearly 10 years now, and this was such an exhilarating night at a packed out Bull’s Head, Barnes.

I’m still busy sketching on the radio at A World In London at Resonance FM nearly every week, as well as plenty of gigs around London. Have a look at http://artofjazz.blogspot.co.uk/

I’m currently working on 3 album covers, for the Balagan Cafe Band, pianist Pete Lee, and for Sam Leak who is about to release an album with Dan Tepfer.

Books and Maps
In the past few weeks I’ve been lucky enough to have illustrated Sarah Hobbs’ new book Two Hills. This is a new collaboration for me, with a poet who is a young exciting prospect. http://www.sarahhobbspoetry.co.uk/

I’ve also worked on my wife Natalie’s new chapbook, School Run. It really is worth a read. We launched it by having a bed-in, John and Yoko style. Buy it HERE.

Don’t forget my Walton-on-Thames Literary Walking Map is now available too. As the weather gets better in 2018, find a nice day and take stroll around Walton, discovering its hidden treasures. Elmbridge Council commissioned me to create it and it was one of my favourite jobs of 2017.

It is an A3 fold out map with a double page information sheet from Elmbridge Museum that reveals Walton’s literary connections with William Thackeray, Dirk Bogarde, Sir Arthur Sullivan, Jerome Kern, Julian Sturgis, Samuel Ireland, Matteo Sedazzari, Anne Cummings and many more. Follow the 60-90 minute circular walk and visit literary sites of interest in Walton-on-Thames, including The Swan pub, Walton Bridge, Nettlefold Studio, Walton Library, Ashley Park , St Mary’s Church and The Old Manor House.

 

 

 

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Autumn 2017

Over the past year I’ve been struggling to establish my own work amongst the commissions and illustrations I create for other people. I have enjoyed working with other people for many years but slowly the themes that interest me have been buried under a busy schedule of album covers and organising group exhibitions for ConnectCollect. I knew I needed to make a change and I feel I’ve now turned the page on a new chapter. I started in June this year with a trip away to my studio in Cambieure and little house in Limoux with Kevin Acott (writer) and Bill Mudge (photographer/musician).

Reversing the Spectator
Kevin, Bill and I spent a week together in the South Of France during the June heatwave of 2017. We didn’t have a plan about what we wanted to do, what we might create together. I slowly filled my sketchbook with vignettes of village life. Bill, suffering under the relentless sun, retreated to the night-time streets of Limoux and Cambieure, photographing the midnight cats and silent buildings. While Kevin worked on a set of short stories that had been inspired by his travels through the USA, Greenland and now France.
On the 14th June 2017 we walked from the Petite Rue du Palais to the cemetery in Rue Saint-François in Limoux. It was a pilgrimage to visit the grave of Madame Mongin, a neighbour who had died the previous year. Starting at Madame Mongin’s former home we wandered through the largely deserted streets of Limoux. Slowly we were separated along the sun-bleached route, eventually meeting once again at the cemetery.
Reversing the Spectator is a 16 page chapbook published by our family company Sampson Low and features my drawings and Kevin Acott’s words. Buy it HERE for £2.60 (+£1.20 P&P).

Exhibitions
The Art of Caring has once again proved a huge success, first gracing the walls of St George’s Hospital in Tooting and then transferring to St Pancras Hospital for a 3 month run (closes 19th October 2017). We have exhibited 330 artworks in both locations. I exhibited a piece in the Droitwich Mail Art exhibition during August 2017, curated by Tamara Jelača. Here are a few more exhibitions that are just about to happen and I’m involved in….

Far Out  (2 Sept – 1 Oct 2017) at the Galleri Nexus, Tinglev, Denmark. An exhibition of science fiction inspired artwork by international artists including a performance by Brut Interstellar. I’ve created a huge wall of imagined worlds that can be coloured-in by visitors to the exhibition.

Off the Record (1 – 30 Sept 2017) at The Quarry Theatre, Bedford, MK40 2NN. It is an exhibition of imagined album covers as part of the Conscia Jazz Festival. I have created two pieces for the exhibition, including one cover of one-line drawings from a night sketching at Kansas Smitty’s during the summer. https://www.conscia.org

51Zero Festival (27 Oct – 2 Nov 2017) where my silent film Aspic will be screened alongside live music, sound art on the launch night, 27th October 2017 in Rochester Cathedral crypt, Kent, ME1 1SX. And also with recorded sound in Rochester Cathedral crypt and in the Main Chamber, Guildhall Museum, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1PY from the 28th October to the 2nd November. Aspic was inspired by a short residency at the TANE house on the Isle of Wight. https://www.51zero.org

Album Art
Over the past few months I’ve been working on album cover work for Andy Fleet, Stefanos Tsourelis and the Balagan Café Band. All these groups/musicians will be releasing their albums in the next few months. A sketch of mine also features in a new release, Transitions by the Julian Costello Quartet.

Instagram
I have established a new way of working since coming back from France this summer. I try and complete a drawing in the morning before switching to emails and other contact with gallery and artists. So excuse me if I’m slower than usual to respond to you. I also try and get this drawing onto Instagram, you can find me at https://www.instagram.com/albanart/ I’m often inspired by the things I see around me, especially the strange happening in Suburbia or London’s unusual inhabitants.