Tag Archives: John Lennon

The Circuitous Route to an Artistic Circuit: Flora Parrott at Tintype

30 Sep

Tintype Gallery has moved and I wouldn’t recommend using the google maps ap to find it.  As I walked towards the blue dot, I began to get the feeling things weren’t quite right.  This wasn’t where I had thought the gallery was relocating…something was amiss.  Arriving at the blue dot, my hunch was confirmed – it wasn’t even the right street. Typing in the street address, rather than the postcode, did cheer my ap up considerably but showed I was a reasonable distance out – a £5 cab journey in fact.  My stiletto-ed feet weren’t up to the walk in this sweltering heat.

When I did arrive at St Cross Street I began to feel more confident. This seemed a more appropriate area for a young, emerging gallery and the gallery doors were open to beckon everyone in and up the stairs.

Flora Parrott, detail of Circuit: Five Deductions, 2011. Own photograph.

Tintype has reopened with a striking exhibition of new work by Flora Parrott – an artist in whom I’m particularly interested as she is producing a work for the 2012 exhibition, In Conversation with Stuart Sutcliffe.   For this, Parrott says she is relishing the opportunity to include and acknowledge the mania of 60s popular culture and is responding to a letter of Stuart’s that struck her as particularly raw and dynamic, recognising the explosive and destructive relationships between Stuart and Astrid Kirchner and Stuart and John Lennon.

Although small, the new space looks great and Parrott’s all-encompassing works have transformed the gallery into the artist’s own electric environment.

Flora Parrott, detail of Circuit: Five Deductions, 2011. Own photograph.

Five assemblages, all interconnected by striking black lines of tape, create a circuit in the gallery. The dynamism of the individual sculptures are intended to mimic a sensation based around a skate wing, a snail on glass, a carnivorous plant, a jaw bone and a pillow lava. This use of unusual and diverse media (one ‘deduction’, for example, uses copper paint, cuttlefish dust, slate, OS board, oyster shells and found wood) shows Parrott’s constant experimentation to find textures and compositions that interact and resonate successfully in response to physical sensations.

Flora Parrott, detail of Circuit: Five Deductions, 2011. Own photograph.

Parrott is preoccupied by the sensations of natural phenomena and Circuit: Five Deductions is a means to dissect and communicate these responses, systematically dividing and organising materials into sculptural configurations that play on the senses.

Flora Parrott, detail of Circuit: Five Deductions, 2011. Own photograph.

It is the interaction of Parrott’s works and the circuitry nature of the pieces that makes them special. Yes, they are physically linked but the materials, with their natural resonances, seem to be in dialogue with each other.  Her work is very unusual: deceivingly simple on the surface, the highly complex ideas and structure of the compositions are all encompassing.

Although this exhibition is definitely worth a visit and Flora Parrott’s career is well worth following, be sure you know where you’re going.

Flora Parrott’s Circuit: Five Deductions is at Tintype until 22nd October 2011, www.tintypegallery.com.

These Boots Are Made For Working – Site Visit for the Sutcliffe Show

10 Aug

This morning I was able to don a hard hat, high visibility jacket and some sturdy steel-capped boots and go exploring in what will be the new East Wing Galleries at Somerset House.  I didn’t really look my usual well-groomed self but the builders seemed to enjoy me tripping around the site.  My ‘gorgeous’ boots were several sizes too big and although it was rather fun, I was pleased to return to my stilettos.

The boots. Own photograph.

These beautiful new galleries (you may have to use your imagination a bit at the moment) will be the home for the London stop of In Conversation with Stuart Sutcliffe next year – an exciting touring exhibition.

The new East Galleries at Somerset House. Own photograph.

Sutcliffe’s importance to the Beatles must not be underestimated – he was one of the founder members, the original bass player during their early years, and a close friend of John Lennon.  Stuart Sutcliffe’s sad and sudden death (attributed to an aneurysm) is part of Beatles’ folklore, a poignant story of a young man whose promising career was tragically cut short.

Stuart Sutcliffe in Hamburg, 1960-61. Image via www.stuartsutcliffeart.com.

In July 1961, Sutcliffe decided to leave The Beatles to concentrate on his art, enrolling at the Hamburg College of Art under the tutelage of Eduardo Paolozzi, who considered him one of his best students.  Known as the 5th Beatle, Sutcliffe was a fantastic young artist who showed huge potential and the legacy of his work has been seen all over the world.

Stuart Sutcliffe, Untitled, Red Portrait. Image via www.stuartsutcliffeart.com.

We’re bringing a great collection of Sutcliffe works over from the States and, as if that isn’t good enough, the exhibition will include a number of artists’ responses to Sutcliffe’s life and work.  Artists involved and creating works for the show are Michael Ajerman, Andrew Bick, Kit Craig, Andrew Curtis, Nick Goss, Mark Hampson, Jann Haworth, Serena Korda, Laura Lancaster, Bob Matthews, Bruce McLean, Marilene Oliver, Flora Parrott, Martina Schmid, Steven Scott, Jamie Shovlin, Sergei Sviatchenko, Jessica Voorsanger, Stephen Walter and Uwe Wittwer.  The final few will be confirmed this month so keep watch for more news.

Excited?  You should be! We are! They are! It’s going to be an amazing exhibition.

The Crypt Gallery, Liverpool (stop 2). Own photograph.

In Conversation with Stuart Sutcliffe will be hosted by CCA&A in Hamburg from 10th April – 9th May 2012, by the Crypt Gallery at the Contemporary Urban Centre in Liverpool from 18th May – 23rd June and by Somerset House in London from 4th July – 27th August.  New York dates are to be confirmed.

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