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Published in Open The Magazine, December 2015
In the late afternoon winter light, Dayanita Singh’s ‘Museum Bhavan’, made up of her collection of nine ‘mobile museums’, looks solemn and spectral. Thin, white textiles cover some of these structures, which occupy most of the living room of her south Delhi home. In the coming few days, these cabinet-like contraptions will shift to Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) in Saket, New Delhi, and stay there for the next six months.
Related artists: Dayanita Singh
Published in The Art Newspaper, December 2015
From her vantage point on Ireland’s wild west Connemara coast, Dorothy Cross conjures up magical, ritualistic works that dissolve the boundaries between nature, culture, religion and superstition to haunting and memorable effect. Rows of rusting iron baths fill part of the gallery with what looks like an ancient burial site, each with a careful band of gilding replacing the accumulated residue of scummy watermarks.
Published in Irish Arts Review, November 2015 ( December 2015 - February 2016 (Vol 32 No 4) p. 526-533 )
I am dyslexic like a high percentage of creative people - that can have a big impact on a personality. I knew I wanted to be an artist. I don’t know how, but I went to Sligo thinking that I’d learn how to demonstrate emotions through art but that idea was soon squished. We learned every single process - carving, clay, and metalworking ... By the time I had finished I was ready for the challenges. We were minded, valued and nurtured. It was communal almost. Competition didn’t exist. We were proud of each other’s ability.
Related artists: Daphne Wright
Published in Frieze Magazine, November 2015 ( Issue 175, p. 170 )
The exhibition in fact contains images of two expanses of parched wilderness, wisely paired and thousands of miles apart: one photographed by John Riddy, the other drawn by James Castle. Their respective haunts were South Africa’s jagged Cape Peninsula, a spur of land jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean that the British-born Riddy has roamed over for decades, and Idaho, where the deaf and illiterate Castle, an artist of disarming gifts, was born in 1899 and remained until his death, 78 years later. Together, they map communities from their most desolate edges to provide documents of these places that are difficult to decipher and reverberate with mutually ghoulish history.
Published in The Guardian, October 2015
“THE BASTARD WORD”, reads a neon sign that fills a whole wall. My life is filled with bastard words, and so is Fiona Banner’s Scroll Down And Keep Scrolling, at Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery. If her neon sign addresses her conflict with words, it also embodies her difficulties with neon. The glass lettering is stressed and wonky and has scorched the paper template on the wall behind it. It hurts just to look; I know how the words feel.
Published in The Times, October 2015
Banner’s work - now the subject of a major survey exhibition, Scroll Down And Keep Scrolling at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham - is full of teases like this, that make you aware of the links and gaps in your perception of the world.
Published in Artforum, October 2015
In the abstract, it seems merely provocative to pair John Riddy’s recent photographs of South Africa’s Cape Peninsula with drawings by the self-taught American artist James Castle. Riddy is a British photographer of exquisite technical precision, while Castle, deaf and illiterate, worked in almost complete obscurity until his death in 1977, turning found materials such as packing boxes and kitchen twine into sculpture, books, and drawings.
These pieces share a vocabulary of barns, gables, pilons, and power lines; yet in both, banal subjects viewed dead-on can remain strangely unknowable…Of course, this pairing shatters expectations of photographic objectivity or “outsider” subjectivity, but better yet, the formal enigmas of Riddy’s floating trailers and Castle’s squiggle symbols will find their partners if one looks close enough.
Published in Creative Review, September 2015
Banner has created ‘Font’ to accompany two new exhibitions of her work, at Frith Street Gallery in London and Ikon in Birmingham. The Ikon show, which opens on October 10, is the first major UK survey of Banner’s art, featuring works going back over 25 years.
Published in Time Out, September 2015
Published in FT Weekend, July 2015 ( Page 15 )
Shaping his defining experiences — long-term illness and cultural displacement — into affecting, exquisitely formal works, touched too by a French lyrical inflection, he made a distinctive contribution to the Chinese avant-garde, celebrated here in this rare UK show…In “Crystal Landscape of Inner Body (Serpent)”, delicate, sinuous, blown glass abstractions represent internal organs — some bulbous, some coiled, some rough, some smooth — laid out like a disjointed body on a glass table suggesting a clinical examination bed. They balance sculptural opposites — inside/outside, solid/void — to muse on the relationship between the individual and society, the material and spiritual, beauty and death.
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