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The Shock of the Now - Issue #28

Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Evening All,
I hope you’re all well and welcome to Issue 28 of The Shock of the Now.
This issue’s Featured Exhibition is Harrison Pearce’s solo exhibition ‘Host’ at Carl Kostyál in Central London. Harrison has his studio with us at Collective Ending in Deptford, so I was lucky enough to have an intimate insight into the creation of this exhibition, and the hard work that has gone into it that I am pleased to report has more than paid off.
There are also seven weekly Recommended Exhibitions and thirteen active Artist Opportunities.
I hope you enjoy Issue 28, and if so do forward it along! As always any questions, comments or feedback are welcome, so feel free to get in touch.
All the best, and speak soon, H x

Featured Exhibition: Harrison Pearce - 'Host' Solo Exhibition - Carl Kostyál
Having returned to painting as his primary medium during the first pandemic lockdown, when access to studio space and sculptural materials was scarce, Harrison Pearce‘s latest solo exhibition 'Host’ expands his practice beyond the realms of physical possibility, freed from the shackles of engineering obstacles or real-world restrictions.
Ghost, Forebear & Siphon, the exhibitions principal paintings and Pearce’s largest to date, take as their protagonists selected segments of notable neoclassical sculptures, obtained thanks to cultural conservators or museum managements newly renewed efforts to increase the accessibility of historical artefacts by making three-dimensional digital scans of the originals freely available online. Content to share co-authorship with technology, Pearce passed each fragment of famed figurine through a manufacturing software’s ‘optimized topology’ option, a function that refines objects to their most machine-made efficient. Corners and contours are smoothed to create sleek, streamlined and somewhat sexy sculptural simulacrum, complete with perfectly chiselled jawlines and taut triceps.
In Pearce’s paintings, each ghostly grey figure appears attached or attended to by mysterious machines, undefinable non-human entities of unknown function. Poking, prodding, pruning, pulling and probing, whether imparting pain or pleasure is unsure. Forgo, however, the familiar fear-mongering associated with artificial intelligence or the popular panic surrounding a possible automaton induced apocalypse. Upon closer inspection of these airbrushed exploded-view diagrams, Pearce’s machinery is less Machiavellian and more antediluvian - by today’s standards - recognisable as an arrangement of rudimentary mechanical components common in mundane manufacturing, fabrication or even plumbing. Rather than the sinister sci-fi of contemporary CGI-laden cinema, instead, they are reminiscent of the homespun ‘Here’s One I Made Earlier’ horrors of historical B movies.
For his smaller Sentinel studies, Pearce applied that aforementioned optimised topology application to his own sketches of geometric mini-machines. The results are somewhat adorable anthropomorphic androids, all dulled edges and smooth silhouettes, named in reference to the rise in robot-assisted surgery particularly prevalent in cancer treatments requiring sentinel node mapping to locate and localise cancerous cells. Elsewhere, in the elongated Long Phrase triptych, Pearce portrays a subterranean scene where further figurative fragments are found lodged amongst the labyrinthine lengths of tubes, pipes and ducts as if discarded, consigned to the cutting room floor. Multiple gaping inlets and dilating outlets allow for enticing entry points into the prodigious painting, while the cropping of each assumedly continuous channel by the confines of the canvas is implicative of an expanded picture plane and emblematic of Pearce’s penchant for wide-ranging, interdisciplinary world-building.
Finally, Stateless, the exhibition’s sole sculptural component, was originally intended as an experimental example of the artist’s ongoing investigation of kinetic sculpture, is perhaps more indicative of Pearce’s inherent empathy towards assumedly inanimate entities, fostered through his frequent pondering of philosophical thought experiments postulating upon the contrary. Designed as a convulsing cuboid to comment upon the metastability of energetic states within a dynamical system, instead, the sculpture is rendered static by indecision, pathetically paralysed, able only to offer rude interruption to the still silence of Carl Kostyál‘s Saville Row space with the hiss of its impotent hydraulic pistons firing infrequently.
Recommended Exhibitions Opening This Week:
Stacie McCormick - ‘Colour’ Solo Exhibition - Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop, Latimer Road (17th February - 19th March, opening Wednesday 16th February, 6-9pm)
Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop presents Stacie McCormick‘s latest solo exhibition 'Colour’, curated by Maria Korolevskaya, featuring new paintings on paper created during the recent lockdowns, presented in an exciting installation format.
‘Cool, Fresh, Sweet Waters’ Group Exhibition - The Tub, Hackney (17th-20th February, opening Thursday 17th February, 6-9pm)
The Tub presents ‘Cool, Fresh, Sweet Waters’, a group exhibition of medieval art and artefacts by Megan Rea, Nina Silverberg (above) and Becky Tucker.
‘Premiums Interim 2’ Group Exhibition - The Royal Academy of Arts, Mayfair (17th February - 17th March)
R.I.P. Germain - ‘Four Bedrooms With An En suite, A Garage & Garden In A Nice Neighbourhood’ Solo Exhibition - V.O Curations, Mayfair (18th February - 24th March, opening Thursday 17th February, 6-8pm)
V.O Curations presents R.I.P. Germain latest solo exhibition ‘Four Bedrooms With An En suite, A Garage & Garden In A Nice Neighbourhood’, created during his recent residency with V.O and accompanied by an audio guide, Plot Armour, produced with artist Deborah-Joyce Holman.
Caroline Walker - ‘Birth Reflections’ Solo Exhibition - Fitzrovia Chapel, Fitzrovia (18th February - 4th March)
The Fitzrovia Chapel presents Caroline Walker‘s latest solo exhibition 'Birth Reflections’, featuring new large-scale paintings created during her recent residency at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson maternity wing at University College Hospital.
Lewis Brander & Sonya Derviz - ‘First Light’ Two-Person Exhibition - Collective Ending HQ, Deptford (19th February - 19th March, opening Saturday 19th February, 5-10pm)
Collective Ending presents ‘First Light’, a two-person exhibition of paintings by Lewis Brander and Sonya Derviz, 2018 graduate students from Goldsmiths and the Slade School of Fine Art respectively, organised by myself! In the intervening years post-art school, Lewis and Sonya have diligently continued to pursue and advance their painting practices, with Lewis having relocated to Athens and since returned, and with both having stoically weathered the past two pandemic-plagued years. This exhibition, therefore, the first in our 2022 programme at Collective Ending HQ, presents recent paintings that reward the prolonged, in-person viewing of old.
‘Secret of Lightness’ Group Exhibition - Parafin, Mayfair (23rd February - 14th April, opening Tuesday 22nd February, 6-8pm)
Parafin presents ‘Secret of Lightness’, a group exhibition featuring Andrew Pierre Hart, Tim Head, Andrea Heller, Laurence Kavanagh and Aimée Parrott (above) that takes as its inspiration Italo Calvino’s essay-lecture on Lightness in Six Memos for the Next Millennium (1985), describing an auspicious image for the new millennium.
Artist Opportunities:
This November Sluice and PADA are bringing together an interdisciplinary selection of artist and curator-led projects to explore the impact and interconnections of the ecological, environmental and political consequences of the slow transgenerational violence brought about by the manufacture of territory. Territory is a year-long focus that will culminate in Lisbon on 11 - 13 November 2022. The event will run in conjunction with Lisbon Art Weekend. Exhibitions, performances, screenings and talks will be situated throughout the Barreiro district. A selection of the participating projects will be in residence in the weeks preceding the event, others will come solely for the Art Weekend.
The Delphian Gallery Open Call is an international competition for all printable forms of artwork. It aims to give a platform to talented emerging artists who are producing exceptional work. The Open Call is open to all artists working in a printable format. This includes painting, photography, collage, illustration and many others. The open call is open to international entrants. The Open Call will culminate with a physical group exhibition for the winners in London in 2022. The first prize winner will win a solo exhibition with us in 2022.
Entries are now open for this year’s The Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2022. Leading artists, household names and new and emerging talent – anyone can submit their work for a chance to be selected for the exhibition. The end result is a celebration of art and creativity in all its forms. Coordinated by Alison Wilding RA, this year the Summer Exhibition will explore the urgent theme of Climate. The first round of selection is made from digital images of artworks, from which the judges will shortlist up to 4,000 entries to be delivered to the Academy for the final round.
Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop are now accepting applications for their Solo Residency (May - July 2022). ​The gallery is offering one artist access for three months to one of its spectacular 350 ft² (35m²) studio spaces, with both natural and professional lighting. Working above the gallery space, the successful applicant has the opportunity to network with artists, curators, collectors and the wider public whilst visiting ongoing exhibitions and events organised in the gallery. The residency programme also provides guidance and promotion through our channels and network, as well as the Solo Residency Exhibition organised in the studio space upstairs.
The Mark Tanner Sculpture Award is the most significant award for emerging artists working in the field of sculpture in the UK. It is unique in its combination of offering financial support towards the production of new work, plus a solo exhibition to an exceptional sculptor. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the award and to celebrate the prize fund has been raised to £10,000. The award also includes a national touring programme, taking MTSA artists to partner venues across the UK. Applicants must be established residents of the UK. Students in current education are not eligible to apply. This applies to BA and MA students or equivalent, but those undertaking postgraduate research work leading to a PhD/Mphil/MLitt/ MRes or equivalent are able to apply.
Turps Studio Programme is a unique opportunity for a select group of painters to take up residence in their own dedicated studios within an exciting studio and gallery development in South East London, just 10 minutes from Elephant and Castle. Participants embark on a year-long programme of intensive mentoring, dynamic group seminars, talks, and crits with the option to continue for a second year. Participants are expected to work within this professional environment with commitment and a strong work ethic, as well as participating fully in a community-based studio.
Turps Off-Site is an exciting mentoring opportunity for London based painters who want to develop their practice through the ethos of Turps Studio Programme but wish to remain working in their own studio. A team of Turps Mentors visit participants in their own studios for one to one tutorials, and painters will develop a supportive network of peers across London, through group studio visits to each other’s studios, crits based at Turps Studios and regular visits to attend talks at Turps Art School across the year.
Applications are now open for The Drawing Year, Royal Drawing School’s one-year postgraduate-level course offering up to thirty students the opportunity to focus on drawing from observation. There are no tuition fees – all students are awarded a full scholarship and receive a free personal studio space (SPACE studios, Hackney) from which they can continue to work on the development of their practice alongside taught courses. The programme is taught by a distinguished faculty of over 75 practicing artists offering in-depth quality tuition. Royal Drawing School sees drawing both as an end in itself and in relation to other areas of practice.
MASS Studio Programme was launched in October 2021 at MASS Studios at Thames-Side Studios, Woolwich, London, SE18 5NR. MASS is in the heart of the largest single-site community of artists and creatives in London. Working in collaboration with the London Sculpture Workshop they offer a number of on-site studio spaces and a flexible exhibition and talks space to enable us to build a sustainable community of peers and mentors. Participants join an open plan shared studio space at MASS Studios at Thames-Side Studios with 24/7 access, receive to 15 artists talks and access to visiting artist’s mentoring, 10 one-to-one regular mentoring sessions, 2 one-to-one guest mentoring sessions, 2 group mentoring sessions, 10 MASS Seminar Points & 2 group review sessions. The programme runs in three 12-weeks blocks across a 10 month period.
MASS Off-Site is an exciting new mentoring opportunity for London based sculptors who want to develop their practice through the same successful ethos employed by Turps Mentoring programmes and wish to remain working in their own studio. MASS Mentors visit sculptors in their own studios for one to one tutorials, and participants develop a supportive network of peers across London, through group studio visits to each other’s studios, crits based at Turps Gallery and attending MASS artist talks.
Mass Correspondence Course is an innovative distance-learning programme of online mentoring facilitated through critical, supportive written reviews by a dedicated mentor. The course is aimed at sculptors based anywhere in the world and at any stage in their career who want to develop or reinvigorate their work, whether recently graduated from art school or those without any formal arts education. 
Turps Correspondence Course is an innovative programme of online mentoring facilitated through critical, supportive written reviews delivered by a dedicated mentor. The course is aimed at painters who want to develop or reinvigorate their work, whether recently graduated from art school, mid-career or those without any formal arts education. The course is designed and structured to be delivered entirely online so that painters, based anywhere in the world and at any stage in their career, can participate and receive informed, critical feedback from a mentor who is a practising painter selected by Turps. There are 5 review points throughout the year when you will be required to upload images of your work and a short statement or ‘letter’ to your mentor. Your mentor will then review what has been uploaded and write their response. It is a very different type of feedback from more conventional face-to-face tutorials but we believe this is what makes the correspondence course such an appealing and sought after professional development course.
V.O Residencies provide emerging and lesser represented artists with the time and space to research and develop new work. The 2022 V.O Residency Programme will host six artists across three sessions, inviting practitioners to experiment and create new work in an open and supportive environment. Residents are provided with free studio space, critical and practical support, the opportunity to present a solo exhibition, and access to useful resources and a broad network of individuals and organisations. V.O aims to bring together diverse voices and encourages applicants from all backgrounds. The V.O Residency Programme is focused on promoting artistic exchange, socially-focused discourse and knowledge production.
V.O Residencies are open to artists in their first five years of professional practice and with less than three solo exhibitions. Each resident is invited to present a solo exhibition or project at V.O Gallery, and will have the possibility of producing a publication or print project related to the work they have developed while in residence.
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Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator

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