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The Shock of the Now - Issue #37

Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Afternoon All,
I hope you’re all well and welcome to Issue 37 of The Shock of the Now.
This issue’s Featured Exhibition is Flo Brooks’ brilliant latest solo exhibition ‘Be tru to your rec’ at Project Native Informant in Bethnal Green, both a humourous satire of British park life and a cautionary tale to those looking to enjoy some time in the sun this summer.
There are also nine weekly Recommended Exhibitions and two fresh Artist Opportunities.
I hope you enjoy Issue 37, 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: Flo Brooks - 'Be tru to your rec' Solo Exhibition - Project Native Informant
It is perhaps both a blessing and a curse that Flo Brooks‘ studio overlooks the local recreation ground, that verdant pinnacle of liminal communal space, accessible to the public but kept a watchful eye over by police or park services and controlled, sometimes incongruously, by the council. I’m sure many can recall those apocalyptic yet oddly provincial pandemic restrictions, the tame taping off of park benches, playgrounds and outdoor exercise equipment, the apathetic admonishments to those found overextending their allotted hour of outside time, the spiritless scoldings for sitting down on a grassy common. Brooks observed all of those abnormal encounters and took particular interest in our first tentative experiences of post-lockdown life, a time when outside spaces became the main, or sometimes sole, sites of social interaction.
In his latest solo exhibition, 'Be tru to your rec’ at Project Native Informant, Brooks documents those ephemeral outdoor events, unavoidable during the spring and summer months ahead, that attract a curious cross-section of society and evoke a quintessentially British combination of melancholic nostalgia and anxious excitement. Painted on wood panels that recall ill-proportioned puzzle pieces, each artwork serves as a puddle shaped peephole indicative of an expanded picture plane or a still snapshot of an evidently wider narrative, all set against a site-specific beige backdrop reminiscence of those frail, faded gazebos that imply impermanence and pop-up in abundance to provide shelter from a passing rain shower or shade from the midday sun.
To get ahead of the pack this summer season, prepare your improvised placards and hand-painted flags for the Pride rally, customise an outfit with customary rainbow clothing, patch together your portable sound systems, but beware of the omnipresent police patrolman and follow signs to the closest Covid test facility should a cough come on. Mind the flies at the first spring BBQ, and pass around burnt bangers, paper plates, plastic cutlery and fistfuls of blue roll before selecting squirts of ketchup or hand sanitiser from oversized cash and carry containers. If serving, employ extra caution by doubling down with both facemask and protective visor. While foraging for wild fruits along the hedgerows, avoid the discarded dog poo bags and jettisoned johnny wrappers, and don’t let a crying toddler mid-tantrum spoil all the fun at the fair, there is still plenty of plush prizes to be won and candyfloss to be consumed.
Alongside, collaged works on paper only previously presented for publication introduce an amalgamation of abstracted colour-field forms, depictions of street furniture - think lampposts, litter bins, bike racks and curbsides - and photographs of LGBTQ+ icons such as Stormé DeLarverie, a singer and activist often credited with igniting the Stonewall riots and the American actor and drag queen Divine. The latter famously hosted Andrew Logan’s Alternative Miss World pageant on Clapham Common in 1978, and it is that South London landmark, its historical heritage amongst the LGBTQ+ community and its potentially problematic policing or park management, that Brooks exposes and investigates in this triptych.
Recommended Exhibitions Opening This Week:
Natalia Janula - ‘delights’ Solo Exhibition & James Tuitt - ‘Top Floor’ Solo Exhibition - New Art Projects, Cambridge Heath (21st April - 4th June, opening Thursday 21st April, 6-9pm)
New Art Projects presents Natalia Janula‘s solo exhibition 'delights’ (above) and James Tuitt‘s solo exhibition 'Top Floor’.
Janula’s work is interested in urban and natural environments and the slippage between the two. This is mirrored by her choice of synthetic and organic materials, from jesmonite to silicone and latex, to 3D printed sandstone, found objects and kinetic motors. Her practice involves developing and containing ‘ecosystems’ through assemblage, ikebana and digital rendering. 
Tuitt’s new paintings celebrate various versions of black women in power. Black fashion models and their rise to prominence take centre stage, but the overall place of black women throughout the fashion industry and beyond is also questioned. Tuitt asks, “are black women essentially being used as a consumer-facing means to sell products”, seemingly answering our calls for diversity and inclusion? Or is the inclusion of black women as actual professionals being extended to higher, executive positions?
Cecilia Fiona - Solo Exhibition & Marc Lee - Solo Exhibition, Annka Kultys, Bethnal Green (22nd April - 21st May, opening Thursday 21st April, 6-8pm)
Annka Kultys presents solo exhibitions of Cecilia Fiona (above) and Marc Lee.
Indulging in the dreamscape of unconsciousness, Cecilia Fiona’s scenes of surreality illustrate figures that mix human and fantasy and disorientingly colourful landscapes, rich and texture through her use of Rabbit-Skin glue. Simultaneously chaotic and serene, the viewer becomes lost within the artist’s imagination.
Over the last two decades, Marc Lee has become known for immersive, network-oriented and interactive installations experimenting with information and communication technologies. This often manifests itself through art projects that result in the production of apps and interactive installations — media art, internet art, augmented reality (AR) art, virtual reality (VR) art and mobile art — that enable gallery-goers to create the immediate content of the work by using the artist’s apps directly on smartphones or tablets
Cat Roissetter - ‘Rural Scenes’ Solo Exhibition - Cob Gallery, Camden (21st April - 21st May, opening Thursday 21st April, 6-9pm)
Cob Gallery presents ‘Rural Scenes’, an exhibition of painted works by Cat Roissetter. Opening a new window onto the artist’s subversive dream-world – an unsettling, equivocal space that emerges from a distinctively English cultural imaginary – ‘Rural Scenes’ finds Roissetter turning away from the pencil and crayon of her earlier work. Instead, she uses oil paint on gesso-primed timber surfaces. The layered translucency of the drawings cedes place to a markedly thicker, darker tonal register, yet in other ways the transition is a natural one: Roissetter’s earlier use of graphite and wax in combination with linseed oil already had a liquid, painterly quality about it, and the shift to oil paint allows this to emerge with a new and different force.
Hella Keck - ‘Split Glass’ Solo Exhibition - Webber Gallery, Fitzrovia (21st April - 5th May, opening Thursday 21st April, 6-8:30pm)
Webber Gallery presents Hella Keck‘s solo exhibition 'Split Glass’. The installation explores the playful tension between interior and exterior, the private and public. Distinctions between looking in and glancing out are lost - an illogical part of the brain takes over, making collages of its own. Keck transforms the gallery space into a fragmented set, mirroring an internal landscape in which she explores fleeting observations and treasured recollections.
Melanie Jackson - ‘Spekyng Rybawdy’ Solo Exhibition & Clifton Wright - ‘Hieroglyphics of the Face’ Solo Exhibition - Bock 336, Brixton (22nd April - 28th May, opening Friday 22nd April, 6-9pm).
Block 336 presents two new solo installations ‘Spekyng Rybawdy’ by Melanie Jackson (above) and ‘Hieroglyphics of the Face’ by Clifton Wright.
‘Spekyng Rybawdy’ is the latest and most ambitious incarnation of Melanie Jackson’s ongoing project exploring the transgressive narratives and explicit symbolism of Medieval pilgrim bawdy badges. Through a carnival of colourful, erotically charged characters, Spekyng Rybawdy encourages us to re-examine not only our ideas about who took part in the production and circulation of imagery in the medieval period - but also how this might enable us to reconsider the origins of dissenting representations, sexual politics and our attitudes and behaviours today. 
‘Hieroglyphics of the Face’ presents the first major solo exhibition of drawings by Clifton Wright. Working prolifically for over 15 years, the exhibition includes a selection of works made from 2017 to 2020. Clifton Wright works from life and draws the people around him. Whilst his models may be close friends that he has known for many years, he does not make traditional portraits. Wright instead uses the face as a starting point - a framework to be considered, abstracted and reorganised, with features becoming symbols that hang together in new formal arrangements.
Artist Opportunities:
To mark their 1 year anniversary, Liliya Art Gallery are delighted to announce their first Open Call. It is completely free to enter, all you have to do is email pictures of your work (max three per artist) with information (medium, dimensions, price) and a short bio. Selected artists will have their works featured in their first Open Call exhibition opening 27th May 2022.
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.
The Waverton Art Prize is aimed at supporting artists all over the world by showcasing the very best in contemporary art with a first prize of £10,000 and shortlisted work forming an exhibition at Alice’s Oyster Bar and Gallery in London for 2 months. The Waverton Art Prize is open to artists at all stages, whether already enrolled on a course, about to embark on undergraduate or post-graduate studies, self-taught artists, recent graduates and those who have studied at any time. The selection will lean more towards unrepresented artists and those who have not shown at significant establishments, but artists who are exhibiting regularly and have shown at galleries will also be considered.
Kupfer Project Space x Hackney Impact & Ideas invite Hackney-based artists to apply for their newest residency programme. Between June and October 2022 Kupfer will host 4 underrepresented and socially underprivileged Hackney-based artists for a 3-month long residency where they will each develop both in practice and international recognition. Artists can either live in Hackney or have a studio in Hackney. During the 3 month residency, Kupfer will support the artists through: Access to an individual studio space and our in-house workshop facilities; monthly grants paid to the artist in salary style; a grant dedicated to funding art materials to be used during the residency; technical support and mentorship from the organisation’s staff and monthly one-to-one tutorials led by established artists, curators and researchers.
“With Whom We Mutually Communicate?” calls for artists, thinkers and practitioners from all areas who wish to answer ONE of the following prompts set through Alain Badiou’s extraction of Deleuze’s The Logic of Sense, which Badiou would call the four Delezean axioms of the event:
“Unlimited becoming becomes the event itself.”
“The event is always that which has just happened and that which is about to happen, but never that which is happening.”
“The event is of a different regime than the actions and passions of the body, even if it results from them.”
“A life is composed of a single and same event, lacking all the variety of what happens to it.”
Answers can be in any form: visual arts, writings, event proposals, workshop ideas and more. Selected submissions will be exhibiting as part of “With Whom We Mutually Communicate?” at Copeland Gallery, May 26th - 29th.
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.
With further funding from The Fenton Arts Trust, the A.P.T & Fenton Arts Trust Mentoring Award, returns for a second year, to provide mentoring and free studio space for one year to two emerging artists or recent graduates, whose practice is focused on sculpture and installation. The awardees will receive studio space for a year, as well as advice and guidance on their fine art practice from a mentor. This mentoring will be provided by esteemed professional artists at APT: Victoria Rance and Sheila Vollmer. Starting in July 2022, this unique programme is designed to provide space and support during the period between education and professional life, with a collaborative one-to-one mentoring relationship.
Film London and Arts Council England present The FLAMIN Fellowship, a major scheme for early-career artist filmmakers living in England. Part of Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN), the Fellowship aims to support the most exciting, innovative and challenging moving image practices from filmmakers at the early stages of their careers, with development and funding for new work. The FLAMIN Fellowship offers a unique opportunity in developing professional artistic practice with a series of monthly workshops, which cover key areas including selling artwork, film festival strategy, writing funding applications, archiving your work, sound design, insurance, copyright and sustaining a practice.
Submissions are now open for the Village Books curated SCREW Gallery billboard. There is no theme. One image will be chosen, but applicants are welcome to submit up to 1-5 images of any medium of image-based artwork (photography, illustration, video stills, painting, collage etc) in portrait format to be displayed on the side of the gallery in Summer 2022. The selected artist will be paid an £80 fee for their participation, with all printing costs covered by Village/SCREW. The banner size is double A0 so a ratio of 1.414:1 however can be accommodated with a border or a tigger crop if the artist allows. Email all submissions as low-res jpegs with the heading ‘SCREW billboard submission’ to sam@villagebooks.co. This programme is supported with funding from Leeds Inspired, part of Leeds City Council 
Entry is now open for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2022. Open to all, it is the leading international competition and celebrates and promotes the very best in contemporary photography. The winner of the competition will receive £15,000. In addition, the judges, at their discretion, will award cash prizes to one or more of the shortlisted photographers. The prize winners and exhibition selection are judged on an equal and anonymous basis. In 2021 the exhibition was held at Cromwell Place and featured a total of 54 portraits from 25 artists.
Exeter Contemporary Open is an annual open submission exhibition, established in 2006 and hosted by Exeter Phoenix, a busy, multi-artform venue and contemporary art space situated in Exeter’s historic city centre. The exhibition aims to provide an important national platform for contemporary visual art with an emphasis on supporting emerging talent alongside more established artists. The exhibition will run from 15 September – 6 November 2022 and is open to contemporary visual artists working in any media including painting, sculpture, photography, print, drawing, video, mixed and digital media. Artists should make submissions that reflect their current practice, and the selection panel will particularly be looking for work that reflects current directions, themes and concerns in contemporary practice. Each of the artists selected for the exhibition will be eligible for one of several cash prizes: The £1000 Overall Award, £500 Additional Award and £200 Audience Choice Award – as voted for by visitors over the course of the exhibition. 
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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