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The Shock of the Now - Issue #45

Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Afternoon All,
I hope you’re all well and welcome to Issue 45 of The Shock of the Now.
This issue’s Featured Exhibition is Sandra Poulson’s excellent solo exhibition Economy of the Dust at V.O Curations, the result of her recent residency with the central London gallery space and studio provider. The immersive installation presents a perfect marriage of conceptual considerations and material mastery, and my thanks to Sandra for a revealing and riveting discussion early this week. For those free tomorrow evening (Thursday, June 16th, 6:30pm), Sandra will be in conversation with researcher, writer and curator Dr Jareh Das, expect an open and honest discourse surrounding the exhibition and its supporting themes.
There are also seven weekly Recommended Exhibitions and four fresh Artist Opportunities.
I hope you enjoy Issue 45, 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: Sandra Poulson - 'Economy of the Dust' Solo Exhibition - V.O Curations
Dust is particularly prevalent in Sandra Poulson‘s native Luanda. Sand too, due in part to the Angolan capital’s coastal, Sub-Saharan setting, as well as the debated deliberate underdevelopment of the country during its colonial conquest and period as an overseas province of Portugal. However, despite its potential as a reliable resource, the dust mainly serves to symbolise the demarcation of social status and the creation of a hierarchical class system surrounding its erasure or expulsion. With dusty shoes or unclean car tires an obvious indication of travel from an unpaved or unmaintained area, entire industries and economies have evolved in order to eradicate all evidence of dust’s existence. An unending and effectively futile enterprise, yet one that has come to control and compel the community. Such superficial disguise is able only to provisionally alter other people’s perceptions - serving a similar function to the fashions that first enamoured the artist - and cannot, of course, change anyone’s actual circumstances or predicament.
Poulson draws heavily from her lived Luandan experiences, where she resided until the age of eighteen, and engages directly with Angola’s socio-economic, political and cultural context in order to broach broader questions regarding heritage, history, geopolitical positioning and decolonisation. Consequently, throughout her recent residency at V.O Curations and current solo exhibition Economy of the Dust, rather than attempting to liberate Luanda from the dust’s commodified clasp, Poulson has embraced sociologist AbdouMaliq Simone’s suggestion that it instead be viewed as an accidental gift to the city, one that while historically delineating social barriers, can also break them down and even enable a certain upward social mobility.
The exhibition’s central sculptural intervention, Muro, is exemplary of traditional Angolan architecture. A crude concrete structure, constructed from that basic building material that does indeed make use of the city’s surplus of sand, appears as if birthed from the earth itself. Such seemingly unfinished forms are familiar in Luanda, standing silently as if awaiting an upgrade any time now, tools always on hand as a sign of hope should successful social mobility ever occur. Surrounding the wall and partitioning sections of the first-floor space, Poulson’s Gradeamentos replicate in cotton-covered wireframes the ornate gates that served as both literal and metaphorical barriers during the artist’s upbringing. Employed in place of doors, covering the exits and entrances to apartment blocks, these gridded gates were conceived to keep something out, but instead often signified separation, borders across which social interactions, childhood play and romantic relationships would be carried out.
Similar separations of the public and the private, denotations of domesticity, are suggested by Poulson’s Plantas. These fabric facsimiles of fernlike flora native to Angola collectively represent the plentiful plantlife that set apart her family home from its nearby neighbours and saw the artist and her sister earn the Saturday school nickname the girls from the plants. Seen by some as a sign of a particular, non-pecuniary, prosperity or plenty, as both the time to tend plants and the water to nourish them we’re typically in scarce supply, in contrast to the gates permanent reminder of prevention the plants instead instilled possibility and aspiration amid the city’s insufficiency of green spaces.
During the artist’s recent return to Luanda to carry out research for An Angolan Archive (2020), which formed her final year undergraduate presentation in Fashion Print at Central Saint Martins, Poulson found herself observed as an outsider. While her use of private taxis and overheard phone calls with English banks and businesses led to an air of suspicion, her dusty shoes were scrutinised, being seemingly incongruous with her signs of being a social mobility success story. Upstairs in the gallery’s second space two sculptural still lives - or Natureza Morta, the Portuguese with literal translation dead nature - depict those roadside sellers of shoe shines, sandal washes and instantly elevated social status. Further evidence of Poulson’s fashion foundations, each element of the intricate, elegant fabric forms is pattern cut and handsewn, and while one is rendered in the aforementioned yellow cotton, the other uses a beige floral patterned fabric that originally elicited enmity from the artist due to its resemblance to the curtains and sofa coverings of her childhood home. The suspended skirt and trouser are, however, found wanting of a wearer, perhaps another sanguine sign of upward social mobility in action.
Recommended Exhibitions Opening This Week:
Dominic Dispirito - ‘Mother’ Solo Exhibition - The Bomb Factory Art Foundation, Archway (15th June - 3rd July, opening Wednesday 15th June, 6-9pm)
The Bomb Factory Art Foundation presents Dominic Dispirito‘s latest solo exhibition 'Mother’, following his recent residency at their Chelsea location. The exhibition of large paintings, reminiscent of the religious imagery of the middle ages, expresses the spiritual connection the artist has with his mother.
Ned Armstrong and Lottie Stoddart - ‘APT Introduces’ Solo Exhibition - APT Gallery, Deptford (16th - 26th June, opening Thursday 16th June, 6-8pm)
Year one recipients of the APT & Fenton Arts Trust Mentoring Award, Ned Armstrong and Lottie Stoddart (above), celebrate their year at APT with an exhibition of work, made over the last 12 months. Jointly Funded by the Fenton Arts Trust and APT, this annual Award, which runs until 2025, provides free studio space for a year, alongside regular mentoring for 2 emerging artists, each year specialising in a different practice. Painting was the focus in year one and APT are delighted to introduce Lottie’s and Ned’s work, mentored this past year by esteemed APT artists Rebecca Harper and Mali Morris, respectively.
Central Saint Martins Shows 2022 - Central Saint Martins, King’s Cross (16 - 22nd June, opening Thursday 16th June, 12-8pm)
Central Saint Martins presented their 2022 Degree Shows, with exhibiting students from BA Architecture; BA Ceramic Design; BA Culture, Criticism and Curation; BA Fashion; BA Fashion Communication; BA Fine Art; BA Graphic Communication Design; BA Jewellery Design; BA Performance: Design and Practice; BA Product and Industrial Design; BA Textile Design; MA Art and Science; MA Biodesign; MA Character Animation; MA Contemporary Photography; Practices and Philosophies; MA Design (Ceramic, Furniture, Jewellery); MA Fine Art; MA Fine Art Digital; MRes Art; MA Graphic Communication Design; MA Industrial Design; MA Innovation Management; MA Material Futures; MA Narrative Environments; MA Performance: Design and Practice; and M ARCH: Architecture.
Image: Bo Sun, Herringbone Gear (detail), Aluminium, Perspex, metal fixtures, 2022
Undergraduate and Graduate Diploma Degree Show 2022 - Chelsea College of Arts, Pimlico (17th - 25th June, opening Thursday 16th June, 6-9pm)
Chelsea College of Arts presents their 2022 Undergraduate and Graduate Diploma Degree Shows, with exhibiting students from BA Fine Art; BA Graphic Design Communication; BA Interior Design; BA Product and Furniture Design; BA Textile Design; Graduate Diploma Fine Art; Graduate Diploma Interior Design; Graduate Diploma Graphic Design; and Graduate Diploma Textile Design.
Image: Zhuang Zhu, Backstage Comedy Centre
Graduate Degree Show 2022 - Slade School of Fine Art, Euston (17th - 25th June, opening Thursday 16th June, 6-9pm)
The Slade School of Fine Art presents their 2022 MA/MFA Degree Show, featuring work from 71 final-year graduate artists.
Image: Gillies Adamson Semple
RA Schools Show 2022 - Royal Academy of Arts, Mayfair (17th June - 3rd July, opening Friday 17th June, 10-6pm)
Situated within the heart of the Royal Academy of Arts, the Royal Academy Schools provides a postgraduate programme in contemporary art that is free for all participating students. The graduating artists have undertaken the three-year programme plus an additional year, 2020-2021, as cover for loss of studio time during Covid-19. Each year the RA Schools Show is an opportunity to see the results of three years of intense study, research and experimentation.
Displayed throughout the RA Schools’ studios and workshops, the exhibition presents a wide range of practice from performance, installation and moving image, to sculpture, painting and photography. This year’s exhibition includes paintings that layer tradition with augmented reality, a landscape of sculptural wishing wells, a performance where slow bodies melt into screens and machines, and photographs that capture people and places with a directness that frequently summon the mythological and quietly psychological.
Undergraduate and Graduate Diploma Degree Show 2022 - Camberwell College of Arts, Camberwell (18th - 25th June, opening Saturday 18th June, 11-5pm)
Camberwell College of Arts presents their 2022 Undergraduate and Graduate Diploma Degree Shows, with exhibiting students from BA Graphic Design; BA Illustration; BA Interior and Spatial Design; BA Fine Art: Drawing; BA Fine Art: Painting; BA Fine Art: Photography; BA Fine Art: Sculpture; and Graduate Diploma Illustration.
Image: Pippa Healy, The Lake
Artist Opportunities:
It’s been ten years since Gazelli Art House first launched the Window Project. Since its inception in 2012, the initiative has sought to support recent art school graduates and graduate students through annual open call competitions. By offering the gallery’s prominent Dover Street façade, the Window Project has evolved into a unique and established platform for the next generation of artists and curators, developing their exposure and access to the commercial angle of the market. The Gazelli Art House Window Project call for submissions is open to MA/Postgraduate Fine Art and Curatorial Students or Graduate Students within five years of graduating. 
To celebrate its 5th anniversary, Revolv Collective are delighted to announce the Revolv Award. This prize will support 3 early-career photo-based artists via a year-long mentorship with Revolv Collective. In addition to a programme of sessions designed by Revolv Collective, the 3 selected artists will receive tailored support to develop their practice.
Unfolding over the course of a year, their co-created programme will be designed to build upon the Mentees’ artistic skills, cultivate their network and further their practice within the creative sector. Revolv Collective understand the difficulties facing early-career artists and find themselves continually working to overcome the challenges posed by the arts industry. Drawing upon their real-life experiences and insights, Revolv Collective will provide attentive guidance aimed at nurturing the sustained development of their Mentees.
The Stanley Picker Gallery at Kingston University is seeking to appoint two contemporary practitioners to the Stanley Picker Fellowships in Design & Fine Art 2022. Each Fellowship provides up to £16,000 and valuable access to the extensive material workshops, technical resources and expertise within Kingston School of Art and the wider University departments, to support a practice-based, innovative research project that will result in an exhibition of international standing at the Stanley Picker Gallery.
The seventh annual Freelands Award invites expressions of interest from UK visual arts organisations for a £110,000 award to realise a forthcoming exhibition by a mid-career woman artist who may not yet have received the acclaim or public recognition that her work deserves. This award includes a fee of £30,000 for the artist, who should produce significant new work for the show. This year, Freelands Foundation has opened the application process to all visual arts organisations across the UK, including within London, who would like to apply with an exhibition they have committed to realise as part of their 2023-25 programme.
Applications are now open for the 2022 to 23 Zsuzsi Roboz Art Scholarship at Morley College London. The scholarship, which was established in 2015 in partnership with the Alfred Teddy Smith and Zsuzsi Roboz Art Trust, is a fantastic opportunity for emerging artists to develop their creative vision and skills under the guidance of staff from Morley’s School of Visual and Digital Arts. Recipients of the scholarship undertake a year of part-time, tailored study at Morley College London, with personal tutoring from professional artists throughout the year, and a public exhibition of their work at the end of the scholarship period.
The scholarship is open to artists over the age of 19, working in any 2D or 3D media to produce figurative works of art, who have already established their style and voice as an artist and want to develop their vision further.
Visions in the Nunnery is the Nunnery Gallery’s renowned showcase of moving image, digital and performance art. The biennial open call is an opportunity to be part of one of the most varied and exciting presentations of moving image in London. Each year they invite lead artists, celebrated for their innovation in the digital field, to head and inspire the exhibition programmes. This year Patrick Goddard and Emily Speed will be leading Visions 2022. Each will be exhibiting work as part of the show, and their thematic ideas will guide the selection process and set the tone for the wider exhibition. 
The Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS) is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company that administers intellectual property rights on behalf of visual artists. ACS is offering an artist the chance to win £4,500 to contribute to the cost of an artist’s studio in the UK. If you are a UK or EEA national and are an undergraduate or postgraduate university student on an accredited art course who is about to graduate, or if you have graduated from a university accredited art course within the last four years, and you work in pictures, collage, painting, sculpture, tapestry, ceramics, glassware or photography, then you are eligible to apply for the prize.
@Disturbance is an interdisciplinary, experimental artistic residency and development programme that aims at challenging power dynamics offering a platform for new representations of genders, bodies, identities and sexualities. It champions and supports emerging LGBTQIA+ artists to blend physical and digital elements into their work. Each residency ends with a public performance, showcased live from Ugly Duck and online. @Disturbance are looking for 3 performance artists, 3 video artists and 1 digital artist.
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.
REVIVE and Greenwich Cultural Services are pleased to announce a grant of around € 30,000 for visual artists and creatives, for a commissioned work to be installed by June 2024.
Revive is looking for a freestanding permanent and outdoor piece to occupy and compliment the old Marie Thumas factory. The art piece will be positioned on the front terrace, having a lot of visibility to users, visitors and passers-by, while also becoming part of the identity the project. Therefore, it would be crucial to envision an artwork with a strong presence. While the main goal is to add an artistic element with values that relate to both the project and Revive as a company, the position is open to freedom.
Applications are now open for a new research residency programme developed in a new collaboration between Two Temple Place and curators Eric Thorp and Nicholas Stavri (Thorp Stavri). The research residency has been designed to support 10 early-career visual artists over five days in August 2022. It offers time and space in Two Temple Place, a historically significant heritage building and cultural venue in central London, a bursary and a series of talks underpinned by robust support and mentoring. With a view to developing new creative explorations, the residency is likely to culminate in an exhibition and programme of events slated for spring 2023 at Two Temple Place, and based on the artists’ findings during the residency.
FLAMIN Animations is a commissioning programme for early-career black-identifying artist animators living in the UK. Run by Film London and Arts Council England, the programme aims to support artist animators as they take their first steps into a career working with the moving image, with development support and funding for a new work. Launched in 2021, the inaugural round of commissions saw four new 1-3 minute animations made and showcased at London’s Picturehouse Central.
Drawing Room invites proposals that examine critical issues around contemporary drawing. They offer postgraduate students and scholars the chance to field test and peer-review research, and to network and engage with a wider community of academics and specialists. They are now inviting proposals of a high quality that reflect a strong research focus. Proposals should include a summary of your research, outline the key questions it raises and how these will be addressed by your project. Proposals must have an explicit connection to drawing, and discuss why the medium of drawing specifically has been utilised in your research. Selected papers will be presented at the next Drawing Research Forum in September 2022.
Founded by artist Anna Woodward, collector Sam Senchal and property expert Scott Franklin, Good Eye Projects will host six artists per residency at their studio spaces in Hammersmith. There are currently three residency periods scheduled, including Autumn (12th September - 4th December), Spring (6th February - 7th May) and Summer (15th May -20th). Each residency will culminate in a group exhibition. To apply, send a c. 250-word artist statement; 5 JPEG images of artworks that best represent your practice; a c. 100-word statement on how the residency will benefit you, how you plan to use it and how many days per week you’ll be able to use the studio; and relevant links to your website/Instagram to Deadline - 17th July. 
The Fringe is a celebration of the area’s art scene, bringing together artists, community groups and students. Over the course of the festival, the Fringe will take over Deptford, placing art in unexpected locations, rooted into the fabric of everyday lives. This year, Deptford X are encouraging Fringe artists to congregate their projects as close as possible to Deptford High Street, creating a hub for a vibrant range of activities for the much-anticipated return of the festival. It will extend across indoor and outdoor spaces motivated by the statement ‘We’re Here for Art’. We are also interested in Fringe projects related to gardening practices seeking to work with a community space. Deptford X is a festival for all and we particularly welcome participation by artists from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and by artists with disabilities.
Arnis Residency is an annual residency programme for contemporary artists on a peninsula in Northern Germany, taking place from 18 September – 03 October 2022. It encourages engagement with the region’s local and remote context in order to encounter a world characterised by connections and flows beyond cities. Arnis Residency offers accommodation, food, sailing trips and swims in the Schlei for the duration of two weeks. Each resident is provided an individual room as well as a space to work in locations suitable to one’s project (a small studio space, a shed, and a sailing boat). Each applicant will have access to a travel allowance of 100€ and a small production stipend of 50€.
PADA is an artist-led, non-profit arts organisation based in Barreiro in Lisbon’s South Bay, located within the old Companhia União Fabril (CUF) industrial park. Create in 2018, PADA provides artists a space to develop their practice, interact with other artists, and explore new approaches in a post-industrial environment. The PADA Residency Programme is run in conjunction with the Studio & Gallery Programmes. By providing studios for local artists alongside the residency, we aim to encourage the interaction of national and international artists. Artists-in-Residence benefit from the mutual exchange across art-forms and the post-industrial surrounding. The residency periods for 2023 are as follows: 1st February - 28th February, 3rd March - 30th March, 3rd April - 1st May, 4th May - 31st May, 6th June - 4th July, 6th July - 2nd August, 4th August - 31th August, 4th September - 2nd October, 5th October - 1st November and 3rd November - 30th November.
The East London Art Prize is an all-media art prize designed to showcase the talent of artists working and living in east London, with an accompanying event programme supporting artists’ careers and opportunities. Proudly sponsored by Minerva, the winner receives a career-changing cash prize of £15,000 and a solo exhibition at Bow Arts’ Nunnery Gallery. The runner-up second prize is a year’s studio space with Bow Arts. 
The prize is open to any artist living or working within an ‘E’ postcode, encompassing E1-E20, SE1-SE28 and EC1-EC4. Submitting artists should hold an arts degree, equivalent arts qualification or be able to show demonstrable commitment to their artistic practice. Artist collectives/joint submissions are accepted. All media types are accepted, including (but not limited to!) painting, print, drawing, sculpture, digital, film, audio, ceramics, textiles and performance.
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Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator
Hector Campbell - Art Historian, Writer & Curator

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