Monday, May 30, 2011

Catherine Bertola: "Being Lost" Rogue Project Space, Manchester, UK

Being Lost

Adele Vallance / Brendan Lyons / Catherine Bertola / Kevin Hunt / Susan Collis

Rogue Project Space, Manchester
28th May ‐ 4th June 2011
Private view Friday 27th May 6‐8pm
Open 12‐4pm Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May and by appointment until 4th June.

Curated by Andrew Bracey & Adele Vallance

"If the archive can serve no more than a tomb of remnants and traces, where is the place for that which does not survive or which, by virtue of the archive is forgotten" Charles Merewether.

Being Lost brings together 5 artists whose work explores different notions of being lost; working with discarded/found objects and injecting life into them or working with the everyday, which we take for granted (and therefore can be argued that it is lost to us).

The work in the exhibition presents a place that has been lost or forgotten; to give it a home or a function once more. To house that which the traditional archive would reject due to it's requirement to be selective in order to keep more. The viewer can question their perception of traditional archives through the artist's use of display and interpretation. There is re‐wiring and expansion of visual understanding of a particular or discarded object or mark.

Catherine Bertola
Anatomy # 6, 2006 (detail)
59.4 x 84 cms
Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mike Pratt: "Nice Paintings" Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool, UK

Nice Paintings

Mike Pratt and Leo Fitzmaurice
28 May - 23 July 2011
Opening event Saturday 28 May, 4pm - 6pm

Nice Paintings brings together work by emerging Newcastle based artist Mike Pratt and paintings from Grundy's own collection, an element of which has been selected by Liverpool based artist Leo Fitzmaurice into an arrangement entitled Horizon. This is the first of two exhibitions in 2011 to celebrate the gallery's centenary and will include mainly Victorian paintings from its collection, alongside Mike Pratt's large abstract canvases.

The exhibition will include several new works by Pratt, including a large sculptural work for the gallery's entrance space. Pratt's work indulges in the labour and gesture of making painting, combined with a direct examination of the cycle of assimilation that exists both within contemporary art and popular culture, as he borrows and 'wrongfully' appropriates from the artists who shaped the process before him. Through this method of sampling and remastering, Pratt combines stylistic quotation with deadpan observation and dumb mark-making, layering and obliterating his paintings until they are deemed at an end yet never resolved.

Leo Fitzmaurice has selected paintings from Grundy's collection that contain a strong horizon line, which he will arrange at varying heights to create a continuous horizon line across the gallery wall. Hung frame to frame and regardless of genre, artist reputation or quality, Horizon has been described by the artist as 'rough-shod-riding' across the collection, as it explores the pictorial construction of a collective mass of work, rather than a conventional analysis of its place within the history of art.

The exhibition is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England
Free Admission. Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm.

Mike Pratt
No Thanks (detail), 2010
Oil and Sericol on Canvas
280 x 220 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery


Matt Stokes: "Long After Tonight" Dundee Art Gallery & Museum, Scotland

Matt Stokes

Long After Tonight

The McManus
Dundee Art Gallery & Museum

Exhibition Dates: Sat 28 May to Sun 4 September 2010
Venue:Here and Now Gallery
Admission: Free

'Long After Tonight' is an award-winning film by Matt Stokes that draws on Dundee's history as the home of a strong Northern Soul scene. It documents a specially organised Northern Soul event held at 'Sallys' (St Salvador's Church in the Hilltown), a venue that was used during the 1970s for some of the City's first 'Northern' nights. This atmospheric film subtly connects the religious iconography of the church with the faith and passion required of the dance participants to keep their Northern Soul subculture alive. Premiered to widespread acclaim in 2005, this is the first time that the film has been shown since it was purchased by Dundee Art Galleries and Museums. It will be shown alongside original material from the Northern Soul scene.

Matt Stokes
Long After Tonight (Still), 2005
Super 16mm Film and Audio transferred to DVD
6 min 45 sec
Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery, UK

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Catherine Bertola: "Personal Tempest" Neue Galerie, Innsbruck, Austria

Personal Tempest

Bas Jan Ader
Conrad Atkinson
Eija-Liisa Ahtila
Catherine Bertola
Matthew Buckingham
Rachel Goodyear
Roni Horn
Claire Sherman
Lois Weinberger

Curated by Tereza Kotyk

Neue Galerie, Innsbruck , Austria

Opening: Wednesday, 25 May 2011 at 19.00
Duration: 26.05. - 09/07/2011
Tue - Fri 10:00 to 12:00, 14.00 - 18.00, Sat 11:00 to 17:00

The exhibition Personal Tempest explores how our inner state of mind can be affected by natural phenomena, and how at times these effects can develop into a 'personal tempest' - a 'storm' of confused, eerie and uncomfortable feelings. Mirrored in imaginary accounts and personal testimony, the show explores this romantic motif through paintings, drawings, video installations, and photographs. Based on Thomas Bernhard's book ' Amras' and Emily Brontë's novel ' Wuthering Heights', Personal Tempest combines historical and contemporary approaches with poetic storytelling and conceptual presentations.

Salon Adele at The Soap Room:
Catherine Bertola
May 27th, 2011

The Soap Room
Innstrasse 23,
6020 Innsbruck,

Salon Adele allows to engage with people in an informal setting: over tea, themes and subjects may be discussed. On May 27th 2011 British artist Catherine Bertola is invited to talk about her work "to be forever known" which was commissioned by the Bronte Parsonage Museum for Personal Tempest. Bertola's work is also on display in the show Personal Tempest at Neue Galerie Innsbruck, which opens May 25th and runs through July 9th 2011.

Catherine Bertola
Killing Time #1, 2010
16mm Film Installation, Back Projection Screen and Frame.
Duration: Looped
Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Preview: Workplace Gallery at Contemporary Art Society & Shortlist Media, London

Image: Cath Campbell Diving Board #2, 2011, Stainless Steel , 21 x 21 x 10 cm, Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery, UK.



Contemporary Art Society & Shortlist Media

Private View: Monday 23 May, 18.30 - 20.30

RSVP is essential for this event, please email

Venue addresses:
Contemporary Art Society, 11-15 Emerald Street, London WC1N 3QL
Shortlist Media, 26-34 Emerald Street, London WC1N 3QA

Office Opening times: Monday - Friday, 9.30 - 17.30
Monday - Friday, 9.30 - 17.30
Please note there is limited access to the office.
Call 44 (0)20 7831 1243 for further details.



Saturday, May 14, 2011

Laura Lancaster: "Fade Away", Gallery North, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

curated by Alli Sharma

Gallery North
Squires Building,
Sandyford Road,
Northumbria University,
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST

06 May 2011 - 26 May 2011
Opening: Mon-Thurs 10-5pm, Fri 10-4.30pm

Fade Away is the first in a series of survey-type exhibitions to be held at Transition Gallery, London and it now travels to Gallery North in May 2011.

This exhibition will feature paintings that oscillate between representation and abstraction. The premise is broad enough, allowing scope whilst providing an interesting visual discourse 'where compositions teeter on the verge of illegibility and images emerge and fade away'.
There will be one work each by a mixture of approx 40 established and emerging artists, limited to 60 x 60 cm.

Barry Schwarbsky (2010) explains:
The fact that many painters today are working along the broad and very porous border between abstraction and images is a sign that this boundary is, in itself, an object of great fascination. It is as if the potential for transition had become more urgent than identification with a fixed position. Mobility trumps rigor. More than in images or abstraction per se, there is a tremendous interest today in what the art historian Dario Gamboni has called potential images, that is, those established in the realm of the virtual by the artist but dependent on the beholder for their realization, and their property is to make the beholder aware either painfully or enjoyably of the active, subjective, nature of seeing, That is, seeing one thing rather than another is not a given; it is a commitment and a form of painting that lays emphasis on this latent state of the image (which is also a latent state of abstraction) is one that throws back on the viewer the question of his or her own choice or predisposition in determining what to see. In particular, the whole phenomenon of painterliness has a different value today than it did in the past. It functions less as a signifier of the individual artist's stylistic signature or as the trace of emotional expression or of the labor of making that would have been concealed by a smoothed-over high finish though it can still be all of those than as a way of allowing the painting to linger in the condition in which things are still unsettled, metamorphic, in transition.

Gallery North is hosting Fade Away as the third part of our series of exhibitions exploring painting studio practice. There will be a free Artist Symposium, book launch and talks by Alli Sharma the Curator and writer Barry Schwabsky at Gallery North on Thursday 26 May 2011.

For enquiries please email
The symposium, book launch and talk takes place on Thursday 26 May and is free to attend.

Laura Lancaster
Untitled, 2010
Oil on Canvas
30.5 x 25 cm
courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery, UK

Catherine Bertola: "Cult of the Difficult" Cass Gallery, London, UK

curated by Susanna Bianchini and Habda Rashid

Opening: 10th May 2011
Display runs: 11 May - 03 June 2011
Tuesday to Friday, 12 - 6 pm

Langlands & Bell, Catherine Bertola, Layla Curtis, Jeremy Deller, Lothar Götz, Andrew Grassie, Eva Weinmayr

Cult of the Difficult is the fourth part of MACC to GAC and Back: Four Curatorial Interventions, a series of displays that mark the culmination of a collaborative research project between the Government Art Collection (GAC) and final year students of the MA Curating the Contemporary (MACC), taught by London Metropolitan University and Whitechapel Gallery. Three displays run at the Government Art Collection with an additional off-site exhibition at the Cass Gallery, part of the London Metropolitan University.

For the exhibition Cult of the Difficult a group of contemporary artists, from multi-disciplinary practices, have been invited to re-engage with their works held in the GAC. The multifarious strategies needed by the Government Art Collection to collect contemporary art, such as site-specificity and commissioning, are highlighted in the process.
This exhibition will be the only display from the series of four curatorial interventions not to use the collected works of the GAC, playing instead with the notion of their absence. The artists have responded by adding to series, creating new works and engaging with the ephemera from their collected pieces. The display thus formed exists in its own right as well as maintaining a connection to the Government Art Collection.

The show becomes an extension of the Collection, blurring the boundary between what has been collected and the works in the exhibition. By re-instating the role of the artists, their wider practice and propositions, the exhibition opens up a new space of inquiry into the collecting of contemporary art, whilst also revealing the Government Art Collection to a new audience.

Cult of the Difficult is curated by Susanna Bianchini and Habda Rashid

Cass Gallery
41 Commercial Road, London E1 1LA
For further information please contact Susanna Bianchini
T: 07913717999 E:

Special Events:
Cult of the Difficult - Artist Event
In conversation: artist Charles Avery with Daniel F. Hermann, Curator: Head of MA Curatorial Studies, Whitechapel Gallery. Introduction to the Government Art Collection by Philippa Martin, Curator: Information and Research (Historical). Video works by artist Mark Titchner.
Wednesday 11th May at 6:30 pm
Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HX.
RSVP Essential to

Cult of the Difficult Symposium
The Curator as a Patron for Contemporary Art: Challenges, Diplomacy, Solutions.
Speakers: Adrian George, Curator: Collection Projects, Government Art Collection; Lucy Bayley, Curator: National Programme, Contemporary Art Society; Andrew Grassie, Artist.
Tuesday 17th May at 6:30 pm
Frederick Parker Chair Collection, (as part of Cass Gallery)
41 Commercial Road London E1 1LA.
Further information:

A publication designed by Supanova accompanies each show and will be available at the venues.

MA Curating the Contemporary students would like to thank Charlyinc and Invite Me to Dinner for their very kind support.

Catherine Bertola
Home From Home, 2001
Screen Printed PVC
Dimensions Variable
Installation view, the Forth Hotel, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery

Sophie Lisa Beresford: "Performance", The Late Shows, Workplace Gallery, Gateshead, UK

Performance: Sophie Lisa Beresford
Workplace Gallery
Saturday 14 May 2011, 8pm - 10pm

As part of NewcastleGateshead's Late Shows Workplace Gallery presents a unique performance by Sophie Lisa Beresford, accompanying her solo exhibition in the gallery. Drawing from inspirations as diverse as Sonic the hedgehog and new-age religion, Beresford forms a compelling and coherent map of consciousness. Her daring and rigorous performances will immerse you in her overwhelmingly honest attitude to making art.

Sophie Lisa Beresford (b. 1986 Sunderland, UK) graduated from Sunderland University in 2008. Exhibitions include Group Exhibition VeSch, Vienna, Moving Image New York, USA, Mural Newspaper Abrons Art Center, New York, NADA Art Fair 2010 Miami, USA, Sideshow Nottingham, Summer Residency Exhibition Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee, Psychic Geography Workplace Gallery, Dancing The Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, /Slab in the City Sunderland, TOMORROW THE FUTURE Fishmarket Gallery, Northampton, "All My Favourite Singers Couldn't Sing...", Workplace Gallery. In 2010 Beresford was awarded the The Journal Culture Awards- Newcomer of the Year. Sophie Lisa Beresford lives and works in Sunderland, UK

also see:
Sophie Lisa Beresford
Solo Exhibition
Saturday 14th May
7pm until 11pm (as part of Late Shows)
Exhibition runs:
7th May - 11th  June 2011
Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 5pm
(or by appointment)

Sophie Lisa Beresford
My Culture Is Beautiful, 2009
Single Channel Video
Duration: 7 min 49 sec
Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery

Mike Pratt: "SPECTRUM", NewBridge Space, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

SPECTRUM curated by Matt Hearn

Sebastian Trend
Adam Hogarth
Mike Pratt
Thomas Whittle

NewBridge Space
18 Newbridge Street West
Newcastle Upon Tyne
Open Mon - Sat 12-6pm

Preview: Saturday 14 May 2011 6pm until 10pm
16 May - 11 June 2011

The exhibition opens as part of NewcastleGateshead's Late Shows and will run from 16th May until 11th June.

SPECTRUM is a recently formed group of emerging artists whose individual practices share common concerns of colour theory, throwaway culture and auto-destruction. The exhibition attempts to be more than a showcase and investigates the roots of these artists' practices.

The SPECTRUM group and exhibition curator Matt Hearn will be hosting a talk, taking place on Saturday 21st May at 4pm, enabling people to gain a unique insight into the SPECTRUM project.

To coincide with the exhibition, the launch of the first SPECTRUM Almanac will take place at the closing event on Friday 10th June 6 until 8pm. Included within the Almanac are written contributions from Cathy Lomax, Hugh Dichmont, Paulette Terry Brien and John Beagles. It will also include the work of local, emerging writer Rory Biddulph. SPECTRUM Almanac will be an annual publication which aims to develop critical dialogue within contemporary arts in the North East.

For further information including interviews and biographies see

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Matt Stokes: " The Big Society" Gallerie Vallois, Paris

The Big Society
curated by Alice Motard


Galerie Vallois, 36, rue de Seine 75006 Paris

06 May - 04 June 2011
Opening Thursday 05 May 2011

Taking its cue from the social manifesto published by the Conservative- Liberal government in the UK, the group exhibition The Big Society examines British society through the civil movements and actions that have marked its contemporary history. To do so, it gathers together ten British artists from various generations whose work addresses the relationships between individuals, communities, and the State by taking up real or fictitious events which have played a significant role in shaping society at large.

The struggle for political power between these three entities is a recurring subject in this exhibition as it reconsiders a number of social conflicts and protest movements in which the tensions arising from conflicting ideologies and visions of society that have affected public life in Britain since the early 20th century expressed themselves. Ruth Ewan recalls the Battle of Cable Street which opposed the police and anti-fascist protesters in London in 1936, Duncan Campbell addresses the Troubles in Northern Ireland at the turn of the 1970s, Peter Kennard evokes the farmers' and miners' strikes which shook the governments of Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher in the 1970s and 80s, and Cat Phillipps exhibits the "Penny Shields" she designed for the recent March for an Alternative to the budget cuts voted by Parliament. Corresponding with the London Metropolitan Police, Mike Cooter infiltrates the inner workings of State power which, if the conspiracy theories outlined by Suzanne Treister are to be believed, is obsessed with controlling its citizens.

Many of the events addressed in The Big Society were spearheaded by charismatic figures, several of whom are explicitly referred to, such as Alan Turing, the genius mathematician who was persecuted by the British government in the 1950s for his homosexuality (Michael Fullerton), Bernadette Devlin, the Northern Irish MP who led the struggle of the Catholic minority against English occupation in the 1960s (Duncan Campbell), Sylvia Pankhurst, the revolutionary Suffragette who was repeatedly imprisoned for her political activities (Ruth Ewan), and Stella Rimington, the
former head of British counter-intelligence and author of truer-than-life spy novels (Suzanne Treister).

This survey of British society would not be complete without a nod to cultural phenomena that have helped shape its identity. Mark Wallinger's work, for instance, draws an ironic analogy between football supporters and religious fanatics, while Matt Stokes brings back to life the the Northern Sou music movement and Nathaniel Mellors revisits a mythical TV series to project the disquieting vision of egalitarian rule.

The fact that British artists are more than ever interested in re-examining their nation's past in light of its social or cultural conflicts and movements would seem to reflect the post-crash identity crisis that has taken hold of society as Tony Blair's 'Powerhouse UK' is running out of steam. In this respect, the debate on nationality and immigration recently launched by the Conservative majority is an indication of the current malaise to the extent that it raises issues which had hitherto been considered to be off limits. It could therefore be argued that their resurgence in the mainstream public debate illustrates the nation's struggling attempts to come to terms with its changed identity. Seen under this angle, the Tories' 'Big Society' is a manifest of doubt, its calculated modesty forming a striking contrast with Labour's 'Cool Britannia'.

Matt Stokes
Long After Tonight (Terry), 2005 - 2006
C-type on diasec,
80 x 80 cm
courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery, UK

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Sophie Lisa Beresford - Preview: Friday 6th May, 6-9pm

Image: In The Pizza Shop (Dance Shop) on Culture Award Night (detail), 2009, Photograph, Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery, UK.

Sophie Lisa Beresford

Preview: Friday 6th May 2011 , 6 - 9pm

7th May - 11th  June 2011
Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 5pm
(or by appointment)

Workplace Gallery is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition by Sophie Lisa Beresford.

The work of Sophie Lisa Beresford addresses the order and status of 'things' and situations, and beyond that our held assumptions about the way in which we live and our cultural stereotypes. Through a polygenetic assimilation of established and global cultures as distinct and diverse as Hinduism, and Makina Techno music, Beresford reorders the totemic symbols of those cultures to reflect her own emergent philosophy and theory of the universe and her position within it. Beresford's practice emerges unashamedly from within the 'Charva' culture of the North East of England. Gleaning her subjects and ideas from all aspects of her life Beresford presents an intuitive detailed portrait of her culture. Through a constant process of reflection and re-examination Beresford employs a variety of means incorporating Dance, to-camera monologue, sculpture, painting, text and photography often mixing technology that enables her to record thoughts and situations quickly and directly such as iPhone screen grabs, built in laptop cameras and microphones, and compact digital cameras, with an ongoing interest in slow meticulous techniques that have been used across cultures for millennia such as Jewellery making, beading, and embroidery.

Beresford's performances and videos see the artist delivering un-choreographed and spontaneous high-energy dance routines to hardcore dance music in locations ranging from the privacy of her bedroom and domestic interiors, to public spaces such as Pizza Takeaways and Museums. Regardless of the privacy or otherwise of the location Beresford appears compellingly immersed in a trancelike state that calls into question any projected anxiety the viewer might have about losing control of oneself in the company of others. Alongside these vigorous 'Dancing' works Beresford presents 2 large-scale and contemplative video projections that focus on the conceptual underpinning and display of jewellery handmade by Beresford after a period of time living in Arizona and studying Native American jewellery making techniques. A large slow moving and posturing hand wearing a crystalline ring floats enigmatically in front of a large sheet of Gold leaf that fills the screen. Adjacent, a projected slide show text work reveals Beresford's intimate reflections on the experience of traveling through Arizona, and the significance of Jewellery, characteristically offset by Beresford's repeated use of emoticon symbols and reference to popular culture and mass-produced consumer products.

"To understand the world in a new way :) your way. And your way is the way to be.  …. Jewellery has become a part of my life. I dream in Jewellery."

Sometimes I don't know what I think is an embroidered text work made using gold thread encrusted with sequins and precious stones. The pointed sentence overlooks a large shallow plinth offering a collection of objects and artefacts each customized by Beresford with intricate beadwork and crystals in complex geometric formations. The altered objects, which include a Gourd, a £20 note, a pipe, and a children's book are shown alongside Jewellery hand made by Beresford, each piece made as a gift for a specific individual. Beresford's fascination with people and how they relate to both her and wider world is further explored in Magic Numbers; an iPhone relentlessly playing a slideshow of screen grabs Beresford has made when she has been alerted by an incoming message or call that has also coincided with the time showing a 'Magic Number'.

Throughout the exhibition are a series of photographs drawn from Beresford's daily life. Hindu Goddess is a confrontational image of the artist covered in blue paint and with shocking pink lipstick. Beresford's portrayal of herself in the form of goddess. Anonymous Handprints is a photograph of Beresford's backside taken immediately after she was "pestered" for sex in her local park on her way home one evening. As a "compromise" Beresford allowed the two Lads to "smack her arse" as hard as they could on condition that they documented it for her afterwards on her camera phone leaving red raw hand prints on the artists backside. In marked contrast Me n Barney show the artist decorated in handmaid jewellery with a tame Barn Owl perched on her shoulder, the two looking completely comfortable in each other's company. Pasty Pigeon is an image of a 1:1 scale Pigeon made by Beresford from Greggs pasties - an iconic 'speciality' of the North East of England, Pasty Pigeon is a macabre object that met a sinister end when Beresford fed it to the real pigeons outside of Tesco's superstore in Gateshead.

Sophie Lisa Beresford (b. 1986 Sunderland, UK) graduated from Sunderland University in 2008. Exhibitions include Group Exhibition VeSch, Vienna, Moving Image New York, USA, Mural Newspaper Abrons Art Center, New York, NADA Art Fair 2010 Miami, USA, Sideshow Nottingham, Summer Residency Exhibition Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee, Psychic Geography Workplace Gallery, Dancing The Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, /Slab in the City Sunderland, TOMORROW THE FUTURE Fishmarket Gallery, Northampton, "All My Favourite Singers Couldn't Sing...", Workplace Gallery. In 2010 Beresford was awarded the The Journal Culture Awards- Newcomer of the Year. Sophie Lisa Beresford lives and works in Sunderland, UK

The next exhibition at Workplace Gallery will be a solo exhibition of new work by Matt Stokes opening on 24th June 2011. To celebrate the opening of Sophie Lisa Beresford please join us afterwards at Central Bar in Gateshead.

Kindly supported by