Across Brighton & Hove; Phoenix Brighton Regency Town
House, University of Brighton
Exhibition Dates: 5th – 27th May 2012
Guest Curator: Celia Davies
Lead Artist: David Batchelor
Prominent contemporary artist David Batchelor, along with Tim Brown & Anna Deamer,
Robin Blackledge, Deb Bowness, Caroline Le Breton, Helene Kazan to alter Brighton’s artistic landscape in its annual visual art festival.
HOUSE 2012 has announced a major commission and exhibition David Batchelor’s work. Batchelor as lead artist, influences the selection and development of 5 smaller satellite commissions that make up HOUSE Festival 2012. With significant funding from Arts Council England, HOUSE 2012 promises to be the most ambitious visual arts festival in the city to date.
Working in and beyond the gallery walls, HOUSE 2012 presents a carefully curated exhibition of international artist David Batchelor’s work, alongside 5 new commissioning opportunities developed by HOUSE. Collectively, these projects artists will make interventions on the streets of Brighton over the month of May, exploring themes of domesticity, the urban and everyday, bringing attention to the overlooked and ordinary. Artwork will be positioned in Phoenix Gallery, domestic spaces, artist studios and unexpected locations across Brighton & Hove.
Sally Abbott, Regional Director, Arts Council England, South East, which is supporting HOUSE 2012 with more than £90,000 in funding, said: ‘We are very proud and excited to be supporting HOUSE 2012. This year’s programme, with its association with renowned British artist David Batchelor, represents a significant leap for the organisation and for the visual arts in Brighton. HOUSE 2012 will resonate for many people: the theme of domesticity provokes us to think afresh about the everyday and commonplace; and the sitting of commissioned work in the streets and public spaces will reach new audiences both within and beyond the gallery walls. Creating new ways for people to experience the
arts lies at the heart of The Arts Council’s mission and our support for HOUSE recognises that exciting potential.’
Internationally and critically acclaimed British artist David Batchelor is lead artist for HOUSE 2012 and will exhibit his largest presentation of artwork in this country yet, with several new commissions, including a major new co-commission in conjunction with Brighton Festival. Fittingly for a vibrant coastal town, Batchelor is primarily concerned with colour within the urban environment. For HOUSE 2012 he draws connections between Sicilian street festival decoration and the vernacular of Brighton’s infamous Regency architecture. For many years Batchelor has looked to the streets for inspiration. Using everyday objects of the modern urban environment – from salvaged light boxes to neon signage – his works celebrate the ordinary, the lurid and trashy while being in themselves mesmerizingly beautiful. His latest site specific installation draws on traditional festival decorations encountered in Palermo will be presented at Hove’s Regency Town House – a grade 1 listed terraced House undergoing major restoration. Palermo Remix makes a point of connection between the artist’s current
fascination with festival illumination and the building’s architectural period details, where Regency details feature in decorative motifs. It also plays on the idea of the public and domestic, the familiar and overlooked and touches on the famed hedonism of the city’s Regency past. Alongside these new commissions a selection of work is to be sensitively sited in the Regency Town House basement, an extraordinary domestic setting, that still echoes its past, in a warren of servants quarters and rooms. Here Batchelor’s work will have interplay with the character of its surrounding environment, providing moments of both subtlety and brilliance.
The 5 satellite commissions draw on the idea of the domestic, overlooked and everyday and are related to Batchelor’s work. They are developed to be shown in and around the city.
Since HOUSE festival began in 2009, this curated and programmed festival – originally partner to Artists Open Houses has established itself as a trailblazing annual event. Taking place across sites within the city, an interest in the threshold between private and public space is inherent to the character of HOUSE.
Underlining a practice primarily concerned with colour in the urban environment, Batchelor’s critical concern is with how we see and respond to colour in an advanced technological age. Working with everyday items with a range of light-industrial materials: steel shelving, commercial light boxes and neon tubing, Batchelor produces installations which at once celebrate the lurid and the ordinary.
Other HOUSE 2012 Commissions:
Tim Brown & Anna Deamer
CINECITY Director and artists and production designers Tim Brown & Anna Deamer, will present a visual adaptation of Patrick Hamilton’s darkly comical novel, Hangover Square.
Emulating the hallucinatory quality of the book, full-scale recreations of two domestic interiors will mimic pivotal and memorable Brighton scenes within the novel. Two contrasting domestic rooms, a smart Brighton hotel and a climatic crime scene complete with audio sound-scape will be situated in the main gallery spaces at Brighton University in Grand Parade. Full of period details, this immersive installation offers connections and clues to reconnect with the literary masterpiece anew.
Robin Blackledge is an artist who repositions domestic, functional consumer packaging as aesthetic consumer totems. Inspired by mass produced packaging products that occur in our everyday lives, Blackledge recasts from plastic food packaging in concrete; rendering purely functional objects as works of art. The resulting beguiling totemic structures will be displayed in his studio, found in unexpected places in the street and at Phoenix Gallery.
Deb Bowness bridges illusionary interior design and fine art. Using wallpaper as a means to furnish Brighton’s iconic streets, Bowness will create a paper trail across the city of small and surprising Trompe-l'œil interventions to explore domestic displacement. Bowness will investigate pictorial space within space with everyday and abandoned items.
Lebanese artist, Helene Kazan will debut her film and related installation, Masking Tape Light Intervention: Lebanon 1989, for HOUSE 2012. Generated from single archive photograph of the domestic kitchen of a house she once lived in Beirut, Kazan has montaged 1680 images into a four-minute stop frame animation. Taken at a decisive violent point of conflict in Beirut in April 1989, the film runs politically charged implications alongside the mundane of the domestic space, in a very personal account of the home as shelter.
Caroline Le Breton
Caroline Le Breton will make a political response to the theme of HOUSE 2012. Counter to a house representing security, Le Breton will imply financial instability through an installation that brings domestic anxiety, outside. Bringing the inside outside, large, room sized carpets, become sculptural interventions on a green in central Brighton. Stenciled and cut out by the artist, the carpet templates will feature a key message from the artist for all who pass to read. Once the carpet has been sited for a few weeks on the grass, the carpet will be lifted. Underneath each stencil, the grass will die, leaving each powerful statement to remain on the grass once the carpets are removed.