Pick of the Week 2013

August's Picks Selected by Gavin McClafferty

26 August - 1 September

Working in the City: A lexicon of Labour Movements, Clare Thornton and Paul Hurley

The Parlour Showrooms, 31 College Green, BS1 5TB
Thursday 29 August 2013 – Sunday 01 September 2013
Opening hours: 12:00 - 18:30, Bring us your tools!

Performance shifts
Sat 31 Aug | Early shift 7pm | Late shift 7.45pm | Night shift 8.30pm | tickets £5
Sun 1 Aug | Split shift 1pm | tickets £5

Down Tools
Sat 31 Aug | Tools down pint/social | 9pm | Free entry

Gavin McClafferty says of his last selection as Guest Editor:

'For my fourth and final Pick of the Week I have selected Working in the City: A lexicon of Labour Movements, Clare Thornton and Paul Hurley. The performance with discussion and call out for tools spans one weekend and is part of the larger In the City Series. What I find interesting in this project is that it seems to represent an hybrid of related ideas spawned in the 1960's and 70's that includes systems art, social sculpture, process art, anti-form and performance.

'In looking at hand tools it is easy to imagine much about their history; the defunct object readily becomes a relic. However when objects are combined with personal geographies and contexts then processes and materials become linked to class and political consciousness. These themes of process, systems and community relate strongly to the work of Stephen Willats and Joseph Beuys (amongst others) proving that these are, and remain, fertile and productive areas for artists.'

Digging into the working life of the city, through its tools and its actions

Artists Clare Thornton and Paul Hurley have been exploring the working dynamics of the city, its edges and its centres - of production, of expertise, of interest and skill.

Find out more about this event here.


19 - 25 August

Plimsoll, Albert Irvin

Plymouth College of Art, Tavistock Place, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AT
Monday 19 August – Saturday 14 September

Introducing this week's Pick, our Guest Editor Gavin McClafferty says,

'My third selection is the brightly coloured work of Albert Irvin RA at Plymouth Collage of Art. Irvin was awarded an honorary fellowship there in 2012 and this retrospective acknowledges this as well as coinciding with his receipt this year of an OBE. Now in his nineties his acrylics remain vital and energetic belying his years. His positively charged canvasses could be embraced as an alternative to the frustrations and anxieties of modern life and provide us with a reflexive counterpoint.'

Irvin is one of an extraordinary generation of British painters, including Gillian Ayres, John Hoyland and Bridget Riley, who were profoundly influenced by the exhibition of American painting organised by the Tate in 1956.

Find out more about the event here.


12 - 18 August

The Open West 2013

The Open West, Newark Park & Cheltenham Art Gallery
Saturday 06 July 2013 – Wednesday 06 November 2013
Newark Park: 6 July to 18 August
Cheltenham Art Gallery + Museum: 12 October to 6 November

Guest Editor Gavin McClafferty selects The Open West 2013 for this week's pick. Gavin says:

'The annual show is currently embedded in the grand setting of National Trust property Newark Park, transferring to the refurbished Cheltenham Museum and Art Gallery in October. Having seen previous Open West shows I am yet to be convinced of the merits of exhibiting the work of so many, this years tally a mere 46 compared to last years 55. I do, however, appreciate the residencies and commissions the OW extends and it's continued collaboration with MEANTIME project space in Cheltenham. My current picks from this years show would be Rebecca Turner and Juliette Losq.'

In 2013 the open west will be exhibiting the work of 46 artists at two distinctly different venues. Lyn Cluer Coleman and Sarah Goodwin will curate an exhibition that crosses a wide spectrum of art disciplines; from contemporary portraiture to cgi video, from feather installation to ceramic tableaux, from digital tapestry to complex drawing structures, from site specific architectural investigations to ephemeral foil sculptures.

Find out more here.

Image: Julia Winter, Parade, canvases, trousers, paint, 150 x 700 x 120, 2012


5 - 11 August

Summer 2013

Tate St Ives, Porthmeor, St Ives, Cornwall TR26 1TGT
Saturday 18 May 2013 – Sunday 29 September 2013

For his first selection as Guest Editor, Gavin McClafferty has selected Summer 2013 at Tate St Ives.

'I selected the biennial exhibition because I am fascinated by the seemingly expansive attitude behind the curation. Not having seen the exhibition I can not vouch for it but the curators at St Ives must have a hellish time trying to produce shows that don't just shriek of “something for everyone” but actually are something for everyone simultaneously. Secondly, the collaboration between Linder, the Northen Ballet and Kenneth Tindal in response to Barbra Hepworth sounds most intriguing. Based solely on appearances the exhibition comes across as thoughtful, enlightening and revealing.'

Following on from the success of Summer 2009 and Summer 2011 exhibitions, this season will see another eclectic mix of contemporary and historic artists once again occupying the distinctive spaces of Tate St Ives.

Find out more about the event here.

Gavin also wanted to give a special mention to the Arts Fest at Lyme Regis; 'I really appreciate and approve of the durational engagement between the artists, museum and local residents.'

What's On

Family Saturdays

Aspex Gallery, The Vulcan, PO1 3BF

Monday 01 October 2018 – Thursday 31 October 2019

Craft Workshops

Various Venues

Friday 08 February 2019 – Tuesday 31 December 2019

Life Drawing Classes

Lostwithiel , PL22 0BP

Thursday 14 March 2019 – Sunday 08 March 2020

Visual Arts South West

Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.

Part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network

Supported by: