Pick of the Week 2014

January's Picks Selected by Jane Lowry

January 27-Feb 2


Saturday 01 February 2014 – Saturday 15 March 2014
Preview: Friday 31 January, 18:00 - 21:00
Opening hours: Thursday – Saturday,12:00 - 17:00 or by appointment

Heather and Ivan Morison have established an ambitious collaborative practice over the past decade that transcends the divisions between art, architecture and theatre.

January's Guest Editor Jane Lowry says of her selection:

'In my last week of selection I’m completely seduced by the opportunity to see the work of Heather and Ivan Morison at WORKS/PROJECTS. Their work has taken a very wide range of forms including film, photography, sculpture, public art, performance, literature & fiction, and community engagement. They not only always challenge these forms in their work - particularly in terms of the relationships between them – but also approach them ambitiously.

'KNIVES ARE MOTHERS their first exhibition at WORKS/PROJECTS, promises to be no exception. The objects and photographs form the ground of a narrative and performance generated by a conversational and instructional audio piece between a mother and daughter. The conversation and narrative relates to the space itself and its objects, and also speaks directly to whoever is present to command or direct possible actions.

'No longer is the exhibition a static space, but one where the objects, the voices, and the 'audience' become part of a narrative, a play, a performance. The new relationships and ways of engagement that these strategies generate makes this a particular exhibition that should not be missed.

Find out more here.


January 20-26

Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing

Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange
Saturday 25 January 2014 – Saturday 26 April 2014

Curiosity: Art and the Pleasures of Knowing is a startling exhibition that moves wittily, sometimes mysteriously, between contemporary art, anatomy, Cold War secrets, the origins of museums and voyeurism in everyday life.

Guest Editor Jane Lowry says of this weeks selection:

'So many good shows/events to choose from this week - difficult! But this Hayward Touring exhibition at Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange, organised in collaboration with Turner Contemporary and New York art and culture magazine, Cabinet, intrigues me the most, and it is showing in my corner of the South West.

'I am really looking forward to it. The Exhibition Launch event on Friday 24 January (details of can be found on their Facebook page) promises to be a great evening spread across both venues, with the Penzance Guize Dancers and the Turkey Rhubarb Guise Band leading us between the early evening events at the Newlyn Art Gallery and the 8-till-late revelries with DJ Godden at The Exchange. The show represents a rare moment for the galleries when one large exhibition is accommodated across both venues.

'In addition to the contemporary works representing a wide range of artists - curated by Brian Dillon for Hayward Touring - each venue of the show’s tour has invited a local museum to select the best of their ‘curiosities’ to join the show. For this exhibition Helston Museum has been invited to participate.

'The show perhaps exemplifies a current cultural interest not only in “cabinets of curiosities’, but also in the possibilities – and excitement – of multi-disciplinarity across art, science, history, and many other areas, and the individual empowerment it represents in the renewal of play, interest, enquiry and experimentation. The exhibition blurb says: “‘Curiosity’  is a detailed and spectacular meditation on the nature of wonder, fascination and inquiry.”'

Find out more here.



January 13-19

Looe Street Detectives, Sara Bowler

Plymouth Arts Centre, 38 Looe Street, Plymouth PL4 0EB
Until 2 February 2014
Opening hours:
Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 - 20:30, Sunday, 16:00 - 20:30                        

Artist Sara Bowler is working with a team of collaborators to unearth historical facts and anecdotes about the Plymouth Arts Centre building and the immediate neighbourhood.

January's Guest Editor Jane Lowry says:

'The ‘Looe Street Detectives’ are the artist Sara Bowler and her team of collaborators - Plymouth residents aged nine to seventy years - who have individually and together investigated and gathered information, stories, historical facts, and anecdotes about 38 Looe Street – the home of Plymouth Arts Centre for the last 66 years – and its neighborhood of Looe Street.

'Bowler’s practice, which is informed, she says, by historical and archaeological enquiry, pursues bodies of knowledge known and used by people in the past, together with the impact and persistence of these in the present. Where she usually presents her resulting work for both an ‘art’ and a wider public to encounter and question its time-entwined landscapes, here a wider public – the residents of Looe Street and its locality – have been the main researchers and compilers themselves.

'The results consist of an installation at Plymouth Arts Centre created by Bowler that presents these collaborative investigations to explore. You can also briefly meet some of the ‘detectives’ on the Plymouth Arts Centre website, and there are several events attached to the project to be found there.

'A highlight towards the end of the project is ‘Learning Cell: Watching the Detectives’, on Friday 31st January, 3-6pm. It is an opportunity to hear about the project, and particularly to discuss participation in the arts, which has been the drive behind this project. Instigated by a partnership programme called ENGAGEMENT NETWORK between ENGAGE (National Association for Gallery Education) South West and VASW, this pilot project places artists at the centre of research to examine audience engagement and participation in the visual arts.'

Find out more here.


Janurary 6-12

David Batchelor: Flatlands

Spike Island, 133 Cumberland Road, Bristol, BS1 6UX

Until Sunday 26 January 2014

Best known for his vividly-coloured sculptural installations of illuminated lightboxes, industrial dollies and other found objects, this exhibition is the first indepth presentation of David Batchelor’s drawings and paintings.

Our Guest Editor Jane Lowry explains her selection:

'As the difficulty of re-energising oneself in this grey and stormy new year becomes apparent, the first week of January’s choice has to be David Batchelor’s Flatlands at Spike Island. The intense, dynamic colour of the two-dimensional works presented in Flatlands - produced by Batchelor over the last two decades - is as equally infused with light as his better known, vividly coloured and illuminated sculptural installations; and they should waken the most slothful of us.

'Despite the title of the exhibition, these works are not so flat. Their awareness of their materiality – the use of tape, card, and slowly wrinkled paint – along with the sometimes direct, or often oblique, reference to objecthood, connects them strongly to Bachelor’s installation work. The presence of the large installation Disco Mecanique, made with coloured plastic sunglasses, and Concretos (2013), a series of translucent coloured glass shards within grey concrete blocks, work to emphasise this.

'Perhaps the most intriguing aspect for me is the dialogue with modernism that David Batchelor is clearly engaged in: modernism’s colour – although his is more neon, urban, and contemporary - and modernism’s groundbreaking graphic sensibility. His 2013 October piece is a highlight, where perhaps he is wanting to reimagine the conceptual philosophy and pervading theoretical influence of the October publication. The historic first edition of the magazine is irreverently overlaid by a sense of modernist colour and graphic design.'

Read more about the event here.

'Although we’ve missed this week’s Reading Room session on Bruno Munari’s book Design as Art, I did also want to mention Creative Network, Professional Development Workshops at Stroud Valley Arts, especially their Reading Room sessions, which run through 2014.'

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: