Johanna Bolton's research images dissect and reorder the visual and thematic links between paintings in the collection. Her residency has focused on the different ways in which archives can be mapped and understood, culminating in her solo exhibition opening at The Borough Road Gallery on November 1st. Cut out, assembled and arranged according to direction, the process of categorising and re-archiving the lines gives a new room for these painterly moments to exist. Collectivised and cut from any pictorial context but their own presence, the lines still seems to me to be powerful memories of the artists at work; their commitment, decisions and physical presence.
This project began with a discussion with the curator, Theresa Kneppers, about the nature of art and archives. At the time I was working on a research residency at Kew Gardens Herbarium, and had become fascinated with how scientists record and understand the botanical world through taxonomy. The way the Herbarium’s specimens were arranged physically in space was rational, but seemed to some extent random. I came out of the residency with a strong curiosity about how and why humans arrange and categorise objects to create archives.
A David Bomberg Legacy - The Sarah Rose Collection is of course a very different kind of archive, but I was curious to see how these same ideas of categorisation could function to highlight similarities and contrasts between works of art and artists. Art archives are a difficult beast, as the very nature of art is that each work is unique. This collection is knitted together by the choices of the collector, a specific location (London South Bank University, or Borough Polytechnic as it was formally known), and a precise period of time (1946 - 1951), which saw the influence of David Bomberg’s teaching begin to take shape.
I have spent my residency investigating and mapping the ordering principles that could be applied to this particular archive, first focusing on pictorial characteristics such as colour, shapes, mark making and subject matter. Through this process, I became interested in tracing human interactions between the paintings - the influence of the teacher, dynamics of rivalry and support within the group, and the shared experience of lingering trauma after the recent war.
The responses presented in the exhibition can be seen both as interpretations and appropriations of things found in the archive, and as somewhat surreal suggestions of new ways to view and categorise A David Bomberg Legacy -The Sarah Rose Collection.
Scott McCracken is a painter living and working in London. He studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 2005 to 2011 where he received his BA and MFA in Painting. He was a participant on the Turps Studio Programme in London from 2015 to 2017. His work has been exhibited throughout the UK including solo exhibitions at Darbyshire Ltd, London and Bargain Spot Project Space, Edinburgh. Previous group shows include Standard Projects, Wisconsin, USA; Art Bermondsey Project Space, London; Universität der Künste Berlin, Berlin; ArtWall, Athens; Blankspace, Manchester. In 2017 he was awarded the Darbyshire Prize for Emerging Art.
Adam Hennessey finished a one year course at Turps Banana Painting programme in 2015 and won the Darbyshire prize for emerging Art. He has been selected for the Creekside Open, Oriel Davies Open, ING Discerning Eye and most recently Beep Painting Biennial in Swansea. He is represented by New Art Projects and has had a painting added to the Groucho collection.
Scott McCracken's paintings are an index of geometric shapes and forms invented through a process of accumulation, recycling and reconfiguration. A recurring form adopts a different identity from one painting to the next, affording each work its own singular logic and personality, both in terms of organisation of pictorial space and application of paint. By using the same format and size of support, a seriality is created within the work. An individual painting is concurrently autonomous and dependent on the wider community of paintings it belongs to. Although rooted in the language of abstraction, an animated quality extends throughout the work.
An evening of life drawing with artist Tom Davies at the Borough Road Gallery
“The principle of the teaching should be to point out – if such can be the case – the inadequate representation of the forms; not to alter the artist’s drawing, but to encourage the artist to feel more deeply or more generously about it, the most effective way of demonstrating this is through the medium of the Teacher’s own draughtsmanship.”
-David Bomberg, ‘Syllabus’, May 22nd 1937
An evening dedicated to the teaching of art (and the art of teaching), this event commemorates the life drawing classes of David Bomberg at the Borough Polytechnic and considers their place in the history of the modern British art school. Tom Davies has taught at both the Slade and The Prince’s Drawing School since 1975 and was himself a student of Bomberg’s disciples. Tom will share his personal experience of studying and working within the London art world and reflect upon the principles which Bomberg sought to realise through his classes. Following this introduction Tom will teach a life-drawing class, encouraging participants to make bold decisions in their work. The evening will conclude with a display of these pictures in the gallery in the collective spirit of the Borough Road Group.
£5 per person covering:
- drawing materials
- Tom Davies’s lecture and teaching (2hrs)
- cost of life model
Space is limited. To reserve your place please email us at email@example.com
Caught somewhere between states, between lines of text and solid line of ink, these images are neither decorative art nor prose. I am instead creating a physical pause within the process of a photocopy by moving the image with the laser. Very broadly, as a neurodiverse thinker who likes to experiment with generating patterns for print these copies/collages seek to destroy the system of the dictionary. The dictionary is a familiar representation of words, language and communication. Some neurodiverse thinkers have trouble grasping these components and so create their own alternative versions in order to communicate effectively. The flexibility of language is being celebrated here, alongside a critique of the complex rules that govern even the smallest of interactions.
British artist David Bomberg was a soldier during the First World War. Deprived of access to his primary art-form, painting, he took to writing poetry about his experiences in the trenches. He still drew scenes from his life as a soldier, but these are distinctly different from his poetry and do not show the horrors of the war.
To mark the centennial of the end of the war, this performance explores three of Bomberg’s poems from the war and examines how different art-forms can express different emotions and experiences. The performance will consist of three sound pieces mixing electronic music and ambient soundscapes with Bomberg’s poetry and three correlating movement performances, all created by current LSBU students.
Space is limited please RSVP here.
Bomberg: Motion & Music is an immersive performance combining music and animated imagery inspired by David Bomberg. Artist, Oscar Lewis, has produced a series of animations in response to the distinct phases in Bomberg’s career. Working in collaboration with chamber musicians, Three Parts Vied, the performance will highlight Bomberg's creativity and influence on future generations of artists.
Once hailed as south London's answer to Bath, the Elephant and Castle's reputation has for many years been more ugly duckling than admired swan. Named after a pub, and famous for music halls, Europe's biggest cinema, and a gang that modelled itself on Chicago's violent criminals, it was less well-known for being home to an important group of artists that included Leon Kossoff and Frank Auerbach. The Elephant reinvented itself more recently as a music and night club venue; hip in parts, but not where most people wanted to live; a grimy and gritty place, somewhere only its locals could love. Then along came regeneration, and suddenly unfamiliar words like investment, opportunity, desirable started to be used about the neighbourhood.
The exhibition is a showcase of the history of the Elephant and Castle and London South Bank Univerisity's contribution to the area over the last 125 years