Graham Hudson

Graham Hudson started off by showing us work from 2006, and pointed out that this was 4 years after he left college. This cheered me up no end- sometimes when you are floundering or unconvinced by what you’re working on its useful to be reminded of the bigger picture. This is the long haul, and I’m looking forward to it. The curse of final piece syndrome is second only to the curse of fantasy studio syndrome in my mind. Both can be paralysing and depressing. Playing about with what you can get your hands on, wherever you can get your hands on it is always going to be ok.
Hudson’s work is varied in materials and approach; he consciously avoids categorisation. This is in part dictated by his decision not to be a maker per se, defined by him as ‘things having to be bang on or looking completely off.’ If something is wonky or shonky I want to know that it was intentional, and I want to think about why. Accidental shonky is just a waste of my time.
Hudsons work and practice can be challenging to authority, be it to the public, the art world or the spectator.

In the 2006 work Sajida Talfah in Holland park, Hudson was addressing issues of tyrany, politics and human suffering. It consists of an enthusiastically wrapped, packed and taped up structure atop a plinth formally occupied by a monument to Napoleon in a park founded by Lord Holland who supported him, and is named after a wife of Saddam Hussein. The structure evolved over the year to echo the seasons. It’s elevated position and ferocity of construction appeared to be overpowering. The ugly truth of of global political allegiances and oppression seemed represented by the impression that something was being confined or protected within all the tape. The spring incarnation featured an explosion of cardboard boxes, gaping open at us.

Following this work with a small scale studio work Paint Shelf, Hudson zoned in on the commentary of the gallery exhibition. The work takes 40 days to produce- considerably longer than it takes to et up the average show. It takes on a performative role.

Later works have involved roadworks and rubble, mapped and documented before they are displayed (Sedlijk, 2009 and Site Survey,2011)
These show an appreciation for the ‘ruptures’ that we encounter in city life, and documents of the ‘fast forward’ state of the city.
The contrast between working on residencies, away from his studio and the times spent in the studio serve among other things to remind Hudson that in his art his thinking and ideas are the constant running through his work, and you can take those anywhere.

His energetic approach to working sometimes come across as cavalier at times and why not?

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Africana Unmasked

The Rescue of Andromeda at Tate Britain

In an in-depth series of 3 seminars we traveled with Kimathi Donkor back through the history of art as we know it, from the beginning of civilisation. The established cannon of art, amidst all the presence of history, how it affects us today. It provided a point of reference from which all other points radiate.

Orientated around the Migrations show at Tate Britain, we learnt the semiotics of 500yrs of works from Tate’s collection. We traced the development of mythology starting from Nubia in ancient Africa which has fed into Greek (Persius and Andromed) and Roman (Saint George and the Dragon) texts.

Picking apart the establishment and the empire (Tate founded by sugar baron, whose wealth depended on slaves), we also looked a the marginalisation of international artists arriving in the 1950s expecting to engage with contemporary art, but ended up frustrated. The fallacy of the idea of a British artist, as large immigration here in the 16th and 17th centuries founded artistic communities.

Reginald Green
Reginald Green
Sonia Boyce
Sonia Boyce

Sonia Boyce engages with modernism in this image, flattening lots of ideas into a single plane.

Clare Harford summed it up, “It made me think about the circumstances in which work is made, and how so much avant-garde comes from the conservative rural roots as it does today from the suburbs.”

(o)ccupy Grey Area Gallery day 5

Finally the pipes are behaving, but not without some brute force courtesy of the (broken/missing vital part) pipe bender.

Clearing up the space, placing the pipes where I want them, I couldn’t bring myself to remove the ‘person’ represented by the pot of water (which I see as myself after my week of residency), so it finds its space there after all.

Looking forward to witnessing all the conversations sparked off tomorrow at the opening (6pm)