max mulhern


Engaging with the science of nautical engineering and the power of the currents of the sea these dice are really exciting. I also read the pollution of the sea in this work, as the sailors who travers our oceans regularly report sightings of ‘lost’ shipping containers which float a couple of meters below the surface, invisible to the eye. Not to mention the more invisible dangers of micro-plastic particles which are more indirect (to us – direct danger to sea life)

I love following their progress here. They are moving surprisingly fast, and ironically following the path of the current Vendee solo sailing race- they might comfort/ surprise/ hole a lonely competitor??

Jonty Hurwitz

@;-) – Mugabe Hyperinflation.

If this is cast in copper, which it looks like (and his more recent work would support this theory too) then I like the geographical relevance. The contry’s rich mineral deposits are what has provided the wealth in the past.

This reminds me of the terrifying fortune machine in the movie Big with Tom Hanks, where his wish gets granted and turns out to be a curse.
There is not much description on the site, but I’d like to think this one moved too.

Also nice that if this is cast copper, then the casting is now worth much more than the trillions of Zim dollar banknotes it looms over.

Unit 1 Assessment Crit

Unit 1 Installation Cadi Froehlich
Unit 1 Installation Cadi Froehlich

I was pretty pleased with how the installation of my work went- preparation is all after all. Still not quite resolved the display of Contact. This was my most recent work and the one which I was most keen to have critiqued.

Notes from the crit:

  • Having Contact sitting flat on the shelf does not invite people to pick it up- photo shows how it was replaced on the shelf after everyone had passed it around (and added to the work by leaving marks on it too- excellent).
  • The form is recognisable, but is somehow beyond technology which is frustrating.
  • Like a gold ingot only better.
  • Disenfranchised from technology.
  • Act of holding it somehow meditative.
  • Heavy, like a ball and chain.
  • Decadent- but needs to be held in the hand to get that.
  • Gold coloured with associations of power and desireablity.
  • Freudian reference, the connotation of holding an object in the hand is pleasing.
  • Lots of comments around gold. Think they getting too much gold from the colour.
  • The surface reflects your image, it comes out to you rather than drawing you in.
  • There is a magpie-like desire to steal it.
  • It is very Apple. This corporation has a huge set of connotations around it- scale, brand awareness, desirability,
  • Communication.

So from all of this I can see that the colour is creating impressions which I didn’t intend but which seem in line with my intentions. The strong and immediate Apple reference is good for me, as I take all the connotations of the brand and then some- I see it as the pioneer of revolutionising the smartphone phenomenon, which in turn has transformed how we interract with the rest of the world. Personally and professionally.

No one really got the prints and marks as proof of contact. No one commented on the making and finish, which I think was good as I take that to mean it was not significantly noticeable. The colour of this bronze is an issue for me. The copper content was completely lost. I’ll be interested to see if the bronze casts I am making change that at all.

I realise that casting them along with all the iPhone details is going to be a completely different piece of work, rather than a refinement of this one- the explicit reference will imply reproduction and devalueing (hopefully).

Cadi Froehlich Contact
Cadi Froehlich Contact
Cadi Froehlich Figure

The comments I recieved about Figure:

  • Looks a bit wonky.
  • The two elements look really disparate.
  • The way the wires disappear under the wall add a sinister edge, like it might be a snake which might twitch.
  • The flat cross-section of wires is very beautiful, reminiscent of venetian glass (mille feuille?) Expand.

I am happy with all of that. I am happy with how it stood, it’s interraction with the wall. The cross-section is something I have reproduced as an image and it sold out so that is something to explore. Feels more abstract, less literal, which may be an interesting route. Am always haunted by the spectre of making work which might be ‘didactic’. Work which says it all and dies before you get to the end of it….Image

UAL: Future Map 12

Connall McAteer
Connall McAteer

This year’s Future Map show was at CSM and seemed much more coherent to me than past years. Despite being a relatively disparate brief- selected works from accross the UAL courses, I think that the fact that they are all very current work really ran through them.

As a student of UAL now myself, I couldn’t help analysing the makeing and focus of the different colleges. For example Connall McAteers’ work Crate was impeccably finished, a real Objét. The workmanship colluded in the illusion the huge box created- the mosaic of different tones took on the appearance of a large wooden crate from a distance. The work of Camille Viérin called Layering Space, in contrast, showed visible signs of making. This detracted from the work for me as a maker, but the actual work was not the revolving perspex strips, rather I think it was the projection of the different colours, which became flattened on the wall.

Caroline Claisse
Caroline Claisse

I liked the sort of regal status this chair gave to the writing, as it resembled the sort of thing I imagine important people would have been transported in.

Sam Pullen
Sam Pullen

Glad to see fellow Camberwell student Sam Pullen represented- his work really stood out at a show at the New Gallery in Peckham last year. I covert his paintings, as he balances vibrant colour with real delicacy of application.

Minna Pöllänen
Minna Pöllänen

Minna Pöllänen brought materiality in it’s distilled form (always my favourite) into the Lethaby Gallery with Ice (Fresh Water), and Air.
Her subtle interventions at the sites she photographs add another dimension to her statement for me. I imagine the volumes depicted by the ‘lumps’ of material in the photos to be roughly equal, yet the solid ice is further tied down, and the bags of air appear to flutter on a string, accenting their physical qualities.

Camille Viérin
Camille Viérin
Esteban Peña Parga
Esteban Peña Parga

I am always more drawn to works which I feel share similar interests to my own, part of the same discourse I am concerned with. These last 2 images do that:

Esteban Peña Parga made a huge watercolour/ ink work on paper, Santander. His work ‘explores the relationship between climate and humans in relation to our current preoccupation with and understanding of climate change.’ The scale and technical acheivment of this work adds physical weight to the issue, yet the subject reminds me that the forces of nature are unstoppable and continuously shape the earth.

Angela Yeates and Lisamarie Harris
Angela Yeates and Lisamarie Harris

Lastly, this collaboration, “…this depicts you as you should be, and not as you are…” Barthes, really stood out for me, though it provoked much discussion in the bar later. It was placed open to the gallery windows, exposing the smooth inside, like half an egg, or a tennis ball. The outside showed more visible, rougher signs of making, but the craftmanship was visible throughout. It was the writing accompanying it which caused most furore: ‘This work comments on society’s transformation to a pure state of communication, the distance between identity and environment, emphasising this dialectic void and sense of self’. Worryingly I think, this makes perfect sense to me, and I think that as it was made as a collaboration only reinforces what the artists intend to convey. I think of the curve as the shortest distance around a central point. I see the inside as an intimate sharing, the outside rough but more durable. I see the desire to touch (even though it would be discouraged, esp in gallery) and I see all this expressed in materials manipulated industrially, whethere they are natural or not. Possibly the last phrase is a bit Barthes-heavy, but I sometimes wish I could reference current writing like this in my own work…

I think this artist is New York based. Found objects are given form and colour as they are reunited with their fellow cast-offs. I like the balance between the bending/adapting of them with the interventions, the joints.

The balance and form gives them space to become their base materials again, whilst making it feel familiar as they hang out together. The material contrasts also seem to add weight or lightness to each object.

This is painting as I see it.



At its most robust and experimental, sculpture can thrive in an astonishingly wide variety of locations. Far from being confined within the sheltering white walls of an art gallery or museum, it has always proved adept at enlivening even the most awesome spaces available in the world. Take Stonehenge, that monumental and mysterious ensemble made of mighty materials transported from a remote region of Wales to an equally epic setting in Wiltshire. Whether it was once a sun-worship temple or a healing centre, this prehistoric masterpiece can now be seen above all as an assertion of sculptural power. Halfway through the twentieth century, the young Carl Andre was profoundly influenced by Stonehenge while preparing himself for the seminal development of Minimalist sculpture. And contemporary artists continue to find themselves spellbound by the primordial impact of these standing stones, which cast such a transformative spell over the immense landscape around them.

No such vast stretch of countryside was available to the finalists who made their fascinating proposals for Sculpture Shock. But this admirable new award is inspired by the same fundamental urge as the making of Stonehenge: to astonish and awe viewers who come across an ambitious three-dimensional work in a place far removed from the clinical atmosphere of a conventional art gallery. As a member of the RBS Jury who met the nine finalists and chose the three winners of Sculpture Shock, I relished the spirit of adventure galvanising all the artists involved. They were clearly stimulated by the whole notion of making a spatial intervention in a locale dramatically at odds with traditional gallery interiors.

The exact whereabouts of the three spaces on offer in Sculpture Shock have not yet been divulged. Yet I can confirm that they are clearly differentiated from one another. Nothing could be more mysterious than the Subterranean context. Hidden far below the streets and buildings where urban people spend most of their time, an underground chamber ignites our imaginative responses in a very potent way. Visitors will embark on a journey through the normally unseen bowels of the city to reach this shadowy destination. Its sheer strangeness is bound to make us hyper-alert, and therefore more responsive to the sculpture installed there. A viewer might even be alone, investigating the work without any distraction from the throngs of people often found in popular gallery exhibitions today. So the subterranean context could well generate an unusually intense encounter with art in its least predictable form.

David Ogle, who made the winning proposal for this project, works primarily with fishing wire and ultraviolet light. He explains that his art ‘is very much a reaction to the environment it inhabits. It starts with a drawing, but light is what I’m working with fundamentally.’ Stimulated by the idea of ‘going underground to seek something precious, in a mine or a tomb’, Ogle will invite us to ‘enter the space, where objects emerge from ultraviolet lighting and fluorescent materials.’ He wants the viewer ‘to discover the work and bring it into being’. Fired with excitement, Ogle realises that ‘when underground, light is even more important!’ And he would like us to feel, down there in the space, that we are ‘creating the thing — large geometric forms made of individual lines — as you move through it.’ Ogle believes that his work is ‘indeterminate in terms of mass and materiality.’ He relates it to Minimal and Conceptual artists like James Turrell and Sol LeWitt, but adds that ‘digital technology is changing the ways in which things are defined.’ He wants to be involved in ‘negating the traditional role of the building.’ At the same time, though, Ogle thinks that his work is underpinned by ‘a paradox — it has a big impact, but it’s elusive and suddenly snuffed out. Looking in dark spaces, your perception of depth and distance changes.’

Challenges of a very different order are provided by the Ambulatory project. Indeed, it stands at the opposite extreme to the Subterranean context, inviting us to embark on a freewheeling journey without any physical confines. The key to its success will lie in our ability to engage with the audacity of movement through time, and the winner Amy Sharrocks emphasises that her work is essentially to do with ‘celebrating and liberating.’  While remembering Joseph Beuys’s landmark declaration that ‘everyone is an artist’, she is fascinated by ‘working with people in space, the architecture of the moment.’ Whether walking, swimming or floating, she believes that ‘it’s what people bring to it that counts, when I invite them to join me.’ Her guests are even prepared to be tied up for a swim involving 65 people, but Sharrocks makes clear that ‘I’m not in it for guerilla art-works. I’m fascinated by what we know as group consciousness.’ Sometimes these groups are silent as they make their way through London, and yet she tries ‘not to set up rules. I believe in the importance of daydreaming, and a heightened sense of existence.’ She invites the participants to ask fundamental questions like ‘how do we use the river in our city?’ Sharrocks is also involved in working with thistledown, the round silky seed which floats through fields and cities during the summer months. One of her ideas centres on ‘people bringing their seeds’ to her studio and to the Ambulatory event itself, and she wants everyone ‘to bring their whole life experience with them’ as well.

Exploration of this kind is in absolute contrast to the Historic context, which will allow an artist to create a ‘sculpture shock’ in an old, illustrious building preserved within the Royal Borough. Nika Neelova, who won this category, is a provocative choice. Although dedicated to exploring history through the use of architectural fragments from the past, she is obsessed with using damaged, ruined and even burnt materials, like the crumbling parquet floor from a London house which was about to be demolished. Although interested in the William Morris Arts & Crafts tradition, she wants to ‘introduce elements of the past into the present.’ Having lived in the Soviet Union and elsewhere in the world, Neelova is a wide-ranging artist who claims that she is ‘trying to combine western minimalism with Russian exuberance.’ The work she will create for the Historic context cannot yet be pinned down. She speculates that ‘I would probably use glass and introduce deviations in the production of the glass, hand-blown rather than ready-made’ but she is also fascinated by the possibilities of animated film and likes the idea of using church bells ‘translated from sound into silence.’ Above all, though, Neelova insists that ‘I do large work’, and ‘I like the viewer to walk into the space and confront it.’

In this respect, she and the other two winners of the Sculpture Shock will undoubtedly do their best to provide an enthralling experience, which continues to nourish our minds long after we have emerged from these different regions and returned to everyday life.


Having watched the film W.A.R.! by the artist Lynn Hershman Leeson, I was keen to get a look at the catalogue of the WACK exhibition of women’s art in Los Angeles in ????

I was struck by the realisation that staging a major/recognised exhibition which consists solely of work by women artists is considered startling. Still. Whilst being surrounded by smart interesting people here at college, the majority of my fellow students are women, whilst the majority of our tutors are male.