Chapter Arts Centre: Simon Woolham : The Invader | Dan Clark -Intervention in the temporary entrance corridor - 15 Aug 2008 to 28 Sept 2008
Simon Woolham, The Keep, 2006. Biro on paper, courtesy the artist.
Simon Woolham attempts to unearth unpredictable and fragile processes of memory by examining occupied spaces and the narratives that unfold in them. His drawings of school playing fields or junk-filled underpasses contain text with the tone of dialogue. Through these glimpses of speech the dilapidated environments come to life in a skint version of enchantment; a tree stump or a broken fence are filled with the meanings of the events that go on around them.
Woolham has recently made a series of models, films and animations that focus on recurring motifs that often feature in the work: ditches, unofficial dumps and breached security fences. The films bring to life a series of landscapes that are digitally manipulated, coloured and made to move.
Woolham’s work is unassuming, quite often made from simple materials and with seemingly modest aspirations. Nonetheless, the works are charged with emotion; they are irreducibly, irrevocably unsettling. The sites depicted in the work are scenes of humiliation as well as innocent play, of rejection and failure as well as fantasy and adventure. They are as sweet as other people’s children and as deadly as your own worst memories. Woolham will create new sitespecific interventions at Chapter which will be shown alongside existing works.
Since graduating from Chelsea College of Art with an MA in 2000, Woolham has exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally. Solo shows have included ‘Dark Corner’, Margaret Harvey Gallery, St Albans, 2008; ‘The Bridge was a good place to throw stuff off’, Leicester Art Gallery Offsite, 2007; ‘Shreds of Evidence’, Museum of Garden History, London, 2007; ‘New Films’, Wexford Arts Centre, Ireland and ‘Our Place’, BLOC Projects, Sheffield, 2007. Group shows have included ‘Tatton Park Biennial 2008’, Tatton Park, Knutsford, nr Manchester, 2008; ‘Eastern Open 2008’, Kings Lynn Arts Centre, 2008; ‘Wysing Arts’, Bourne, nr Cambridge, 2008; ‘ISOBAR’ Fieldgate Gallery, London, 2007; ‘Bolwick 4’, Bolwick Hall, nr Norwich, 2007; ‘Merdre!’ Pendu Gallery, New York, 2007; ‘Art Video’, Västerås, Sweden, 2007; ‘Too Much Freedom!’, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2006; ‘One Love - The Football Art Prize’, The Lowry, Manchester, 2006; ‘EXPO Sonic Arts’, Cornerhouse and Victoria Baths, Manchester, 2006; ‘Video Group Show’, The Nunnery, London, 2006 and ‘Paper Cuts’, Bury St Edmunds Art Gallery, 2006/07.
Intervention in the temporary entrance corridor
Mon 1 — Sun 28 September, 2008
"Mr Verloc, going out in the morning, left his shop nominally in charge of his brother-in-law. It could be done, because there was very little business at any time, and practically none at all before the evening. Mr Verloc cared but little about his ostensible business. And, moreover, his wife was in charge of his brother-in-law. The shop was small, and so was the house. It was one of those grimy brick houses which existed in large quantities before the era of reconstruction dawned upon London. The shop was a square box of a place, with the front glazed in small panes. In the daytime the door remained closed; in the evening it stood discreetly but suspiciously ajar. The window contained photographs of more or less undressed dancing girls; nondescript packages in wrappers like patent medicines; closed yellow paper envelopes, very flimsy, and marked two and six in heavy black figures; a few numbers of ancient French comic publications hung across a string as if to dry; a dingy blue china bowl, a casket of black wood, bottles of marking ink, and rubber stamps; a few books with titles hinting at impropriety; a few apparently old copies of obscure newspapers, badly printed, with titles like the Torch, the Gong--rousing titles. And the two gas-jets inside the panes were always turned low, either for economy’s sake or for the sake of the customers.
These customers were either very young men, who hung about the window for a time before slipping in suddenly; or men of a more mature age, but looking generally as if they were not in funds. Some of that last kind had the collars of their overcoats turned right up to their moustaches, and traces of mud on the bottom of their nether garments, which had the appearance of being much worn and not very valuable. And the legs inside them did not, as a general rule, seem of much account either. With their hands plunged deep in the side pockets of their coats, they dodged in sideways, one shoulder first, as if afraid to start the bell going. The bell, hung on the door by means of a curved ribbon of steel, was difficult to circumvent. It was hopelessly cracked; but of an evening, at the slightest provocation, it clattered behind the customer with impudent virulence."
This text is an extract from The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale by Joseph Conrad (published in 1907).
Dan Clark graduated from UWIC in 2008 and lives and works in Cardiff. This is his first solo exhibition and can be seen in the temporary entrance corridor. Dan will also undertake a residency in Chapter’s y Llofft space in January 2009.
Can’t Keep Up With Keeping You Down
Preview: Tue 16 Sept @ 6-9pm
Wed 17 - Sun 21 Sept @ 12-8pm
Can't Keep Up With Keeping You Down is the title of a series of new works by Cardiff-based visual artist Rabab Ghazoul. Questions around seed saving, seed sowing, and the plight of Iraqi farmers since the occupation led her to take on a small allotment space in 2007, enabling her to ask questions about the land far away within context of the land close by. Can't Keep Up With Keeping You Down charts some of the work to emerge out of this ongoing exploration, touching on themes which continue to shape the artist's practice: those of teritory, identity, belonging, the subjugation of people, and of the land.
Then again, it’s not a story, it’s a picture
A lesson, a conversation and a list
It’s not a story, it’s a planting out
A listening (to trees, birds, seeds, the movement of worms, the movement of troops)
And a kind of waiting
For everything to grow
And grow again
Further work can be seen at Poctcanna Fields Allotments Wed 17 - Wed 24 Sept. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to book your visit. All visits to the allotments must be booked in advance.