Article marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and opens during Fly the Flag for Human Rights Week (24-30 June). To mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Across the UK, both physically and online, people will come together to celebrate that human rights are for everyone, every day.
Workplace Foundation's third exhibition at The Conduit, London refers to Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits. Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which they are the author.
Workplace Foundation is a registered charity that was established in 2017 by Workplace – an art gallery representing contemporary artists. Based in Gateshead in the North of England, Workplace Foundation supports emerging and under-represented artists based outside of London, with a focus upon the North of England.
Cath Campbell makes sculpture, drawing, large scale architectural interventions, film, performance and participative projects. Increasingly interested in feminist practice, she works from within the confines of domestic space, travelling vicariously through others’ photographs, films and stories, creating opportunity for collaborative working, and deliberately bringing disparate voices into public space.
In her ‘Hotel’ series Cath Campbell explores the idealised world portrayed in ‘Wallpaper’ city guides. Campbell carefully collages tiny circles cut directly from images depicting hotel interiors from different cities. Each dot is placed on white paper in indexical relationship to the original photograph and in each Campbell has selected the banal palette of the international hotel room: one blue, one yellow, two browns, and a black, creating a new reduced representation of an interior through her seductive minimal constellations.
Alongside these works are a pair of cut-out architectural drawings of inaccessible space. Drawn and then cut out by hand, they borrow their titles from sentimental pop songs such as All I Need Is The Air That You Breathe… or If You Leave Me Now. Central to these works is the implication of architecture as a metaphor for states of being.
Joe Clark investigates the instability of the contemporary image. Using a combination of sculpture, analogue photography and digital post production techniques, Clark constructs works that are held in tension between the real and the virtual. Constructed materials appear to float within gradients or tonal grades, architectonic objects are flattened into taut two - dimensional planes, their edges becoming linear compositional devices. Simulated objects appear within colourful kaleidoscopic fractals. Clark's works question how images are both made and received. His analytical deconstructions allow the method of production to be traced and understood. The tension that arises is between this explication and the image itself.
In his Seagrass series, photographs of blades of Seagrass are arranged in gestural configurations against the gradient of the setting sun. The layer of curved organic fragments floating on glass screens at first glance appear to be arranged by chance, yet stand in relationship to one another as if hieroglyphs or letters of an unknown language, or small floating fragments within the human eye which ordinarily go unnoticed, but become apparent against a uniform backdrop and come into focus only during a moment of mental abstraction. These photographic images mediate between bodily experience and interior life.
Joe Clark was born in 1982 in RAF Wegberg, BAOR he studied in Northumbria University, Newcastle and The Slade School of Art, London. Recent exhibitions include: Double Blind, 4 Windmill Street, London, Now Showing, Carroll / Fletcher, London, Be Like Water, Workplace, Gateshead, Higher Atlas, Marrakech Biennale; New Contemporaries 2010 - ICA London and A-Foundation, Liverpool; Oriel Mostyn, Wales.
Rachel Lancaster takes her own photographs of a variety of sources including objects she makes, or television that she watches. These are then translated into paintings and drawings. Lancaster uses the process of photography as a filter through which images are selected and seen afresh, dissociated from their origin.
Often taken from cult film and box sets, Lancaster evades the typical themes with which these movies are associated. Instead, she is drawn to seemingly insignificant passing shots, extreme close-ups of inanimate objects, and commonplace domestic interiors. Painting them in oil, and employing a classical layering technique, Lancaster imbues her subjects with an ethereal luminosity. Lancaster interrogates the mundane fragments of a greater narrative, focusing poignantly on the split-second moments that are in-between events.
Rachel Lancaster was born in Hartlepool in 1979, she studied Fine Art at Northumbria University and Newcastle University. Recent exhibitions include: Let Me Dream Again/You Can Hope Forever, Room 113 gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne; I’M Ten, IMT Gallery, London; BEYOND THE GOLDMINE STANDARD, RPM Music, Newcastle; Omnia Mea Mecum Porto, Kotti-Shop, Berlin; Morphic Resonance, PSL, Leeds. Rachel Lancaster lives and works in Newcastle upon Tyne
Paul Merrick combines painting with sculpture to investigate colour, materiality, and architectural and spatial arrangement in relationship to the history of painting. Merrick's recent work is the result of a sustained interrogation of painting through found material as proxy for image and visual field.
In the body of work shown at The Conduit, Merrick uses found colour from industrial building materials. From these he creates colour field paintings, which are then punctuated by images from his archive of National Geographic magazines: photographs of exotic birds, antique sculpture, flora and fauna. Alongside these works hang scientific photographs cataloging groups of crustaceans. Cut - out and removed shells reveal the materiality of the substrate beneath, creating an elemental dance between decorative calcite forms floating upon scratched aluminium and copper apertures. Merrick’s works present a photographic and painterly language that reveals the problematic tension between a naïve, nostalgic world view, and a darker, colonial force lurking in our cultural history.
Paul Merrick was born in 1973 in Oxford, UK; He studied Fine Art at Newcastle University. Exhibitions include RIFF, Baltic|39, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, Tip of the Iceberg, Contemporary Art Society, London, UK, Paul Merrick, HIVE Gallery, Barnsley, UK, MALEREI Painting as Object, Transition Gallery, London, UK and NewBridge Space, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, The New Domestic Landscape, Northern gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland, UK, Brut, Brut, Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh Annuale, UK, Blue Star Red Wedge, Glasgow International, UK, Playing Fields, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, UK. Merrick lives and works in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Richard Rigg reproduces and manipulates everyday objects and situations, turning them into theoretical conundrums or reductive and poetic sculptural propositions. He asks us to look at the everyday again. Drawing upon the history of science, mathematics and literature, Rigg’s works at first glance often seem deceptively simple, but pitches reason against itself to undermine our rational and habitual understanding of the meaning of an object.
Shown here at the Conduit are three working drawings that serve as studies for much larger sculptural works. As records of his working through of a problem, they reveal a glimpse of the intense conceptual struggle encountered by the artist on his way to reaching aesthetic and conceptual resolution.
Richard Rigg was born in 1980 Penrith, Cumbria. He studied Fine Art at Newcastle University. Selected exhibitions include: Chance Finds Us, MIMA, Middlesbrough; The Difference Loom, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town; Quiet Works, Temple Contemporary, Philadelphia,; Lacuna, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, The Inhabitant of the Watchtower, High Desert Test Sites, Joshua Tree, California; Broken Fall (organic), Galleria Enrico Astuni, Bologna; Morphic Resonance, PSL, Leeds.