Thursday, 15 October 2009

Exhibition documentation, Galleri Andersson/Sandström

After months of preparation and a stressful (but fun) week in Sweden, here is the finished product...

'Removed from the Eyes of Strangers', installation view, 2009, Galleri Andersson/Sandström, Umeå, Sweden.

Opening night

The exhibition opened last Thursday in Umeå. Gallery Directors Stefan Andersson and Sara Sandström Nilsson introduced the show and Matt Lippiatt and Pete Smith each gave a brief speech about their work.

Stefan and Sara

Pete Smith and Matt Lippiatt

On the left is Lilian, the gallery's administrator. She helped us through the installation, and she has been my main contact for the planning of the exhibition.

Visitors arrive for the event.

Press cuttings

The Removed from the Eyes of Strangers exhibition has already received quite a bit of attention in the Swedish press. Click to view articles from the following publications: Västerbottens Folkblad, Västerbottens-Kuriren, Kulturstan and Tidningen Kulturen.


Pete Smith came out to Umeå to put together the components of Bedsitter, his pre-exisitng mechanical installations, and to build a new piece for the exhibition at Galleri Andersson/Sandström. The new artwork is called Susan and below is an explanation of the piece by the artist:

"On a visual level, the straight line of the coals is almost like stealing a Richard Long and making it in miniature; the train tracks create a drawn line, as the placement of the track becomes equally as important as any drawn line would be. Landscape and architecture inform my work in many respects. When standing before a piece of Baroque architecture, the really beautiful sculptural elements of the building are hidden from the view at ground level, you see a ledge up high and can only imagine what is beyond. Within the crate portion of Susan there is a sense that the really beautiful aspects are obscured from view, hidden inside the crate.

The train and the crate work in conjunction with each other but also with the surrounding space, and this sense of interaction runs through all my works. The straight line of the railway track and the train attempting to penetrate the crate's exterior, as well as the ambiguous delights that may be hidden inside the opaque crate have led many people directly to a sexual explanation of the piece. However, with all my work, I would reinforce the fact that the artwork is primarily about communication, and sex only becomes a part of this because it is a facet of human interaction. Each of my artworks are about blending the line between the human and the machine - the repetitive and mechanical element involved will always carry sexual undertones, which serves only to add to the human nature of each piece."

--Pete Smith 

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Galleri Andersson/Sandström

Galleri Andersson/Sandström is where the first leg of the touring exhibition will take place. The gallery is located just outside Umeå, in Umedalen, an area that used to be a sanatorium - the gallery itself functioned as the compound's boiler room.

Matt initially approached Andersson/Sandström with the proposal for Removed from the Eyes of Strangers as Umedalen's history seemed to perfectly fit the subject at the core of the exhibition. Context aside, the gallery itself is a beautiful but dominating white space, which makes for a stark contrast with some of the sculptures in the exhibition, most of which are small domestic objects that have been altered in some way, whilst retaining their original size and shape.

Galleri Andersson/Sandström is the second most Northern gallery in the world, and during our stay the weather has been consistently below freezing! Umedalen also boasts Europe's only cultural spa, where visitors are encouraged to view artwork whilst exercising, rather than watching a television. I'm sure this is one of the reasons that Umeå has recently been selected as European Capital of Culture for 2014.

The surrounding forest is home to several sculptures, which were initially displayed in the sculpture park but are now a permanent feature after being purchased by Baltic Gruppen, the real estate company that owns the buildings in Umedalen. Many of the artworks are hidden away, and are left undiscovered until you revisit the area for a second or third time. I took a (cold) walk around the area with Matt Lippiatt yesterday morning and we photographed some of the sculptures we came across on our way.

 Winter & Hörbelt, Kastenhaus 1166.14 (2000)

Kaarina Kaikkonen, A Path (2004)

Antony Gormley, Another Time VIII (2007)
 Miroslaw Balka, 30x60x10, 250x1958x795, 30x60x10, 250x521x174 (1996)

All images courtesy of Galleri Andersson/Sandström.

Visit from Umeå Konstskola

Matt Lippiatt speaks to students about his video work, Nightcruising

"This morning we were visited by foundation students from the Umeå Konstskola. It was a great opportunity for us to get some early reactions to the exhibition. Some of the students had read the stories about our show published today in the local papers, so they already knew a little background about my work and the decision not to screen the video here due to its sexual content.

We watched the video with the students, and had an interesting discussion about art and pornography. Umea's young people are a smart and thoughtful crowd!"

-- Matt Lippiatt

Click here to view Nightcruising

Matt Roberts leads a tour of the exhibition

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Exhibition installation

This week, myself, Matt Roberts, Matt Lippiatt and Pete Smith are in Umeå, Sweden, installing the first leg of the Removed from the Eyes of Strangers exhibition at Galleri Andersson/Sandstrom. The following images document the installation process, from the arrival of the crate of artworks to the present state of the gallery. The exhibition is still unfinished, but we have another day of preparation before the official opening at 5pm on Thursday.


Sunday, 4 October 2009

Participating Artists - Clara Ursitti

Clara Ursitti, From the Dolphin Girl Collection, 2009, bronze and found objects. 10x10x10cm

Clara Ursitti is interested in questions surrounding what it means to be a human animal, and how our senses figure in this. Combining visual and non-visual senses, she creates meaning and experience for those encountering a work of art.

Participating Artists - Rachel Goodyear

Dog Digging, 2008, Pencil and watercolour on paper, 42 x 30 cm. Courtesy of International 3 and the artist.

Rachel Goodyear’s soft hand drawn visions of figures, burnt gateposts, abandoned clothing and violent images of wild birds and animals create an unfamiliar landscape forcing the viewer to readdress their own experience of suburban life.

Participating Artists - Matt Lippiatt

Nightcruising #1, digital print, 1 of 6, 2009, 150 x 85 cm

Matt Lippiatt’s large scale prints are reproductions of stills taken from his video Nightcruising (2009), a collaboration with pornographer Liam Cole. Matt has re-edited video clips from a porn scene shot at night in London's Hampstead Heath, manipulating the sound and speed of the footage to foreground the ominous character of the nocturnal woodland setting and the ambiguous activities taking place.

Participating Artists - Pete Smith

Bedsitter parts I, 2009, mixed media, various sizes

Pete Smith’s human forms mechanically mimic the shadowy patterns of everyday rituals grown from memories of his childhood and his experience of working in menial roles or on factory floors.

Participating Artists - Steve Bishop

Hitting me Where It Hurts Most, 2009, bed sheet, underwear, sock, fluorescent tubes, wood, electronic ballast & wires, 180 x 100 x 80 cm
Steve Bishop is concerned with the tensions between the natural world and the man made. With foxes impaled on neon lights and squirrels submerged in concrete blocks, he creates a collision between the wild and the mundane materials of everyday life.

Participating Artists - Wendy Mayer

Self portrait as a Matryoshka part II, 2007, Papier-mâché, wax, glass eyes, 37 x 29 cm

Wendy Mayer’s work centres around the evolution of the self. Exploring perceptions of the ageing process to embrace her interest in the uncanny, she utilizes dolls and figurines to project images of herself that represents various stages of her evolving psyche.

Welcome to Removed from the Eyes of Strangers

On 8 October 2009, Removed from the Eyes of Strangers, an exhibition presented by Matt Roberts Arts, will open at Galleri Andersson/Sandström in Umeå, Sweden.

We are creating this blog in order to share our experiences of realising the first international touring exhibition organised by Matt Roberts Arts. Our organisation encourages emerging artists and arts administrators to evolve their practice, and we hope that through this blog we can involve as many people as possible in the process of exhibition development.