Old Fire Station Blog

News, happenings and goings on from the Old Fire Station, Oxford

12 Artists; 12 Worlds

I’ve now spent 3 days at Oxford Brookes Interdisciplinary Art MA Festival, (entitled LOST/FIND). I have been lucky enough to meet and get to know several of the artists whose work is on display, Dympna Irwin, Viviane Fallah, Roxanne Claxton, and Markus Stefan and Annelinde Kirchgaesesser (the latter two through the Contemporary Arts Research Unit – more in a later post – which is a sister to OFS’ Playground, the next installment is this coming Tuesday 23rd.)

I can’t recommend this show enough, there’s a great range of work by the 12 finalists and it’s taken me 3 days to really get my head round it.

Kate Abolins’ Living Rooms is a charming collection of branches balanced in tiny pots (which humourously kept falling over), poems on cards, 70s bead curtains and most poignantly, her friends’ philosophical musings typed out on carbon tape and suspended by ballons, so that you have to pull the ballons down from the ceiling to read them.

The hooded figure of Kirsty Limburn stalked the halls, handing out “department of Vocation” cards which asked us to consider what/who we really wanted to be.

Viviane Fallah has developed her spiraling repeated words into giant wall-hangings and throbbing projected protuberance (the “baby”).

Roxanne Claxton’s the Visible Woman puts herself in the picture, mimicking poses from famous artworks and encouraging us to consider the position of women in arts history.

Dympna Irwin presents her dark and forboding “In Visible Oxford” making clever use of torch light to reveal hidden drawings on Oxford maps.

Riccardo Attanasio Matlakas’s work “Atelier 4” invites us into conversation with him on the subjects of “God, Equality, Death and Freedom” (and a chance to make a group sculpture from clay.

Beth Martin’s “Beautique” (sic) plays with gender stereotypes and cleverly places a miniature monitor inside a tissure box (and has natty t-shirts for sale)

Fiona Miller’s Hive brings together her love of field recording with live music as she spends the whole week recording an album in a box.

John Grieve has built strange instruments out of reclaimed organ pipes (bought on ebay!) whose throbbing tones change due to binuaral beats as one navigates the space.

Matt Retallick creates a museum of Communist Germany and the Berlin wall, displays videos of forgotten cosmonauts.

Markus Stefan and Annelinde Kirchgaesesser’s wonderful little matchboxes contain “analogue apps” and perception challenging found objects. below are my reactions to those objects.

During opening night they also bizarrely scrubbed the carpark with water and wrote words such as PEACE, CONNECTEDNESS & TENSION on the ground in ritual fashion.

Interviews with Fiona Miller, John Grieve, Kirsty Limburn and Kate Abolins et al as well as an extended conversation with Riccardo Attanasio Matlakas as part of his “Atelier 4” piece available from Mixcloud.com/dottwentythree.

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