May 1, 2012

TURTLE SALON (April 2012)


A collaboration with Michael Shamberg
Exhibition: 14/04/12 – 29/04/12
Turtle Salon at Grey Area featured works by Romeo Alaeff, Francis Baudevin, David Blandy, Anna Blessmann & Peter Saville, David Blandy, Robert Breer, Nick Cash, Vincent Champier, Susan Chorpenning, Jem Cohen, Ana Corbero, Natalie Curtis, Daniel Devlin, Annabelle D’Huart, Arpad Dobriban, Anna Faroqhi, Joshua Frankel, Liam Gillick, Rob Gretton, Cressida Haughton, Elma Hermann, Tae Hwang, Derek Jarman, Marie-France Jean, Martina Klien, Leonard Kogan, Barbara Kruger, Arnaud LeFebvre, Chris Marker, Paul Morley, Jane Nisselson, Ruth Novacek, Melody Owen, Anita Pain, Paige Perkins, Amos Poe, Gabrielle Porta, Yvonne Rainer, Ned Richardson, Kay Rosen, Michael Shamberg, Ali Smith, Donald Smith, Malin StÃ¥hl, Sofia Stevi, Eiji Suzue, Susanna Thornton, Maki Umehara, Kristen Weiner, Lawrence Weiner, Ila Wingen, Sue Wrbican, Alice Zimmerman.

Between March and April 2012 Turtle Salon was hosted by Meter Room Coventry and Grey Area Brighton. A salon in two-parts, the project draws from Shamberg's sprawling network of artists, friends, projects, & places.

'In Lebanon, at the border with Israel, there is a turtle sanctuary that is the result of being a protected area during the civil war. The almost extinct Mediterranean sea turtle was allowed to flourish.This is something good that came out of the war. I have gone through my own corporeal civil war and TURTLE is my sanctuary and celebration.' Michael Shamberg

Apr 3, 2012

Occupant #10 Sophie Dickson (Tuesday, 03.04.2012)

"I might paint a bowl of lasagne, you might see a giraffe."

Sophie Dickson is developing a body of work that is at once gestural and poetic whilst paying attention to the demands of an hermetic art practice.

Mar 14, 2012

Interview with last week's occupant Max Gimson.

Max is currently studying his final year of Fine Art Painting at Brighton University. His work comes from an interest in the implication of narrative through symbols and objects, finding the essence of what something 'is' through the medium of paint. Max talks about his work in relation to his week long residency with the Grey Area.

How does your art react to its environment here at the Grey Area?
Well, I paint at Uni so I already have a vocabulary with the paint, so I already have props and things within the painting. Coming into the space I was using the rooms where the corners go round each other, the edges of walls and the sink, then applying what I already have built up and putting it into the space like with the floorboards and colours of the walls. Then also with this figure, I use it to sort of journey round things and into the space.

How did you decide on how many paintings to make within the space?
It was with how much money I had and how much time I had. Somebody who works here brought down two small frames so that was an added extra. I made four frames altogether which took about two hours each to make.

With regards to the idea of blurring the line between the gallery and the studio, would you say the four walls of the gallery act as a frame for your work rather than the edges of each individual canvas?
How do you mean?

So, does this space become more of an installation?
I didn’t want it to be an installation; I wanted it to be something quite organic. I didn’t really want to consider people coming in to view it at all really. I just wanted to treat it as a new sort of environment to work in. To disregard what people thought and whether they’d come in or not. I could do this work and take it away and be happy with what I’ve made simply because I made it in this sort of environment.

In that respect, if you see this as more of a studio, would you say this work ever ends or is it an ongoing project?
I have this at Uni as well, as along as I’ve got the money to make it I’d keep on doing it. I have loads of ideas of what could be paintings but it’s the fact of having the money to make them.

Whilst working here this week how has it affected your perception of the space?
I think I quite like the small space. Maybe it’s a horrible trait in my character or something. It’s like a horrible place to be and it smells a little bit…..of just something horrible, all the time! I think that sort of feeds in to my work, especially with the atmosphere and the colours that I will use to reflect the space. You can hear footsteps above you, which is creepy.

How are you going to develop this figure you’ve started working on with each painting?
I wanted to make a sculpture of the figure because in the paintings it’s the only thing that isn’t apparent or in the space, for example the walls and sink are apparent in the paintings. So, I think I need to express that somehow and maybe once I’ve done that it’ll change the way I think about it. Maybe I should have done that first, when I came in to be honest. I kind of want to put a sheet and paint all over me and walk around the space.

Your concept of ‘if a painting was made on the floor why can’t it be shown on the floor’ is really interesting. How did this come to be something that you wanted to focus on?
It was through writing my dissertation and also because I hated putting shows on. I think every time we’ve done it it’s like we’ve got a team of curators and that’s not really what I wanted to sign up to. The bit that I enjoy is actually making the paintings so if people can appreciate that, if it’s lent up against a wall, then why not do that? We’ve got a degree show and they’re getting us to think how we’re going to display that right now, so there is a lot of pressure on that as we get marked on how we’ve displayed it.

What are your plans after you finish your degree show at University?
I’m actually doing a residency in China with one of my course mates for a couple of months. When I came down here, I couldn’t think about painting anything else other than the actual space so if I go to China it’s going to completely change the way I work which is really exciting.

Mar 9, 2012

(o) Occupant #8, Max Gimson (Friday, 09.03.2012)

Joyful and/or beastly scene of possibilities. Some Goya men do read.

All photographilia (c) Daniel Yanez-Gonzalez 2037

Mar 7, 2012

Forum For Um Painting notes

Partial Transcript of Forum For Um Painting, as heard by D. Norton on 7th and 11th of February 2012

Tuesday 7th February


Bringing things together that aren’t normally together, stars in the day ….
Record covers, a point of departure
The texture of Josh’s work – feeling of vinyl in abstract painting next to a painting of record cover.
Experimental sculptural paint
Pouring household paint, found objects – colour of paint, album cover photo.
Modernism – a Klee wall, the pantone fence – should it be a stronger Modernist element and in household paint? No no
Painting carrying so many other narratives – the paving slabs referring to some other painting (a Davenport?)
The gap in between
The mixture of paintings deny some sort of hierarchy between them all.
Should the paintings be larger? Modesty. The sense that something is more important than making an enjoyable painting.


When you paint an object it becomes more than it is. Varnish through painting understand the objects, an experience of touch through sight
Go to the town hall in Hove – all wood interior. Visual diary.
Magritte painting – kissing people – the lovers - not worried about skill. Didn’t want to name Magritte as once you have done so it is there. Skin coloured paint.
The square. Not landscape, it’s not a scene. The language of the painting? Disarm.
Get rid of the light and have spaces in front and behind.
The space where the gaze loses itself.
Having an idea, then paint it, consider moving material across the canvas.
Rudimentary, no artifice
Ways of painting wood.
Should just do the nonchalance
Post audio-visual
Sitting on the floor
Knowledge of 3 dimensions and filmic language
‘scene painting’
Andrzej Jackowski
The Apparatus of Painting


Doing watercolour seriously, from mobile phone photos. Half done – normally posted, damaged written on
Social capital – showing off for a small group of family and friends
An evening class for old ladies in Rottingdean.
It impresses old ladies. A hobbyist medium.
The sending is probably the best bit of it. I go to Cardiff and I buy a postcard of Castle …. (Wales)
Doing it better (than commercial cards) and then passing it back in
How do they sit against the ‘official’ images?
A girl took two months to reply, he was waiting.
If you received it you would put it on your mantelpiece and give it more time than a painting in a show in Tate.
Difference between digital and analogue art

Saturday 11th February 2012


Josh’s past allowed to surface in his work. A feel for the magazine paper, glossy. The gloss paint. The seductive sheen.


Thinking about becoming something else - paintings looking like I did them. Trying not to ‘do me’. What about when my brother asked when he would become a girl… transmuting identities, memories of people and how they forge your own self, the smell of ginger biscuits, warmth, the piano.

Mike S

Why these? What do you get out of a situation like this?
Redemption narratives, the healed and the unhealed, cheerleader and the thing.
How important is disengagement? The context is important, obfuscation strategy
The potential for narratives, and the incomplete narrative, are you for the internal workings of the painting? Yes they are
Greenberg – ‘painting is an end in itself’
Is the style a meta-narrative?

Harriman – cartoons, Picasso admirer of his, no punch lines
The Crystal World, JG Ballard
Pop/low/high …culture

A process of comparing the higher logic of painting to the reality
Creating reality, the metaphysics of it
The last utopia of modernism – is this how to do it? That is reductive
Do you have any strategies on colour? Points to the thing being fabricated
What happens when you look at a painting? They have to be believed in.
Pavilion of the Sun – Victor Pasmore