Saturday, December 22, 2007

Arty Rascals @ Worthing Museum

Currently on at Worthing Museum and Art gallery is a show of grafitti by the Arty Rascals.

"Two talented groups of youngsters aged 10-12 and 13-18 came together to display their unique graffiti art work in Worthing's Museum and Art Gallery.

The older group, dubbed the Arty Rascals, worked on a five week project to produce some colourful and thoughtful art work.

Graffiti artists, Future Kings, from Brighton’s Rarekind Graffiti Art Gallery, helped both groups to produce the pieces teaching techniques such as 3D, highlighting and character design."

The exhibition ends on 5th January.

Monday, December 17, 2007

William Kentridge - FRAGILE IDENTITIES @ Various

It is not too late to catch the William Kentridge exhibition "FRAGILE IDENTITIES" that is taking place around Brighton and Hove.

One of the world’s most influential contemporary artists, Kentridge will exhibit a selection of his work including prints, installations and film, in Brighton this autumn. This will be the first time that most of these works will have been shown in the UK, and will constitute his largest exhibition here to date. Born and resident in Johannesburg, Kentridge produced work that engaged in the struggle against Apartheid. Today, his work continues to infuse political sensitivity into the making of his graphic representations and in his filmic and theatrical productions in a manner that discovers politics in the daily traumas and dramas of human experience.

Part of the exhibition takes place at the University of Brighton site on Grand Parade while another part is on show at The Regency Town House in Hove. This latter part is an animation that is projected down from the ceiling onto a table and viewed in the reflection in a mirrored tube on the table.

It runs until the 31st Dec 2007.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Will Self & Ralph Steadman @ Lewes

Last night (14/12/07) I went to see a talk given by Will Self & Ralph Steadman at the All Saints Centre in Lewes. It was partly based on a book they had done together called Psychogeography. This is a collection of Will's columns for the Independent newspaper along with Ralph's illustrations.

It started with Will reading extracts from a couple of the articles. One about a trip to India when he was a youth and one about a walk from Lewes to Eastbourne. It seems that Will likes walking and has previously walked from his home in London down to Newhaven in four days. There then followed a Q&A session where he revealed a bit more about his walking habits.

After the interval Ralph joined him on stage and gave a talk about his favourite surrealist artists. This was illustrated by his drawings and featured an imaginary conversation between him, Luis Brunel and Marcel Duchamp. This didn't flow quite as smoothly as it could as the chap manning the laptop wasn't sure when to change slides to keep pace with the story.

They made a funny pair, Will tall and elegant with a marvellous turn of phrase, and Ralph who looks a bit like your dad did after he retired. It seems the articles were a two way collaboration as sometimes Ralph responded to Wills writing and sometimes it was the other way round. Where the darkness of the drawings come from we may never know, though Ralph did allude to having dark dreams. Shame no one asked him about hunter S Thompson either.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Experimental Music In Brighton

What I like best about Brighton is the music. From the Freebutt to the Brighton Centre there is something to cater for most peoples musical tastes. Of course, the further left your tastes are, the trickier things are to find.

To begin with there are a couple of good live nights out there. The Safehouse is a free jazz/improv night at the Open House pub Brighton. 2008 looks a good year with gigs by Evan Parker and Steve Beresford lined up. Instrumentality at the Fortune of War looks like an experimental electronica/techno night with lots of local acts playing live. Finally is Spirit Of Gravity who have been around for years. They are an electroniuca collective with their own record label.

This year also saw a number of musical fstivals in town. These includes Color Out Of Space, Loop and Soundwaves. Hopefully more than one of these will be back in 2008.

For the more clasically minded among you there are Tacet Ensemble (no website) and New Music Brighton.

One of my favourite record shops is Edgeworld Records. It is above a clothes shop in Kensington Gardens in Brighton and stocks all he records the other shops won't touch. They probably sell records by DJ Scotchegg, Fujiya & Miyagi and The Polly Shang Kuan Band.

Finally there is a local blog that covers all things musically weird. It is called 20 Jazz Funk Greats after the Throbbing Gristle album.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Get stuffed !

A little known local artist has been in the news recently as Damien Hirst tried to pay one million pounds for a collection of his work. The taxidermist Walter Potter died in 1918 but his collection of stuffed animals lives on. For a long time his creations were on display at the "House of Pipes" in Bramber and I think I may have seen them when I was very, very young. They then moved to Lands End and after a while they were split up and sold separately. I wonder if he was responsible for the stuffed animals they used to have in the Smugglers in Ship St, Brighton? I seem to remember there a weasel striding down a path with his belongings over his shoulder in a similar style.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

ALLSOPP&WEIR @ Permanent Gallery

A bit more video art at the Permanent Gallery in Brighton. This time it is two new pieces by Paul Allsopp and Andy Weir shown under the title "An Approximate Call".

"For ‘An Approximate Call’ Permanent Gallery presents two new allsopp&weir works. ‘Amplification Device’ (2007) shows a man at an airport runway at the edge of the city. He builds an impromptu machine from surrounding debris – pieces of pipe, tape, an old watering can – and uses it to shout through every time a plane passes overhead. Gradually the strict compositional structure shifts to an improvised rhythm as, tired, he turns away from the planes, abandons attempts at communication, and starts to make his own sounds."

It runs from Saturday 24 November to Sunday 23 December.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

10 Years of Junk Tv

The other weekend as part of the Cinecity film festival I went to see "10 Years of Junk Tv". This is a best of/retrospective put together by Junk Tv to showcase all the small films they have been making for the last 10 years. What started off as two blokes making short funny films in their lounge has developed into a proper video production company that claims to still make 8 films a week. Some of the films were funny and some were sad. It also showed how technology had changed, going from grainy VHS to the latest He-Def video format over the last 10 years.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Brighton bans "murder" music

Looks like Brighton isn't quite as liberal as it use to be. It seems a rather extreme measure to counter a gig that should never have really happened in the first place. Good job it isn't really on the Dancehall, Death Metal or White Power gigging circuit.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Mark Vessey @ OContemporary

Coming to the OContemporary is an exhibition that should surely have featured Brighton. It is a show of photographs by Mark Vessey of famous cities at night.

"Hugely talented and in-demand photographer Mark Vessey captures his fascination with the nightlife of Barcelona, Berlin, Cape Town, New York and London in stunning shots of the cities after dark.

Also exhibited will be Vessey's infamous Attitude series, united to form an iconic visual timeline of Attitude magazine and its stars."

This should be worth seeing as most big cities come live at night, after most people have gome to bed. I will go along to see if there is anywhere I recognise. The show runs from 15th December to 3 February.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Unheard Voices, Hidden Lives

Another worthy exhibition is taking place at Brighton Library during December. It is called Unheard Voices, Hidden Lives and hi-lights the problem of AIDS in Africa.

"The project - part of the Alliance's Frontiers Prevention Project, and carried out in collaboration with PhotoVoice - has trained 45 gay men (and other men who have sex with men), sex workers and people living with HIV in Cambodia, Ecuador and India to use a camera effectively, and then photograph their own experiences of the world."

Saturday, December 1, 2007

KWASH Charity Auction

KWASH is a local group set up to help keep Worthing and Southlands hospitals open in face of Government pressures to close them. The Littlehamptton Gazette has a charity auction to help raise money for the organisation. The item in question is a signed and numbered (#1) print of one of local artist Mike Paynes cartoons, produced to help raise awareness of the campaign.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Art Republic

I suppose the nicest shop in Brighton selling pictures has to be Art Republic on Bond Street. They sell prints and posters of everything from the last 100 years. From expressionism to surrealism and from pop art to the latest Banksy piece, they are all here.

In the last couple of years they have gone in for the more contemporary/urban/grafitti artists in a big way. I think they must have contacts with Pictures On Walls as they carry most of their artists.

by Graham Carter

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Christmas Open Houses

On the weekends of December 1&2 and 8&9 various Brighton and Hove artists will be holding Open Houses. This will be your chance to get that special Christmas present that you just won't be able to get anywhere else. The brochure boasts 400 artists and over 60 venues. These range from Hove to Kemptown and out to Ditchling and Newhaven. Things available will include paintings, prints, jewellery, sculpture and everything in between.

It is generally the same people and places that are showing in the Brighton festival but they are amongst the best of the local artists. The highlights from the brochure appear to be the knitting available from Cardigan athe usual good stuff from Studio106.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Relay is an exhibition whose "new works manifest particular engagements with sound. Each work points towards a singular, subjective preoccupation and its movement into the world. At the same time, something passes between the works – a relay that occurs when they are brought into proximity".

Finetuned, the organisation behind it, was established in 2005 by artists who maintain an engagement with sound oriented work both curatorially and in their own practice. It sounds like a two part installation of some sort, the first part of which is nearly over. More details are available here.

It is at the Friese Greene Gallery, 15-17 Middle St, Brighton until the 21st Dec.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Andy Vella - Penile Dementia

This is a new exhibition at Unit 03 in Wellington Road, Brighton. It features the work of Andy Vella.

"Andy Vella's huge canvass depict grumpy, aging, deformed nudes; the paintings' harsh lines reduce their subjects to a stark graphic horror directed at their own nakedness. Andy's fascination with the grotesque stems from watching monkeys masturbating at Longleat and seeing old men playing pocket billiards whilst waiting for the bus."

I haven't seen the pictures in the flesh yet but from the web site they look quite unsettling. Grotesque black and white figures with a bit of a willy obsession going on. It is on until 02 Dec.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Designer Vinyl Comes To Town

For a couple of years now I have been following the rise in popularity of "designer vinyl toys". These are small plastic toys that appeal to the big kids out there. They come in a varietyof sizes from keyring size to 12 inch tall. there have been a couple of shops in london that sell them for a while now but now I see Brighton has two shops that sell them as well.

One is Toy Life in the north Lanes. It has a nice selection as well as the odd exclusive. It has books and prints and the staff seem knowledgeable.

The other is down the bottom of Edward Street. It's name escapes me and it doesn't appear to have a website either.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Cor Da Rua @ OContemporary

Cor Da Rue or "colour of the streets" is the exhibition currently on at the OContemporary. It is a two month exhibition of urban Brazilian art that runs till the 9th December.

It represents 10 artists who have come over and made the gallery their own. One wall is is painted red and contains a number of graffiti/stencil pictures while the others hold everything form painted wall tiles and embroidery to abstract and portrait pictures.

The artists include Titifreak, MZK, Speto, Daniel Melim, Kboco, Silvana Mello, Ramon Martins, Carlos Dias, Zezao and Andrei Muller.

Well worth going along.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

James Cauty

Everyones favourite Portslade artist James Cauty is at it again. he has a new exhibition opening in Brighton called the "The Rize and Fall of the Portslade Massif". It is at Ink-D Gallery until 3rd Nov. It has caused a bit of controversy as part of it was accidentally removed by some cleaners. Almost as amusing as his last stunt.

Friday, October 5, 2007

CRITICAL MASS @ Phoenix Gallery

Looks like a bit of outsiderish art at the Phoenix Gallery this month. Running till the 20th October is a exhibition featuring the work of two artists.

"Jim Sanders constructs a landscape of totemic figures in a series of paintings and sculptures made from salvaged wood and found materials. Spanning over sixty feet in length, Martin Symons’ felt tip pen drawings erupt from the walls in a carnival of colour, movement and rhythm.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Brighton Grafitti

The street of Brighton are quite colourful when you look at them, even the walls and pavements. Here are some examples from Flickr. Is it art or is it vandalism? It is probably a bit of both which is what makes it so interesting.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Eastern European Film Posters

There is a good exhibition of eastern European film posters at the Crane Kalman Gallery in Kensington Gardens, Brighton. They date back to the 60s and 70s and are for films such as "Taxi Driver", "2001" and "Planet of the Apes". European film distributors made their own posters, in their own languages, to advertise the films they were showing. As a result they employed artists to produce posters that were more like pictures than cheap advertising. The range of styles covered is quite amazing.

The majority of the work presented here was created by Polish, German and Czechoslovakian artists. They include pieces by Josef Vyletal and Zdenek Zieger, two highly regarded illustrators

The web site says the exhibition finishes on the 9th of September but it is still running now.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Brighton Arts Fair

Coming up at the end of the month is the annual Brighton Arts Fair. It runs from the 27th to the 30th of September and is held in the corn Exchange in Brighton. It is an indoor market where you can browse the work of a hundred or so local artists, talk to them and then buy something. The art is "very high quality, original and innovative artwork across a wide mix of media and styles" so there is something for everyone. Pieces range in price from £50 to £1,500.

I have been the last couple of years and if nothing else it is a great source of inspiration.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Favourite Brighton Galleries

Two of my favourite galleries are both down Trafalgar Street. These are RareKind and OContemporary. Together, they span the two ends of the contemporary art scene.

RareKind. This place specialises in urban street art and grafitti. Downstairs is a small space with works by various "graf" type artists. I have seen pieces by local boy Req in there and currently they have some pieces by Jimi Crayon. Pieces are available for sale and they do commissions as well. Upstairs is a record shop specialising in Hip Hop, especially the UK variety. I like this gallery as it shows how good some of the graffiti out there can be. It all seems reasonably priced as well.

OContemporary. At the other end of the scale is OContemporary. This one is a big bright space full of pictures from your favourite contemporary artists. They have pieces by Andy Warhol and Bridget Riley as well as more modern artists like Tracey Emin and Takashi Murakami. They also have regular exhibitions of up and coming artists. This gallery is good as it gives Brighton a solid set of work (albeit prints) from proper famous artists. It is also a good barometer of who is on the way up in the art world. Sometimes it is hard to tell just what is their current exhibition and what is part of their collection. Presumably the ones piled up against the back wall are in their collection. :)

Saturday, September 8, 2007


It never fails to amaze me how creative the residents of Brighton (and Hove) are, so I thought it might be a nice idea to start a blog where I can document the best bits. I see no reason why this can't stretch to posts about pictures, artists, exhibitions, fairs and anything else that just takes my fancy. Highbrow or low brow I am not fussy. As long as it looks nice or makes you think. Watch this space for the first proper posting.