Castlefield Gallery is pleased to present a group exhibition A Horse walks into a Bar including work by Corey Arnold, Richard Billingham, Andrew Bracey, Lorraine Burrell, Maddi Nicholson, Dan Staincliffe, Chiz Turnross, UHC and Mark Wallinger. Using a range of media such as video, painting, photography, sculpture and performance, the artists playfully examine the parameters of human and animal characteristics and question the evolution of the human race.
Some of the work blurs the boundaries between nostalgia and abhorrence, referencing the use of animals in the entertainment industry, whilst other work references animals in heraldic, mythological stories. Conventions in visual art practice are also deliberated, highlighting the inter-dependence of living beings in a contemporary world, these range from the allegorical use of animals in traditional regal portraiture to other works that alter our perception of sculpture by fusing animal imagery with mass produced objects.
The exhibition can be seen as reflective of our increasingly uneasy relationship with the natural world that is tainted with confusion, contradiction and confrontation and will oscillate between the playful, sinister, surreal and controversial. Co-Curated by Castlefield Gallery staff and Jane Anderson.
More on the artists:
Corey Arnold fuelled at an early age by his Fatherʼs addiction with sport fishing, developed a strong bond with the sea and a curiosity for science and adventure. After graduating from the Academy of Art in San Francisco with a degree in photography, he set out to work in Alaska’s notoriously dangerous Bering Sea Crab Fishery while living in Norway during the off season. His current project Fish-Work is a first person account of his life as a commercial fisherman in Alaska and a traveller among the fishermen of Arctic Norway. Since settling in Portland, Oregon two years ago, his work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions in Portland, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Arnold has received an American Scandinavian Foundation Grant for the Fish-Work project and has been featured most recently in The Paris Review, Juxtapoz Magazine, Artweek, Art Ltd, PDN’s 30 and Sunday Telegraph Magazine.
Richard Billingham has achieved wide-spread recognition after a series of photographs depicting his family were shown at the Barbican in 1994. He then utilised hi-8 video footage, resulting in the TV film Fishtank, commissioned by Artangel. In 1997 Billingham won the Citibank Photography Prize and his work was also included in Sensation, Royal Academy, London, 1997. He was shortlisted for the Turner Prize at Tate Britain in 2001.
Andrew Bracey works on the edge of painting as it moves into animation, sculpture and installation. He has had solo shows at galleries including Manchester Art Gallery; firstsite, Colchester; Transition Gallery, London; Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Mid Pennine Gallery. He has been included in many group shows such as John Moores 23, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; Pressure Points: Between Tracks, Badhaus, St. Gallen, Switzerland; Small Mischiefs, Pumphouse Gallery, London; A Long Time Ago, Draiocht, Dublin; Global Studio, Bluecoat, Liverpool; Mostyn Open 2005, Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno; Swap/Vaihto, Bureau, Salford and The Cable Factory, Helsinki and Beyond the Endgame, Manchester Art Gallery. He has taught at several universities and is currently Senior Lecturer in fine art at The University of Lincoln.
Lorraine Burrell works in video and photography. She completed an MFA at the University of Ulster in 2005 and exhibits both nationally and internationally including Intersection: Globalization and Identity, Youkobo Art Space, Tokyo; Video Festival 07, Valencia, Spain and Engaged in Recreation, Borusan Culture and Art Centre, Istanbul. Forthcoming projects include a solo show at The Third Space Gallery, Belfast and a group exhibition at The Crawford Gallery, Cork. Her work is represented in various collections including the University of Ulster, Belfast. Burrell is represented by The Third Space Gallery, Belfast.
Maddi Nicholson produces video, animation, painting and inflated, plastic sculptures. She was awarded the first Artist’s Fellowship for English Heritage in Belsay Hall, Newcastle, has delivered commissions for European Capital of Culture and has been an invited speaker at the Labour Party Conference, on art, business and education. Her works have clad castles, London tower blocks, town halls, art galleries and vehicles; from a Norwegian car and passenger ferry to a fleet of lorries and a double decker bus. More recently Nicholson has produced solo projects including Going home from here, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle and Shall I Draw you a Bath My Dear, Bishop Auckland Town Hall. Nicholson is currently working on a series of regeneration projects for Barrow Borough Council and Sunderland City Council working with artist Stuart Bastik on spherical mobile pods for use along the coast, as lifeguard stations and education and events facilities.
Dan Staincliffe is interested in the subtleties in everyday environments, explored using disposable cameras, wooden mechanical structures, audio and video recording devices and paper. Conceptual and aleatoric methodologies are employed in order to abdicate some degree of conscious control over the products of his practise. Collections of squirrel footprints, salvaged media and dialogue with Shanghainese passer-bys are all examples of his interest in the chance encounter. Staincliffe’s recent projects include an urban ecology of chance, a residency project with Red Gate Gallery, Beijing and Blind Men Feel Elephants, a solo exhibition at Prussian Projekte, Nottingham. He has exhibited at The VAULT Gallery, Lancaster; Expo, Leeds and Trade City, Contemporary Art Manchester. Forthcoming exhibitions include Save Us, Macclesfield Barnaby Festival and Purveyors, a curatorial project at Rogue Project Space, Manchester.
Chiz Turnross has worked as a freelance artist/designer, musician, filmmaker and art tutor. Turnross has produced work in a range of alternative spaces such as chip shops, back alleys and car boot sales. He has exhibited in the group shows Next Up, Bluecoat, Liverpool; The Independents, Liverpool Biennial, 2008; 1000 Bird Paintings, Bradford 1 Gallery coinciding with the Darwin’s bi-centennial celebrations. Much of his creative output has been in the field of music, as a writer-performer, where early post punk adventures in noise gave way to more considered song craft, fronting Antbear from 2002 -2006. More experimental work followed, marrying torch song with preset rhythms of junk shop keyboards and continues with present band Elfin Spurs. The music world has also furthered Turnross’ collaborative work in pop music promos, designing with Good Time Productions for acts including The Coral, The Zutons, The Beautiful South and The Mountaineers and designing/ directing with his own Black Rainbow Productions for acts such as Wave Machines, Seven Seals, and The Drellas. Some of Turnross’ work is represented in The Cartwright Collection.
Ultimate Holding Company (UHC) is an art collective producing work that critically defines a new urban environmentalism. Since 2002 the group has become known for work that blurs the boundaries of political activism, performance and conventional visual art practice, interrupting the neo-liberal enclosure of city space, through temporary acts of disclosure. Key projects include the acclaimed installation/performance This Is Camp Xray (a full-scale working replica of the internment camp at Guantanamo Bay) and critical regeneration projects The Thin
Veneer of Democracy and It’s Not As Rough As It Used To Be. Most recently UHC created ExtInked, a project that identified 100 of the most endangered species in the British Isles. 100 members of the public were selected by UHC through open submission as ‘ambassadors’ to have a unique image of the species tattooed on their body. On the 12 June 2010 UHC will host a private reunion at Castlefield Gallery for the ExtInked ambassadors, the footage of which will become part of A Horse walks into a Bar. www.uhc.org.uk
Mark Wallinger studied art at the Chelsea School of Art and later at Goldsmiths College, where he was also a tutor from 1986. He exhibited throughout the 1980s, and later showed work in Young British Artists II, The Saatchi Gallery, London, 1993 and Sensation, Royal Academy, London, 1997. In 2000 a retrospective of his work, Credo, was exhibited at Tate Liverpool. Wallinger submitted Sleeper for the Turner Prize in 2007 and won the award with his piece State Britain.