Launch Pad: Martin Hamblen

5 September 2014 — 14 September 2014

Castlefield Gallery is pleased to present its next Launch Pad project, Literacy, a solo exhibition by Martin Hamblen. The exhibition was selected through open submission from CG Associate members by a panel including Cheryl Jones, Gallery Director at Grand Union, Birmingham, and Castlefield Gallery’s Programme Manager Matthew Pendergast.

Inspired by Duchamp (everything can be art) and Beuys (everybody can be an artist), Hamblen’s practice is about process and the everyday. One side of this practice sees him absorbed in collecting ready made, ‘found-objects’.

Through the display of the artists personal collections and performance, Literacy will look at the way in which we read maps, interpret and remember borders, and the way lines are drawn in the sand, arbitrarily, naturally and premeditatedly. Hamblen’s collection of kitsch souvenir tea towels, postcards, jigsaws and plates, acquired over several years, will show the altering borders between countries, and will reference the way we experience and reminisce about foreign places, including some that are no longer safe to visit. Works will include a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle, displayed as 1000 separate pieces in 1000 separate bags; a French road map cut into the shape of Syria; a jigsaw of a map of Europe shown from behind, and English cheeses (Lancashire and Yorkshire) on a French cheese map plate.

The other side of Hamblen’s practice is performance based and is concerned with our everyday language, specifically phrases, that he acts out. Past performances include 29, 028 was a performance of the phrase ‘two steps forward, one step back’, a sixty-eight hour performance at The Harris Flights; a temporary, installation of stairs leading to The Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston. For Literacy he will perform the phrase ‘drawing a line in the sand’ – a work that will see him repeatedly draw a line in sand for 5 hours a day for 6 days.

Martin Hamlen lives and works in Preston. He graduated with a BA Fine Art from UCLan, Preston in 2004. He has performed as part of several group exhibitions throughout the UK, including; 29,028, The Harris Flights, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston (2013); Cutting Corners, Poolside, Bluecoat, Liverpool (2013); Private Pile, Spike Island Open, Bristol (2010); Cleft, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (2009).

Launch Pads are short exhibitions or performances that punctuate Castlefield Gallery’s curated programme providing artists, writers and independent curators with the opportunity to use the gallery as a test bed for the production, display and consumption of contemporary art. Launch Pads feature emerging talent selected from CG Associate members’ proposals (three times a year) and BA or MA Fine Art graduates at Manchester School of Art (once a year).

CG Associates is a membership scheme for artists, writers and independent curators working in contemporary art. It has been developed by Castlefield Gallery to support members in developing their careers by providing information, skills, opportunities, resources, promotion and critical dialogue. The CG Associates scheme acts as a hub, bringing together artists, curators and writers, facilitating critical exchange and engagement with members’ work and strengthening the artistic ecology of the North West.

Preview: Thursday 4 September 2014, 6-8pm

Drawing a Line in the Sand Performance Dates: 5-7 & 10-12 Sep 1-6pm

Castlefield Gallery’s Launch Pad programme is supported by Soup Kitchen, Manchester.

Soup Kitchen Logo 2013