Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Alban Low - Love Tokens and Bad Pennies



Alban Low

Does love endure forever? Does a bad penny always turn up? During this Valentine month the artists and writers from CollectConnect explore this flip-sided theme with an exhibition of 32 miniature sculptures. These objects are placed in public places (#unsettledgallery), helping us to remember those who we hold dear - or cast off those who we would rather forget. Every day throughout February we will be featuring one of these tokens/pennies on this website. A writer will also use the art as inspiration to create something new and fresh.

Artist - Alban Low / Words Rebecca Lowe

Os Sacrum – The Sacred Bone
She’d held a fascination for bones ever since she was a child. Her cat, Tigger, had brought home a dead mole and deposited it on the doorstep. Carefully, she’d prized it open with a penknife, peeled back the velvet curtain of its skin, to reveal lungs, liver, a tiny, still-warm heart. She’d hung it out to dry on the bedroom window, waited until all the other parts had shrivelled to parchment, to reveal the tiny, white lattice of bones.

Over the years, she’d gathered other treasures – mouse, rat, and once the perfectly preserved skeleton of a wild rabbit. She’d taught herself to reassemble, pin by pin, learned which part connected to which with the skill of a mechanic, knew her way round the maze of a mouse’s ribcage or the lacework wing of a songthrush.

While other children grimaced through bruised knees or dangled monkey-like from the trees in the park, she’d sit cross-legged in her bedroom, poring over her books, the names – clavicle, scapula, thorax, vertebrae, patella – melting on her tongue.

Now, she was older. The monkey-boys had slid from their treetops to find new homes on benches, hunching and skulking, smoking dogends and chewing gum. The girls strutted by, idle as daisies, oblivious, littering the pavements with their laughter.

She’d gathered the bones slowly as she found them, buried in shallow mounds or sticking out of the earth masquerading as tree roots – a stray rib here, a stubby knucklebone, the tiny nub of a little finger – slowly assembled her greatest treasure ever, her first human skeleton. There was just one part missing, the tiny, almond-shaped bone she’d read about in Rabbinic literature, that is known as the Luz: the bone of life, or sacred bone. Mythology has it that from this one indestructible bone, everything else can grow. An entire human being cloned from a single bone – imagine that! All she has to do is to find it, somewhere, and her life’s work will be complete.

So every night she emerges from her study – and now she is getting older, and all of her former classmates have paired off and had children of their own, and one day they, too, will be skeletons, and she will be the only one left. So she goes about her night’s work, leaving charms in the hope of attracting the final, lost bone to herself. Sometimes, she makes words out of the bones –ENTRAILS… SELFISH  - or names them for the first set of bones she’d found, the bones of the boy she’d buried that night, so many, many years ago – her first and only love, soon to be hers eternally: MIKE.
Alban Low's Bad Penny at the
#unsettledgallery Pipe Crack Site.
Alban's Bad Penny resides on a tiny mossy ledge in the aptly named Pipe Crack Site in Bermondsey, part of the #usettledgallery near London Bridge.
The #unsettledgallery, as its name suggests, is an evolving space that we have been populating with art. The London Bridge area is a thoroughfare for thousands of commuters each day. The Tate Modern, White Cube and Jerwood Space are close by, Guy's Hospital sits within its boundary, alongside Europe's tallest building, The Shard. The area has been targeted by 'terrorists'  in the past and people queue in a long line every day outside the Immigration Centre on St Thomas St. It has given us plenty of inspiration already but we hope it will now become a breeding ground for both our own art and other artists too. 


Alban Low is involved in many creative projects, these include album artwork, publishing chapbooks, making films, maps, conceptual exhibitions, live performance and good old drawing. He is artist-in-residence at the School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education at Kingston University and St George's University of London. Low spends his evenings in the jazz clubs of London where he captures the exhilaration of live performances in his sketchbook. On Wednesday evenings he sketches the performers on the radio show A World in London at Resonance FM. This year Alban is working on a walking project about London Musicians from the 1920s-1940s.
http://albanlow.com/




Rebecca Lowe is a Wales-based writer, editor and performance poet. She has been featured on BBC Radio 4's Poetry Workshop, and her work has appeared in anthologies including Bristol Poetry Can, Red Poets, Blackheath Countercultural Review, and Three Drops from a Cauldron, an anthology of poetry based on folklore and myth. She also plays hammered dulcimer and zither, which she sometimes incorporates into her performances. 
http://writemindfully.blogspot.com/

Don't forget to submit to our next exhibition. The Art of Caring is accepting submission until the 7th April 2019. More HERE.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Susie Mendelsson - Love Tokens and Bad Pennies


Susie Mendelsson
Does love endure forever? Does a bad penny always turn up? During this Valentine month the artists and writers from CollectConnect explore this flip-sided theme with an exhibition of 32 miniature sculptures. These objects are placed in public places (#unsettledgallery), helping us to remember those who we hold dear - or cast off those who we would rather forget. Every day throughout February we will be featuring one of these tokens/pennies on this website. A writer will also use the art as inspiration to create something new and fresh.

Art - Susie Mendelsson / Words Ginny Reddick

Life was hard and grey and pushed together. The days would not make room for her. They jostled and overlapped and squeezed. On and on and on went the days and all that time it was growing. She didn’t know about it. It didn’t ask for anything. It did it all on its own.

Until one time, tired in the moonlight, she saw it. It was red and streaked with silver. It held itself by its own stem and waited for her.

Susie Medelsson's Love Token on a post at the edge of Epping Forest

Susie's Love Token stands on a post on the path at the edge of Epping Forest.
The Forest is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, bordering London and Essex and is an Ancient Woodland, one of the few left in London. The sculptor Jacob Epstein lived on the edge of the Forest. Nowadays the Forest is used by dog walkers, mountain bikers, horse and pony riders and picnicking friends and families as well as footballers, bird watchers and runners. I like to imagine all the lovers who might have left their own love tokens in the forest over the centuries. The Forest has also had its share of Bad Pennies reaching up to the present day. Take a walk through the Forest and see if you can find a Love Token or a Bad Penny. 


Susan Mendelsson was born at Hackney, London and educated at the Manchester Metropolitan University, gaining a B.A. (hons.) in Graphic Design. She then took a Teaching Diploma in Art from at University of Haifa, Israel and an M.A. in Fine Art from Coventry University. A figurative artist who has been influenced by the German expressionists as well as medieval art and works mainly in paint and mixed media. In her Suffolk studio she creates the most amazing 3D figures and characters often made from found objects.

Ginny Reddick is a writer and educator. She was one of the artists who exhibited at the first ever CollectConnect exhibition, Open Fridge, in March 2010. Although there has been a 9 year hiatus between that exhibition and this one she has curated numerous CC projects including the Walthamstow street art favourite HideBird.

Don't forget to submit to our next exhibition. The Art of Caring is accepting submission until the 7th April 2019. More at http://collectconnect.blogspot.com/p/submit.html

Monday, 18 February 2019

Natalie Low - Love Tokens and Bad Pennies

Natalie Low #unsettledgallery No.4
Does love endure forever? Does a bad penny always turn up? During this Valentine month the artists and writers from CollectConnect explore this flip-sided theme with an exhibition of 32 miniature sculptures. These objects are placed in public places (#unsettledgallery), helping us to remember those who we hold dear - or cast off those who we would rather forget. Every day throughout February we will be featuring one of these tokens/pennies on this website. A writer will also use the art as inspiration to create something new and fresh.

Art - Natalie Low / Words - Dean Reddick
For 'A'

'Officers were allowed very few personal mementos.
Partly it was the weight issue, even aboard the massive deep space battleships.
Mostly though it was to help them forget.

This artefact was found 32.7 light years from Earth on a satellite installation orbiting a little known ocean moon. The Satellite was a standard research type, kitted out for a small team.

The records show that the interior of the research station was completely covered in drawing, painting and sculpture, depicting unusual concepts, weird designs and fantastical ideas. No satisfactory explanation for this irregular occurrence has been formulated.

The small memento, sewn with the letter 'A' in gold thread was found pinned to the Satellite's navigation consol. The bright wools are woven on standard colonial mesh, no doubt appropriated from a medical kit. The wools themselves are hand dyed and from the original earth species 'sheep'. This fact alone makes the object incredibly valuable.

We will never know the true significance of this small brightly coloured token. Some historians have suggested that the 'A' stands for 'Art', the well known and highly decorated Captain Arthur Kingston a prominent figure in the 27th intergalactic Cultural Revolution. Despite the attractiveness of this romantic explanation there remains little factual evidence to support this interpretation.'


Extract from 'The Histories of the Great Expansion' 4045, p1502 

Natalie Low
You can find Natalie's artwork in the streets around London Bridge at #unsettledgallery No.4 . Last year we placed all our artworks for the Small World Futures around these locations. It was a fascinating way of engaging with the public and changing the dynamics of the cityscape around Borough and Bermondsey. It is an area dominated by the giant Shard building, and it is easy forget the small details of the streets and the stories of the people who walk around them.
Natalie Low enjoys putting words on paper and believes that everyone has a book of some sort inside them. She has published two chapbooks, Dementia (2015) and School Run (2017). She also appears in this exhibition as an artist/maker. Dean Reddick is an artist, an art therapist, occasional lecturer and editor on the Art Therapy Journal
ATOL. He has a small studio space at his home in Walthamstow where he works on sculptures and drawings often based on his fascination with birds and trees.  Don't forget to submit to our next exhibition. The Art of Caring is accepting submission until the 7th
April 2019. More at http://collectconnect.blogspot.com/p/submit.html
Natalie Low #unsettledgallery No.4





Sunday, 17 February 2019

Simon Brewster - Love Tokens and Bad Pennies


Simon Brewster

Does love endure forever? Does a bad penny always turn up? During this Valentine month the artists and writers from CollectConnect explore this flip-sided theme with an exhibition of 32 miniature sculptures. These objects are placed in public places (#unsettledgallery), helping us to remember those who we hold dear - or cast off those who we would rather forget. Every day throughout February we will be featuring one of these tokens/pennies on this website. A writer will also use the art as inspiration to create something new and fresh.
Art - Simon Brewster / Words - Natalie Low

D. I. S. C. O.  A. L. L. E. G. O. R. Y.

I’m partying disco-style, funkin the floor,
Such good times and all of the people want more.
The man in the mirror is dancin real fine,
His hips are the devil’s, the smile is all mine.

No stopping me now on this soul train it seems,
For there on the floor is the girl of my dreams.
Blame my boogie wonderland, super sexy,
But it ain't no surprise when she gets down with me.

I’m groovin and grindin, I’m drivin her wild,
“You’re usin me up boy”, she says with a smile,
“Wearin my bell out, hot stuff, lovin best,
You’d love even better in this tank-top vest.”

On goes the vest and I’m so Daddy cool
As cool as you can be in lurex-rich wool
That chill’d jerky rhythm is something I’ve got
But the vest makes my heart and my body red hot.

My three-times-a-lady ain’t happy at that
And now she freak-styles me a super-brimmed hat.
But wearing this hat as I turn round the beat
Oops upside my head means I can’t see my feet.

My woman is taking me back to my roots
So now I am wearing some gold platform boots.
I feel mighty tall like a god in a cloud
But the heels leave me trippin and stumblin around.

She’s screaming at me to strut my funky stuff
But with vest, hat and boots on, the going is tough.
And there in the mirror now what do I see?
A fool that can’t dance and that don't look like me.
Simon Brewster's Penny in Wood Street

Simon's Penny sits atop a high wall next to the railway bridge outside Wood Street Station. Wood Street Station in Walthamstow is on the Chingford to Liverpool Street Line. The train line passes through Walthamstow Central and then across Hackney Marshes, Hackney Downs and Bethnal Green. The railway bridge outside Wood Street Station has its own mini eco system provided by the dark and damp conditions and the generous application of pigeon fertiliser.
Simon Brewster Since completing an Arts residency at Canary Wharf last year, Simon’s Fine Art practice has begun to make more overt references to political and environmental issues. The series of works made over the past year or two are small and intimate, yet aspire to evoke dark themes such as slavery, corporate capitalism and systems of power and control. Simon is interested in notions of Art as a commodity. He celebrates qualities such as impermanence and fragility and often uses found, appropriated or degraded raw materials.


Natalie Low enjoys putting words on paper and believes that everyone has a book of some sort inside them. She has published two chapbooks, Dementia (2015) and School Run (2017). She also appears in this exhibition as an artist/maker.

Don't forget to submit to our next exhibition. The Art of Caring is accepting submission until the 7th April 2019. More at http://collectconnect.blogspot.com/p/submit.html