Thursday, 30 September 2010

A Means To An End

Credit: ESA / V. Beckmann (NASA-GSFC)

A track that really sounds, for at least a few bars, like you are disappearing through a black hole in which nothing exists except you, it and the aggregate visuals of your past lives, is the soundcheck of Joy Division’s 'A Means To An End' from Disc Two of the 2007 reissue of Still.

Soundtracking the nauseous lurchings of the solar plexus as the body skirts closer to death, it is the music of Dante's Divine Comedy, and Rodin's The Gates of Hell, but can only be heard in The Thinker's area of the sublime. Hence, I don’t know whether I am ascending or descending. It feels like those nervous moments on a plane where the sound of the engines suddenly ceases and the plane itself seems to drift. The instruments themselves fade in and out of the track. At the beginning of the first chorus, there is no bass or much of a lead guitar; only drums, heavy and bassy themselves, and yet there is still an exquisitely restrained atmosphere as if all the instruments but the ever-destructive drums are being thrashed with great intensity, but with headphones plugged in.  The atmosphere is black, like the dead-air-space coined by Radiohead, but nacreous gases in pink, blue and purple are rising, slowly, with only the merest hints of pale yellow and green. And then bang!  The descending bassline crashes through the ground with the drums in perfect harmony like two malign lovers skydiving; the lead guitar follows like the ephemera from the mid-air collision, the blast illuminating the night sky as I tumble irredeemably through the booming black hole, fearless and ecstatic, with the chemistry between the instruments, just drums, lead guitar and bass, the bass pervasive like nothing else in Joy Division, and slightly off-key, manifesting the beauty and power of that which I had never understood. Here, sound is superior to vision; I can only see the sinews of strumming forearms in hell as they almost burst.  I knew I shouldn’t bother to try critiquing anything so sacred, but it’s not a critique, merely a visualisation.

An artist's depiction of the accretion of a thick ring of dust into a supermassive black hole. The accretion produces jets of gamma rays and X-rays.

For more writing, visit The Stillborn Jeune Homme.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Delineation Installation Preparation: Charley Peters

Above: Artist's impression of the installation of Viral II in the Crypt Gallery, London.

TBC artist Charley Peters will be exhibiting two works from her new Viral series of drawings at Delineation: Contemporary Dialogues with Drawing in October 2010. In addition to Viral, Peters will also show a collection of diagnostic works that explore the role of drawing in her practice in the Drawing Dialogues area on the exhibition. This important part of the Delineation exhibition will interrogate how TBC artists use drawing processes in preparatory, research and collaborative works.

For more information about the Viral series and Peters' current work see:

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

12-Pages Issue 1

Bare Bones by Elizabeth Oniri

12-Pages is a paper gallery platform for TBC Artists' Collective, a multi-disciplinary group and space for debate and dialogue on art theory and practice.

This first issue compiles works by members of the group, produced within a twelve-minute timeframe. Few other constraints were placed upon the participants, therefore the works range from twelve-minute sketches to pieces of writing edited within twelve minutes, adapting William Burroughs' 'cut-up' technique.

The first issue of 12-Pages is launched in unison with the first TBC Artists' Collective group show. Entitled Delineation: Contemporary Dialogues with Drawing, it is an exploration of the presence of drawing within various other art practices, including video, performance, documentary and sculpture, and will be presented at London's Crypt Gallery from 27 October - 1 November 2010. 

Thursday, 16 September 2010

TBC on YouTube

TBC TV is now live on YouTube. The first TBC film, TBC Studio Views: Charley Peters, is a short document of TBC member Charley Peters producing a piece from her Viral Series of drawings, which will be showcased at Delineation in October.

There will be many more TBC films to follow so stay tuned...

Beyond the Picturesque 04.04.2009 - 23.08.2009

Curators: Steven Jacobs & Frank Maes

The concept of 'the picturesque' originated in the 18th century and was closely linked from the very start to that of the English landscape garden, which traded in the strict geometry of the French garden for a carefully recreated and staged image of nature.

The term 'picturesque' refers to a certain kind of landscape that was considered suitable as a subject for a painting, as well as to a part of reality that could be looked upon as if it were a painting. The term 'picturesque' refers to a child or landscape that was considered as a suitable subject for a painting, as well as to a reality that could be looked upon as if it were a painting. It is remarkable that a lot of contemporary artists are fascinated by the hybrid landscape in which the differences between centre and periphery, between city and countryside and between nature and culture are no longer clearly defined. Furthermore, the present natural landscape is to a large extent and on a global scale colonized and domesticated by means of a worldwide spread of images in the form of works of art and all kinds of media images of landscapes in film, television, tourism, etc.

The exhibition in the SMAK wants to investigate how the concept of 'the picturesque' can still (or again) be applied to artistic interpretations of the present landscape. Beyond the Picturesque presents works of Marcel Berlanger (BE), Marc De Blieck (BE), Damien De Lepeleire (BE), Alexis Destoop (BE), Robert Devriendt (BE), Geert Goiris (BE), Ellen Harvey (GB), Sylvia Henrich (DE), Axel Hütte (DE), Jan Kempenaers (BE), Jussi Kivi (FI), Mark Klett (US), Oliver Lutz (US), Rindfleisch/Rapedius (DE), Katrin Sigurdardottir (IS), Joel Sternfeld (US), Monica Studer / Christoph van den Berg (CH), Richard Sympson (IT), John Timberlake (GB), Mungo Thomson (US), Mario Garcia Torres (MX), Wouter Verhoeven (NL) and Christian Vetter (CH).

Courtesy: SMAK, John Timberlake 

By far one of the most interesting artists in Beyond the Picturesque is John Timberlake, who offers several variations on the romantic and picturesque scenery. In the series 'Another Country', he makes photographs of plastic figurines placed in front of paintings of apocalyptic landscapes. 'Colony 13' and 'Colony 14' (both 2006) are digitally printed photographs of cut areas of gravel. In those removed areas Timberlake seamlessly draws connecting canals, quarries and mountain landscapes into the picture. Finally, we see a selection from his series of 'Google Paintings',  in which, since 2007, he has worked on images derived from Google's project to publish moving pictures of all streets in the world. 

Excerpt taken from S.M.A.K. review from Metroplis M.
For more information visit,

Dutch to English translation

Artist John Timberlake will be leading an artists' talk on 30 October at 2pm as part of TBC's exhibition Delineation: Contemporary Dialogues with Drawing. Email 'talk' to to reserve a free place.

James Jeff Lindley - Review of Chelsea MA Show for

Read the Review here:

                                             Carla Wright - Installation View.

Sleeping Man (After Exposed)

Man on the Piccadilly Line to Heathrow Terminals 4 and 1,2,3

Men, I watch the reflection of as I look into glass-fronted pictures at art exhibitions.

Men, I am too shy to openly direct my attentions toward. Sexual tensions are only a moment in manifestation, before repression wells up inside like a marshmallow monster.

As I walked through the  Tate exhibition Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera, I remembered all the times I watched someone in their bathroom behind a frosted or distorted glass window, or someone watching someone else, ignorant of himself in turn being watched, or hesitated when walking by a slightly-ajar door to capture the shapes and shadows within, or looked out of my window and seen a man sitting topless at his desk in an apartment below and opposite, and waited and watched until he stood up and demonstrated his pink, fleshy nakedness. I remembered the reflection in a puddle on the floor of a man masturbating his beautiful cock in the cubicle next to me at Birmingham New Street station. Fear and shame precluded me from action, but now I realise that post-exposure, where no glory hole can be found, a little strategically directed piss on the floor can facilitate the desire of a man, above all, to be objectified, sexualised, worshipped, fucked.

Read the rest of this article at The Stillborn Jeune Homme.

Delineation: Words in Progress

When I was a child I was scared of washing machines. I couldn't walk past one for fear that I would be sucked in by it. My paternal grandmother's house was the worst, because the living room could only be accessed via the small kitchen, in which there was a narrow gap between the dining table and the washing machine. One day, when I was four, I arrived there with my dad, and the washing machine was on spin. I was holding his hand, and as he proceeded through the kitchen, I froze and dug my heels into the floor. He laughed and made fun of me out of embarrassment, and took my hand. I screamed. I would not walk past that washing machine. He picked me up and put me high on his shoulder, and took me through to the living room. I subsequently rationalised the fact that if the washing machine wasn't able to swallow my six-foot-tall father, and I was on his shoulder, then I was safe.

I'm at a time when I'm not able to write much creatively. I don't know why, and I shouldn't just accept it, but even after ten years of experimenting as a self-identified writer, fear of a blank page still seizes me in that same way. I don't know what I am going to say, or how it will come out, if indeed anything will come out at all. The longer I leave it, the more difficult it gets. Starting on a blank page, in the case of writing or drawing, is like facing a black hole, or, for a four-year-old with a spectacular imagination who perhaps hasn't watched enough TV, a banal household appliance. To use an unavoidable chiché (I can't be arsed to try to come up with anything more eloquent), it is a step into the unknown. Only when you pick up the pen, pencil or pastel, or strike the keys on the laptop, will you write or draw.

Sometimes, though, you need a pick-up. Sometimes you need an authority figure to rationalise your delusions and demonstrate that everything will be okay, someone who will click their fingers metaphorically and bring you back to reality. The washing machine is not a black hole that will spin out of control and swallow up the world within its wet cotton folds. The blank page is not going to jump up in your face and suffocate you. 

From an irrational fear, washing machines soon became an obsession. I was the weird six-year old actually sitting on the kitchen floor amongst a five-person family's piles of dirty laundry, watching the drum go round one way a few revolutions and back round the other, sounding like a generator in a sci-fi film, the warm water lapping up against the concave window.  I sat smelling the smells of the kitchen, dominated by the unreachable dirt between the washing machine and the kitchen carcass, and the congealed fat in the fryer. The drum of the washing machine reminded me of my other obsession - cars. I would be pressed up against the rear window, watching faster cars swoosh past my dad's beige Cortina. I loved wet roads, when the cars overtaking us looked particularly dynamic, their wheels gliding through planes of water, spraying it up like a thumb over a hosepipe. Like the drum of a washing machine on spin.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Studio Views: Charley Peters

Excerpt from a short film documenting the production of Viral II, a new piece of work by TBC artist Charley Peters for the collective's forthcoming exhibition Delineation.

More at

Friday, 10 September 2010

TBC Member News: Charley Peters

Left: Charley Peters Addition/Subtraction (2009)
Right: The Windhorse Project in Second Life (2010)

In 2009 TBC Artists' Collective member Charley Peters was asked to participate in The Windhorse Project, a site specific exhibition of work by 15 international artists in Manchester's premier cultural quarter, the 'Oxford Road Corridor'. Initially exhibited in Manchester as part of The Cornerhouse Gallery/MIRIAD 'State Legacy' venture, this project has continued to evolve since its auspicious beginnings, and is now hosted by Leeds University’s Second Life presence in their innovative ‘Art at the EDGE’ virtual gallery. Each artist was asked to produce a piece of work expressing an issue of global ecological concern, to be hung face-to-face with nature in All Saints Park, Manchester. These physical works have, in September 2010, been translated into a virtual format in Second Life and can be viewed by a global audience from the comfort of their PCs.

For more information about The Windhorse Project, see:
For an article about The Windhorse Project in Second Life, see:

Extract from Drawing#1 curated by Liz Aston

Drawing#1 represents some of the diverse approaches to contemporary drawing in which artists are engaging. No longer limited to the preparatory sketch, contemporary drawing ranges from pencil on paper, to the conceptual, and to the three dimensional. Unlike painting, drawing has never been deemed 'dead' by critics nor artists. By nature it can be direct and intimate and its qualities of immediacy can capture the essence of the moment; it is art that can be produced in a bedroom, an airport lounge, on the bus - all that is required is imagination, creativity and skill.
Colony 6, 2006

Colony 6, 2006
drawing on photograph
86cm x 108cm

Graphite and coloured pencil on inkjet photograph.
Artform: Photography 

John Timberlake's practice is underpinned by the legacies and practices of Conceptual art, using predominantly photography, painting and drawing. Characterised by a critical engagement with Romantic pictorialism, histories and and narratives of landscape, notions of utopia and the sublime, critics have remarked on its schizophrenic qualities and its sense of fragmentation. 'Colony 6' (2006) is part of a series of drawings on photographs which play with contrasts in scale, modernist grids and shifting perspectives.

For the full article visit

John Timberlake will lead a talk about TBC Artists' Collective exhibition Delineation: Contemporary Dialogues with Drawing on Saturday 30 October 2010. 

Dialogues with Drawing: Hypercomics

A hypercomic aims to tell a story by transforming the linear narrative of the comic book into multiple storylines, placed on a wall or computer screen. The objective is to allow the reader differing viewpoints on characters, events and places. This concept of storytelling is what informs the exhibition Hypercomics: The Shapes of Comics to Come at Pump House Gallery, curated by Paul Gravett.

The comics featured still use drawing as a key tool in telling the story, but what has essentially changed is the way in which the storyline unfolds. It appears that by using installation as a tool to present a comic allows the reader to consider infinite possibilities in a narrative.

One key example of this is Dave McKean’s installation The Rut (2010). The storyline is difficult to follow at first, until the reader realises that the tale is being told from three different viewpoints. Drawings are situated around the room, containing relived memories of a traumatic childhood event. This explosion of memories is juxtaposed with the photograph shown above. Such a curatorial decision allows the reader to glean greater meaning from a narrative that would otherwise be trapped on a page. Here, McKean’s hypercomic is suggesting that the comic book is in fact a dissection of the mind.

On the ground floor Warren Pleece’s The Montague (2010) brings this state of multiplicity into the digital realm. The viewer is invited to select a short animation detailing the character profile of the inhabitants of a block of flats. On the wall are comic strips depicting a short event in their life. It becomes apparent here that the drawn medium is comfortable placed in the digital world, where interactivity and choice are key to reader engagement. This understanding is what allows the exhibition to give us a fleeting insight into the new and ever changing art of digital storytelling.

Hypercomics: The Shapes of Comics to Come is on at Pump House Gallery until Sept 26.

Image sourced from

Work In Progress: James Jeff Lindley

Below are some images and working drawings:

Currently working on a number of drawings related to the piece "Of Course, originally".

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Work in Progress: Charley Peters

Above: Xerox Sketch, 2010

Xerox Sketch is part of a body of a current body of exploratory work by TBC artist Charley Peters, in which a photocopier is used to create mechanical 'drawings'.

For more of Peters' work:

Work in Progress: Beverley Bennett

Current sketchbook work. For more information check out

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Review: CSM MA Fine Art Degree Show 2010

When one thinks of Central Saint Martins, one automatically opens a large chapter of art history and contemporary art practice. An exhaustible list of the art world’s greats have studied in the building on Charing Cross Road; Gilbert and George, Bruce McLean, Anthony Caro, Peter Doig, Anthony Gormley, Peter Blake, Rebecca Horn and Mark Titchner to name a few. We passed over the threshold eager to view the offerings of the MA graduates of 2010, carrying this great history within our collective memory.

We stalked the corridors, climbed mountains of stairs, and weaved in and out of studio spaces, looking for something; looking for someone that revived the phantoms of the past. We climbed the stairs again; in desperation we looked out over the rooftops of Central London, hoping we would catch the fleeting ghost of original thought. The over-use of metaphor in this review is clichéd, yes; but clichéd is the perfect word to describe the work we encountered. It is also the ideal distraction from having to say how much this degree show disappointed.

What we discovered was simple: work that was too aware of the history of the walls within which it was produced. The overwhelming sensation we felt was supreme arrogance. Why should these students try? Galleries can promote these artists with the Holy Trinity: Central. Saint. Martins. These students presume their names are written on gold. Who cares if it challenges contemporary practice! Success is measured through the ability to sell.

It feels right to end this review with a clichéd rhetorical question: If Central Saint Martins is synonymous with history; then what is history synonymous with? Ghosts - and it appears that building on Charing Cross Road is full of them. Such a shame they aren’t making the artwork.

Photo credit: Fin Fahey (2006)

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Work in Progress: Laura Davidson

Photo research for work that will be exhibited in Delineation.

More work can viewed on

Work in Progress: Anatomy of a Projection

TBC artist Charley Peters will preview works from her Viral series of drawings at Delineation: Contemporary Dialogues with Drawing.Viral I (left) and Viral II (right) suggest the ways in which both analogue and digital technologies interrupt image data, through an exploration of the relationship between mechanically produced and hand rendered marks.

For more information visit:

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Delineation: Free Artists' Talk

We can now confirm that there will be a free artists' talk as part of the supporting programme for Delineation: Contemporary Dialogues with Drawing. It will be led by artist John Timberlake, who will discuss the key considerations of the exhibition in relation to current drawing practice in contemporary art. A number of the exhibiting artists will be present to take questions from the audience.

Timberlake is an artist whose practice embraces drawing, painting and photography, and whose work is in a number of public and private collections in Europe and the US. He is Programme Leader in BA Fine Art, Middlesex University.

The talk will take place on Saturday 30 October, 2 - 3 pm, in The Crypt Gallery NW1 2BA. Places are free but booking is advised. To reserve a place email TBC with the subject heading ‘TALK’ and your name to:

In Progress: Elizabeth Oniri

Working toward the Delineation exhibition, Texture and Line

TBC Minutes 27 August 2010

Chair: Paul Mendez

Attendees: Beverley Bennett, Laura Davidson, Susannah King, Paula Lucido, Paul Mendez, Elizabeth Oniri, Charley Peters, James Tuitt

Love to Philip Weiner.

1. Announcements


Quintessentially Foundation have graciously agreed to sponsor the exhibition, private view drinks, the workshops, and 12 Pages (at least the first issue) amongst other things. Meetings await with them to negotiate timeframes, how money will be distributed, etc. PL, EO and AM to liaise.

Business cards

We now have TBC Artists’ Collective business cards (thanks LD!) priced at £35 for 200 from Members should still, however, have their own personalised business cards made in time for Delineation (for liaison with potential buyers, etc).

Titles and Roles

It has been decided that core members of the group have business cards made with titles, such as co-director or treasurer, so as to maintain a professional front. Such core members are also identified as such within their email signatures. It is deemed distasteful to assume a title without prior discussion with core members.

However, as TBC becomes a more professional enterprise and NPO with a business bank account, scope for future expansion and for more members to assume CV-boosting executive roles is great.

Website/budget update

338 hits since website launched

Business debit cards have been ordered

Certain funds asked for from Quintessentially will be freed up as money has already been spent out of our

Susi to action Information Packs and research branding


Jeff James Lindley, as installation coordinator, has made himself available on call for the entire duration of the two-day installation period of 25/6 October. He will draw up a timetable of when artists will be in the space to install and control how much time he needs to spend with them.

A date will be set for a final curatorial/installation meeting.

A space in the Crypt has been set aside for more collaborative, discursive work from within the group to be displayed. We will therefore test out our ideas for the Buddy Workshops on ourselves with a making session on September 8.

2. Curatorial Update

Everyone who asked for a space has been given that which they chose. Health and safety and logistics have also been taken into consideration in allocation. Artists showing near each other should engage in dialogue to ensure their works sit well together

‘Drawing Dialogues’ space to be used to explore personal and collaborative relationships with drawing practices. Each artist to think about what sort of works they can show here

Collaborative works to form an important part of this space, forming an ideal talking point for Artist’s Talk

A workshop to test our programme for the Buddies can result in collaborative work for Delineation

Text panels to explain different aspects of the show

Curatorial meeting to be set up to involve JJ Lindley

3. 12-Pages Update

Thank you all for your work

Newspaper Club – 500 tabloid-sized, full-colour, twelve page papers for £500

500 copies can be distributed at galleries, arts events, private views, at the Crypt, and sent as part of the Information Packs to art-world bigwigs, and Wonderland Magazine (following us on Twitter – can approach them with Issue 1 to publish Issue 2 as in insert) and The Big Issue (can publish Buddy Issue as an insert to be handed out at street level)

4. Workshops Update

Paul to contact Amy Tschudin (HoSB) to discuss buddy training, budget release and holding our making session at HoSB on Sep 8

Sep 8 meeting to be split in two parts, half of regular admin to be chaired by Laura, half of workshops to be chaired by Paul, Alex and Liz

5. Blogs Update

Snippets of 12 Minutes exercises to go onto blog

Blog to be an example of processes of TBC artists, for e.g. the Buddies to reference

Rotating blogger every month

Paul to edit blog in September

James to continue push with ArtReview blog

Laura has set up TBC Artists’ Collective Facebook Page

6. Mailing List

A ‘hitlist’ of important art-world/professional contacts to be uploaded to Paula’s Google Docs Excel page. These contacts will form the basis of the mailing list for every forthcoming exhibition/TBC-related event, and will be invited via Deadline 27 September. Quintessentially Art to help with marketing and promotion

Other friends/family contacts to be invited individually

Charley and Bebe to action leaflets and e-flyers

Laura to implement ‘join our mailing list’ option on website

Publicise talk and Buddy Scheme

7. AoB

Allocation of extra/new tasks

Information packs (SK)

Laura to buy glasses

Text panels – Paul/Charley

Press release – Paul/Charley

Name tags/text panels – TBC/Buddies/Dialogues – Liz

Information Packs/Desk

Comment book

Publicise talk

Red sticky dots

Pricing (AGENDA)

Next meeting September 8, 6pm.

Chaired by Paul, Alex, Liz and Laura

Writing Wrongs (Black Bottom)

Excuse the pun, but what a life I lead. Writer, artist, art critic, curator, project manager, literary editor, fundraiser, waiter, barista, escort.

Read more about TBC member Paul Mendez here.