Tuesday, 1 November 2011

12-Pages Online Project Space Call for Submissions: Issue 9

Tacita Dean Chère petite soeur (2002)

12-Pages Online Project Space invites submissions from creative practitioners in response to the theme of ‘Terror’. The release of this brief has been directed to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Invasion of Afghanistan. 12-Pages is committed to promoting contemporary drawing practice and requests that submissions demonstrate the drawing process in some way. 12-Pages additionally asks that new works be made in response to the brief. In order to inspire critically engaged responses a rough introduction to the thinking behind the brief is provided.

Submissions deadline: 29th February 2012
E-mail responses to: laura.davidson@tbcartistscollective.org
Submissions guidelines: viewed on our website

Outlining Terror

The Guernica myth was established on the 15th of February 2003, when rumors began circulating from the UN Security Council Chamber that a tapestry copy of Picasso’s seminal painting had been draped with a blue cloth to shield it from view. It became apparent that Guernica was an inappropriate backdrop for the impending announcement. When America’s intention to invade Iraq was announced by Colin Powell, viewers from around the world saw him framed by the UN’s pale blue, rather than the disjointed horrors of Guernica. It has been said that the UN was put under considerable pressure to conceal the tapestry as screen tests before the live announcement showed the horse’s head rear up above the person talking. The concealing of an artwork on the eve of such an historical announcement would inevitably be perceived as a gagging of free speech. The covering up of this artwork during the early stages of the War on Terror would come to represent metaphorically the lack of government response to the mass protest of their citizens (in the US and UK) against the impending invasion. The concept of an enemy named ‘Terror’ seemed somehow mythological. How is it possible to wage war against a verb? In a cultural context, how does the art community put such an elusive concept into a critical framework? In other words; if art cannot have Guernica to represent sheer terror, then what is it entitled to claim?

In the years leading up to the Iraq War, the apocalyptic visions of September 11th were pulsing through the veins of the world media when the Invasion of Afghanistan was announced. These representations were continually recycled to justify the War on Terror.  The world had become a place saturated with hyperactive illustrations, replayed over and over, filling the citizens of predominately western nations with a fear of this unknown, slippery, indefinable enemy known as Terror. The Invasion of Afghanistan was only the beginning of this stretching decade of conflict. The War on Terror left in its wake a trail of imagery, of spectacle, of war and of the sublime that is so dense in it’s recording (coinciding with the new digital era) that grasping the concept of the conflict: Terror, is still difficult a decade later. 

As perhaps suggested in the Guernica myth, art’s engagement with terror is a relationship defined through centuries of academic discourse. Most famously, the epic engagement of the sublime by J.M.W Turner and Casper David Freidrich distills to us the intangible qualities of terror and fear. The sublime could be an art historical tool to represent the elusive contemporary conceptualisation of Terror. Turner and Freidrich use painting to render the panic of the human condition to something with, of course, a peculiar aesthetic contradiction we recognize as the sublime. This contradiction was inevitably echoed in the rhetoric of the War on Terror during the ‘Shock and Awe’ campaign. Had this phrase not been coined in earnest by the Bush Administration it could easily be applied to Freidrich’s painting The Chalk Cliffs on Rügen (1818). Taken out of context, shock and awe is in so many ways a concise description of the sublime. In Freidrich’s painting, the man stumbling towards his renegade top hat on the edge of a cliff frames the ultimate power of the natural world over the small stature of man. For a humble man, the fear of nature is awe-inspiring. With a media so full of pseudo apocalyptic imagery it comes as no surprise that an interest in the sublime has come to the fore of art thinking once more.

The 2009 exhibition Compass in Hand at MoMA, New York, presented newly acquired works from the Judith Rothschild Contemporary Drawing Collection. The exhibition meant that MoMA’s Curator of Drawing, Christian Rattemeyer, could concede a small victory as keeper of the medium. For the first time MoMA’s history a drawing was displayed in the public areas of the museum. Tacita Dean’s Chère petite soeur (2002), a colossal diptych measuring 243.8 x 487.7 cm, was hung in a space normally reserved for the departments of painting and sculpture. Dean’s chalk on blackboard piece had staged an insurrection of the curatorial hierarchy.

Chère petite soeur (2002) is a replay of a Marcel Broodthaers film based on a postcard he found of a boat being tossed around in a storm. The interest in the piece lies in the year of production, a year after September 11th and the Invasion of Afghanistan and a year before the Iraq War. The immersion of the viewer in a dusty, churned sea instantly brings Turner to mind.  One observes the boat’s futile attempt to triumph over the inevitable terror of nature. In retrospect the work serves as a cultural talisman, produced in advance of any announcements of ‘Shock and Awe’ by the previous American government. The apocalyptic wind depicted in the drawing was perhaps capturing the atmospheric terror experienced in the west. The reference of the sublime in Chère petite soeur evidences the growing engagement with Terror in contemporary practice.

Rattemeyer would later comment on the selection process for Compass in Hand. The exhibition, curated by conceptual and aesthetic relationships instead of chronology, revealed drawings depicting severed limbs and collaged bodies. However, what these works unveiled to him was a drawn response to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, which he had not considered previously. It came as no surprise that these works were produced around the 2002-2004 period. These comments were made during a panel discussion at the conference Travelling Lines: Drawing as an Itinerant Practice, 22-23 September. Co-Curated by the Drawing Room, London and TrAIN, University of the Arts, London

The contrast of the collage on paper works with Dean’s chalk board diptych, should hopefully give you, a potential respondent of the brief, an insight into the far reaching context of terror in relation to contemporary drawing practice. Responses to ‘Terror’ can be plotted anywhere from the imagery of war to the poetic mechanisms of the sublime.

Further Research

Monday, 19 September 2011

Slice at Rich Mix

Slice at Rich Mix, London, September 2011

Currently on show at Rich Mix, London, is Slice, the international art project including new work from artists in London and Lahore. TBC Artists' Collective performative drawing Khoros can be seen in the exhibition, an interactive installation showcasing the work made by the ten artists or art collectives in both cities, shown in the context of the geographical locations in each city which inspired the works. By moving the pointer along the maps of London and Lahore, the artworks are activated and can be viewed on the screens in the gallery space.

Slice is at Rich Mix until 22 September 2011.

Slice at Rich Mix, London, September 2011

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

A Message To... Houston

Charley Peters: A Message To... Paul Neal 'Red' Adair

Peters' piece of work is inspired by the legendary firefighter 'Red' Adair (1915-2004) who, during his career extinguished and capped oil well blowouts, both on land and offshore. The project involved collaboration between Peters and TBC's Laura Davidson, based on Davidson's interpretation of a set of instructions supplied to her with relating to a series of drawings made for the project. The instructions to Davidson and Peters' drawings - made from folded paper, reminiscent of flame forms - are below.

  • I have made six drawings out of folded paper.
  • The drawings are now on the wall of my studio in London.
  • On sheets of white paper I have recorded each fold as a line, thereby producing six new line drawings.
  • I have given these line drawings to you and they are to be taken to Houston, Texas.
  • In Houston the lines should be turned into folds and the original drawings recreated.
  • The six recreated drawings should be burned and their ashes scattered on Houston Heights, the area where Red Adair spent his childhood, to commemorate his career extinguishing hazardous oil well fires until his retirement at the age of 77.

On the 25th of August the works were recreated and scattered along the park in the middle of Heights Boulevard, which divides the lanes of traffic travelling across town. 

Beverley Bennett: A Message To... Ima Hogg

Some persons create history.
Some record it.
Others restore and conserve it.
She has done all three.

Allan Shivers former Governor of Texas

Ima Hogg (1882 - 1975) known as "The First Lady of Texas" was an American philanthropist, patron and collector of the arts and one of the most respected women in Texas throughout the 20th century. Hogg donated pieces of  avant-garde European art to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) during the 30s and 40s. Additionally she donated the Bayou Bend property to the MFAH in 1957 and it now showcases American decorative and fine arts from the 17th to 19th centuries. Even in death she is a key figure of art patronage in Houston, which the home of some of America's most important collections. Works donated by Hogg and other collectors during her time are still loaned to museums and galleries internationally. Evidently Hogg's role in giving Houston a rich cultural heritage impacts on the popularity of the Museum District today. 

Bennett based her drawing on the Eastern Massachusetts Easy Chair, (1760-1800) a gift from Ima Hogg to the MFAH. The geometric needlework cover served as an inspiration for Bennett's drawing. The crosswalk beside the MFAH also touches on the Glassell School of Art and the Contemporary Arts Museum. This was an ideal location to install Bennett's work as often the lamp posts here are used to promote other cultural events in the city.

Laura Davidson: A Message To... Terry Hershey

Terry (Therese) Hershey (1922- ) is a well known and celebrated American conservationist. In the Houston area she is most closely associated with 6 miles of Texas parkland that bear her name. The Terry Hershey Hike and Bike Trail would not exist if it were not for her relentless campaigning to stop the Buffalo Bayou from being paved. In the 1960's the bayou was to be stripped of vegetation, straightened and filled in with concrete, a government sponsored project that set to use this method of engineering as a flood prevention measure. Hershey, who lived in the area at the time, campaigned with the proposition that this would lead to flood transference rather than flood prevention. Her fight was eventually taken to the then Congressman George H. W. Bush who eventually succeeded to Hershey's hypothesis that there is a better way to control flooding than destroying the natural habitat. She would then go on to establish environmentalist groups throughout the Houston area and become a founding member of the National Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. She is still actively involved in conservation to this day.

For A Message To... Davidson constructed a small paper boat to be floated along the Buffalo Bayou, buoyed by the natural meander and current of the river. Prior to folding up the boat, a drawing was produced on the paper. Drawing and the botanical have a long history together and with that in mind Davidson undertook research into the endangered plants of Harris County the area, which the Buffalo Bayou dissects. The geometric shapes of the Texas Trillium were chosen to be imprinted on the boat, which glided down the Buffalo Bayou in homage to Hershey.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Project News: A Message To... Houston

 Location map of installed works in Houston, Texas 

TBC Artists' Collective have been working on a long-term project called 'A Message To...' The project has previously taken members of TBC to Oxford in January 2011. At the end of August 2011, TBC member Laura Davidson travelled to Houston, Texas and installed works by Beverley Bennett, Charley Peters and herself. Each artist made a new artwork in homage to someone linked to Houston who has in some way contributed to state and national culture.

With guidance from Bennett and Peters, Davidson situated the works around Houston in relevant locations. The sites were as follows:

Beverley Bennett: Crosswalk of Bissonnet and Montrose next to the MFAH
Charley Peters: Heights Boulevard
Laura Davidson: Buffalo Bayou in Terry Hershey Park at Eldridge Parkway

The work will be posted on 12-Pages in the next coming days.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Exhibition News: Slice

TBC Artists' Collective, Still from Khoros (2011)

TBC have a newly commissioned piece of work in Slice, opening at Rich Mix, London E1 6LA on 1 September 2011. Appropriating the various and undulating spaces of Catherine Wheel Alley, E1, as a live studio, TBC applied the ideas of dance theorist Rudolf von Laban and the novelist Italo Calvino to a performative ‘drawing’, exploring and mapping the environment through a combination of lines and motion. White boiler suits homogenised the performers with the space and its architectural features, drawing attention to the symbolic red elastic lines and shapes generated as they moved together topologically. The resultant ‘drawing in space’, Khoros, plots the relationship between the artists’ physical encounters of the location and their shared experience of collaborative movement.

Slice is open 1-22 September at Rich Mix, London, and the National College of Arts, Lahore.

More information about the Slice project and TBC's film, Khoros, can be seen on the Slice website:

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Project News: A Message To... Houston

During August TBC Artists' Collective will be taking part in a project in Houston, Texas. A Message To... Houston will involve TBC members - Beverley Bennett, Charley Peters, Laura Davidson, Paul Mendez and intern James Tuitt - researching notable residents of Houston and creating a new piece of interventionist work inspired by their findings. The final works will be installed in locations around the city. The works and their placement in sites in Houston will be recorded and can be seen on the TBC Online Project Space at the end of August.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Altered States

Altered States

Edited and designed by Laura Davidson.

Featuring work by Beverley Bennett, Charley Peters and Paul Mendez

Monday, 18 July 2011

12-Pages Issue 8: Altered States

Introduction by Laura Davidson

“A revolutionary action within culture cannot have as its aim to be the expression or analysis of life; it must aim at life’s expansion. Misery must be pushed back everywhere.”
Guy Debord

The European Avant-Garde set a precedent for art as a force to transform the cultural and social landscape. It was seen by some as a break out agent attempting to shift the dominant powers that had ravaged the continental landscape during the First World War. Almost 100 years later, art has become synonymous with selling, consumption and the ‘market’. Questions need to be raised about how art practice can reclaim and challenge prevailing powers, without being echoed by the capitalist mainstream. Art, it feels, has lost its radical edge. The exhibition Radicals and Non-Conformists at London’s National Portrait Gallery curated by TBC founder Beverley Bennett, showcased work inspired by radicals in the 19th Century. Further work was produced for the previous issue of 12-pages. It still remains elusive whether art today has the capability or desire to challenge the society it is inhabiting. The theme for Altered States arose from a reading of Gene Ray’s essay Avant-Gardes and Anti-Capitalist Vector published in Third Text, May 2007.

In the article Ray sets out various revolutionary hypotheses derived from the theoretical. The overall impression is that art has to develop an ability to be: nomadic (in reference to Deleuze and Guttari), uncompromising and unaware of it’s own significance. The importance of art in culture, Ray claims, is stopping art practice from becoming Avant-Garde once more. Art needs to escape. Revolutionary actions are not to be uncovered exclusively in the atelier of the contemporary practitioner. Instead, suggestions for the living artist are to look beyond the discipline of art, look toward revolutions in science and medicine, creativity in protest and transgressive lifestyles, still hidden and being newly formed. Not much different from the approaches of the now canonised André Breton, Alexander Rodchenko, Claude Cahun and Marcel Duchamp. How we now navigate through these ideas in a post-post modern world seems heavy laden with social responsibility. Almost so heavy in fact, it could lead to a creative block. A breaking free needs to be started off small, like the woman in the Netherlands who escaped from prison by digging a hole with a spoon.

The Altered States brief simply asked contributors to consider art as a catalyst for change. It was important that these ideas were considered in the widest possible sense, to bring a sense of plurality to a changed state. As we know too well, the drive for a reformed state in Europe post WW1 lead to in Germany, Italy and Spain the spectre of Fascism and in the East of Europe the steel face of Communism. Such extremes of belief today seem less significant in the age of Web 2.0, where multiple states of exchange between individuals can seemingly co-exist. As 12-pages’ editorial remit is to create a discourse around contemporary drawing practice and it’s definition, the featured outcomes additionally challenge the ‘drawing’ in some way.

Altered States will be published on 12-Pages, Tuesday 19th July.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Slice Project Update: Research Publication

TBC have published a research document on the blog for Slice, the international art commission that will be exhibited at Rich Mix, London and The National College of Arts, Lahore in September 2011.

The document details rudimentary relationships between drawing, space and performance. It hopefully allows the audience an insight into part of the process that TBC have undertaken in response to Catherine Wheel Alley, East London. It was originally a private publication made to communicate possible ideas between the group members. The research produced features the choreographers William Forsythe and Rudolf von Laban, as well as sculptor Franz Erhart Walther.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

12-Pages Issue 7: Radicals

Smartphones: To access Radicals and other TBC publications, please click here.

Radicals and Non-Conformists

Poster design by Shia-ying Wallis

Founding member, Co-Director and this year’s curator of the Staff Art Show at the National Portrait Gallery, Beverley Bennett, commissioned fellow creatives to follow the brief ‘Radicals’ in conjuction with the 12-Pages Online Project Space.
Exhibitors were asked to take inspiration from sitters within the collection located in Room 18, Art Invention and Thought: The Romantics, which features the likes of William Goodwin, Lord Byron, John Constable and Mary Shelley.
As the project evolved, participants began to move away from the chosen theme by selecting new or existing work. In doing so, individuals emerged to become Non-Conformists, free-thinking Radicals. For more information visit radicalsartshow.blogspot.com.

Monday, 13 June 2011

12-Pages Issue 7: Radicals Cover and Introduction

Introduction by Paul Mendez

A group of artists, writers, musicians and thinkers in the early nineteenth century, among them the British notables Mary Wollstonecraft, Lord Byron, Thomas Paine, William Blake and Mary Shelley, became known as the Romantics. Priding intuition and imagination over reason and empiricism, their original thought and free speech was a radical departure from Enlightenment rationalism, yielding a cannon of seminal works, such as Paine's Rights of Man and Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman, whose legacies are enduring.

It has become a topic of contention as to what the term 'radical' means today, such is its ever-changing context. Arguably, since the events of September 11, 2001, pejorative connotations have been dominant. Radical Islam and the threat of terror hang over the globe like the Armageddon of Revelation, precipitating a war between the secular and pious that has prattled on bloodily for a decade. Indeed, the 'radicalisation' page on Wikipedia focuses almost solely on the path to jihadisation and subsequent commitment to the performance of terrorist acts. It can thus be argued that, paradoxically, radicalisation today serves to create something conventional: a homogenous army of self-destructive followers as opposed to the individual, free-thinking, independent agent for positive change that each of the Romantics is remembered as being.

Indeed, worryingly, the gloved hand of the state, fearing the might of the people as demonstrated in the 2011 Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, is frequently creeping round to silence such independent voices, even in the second decade of the 21st century. Following Ai Weiwei's arrest and detention by the Chinese government, the Booker-Prize-winning Indian novelist Arundhati Roy told The Guardian of the increasing persecution she has received as she continues to polemicise about the problems of the Indian state, its stance on Kashmir, its scant regard for the environment in favour of rapid development and its record on corruption.

Two hundred years after the Romantics paved the way for independent minds to help change the world for the better, and in a world where each individual has the capacity to express and propagate their opinions via free blogging software and microblogging sites such as Facebook and Twitter, it seems inevitable that governments will stymie the potential for anarchy these technological and social developments can engender, for better or worse. Individuals become more radical as societies homogenise. Something must break.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

12-Pages Online Project Space Call for Submissions - Issue 8

Roger Hiorns, Untitled, 2008. Atomised passenger aircraft engine.

TBC Artists' Collective has now announced an open call for submissions to its July 12-Pages Online Project Space. Applicants are asked to make a new artwork in response to the theme of 'ALTERED STATES'.

The Avant-Garde was a crucial force in transforming the cultural landscape of Europe after the bloodshed of the First World War. Cultural production became an important element of social and political transformation. Art became a way to question and protest against the established powers. The artist became a revolutionary figure. Today artistic production is synonymous with  the world's most dominant ideology: capitalism. The artist is tied to the art world and the art market.

Taking inspiration from the events of the Arab spring and the reaction to the public spending cuts in the UK this year, July’s 12-Pages brief aims to focus on artistic practice as a catalyst for change. However, it is important to make clear that the work submitted does not have to be overtly based on political struggle. Work produced should evidence the process of art making as an agent of change, which leads to an altered state. This should be interpreted in the widest possible sense. As far as possible drawing should be evidenced in the final outcome.

  • Send all images as JPEGs, minimum 72-maximum 150dpi, min 400Kb, max 1Mb
  • Send all text documents as .doc, unless presented as a 'drawing' or 'image' in PDF format. Limit  body text to 3,000 words
  • If the contributing artist has a clear idea as to how their word should be displayed, the desired      layout should be submitted as a PDF. The editor's decision is final.
  • Short artist biography of no more than 200 words

  • 12-Pages does not accept previously published material, and does not expect works commissioned for 12-Pages to be used elsewhere before publication of the issue concerned
  • The contributing artist retains full rights to their work. If the artist wishes to reprint or publish the work in future, TBC Artists' Collective asks that the relevant issue of 12-Pages be credited
  • Due to the high volume of submissions received, TBC Artists' Collective can only enter into correspondence with those whose works have been accepted, and cannot give critical feedback on submissions.
  • Editor-in-chief has final say over all editorial decisions.

All responses should be sent to Laura.Davidson@tbcartistscollective.org by midnight on 30th June 2011 to be considered for inclusion in the 12-Pages Online Project Space. ALTERED STATES will be published online in July 2011.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Project News: Slice Project Documentation

TBC developing new work in Catherine Wheel Alley E2

Yesterday TBC Artists' Collective completed the first stages of their contribution to the international Slice project. Filmmaker Timothy Knights, Photographer Valerie De La Rochette and TBC Intern James Tuitt documented the work made on location in Catherine Wheel Alley, London E2. TBC members Beverley Bennett, Charley Peters, Laura Davidson and Paul Mendez are collaborating to create a new piece of work for Slice, a performative drawing responding to an area on the one mile stretch of London from Liverpool Street Station to Whitechapel Station.

Stay tuned to 12-Pages for more project news and check out lahorelondon.wordpress.com for ongoing developments on Slice from London and Lahore.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Project News: Slice Web Conference

London talks to Lahore in today's Slice web conference

Today TBC Artists' Collective met with other artists participating in the Slice project at Rich Mix, one of the London venues for the exhibition in autumn 2011. Through a web conference the artists in London and Lahore discussed their ideas for the project and formed some initial collaborative relationships. 

The Slice blog lahorelondon.wordpress.com/ records the ongoing development of the project in both cities and acts as a place to exchange ideas between the group of international artists. It will continue to be updated with Slice news over the next few months and will become a permanent archive of the project after its completion.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Project News: Slice

Slice, the international project involving TBC and 19 other artists/artist groups from London and Lahore has now been granted full funding from Arts Council England and several independent sponsors. The film below was made as part of the project's funding bid and contains information about Slice and its objectives. It features Slice's curators Fatima Hussain, Paul Burgess and Simon Daw, and images of the locations in London and Lahore where the project is based.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Project News: Slice Blog and Artist Update

The Slice project now has a blog where new information about the project will be posted by artists in London and Lahore. To keep up-to-date with Slice news go to: lahorelondon.wordpress.com

The full list of participating artists has now been confirmed.

In London:
TBC Artists' Collective, Present Attempt, Jonathan Watkins, Shamim Azad, Lucy Cash, Simon Daw, Matthias Kispert, Steve Rosenthal and Paul Burgess.

In Lahore:
Adnan Mirza, Claire Pamment, Asif Kanji, Fatima Hussain, Ayesha Jatoi, Nida Bangash, Ayesha Kamal, Wajid Al Zahra, Hussain Ayesha, Kamal Khan and Abeerah Zahid.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

12-Pages Issue 6: Movement

For its sixth issue, 12-Pages asked artists to respond to the theme of Movement. Contributors from Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Norway, the US and the UK combined with members of TBC Artists' Collective to comment on change, stasis, dynamism and process in contemporary art practice.

Contributors: Beverley Bennett, Jeffrey B. Childs, Laura Davidson, Sarah Duncan, Fred.L'Épée, Duncan Fallowell, Paul Mendez, Milos & Slavica, Elizabeth Oniri, Charley Peters and Preben Van der Straete.

Co-edited by Charley Peters and Paul Mendez.
Design by James Tuitt.

Smartphone users: To access all 12-Pages issues, please click here.

Movement 1981/2011

The parallels between 2011 and 1981 are not restricted to trends in pop culture and fashion, and cannot all be put down to 30th anniversaries. A landscape of recession, high unemployment, unpopular Conservative government - albeit latterly in coalition form - and cultural flux has prevailed in both eras, and provided the background for other, equally telling reflections.

In 1981, Greece entered the European Community (now the EU). Charles, heir to the British throne, married Lady Diana Spencer. On 16th January, left-wing radical and former MP for mid-Ulster Bernadette Devlin McAliskey was the subject of an assassination attempt by members of the Ulster Defence Association. High unemployment amongst unskilled workers whose jobs had been lost to Thatcherist policies led to millions of women entering the workforce. Hundreds rioted in Brixton, Toxteth, Handsworth and Moss Side in protest at racial discrimination and mistreatment by the police. MTV launched in August. Hosni Mubarak was elected president of Egypt. Natalie Portman was born in Israel. New Order released their debut album Movement eighteen months to the day after the suicide of Ian Curtis, representing the action of the remaining Joy Division members to regroup and evolve, capturing both the detritus of what had occurred and the seeds of what was forthcoming.

In 2011, Greece finds itself subject to extensive national austerity measures to follow the EU's $110bn three-year rescue package, designed to tackle the country's overwhelming debt. Prince William marries Catherine Middleton. Artist Duncan Campbell's 2006 work Bernadette, shown at British Art Show 7 in 2011, demonstrated how the contemporary press championed McAliskey as a martyr, then targeted her as a victim. Universities secretary David Willetts attacks feminism for reducing the job prospects of 'ambitious young men'. Thousands marched in protest at government cuts, particularly in the arts sector. The ARK Music Factory packages hits for would-be teen stars; Rebecca Black's 'Friday' receives over 100million views on YouTube. The 2011 Egyptian revolution brought about the prized resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. Natalie Portman wins the best actress in a leading role Academy Award for her turn as a ballet dancer in Black Swan.

Many of these parallels - including natural disasters, wars, political unrest and economic turmoil - will give short shrift to Armageddonists who insist we are living 'in the last days'; apparently this has been the case for at least the last thirty years. Whatever has gone before is permanent and unchangeable; all we can do is look to the future and try to change things while we can. This will involve some sort of physical act or gesture, a movement.

12-Pages Issue 6: Movement Cover

Cover design by James Tuitt

For the full issue, click here

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Project News: Slice

Slice artists walking the mile-long area between Liverpool St Station and Whitechapel Station, East London

Today TBC artists Beverley Bennett, Charley Peters, Laura Davidson and Paul Mendez met with the other London-based artists involved in the Slice project, a collaborative venture between the UK and Pakistan. The day involved field research into the area of London which will be the inspiration for the generation of new works for the project, and a web conference with the artists based in Lahore.

Catherine Wheel Alley, E2

An important part of the day's activities was the selection of the part of the 'slice' of east London that each commissioned artist or group will be working with. TBC will be based in Catherine Wheel Alley, a narrow passageway leading off Bishopsgate to the east. Over the next two months TBC will be undertaking research into the area before they start work in the space generating a body of site-specific and performative drawings.

The new work will be exhibited as part of an interactive installation in the autumn at the Ideas Store and Rich Mix in London, and the National College of Arts, Lahore. TBC will also produce two publications documenting the work that they make and the processes involved in its production - one copy to be housed at a cultural institution in London an one in an equivalent archive in Lahore.

Monday, 2 May 2011

12-Pages Online Project Space Call for Submissions - Issue 7

TBC Artists' Collective has now announced an open call for submissions to its June 12-Pages Online Project Space. Applicants are asked to make a new artwork in response to the theme of 'RADICALS'.

The Regency era spawned a group of revolutionary artists, writers and thinkers - including Thomas Paine, Mary Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Blake and Lord Byron - who became known as the Radicals. It was a period in British history in which the opinions voiced and artistic expression were at a level never before witnessed.

For this brief you are invited to consider modern-day radicals of the last twenty years. Work can be created by means of homage, reference, quote or interpretation. Submissions should incorporate elements of drawing process within finished outcomes, with an emphasis on your chosen radical. The notion of 'radical' can be as rigid or as loose as you feel comfortable with.

  • Send all images as JPEGs, minimum 72-maximum 150dpi, min 400Kb, max 1Mb
  • Send all text documents as .doc, unless presented as a 'drawing' or 'image' in PDF format. Limit body text to 3,000 words
  • If the contributing artist has a clear idea as to how their word should be displayed, the desired layout should be submitted as a PDF. The editor's decision is final.

  • 12-Pages does not accept previously published material, and does not expect works commissioned for 12-Pages to be used elsewhere before publication of the issue concerned
  • The contributing artist retains full rights to their work. If the artist wishes to reprint or publish the work in future, TBC Artists' Collective asks that the relevent issue of 12-Pages be credited
  • Due to the high volume of submissions received, TBC Artists' Collective can only enter into correspondence with those whose works have been accepted, and cannot give critical feedback on submissions.
  • Editor-in-chief has final say over all editorial decisions.
All responses should be sent to Beverley.Bennett@tbcartistscollective.org by midnight on 31st May 2011 to be considered for inclusion in the 12-Pages Online Project Space. RADICALS will be published online in June 2011.

Project News: Slice

TBC Artists' Collective researching the Slice project.

Today TBC artists Beverley Bennett, Charley Peters, Laura Davidson and Paul Mendez were in east London undertaking research for their international art commission Slice. The group are working towards a body of new work of performative collaborative drawings based in architectural spaces within a mile-long section of London between Liverpool Street Station and Whitechapel Station. The work will be completed by the summer and exhibited in London and Lahore in Autumn 2011.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Commission News: SLICE

Slice, a Pakistani–UK collaboration, curated by Fatima Hussein and Scale

TBC Artists' Collective have today been commissioned to produce work for SLICE, a Pakistani–UK collaborative website and accompanying exhibitions in London and Lahore curated by Fatima Hussein, artists and co-director of Other Asias, and Scale, the collaborative arts project run by artists and theatremakers Simon Daw and Paul Burgess. SLICE aims to encourage dialogue between two diverse cultures by linking communities in both countries via the creation of a new artwork that enters into dialogue with the social and physical fabric of two iconic, complex and historically linked cities. Ten artists from London and ten from Lahore have been commissioned to take part in SLICE.

TBC members Beverley Bennett, Charley Peters, Laura Davidson and Paul Mendez will produce a collaborative work for the project, which will be exhibited in both cities online. The group members will also participate in two international web conferences.

The exhibition dates are as follows:
July 2011 Exhibition opens and SLICE website launch at Ideas Store, Whitechapel, London
September 2011 Exhibition opens at Rich Mix, London
September 2011 Exhibition opens at Zahoor ul Akhlaq Gallery, Lahore

TBC are very excited by the project and will post more news about their developing work on 12-Pages during the duration of their involvement with SLICE.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

12-Pages Issue 5: Pinpoint Introspective

Smartphone users: To access Pinpoint Introspective, please click here.

The works selected for this fifth issue of 12-Pages represent a search amongst the building blocks for a means of expression, from Elizabeth Oniri's visceral studies of the female bone structure affected by osteoporosis, to Laura Davidson's reading of a work by Scottish poet George Bruce, that locates a child's learning facility, not only in what is inherited, but in the unique recognition of a dialogue between the written and the spoken word.

In a world in which we are forced to process volumes of information far beyond the scope of any computer, by placing the minutiae of our being under a microscope, we are forced to constantly recontextualise anew, always creating new lines of creative investigation.

Contributors: Beverley Bennett, Toby Cisneros, Laura Davidson, Paul Mendez, Elizabeth Oniri, Charley Peters, Aman Sagoo and James Tuitt.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

12-Pages Online Project Space Call for Submissions - Issue 6

TBC ARTISTS' COLLECTIVE has announced an open call for submissions to the sixth issue of 12-Pages, under the theme of


Please forward all submissions to paul.mendez@tbcartistscollective.org by 30th April 2011.

MOVEMENT is the title of New Order's 1981 debut album. Released just eighteen months after the suicide of Ian Curtis, it represented the action of the remaining band members to regroup and evolve, capturing both the detritus of what had occurred and the seeds of what was forthcoming.

MOVEMENT implies performativity. Whether it incorporates the whole body, as in the case of dance, or just part(s) of it, artists have investigated the effects of movement in their works since natural dyes were first used on cave walls. The drawings of Henri Matisse, for example, uncover a lifetime's approach to his stated desire to 'reconceive in simplicity'. The direct and honest marks left by him are testament to his belief that drawing is the most intimate means of artistic activity - that it is 'like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence.'

The need to make marks, record our experiences visually, or indulge our desires to leave a physical impression on the world is part of our make-up as human beings. The simple movement of mark-making instruments across a surface and the traces left behind is as old as humanity itself, and will endure forever as a record of what has been, and an anticipation of what is to come next.

MOVEMENT (Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus) NOUN 1 an act or the process of moving. 2 a group of people who share the same aims or ideas: the women's movement. 3 a trend or development. 4 (movements) a person's activities during a particular period of time. 5 a main division of a musical work. 6 the moving parts of a mechanism, especially a clock or watch.

SYNONYMS 1 motion, move; gesture, sign, signal; action, activity. 2 transportation, shifting, conveyance, moving, transfer. 3 group, party, faction, wing, lobby, camp; division, sect, cult. 4 campaign, crusade, drive, push, initiative. 5 development, change, fluctuation, variation. 6 trend, tendency, drift, swing, shift; march. 7 progress, development, change, advance, improvement. 8 part, section, division; act.

relating to movement - kinetic
fear of movement - kinetophobia

Please respond as you wish to the Movement brief by 30th April 2011. 

  • Send all images as JPEGs, minimum 72-maximum 150dpi, min 400Kb, max 1Mb
  • Send all text documents as .doc, unless presented as a 'drawing' or 'image' in PDF format. Limit body text to 3,000 words
  • If the contributing artist has a clear idea as to how their word should be displayed, the desired layout should be submitted as a PDF. The editor's decision is final.
  • 12-Pages does not accept previously published material, and does not expect works commissioned for 12-Pages to be used elsewhere before publication of the issue concerned
  • The contributing artist retains full rights to their work. If the artist wishes to reprint or publish the work in future, TBC Artists' Collective asks that the relevent issue of 12-Pages be credited
  • Due to the high volume of submissions received, TBC Artists' Collective can only enter into correspondence with those whose works have been accepted, and cannot give critical feedback on submissions.
  • Editor-in-chief has final say over all editorial decisions.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Saturday, 5 March 2011

TBC at Tate

Laura Davidson poses with Athanasios Argianas' Coil Studies II (the width of your hair) at Art Now Live

On Friday 4th March TBC Members Laura Davidson, Paul Mendez and Charley Peters attended Art Now Live at Tate Britain, a programme of works that explore storytelling and participation. During the evening's live art events, Laura Davidson posed with Athanasios Argianas' work 'Coil Studies II (the width of your hair)'.

Friday, 4 March 2011

12-Pages Online Project Space Call for Submissions

TBC Artists' Collective has announced an open call for submissions to its March 2011 12-Pages project. Applicants are asked to submit a new work under the theme of PINPOINT INTROSPECTIVE, guest-edited by Elizabeth Oniri.

All responses should be sent to eoniri@yahoo.co.uk by midnight, 31 March 2011 to be considered for inclusion within the April online issue of 12-Pages.

"To understand ourselves as humans, artists and global citizens we are sometimes required to take a look at our inner selves. This self-examination is essential with regards to our mental health, helping us to better understand how and what we produce not just as artists, designers and wordsmiths but also as humans.

For some years I have worked in a museum, which has had a strong impact on the way I research. I have come to realise that learning from the past can sometimes help us to understand the future, and why we set certain standards within society. Thus, for this issue of 12-Pages, I would like to ask contributors to use the inspiration gleaned from a pinpoint introspective, to create new work."
Elizabeth Oniri


Style for online publication
·      Send all images as JPEGs, minimum 72dpi, max 150dpi, min 400Kb, max 1Mb
·      Send all text as .doc, unless presented as a ‘drawing’ or ‘image’ in PDF format. Limit text to 3,000 words.
·      If the contributing artist has a clear idea as to how they want their work to be displayed, submit the desired layout as a PDF. However, the editor’s decision is final.
·      Issuu.com is the current publication host for 12-Pages. There are no page number limits (within reason).

Style for potential print publication
·      Send all images as JPEGs, min 300dpi, min 1Mb
·      Text guidelines as above
·      Send to editor or info@tbcartistscollective.org via WeTransfer

·      12-Pages does not accept previously published material, and expects exclusive rights to such material prior to the relevant issue’s publication
·      Post-publication, material can be re-printed or published, crediting 12-Pages and the relevant issue where possible.
·      Editor-in-chief has final say over all editorial decisions.

Friday, 11 February 2011

12-Pages: Windows

Smartphones: To access 12-Pages: Windows, please click here.

Featuring: Paul Mendez, Laura Davidson, Beverley Bennett, Charley Peters,
Susannah King, James Tuitt, Philip Weiner
Editor: Susannah King

Monday, 7 February 2011

12-Pages Submission Guidelines

TBC Artists' Collective has now announced an open call for submissions to its February 12-Pages Project. Applicants are asked to make a new artwork in response to the theme of 'HYBRID'.

  • All images as sent as JPEGs, minimum 72dpi, max 150dpi, min 400Kb, max 1Mb.
  • All text as .doc, unless presented as a ‘drawing’ or ‘image’ in PDF format. Limit text to 3,000 words.
  • If you have a clear idea as to how you want your work to be displayed, submit your ideal layout as a PDF.
  • The editor’s decision is final.
  • Issuu.com is the current publication host for 12-Pages -  click here for previous issues of 12-Pages. 

All responses should be sent to Beverley.Bennett@tbcartistscollective.org by midnight on 28th February 2011 to be considered for inclusion within TBC's Online Project Space. HYBRID will be online in March 2011.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

TBC Call for Submissions

TBC Artists' Collective has now announced an open call for submissions to its February 12-Pages Project. Applicants are asked to make a new artwork in response to the theme of 'HYBRID'.

All responses should be sent to Beverley.Bennett@tbcartistscollective.org by midnight on 28th February 2011 to be considered for inclusion in the 12-Pages publication on TBC's online project space. HYBRID will be online in March 2011.

Friday, 28 January 2011

A Message To...

TBC Artists' Collective are working on a new long-term project called 'A Message To...' The project will take members of TBC to various UK and international locations to make ephemeral interventionist works based on the cities they travel to. On 22 January 2011 members of TBC Artists' Collective - Charley Peters, Beverley Bennett, Laura Davidson, Paul Mendez, James Tuitt - travelled to Oxford to complete the first part of the project. Each artist made a piece of work specifically as a message to a person linked to Oxford who has contributed to national cultural, creative or academic history. 

Charley Peters, A Message To… Ann Oakley (2011)
Installed in Pitt Rivers Museum and Modern Art Oxford

Peters' work pays homage to Ann Oakley, a writer and a sociologist who graduated from Somerville College, Oxford. She has written extensively and influentially around issues of sex and gender, housework, childbirth and feminist social science. Her 1974 book 'Housewife' inspired Peters work for this 'A Message To' project, in which she wrote, 'Housework is work directly opposed to the possibility of human self-actualisation'. Peters' drawing is made from dirt samples collected in her studio.

Peters installed one of her dirt drawings in a display cabinet in the Pitt Rivers Museum. The cabinet, on the first floor of the museum, is directly underneath a vitrine containing ethnographic objects relating to marriage, which seemed particularly relevant to the research concerns of Oakley. The second of Peters' drawings was installed in Modern Art Oxford, hidden in a rack of postcards representing artworks that have been shown in the gallery in past exhibitions.

Beverley Bennett, A Message To… Richard Baker (2011)
Installed in Blackwells Music, Broad Street, Oxford

Richard Baker (born 1972) is a British composer and conductor, known equally for his own highly charged and distinctive music and for his performances of contemporary music, especially the music of his contemporaries in the UK. Bennett chose Baker as her subject due to his connection to her place of birth in the West Midlands, and the striking rhythms of his compositions which complement the visual tones of her drawings. 

Bennett installed her drawing on a notice board in Blackwells Music store on Broad Street, Oxford.

Laura Davidson, A Message To… Maurice Bowra (2011)
Installed in a bicycle basket on Parks Road, Oxford

Maurice Bowra was an Oxford Don who was just as famous for his private life as he was for his academic career. He studied the classics and wrote several books on the subject. He wrote poetry based on his experiences of the First World War. He lived from 1898-1971. He attracted infamy when he was caught bathing nude at Parsons Pleasure in the River Cherwell by the police. Bowra apparently said to them "I don't know about you, gentlemen, but in Oxford I, at least, am known by my face."

Davidson left a message in a bottle for whoever came across her work first - a set of written instructions for how the recipient should undertake a recorded performance as a reference to Bowra.

Paul Mendez, A Message To… John Ruskin (2011)
Pad of Khadi papers deposited at the Western Computer Store, Broad Street, Oxford

‘John Ruskin was a generous man, and so am I…’

One of Oxford University’s most celebrated alumni, John Ruskin was a man who used his means for the benefit of progress, both as stern sage writer and philanthropist, evinced by the plethora of streets, schools, colleges and foundations named after him. His disciples included the likes of Mahatma Ghandi, Marcel Proust, Leo Tolstoy and Oscar Wilde.

Khadi paper is associated with Ghandi and the Khadi movement of 1930s India, where the focus was on decentralisation, taking work back to the villages and making things by hand. By installing a pad of Khadi papers at an Apple Authorised Retailer Mendez gave someone the opportunity to explore their own creativity through drawing or handwriting, thus invoking the generous spirit of John Ruskin.

James Tuitt,  A Message To… Wilbert Vere Awdry (2011)
Installed at Oxford Station

Wilbert Vere Awdry OBE, (15 June 1911 – 21 March 1997), studied in Oxford, and was the creator of Thomas the Tank Engine. Tuitt produced his drawing for Awdry  as his stories were a part of his childhood.
The work Tuitt created came from his interest in pattern and repetition and the feelings (frustration, impatience etc.) that come from using these processes in drawing. He chose train tracks as a motif in direct relation to W.V.Awdry, and as it was also reminiscent of the time consuming drawings he did as a child of trains, train tracks etc., all because of his fondness of Awdry's story.

Using wrapping paper on which to produce a checked pattern inspired by the identity/fabrics of Burberry, Tuitt suggests its classic/traditional appeal, the iconic status of its pattern (much like the enduring strong status of Thomas among children), and also how this fascination with trains seemingly disappeared.

Tuitt left this piece of work in the only place he felt suitable; Oxford train station. He bound the work together with string, and wrote on the covering piece of card:
Dear Wilbert Vere Awdry, 
Thanks for helping to make me feel almost normal. 
I needed it back then.

The 'A Message To...' project will continue to develop as TBC travel to national and international locations and intervene, through drawing, where they visit. Updates will be posted on 12-Pages.