Friday, 27 September 2013

our walls: part I

Evening everyone,

today we finally had a nice and sunny morning in our Valley, so here are some photos of the gallery walls:

our Kickstarter contributors board and "LIBERTE", 
a collab between Alicja Anna Chudzik (Poland) and Pierre-Henri Crave (France)

"Mind Traps" by Isabelle Thibeault-Jolin (Canada) and Hanan Kazma (Lebanon)
and "never look back" by Stefanie le Pape (USA) and Birgit Zartl (Austria)

"crime number one" by Alicja Anna Chudzik (Poland) and Pierre-Henri Crave (France)
and "They Grow Up So Fast" by Jill Auville (USA) and Jeremy Anderson (USA).

 If you'd like to find out more about the artists, go to our previous blog entry
for a full list and links to their pages.

 Some colours may be slightly different than in reality,
so it's best if you just pop in to Abertillery -
we're only half way through the exhibition!

And for those of you in faraway lands, we've got Skype tours -
just drop us an email.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

"collaborators" - a full list of participating artists

Evening everyone, 

due to an unusual amount of morning fog that beset our Valley (see below) and whimsical afternoon sun, we haven't been able to take satisfactory shots of our gallery walls - it should happen soon though, so bear with us. 

 Meanwhile, here's a full list, in reverse alphabetical order, of all the artists participating in the current exhibition along with the links to their pages and portofolios. 


1. Birgit Zartl, Austria

2. Dafydd Williams, Wales

4. Debora Schmidt, Germany

6. Mihail Petkov, Bulgaria

8. Zosia Krasnowolska, Poland

9. Hanan Kazma, Lebanon

10. Ilil Iram, Israel

11. Kim Hoxworth, USA

12. Mark Erickson, USA

13. Pierre-Henri Crave, France

14. Alicja Anna Chudzik, Poland

16. Nóra Barabás, Hungary

17. Jill Auville, USA

18. Jeremy Anderson, USA

To sum up: 18 artists, most of whom have never met in person, from 12 different countries, gathered in one small Welsh town. 

P.S. As some of you may have observed, two of the collaborators haven't been introduced on our blog. It's us, Dafydd and Zosia, as we are currently a bit too tired to talk about ourselves - but we are no.17 and no.18 :-)

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Breaking News, part II


we've got some great news this weekend:

Arts Council of Wales accepted our funding application!

That means we can stay in Abertillery even longer and our 3 future exhibitions, starting from mid October,  will be organised with their support.

We're unbelievably happy that we can continue a project that started as one pop-up exhibition, has grown into something bigger than we expected, and that it's seen as a valuable element of the local community also beyond the borders of Abertillery.

September is our lucky month!

We'd like to wholeheartedly thank everyone who believed in us and supported our application.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

the opening

Hello everyone,

here's a few photos from yesterday's opening. Despite the pouring rain it was quite a busy evening - a big thanks to everyone who popped in!

And also a massive thanks to the artists who made it possible, and to everyone who couldn't come to Abertillery but was with us in spirit. 

Today we were open as normal and had a number of visitors, from Abertillery and beyond.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

introducing our collaborators, Pierre-Henri Crave and Alicja Anna Chudzik

Pierre-Henry Crave is a French photographer and collagist living and working in Perpignan. In his photography Pierre-Henri normally works with a digital medium and his images can be characterised by his deliberate use of a small focus areas and a shallow depth of field. Often putting a single individual just outside the area in focus, he achieves a disconnection between the photographer and the model that captures a sense seeing without knowing. There is a feeling of fleetingness to his images and you can feel the distance created between the model and the viewer that creates a sense of loneliness. 

Pierre-Henry also arranges and photographs still-life, using objects and light that do not seem to portray existing memories, they in fact seem to give the impression of someone trying to remember a forgotten memory. Pierre-Henri, in his photographs of nature, combines the techniques he uses in his conceptual and still life photography to create images that seem unnatural, or otherworldly. Using a small focus area and muted colours he turns nature into a still life, without losing all its dynamism and life. 

You can see more of Pierre-Henri's photos on his portfolio and page.

Alicja Anna Chudzik is a Polish-born artist and photographer currently living in France. In her work, Alicja often uses mixed media, linking drawings, photographs and post-production tools, which give her images a multi-dimensional and surreal feel.

She takes both analogue and digital photographs; a lot fo her work is conceptual and explores the issues of identity and representation. The image she creates, however, is not always one of discovery, but one of deconstruction. Many of her photographs are long exposures that through the movement and a flow of images create a sense of disconnection from reality. Most of Alicja's work is black and white, with an occasional use of colour, and many of the stories she tells through her pictures are quite dark, escapist narratives.

Alicja has collaborated with other artists on some of her photos, creating diptychs and image overlays creating further interpretations of her and other artists' work.

If you'd like to see more of Alicja's photos, visit her page.

Monday, 16 September 2013

introducing our collaborators, Mihail Petkov and Debora Schmidt

Mihail Petkov is a Bulgarian photographer, painter and graphic artist who shares his time between the capital city of Sofia and Vidin, a small town located on the north-west border of Bulgaria on the shore of Danube. Mihail was born in 1978 and studied fine art graphics at the Veliko Tarnovo University.

In his work, Mihail uses both traditional tools, such as paint, as well as digital photography and mixed media. Mihail works with different editing and postproduction tools, such as digital overlays and photomanipulation. His largely abstract photographs are created with a prevalently dim palette of colours, depticting elements of real and imaginary urban spaces, bleak, hallucinatory and often bearing kafkesque or political references. Mihail's distopian visions of cities are contrasted by much lighter and warmer, atmospheric and sometimes impressionist portrayals of nature and waterscapes, a refuge from the trapping of urban existence. 

You can find Mihail's work on his page

Debora Schmidt is a German photographer living in Bad Arolsen. Her photography is dominated by vibrant colours, airyness and light. In her photography, mostly digital, Debora depicts cityscapes, landscapes and still life, but no matter what her subject matter is, she captures it from a predominantly abstract perspective. Rather than her images being defined by their context, she focuses on their texture and colours and defines them by what they're made of rather than what they are. Debora's style is characterised by a certain playfulness and a fondness for shapes and patterns. 

Recently she has been experimenting with kaleidoscopes, square arrangements of multiple copies of images to create larger aesthetic forms. Debora has also collaborated with other artists creating diptychs. The colours appearing in those images are quite often delicate, rendering serene, dream-like seascapes and images of natural greens, both calming and overwhelming.

You can see Debora's images on Tumblr and on her page

exhibition install


We have more images for you from the install. Today we hung the photos and bought our supplies for tomorrow's preview...

we hope to see you all at 4pm!!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

introducing our collaborators, Stefanie le Pape, Ilil Iram and Nóra Barabás

Stefanie le Pape is a New York-based experimental photographer, whose favourite tools are Holga and Lens Baby for her digital camera. Stefanie creates multi-levelled images by using either double, multiple or long exposures and reflections; her images are vibrant and full of movement, and could be described as a photographic stream of consciousness. In her series "My NY hOlga", Stefanie captured the vitality and chaos of New York in an attempt to render the spirit of the city as she sees it:

"Ever restless and dimensional
A vibrating hometown...
Equipped with a passion and nostalgia"

Having experimented with different styles and techniques, Stefanie has recently been working with the limits of digital imagery by using mobile technology, seeing it as a natural progression of her experimentation with "all the potential painting with light presents. Even if by way of pixilated codes pixelated." As Stefanie says

"I am self taught, intuitively and compulsively creative. While skill and understanding the technical aspects of any apparatus to one's 'soul' empowers the ability to realize one's visions, it should compliment and not rule over ingenuity and discovering one's heART via trial and error." 

You can find Stefanie's work in her portfolio, on redbubble and flickr.  

Ilil Iram is an artist living and working in Israel. She is a theatre set and costume designer, engaged in recent years with photography and digital processing. Ilil also creates art through traditional mediums: oil on canvas, and embossments.

In her photography, Ilil works with images on different levels, often by cutting and multiplying them, taming plants and nature by arranging them in geometric patterns, and giving them a new look, sometimes humorous.

Many of her pictures are elements of urban landscapes, resembling a more balanced aesthetic rather than blunt human creations. Her abstract images are dominated by pastel colours, often delicate and full of light

Ilil has collaborated with many other artists, sometimes by creating ditpychs and often by "rephrasing" other artists' work with digital tools, by working with the details of their images, and giving them a new meaning by taking them out of their original context - turning summer lanscapes into winter ones, looking at the images hidden in the corners, 'repainting' them, creating collages and thus giving them a different life.
You can find Ilil's work on her page and on flickr. 

Nóra Barabás is a Hungarian photographer living in Szeged. She uses both analogue and digital tools and her photography is dominated by images rendering how different emotional states affect our perception of the world, and how the external realities impact our feelings. Her photographs are highly contemplative, often exploring the question of isolation - not only in its negative context, but as an important force shaping human self-awareness. 
Colours rarely appear in Nóra’s images; her favourite form of self-expression is black and white photography as she finds that colouristic minimalism helps her focus on understanding her subjects. Her work covers a variety of techniques, including multiple and double exposure, sunprint, collage, as well as analogue and digital overlays

Nóra often collaborates with other photographers creating original images and diptychs, putting hers and other artists’ work in new frames or a dialogue. 

She also runs regular features on her blog, curating journals bringing together the works of other artists, often accompanied by literary and musical quotes that compliment the visual contents and act as her commentary. 

You can find Nóra's photographs on her page.


Preparations for the exhibition

Hi everyone,

We'd like to share some images with you of the our preparations so far. Yesterday we touched up our painting and today we finished mounting all the images ready for hanging tomorrow.

p.s. you will all be happy to learn that upon painting this time, last months paint didn't peel off in one large membranous skin.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

introducing our collaborators, Mark Erickson, Birgit Zartl and Hanan Kazma

Mark Erickson was born in Hollywood, California and is a painter, photographer and collagist currently living and working in San Francisco and Oakland. He comes from a family with strong artistic traditions. In his career, Mark has used a variety of styles and tools, both in his paintings, mostly mixed media painting on canvas, collages, graphics and Polaroids; all the areas of his work, often intertwined, are characterised by a use of flowing, psychodelic colours, visual dynamism and multiple layers.  

As Mark said: "When it comes to my paper collage work and Polaroid shooting, I take more of a graphic approach, tending to single out the piece and offer it less in a pretty way, but more in what happens in the process. It follows wherever the mood strikes me. I’d rather photograph buildings in my Polaroid work than human figures. In similar fashion with collage, I treat it like a dance with paper and imagery. Accidents happen and those spontaneous occurrences interest me the most. I follow that lead in my work where the moment counts and the next step can be conscious or unconscious".  

You can find out more about Mark on his page and see more of his art and photographs here. 

Birgit Zartl lives and works in Vienna, Austria. Both an accomplished painter and photographer, her work is often evocative and dreamlike. Working primarily with instant film, Birgit uses her photography as an attempt to understand her thoughts and to express them outwardly. Her images usually depict a single metaphorical object to try to provoke or tease out a memory or feeling.

Her use of light, focus and colour or monochrome palette give her images a dreamlike quality that draws in the viewer and engages them in a way that creates a shared memory or feeling between the viewer and photographer. 

Recently, Birgit has started experimenting with self-portraits, her first fore into using people in her imagery. Her newer images, a further exploration of trying to visualise her thoughts and dreams, are full of dark symbols and depictions of objects such as bird cages, dead plants and wire arrangements, and are unnerving depictions of the darker side of the human consciousness. 

You can see more of Birgit’s photographs on her portfolio and page and find the books she designed and published on Blurb. 

Hanan Kazma, a photographer living in Lebanon, explores the ideas of self and tries to re-examine the classic idea of portraiture, using a range of in-camera and post-production techniques, such as long exposures, underwater shots, double and multiple exposures and different textures. Hanan’s self-portraits show the variety of techniques and styles that she uses to construct a diverse concept of identity and images that try to develop the idea of an inner self rather than the image of self we project from the outside.  

In 2011 Hanan began the project “Di-a-Log”, where she invited photographers and other artists to send her their self-portraits that she would then combine with portraits of herself to create diptychs as a collaborative dialogue between artists from diverse backgrounds and countries. The result is an interesting exploration into how our idea of self can be changed by an observer trying to understand. 

Many of her collaborations were turned into books, examples of which you can find here and here, along with some of her solo publications

You can see more of Hanan's work on her page and Flickr.


Friday, 13 September 2013

introducing our collaborators, Kim Hoxworth and Isabelle Thibeault-Jolin

Kim Hoxworth is an analogue photographer, designer, costumer and milliner in metro Detroit, USA. She develops and prints her pictures using traditional and experimental techniques. In her work, Kim ventures into portraying alternative realities and exploring the image of the body.
As Kim said,

"I most enjoy manipulating my negatives and alternative printing in the darkroom, so when digital photography started taking off I "regressed", so to speak, and started using vintage, antique and homemade cameras...the more low-tech, the better. 

I'm an all-around crafty girl and like making things. I'm a prolific seamstress and generally make whatever garments are worn in my photos, as well as designing and constructing costuming for local productions and performance artists.

I am an analog photographer using low-tech equipment such as homemade and vintage cameras, and I experiment with a variety of alternative processing and/or printing techniques".

You can find Kim's photographs in her portfolio and on her page

Isabelle Thibeault-Jolin is a photographer, painter and collagist living in Montréal, Canada. She takes both analogue and digital photographs, sometimes linking both in photographic collages, and her style is largely narrative and explorative. In her photographs, Isabelle often documents cityscapes bearing the signs but deprived of human presence, the clash between the artificial and the natural; using usually unnoticed, seemingly mundane elements of everyday landscapes.

Isabelle uses photography as a way of documenting how the world around her affects her thoughts and moulds her experience.

"As for what I'm trying to show in my photography, well, I'm trying to show to myself how I experience the world and myself. It's like wearing glasses; it helps me to see better."

Isabelle has also collaborated with many artists: "collaborations mean a lot to me, I find it makes me grow as an artist and go places I maybe wouldn't have been to by myself. I love the "visual dialogues" it provides; the meeting of two universes".

You can find Isabelle's work on her page and her blog A Thousand Ways to Tell a Tale.

Breaking News!

Mornin' everyone,

I come bearing great news.

Today, this morning in fact, we reached our funding target on kickstarter and managed to raise the funds we need for our next exhibition and to keep the gallery open. We quite literally couldn’t have done it without you, everyone that has donated or helped.

We’d like to now say a big thank you to everyone – those that donated and those that shared what we were doing with the people they know, and then those people too for telling the people they know – for their help!!

If anyone out there is still thinking of donating, you will still be able to for the next 30 hours or so. Any donations that are added above the amount we ask for are also transferred to us, we will then put these aside for the next exhibition we have planned, hopefully in October.

So once again, thank you all so much!! 

Stay tuned for more updates about the photographers taking part in “collaborators”

Thursday, 12 September 2013

introducing our collaborators, Cyril Berthault-Jacquier and Sébastien Redon Lévigne

Cyril Berthault-Jacquier is a Paris-born and Belgium-based photographer, poet and prolific collaborator. In his prevalently abstract and conceptual work, Cyril focuses on the harmony of colours and shapes, and the emotions they evoke. Using both film and digital cameras, he explores empty urban landscapes, aesthetic details and looks not at the moment of interaction between the human and the object, the human and the space, but the moments suspended between. His photographs, both self-portraits, landscapes and still-lives, are static, contemplative and focus more on what isn't said as much as what is represented in an image. 

As he said in an interview he gave to German artist Florian Schmidt, "I tell stories and I try to share them. Sometimes people see exactly what I intend to show, sometimes they see something different and it is a new source of inspiration for me. It is like describing a dream by means of photography, or modifying the reality of everyday life". 

Some of Cyril's favourite photographic forms are diptychs and kaleidoscopes, and as the inventor of the latter he uses it both as form to present his own work, but also as a way of cooperating with other artists and exploring how an image's aesthetic can be manipulated.

He has also published numerous books of poetry and photographs, including cooperations with other artists. Cyril also writes poems and poetic prose to accompany his and his fellow artists' photographs.

You can find Cyril's images on his page and follow his daily features on his Tumblr blog De Profundis.

Sébastien Redon Lévigne is a French photographer living in Lyon. He's a photo editor and works with a variety of tools and cameras, including a 4x5 KodakMasterview, Elioflex 2, different 35mm cameras and scanners.

Like many photographers, Sébastien has experimented with a variety of techniques and styles, but he often comes back to still life. Often using objects that hold some significance to himself, he uses these objects to project those "memories" onto us, the viewers. You can see examples of this in his series "nerfs" and still lives. He uses a very minamalist style, using only one flower petal, piece of fruit or object in an attempt to create and photograph his concept quickly, so not to lose the memory before he has comitted it to film. In another series "paysages de poussieres" ("dust landscapes"), Sébastien collected dust and fabric, then cut and assembled them to create miniture lanscapes he dreamed of inspired by the romatic paintings of Victor Hugo.

In 2008, he published a book of photographs "Noir presque transparent" ("Black almost transparent"), accompanied by the words of Cyril Berthault-Jacquier.

You can see Sébastien's work in his portofolio, on Art Limited and on his page.

Those of you lucky enough to speak French can also read an interview with Sébastien on the page of Forma, an art collective, and read more about him on the website of VOZ'Galerie.