Artists : Tonico Lemos Auad, Tomoko Azumi, Hannah Dipper and Robin Farquhar, Simon Faithful, John Frankland, Robert Frith, Liam Gillick, Gitta Gschwendtner, Ilana Halperin, Alex Hartley, Matthew Houlding, Walter Jack, Luisa Lambri, Christina Mackie, Paul Morrison, Nils Norman, Dan Perjovschi, Hans Stofer, Matthew Tickle Richard Wentworth and Silvia Ziranek.
The De La Warr Pavilion invited a number of artists and designers to come up with their ‘first thoughts’ when asked how they might respond to the building.
The artists were given a free reign to think of new ideas that would engage with, play with, enhance, and challenge the architecture, context and site of the Pavilion. They were being actively encouraged to think ‘big’ and to create a visual proposal that is, in essence, the first idea for a possible new, temporary, intervention to the building itself.
Since 1935, the modernist Pavilion has been the source of inspiration from a range of artists, architects and designers. It Starts From Here sought to give a fascinating insight into the powerful imagination of an artist, by illustrating the spark of inspiration at the beginning of a creative process which may, or may not, become a realised project.
All the ideas submitted formed the exhibition It Starts From Here in summer 2007. Alongside we showed the early drawings of Erich Mendelsohn, the ‘first ideas’ of the architect who designed the De La Warr Pavilion 75 years ago. Also in the exhibition was the first proposals of some great design classics – Sir Alec Issigonis’ sketch design for the prototype for the Mini (1956), Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s design for the GPO telephone kiosk (1924), Pluto the Dog (Walt Disney Studio 1936) and Henry C. Beck’s sketch of the London Underground (1931).
The exhibition was curated by Celia Davies Head of Exhibitions at the De La Warr Pavilion. It opened during national Architecture Week.
The contemporary artists are::
Tonico Lemos Auad is motivated by an interest in expressing and reflecting daily experiences, perceptions of things and situations that are not easily noticeable or that vanish under our eyes. While drawings are at the core of his work, his pieces are often site specific, often changing through time, like his drawings on bananas. Auad came to the UK’s attention as part of the Beck’s Futures exhibition 2004. Since then he has exhibited in the UK and internationally including the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2004), the British Art Show 6 (2005) and the Aspen Art Museum, USA (2007).
Tomoko Azumi designs furniture, products and stage sets in an elegantly playful style. Azumi studied environmental design at Kyoto City University of Art, Japan and MA in Furniture Design at the Royal College of Art, UK (1995). Her work can be found in a number of UK and international collections including Victoria & Albert Museum (UK), Stedelijk Museum (Holland), Crafts Council (UK), Brighton Museum (UK) and Geffrye Museum (UK). In 2005 Tomoko Azumi opened ‘t.n.a. Design Studio’. She is currently a tutor at the Royal College of Art and research fellow at the London Metropolitan University.
Hannah Dipper and Robin Farquhar are the creative team called people will always need plates. Launched in 2004, they aim to use high quality, low volume batch production to create witty, thoughtful and stylish products as a direct antithesis to the current proliferation of cheap, throwaway design. In keeping with their credo that good design should be used and enjoyed, treasured and shared, they try to develop products that, while diverse in style and application, always retain the fundamental values of functionality and beauty. They are the designers of the best-selling De La Warr Pavilion plates and mugs.
Simon Faithfull is a digital and video artist whose work explores where individuals place themselves within a space. He pursues what might at first seem an extremely traditional practice of drawing, but does so with a contemporary technological support and means of dissemination. His projects, often described as ‘mesmerizing’ have included being part of the British Antarctic Survey where, during a two month trip to the Antarctic, he drew a drawing every day on a Palm Pilot and sent it, via email, to anyone who wanted to subscribe. www.simonfaithfull.org
John Frankland’s interest lies in architecture and space. His sculptural works explore illusory surfaces, weightiness and weightlessness, often intervening with the architectural landscape to alter and create surfaces that disorient the viewer and challenge his/her perception. These ideas were played out in his most recent work Peer (2006) where he changed the perspective and scale of a small, shop-front gallery in London. Frankland’s solo shows include Matt’s Gallery, London; Compton Verney, Warwickshire; Project Art Centre, Dublin and the Royal Festival Hall, London.
Robert Frith is one half of the design team Superblue (along with James Bowskill) focusing on sculptural product design, installations and public spaces. Their aim is “to have fun with our world”. Robert’s current interests are about boundaries and borderlines; his design work considers how everyday assumptions about such features as fencing and gates may be rethought and represented in ways that emphasise organic form and contemporary design and materials.
Liam Gillick’s practice encompasses many activities including writing, curating, designing and teaching which all overlap to form a complex and multi-layered body of work. Gillick’s work is shaped by a very visual awareness of the way different properties of materials, structures and colour can affect our surroundings and therefore influence the way we behave. Gillick was awarded the first commission for a new outdoor sculpture court at Tate Britain. His installation Annlee You Proposes, comprised a video work and coloured sculptures which also functioned as furniture and was short listed for the Turner Prize 2002.
Gitta Gschwendtner is a designer working in a number of disciplines ranging from furniture design to interior and exhibition design with clients including Habitat, the V&A, the Wellcome Trust and the British Council. Her designs tend to have a narrative at their heart; the shape of an object being derived from such storytelling rather then styling. It is often the users’ imagination or physical interaction which completes Gitta’s work. Her design is about storytelling rather than styling “I enjoy design that has an idea or narrative at its heart,” she explains. “Humour and surprise are important ingredients too.”
Ilana Halperin is an American artist based in Glasgow where she is an Honorary Research Fellow at Glasgow School of Art. Her work explores the relationship between geological phenomena and daily life. Whether boiling milk in a 100 degree Celsius sulphur spring in the crater of an active volcano or celebrating her birthday with a landmass of the same age, the geologic history and environmental situation specific to the locale directly informs the direction each piece takes. Selected exhibitions and projects include the Sharjah Biennial 8, U.A.E.; Infinite Orogeny, Studio Visconti, Milan; Enlightenment: Collecting for the Future, Hunterian Museum, Glasgow; Where the Wild Things Are, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee; Nomadic Landmass, doggerfisher, Edinburgh; Drawing Links, The Drawing Room, London and a residency at the Camden Arts Centre.
Alex Hartley Well known for his encased photographs of the interiors of galleries, tower blocks and fictitious structures, Alex Hartley pursues in his work an innovative dialogue with iconic modernist architecture. He has developed monumental architectural installations that create a disorientating fictional space that both perplexes and seduces the viewer. Long interested in the relationship and interdependence between architecture and nature, Hartley most recently has produced photographic works with sculptural architectural elements built up on the surfaces, turning images of actual landscapes into surreal studies of fantastic architectural forms. He is represented by the Victoria Miro Gallery where he has been showing his work in a number of l exhibitions since 1995.
Walter Jack The Walter Jack Studio creates furniture and architectural elements for buildings and landscapes. The studio produces work for indoor and outdoor public spaces, making them feel and work better. Recent work includes Shipwreck Shed for Dagenham and Barking Council
Luisa Lambri Best known for her subtle images of architectural landmarks, Lambri uses sequential photographs to investigate the relationship between subjective experience and architectural space, noting the gradual shifts in light and atmosphere that change the mood of a place. Her work has been included in two Venice Biennales, 1999 and 2003 and in Living Inside the Grid at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York in 2003. More recently her work has been seen in The Fluidity of Time: Selections from the MCA Collection, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. She had a solo exhibition at The Menil Collection in Houston in 2004 and will have a one-person exhibition at The Baltimore Museum of Art in 2007 and at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art in 2008.
Christina Mackie’s sculptural work can currently be seen in the Art Now Sculpture Court at Tate Britain. She has exhibited as part of British Art Show 6 at Baltic and in Beck’s Futures at the ICA in London 2005. Mackie’s work is characterized by the use of disparate elements which are kept separate but held tightly together by their placing, proximity or association. Usually all the elements thus collated are dismantlable and complete in themselves. These objects would be made specifically (i.e. not found), and have included DNA, trees, paper-thin lamps, textiles, paper and moving images.
Nils Norman is informed by urban politics, traditions and histories of utopian thinking and ideas on alternative economic systems that can work within the city. For the past decade Nils Norman has been devising a series of imaginative proposals for improving urban living conditions through community-based initiatives. Nils Norman was born in Kent and grew up in Bexhill on Sea, a stone’s throw from the De La Warr Pavilion.
Dan Perjovschi is a Romanian artist whose work follows the tradition of political cartoonists’ drawings which link humorous observations of everyday life with ironic commentary. In 1999 Perjovschi represented Romania at the 48th Venice Biennale. In 2004 he was asked to be the unofficial artist at the Edinburgh Festival and created The Drawing Room in the Tate Members Room at Tate Modern in 2006.
Hans Stofer was born 1957, Baden Switzerland.
He is interested in the application of high and low tech materials and manufacturing methods to creative design. He studied Precision Engineering at Brown Boveri Technical College, Switzerland and a Masters in Jewellery and Design from the Zurich School of Art and Design. His work is exhibited and collected extensively both nationally and internationally. His recent exhibitions include Collect 06, Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2006); Koru2, South Karelia Art Museum, Lappeenranta, Finland (2006); Breakers, PM Museum, London (2006); Kreuge, Galerie Handwerk, Munich (2005); The Nomad Room, Dundacao Centro Cultural de Belem, Lisbon (2005); Maker Wearer Viewer, Macintosh Gallery, Glasgow (2005) and Ceremony, Pump House Gallery, London (2005). Hans Stofer’s work has been acquired by various international Collections including the Crafts Council, the Munich Danner Stiftung and the Schweizerisches Landesmuseum, Zurich. He has been awarded numerous prizes including the Zurich Applied Arts Award (1987), the Swiss Applied Arts Prize (1987/1989/1994), the Herbert Hoffman Prize for Jewellery (1995). In 2005 Hans was shortlisted for the Jerwood Prize for Metal.
Jair Straschnow was born 1965, Rehovot, Israel. Andl ives and works in Amsterdam.
Dutch/Israeli designer Jair Straschnow produces objects people can relate to – objects that will improve both the quality of life and of thinking.
‘A lot of my work starts with a loop, a ring. Out of one piece of metal I bend my designs without any joints. Visually, I think, there is something intriguing about that. We live in a world that is full of hierarchies. If you are able to climb up the ladder of society, you want to remain in the position you reach or even climb higher. In a loop there is no hierarchy. Because there are no welding points, every point in the loop is as important as the next one. If you cut it somewhere the whole thing collapses.’
Straschnow has exhibited internationally and past projects/exhibitions include Cascoland 2007, Drill Hall, Johannesburg (2007); a propos domestic things, Flow Gallery, London (2007); Bocht, Artus Gallery, Budapest (2006); 100%Design, Rotterdam (2006) and Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Korea (2003).
Matthew Tickle studied sculpture at Slade School of Art and has had a number of solo and group exhibitions both in the UK and abroad. His work Cambera Obscura, looking at the randomness of perception and illumination, was seen in a group show at Matt’s Gallery in 2005. He teaches Art & Architecture at the University of East London and is a visiting tutor in Sculpture at the Slade School of Fine Art and at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford.
Richard Wentworth was born 1947, Samoa and currently lives and works in London. Wentworth emerged as a major British sculptor in the early 1980s. His work centres on the idea of transformation, of subtly altering and juxtaposing everyday objects which, in turn, fundamentally changes the way we perceive the world around us. His palette is one of ladders and lightbulbs, buckets and tins, tables and chairs, sometimes with legs partly sawn off and counterbalanced by a weight as if to defy gravity. Richard Wentworth attended Hornsey College of Art from 1965 and worked with Henry Moore as an assistant in 1967. He was awarded an MA in 1970 from the Royal College of Art and went on to become one of the most influential teachers in British art over past two decades at Goldsmith’s College London, where he taught from 1971 to 1987. He was appointed by the prestigious German Academic Exchange Programme (DAAD) to work in Berlin from 1993 to 1994, and in 2002 was made Master of the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford University. Richard Wentworth was one of the selected artists in the London section of the 2002 São Paulo Biennial and in 1999 he curated Thinking Aloud, which was seen in Cambridge, London and Manchester.