15.09.14 – 11.10.14
Julia Muggenburg is pleased to announce the exhibition ‘Protected Space’ which pairs the artists Jonathan Baldock and Coco Crampton and their site specific work, that stems from the conception of the hand held fan. Fans are curious objects that have spanned millennia and have been used to give a sense of shelter, to fan air and fire and to conceal from the sun.
A mechanical sculpture that became more ornate over time and was made from a multitude of materials as diverse as the cultures that used them. Imagery was introduced depicting legends and stories, such as high and low scenes of Arcadia until finally it was used as a form of advertising novelty goods; perfume, air travel, restaurants etc, which were hand painted or printed on to them to carry the message. Its structure was based and evolved from the shape of a leaf.
What began in nature and evolved as a complex device ends up now as obsolete due to the demands of today. Looking at fans one easily connects to its multifaceted functions, however we must not forget that in Europe an actual language of the fan etiquette existed which allowed individuals to conduct secret communications and silent flirtations.
The artists have divided up the Belmacz space to create a sympathetic dialogue around this theme and its conditions. Both are concerned with the tensions and dilemmas that lie between form and function.
Jonathan Baldock’s multi facetted and multi disciplinary practice; sculptures, costumes and masks that are worn in performances are all a form of transformation, which is a reoccurring theme in his work. His costumes become a new skin to live in, a place of concealment and protection, the masks a place where you can “be yourself”.His sculptures are like totemic devices that invite one to interfere or tamper with. Baldock creates a visual language using ordinary materials that are more commonly used by a crafts person, bringing the materials and costumes to life by the performative side of his practice.
Coco Crampton is influenced by and borrows aspects of pre-existing design, for instance Ernest Race’s ‘Penguin Donkey Mark 2’ bookcase. Crampton said that she “wanted to hijack the form of Race's design but not the function”. Crampton removes the function of her objects whilst simultaneously giving the idea of utility and use, re-imagining dwelling spaces or places of social encounter. Rendering bold, simplified pieces that become subtle, emotional carriers of the artist’s imagination.
10.09.14 – 07.12.14
Fourth Drawer Down at The Small Collections Room, Nottingham Contemporary
Julia Muggenburg is pleased to announce the exhibition Fourth Drawer Down which was conceptualised for The Small Collections Room.
Muggenburg is interested in how art, self-adornment, objects of virtue or general use, historic and archaeological finds inform one another to give a kaleidoscopic view of life in what she terms as eccentric Britain.
The title of the show stems from the second album of the Scottish band The Associates, released in 1981.
Muggenburg explores the notion of constructed identity through her personal collection as well as the mechanism of the Wunderkammer as a contemporary idea and method of display. The collection reflects upon the intersection between art and anthropology, where historically the Wunderkammer was seen as a microcosm of the world beheld by a single person.
Showing diverse arrangements Muggenburg is highlighting their use, symbolism, cultural and historical meanings. From the anthropomorphic Mayan painted terracotta Mother and Child Whistle or an English hand-turned Blue John Bell Pulley, to silver Mast Coins used on warships as a maritime tradition to act as motivation and reward for canonnier; the show intends to engage the viewer.
Ancient materials and shapes are an influence on the Belmacz jewels Muggenburg creates, often using special materials like Whitby jet or fossilized dinosaur bone.
Muggenburg’s keen interest in innovative artists of today drives her to seek art works that strike her as interesting and a catalyst for change.
The artists who have contributed works to Fourth Drawer Down are: