On the occasion of the WE ARE HERE exhibition, join exhibiting artists Samson Kambalu and Luke Fowler as they discuss their works and artistic processes via Zoom.
Samson Kambalu is exhibiting I Take the Stairs to 1952, Cathedral, Superfly, I Take My Place in History, (2016), Single Channel SD 4:3 Video Colour, No SoundCourtesy of the artist, Kate MacGarry, London, British Council Collection.
Luke Fowler is exhibiting Depositions, (2014), B&W / Colour, Stereo, 4:3, 24 minutes, 32 seconds, Courtesy of the artist and LUX.
Samson Kambalu was born in 1975 in Malawi. He lives and works in Oxford where he is an Associate Professor of Fine Art and a lifelong fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford University. Kambalu's often irreverent fusion of social, national and artistic tropes and identities is intentionally mischievous and provocative. His aim is to skew our reading of cultural behaviour and customs and to seek out the areas where humanity meets. The artist grounds his multi-media practice in Nyau culture – a secret society of the Chewa tribe, Malawi, which is especially known for its ritual mask performances. Kambalu’s ‘Nyau Cinema’ is characterised by spontaneity, playfulness and a non-linear approach to time. Kambalu's proposal for the Fourth Plinth Commission, Antelope, will be presented in Trafalgar Square in 2022. Kambalu’s largest solo exhibition, New Liberia, was at Modern Art Oxford, May - September 2021. Samson Kambalu: Black Jack was an outdoor presentation of remixed flags on Mandela Walk, Southbank Centre, London in 2021. An exhibition of Kambalu’s work, Permanent Strike, was presented at Culturgest, Portugal, in 2021. Kambalu participated in The Athens Biennale 2021.
Kambalu featured in All the World's Futures, the 56th Venice Biennale, curated by Okwui Enwezor. His work has been included in numerous international exhibitions and projects including the Dakar Biennial (2014, 2016); Tokyo International Art Festival (2009) and Liverpool Biennial (2004, 2016). He has had solo exhibitions at Culturgest, Lisbon, Portugal (2021); Modern Art Oxford (2021); PEER Gallery, London, UK (2020); Mu.ZEE, Ostend, Belgium (2020); Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2016); Logan Centre, Chicago, U.S.A (2016); NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, U.S.A (2016); Kunsthalle Mainz, Germany (2016).
Samson Kambalu Image Credit: Jeremy Hibbert
Luke Fowler (b. 1978, Glasgow) is an artist, filmmaker and musician based in Glasgow. His work explores the limits and conventions of biographical and documentary filmmaking, and has often been compared to the British Free Cinema of the 1950s. Working with archival footage, photography and sound, Fowler’s filmic montages create portraits of intriguing, counter cultural figures, including Scottish psychiatrist R. D. Laing and English composer Cornelius Cardew.
Luke Fowler uses photographs, archival images and music, building experimental cinematic collages that ultimately deconstruct conventional thoughts about biography and documentary. The artist adopts the roles of artist, curator, historian, film-maker and musician, creating impressionistic portraits of intriguing counter-cultural figures. Montages of archival footage sit alongside new recordings, interviews, photography and sound, resulting in films which offer a unique and compelling insight into his subject. The viewer is drawn in and confronted with their own relationship to history and to film as an art form.
‘Luke Fowler’s films dwell on potentiality: what might be, what might have been, what might still be if the world were to turn in a different direction? But film time runs in many directions, as do arguments. Film made only recently can be easily confused with the archival vintage of washed-out or saturated tones and blurred edges.’ David Toop, 2014
WE ARE HERE: Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda and Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast announce a collaborative exhibition partnership presenting WE ARE HERE, SONGS OF A FORGOTTEN PAST Artists’ Moving Image from the British Council Collection and LUX.
Exploring themes of marginality and its representation, community, storytelling, world-building and critically reframing histories, these linked exhibitions present films from SONGS OF A FORGOTTEN PAST, one of five artists’ film programmes curated by Tendai John Mutambu for the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, and LUX, an international arts agency that supports and promotes artists’ moving image practices.
The two exhibitions and programme of events at Highlanes Gallery and Golden Thread Gallery are separate but in conversation with each other; different interpretations from different places, with visits from each side of the border of the island of Ireland, to the other gallery, offering a chance to see the films and broader exhibition from each other’s ‘here’.
For this exhibition Highlanes Gallery has invited a group of individuals, artists, and artist-teachers (at Second Level Education) from across the country, and lecturers from the Art and Design Initial Teacher Education Programme Team, Limerick School of Art and Design, TUS - Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest , to reflect on the work of the artists in SONGS OF A FORGOTTEN PAST and together curate an exhibition that reflects on the themes around the selection and select work from the Arts Council of Ireland’s Collection (celebrating 70 years in 2022), and the Drogheda Municipal Art Collection at Highlanes Gallery.
WE ARE HERE at Highlanes Gallery will include work from a range of media including moving image, sculpture, painting and photography and will include the work of artists Ayo Akingbade, Ursula Burke, Duncan Campbell, Tom Fitzgerald, Luke Fowler, Cliona Harmey, Anthony Haughey, Susan Hiller, Samson Kambalu, Brian Maguire, Colin Martin, Mairead O'hEocha, and Daphne Wright.
The activation and engagement of this curatorial group, who meet remotely across Zoom each Wednesday follows on from a ground-breaking project between Highlanes Gallery and the British Council in 2016 - In Sense of Place http://visualarts.britishcouncil.org/programmes/exhibition/in-sense-of-place-2016 where two student groups from two schools in Drogheda curated an exhibition from the British Council’s Collection and the Collection at Highlanes Gallery, with Every aspect of the exhibition undertaken by the students, including the selection of artworks, the research, the active talking and thinking about the connections between artwork in collections, the installation, the marketing, social media, and communications.
Mirroring this initiative, the curatorial group for WE ARE HERE (Highlanes Gallery) have been researching and engaging directly with artists, Highlanes Gallery director, Aoife Ruane, curator Tendai John Mutambu, and Ben Mulligan the Collection Manager at the Arts Council (Ireland) and will develop and take part in the public programme at Highlanes Gallery, and in collaboration with the Golden Thread Gallery during the run of the exhibition.
The group will continue to meet weekly and will be engaging artists, writers, educators, other curators, as well as student teachers of Art & Design, and Art Teachers at Second Level, and activating short and longer term actions and programmes with Highlanes Gallery.
Book your Zoom Spot through Eventbrite below:
Artists' Talk - Samson Kambalu, Luke Fowler - WE ARE HERE (Zoom)
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