As my project with Singapore Art Museum develops and we speed towards the resulting exhibition, I have been honoured to meet, be inspired by, and share stories with members of the Singapore community, including it's migrant workers.
This is a story I wanted to share before the exhibition, because it is one that goes further than art - this is a life of an individual, and he needs your help.
Throughout my practice, I have been fascinated by people’s stories, social memory and oral history. There is a warmth and kinship in connecting with people, hearing their stories and knowing that it took a lot of courage to talk about painful or life-changing experiences close to their heart. To understand another person’s existence, their joys, fears and learnings, forms an inherent and essential part of my artistic approach. Which is why the opportunity to take on the role of a mentor in the Art Programme at Changi Women's Prison is both special and valuable to my creative development.
Today I will share with you an interesting historical fact (plus a couple of interesting tangents). It’s not a religious post but this happens to be about a Saint – St. Paul, whose feast day is today: 29th June.
Earlier this year I exhibited this artwork which features St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The artwork is a symbol of human survival, resilience and courage, as well as making a stand, and having faith in ourselves and others. As a point of intersection between Singapore and London, the former Supreme Court of Singapore which is now National Gallery Singapore is said to take inspiration from Christopher Wren’s dome design for St. Paul’s Cathedral. Entitled Saint Pauls Survives (Ghosts of the past), this artwork is inspired by the photograph (also captioned ‘St. Pauls Survives’) published in newspapers after the night raid of 29/30 December 1940, the 114th night of the London Blitz of World War II.
I am very happy to announce that from January I was invited to take on the role of Giclee (Digital Fine Art Print) Ambassador at NPE Art Residency, where I just completed a wonderful artist residency in Singapore. What does this mean? I am advising the NPE in-house print experts on the needs of artists when it comes to printing archival, museum quality works. I am also helping to educate artists and galleries on the importance of high quality printing as I have a specialist knowledge in the area, so why not share it? I was thrilled to be interviewed by NPE Art Residency's founder Daryl Goh. Find the interview here.
RURU Gallery x Japan Foundation x Edwin’s Galleryproudly present:
FIELD TRIP PROJECT ASIA
Curated by Daisuke Takeya & Leonhard Bartolomeus
Opening reception Saturday, 1 April 2017, 16.00 – 19.00;
Exhibition daily 1 – 9 April 2016, 10.00 – 18.00
Field Trip Project Asiais an interactive socially engaging travelling art exhibition responding to recent natural disasters. Social media and the fast world of digital communication are making the world a smaller place where what happens thousands of miles away affect us all in different ways. Field Trip Project Asia aims to create awareness and provoke dialogues about various aspects of natural disasters and to connect people creating communities through compassion and art.
Earlier this year there was a moment which made my senses tingle as I saw the final print of this artwork emerge on its gorgeous paper, thanks to the printing experts at NPE Art Residency. It is my first digital fine art print in a long time, (an exclusive edition of 15, available at Intersections Gallery). I want to share with you the journey of this artwork... I had been working on sketches and maps of connections, creating vast drawings of webbed, intersecting lines. The artwork pairs with a poem called 'Museum of London' by Marc Nair. With my traditional pen on paper technique I drew my ideas from the lines on our palm which some people believe map our destiny; the interconnections on a family tree or a social network which map our now and our beginnings; as well as timelines which span back into history to connect us to multiple versions of the past.
This series entitled Artwork Focus is written by Shireen, giving her explorations of the artworks in the Intersection exhibition. Shireen is a writer, art assistant and visual arts organiser, who has gained unique insight through her visits to Nicola’s art studio, observing the creation process of the works. This article focuses particularly on the artwork After Oud.
After Oud is a collection of glass jars in different shapes and sizes that chooses Singapore’s Bussorah Street in Kampong Glam as muse. Within these jars, strings of words in blue and gold taken from Marc Nair’s poem of the same name (“After Oud”) dangle together. Like Marc, Nicola is inspired by Bussorah Street and its famous aromatic scent store that has served the Kampong Glam community for years.
An exhibition by Nicola Anthony, United Kingdom, and Marc Nair, Singapore. Part Two: 22 Feb – 5th March 2017. INTERSECTIONS Gallery, 34 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198892. Free Admission. RSVP on facebook event
In this second part of Intersection exhibition a new way of seeing is presented, and the curation presents a key to unlock hidden stories, meanings and messages within each artwork. It is not often you get insight into a large body of work like this from two perspectives, but for this exhibition curator Marie-Pierre Mol of Intersections gallery has decided to give the viewer a deeper understanding and a whole new way of looking.
Gotong Royong is a twisting, turning, tumbling, kinetic artwork, in which letters and words spill like loose sand. I am extremely proud to present this interactive piece in the exhibition, Intersection, a collaboration between myself and poet Marc Nair. Below I explain the art piece with a video and some insight into the creative process.
The idea of the daily prayer that is comparable to a voluntary routine practiced across different cultures and religions and transcends geographical boundaries, is emphasised through the work’s duality in display – in light and in darkness. Like the journey of the sun from dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn, traditions and practices exist in time and are rarely temporal.
The journeys across Singapore and Yangon that have inspired the creation of this work almost mimics the migration of the birds and their rotations inside the birdcage. This work is a reminder for us all: just as we are guided home “like flocks of birds”, our culture and traditions keep us grounded and remind us of our humble beginnings that have helped us shape our identity.
An exhibition by Nicola Anthony, United Kingdom, and Marc Nair, Singapore. 12 Jan 2017 – 11 Feb 2017. INTERSECTIONS Gallery, 34 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198892. Free Admission.
Intersection is an exhibition about an encounter between poetry and visual art through the work of poet Marc Nair and visual artist Nicola Anthony. The work maps an architecture of memory at the junction of three diverse cities: London, Singapore and Yangon.
Thank you to Singapore Art Week for listing Intersection exhibition in your lineup of events! This January, Nicola will present works in a collaborative exhibition with Singaporean poet Marc Nair at the Intersections Gallery that tackles geographies, names, stories and histories in three cities – Singapore, London and Yangon.