An exhibition by Nicola Anthony, United Kingdom,
and Marc Nair, Singapore
12 Jan 2017 – 11 Feb 2017
INTERSECTIONS Gallery, 34 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198892
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.
A recipient of the 2016 Young Artist Award, Marc is a poet, spoken word performer and photographer inspired by his many travels around the world. Nicola is a British artist who grew up in London, with family originating from India who is currently based in Singapore. She often creates text-based art and uses innovative processes to create her artworks, light sculptures, and kinetic art.
The exhibition has been three years in the making and both artists took time to journey to each city to engage in field research. Nicola’s artworks reflect and even embed Marc’s poems and, in turn, the poems evolve in response to Nicola’s artworks in a creative dialogue.
The exhibition consists of installation works and drawings. An artist book, based on the exhibition, is also part of the project and will be launched on the opening night of the exhibition. It is printed as a limited edition risograph, a technique resulting in exquisite pages with the feel of handmade screen prints.
In this show, Marc’s poems organically bloom in everyday objects which are displaced by Nicola to enter into the art realm. As an example, To Mecca, a poem which reminds us that Kampong Glam was once the pilgrim hub for Southeast Asia, is written onto a ship and imprisoned in a bottle. Referring to history and strata of memories, drawings hide themselves in layered artworks such as Merchant Road, whilst in others such as After Oud, laser-cut letters are displayed in glass vessels like objects in a cabinet of curiosities.
Throughout her career Nicola has made extensive use of paper and text in experimental forms such as her signature technique of hand burning her drawings with incense sticks; which in Intersection subtly refers to themes of faith and death. In other pieces, when Marc’s poems address the passage of time and change, the dilution of watercolour ink on calligraphy paper epitomises the constant transformations of the cities and the ephemeral nature of life.
By comparing cross-sections of neighbourhoods in their home cities of London and Singapore, and in a completely new city, Yangon, Marc and Nicola strive to express the secret links which bind personal and national stories. Ultimately they show how a universal dimension exists in any personal experience, transcending time and space
Part of this exhibition, a sculpture-installation titled Observatory, (2m x 2m x 2m), will be showcased at Singapore Contemporary Art Fair (Suntec Singapore and Convention Centre, from 20 to 22 January). The installation will then relocate to Intersections gallery for the second half of the exhibition.
Observatory is an immersive, interactive installation made from thousands of paper scrolls and light. Observatory references the bird’s nest and the honeycomb structure of a beehive- a space that visitors can step inside to observe themselves and the world around them: a chamber of observation.
For Observatory Marc Nair has written a series of short poems as part of the artwork. These are ‘windows’ into moments and lives, observed through the yearning of time and distance. Visitors are free to pick up these poetic fragments from the nest, and even leave their own pieces behind.
Both the book and the exhibition are supported by funding from the National Arts Council. Nicola Anthony’s artworks were created while she was artist in residence at the NPE Art Residency.
Nicola Anthony (b.1984) is a British artist living in Singapore and working internationally. Her current work is made through assemblages, drawing, or through burning into calligraphy paper using incense sticks.
Born in London, she studied at University of the Arts London (CSM) and Loughborough University. She is an artist in residence at the NPE Residency Programme based in Singapore. She is also exhibiting at the Bonington Gallery Exhibition Space in Nottingham until December 2016, whilst in Indonesia her travelling sculpture Great Soul has been shown at the cultural platform Gudang Sarinah Ekosistem in Jakarta and is currently exhibited at the Aceh Tsunami Museum. Earlier this year she has been showcased at Singapore Art Week in which her sculpture Nest was commissioned by the National Art Council.
Nicola’s artwork is widely collected and exhibited both in the UK and around the world, through galleries, art fairs and museums. Nicola also creates public sculptures, her latest being commissioned for Marina Bay in Singapore, and Sentosa Island.
Around the world Nicola has exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery Project Space (London), the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (USA), Shinjuku Creators Fiesta (Tokyo), & featured in shows around Asia and Europe. Her artwork has received sponsorship from Tate Britain, and has been exhibited in Tate Modern’s ‘No Soul for Sale’.
Marc Nair (b.1981) is a poet and photographer from Singapore. He is a recipient of the 2016 Young Artist Award. He has published six volumes of poetry and has been featured in numerous anthologies both print and online. His latest collection is Spomenik, a series of poems and photographs from the Balkans.
A seasoned poetry slammer, he has performed spoken word for over ten years in more than ten countries and has represented Singapore in international poetry slam competitions. He is also a founding member of local spoken word troupe, Party Action People.
Marc was the 2015 Writer-In-Residence at Gardens by the Bay and is the 2016-17 NTU-NAC National Writer in Residence.
Marc is also a musician who sets his poems to music. To date, he has released two spoken word albums with his band, Neon and Wonder, and has collaborated with well-known Singapore musicians such as Bani Haykal, weish and Tim De Cotta.
He is the co-founder and principal photographer of Mackerel, a culture magazine.
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