The Artist as a migrant: From one Island to another

I feel it is time to share the reason why I make the work I do, to tell you a bit about my personal transcultural background. This is not written on my ‘artist bio’, but it is the thing that leads me to delve into the sometimes sensitive topics which I explore through art.

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Lookback: Two artworks about 'home'.

Here, Nicola shares some thoughts on the works she has created for EXPARTE, an exhibition curated by curator collective Something Human in London, 2015. Discussing themes of language, text and journey, she describes her interactive artwork ‘Six Thousand Moments’ and her piece ‘Constellation’.

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Share with me in Unexpected Happiness

Do you believe in serendipity? It often seems to me that the things which occur seem to be just the right thing - even if I don't know it at the time, I do believe that life's twists and turns have their purpose. That the lows help us value the highs. I experience lots of moments of unexpected happiness, small snatches of joy, which catch me unaware. I try to be open to this - noticing when something is wonderful or good, even if it's simply the pattern of a coffee spill that turned out to be quite beautiful - it's up to me whether to decide it's a mess to be mopped up or a chance for inspiration, (or perhaps a learning about the usefulness of coasters).  

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Time is like a river that flows from the past

Underground there are many unseen streams, tributaries and flows which lead into the river itself. On my calligraphy paper this becomes a metaphor for the invisible elements all around us in life that lead to the path we find ourselves on. Fragments from Marc’s poems float alongside the inky river banks.

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This goes further than art - this is a life which we could save

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.

 

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On Trust: Changi Women’s Prison Artist Mentor Programme (Yellow Ribbon Project)

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.

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Saint Paul’s Survives: The burned ink painting of London’s iconic Cathedral

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.

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Found Articles: The body as shelter - A conversation with Antony Gormley

This article has been inhabiting my mind for the past week - having re-read it's morsels of creative conceptual thought a few times, I believe it's an important interview for any contemporary artist or creative to be aware of. Coming from one of my major inspirations, Antony Gormley, are his thoughts on art, space, time, and the body. (Check out the original interview by Karlyn De Jongh here.)

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Inspirations: The Library of Babel

Whilst my artwork David Copperfield is being exhibited at Ikkan Art Gallery in Singapore, I wanted to share one of the inspirations behind the piece with you. It is a book called The Library of Babel, a short story by Argentine author and librarianJorge Luis Borges (1899–1986). The author imagines a universe in the form of a vast library containing all possible 410-page books of a certain format.

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Inspiration from Space

Just a quick post to say, you MUST check out new Google Space:http://workshop.chromeexperiments.com/stars/

(Don’t run it on IE, I suspect it will not work!)

I have spent an hour just skimming around between the stars and getting some kind of perspective on just how infinitesimal our solar system is in the grand scheme of things. Beautiful and humbling.

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A shift: London to Singapore

It’s been a while since I put fingertips to keyboard. As some readers, fellow creatives and friends will know, my efforts and braincells have been flurrying around over the last few months working to set up a second art studio in Singapore. Here, I will be creating a new body of artwork, as well as some exciting opportunities for other artists who will get the chance to take part in an exchange programme. Whilst time intensive, the process has involved forging many exciting new relationships and collaborations, meeting new people and discovering new places. I am delighted, amazed and overwhelmed to tell you that I am finally here: ensconced in my new art studio, equipped with a fresh horde of brushes, metallic pigments and ink pens, in the inspiring city of Singapore.

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The Spectacle of the London Olympic Ceremony 2012

I don't usually blog this sort of thing, but I was pretty impressed by this cultural spectacle. As were the hundreds of other watchers who had come to see the ceremony on the big screen at Greenwich royal naval college, which was a fantastic place to view it and a real display of the multicultural nature of London.

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Invisible in London: Understanding invisible art

Anyone living in London will have noticed that in preparation for the Olympic Games, a myriad of shiny new buildings, facades and artworks are materializing all over our City. This weekend I decided to bypass the luster and ostentation of new sights, and the glister of resurfaced old ones. I took a closer look at the things that have de-materialised, or are simply not there. (Like the Australian team bus that got lost somewhere between Heathrow and the Olympic Park last week, being spotted briefly somewhere around Buckingham Palace.)

I took a look at some invisible visions and the Hayward Gallery's exhibition Invisible Art of the Unseen...

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VIDEO: ‘World’s Largest Kinetic Art Sculpture’ Unveiled at Singapore Airport

The seemingly alive installation, composed of 1,216 bronze droplets attached to individual motorized pulleys, bobs and weaves in Terminal 1′s departure hall at Changi Airport. While some examples of airline art look like they could’ve used more planning (the Oslo wang) or boldness (or less boldness, as is the case with Denver International’s “evil robo-horse” and what-the-freak murals), this moving artwork is minimalism at its best.

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Contemporary Korean art at the Saatchi Gallery: YeeSookyung

The exhibition presents the largest survey of new Korean art to date, and highlights an exciting group of artists who have recently emerged on the global art scene, producing work that provides an arresting insight into the future of contemporary art in Korea. The show begins on 26th July, but if you pop into the gallery now you can see a taste of Korea coming through. Intricate oil paintings on aluminium surfaces by Hyung Koo Kang really draw you in, and beautiful 'translated vases' by Yeesookyung are growing in the lower gallery spaces. Made from 'ceramic trash', Yeesookyung's uncanny and bumpy objects have organic, bubbling forms featuring fragments of Korean patterned vases joined in a frankenstein-like manner to make new, growing forms.

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‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’: Rae Macken Talks Fairies and Contemporary Shakespeare

Custom/Practice are staging a slickly-edited, contemporary take on Shakespeare’s classic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream for this summer’s Almeida Festival. Artistic Director Rae Macken recently took a few minutes to chat about the cast, the setting and why those elements make this production of Dream unique.
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PANDAMONIUM: MELTING THE HEART OF EVEN THE MOST MISERABLE CYNICS

I REVIEWED THIS SHOW IN TREBUCHET MAGAZINE, SEE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE OR READ ON BELOW… “Sometimes an aesthetically appealing tiger cub or a quirky ladybird can overshadow the actual substance of the artwork” Byroglyphics, 'great sage 1' 55x76cm. Graphite and pastel on Paper.
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