Monday, 21 July 2008

brunswick triumph - andrea booker wins CUBE open

stop press...!!

i have waxed lyrical in previous journal entries about brunswick my tangled and disshevelled heartland, the mysterious moated kingdom on the edge of town whose inhabitants are amongst the most talented, creative and curious i have had the pleasure of meeting since i emerged dusty and bewildered from the archives of the museum just up the road. seeing the city and the new century through their eyes has been truly inspiring, their patient education and befriending of this old fossil a generous and unexpected bonus. it is always a pleasure to accompany any of these bright young things on one of their adventures and a pleasant self imposed duty to praise, draw attention or otherwise support their various endeavours and practices.

you might also recall that my last posting included some details of andrea booker's beautiful exhibition a long time ago at the chapman gallery, an output of her recent residency at the university of salford's fine art department, as well as a part of the lrm's marvellous get lost festival. only running for three days, i was lucky to catch a glimpse of this rather elusive artist's work - andrea, typical bluestocking, is rather shy of publicity preferring to work somewhat anonymously driven more by her private obsessions than for recognition or glittering prizes!

but the game is up for this brunswick stalwart and failed recluse...

andrea has just been announced as the winner of this year's CUBE Open. the judging panel made up of juneau projects, lucienne cole and kwong lee choose her from more than 100 applicants, selecting fourteen artists for this year’s exhibition.
their press release says,
'the artworks that will be exhibited offer differing meanings and parodies in relation to our own ‘displacements’ of identity conveyed through the urban landscape and architectural consequence.'
the preview is friday 1st august at 6pm at cube, and the exhibition will run from the 2nd august to the 6th september. it promises to be just as strong as last years cube open curated by hilary jack and paul harfleet of apartment, so do make sure you visit.
andrea will be artist in residence at CUBE in 2009 and receive a bursary of £1000 to support her practice. for more details about cube, their residencies, programme and exhibitions go to their website

congratulations miss booker. here's to a long overdue opportunity to see an even bigger and bolder a long time ago plus a glimpse into the processes, practices and reflections on the city from this emerging artist cum rescue archaeologist. her work eloquently illustrates that action really does speak louder than words, ironically and appropriately enough through the cherishing and displaying of abandoned lettering, their pathetic, patinated and frequently damaged appearance heightening the poignancy of their rescue.
against the pristine and clinical setting of the gallery and separated from their normal setting in the built environment performing their neon duties of advertising and announcing the commercial, the institutional and spectacular, the subliminal backdrop to our quotidien life, booker's practice reveals society's collective schizophrenia and identity crisis - the contradictory demands for newness and innovation, set against the mandatory veneration of vintage, the antique and 'authentic', the construction of self predicated on what we buy and own, the venues we frequent, our lifestyles and status signposted and directed at every turn.

...ooh and apologies to cube for any accidental pre-empting of their press release!! i'm just so excited...

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