GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE   The new museums challenge

GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE The new museums challenge

Last week’s TaitMail, https://www.artsindustry.co.uk/taitmail/1661-taitmail-no-business-like-being-a-curator, prompted by the appointment of a shipping executive as director of the Royal Museums Greenwich, brings a response from Roy Clare CBE, former director of the National Maritime Museum and later CEO of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and then director of Auckland War Memorial Museum in New Zealand

£250k to lend national treasures

£250k to lend national treasures

The loan programme that helps museums around the country borrow objects and works of art from national collections is open for bids for next year.

TAITMAIL  Garrick, and how not to commemorate

TAITMAIL Garrick, and how not to commemorate

I’m glad Nigel Hinds got an OBE in the Birthday Honours for being executive producer of 14-18 NOW - his boss, Jenny Waldman, got her CBE 18 months ago – underlining the triumph of the marathon commemoration. We haven’t always been so good at it.

BP protestors bar NPG awards guests

BP protestors bar NPG awards guests

Protestors against the BP sponsorship of the National Portrait Gallery’s annual portrait award prevented guests from entering the main entrance at the gallery last night, forcing them to clamber over a railing to get in.

‘Sack BP’ portrait judge Hume tells NPG

‘Sack BP’ portrait judge Hume tells NPG

On the eve of its annual BP Portrait Awards, the National Portrait Gallery has been told to cut connections with the oil company by one of this year’s judges, the artist Gary Hume.

Congratulations…

Congratulations…

…to arts and heritage names in the Birthday Honours List

Shakespeare’s future home

Shakespeare’s future home

Local Stratford-upon-Avon residents are being asked for their visions of their town’s future in a public art project, I See the Future,.

Wayne Hemingway involved in new Flaxmill plan

Wayne Hemingway involved in new Flaxmill plan

Designer will brand restored Shrewsbury heritage building

Ex-shipping chief to run Greenwich museums

Ex-shipping chief to run Greenwich museums

Paddy Rodgers, former CEO of the Euronav shipping company, one of the biggest in the world, is to be the new director of Royal Museums Greenwich, having had no previous experience in museums management.

Dixon to stand down at NHM

Dixon to stand down at NHM

Sir Michael Dixon has announced that he is to retire as director of the Natural History Museum after 15 years.

Drawn from the life: the world’s first robot artist

Drawn from the life: the world’s first robot artist

Meet Ai-Da, the world’s first realistic humanoid robot artist, who opens her first solo exhibition on June 12.

THE WORD    Could we make arts boards better?

THE WORD Could we make arts boards better?

No-one has better insight into the work of the arts boards than Prue Skene CBE, who as well as serving on and chairing many boards is governance associate of the Clore Leadership Programme. Last November we reported on the launch the CLP of the Cultural Governance Alliance, but she believes arts boards need a fundamental rethink, and here suggests how they could change for the better

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

THE ART OF PHOTOJOURNALISM Image of the month

Splashdown, 4thTest v Australia, 27thAugust 2005, by David Ashdown for The Independent

Russell Group puts arts on equal footing

Russell Group puts arts on equal footing

Top universities scrap "preferred" subjects list

Ex-Tesco boss backs Liverpool arts school

Ex-Tesco boss backs Liverpool arts school

Former Tesco chief Sir Terry Leahy has invested in Liverpool’s performing arts school the Liverpool Media Academy, LMA.

New boss at Kendal arts centre

New boss at Kendal arts centre

Miriam Randall moves from Watershed to Brewery Arts

The booming arts economy needs more public funding

The booming arts economy needs more public funding

Public investment in the arts through subsidy is paying dividends for the British economy, contributing almost £11bn a year, according to a new report from the Creative Industries Federation. But it needs more.

Forest stories

Forest stories

Artist film maker Amanda Loomes is finishing a work that will uncover secrets of our forest industries

London’s other rivers

London’s other rivers

The capital has been shaped by its natural waterways, as a new exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands reveals

Into the woods for Grange Park Opera

Into the woods for Grange Park Opera

There are two Grange opera festivals this summer, based at two different country houses in Hampshire and Surrey, both created by the conductor Wasfi Kani. Simon Tait visited the newest

MY STORY    Helping artists to value themselves

MY STORY Helping artists to value themselves

Jerwood Arts’ new director, Lilli Geissendorfer, has introduced three new funds to the charity’s operations, and for one is announcing bursary beneficiaries whose careers could be shaped by them.

Heritage high streets get £62m boost

Heritage high streets get £62m boost

High street buildings are to be turned into creative spaces thanks to a new £62m government fund, the Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport has announced.

Hogarth, the noisy painter

Hogarth, the noisy painter

A new exhibition at the Foundling Museum takes a single painting of 18th century life as its subject

First affordable CEZ artists’ studios open

First affordable CEZ artists’ studios open

Eighty-five affordable artists’ studios have opened in Deptford, South London, as part of the Mayor of London’s Creative Enterprise Zone scheme.

MY STORY Out of the shadows

From street art to being collected by celebrities such as Antonio Banderas and Ronan Keating, Lhouette has had a meteoric career as a pop artist whose work sells for thousands. Earlier this year he made the news with a solo exhibition at a five star Mayfair hotel. Now he has a new collection, Beyond

Your real name is Ciaran Robinson. Why change it and where did your new name come from?

When I left the Royal Navy 10 years ago, aged 22, some of the first works of art that I started creating were outlines of the female form in differing poses. I was quite prolific with these, but at the time I was still quite unsure of whether I wanted to put my name to anything - or whether the work was any good - so I tagged it with a pseudonym Lhouette taken from “Silhouette”. A lot of collectors think maybe I'm French. 

Have you always painted – where did you train and how did you get started?

I would say I've always been creative and had that urgency to make things. At school I excelled in art and design was told I should pursue it as a career. I did three weeks in art college but dropped out due to my difficult circumstances at the time, and   I didn't see art as viable career choice. Also, I longed to travel so signed myself over to the Royal Navy. After the Navy I had a long, hard think about what it was I wanted to do, and it always came back to the arts. I began quite blindly and modestly using old scraps of salvaged wood and industrial throw outs as canvas. I had a friend who worked in a garage at the time so he would fix me up with body shop aerosols paints. The work at the time, I guess, you would class as outsider, really surreal subject matter, little illustrated characters among elements and appropriated imagery from stencils made from an A4 printer. I didn't really have anywhere to display or showcase the work so I set about putting together a group pop up exhibition called “Jumble Fresh” in 2008 in Luton with friends that had carried on with their studies from school in various creative fields, and advertised on a few online platforms for submissions from other practising artists in the area. It was success and provided a much-needed platform for local creatives; off the back off this first show I set up a permanent studio space, “Jumble Fresh Creative Studios” in Dunstable Town where I continued with my creative practice along with hosting exhibitions and workshops.

What was it about the East End street scene that first inspired you, and what was your big break?

I spent a lot of time with my brother and friends in East London when I first left the navy. it had huge creative energy, especially Shoreditch with its pop up galleries and its street art scene around Brick Lane - huge posterised murals from the likes of Shepard Fairey had me in awe. The place was a big influence - the urban arts spoke to me particularly as being very raw and a seemingly self-taught practice executed in the same DIY mediums that I was already experimenting with (aerosols/stencils/raw canvas). Street art was my main and first major influence before the realisation that street art is in a way an evolution of pop art in terms of it challenging traditional fine art techniques and often appropriating images and commenting on popular culture. 

I guess my big break (in terms of wider recognition) came in the form of representation in 2011 from a fine art agency who helped establish my work in a number contemporary galleries which resulted in a run of successful solo exhibitions, and my association with The Dorchester Collection and recent residency/exhibition at 45 Park Lane.

But your studio is still not in the fashionable East End milieu where galleries abound, why not?

My new studio outside my hometowns of Luton and Dunstable is a cool, creative, outpost close to a nature reserve. It's a great environment to focus in and create new work. I've recently gone independent from my publisher of five years - I felt that the relationship had outgrown what they could offer me in terms of development, and after the success of 45 Park Lane that there was a pressure to over produce, so now I'm working closely (still in a conventional way) with specific contemporary galleries that have a great understanding of myself as an artist and articulate and represent the work well. However, I suppose in a non conventional way I also work with a well known London celebrity PR and marketing organisation who help me discover new and exciting non-gallery based projects.

The success of the show at 45 Park Lane was one of the driving factors that made me decide to become an independent artist and create a new studio space, mainly to safeguard myself and continue to develop as an artist without the temptation to overproduce original works, and I suppose the accreditation from such an iconic institution such The Dorchester Collection is quite a cool thing to have on your CV. It has also resulted in a few new notable collectors.

Pop art, from Richard Hamilton to Deborah Azzopardi, has been exploited over half a century. Can it develop further?

I think in its definition pop art will always be popular - consumerism, advertising celebrity still dominates many of our realities so will remain a subject for expression. There is always crossover in styles - it's whether that is intentional or not that is important, and to keep trying to develop your own ideas and the way you convey them. I think it will continue to develop. I touched earlier on how I believe street art is an evolution of pop art, and that's a significant development in style and delivery but still the same premise (maybe a little more antagonistic in its approach). Our interaction with pop culture through the digital world interests me and is probably the next evolutionary step from traditional pop art in some form. “Post internet art” is making grounds on this already.

What is the theme of your new collection, how many pictures are there and how long has it take to complete it?

Beyond is made up of a very small body of work and is more a of a tag line for the first pieces leaving the new studio, all of which have had more time allocated with focus on the application of imagery (going beyond previous works).  The two key pieces from this collection would be Tokyo Dreaming and Emergency Credit (illustrated). It took me a good few months to complete both. Tokyo Dreaming is a contrast piece based on my earlier silhouetted styling from some of my travels around the world, the familiar comic pop themes along with some more unfamiliar eastern themes, disciplined outline with contrasting neo-anarchic fill. Emergency Credit is a piece that references less known imagery and features symbolisation towards my childhood experiences as opposed to leaning too heavily on iconic themes.

http://www.lhouette.com

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