Thoughts of Growth and Loss: A review of Martin Creed, What’s The Point Of It?

 

Sitdowncomedian, and I took ourselves to the Martin Creed show at the Hayward gallery. We were both struggling a little, heavy hearts for different reasons, but found it a perfect antidote.

It was the first time I’ve seen the breadth and the depth of Martin Creed’s practice*.

Until this point, it’s only ever been catalogues, a few displays in group exhibitions/biennales/etc and a ramshackle live performance at Goldsmiths. I
 think the man is pretty great, I just didn’t realise how much until this show.
 
The thing about this show is that you just have to see it. You don’t even need to know anything more about it than that.  
 
Which renders this post a little superfluous. However, I will do my best to write something about it, so that you can make a point of seeing it.
 

Succinctly, it’s a show about ascendence (and descendence).

In as many ways you can possibly think of.
 
The curators at the Hayward have done a shit-hot job of taking you on a journey along that simple-but-profound-idea and it is immensely satisfying.
 
It is also the busiest show I’ve seen in a while, because of the frenetic and prolific nature of his work.
Yet  because of the size and the purity of his investigations, it’s not cluttered or overstated. Which feels an odd thing to say about a show that repeatedly speaks about the same thing over and over and over again.
Because he comes at it from a variety of angles, it is clear and pure – crystalline.

A diamond says the same thing about carbon over and over again and is brilliant and dazzling, without being bloated or overstated.
This show is like that.
 
Yes, I know, I just compared Martin Creed’s show to a diamond.
Perhaps I am guilty of overstating.
 

Anyway, without giving too much of the show away, you can look forward to highs and lows, ups and downs in a gorgeous cascade of variety, including:
 
Colour spectrums (ascending light/colour)
Musical scales (ascending and descending) on the piano – played by the security staff
Towers of boxes (ascending space)
Towers of other objects (ascending form and line)
Phallic cacti getting bigger/smaller (natural order)
Cocks doing the same 
A newly erected wall (it’s all about getting it up)
Even the ramp was blocked off (for clear reasons to do with safety) and you had to climb up and down those stairs.

Up and down, up and down, again and again and again.


It sounds like a Doctor Seuss book in visual form.

Perhaps it’s exactly like that – filled with direct poetry, profound ideas and joy joy joy for the hell of it.

 
A couple of nice and fitting diversions from the theme include the massive swinging MOTHERS sign. It didn’t wow me that much the second time around, but it is a crowd-pleaser.
 
The funny film of a dog and a couple of people tracking back and forth across the screen. It could be arbitrary, but it seemed to be triggered by people crossing the space, which I liked. And a cool trick with a car doing something similar;

The wall of tape – which was sort of like a colour spectrum, but more linear and ridiculous. 
Nipples and arseholes/nautical installations and objects, which were lovely (although not quite as lovely as Sue Webster and Tim Noble when they do similar things);
 

And a special mention to The Balloon Room. Although I was in no state to really plunge into that fit of joy on that day, by all accounts it was pretty exciting, if not a bit claustrophobic (like the Gormley White Light room). It is an installation that finely balanced childlike and simple joy, with opportunity for deep anxiety. That takes a certain skill.

The great wall of broccoli prints did something similar, although rather than anxiety, it produced a clear fantasy about being Martin Creed’s Broccoli Assistant:

 
(at a party)
“Oh, nice to meet you, what do you do”
“I work for Martin Creed, I’m his Broccoli Assistant”

with the business card:


Lauren Brown

Broccoli Assistant
Martin Creed Studios
London, UK


See? The exhibition takes you to some absurd places, without being obtusely, or disrespectfully ironic (everyone knows how much I hate irony as the core of an artwork). And because it is so generous, it also leaves plenty of room to dislike works without feeling left out or hating the whole show.


Like all good art shows should.


If you want a flourish for the well-rounded experience at the Hayward, pop across the way and head into the Royal Festival Hall, to the Singing Lift. It features his permanent ascending/descending sound work, which overlooks a different perspectve of the balloon room.

In fact, this added exterior perspective of the show was great and not something I had seen in many shows at the Hayward. It was a reflection of an exhibition which concerned itself with entirety.


From the outside ‘car park’, you could see the image of the two dogs on the side of the opposite building, and from exterior balcony, you looked towards the towers of The Shed and the Tate Modern – which had similar forms to those seen instide. (I did have a little wish that the tower of the Tate Modern had been painted in a colour spectrum by him, so it would tie all in nicely across that southern bank.)


Anyway, you should go and see the show.  I’m going back for seconds soon.

*I always call him by his full name Martin Creed. Just Creed or just Martin seems weird to me.

Image: pinched from the martin creed site itself.

drawing sale 09

This year has been a very exciting, fullsome year with a lot of art projects done and countless hours of sleep lost.

It has now become a little tradition to have a sale of my drawings to give myself a chance at earning some money, and the people who have been instrumental in my art practice to own something of mine.

The series of works below are the indicatives, schematics and plans made in the process of a conceptual practice. And by buying one, you’ll be supporting an experimental art practice, which means you’ll get to keep reading this blog. :D. I think that’s a win-win, don’t you?

the deets
Most of the works are ink/gouache/pencil on watercolour paper (except the Marquettes – see below).
All prices are in pounds because, well, that’s what i did last year and it’s stuck.
All prices below are the unframed/framed prices and all include a small amount of postage – to cover my costs and nothing else. Framed works have a small mount with white frames.
If you have any requests or queries, of course you can email me: lauren at sheseesred dot com

—-

MPS_MapSmlW

MEASURE OF THE PUBLIC SOUNDTRACK PROCESS MAP (SML)
SIZE: 25 x 15cm
AMOUNT: £40 / £130

Drawing: Small

MPS_MapLgeW

MEASURE OF THE PUBLIC SOUNDTRACK PROCESS MAP (MED)
SIZE:43 x 30cm
AMOUNT: £100/ £220

Drawing: Med

LTC_IndicativeXSW
LISTENING TO THE CITY: INDICATIVE (X-SML)
SIZE: 15 x 10cm
AMOUNT: £40/£130

Drawing: Small

LTC_IndicativeI

LISTENING TO THE CITY: INDICATIVE (SML)
SIZE: 30 x 30cm
AMOUNT: £40/£130

Drawing: Small

DTC_Indicative

DANCING TO THE CITY: INDICATIVE
SIZE: 30 x 30cm
AMOUNT: £40/£130

Drawing: Small

EDZ_IndicativeLgeW

EMERGENCY DANCE ZONE: INDICATIVE (DETAIL)
SIZE: 20 x 30cm
AMOUNT: £40/£130

Drawing: Small

EDZ_IndicativeSmlW

EMERGENCY DANCE ZONE: INDICATIVE
SIZE:30 x 30cm
AMOUNT:£40/£130

Drawing: Small

CoSI_Plan

CONE OF SILENCE I: PLAN (SML)
SIZE:30 x 25cm
AMOUNT: £40/£130

Drawing: Small

CoSI_Plan

CONE OF SILENCE I: PLAN (LGE)
SIZE: 54 X 76cm
AMOUNT: £200/£380

Drawing: Large

CoSI_SchematicSMLW

CONE OF SILENCE I: SOUNDPROOFING SCHEMATIC (SMALL)
SIZE: 20 X 30cm
AMOUNT: £40/£130

Drawing: Small

CoSI_SchematicW

CONE OF SILENCE I: SOUNDPROOFING SCHEMATIC (LARGE)
SIZE:54 x 76cm
AMOUNT: £200/£380

Drawing: Large

CoSII_PatternSml

CONE OF SILENCE II: PATTERN (MED)
SIZE: 37 x 47cm
AMOUNT: £100/£220

Drawing: Med

CoSII_MapW

CONE OF SILENCE II: PERFORMANCE MAP (MED)
SIZE: 43 x 30cm
AMOUNT: £100/£220

Drawing: Med

CoSII_MarquetteIW
CONE OF SILENCE II: MARQUETTE I (EDITION OF 3)
PHOTOPRINT ON WATERCOLOUR PAPER
SIZE: 30 x 15cm
AMOUNT: £40/£130

Drawing: Small

CoSII_MarquetteIIW

CONE OF SILENCE II: MARQUETTE II (EDITION OF 3)
PHOTOPRINT ON WATERCOLOUR PAPER
SIZE: 30 x 15cm
AMOUNT: £40/£130

Drawing: Small

CoSII_IndicativeIIW

Drawing: Small

CoSII_Sketch2W

Drawing: Small

CoSII_Indicative

Drawing: Small

CONE OF SILENCE II: INDICATIVE SKETCHES
SIZE: 30 x 20cm / 30 x 30cm
AMOUNT: £40/£130

plus..

First Print

CANDYSTRIPERS: MULTIPLE
SIZE: 54 X 76cm
AMOUNT: £140

thanks for subscribing to she sees red by lauren brown. xx

buying time

StockDsml.jpg

hey kids!

it’s that time of the year where we all want to buy art!

yay!!

and i bet you wanna know where to go to do that right?

yeah!

OK, well, tomorrow night (thursday), i have some small works in the RMIT new collectables:

RMT new collectables auction
first site gallery
344 swanston st
melbourne
thursday 10th december, 6:30pm.
with store-room sales on friday 11th.

ooh..

then on monday, i’ll have some more small works at the seventh gallery fundraiser:

seventh gallery sell-out sale!!!
gertrude st
fitzroy
monday 14th december
6pm
$40 gets you a red dot to put on any artwork you like.
first in, best bargains.

aah…

and remember last year’s drawing sale on she sees red? well, i’m doing it again this year.

yay!

this year i have a range of small, medium and large works – to suit all kinds of tastes and budgets.
plus i’ve got us some good deals on framing – so if you’re into framed works, there’s a choice for that too.

it’ll all be online here on friday (11th), so come back then.
please.

thanks for subscribing to she sees red by lauren brown. xx

drawing and fundraising

ok peeps, i’ve been doing some drawing work to compliment my more conceptual (and mostly uncollectable) work , as mentioned in my previous post. and as a way to raise funds for my upcoming reconnaissance mission to london/europe, i’ve decided to put them up for sale. here. now.

so, if you’ve ever wanted to buy a small work to support an emerging contemporary artist, or if you’re a friend of mine and want to see me in london next week, please buy a work.

there’s a paypal button for each work, so you can just pay with paypal/credit and if you’re in melbourne, london, manchester, hamburg or paris, delivery is free and in person. if you live elsewhere, we’ll sort something out.

all works are approx 200 x 150mm (7.5″ x 6″), on acid-free watercolour paper, signed and are £25 each. that, my friends is a bargain.

[and for those without a conversion widget on their dashboard, converts to approx AUD$50, US$36, €27 and CNY250]

1. 25 x 25
ink, progresso on paper

25 x 25
ON HOLD

2. the laneway
ink on paper

Laneway
SOLD

3 – 6. Felt Landscapes I – VI
dye and pigment on paper

Felt Landscape I

Felt Landscape II

Felt Landscape III
SOLD

Felt Landscape IV

7. Patterning a corner [aka ‘That’s Me in the Corner’]
pencil and charcoal on paper

Thats Me In The Corner
SOLD

8. Millenium Bridge
Ink on paper

Millenium Bridge
SOLD

9. Pop
Pastel, charcoal and pencil on paper

Pop
SOLD

10 – 12. Nine Funerary Urns (edition of 3)
Ink and gouache on paper

Nine Funerary Urns
1/3 – ON HOLD

2/3 and 3/3 still available

13 – 18. Black Felt Landscapes, I – VI
Gouache on paper.

Black Felt Landscape I

Black Felt Landscape II
ON HOLD.

Black Felt Landscape III

Black Felt Landscape IV
SOLD

Black Felt Landscape V

Black Felt Landscape VI

19. Abracadaver Schematic
Ink on paper

Abracadaver Schematic

20. Swarm
Ink on paper

Swarm
SOLD

thanks for subscribing to she sees red by lauren brown. xx