Week 6: I Am My Own Primal Parent

Finding an exhibition space for my final major project is no easy task. White walls, other exhibitors whose work may distract from the impact of my own, restrictions on how items may be displayed and hung and of course potential costs of hiring a venue and/or the commission the owners may require if work is to be sold and not just exhibited.

A visit to the KARST Gallery and studios in Plymouth (http://karst.org.uk/) on 2nd November to see how others display their work proved to be inspirational. Under the collective title I Am My Own Primal Parent a number of artists (many associated with New York and Brooklyn) presented sculptures, textiles, paintings, sounds, films and photographs on walls, hanging from the ceiling and rising from the floor in the large white rectangle and adjoining lobby space.

I Am My Own Primal Parent Exhibition KARST Gallery Exhibition 28.09.2018-03.11.2018

“I Am My Own Primal Parent

28.09.18 – 03.11.18
Astral beasts, galactic stunts, nightlife culturati, audiophiles and technophiles, absurdist neo-shamans and sacramental synesthesiacs comprise our I AM MY OWN PRIMAL PARENT exhibition, their bizarre prophecies, culinary listening, phantom phalli, trans-dimensional art-tourism and polymorphous nature castles and cults populate an impressive new terrain.

I AM MY OWN PRIMAL PARENT is by no means a show about sex, or simply sacred kink. For many of these artists, conjuring your PRIMAL PARENT comes down to human beings as conscious actors in a matrix of creation which is by nature, sensual, binding, and multidimensional. Many work in sound, and likewise create artworks in whatever medium as a series of energetic ebbs and flows, of union and discord. Relationships, environments and situations frame the basis of their creative objectives, leaving current Art discourse ill equipped to digest their paranormal dimensions. These works offer tethers connecting an invisible order to the visible order, visions from the front running prophets of a fast forward generation determined to let the false idols crumble to dust.
Please note this exhibition includes images and themes of an adult content. Parental discretion is advised.”(KARST 2018)

I liked the variety in using the walls ceilings and floors. Were finances no problem I could envisage fabrics hanging down from or draped across ceilings, floor to ceiling unframed images particularly of my Events Horizons growing series, some sculptures made from my collected beach debris on floors and walls and moving mobiles of Events Horizons images resembling the rotations of planets. Alternatively thinking outside the white box….all possibilities are being considered including investigating billboards and the sides of buses.
I did not fully connect with some pieces in the exhibition but found others drew me in to see how they were made and displayed ( Rebecca Goyette, 2014, ‘Dentate Umbrella’ and Adehla Lee 2018, ‘Serial Mom’ ) or because the presentation was intriguing and enticing (Jasmine Murell 2010, ‘ Calling all Moon Children Everywhere’) and in one case, mesmerising (Narcissister 2016, ‘Forever Young’). In relation to my beach debris project I related to the rusty cans and rugby balls recycled by Sol’Sax 2011, ‘My Afro-Deity Gets Down and Dirty in Contact Sports’. Described as a wooden sculpture I am left puzzled as the items used seemed to be exactly that and made of tin and rubber.

Rebecca Goyette 2014, Dentate Umbrella Soft Sculpture Dimensions Variable


Adehla Lee 2018, Serial Mom Site Specific Installation Dimensions Variable


Jasmine Murell 2010, Calling all Moon Children Everywhere Presented in various formats to publicise the exhibition
Jasmine Murell 2010, Calling all Moon Children Everywhere Photo Print 80x180x150cm


Narcissister 2016, Forever Young Digital video 5.36mins


Sol’Sax 2011, My Afro-Deity Gets Down and Dirty in Contact Sports Wooden Sculpture (Collection of Danny Simmons)


One regret I have is not knowing about this gallery sooner. I learned from a studio occupant that I had just missed a call for photographic images to be displayed in a future exhibition!

Week 2: National Marine Aquarium & Atlantic Project Plymouth

Booked into a two film Atlantic Project free event at the National Marine Aquarium on 5th October 2018 I was mistakenly directed to a behind the scenes tour. This was itself very interesting and all the more so as most participants in the tour party happened to belong to a Mensa group visiting from elsewhere in the country. Their additional knowledge of marine life added depth and breadth to that given by the tour guides who were very knowledgeable marine biologists who worked at the venue.

Although there was only a small display about beach debris and, prompted by myself, discussion of the harm caused by and potential solutions for this man-made problem, there are monthly lectures, beach clean activities and an extensive in-house and outreach educational programme (http://www.national-aquarium.co.uk/education/) which unavoidably and inevitably refer to the issues.

Sarah Newton 2018, Plastic Fantastic at the National Marine Aquarium







Sarah Newton 2018, Plastic Fantastic at the National Marine Aquarium

One of my reasons for visiting was to check out the location as a possible venue for my exhibition. Having the opportunity to see how Bryony Gillard and Ursula Biemann presented in this context would have been useful. I have since looked at their work online. Bryony explores jelly fish thinking through video, human performance and sounds in ‘A cap like water, fluid yet with definite body’ which is also linked with ‘Tentacular Thinking’. Body prints on latex hang from the ceiling of the exhibition space and people improvise movements in response to the screening of a film of jelly fish. I can visualise some of my images in projection on screens and on fabrics (eg towelling or a lighter silk that could move more easily) hanging and trailing in the exhibition space whether inside or outside. Ursula’s work ‘Acoustic Ocean’ was commissioned by the “Atlantic Project After the Future – in the wake of utopian imaginaries in Plymouth (UK) curated by Tom Trevor.” (The Atlantic Project 2018). The Atlantic Project was a pilot for a new international festival of contemporary art in Plymouth. Ursula’s film explores the sonic ecology of marine life in the cold North Atlantic (Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway). Her writings and videos tackling and portraying human and environmental concerns have received accolades world-wide. Such a shame I missed them.

I did, however, use the opportunity to take some images of relevance to my project. These images of jellyfish gave me the opportunity to experiment with processing and the differential impacts of various colours.


BIEMANN, Ursula. 2018. ‘Geobodies-Acoustic Ocean’. Available at: https://www.geobodies.org/art-and-videos/acoustic-ocean [accessed 01/11/18].

GILLARD, Bryony. 2018. ’A cap like water, fluid yet with definite body’. Available at: http://bryonygillard.co.uk/ [accessed 01/11/18].

NATIONAL Marine Aquarium Plymouth. http://www.national-aquarium.co.uk/ [accessed 01/11/2018].

THE ATLANTIC PROJECT. 2018. ‘After the Future’, 28th September-21st October 2018. Available at: https://www.theatlantic.org/pages/about [accessed 01/11/18].