Ink and Blood Exhibition

Saturday 14th October 2017 – International Museum of Slavery

I visited the International Museum of Slavery in Liverpool to see the Ink and Blood Exhibition being held there as part of the Black History Month. Below are the pieces that caught my attention the most.

Cotton Slave Adam and Cotton Slave Eve by Alice Kettle

“Alice Kettle is a contemporary textile/fibre artist based in the UK. She has established a unique area of practice by her use of a craft medium, consistently and on an unparalleled scale. The scale of her work belies their component parts: individual tiny stitches, which combine to form great swathes of colour, painterly backgrounds incorporating rich hues and metallic sheen.” Sara Roberts

She trained as a painter, and has work represented in many international collections.

Timalle by Francois Piquet

Mounpapyé series

Paper, Resin, Iron Blades, Mirror, 2011

“Timalle”: a writing game on the Creole “Timal” (little male), which means “boy”, and is a very affectionate way to call a man or a young man.

Timalle (lit. “small trunk”) is a reminder of the status of “movable property” defined for slaves by the “Black Code”.

Timalle is presented at the exhibition “LE FER & LA PEAU”, which also includes the projection of 3 videos, including “Timalle”.

“Timalle”: 5’20s movie. The story of “Timalle”, series Mounpapyé, figure of the West Indian society. Watch the movie – see the movie.

This film and the filmed sculpture are traces of an artistic process: the transformation of “Timal” to “Timalle”.

Timalle is part of the collection of the FAC, Contemporary Art Fund of the General Council of Guadeloupe.

Download the Slavery Crimes Victims Reparations Application form at
Reparation forms / Iron & skin
A film by François Piquet, 2017.
Images François Piquet & Nicolas Merault.
With the support of DAC Guadeloupe, Conseil Régional de la Guadeloupe, International Slavery Museum of Liverpool.
“Ink & Blood” exhibition at International Slavery Museum of Liverpool

UK Diaspora (2007) by Kimathi Donkor

I was really interested to see how this map had been created from cultural remembrances and this has inspired me to look more conceptually at the topic of being separate from one’s homeland, and the issues that can be visually represented through the use of a “map”.

Donkor was born in BournemouthEngland, in 1965.[3] He has said of his background: “I was born in the UK to an Anglo-Jewish mother and Ghanaian father, but was raised by my adopted parents who were from Jamaica and the UK. We lived for a time in Zambia, Central Africa, where my adopted dad worked as a vet. I finished my schooling in the west of England, then moved to London, where I eventually settled. In the meantime, my adopted parents had divorced and remarried, so the family diversity actually increased, as Zambians also joined the party. This smörgåsbord life induced an early sense of the wondrous, and sometimes maddening, complexity of identities and histories, which, I think, has been reflected in my artworks. Precisely because I was such an intimate witness to the multiple crossings and re-crossings of stories, images and journeys from around the world.”[4]

Breaking the Shackles – Freedom

This original sculpture by a group of Haitian artists represents their continuing struggle for freedom and human rights. The sculpture was commissioned by international development charity Christian Aid and National Museums Liverpool to mark 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade in 2007.

The Freedom! sculpture, made out of recycled objects such as metal car parts and raw junk found in the dangerous slums of the capital, Port-au-Prince, was created by young Haitians and sculptors Eugène, Céleur and Guyodo from Atis Rezistans in collaboration with Mario Benjamin, an internationally renowned Haitian artist who has represented his country at Biennials in Venice, São Paulo and Johannesburg.

Frieze 2017


This was my first visit to Frieze London and I was a bit unsure what to expect. I knew that there were over 160 galleries exhibiting, however, I completely under estimated the sheer size of this exhibition and I can barely begin to imagine the extent of the organisation required to make such an event happen.

I will say though that there were aspects of this exhibition I was disappointed with. We had been lead to believe that the displays in such an exhibition were something to aspire to, however it was very clear that a lot of galleries were not completely organised or ready for the opening of the exhibition. There were many pieces of artwork that were simply not labelled, others where the labelling had I suppose not been done, so the galleries wrote the artist names on the walls in pencil. Some galleries had handouts describing the work they were exhibiting and many had no handouts whatsoever.

We were lead to believe there would be catalogues freely available with curatorial introductions. The galleries did have these, however they did not want to hand them out. In terms of information gathering, this made it somewhat difficult.

Friday 6th October 2017 – Frieze London

Frieze London features more than 160 of the world’s leading galleries. View and buy art from over 1,000 of today’s leading artists, and experience the fair’s critically acclaimed Frieze Projects and Talks programmes

The following pieces, I found to be particularly interesting.

IMG_0807The first piece that caught my attention
is called Map 1 by Alexandra Bricken
and was made in 2016 from Cotton,
Polyester and Silk.

Alexandra Bircken’s unmonumental stretcher frame sculptures are informed by her background in fashion design and interest in the radical aspects of handmade culture. A fragmentary array of irregular objects and organic shapes, often coloured by the artist, is hung and displayed on strings and aluminium rods.

The Hinged View by Olafur Elliason created interesting optical effects and was a mesmerising piece to view.

Olafur Eliasson created the beloved sun in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, and this work possesses a similar capacity to make you gasp. Six glass orbs sit on elegant black stands. Approach from one side and they are completely black, but then as you walk past they magically turn into the rainbow colours.

You see yourself upside down within the balls, which conjures the idea of the eye, and images (made of light) being inverted when they hit the retina. Then, as you continue walking to the other side, another magical change: the colour drains and the balls appear to become clear glass.

No artist is better at creating sensory wonder through distilling scientific ideas, and this take on the nature of vision is, well, visionary.

The fragments of rock from the moon were quite interesting to me, given that at this moment in time I am considering recording land mass through the use of a profile or object that relates to a country.

Having seen the work of Nicholas Hlobo at the Tate Modern, I was really interested to see his work displayed at Frieze.

The following piece, I could find no label for, however found it to be very interesting from a mapping perspective.

The following prints were an imaginative representation of the photographs shown.

The pieces with the Silkworm threads by Shaoji Liang were very interesting and in particular the representation of cocoons suspended from the ceiling.

The pieces by Laura Lima, gave me some inspiration for how I might begin to represent mapping in the Independant Study 1 – Studio Work.

I found inspiration in the following pieces.

The piece Circumscription by Gerhard Marx is made up of reconstructed map fragments is part of the Transparent Territories group of work.

In this dizzying series of maps for groundlessness, Gerhard Marx continues his investigations into the formal and fictive possibilities of perspective. Rupturing the flat surface of the map, he removes the illusion of solid ground and replaces it with a hovering, vertigo-inducing sense of uncertainty. The shape and notion of ‘the frame’ recurs in several mise-en-abyme sequences across the works. Stacked in recurring configurations, its rectangular form has been bent into a series of optical riddles or Escherian landscapes.

When Marx cuts into the map it is a violation – an act of violence against the institutions and processes of global modernity through which the world was filtered to him. That violence is present in the energy of dispersion, ruination and collapse that ripples through the fragmented surfaces of these works. But the story does not end there. Deconstruction is offset by the meditative, embodied practice of reconstitution. In constructing his drawings from the ‘found lines’ of decommissioned and discarded maps, Marx displaces the scientific authority of cartography with the subjective impulse of calligraphy.

The works in this series are random amalgamations of fragments of Africa and Europe, and in piecing them together he conflates space and historical time into ‘migrant maps’. Directly referencing the makeshift, hybridised vessels we’ve witnessed people resorting to in the current migration crises of Europe, several works have a raft-like look about them – temporary, floating, drifting between land(s) and territories. Hovering against a plane of deep opaque blackness, Marx’s reconstructed rafts/crafts transmit a sense of disorientation that is simultaneously disquieting and liberating. There is that vertiginous sci-fi sense of being cut loose from the mother ship to float indefinitely through all space and time, but also an ecstatic sense of possibility in being released from the grip of inherited systems of knowledge, measurement, power and control.

– Alexandra Dodd

The Frieze Artist Award was won by Kiluanji Kia Henda from Luanda.

Kiluanji Kia Henda (b. 1979, Luanda) is a Luanda-based artist, working across photography, video and performance. Entitled Under the Silent Eye of Lenin, Kia Henda’s winning proposal is a two-part installation, taking the cult of Marxism-Leninism after independence in Angola as its starting point and drawing parallels between witchcraft practices during Angola’s civil war and science fiction narratives used by Cold War superpowers. Looking at how fictional fantasy and its power of manipulation becomes a vital weapon in situations of extreme violence, Kia Henda’s performative installation will change throughout the duration of the fair.

Other pieces of interest were:

20:20 Print Exchange 2017

The Regional Print Centre’s entries to the 20:20 Print Exchange 2017 can be viewed here:

Through the Regional Print Centre, I am taking part in the 20:20 Print Exchange run by Hot Bed Press in Manchester.

20:20 Print Exchange started in 2009 as a project between Hot Bed Press in Salford and Red Hot Press in Southampton, (we decided against calling it The Heat Exchange). We liked the format so much we quickly decided to roll this out to more print workshops. It has grown each year. Over 50,000 prints have been created and exchanged in the past 6 years.

Every artist is asked to produce a new edition of 25 prints on paper size 20cm x 20cm, (paper size).

Tuesday 10th October 2017

I decided to do a three colour screen print using two colours of ink, the third colour being produced by the layering of one colour ink over the other. I went to the Regional Print Centre to expose my positives onto my screens so that I could print at home.

Thursday 19th October 2017

Once the positives were on the screens I then set about printing my edition of 25 prints.

I dried my edition prints on my living room floor.

I’m very pleased with the end results, particularly as this is my first edition of 25.