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Chelsea alumni in British Art Show 8

Eileen-Simpson-&-Ben-White,-Auditory-Learning,-2015,-Photo-Jonty-Wilde-(2)
Eileen-Simpson-&-Ben-White,-Auditory-Learning,-2015,-Photo-Jonty-Wilde-(2)
Eileen Simpson & Ben White, Auditory Learning, 2015, at British Art Show 8, Leeds Art Gallery. Photo: Jonty Wilde
Written by
Sarah McLean
Published date
04 December 2015

Three of Chelsea’s notable Fine Art alumni including Turner Prize nominee James Richards, Daniel Sinsel and Ben White, feature alongside 39 artists in The British Art Show 8 exhibition, currently touring cities around the country until January 2017, providing a vital overview of the most exciting contemporary art produced in the UK.

Organised by Hayward Touring, this multi-venue exhibition is presented every five years in four different cities across the country.

The curators of British Art Show 8, Anna Colin and Lydia Yee, have selected the work of 42 artists who have made a significant contribution to contemporary art in the UK over the past five years.  The exhibition is currently showing at Leeds Art Gallery until January 2016, and will then tour to other cities across the country: Edinburgh, Norwich and Southampton.

Artist Ben White makes work alongside Eileen Simpson, and their practice aims to challenge conventional mechanisms for the authorship, distribution and ownership of art and music, particularly through their project Open Music Archive.  For this they source, digitise and distribute out-of-copyright sound recordings. These shared resources are used as a vehicle to initiate further creative collaborations with musicians, artists and DJs.  Works include The Brilliant and The Dark (video above) where archival material from the Women’s Library of an opera written by Ursula Vaughan Williams was reinterpreted and performed by choir Gaggle under the direction of the artists.

James Richards, Raking Light, 2014, installed at Leeds Art Gallery for The British Art Show 8. Photo: Jonty Wilde.

James Richards, Raking Light, 2014, installed at Leeds Art Gallery for The British Art Show 8. Photo: Jonty Wilde.

James Richards was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2014 for his video work Rosebud which was initially shown at the 55th Venice Biennale.  Now based in Berlin, he works with both visual and sound material that he creates himself as well as that which he borrows from friends, colleagues and archives. We interviewed him for this blog last year, in which he described his approach to filmmaking as: “very like song writing: you have to keep going through the process and finding that each piece needs certain things – so you dip into the archive and get those and then try them out and they don’t work so you try another thing out. It’s an organic thing.”

You can read the full interview with James about his work on the Chelsea blog.

Daniel Sinsel, Untitled, 2015 at The British Art Show 8, Leeds Art Gallery. Photo: Jonty Wilde

Daniel Sinsel, Untitled, 2015 at The British Art Show 8, Leeds Art Gallery. Photo: Jonty Wilde

Many of Daniel Sinsel‘s works – which the artist sees as part painting, part sculpture – draw from a number of sources including classical art and  contemporary architecture. Born in Munich, Germany, he graduated from Chelsea in 2002 having studied for both his foundation and BA at the college.  In an article about him as ‘one to watch’ in February this year, Bianca Chu of auction house Christie’s, said his works are characterised by ‘bright, off-beat colours and a realist style’ and that  ‘the combination of quirk and realism results in almost surrealist illusions, reflected in forms that play with spatial awareness, materiality, and the flatness of the picture plane.’

The British Art Show 8 is at Leeds Art Gallery until 10 January 2016 when it will tour to three venues in Edinburgh, opening on 13 February.

Related links:

http://britishartshow8.com

http://www.arts.ac.uk/chelsea/courses/undergraduate/ba-fine-art/