INSTIGATE : EXCHANGE …over the hurdle

Coming up this Summer, Ian and I are pleased to announce ‘over the hurdle’ an exhibition of new works at Dean Clough Link Gallery, Halifax. Preview 6th July.

More Man-Appeal
Ebony Andrews & Ian C. Taylor
Instigated by: Ebony
Exchanges: 3
Now A Woodcock
Ebony Andrews & Ian C. Taylor
Instigated by: Ebony
Exchanges:  3

Artsmill Preview

On Sunday 16th March brave souls braced the weather to join us for the private view of our biggest exhibition of the INSTIGATE : EXCHANGE project to date. With 65 works spread throughout 3 rooms and over 2 floors, Ian and I bared our souls to the discerning public once again. We were humbled by the turn out, with friends old and new coming from all over to support us. A big thank you to everyone who came, and of course to Artsmill & its volunteers. There is still a chance to catch the show if you haven’t been – closes 4pm on Sunday 24th March.

After the Flood: Calderdale Museums

I’ve recently moved into a new job at Hebden Bridge Town Hall, and so I thought I’d make a little post on the last exhibition (for now!) that I curated for Calderdale Museums.

The exhibition featured a series of photographs by Mike Bentley who has documented the demolition and rebuilding of Elland Bridge following the devastation of the Boxing Day floods, 2015. It is on until 11th November, so there’s still plenty of time to catch it!

Exhibition Interpretation

INSTIGATE : EXCHANGE

…A few rules

An exhibition of collaborative artworks by Ebony Andrews & Ian C. Taylor, Water Street Gallery, Todmorden, 3rd June – 3rd July 2016.

The concept of INSTIGATE : EXCHANGE does exactly what it says on the tin. All of the works featured were produced by either artist instigating the start of a piece by presenting to the other a series of found objects (objet trouvé). These objects were then exchanged between the two artists, often multiple times, with additions and modifications being made to the works at each exchange. Crucially, at each exchange, much of the work undertaken by both artists took place largely behind closed doors, and without prior consultation with one another. A record of which of the two artists instigated each individual piece, as well as the number of exchanges it has undergone, is noted on the labels attached to the artworks. The labels, which constitute part of the finished pieces, therefore serve as reminders of the journey each artwork has undertaken and make visible the number of times each work has been exchanged.

Through INSTIGATE : EXCHANGE, Andrews’ and Taylor’s experimental approach to the creation of artworks consistently defers and denies the agency and authority that artists conventionally hold over the things they produce. Instead, their methodology forms an aperture of opportunity, a creative space within which the works almost make themselves. A space where ‘finished’ pieces aren’t made, but rather come into being.

The decision as to when a piece is ‘complete’ is one of the few rules that Andrews and Taylor outlined at the beginning of the project; a piece is only finished if both artists agree that it is finished. Equally, the nature of the project means that at times works also fail, and any ‘failures’ (as stated by the artists) are also mutually agreed as such. Interestingly, the inclusion of a number of ‘failures’ in this exhibition, marked out by Taylor’s poem entitled: Notes next to bin maybe (2016), helps the viewer more vividly imagine the kinds of objects that the artists have been identifying as possible ‘instigations’. They range from the exquisite and the eccentric, to the humorous and flat-out humdrum. The classificatory act of delineating either a success (ie. the creation of a viable artwork) or a so-called ‘failure’, draws attention to one of the key concepts behind the project which concerns ideas surrounding value. In differing ways, INSTIGATE : EXCHANGE both reflexively explores and subverts the time-honoured position of authority that the artist has historically enjoyed, and more broadly, that of the ‘art world’ itself. A world where the heavily encoded display culture of the gallery and/or museum serves to attribute notions of value to objects in a multiplicity of ways that, to the layman, can at times appear arbitrary, even irrational.

INSTIGATE : EXCHANGE constitutes a series of hybrid and experimental artworks in which the aesthetic sensibilities of either artist at times work in harmony, and at others, battle one another for the limelight. Overall, Andrews’ and Taylor’s journey has brought about creations that represent, celebrate and critique everything from totems and fetishes, to kitsch mementos, thrift store tat, and high art.