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"Phantasieblume". A series of “paintings” and “drawings” featuring delicate and sometimes intricately cut skins of paint that explore the relationship between fine art and craft alongside ongoing research into romantic idealization and representations of desire, longing and loss. Solo exhibitions at Centre for Recent Drawing (C4RD), London 2009; Vane Gallery, Newcastle 2010; Hå gamle prestegard, Hå Kommune, Stavanger, Norway 2011. With additional Solo presentation at Volta Art fair, Basel , Switzerland (2012). Group exhibitions at The Drawing Gallery, Walford (2009); Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (2010); Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Bideford (2011); Blythe Gallery, Imperial College London (2011); Fruehsorge contemporary drawings, Berlin (2011), C4RD, London (2012).
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Centre for Recent Drawing; Vane; Ha Gamle Prestegard
London; Newcastle; Norway
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1. Short summary of the case study
Phantasieblume is a Arts Council England and Newcastle University funded research, production, exhibition and publication project exploring drawing, craft and painting dialogues. Nick Fox’s research explores romantic idealisation, personal histories and representations of desire, longing and loss through a delicate interweaving of both appropriated symbols and myths from the past as well as mages drawn from contemporary culture. These comprise of complex interrelations between paintings, drawings craft objects, cultural artefacts and sub cultural symbology. This research is enabled by an ACE funded residency phase at the National Glass Centre (Sunderland) and disseminated through the publication of two different Artist Monographs and solo exhibitions at the Centre for Recent Drawing (London 2009), VANE Gallery (Newcastle 2010) and Ha Gamle Prestegart (Norway 2011). Individual works within the Phantasieblume series have also been selected for group exhibitions at the Blythe gallery (London) and Fruehsorge contemporary drawings (Berlin). The painting “Metatopia” from this series of works received a major prize in the John Moores Painting prize 2010, giving international significance to this body of works. He communicates this research beyond academic audiences to reach a general public audience through his engagement with the traditions and expectations of painting and drawing. His work has led to enhance public awareness of issues concerning codified languages of desire, craft contextualisation and the traditions of painting and drawing. A significant dimension to his impact has been through wide ranging exhibition of international significance and through its influence on broadcast and print media, which has devoted a significant amount of space and attention to issues presented in his work and projects.
The underpinning research is Nick Fox’s broad body of work Phantasieblume, exploring longing, loss and desire, conducted in his studio since 2007 and further supported during a Research and development Residency at the National Glass centre, Sunderland in 2009 and 2010. Subversive narratives of romantic idealisation, cultural artefact and coded articulations of desire specifically inform the research. Further to these interests, Fox has continued to developed innovative painting processes which He creates his work by crafting layers of acrylic paint on glass, which is then intricately cut, creating elaborate objects that resemble the preciousness of lace The Phantasieblume research project was developed as a series of Solo Presentations containing a selection of mirrored paintings, drawings and craft objects. 1. Phantasieblume, C4RD London April 2009 2. Phantasieblume Vane Gallery, April – June 2010 3. Phantasieblume Nachtleid Ha Gamle Prestegard, Norway The project was disseminated through the Production of an Artist Monograph in 2010. The Phantasieblume project has resulted in a significant Artist monograph funded by Newcastle University and ACE, and was partnered with the National Glass centre, Art editions north and Centre for recent drawing. Essays and text contributions are by significant commentators in the field of Art and design, including internationally recognised cultural commentator Philip Austander. Other contribuitors include Stephanie Brown, Paul Stone, Andrew Hewish, George Chakravarthi, Matthew Hearn, and Clive Jennings. The book was published under the prestigious Documents for Recent Drawing series by Centre for recent drawing. The book offers insights into the work of Nick fox, specifically offering critical perspectives on painting, craft and drawing contextualisation. The exhibition was featured in The Guardian Guide (with illustration), and work was featured on the Front Cover of A-N a monthly Art Periodical. Fox’s work Metatopia, from this Phantasieblume series was subsequently included in the prestigious John Moores contemporary painting Prize Exhibition in 2010. This Exhibition is the most prestigious Paintings Prize in the UK and is considered the 1."The Oscar of the British painting world". In addition to being a winner of this prestigious award, Fox’s work Metatopia, will become part of the National Museums Collection in 2011, following a display of his exhibition Phantasieblume in Norway. A catalogue detailing the work of Nick Fox, and the other winners was published to coincide with the exhibition. Subsequent to Fox’s John Moores prizehis prizewinnng work “Metatopia” has been aquired by the Walker Art gallery, National Museums Liverpool.
3. References to the research
Exhibitions: 2011 London- Berlin, Fruehsorge contemporary drawings (Berlin). 2011 Phantasieblume Nachtleid, Ha Gamle Presegard, Stavanger, Norway. (audience figures of 7500) 2010 Phantasieblume, Vane, Newcastle audience figures of 1120 2009 Phantasieblume, Centre for Recent Drawing, London 2010 John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize 2010, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (Prize-winner), 53 000 visitors Residencies: National 2009-2010 National Glass Centre, Sunderland Artist in Residence Book, Articles, catalogues: Phantasieblume Nick Fox, Red Edition. Edited by Andrew Hewish and co-published with C4RD and Art Editions North. (2010) Distributed internationally by Cornerhouse, Manchester. ISBN 978-1-907226-04-5 Phantasieblume Nick Fox, Blue Limited Edition. Edited by Andrew Hewish and co-published with C4RD and Art Editions North. (2010), Distributed by C4RD. ISBN 978-1-907226-03-8 John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize 2010, Exhibition Catalogue Guardian Guide (preview section, Sat 14
May 2010 p38): readership of 283 063 AN Magazine April 2010 (front cover and inside cover story) readership of 30000 http://www.a-n.co.uk/artists_talking/image_bank/single/72268 Research Grants: Arts Council: £4924.50 April 2010 Please Note that the ACE grant was split between the Phantasieblume Monograph, the research phase, and the exhibition phase. (over 3 projects altogether) FRF Newcastle University £4000 (2010) SRF Newcastle University £450 (2010) SRF Newcastle University £450 (2011) Talks: Newcastle University (Visiting Speaker Programme) Vane Gallery, Newcastle (panel discussion with George Chakravarthi, Mathew Hearn and Clive Jennings) Walker Art Gallery (forthcoming)
4. The contribution, impact or benefit
As a visual Art practitioner, the impact and significance of Fox’s research is measured by peer review and audience figures of his exhibitions and projects. Nick Fox’s practice based research into themes of longing, loss and desire, has been disseminated through exhibitions, catalogues, an Artist Monograph, Art Magazine’s, newspapers, radio and live art projects, leading to an enhanced public awareness of and engagement with the traditions of painting on one hand, and with the subversions of this tradition on the other. Previous to this research cycle, Fox won the Jerwood Contemporary Painters Prize 2007 for his work “Parlour” a skin of paint draped over a period table. In this cycle, his impact has followed this trajectory by being awarded a Prize in the prestigious and internationally recognised John Moores Contemporary Paining Prize 2010. Metatopia, from the Phantasieblume series was awarded a Prize in The John Moores Contemporary Painting prize 2010. (An Internationally significant survey of contemporary paintings, and part of the Liverpool biennial). During the impact period, it was extensively reviewed in print media and was launched with an illustrated catalogue with feature pages on the prizewinning artists. As a result of this Prize, Fox’s work Metatopia will become part of the Walker Art Gallery permanent collection, National Museums Liverpool, and he has also been invited to give a talk to about his paintings and research there in 2011/12. The Phantasieblume Exhibition Phase resulted in 3 solo exhibitions, one of which is International (Norway), 1 Public Talk at Vane gallery, the development of a Blog for online discussion, 1 Public Talk at Newcastle University, 1 event at Vane during the Late Shows, 2 Artist Monograph’s and Art Press exposure including being selected for The front Cover of AN (May) and a review in the Guardian Guide, reaching new National audiences for Fox. The exhibition at Vane (Newcastle) coincided with the launch of Fox’s Artist Monograph Limited Edition Monograph. The books are hard-back clothbound editions with full colour illustration and feature Essay and text contributions are by significant commentators in the field of Art and design, including internationally recognised cultural commentator Philip Austander. Other contributors include Stephanie Brown, Paul Stone, Andrew Hewish, George Chakravarthi, Matthew Hearn, and Clive Jennings. The book was published under the prestigious Documents for Recent Drawing series by Centre for recent drawing. The book offers insights into the work of Nick fox, specifically offering critical perspectives on painting, craft and drawing contextualisation and is distributed internationally by Cornerhouse, Manchester. Fox’s work has attracted National press interest for the Phantasieblume Exhibition stage through inclusion in the AN (front cover with article), with a readership of 30 000 and received a review of the Phantasieblume exhibition in the Guardian Guide, readership of 283 000. Press for the exhibition activity reached over 300 000 people. His project has also been disseminated through NGC’s website 5000 hits per month, Vane gallery’s website (1200 hits pm) and Newcastle University’s Website (1800 hits pm), which collectively get 7000 hits every month. Dissemination of the research phase of Fox’s Phantasieblume project took place at the NGC, Sunderland. Individual elements of the project such as the Longing Archive, and the residency at NGC have received a significant amount of print and radio press locally. The longing Archive project and Love Letter writing drive attracted a significant about of print and radio press attention, totaling 299.000 listeners (from BBC North East’s figures) and over 500 000 readers of the various local newspaper articles. (From Metro, Sunderland Echo and Journal statistics). The project was seen by 32.981 visitors (according to NGC visitor figures), and 9972 web visitors, with actual participants of the project totaling 500 during the month of February and March. The media coverage I received from the NGC amounted to a cash equivalent of £23000, according to Alex Evans, press officer at NGC. The Residency at NGC resulted in 1 Public Talk at the NGC, two Public events (the Longing Archive and the Write a Love letter campaign), 2 demonstrations at NGC Glass Studio, 1 website hosted by the NGC, 6 press interviews and a significant number of local and National print stories and radio articles and stories relating to my project and residency, including BBC North East, Metro Newspaper, The Journal newspaper and Culture Magazine and an article on Fox’s project in the Sunderland Echo. The resulting press reached a significant local and national audience for my project, of almost 1 million members of the public. Esteem Indicators: Prizes: John Moores Contemporary Paintings Prize 2010 (Prize-winner), Nomination of “Phantasieblume” for the Journal Cultural Award in Visual Art 2010 Exhibitions: listed above but also including The Longing Disco, Vane Gallery Newcastle May 2010 Radio Broadcasts: Fox’s research and Longing Archive project was broadcast on BBC radio Newcastle in February and March 2010 Books: Phantasieblume: A survey of the work of Nick Fox, ISBN 978-1-907226-04-5 & ISBN 978-1-907226-03-8 John Moores Contemporary Paintings Prize 2010 (exhibition catalogue Press: Articles: 3 Newspaper Articles :(Metro Newspaper, Sunderland Echo, The Journal Newspaper.) Invited lectures: Listed above Radio Broadcasts: listed above BBC audience figures: listed above Residencies: Listed Above
5. References to corroborate the contribution, impact or benefit
External corroborating sources; Websites: Walker Art Gallery, John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize 2010 Prize winner page http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/johnmoores/jm2010/prizewinners/fox.aspx Liverpool Daily Post Review, 16
Sept 2010 http://www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk/multimedia/biennial/images/2010/09/17/liverpool-biennial-john-moores-painting-prize-2010-92534-27285987/ A-N review, Katherine Woodfine http://www.a-n.co.uk/interface/reviews/single/797660 “Of the prize-winning works, Nick Fox’s ‘Metatopia’ stands out – a dark, circular portal, revealing a troubled wasteland peopled by elusive, mythic figures. Referencing Rossetti and Burne-Jones, Fox here makes explicit the sexual subtexts that haunt pre-Raphaelite painting. Close by, this year’s first prize winner, Keith Coventry’s ‘Spectrum Jesus’ is a riff on the tradition of religious iconography; but this is an unexpected depiction of Jesus – anxious and alienated, depicted entirely in dark blue tones, kept behind a pane of reflective glass that both keeps us at a distance, and calls to mind holographic religious icons. “ John Moores review, Sandra Gibson: http://www.catalystmedia.org.uk/reviews/john_moores_2010.php “Nick Fox’s Metatopia (2009) interests because of its masterly use of glazes and ink on a circular panel, and its skilful creation of a landscape which has an oriental sense of spaciousness and restraint. It’s a mind space as well - imbued with a sense of melancholy yearning.” Phantasieblume website and Blog: http://www.nickfoxart.com/ The Guardian Guide, Exhibitions pick of the week “Nick Fox, Newcastle upon Tyne Nick Fox's Phantasieblume is a series of intricate paintings inspired by the Victorian cultural phenomena of Floriography, or, as Kate Greenaway's popular 1884 book called it, The Language of Flowers. Floriography was an intricate means of communicating hidden or forbidden passions by using different types of flowers as gifts. Fox's intimations of oppressed sexuality are embodied in painted glass panels that might initially look like intricate lacework doilies but, on closer scrutiny, reveal erotic glimpses. Steamy encounters emerge from the fine networks of entwined petals and tendrils. The acrylic paint is painstakingly layered and incised so that the overall, almost stained-glass effect, has the accumulative air of preciously savoured sensuality.
Vane, to 5 Jun
Robert Clark “
http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/may/08/exhibitions-picks-of-the-week Vane Gallery website http://www.vane.org.uk/exhibitions/ExhibitionDetail.php?exhibID=59&page=exhib1 AN Magazine April 2010 (front cover) http://www.a-n.co.uk/artists_talking/image_bank/single/72268
Number of Pieces
Media of Output
I have included the John Moores Contemporary painting Prize within this output. It is also possible that the JM2010 could be carved off as a seperate output, also with a 4 star rating. significance 4, originality 4 rigour 4
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