Voyages Extraordinaires: At the James Freeman Gallery – Till 30 June

Claire Partington – Nightnight. Based on the rhyme Oranges and Lemons. Click for details.

I saw this in the James Freeman Gallery on Upper Street, while on the bus to work.

The strangeness of it even from the distance of a grubby bus window was intriguing.

The gallery is a demure tiny thing, just past the Angel tube and next to the utterly garish and repulsive offices of Foxtons.

In case you don’t know who Foxtons are: They are an obscene group of estate agents who imagine themselves as Shoreditch hipsters. They have a glass wall so you can see the inside of the office as you pass down the street. It’s to make them seem ‘friendly’ and ‘open’ and ‘transparent’. There’s also some pretentious ‘bar’ area filled with ‘funky’ colourful chairs and a huge flat screen over a glass counter displaying one brand of expensive water.

They think they are so well branded don’t they? I want to punch them in their smug estate agent faces; both for being smug and for making me use so many quotation marks in one paragraph. Fuckers.

In any case, I really recommend dropping in for a bit if you’re in Angel. The gallery that is. Not Foxtons. No one in their right mind should visit a Foxtons. They are too busy trying to look ‘cool’ to really bother about looking after their clients properly.

The exhibition is a perfectly paired mix of ceramics & illustration of two artists: Claire Partington Sam Branton.

I love the work. I love the 2 paired together. I want to buy all of it. (I’ll build a book shelf of Barbara Cartlands and interspersed between the books would be the ceramics. Then I’d frame the illustrations on the wall next to it. See? I have it all planned out.)

And as far as fine art goes it’s fairly reasonably priced. £1000-£1500 for the ceramics (not sure about the illustration). If I had some wealth at all I’d buy one of each in a heart beat.

Voyages Extraordinaires
Until 30 June

The exhibition info/artist info page mentions a whole load of nonsense. I read it after I had wandered around the gallery because I wanted to know what in the heckings was going on here.

Perhaps saying it was nonsense is a tad harsh. It’s far more sensible than most show information. You should see the ones for the Turner Prize and Art College end of year shows. Ludicrous usually. One was so funny I even took a photo of it. (Note to self: Find it!)

Usually these exhibition essays feel a little inflated to me. Like the artist has to justify what they’ve created, not just in any ordinary way, but in some outrageously poncy way. Using words like “hybrid in contemporary art today”, “re-contextualising”, “dark, historicised contemporary fantasies.”

Major Ponce.

Basically yeah? They is taking some fairy tales and is making them. You get me?

And they have heads that you can take on and off. It is well cool. That be the girl. I bet she is like, well hot ’cause ceramics is like sexy an’ that.

Like that movie Ghost with Demi Bore and Patrick Swayzee.

And the dude right? He is draws condom-people with strange funny faces.

So it’s real gud. Check it.

If you want a proper art review you better check this chick out. She is writing art up good and proper. She will write your art right up. She is like, well proper professional and that.

Click through on the images to view the gallery pages. They have more details on the fairy-tales the ceramics are based on.

Sam Branton – So what would you little maniacs like to do first?. Click to view more.

Claire Partington – Silverhands. Based on the tale of The Girl Without Hands. Click to view more.

Sam Branton – The executioners face is always well hidden. Click to view more.

Claire Partington – All at sea. Based on the story of the Kracken. Click to View more

San Branton – Of all the Queens that ever ruled, I choose you. Click to view more.

Claire Partington – Jorinda & Joringel. Click to view more.

San Branton – Everybody must give something back for something they get. Click for more.

Claire Partington – Trop de Bêtes. Click for more

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6 thoughts on “Voyages Extraordinaires: At the James Freeman Gallery – Till 30 June

  1. “They think they are so well branded don’t they? I want to punch then in their smug estate agent faces, both for being smug and for making me use so many quote marks in one paragraph. Fuckers.”

    That cracked me up man.

  2. Awww. Thank you for that vote of confidence. I sort of imagined you sprouting dreadlocks as I read that bit.

  3. I do look a bit like Demi Bore viewed through a carnival mirror, not so sure about Mr Swayzee… people are generally kinder to the deceased. Ta for the compliments

  4. Well I have a soft spot for the Swayz from his Dirty Dancing Days & Ghost.
    I like to imagine that Ghost got a lot of people into ceramics.
    Thanks for swinging by and the comment!
    The show looks great. x

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