Winter Studio Residency: Artists

December 11, 2023
11:56 am
Kitty Bew

This winter the Main Gallery at Phoenix Art Space will be used for a residency programme, offering artists the opportunity to use the space for the research and development of new work. It will provide artists with the time and space to experiment with new concepts and materials, and encourage the exchange of ideas between one another. Selected artists are: Alex Underhill, James Critchlow, Liz Schwarz & Shirley Archibald and Tee Chandler.

Our audience have the opportunity to meet the artists and see their work in progress at an Open Day on Friday 16 February from 11.00 – 17.00.


Alex Underhill
Alex is a multidisciplinary artist from South London, now based in Brighton. They see their art as an act of chaotic self-expression, channelling a soft resistance against various societal norms. As a queer neurodivergent individual, they have encountered discrimination and have found a place for themselves in challenging the pre-existing limitations within the art institution. They firmly believe that self-expression, even when raw and unsettling, embodies resilience and serves as a means of self-preservation while being capable of evoking beauty and joy. They employ a multidisciplinary approach to exploring art, delving into the language of painting and poetry, experimenting with the worlds of contemporary sculpture, photography, and soundscapes. By combining these mediums, they aim to blur the boundaries between the artwork and the audience, altering the traditional engagement with their creations. Integrating their own poetry, both in written and spoken word form, has become a crucial element in their work, emphasizing the significance of language and how language, possesses its own emotive expression, demanding attention and evoking a range of responses.

James Critchlow
James is an artist oscillating between photography, sculpture, and computation. He explores the place of the photograph in a technologically advancing world; questioning its changing role and purpose. The photographic image is becoming increasingly diluted within an overload of visual information. In response to this superabundance of imagery, for Critchlow the photograph becomes a material to be manipulated digitally and physically; it is data,
a component, and a starting point. Addressing the multiplicity and prevalence of the photograph in digital culture, Critchlow’s work is constructed using photographs appropriated from various corners of the internet. His source material is found anywhere from digital archives to stock photography sites and eBay listings. Fragments of these images are collaged together, creating a layered map in which parts unseen hold as much significance as elements revealed. A central theme of Critchlow’s work is the act of deconstructing and reconstructing. The image undergoes multiple transformations, spanning from the manipulation of algorithmic systems to the physical intervention of the printed image. Through a focus on the increasingly blurred boundaries between the digital and the physical, his work asks questions of representation, hyper-digitalisation, and meaning within a virtual world. Ultimately, Critchlow’s work is the playful exploration of the dramatically changing perception of reality.

Liz Schwarz & Shirley Archibald
During their residency, artists Liz Schwarz and Shirley Archibald will devote their time to investigating the crossovers in their methodologies intending to extend, expand and open their artistic practices. Conversation will be the starting point of each day. Their intention is to work in parallel in an experimental, energetic, and playful way uniting at different points in the day to then collaborate on ideas. They expect through painting, installation, assemblage, conversation, and performance that the work created will produce exciting organic strands, developing new avenues within their practices. Shirley and Liz’s work encompass’ different themes but have many cross over points which they wish to take time to explore. Liz’s first ingredient is the space she is working in. Using collected detritus, oils, autoethnographic writing, conversations, light, and introducing elements of live play. Underlying theme: The push-pull of society and the ‘stuff’ we produce. The continuous effect we have on each other. “Each layer effects the next layer”. Shirley creates uniquely shaped canvas stretchers connected to research about the witch hunts of the 15-18th centuries. She uses the canvas stretcher as a symbol for the system and the body and intends these irregular forms to represent non-conforming, autonomous bodies. She will begin by constructing assemblages and connecting these to painting and performance. Each artist will work on a painting, an installation / assemblage and develop a live play/ performance art piece. Their collective methods of working involve foraging for ingredients in the form of household items and street objects and playing with these materials. They will each bring their own set of ingredients with collected elements to share.
@shirleyarchibaldart / @schwarzfineart

Tee Chandler
I make work that explores themes such as motherhood, surviving domestic and street violence, as well as sexuality, gender, protest and more recently, the environment. Having had to work full-time as a single parent, I am now able to pursue my passions, and with a working class, feminist and queer perspective, to fully apply myself to creativity. My perspective is also informed by an entanglement approach- that I recognise the impact I have in a patriarchal world of climate crises, and the work I make does not add to it; that I work to see where I fit into the stress on our natural world, and how I can minimise this as much as I am able. My practice, based on photography, uses alternative and vegan practices such as lumens, anthotypes, cyanotypes, plant-based toners, scanning, personal archives, projection, bioplastics, found man-made and natural elements. I recognise that not all of these processes are without some level of impact, but this is always a journey of experimentation and learning. This necessitates that my work is slow to produce, requiring experimentation and play, an acceptance of non-uniform images and non-linear series, and is a lot of the time non-archival. This ephemerality becomes part of the process, somewhat rebelling against old notions of what a photograph is. My long-term focus is making a body of work that reflects my concern and anger at the lack of action to halt or even mitigate against the climate emergencies such as sea level rises, plasticisation of our environment, flooding, wildfires.

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