Saturday, March 24, 2012


I am very pleased to have received my new business cards from today. Beautifully packaged too. I would normally go for litho printing every time - but this time thought I would try digital so that I could have a few different designs...

This was the second batch of cards as there was a technical problem with the first. However, I must say moo's customer service has been excellent and they helped me to sort this out and print the cards again... free of charge. I am now delighted with them.

Here's another little peek into the studio... some work in progress...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

This past week...

This past week at Art Space I have been working on the ASP International Residency programme. Tracy Hanna, from Ireland, is in residence at the studios until the end of March. To celebrate the end of this residency Tracy will be showing some of her work next Friday and Saturday at GASP, Gallery Art Space Portsmouth...

Preveiw: Friday 23rd March 2012, 6.30 - 8.30pm.
Open day: Saturday 24th March 2012, 12 - 4pm

An underwater adventure? She couldn’t mean it. Surely it’s just research. What happened under there? It must be quite exciting if she calls it an adventure. Maybe only she considers it exciting. That’s alright, I suppose, as long as the expectation isn’t to incite excitement in us. Well said. Perhaps it is something hidden, underneath her words.

Tracy Hanna, from Ireland, is the recipient of the Art Space Portsmouth International Residency 2012. This exhibition is the result of her four-week residency in Portsmouth based at the art studios in Brougham Road. For this event the artist is presenting us with a set of propositions. These are working hypotheses that relate to investigations she has carried out while in Portsmouth. The works will be mapped out in the gallery space to illuminate different ideas and objects that she has encountered during these investigations. These works mostly deal with different instances of Underwatereality.
At GASP, Art Space Portsmouth, 27 Brougham Road, Souths, Hants. PO5 4PA
You can view Tracy's residency blog here.
You can find our more about Tracy and the project here.
This Wednesday I was able to make another trip to London with an artist friend. We were intending to see the David Hockney at the RA, however, on arrival the queue was WAY too long. A change of plan was hatched very quickly... and we went exploring to see many of the commercial galleries in the area. We covered a lot of ground... and saw a lot. So much so that we didn't make it back to the RA. A couple of the highlights for me was seeing new work by Michael Raedecker 'Volume' at Hauser & Wirth. Stunning work in a stunning space. I have not seen Raedecker's work for some years and really relished in looking at these large paintings. I was also really impressed with Vicken Parsons show at Alan Cristea Gallery. A series of small paintings - demonstrating how powerful small paintings can be - equally standing up to the monumental.
And finally...
Last night I managed to get painting in my studio... I haven't painted for a few weeks and was itching to do so. I made a start on four small pieces. I am excited about this. I'm now off to the studio for the day...

Monday, March 12, 2012


Yay! My newly updated painting to the Axis website has temporarily made the front page. Every little helps!

You can see my Axis profile here: Natalie Dowse

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The calm before the storm...

Oh I do love new clean white painting surfaces....

I just can't help it! I also love the way the light is reflecting off the top edge.
Reminds me that I have always been a fan of Donald Judd.
I have started drawing on them now though.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Olympic stars...

Over the past four years Art Space Portsmouth has been sponsored to install an ongoing programme of exhibitions at 1000 Lakeside, a large business centre in the area. This time I have chosen to exhibit the above paintings Gamine and Ingenue (Olga Korbut and Nadia Comaneci). Although I made these paintings some years ago - I have never had the opportunity to show them for reasons I cannot explain! They just never had their opportunity - which is a shame for such iconic stars! However, I am now really pleased to see them installed in a new space, to see them afresh. Although they are two separate paintings - I now feel that they must never be separated and perhaps I should insist they are a diptych. They work together - and must remain together - they work conceptually as a pair (and not so much in isolation). So I guess if someone was to purchased one - I would now have to insist that they have both! For me paintings like these, over time, take on their own personality - these two are companions and MUST remain so.

In the past I have made many paintings about Eastern Bloc gymnastics, for example, a painting installation called 'Little girls in pretty boxes'. I am pleased to be able to say that this series has been shown on a few occasions.

Part of the series: Little girls in pretty boxes

"This work, in part, addresses the issue of sport once used as a tool for political propaganda and the abuse of teenage girls in the pursuit of this goal. The images are snatched from video footage of gymnastic events during the golden age of the sport, where impish super-stars won the hearts and minds of their audience.

Captivated by their vulnerability, television audiences became voyeuristic as they unknowingly colluded in the manipulation of these child women. These romanticised images of young ‘super beings’ tap into a fantasy of perfection, capturing an essence of a time, which beyond the imagery has many different facets from the personal and nostalgic to the political. These young athletes remain unchanged, forever young and haunting in our memories. However, behind the façade of rehearsed expressions and conditioned routines is the reality of rigorous hard work, lost childhood and aching bodies.

Olga Korbut ‘flew’ to fame at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich and is arguably still the most iconic gymnast of all time - 40 years later. Forever encapsulated as a smiling 17-year-old woman in a petit ‘elfin-like’ body."

This work was included in a group show in 2007 'Sugar and Spice' at Vegas gallery, curated by Ken Pratt. There is some interesting text here about the artists included in this exhibition.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Parallel lines of enquiry...

I have just spent the weekend in Dorset taking the opportunity to visit Fiona Robinson's exhibition and artist's talk, Parallel Lines of Enquiry at The Allsop Gallery, Bridport Art Centre. This is a really beautifully considered exhibition, and well worth a visit. The exhibition continues until 24th March. You can see more of Fiona's work here:

Copyright Fiona Robinson 2012


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