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Residency Artists

Helen Acklam, Jameson White and Courtney Beckford

Helen Acklam, Jameson White and Courtney Beckford collaborated on a project in the Garw Valley in South Wales in 2023.

Helen had returned to the valley in 2021 to explore her adolescent experiences, growing up there in the 1970’s.

We wanted to explore themes of grief and personal narratives through visual and auditory elements of our combined individual practices.

The residency enabled us to bring and test out two installations together.

Vein: a rendering of a film, shown in black and white on 3 old television sets.  The tv’s sat on gabion boxes attempting to contain coal.

The aim was to capture the essence of our individual stories and responses to universal themes of life and the enduring presence of industrialisation and colonisation of the place.

The soundtrack for the film was engineered by Jameson and Courtney Beckford, enhancing the immersive experience of cross-generational encounters with death and mourning.

(Helen Acklam and Jameson White)

Home: a sound installation of recordings of individual responses to the idea of home. (Countney Beckford)

It was really valuable to have the opportunity to test out this work together, physically putting together the installations and having conversations with each other and visitors to the space.

It enabled us to pause, think about and document the work at this particular stage, and plan next steps.

Thanks to (UWE students) Aphra Beart-Albrecht and Will Hilless for making the zine and helping to put the exhibition together.

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Residency Artists

Geomorph

Geomorph are artists Colin Higginson (Bristol), Sarah Rhys (West Wales) and Emily Joy (Stroud).

Geomorph share an interest in land, landscape, materiality and narrative, meaning and language.

Geomorph spent the residency at The Launderette developing new work in a collaborative environment, discussing and noticing thematic and material meeting points and overlaps between our practices.

Having time in the Launderette enabled us to create individual sculptural/installation pieces, text and image work, begin new performative work and to start creating a short film bringing all three artist’s work together as a night projection.

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Residency Artists

Rich Beale aka Don Mandarin

The residency I organised / curated at the Launderette between 13/12/23 and 29/12/23 came about initially as a means of ‘releasing’ / introducing a collaborative book of illustrated prose published by Ross Bathtub at Bathtub publishing (Bristol). The book ‘I Sleep Gently in the Womb’ is written and illustrated by myself. I designed it with Ryan Broom.

Ryan, Ross Bathtub and myself are more familiar with ‘gigs’ and record releases as vehicles for our work, less so gallery projects or readings. However, two other artists featured here, Vic Coombes and Nick Greenglass have had thriving studio practices at Spike Island (Bristol). The main point here is that we have all, in various combinations, spoken about ‘doing something together’ because of a feeling of artistic camaraderie and mutual respect.

I have always had a gang mentality. My ‘thing’ is counterculture, the underground, ‘scenes’. It was I who sat in the project space for at least 6 hours a day pondering this. I thought about something Alexander Trocchi said about some of his artist friends, that they were a sort of ‘spectral elite’. That is what can happen to artists, and yet by and large we demand community, we need to share, however challenging the process of doing so is. I spoke to scores of people coming in ‘off the street’ about the work on show here throughout the fortnight we were ‘live’. I was forced to articulate my enthusiasms and speak on behalf of the other artists.

The five of us were all aware of each other’s work, but largely online rather than in ‘real life’. We have realised that the apparent separation in our practices is one we would like to overcome with shared projects. We all work across several ‘media’, including the production of Noise cassettes and CDs and zines. Noise artists / Experimental musicians Big Fuss (Harry) Prior (Lauren) and Shit FM (Marcus) joined us in performance at odd dates throughout the residency. The main thread that binds us is the very fact that we have now worked and shown together, we have ‘created a scene’!!!!

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Residency Artists

Jo Ball

Jo Ball is an artist and gardener based in Bristol. Her works looks at the relationships between people, plants and the surrounding world. She is interested in emotional responses to matter and invisible connections between things.

Her sculptural practice uses material gathered from her allotment, often incorporating organic substances that change throughout the installation. Her practice also includes participatory commissions that often involve inviting the public to grow plants. She received a DYCP in 2021 and is currently working towards a solo presentation of new work at Studio Kind, Barnstaple in 2024 as well as group shows at APT Gallery, Deptford and ACEarts, Somerton. From December 2023 to May 2024 she will have a studio at Spike Island, Bristol.

Jo was at the Launderette space in November 2023. She used it as a testing space for installation elements too large to play with in her home studio. Being able to see things outside of the studio in a clear, white-walled environment and arrange elements with more space around them changed the way things looked. Several pieces which had initially been thought of as unsuccessful looked very different and will be developed further. Several visits from other artists and friends happened through out the fortnight to get feedback and see how they responded to the work. An open studio event was held on the last weekend.

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Residency Artists

Nikki Allford

I am a Maker and Installation artist based at BV Studios in Bristol. I exhibit regularly Nationally and Internationally.

My work is a preciptation of time consuming processes. Expectations and outcomes are left unsettled , emphasising physicality and materiality, and allowing for a spontaneous, intuitive approach.

I continuously search for new ways of inhabiting and responding to a site while making connections between the past and the present, memory and place.
Work is created from the accumulative repetitive actions of folding. The resultant pieces can be read as abstract, or as hinting at other qualities – perhaps reminiscent of the innards of the body, pools of blood or water, or organic plant growth such as flowers.
Exploring notions of beauty, my Installations have a presence that disrupts a space.

For my residency l responded to the former use of the site as a working launderette while pulling threads from previous work. For me the timing of the residency was a perfect convergence of the space and ideas already in progress.
I appreciated having breathing room to allow for experimentation with paper, folding, lighting and space. I made new large scale site-responsive Installations.
I had conversations with other artists about the history of Wash houses/ Bath houses, folklore surrounding wells and the reoccurring theme of water in my work.

‘It was great to see you and your work at the Launderette. Fantastic how you made the space your own’
Matt Benton artist.

‘Activating the interplay between surface and depth, inside and outside, exposure and concealment’
Folds exhibition, Lewisham project space

 

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Transatlantic Accents

Transatlantic Accents exhibition at The LaunderetteThis exhibition is the second instalment of an exchange between a group of artists from Bristol (The Garage) and  Los Angeles (Durden and Ray) and continues the transatlantic exploration of a fluid, non-linear set of interactions through a process of cognition and abstraction.

Though varied in their respective practices, each artist in “Transatlantic Accents” celebrates an organic and intuitive approach to image making. The artists relish a love for material, form and colour and, on a deeper level, their works speak of the fragility and fleetingness of identity, nature and the interactions between us ….

Bristol artists:

  • Helen Acklam
  • Alice Freeman
  • Jack Paffett
  • Joe Warrior-Walker 

LA artists:

  • Gul Cagin
  • Jenny Hager
  • David Leapman
  • Hagop Najarian
  • Max Presneill
  • Alexandra Wiesenfeld
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Residency Artists

Helen Acklam

I began my current project, What it is to be There, in 2021, returning to Wales to explore my adolescent experiences of growing up in a mining valley in South Wales and the liminal space I occupy today as a mother without children.

This ongoing project has led to forensic and spiritual connections with the earth and a bodily engagement with matter that has enabled me to explore maternal and grief narratives.

I’ve used the Launderette as a retreat to spend a few weeks in the new space and feel what it’s like to be within the Stokes Croft community – it’s vibrant and welcoming and yet a really peaceful space to think about my work and up-coming opportunities.

With three exhibitions coming up, in Stroud (Gloucester), Barry and Pontyprydd (South Wales), I felt a bit overwhelmed by the amount going on. I wanted to place the work around me, in a clean space, and see where I was at. I’ve been using new materials and working at a different scale, so it was particularly good to use the three spaces within the Launderette to look at things in isolation and also put pieces together.

I’m collaborating with a film maker (Jameson White) for one of the pieces, so it’s also been particularly helpful to work together and separately both on site and in the space.

I arrived with many questions and, of course, I’m gathering new ones!

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