Co-Founder/ Curator 2009-2010
Sing Silent Songs 2010
Matthew Krishanu, Wendy Mayer, David Miller, Paul Newman
"Sing Silent Songs, they dream too long, their memories just stare"
Sing Silent Songs is a group show originally curated by David Miller for TROVE in central Birmingham late 2010. The show brings together selected work by four artists from across Britain. The work is disparate in media but forms a coherent and evocative show. The show explores the internal and external worlds of childhood daydreaming and adult memories of these flights of fancy; inspired by Scott Walker's song 'Plastic Palace People'.
The show mirrors the mood and trajectory of the song, beginning with Matthew's paintings. They evoke personal narratives and memory, set indoors in simple domestic environments, these moments describe quiet reverie and reflection. The subjects are solitary, silent, their minds elsewhere. Paul's painted dreamscapes describe a dark whimsy, near abstractions of forgotten memories, places and dreams. The landscapes seem continually on the brink of collapse and regeneration. Wendy's wax sculptures explore the transition between childhood and becoming an adult. The relationship between children and dolls, and children and adults/ their future selves produce uncanny manifestations. David's cabinets are inspired by furniture owned by parents and grandparents during his childhood. The teak finish and curved shape combine and confuse seventies and thirties styles, producing familiar but mysterious objects. The audience can peak inside these cabinets through small peepholes to see and hear other worlds and rooms.
This proved to be a popular show and benefited from continued spreading of word. We also gained Arts Council Funding for the presentation of the show at TROVE, including artists fees, transport install costs etc.
The 60's pop life took its toll on Scott Walker. Naturally shy and frightened of live performance, Walker tried many means of escape, even seeking refuge in a monastery. He was uncomfortable with the pop identity of the Walker Brothers and was keen to pursue more serious creative ambitions. In mid-1967, the band split.
Walker quickly embarked on his solo career much to the excitement of the many Walker Brothers fans. But Scott Walker was not about to return to the world he had just escaped; he began drawing more explicitly on the aesthetic and philosophical interests that had first fired his imagination about Europe (in particular Michel Legrand's film scores and the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus). Between September 1967 and late 1969, he released four albums, masterpieces of a unique vision from which he emerged as an idiosyncratic existentialist crooner who paid scant attention to the period's dominant pop music trends.
Walker focused on seemingly unremarkable, mainly urban characters inhabiting a world of kitchen-sink realism, struggling with day-to-day existence, often alone and damaged. Most importantly, Walker supplemented realism with abstract touches, expanding simple narratives with jarring, surreal imagery: in Scott 2's "Plastic Palace People," cityscape and dreamscape merge, and the imaginary ascent of Billy, seemingly propelled by a balloon tied to his underwear.
Some 'Sing Silent Songs' visitor comments:
"...the whole atmosphere of the space in relation to the show's concept of investigation was amazing. The drawings and small sculptures of Paul Newman were surrealistically brilliant."
"It seemed that the gallery's atmosphere was linked to the narrative of the various practical approaches of childhood."
"After a 30 min walk with my partner (who is suffering with sciatica) to get to TROVE it was well worth the pain. Some very good works exhibit and the space was amazing. Well done to you all."
"I love David's Cabinets, they made me feel nostalgic for something I've never experienced- great show"
Show of Science 2010
a.a.s., Victoria Jenkins, Lee Stowers and Luke Williams
TROVE's location, The Old Science Museum, used to house the city's science and industry collection before it moved to Birmingham's Millennium Point. Prior to that it was the site where George Elkington created Silver Electroplating in the 19th century. This show referenced that past, bringing together artists who are influenced by science or the aesthetics of science.
Pseudo-science, the make believe, the hand made and discovery are themes running through the four artists in this exhibition. a.a.s. have created a new piece of film and installation for the show dealing with themes of the scientific experiment, whether real or unreal is up to you. The same is visualised in Victoria Jenkins' beautiful black and white photographic series Lapis Philosophorum of constructed experiments. The works of Lee Stowers and Luke Williams, though also constructed objects, are real, Luke's camera and Lee's music boxes are beautiful in their antique appearances. All pieces hint at the historic, at first glance there is nothing suspicious or out of the ordinary, though with closer inspection there is something odd about the works. The double take allows this Show of Science to move from a series of simple objects of science to pieces that make you question its use, its reliability as official face and of the make believe.
The Vaults Bazaar 2010
Jane Ball, Graham Chorlton, Coco Deville, Caitlin Griffiths, Daniel Lehan, Brigid McLeer, Milk,Two Sugars, Paul Newman, Elizabeth Short and Steve Varndell
TROVE were the first gallery invited by ARC to present a one night only exhibition at The VAULTS in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, UK. Each of the eight individual vaults contained an individual experience proposed by the artists, including painting, performance and film.
Jo Gane 2009