Art : A Collaborative Monument

Örn Alexander Ámundason & Lof Nimar
3rd to 29th April 2015

Shown at Platform Arts Studio Belfast.

The two artists from Reykajavik, Iceland and Hjo, Sweden respectively, on October 28 2014 set up a collaboration from their respective studios in Malmo and Reykjavik for Belfast based local artists and identical twins Karen and Claire Gibson to participate in a live performance.

The aim was to have the Gibson sisters to read a letter of simple instructions and directions as the sat separately at flat drawing tables with a white A1 drawing sheet laid out in front of each of them and await verbal instructions while under live camera linked observation from the young Swedish and Icelandic Artists. After reading the simple instructions both right handed artists read and put aside the letter shortly before commencing. The letter observed they would be at times in receipt of contradictory instructions with both receiving the same verbal instructions simultaneously.

They commenced the collaboration.

The Gallery published an exhibition visitor information sheet fror the resulting exhibition. The Platform page shows a plan of the finished arrangements and the location of streams of video and audio.
The lighting arrangements are apart from diffused light from two windows entirely artificial.

See the Platform arts website and Platform Arts April June Newsletter for additional information and openings etc.
It notes the visiting artists websites and

It begins –
Some say that collaborations need leadership. Is this true? Or is it possible to collaborate in a completely non-authorative, equal way and still manage to reach your goal?

This response to the exhibition is entirely unconnected and not a collaboration of any kind. It is fictitional as an observation mechanism.

When words attributed as scripted by Olof, Õrn these are also fully fictional nor actually a record of which said what or any order of instruction.
It is possibly indicative of the process which has already taken place.

The monument is in existence. The process is present.
No illustration or words are part of the exhibition or attributed and so are isolated from it.
Session. Run that past me again. Does the meeting of the times come across as historical enough?
Nicholas. It seems so from what there is initially.
Look at the field has it it been turned?
Session. It has disappeared. No trace.
Take a line from the brush and make it Sunglasses.
Karen drew first then Claire. It was less obvious to Olof why Örn wanted this. The glasses Claire quickly followed in drawing were ambitious of sun.
Örn put into his composition a bridge, his nose draw an m. A peak Olof thought. Each poke erasing this and that. Örn wanted a circle as did Olof
Fill one one said.

Session. Did he say which side? Where? Yes said Nicholas. The one Olof asked for, he instructed be filled. Claire filled hers with circles. Small ones, you know the ones becoming the bowl of green marbles under the toothbrush? Well those are how they sat on the table facing the West wall.

But the Solar Eclipse set in the East? Session asked Nicholas.
It’s represented by the Sunglasses placed in the West wall this Edison wanted. We set this up in Belfast don’t forget so the Sun was rising there.
That galaxy is often beset with the weather pattern delicately pulled at short speed as it does not travel in time very quickly on its own terms.
Edison should have been clearer. His little entertainments are the stuff of entering the gaseous extermination zone. Don’t forget these ancient gases they exist in are rarities and playing with them is only possible as lhe has dominion over the andromeda there.

The sunglasses kept out the rays of the Sun and they turned two lights into the Sun Moon as what they call metaphors. So they repeated the Moon twice? Session asked. Yes the drawing Claire produced was gas turned into water so Olof thought and he turned it into the Metaphor for liquid contained in Glass. Then the set designer could not keep them together because these primitive ‘marbles’ they call them had no electrons despite the potentiality of the gas and light the people themselves carried.
Sometimes the set was empty and the place chilled.
They went into a glass bowl on the table. Nicholas told Session.
And the two women were they in sink with this? Did they challenge any of this. No said Nicholas. They were sensible enough as collaborators to explore the process from the letter on the basis of the absent quality Edison believes we need to reform.
How encouraged is Edison?
I have yet to look back but he wrote this note I have in front of me.
Remotely recite it I don’t want to hear it directly.
You mean right now Nicolas asked?
” the siblings are representative right brained about eighty or ninety percent. They were impressively different despite their genetic bond. They are very direct and inside the message once it is switched onto that art characteristic which seems to drive them as if they want experiences as well as reflecting experiences. They hold little fear once engaged.
The moons was the strangest part of it. I never realised or forgot the absence of knowledge of the young ones. They had just of course been distracted by the poorest auroras in their short lifetime so hadn’t looked up more than a thousand times that day.

The Moon became the M as metaphor which I forced on them as an instruction and told Oran to remove the false light bulb. He had strayed off message but I looked back at the footage, they have a recording which coincides with the memory bank I also looked at. The travel was a little arduous for them as they are only beginning to speed up their ascent into the art made outside the confines of experience. Even the sleep patterns were shortened and they argued to assert the collaborative context in preparation without noticing. They poked so much at the floor it became white in their installation.
I made I two and two collaborators. I had the set designer find his own way and though helped the four collaborators operated under recording and used data and paper devices to create drawings so the pencil maker, sight and sound artists are not for art works seen as internal. The foley artist is a good example as they cannot know if people will listen to their work or if the subtitles are enough. Oran and Olof direct, Karen and Claire interpret and invent the drawings which are the material record. The four of them had no idea how manipulated it has been. They don’t have to think of the eight moons and the Passover of the post production. It has spanned the last two moons and the eclipse was seen by many in the galaxy who looked back on it ands stood out side the light years.
Water featured between them which does not help.

The place and the population formed the third pair with a very sparse reaction to the art as it was beyond most in lots of ways. The ones I see developing it are the four collaborators first but first I see the line they produce hard to travel. The set was flawed the way it normally is and it had several levels which may occur in if the water returns. I looked at the reactions and central was the talk about and around it.
The public space it created was on the road to Damascus. The Palms were not there. The nearest became the brush. It hung over the seventh moon. The West wall thing was interesting as that provided the White of the Sun and the Black of the Moon both the same size.
The West wall was also without a perspective. The wall was uniform height.

Into the space the population passed under the M and some jumped and leapt. Some stood in the line of the Sunglasses on the East windows. They were almost taken way way back. They looked back at the black and white circles. Some lined up with the circles creating the Solar eclipse without a thought. They stood near the North water feature which some drank from. They withdrew sometimes and then went back onto the white floor.

The walls ran out on paper and the space remained black behind it.

The art was connected again by more collaboration, the seventh and eighth moons I initially thought were not connected and the population I initially thought were alone as the seventh.

That for now is not true. The eight is the population who are outside reading and never to be found near their ‘do.

The art of ‘the path, ‘the way, is nearly always within a split second of discovery and when discover happens it is gone again. The collaborators are easily closest to this art being fullest of the electrons passed out and those who jump are often lost and luck can be were and when they land or the time they spend in darkness. The set worked out this time as it was full of metaphor and the signals we’d made were accepted so fast it seems the flow at that time was energised by the moon exploration which was on the minds of the galaxy for a long time. It was outside the art which also seems to prove the explanation was never clear and the artists are the ones who wanted and in these formations aware of quarks and the split second connection is pivotal. It is so fleeting though it only lasts a billion years and a new golden age may swim back to us.

What became of these words?
Existence, Supernatural, Coincidence, Pattern, Thought, Truth, Nature, Universality, Philosophy, Materiality, Future, Forgoten, Metamorphic, Generic, Experimentation, Extensionalism, , Spirituality, Inspirational.
Are we all done with these?

Collaboration is everywhere and as the exhibition shows it in the confines of Art to be difficult and the realities are shifting.

John Graham

4 April 2015 (7th Moon)

The seventh, the population. The eighth, the population.


Art : Water the Obverse Land


Land the Obverse Water
Nights draw in as we pass through giant sky’s.
There are immense spaces and water stretches that fall on an eight mile horizon. Sand dunes picked up by winds knitted and made solid forms by maram grass and man made groynes. They nestle people and birds. Swimmers walking long stretches of sand to reach the sea. Our rugged coastline on West and Northern shores cut into bays of rocks with strands of open space for large waves to descend and run along sand.

Human scale is refigured in the water and on land of uninterrupted horizontal view. Some of the local independent galleries have between them happened upon art which configures the interaction had in outlying experienced land and water.

Golden Thread Gallery shows a collection of Gary Shaws Semaphore flags redressed and displayed after an earlier appearance during last years Belfast Culture Night. That night were it, Culture, all comes out to play and is tucked up to hibernate in the wider publics imagination until the next years event. Events are often overlooked and undernourished in Belfast. Only around thirty turned up at The Strand in east belfast to see one of Ireland’s finest contemporary traditionally nurtured musicians Donal Lunny. How come?



The legacy of Egon Schiele in Cesky Krumlov and at the top a filched image but I’m sure they will understand!

Little Kingdoms – Part One : Cesky Krumlov : Catalyst Arts
We come to the fringes of East European Cities as a marker of the their neighbouring conurbations cut off from them as identities of a different kind. This is the area of narrative for imagination to take over and diversify through remnants of art. There are three parts to this little Kingdom Series carrying works by members of Catalyst themselves, none of whom it would possibly be, that ever visited the location of the header. Translates? Pesky Crumbs Lovebed.
So each is attempting to plot a course of relation using the tiniest of fragments of the behaviours, objects, topography, built environment, legacy, flora, fauna, you would expect to see or have referenced and advanced some human observations

Models by Elaine Leader is the Imagined collection of 1:200? scale architectural style models of built objects and screened spaces. Each having a function, an observation post, a lifeguard type tower, a funnel, a pit, transportable screens, portals, stairs, all recognisable and fabric of many formless towns and these are spread randomly as an act of impermanence and fragility. Being a lovers of the interrelation, codes, complexities and design of built environments particularly their reluctance to be universally appealing or intrinsically local the ‘movements’ of architecture abate and disintegrate once they embark – and China’s obsession with derivative movements as extrapolations of their own wishful future – on journeys beyond the authorial origin. It is a very well conceived work which lends credibility immensely to the ambitions of the project by nailing the other of art in one part.
Could a piece of paper make that imagined.
Two years ago by Michaela Butler Imagines it as black and white A4 sheets of undistinguished graphic images overplayed, inverted and positive, negative shapes. Is is possibly an expression of comparison of a history. That would fit and is purposely vague but shapes are defined and present perhaps then and now.
A fucking good poem is like a bomb by Vicky Smyth Imagines it as a poetical kingdom with a poetic population on the outside concerned with the focus of medieval cities. At least that became my interpretation. The bard of Castleblaney used poetry as bomblets. The little clusters dropped worldwide to cause collateral damage everywhere and anywhere.
In a country once populated by shepherds weaving words while sheep grazed to grow weave and industrialised poets laid against the hulk of ships in a cathedral of echoing riveting workers few words baulked the revolution of blood letting making the fuck word as idiotic as Johnny Rotten using the noun as an interjection unpolished as this non-functional title. It seldom is true and intensively a personal fucktional word delivering no addition to the alluded too truth that good poetry is actual literal truth.

IMG_3440The broad cast of the bap man
Bap Breakdown by Mike Harvey Imagines an artist exploding. His work is inhabiting the space within the Little Kingdom with video of gestural hooded confined person, ironic in the evidence of grievances executed in the back lands, civilian inhabited badlands which know no limitations. Another video gestures pony behaviour. The spoilt kid with two fingered arm and self mocking pratfalls which alludes to giving us nothing to learn if viewing continues. More productive than the counterpoint of negative seen in video is the very good line drawn portrait paintings and on a shelf – another plywood enthrallment? Is irony continuing in this school of artists?!. – is centrally a leaping body which is is an expression of confinement and exuberance as well as apathy in subdued black and white roughly executed. It is effective as are the numerous paintings. Mike Harvey has constructed on the floor against the wall of the exhibit again centrally a rack, three racks to library some of his assorted images. They require looking at but the racks obscure. This is quite act that like a library requires you to have a ticket, but like pictures defy being handled. They are also in real form very beautiful tender portraits of evident personality which offers the prospect of further advances as intimated by glimpses of his work in again muted colour. The colour works could be In themselves a catalogue of human observation of faces as understood by all artists as being the idiom of conversing with the other. I thought this work was the show stand out piece so far and is on many levels effective and has assured presence withstanding the t-shirt marketing outreach.
@jacquelinewylie twitter followers 30.09.14 by Jacqueline Wylie Imagines the out there unknowns. The identities of her twitter followers are listed in what appears to be Gill Sans font replete with the large @ symbol. I suggest unknowns as most people are not entirely aware of their twitter followers or facebook followers by dint of the preoccupancy of simply facilitating connections across wide platforms. Twitter is that dark stalking horse that cultivates avarice and quick soundbites and gingersnap raw words. Writing a tweet can be so tiresome I’m sure it is widely agreed and for writers the words have to be King. There it is then, Jacqueline Wylie has it, on an AO size white 180gsm ish sheet hung with a galvanised bulldog clip free at the bottom a Little Kingdom defined as many in the chosen location may the self same have encountered the syntax plainly in b/w.

IMG_3449A contemplation of where to begin climbing

Rubberneck by Martin Boyle Imagined and challenged many adults.
It is physically a set of very small wall climbing grips to encourage you to climb a small height to ascertain what is on the ubiquitous plywood shelf. This one no larger than a postcard. is there a postcard on it?
On the floor in front lay what looked like a Primark receipt for £9.99 but I take it it was an inadvertent decoy! A very tall man had the ability to peer down on the shelf and passed it suitable for his children to ascend and discern. Having asked what they saw it was evident it was a figure of derivative kind. They knew of Elvis I imagined (I made that up) all 42 years of living and it is clear he was not in this building and with 100% certainty never had been.
Only by accepting the challenge is it ever possible to find out something.
Never rely on other people only yourself can be discerning.

IMG_3537Instagram collection this place and others.
Transfigure by John Robinson Imagined a portal constructed from softwood 2x100x50mm framing of an aperture about 2.4 x 2.0 metres tall.
Sandwiched between the frames as a shapeless plastic opaque curtain was a couple of sheets of billowed plastic membrane. Where does the transfigurement take place? On which side of the portal? It has a few random strokes of blue paint internally. It also is grounded and escapes beyond the frame as an overflow. My interpretation, hardly enlightening was of a Tsunami effect of a flood through a doorway. It was not what John Robinson had in mind. The irregularity and frozen character of the work could have many interpretations.
Cause and Effect by Katrina Sheena Smyth Imagines Memorialising the statis of the person in loci. That statism being the principle or policy of concentrating extensive economic, political, and related controls in the state at the cost of individual liberty. It all involves the loci of the Catalyst Arts Store room that emporium of capitalism hidden in the bowels of the building never seen by the free paying public narcissists blind to the I provirus of the Arts Council inflicted Values.
Of course that is probably not what Katrina Sheena Smyth but you never can have any certainty were she is concerned because she is a very concerning young lady in of course the very best sense.


If only I looked as good in a sweat suit. I last wore one at Helston Regatta w/skiing and scared the children with my thin form. The folk of Cornwall fill themselves with Cornish Pasties.

Platform Arts Top Floor

Nothing Great Is Easy by Lisa Stansbie  


Amphibious Amorphic Antthropologies Ambiguously Atrophied

When you have been to Mount Olympus and known the dimensions mankind can traverse in around three hours, apparently 26 miles or thereabouts and put it to practice you ascertain a value scope for the land mass on which we live. It then follows what is the other the sea all about. The tide alone is not it. The surge of the Bristol Channel in height and as a race inland and out again is a mere bauble when there are oceans that out rank the land. Ships, boats, planes have all perished taking with them a body of people so one goes to water off shore with respect and plenty of uncertainty.

The lithe luxuriant artist Lisa Stansbie has been both a marathon runner and latterly an open water swimmer. Fragility is not I suppose a familiar word that endurance athletes worry too much about. They measure potential hazards, predict patterns of nature and plan meticulously for a performance of human endurance in exemplary self challenging mystique. Like a boxer stepping up the purges of self encapsulated talents and energy willed into battle against another force known to have an element of torturous behaviour that may go beyond ones own if not respected and correctly defended against. It is a substitute for a multitude of levels of sports and like taking flight on an animal, galloping a horse over obstacles or in a caravanseri up a hill or along a trail it is elemental.


the crown ofr King or Queen

The top floor of Platform Arts is a space filled by Lisa Stansbie of Objects, Video, Photographs and Print material all referencing the art of Swimming and in particular open water Swimming. I would love to swim properly but the last time was a lido in Newmarket which was dosy dosy on a summers day. Before that in open water i got a shock and nearly taken out to sea near Deauville in Normandy and the shock was enough to remove all water confidence overnight. Next day i could not go in the water.

No such trepidation from this very accomplished endurance athlete who is equally adept at producing all kinds of communicative narratives and art installations to emphasise a point.  Also Lisa Stansbie wishes it seems to celebrate things through art and narrative to such a degree she passes it on by the medium of teaching at Huddersfield University.


AT SWIM ONE BIRD. The composite drawings – symbols of swimming and invention of machines for waterborne propulsion.  Superb set which also appear on the stairs and  in the escape route stairs of the gallery so the artist is frothing with ideas!

AT SWIM TWO BIRDSegon at swim

This room or large Gallery space is neatly laid out with the articles telling a story of the very specialised sport of endurance swimming in open water.  Whether it is a river or an estuary, lake or the open sea it is a sport i imagine can quickly change elementally. One large trade photograph or stock image of wet suited male swimmers with flippers, cap and goggles dominates the mid gallery.  It is surrounded in the rest of the gallery by layouts of water bottles and floats.  There is a neon yellow crown which attracted like moths people to be photographed in a halo pose, the here representing here the king of the water in a water community somewhere far distant and memorialising the person overcoming the strength and control of the water.


Waterborne is a book by Diana Gleadhill, a woman based in County Down who is also very very keen on open swimming.

If I leave the writing about the exhibition which is very well conceived as a set of confrontations with our humanity and the things we bring to engage in challenging natures forces, well this is a glorious starting point and will take you a long distance and be with you for a long time if you appreciate the context setting and the wide cast and generous disposition of the artist.

Waterborne carries a few poems and written material which fits here in context.

Ever drifting down the stream –

Lingering in the golden gleam –

Life, what is it but a dream?

Lewis Carroll    (After Edgar Alan Poe and ‘All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream?)


Full Fathom five thy Father lies;

Of his bones are coral made,;

Those are pearls that were his eyes;

Nothing of him that doth fade

But suffer a suffer a sea-change,

Into something rich and strange.

Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell;


Hark!  now I hear them — ding-dong,  bell.

William Shakespeare.

this one I like best

Boats sail on the seas;

But clouds that sail across the skyAre prettier far than these.

Christina  Rosetti



John Graham

9 September 2014