Harold Offeh

I am gutted but I totally missed Harold’s lecture.  I went in early to studio but slept through lecture at my desk.  First thing I knew about it was when everyone piled in in unusually high spirits; everyone was psyched for a change.  I knew he’d be great from looking at his web presence.  I did get to meet him and we chatted about the beauty industry and how it targets black women.  He was interesting.

What I like most about Harold is he isn’t boring.  His approach to working as an artist is refreshing, he is authentic.  Smart.  And prolific.  Kudos.  I think performance art is powerful because of its action and I wonder if performing an action for a camera is less impactful.  I guess it forces the issue whether the action or the record is the artwork.  The same happened with Carolee Schneemann’s ‘Interior Scroll,’ all that remained after the performance were the photographs, but at least it was witnessed directly by some audience.  Harold blurs the lines between fine art and what millions of you tubers and instagramers do so prolifically.  I think he has done so well for himself because he pitches his work through a lens, less because of its accessibility but because it allows him to edit, review and refine his output.  I have to be more productive myself next year and I absolutely have to document my practice to a much higher degree and to a better finish.

Carolee Schneemann is argued to have realigned the gender balance of conceptual and minimal art with her 1975 piece, Interior Scroll, by emphasizing her vagina as the source of artistic power. The crux of the piece was Schneemann extracting a feminist discourse from her vagina and reading it to the audience, as she stood naked on a table. Prior to this, she entered the room in a sheet and an apron, disrobed, lay on the table, painted an outline of herself, and then read from her book, Cezanne, She Was a Great Painter.


Covers 2008 –
Photography, Live Performance and Video

Covers is an internationally recognised performance project by artist Harold Offeh. Initiated in 2008, the project has evolved through major commissions from The Studio Museum, Harlem USA in 2014 and the Live Art Development Agency, London in 2015.


COVERS PDF Click link below
Designed by DUST. Commissioned by Leeds Beckett University

Covers uses the artist’s body, durational actions and physical re-enactment to build on established performance methodologies of the 1970s by artists such as Adrian Piper and Marina Abramovic. Through photography, video and live performance Offeh re-enacts archival album sleeve photographs by black singers from the 1970s and 80s, creating static, durational, tableaux poses. Covers, innovates through its use of performance strategies to re-activate historical popular cultural images. In collapsing live and documented elements Offeh makes visible the mediation and power of the photographic image to fix and shape identity.

Lucy Bretherton

Lucy is art director at The Royal Standard.  Worked as intern on Tate Liverpool’s Yves Klein exhibition.  Was a BA student at LJMU some years ago.  Gave good advice about funding, and getting paid for your work.  This course needs to cover more instruction of professional tasks, such as applying for funding, writing proposals, what to expect from agents, ecommerce, self employment, teaching, etc.  It would be nice to graduate with some savvy.

2015.  This was my pick of Lucy’s CV.  The copy is lifted from Art in Liverpool website.

The 6GINS project space is within the new studio studios at The Royal Standard. Throughout the six month project there will be a minimum of six opening nights (GIN1, GIN2 etc) along with the odd side event hosted by 6GINS. There are no set opening times, we are functioning on a ‘by appointment’ basis. We are there most the time.

Brethers and Worley are recent Fine Art graduates who have been awarded the space through The Royal Standard’s Residency Prize, suggested by head of LJMU Fine Art, Rory Macbeth. Although we had not collaborated together in the usual sense throughout university, due to our shared interest of contrasting practices and desire to exhibit work, we founded 6GINS together.

Over the course of the next six months collaborators from a wealth of different practices, as well as non-artists will be invited to join the project. When entering the space they will then have full licence to add, subtract or alter anything they deem fit. This will allow for a constantly evolving dynamic of the room.

I really like this idea, I had a similar concept with painting, passing canvases around like playing consequences.  I think it would lighten the delivery of an image, no one could get too precious about its rendering because the next owner might very well undo your work anyway.  Plus folk keep to preferred colour palettes (I do blue green and flesh, Danielle likes orange and green) so mixing it up would be very interesting.  Could be something to try at the bombed out church for Art Jam, It starts up again in a couple of weeks.

I think I was unconscious for part of this lecture.  Very embarrassing.  Took extra amphetamine this morning too, can’t keep doing that.  Timing is on my mind still and things like this really bring home to me how difficult it is going to be for me to get on in professional circles.  Someone suggested to me the other day that I am being discriminated against with 10am starts.  I said it wasn’t the fact that it was too early, literally any fixed time is problematic.  Folk don’t ever grasp what it is not to have a sleep pattern.  Everyone is very understanding until it impacts on them directly.  Christmas tree  has gotten some encouraging remarks recently.

Hill St combed items

So I have had a couple of boxes of detritus under my desk for six months now, waiting to become work but I can’t get what I want from it.  I displayed it all once at a cross-year crit last year but was dissatisfied with the outcome.  Neil suggested that I fix items to a board as an assemblage which I have tried but didn’t like anymore.  I am beginning to think that I have gotten all I’m gonna get from these items.  I do have the phallus I carved from aluminium smelted in fires on the wasteground there.  Not given up on the rest of it but probably will do if I don’t use it by year end.  We’ll see.

Performance project

I chose to take the performance module this semester but missed the first session.  I took the module to stretch myself as I feel this is a weak area for me.  The second session was interesting.  I was shamed for letting the group down by not attending the week before, which was largely fair commen but didn’t need to be done quite so publicly.  In the session we played a warm up game that Charlie led, and took turns reading the rules of Polish theatre.  Very dry if I’m honest.  Everyone was very enthusiastic.


Pete is churning out a lot of work.  Currently he has a thing for laminating acrylic paint and inks, to stunning effect too.  Because the roller extrudes the paint in one direction they emerge from the roller mimicking eastern women in headdresses and veils.  I think they would loan themselves brilliantly to a feminist focussed installation.  Will discuss with him if we wants to use them at Bridewell.  I had a go at the process but none of my efforts seemed organic much less human.  A lot of what Pete does gets belittled or written of as automatic, but evidently he is exercising more skill and influence than one might first recognise.

Kim Seymour

Kim Seymour
MA student LJMU
Kim is a storyteller.  She was the only MA student to hold my interest or attention.  I am really struggling to focus (and stay awake during these lectures).  She set up a maze experience at St John’s Center and waited within it to be found or happened upon by unsuspecting viewers.  It is fun but with a hard edge, inviting people in but intentionally mismanaging their expectations to surprise them.  I often fixate on the different dynamics of group V individual, Public V private.   I had met Kim before in print studio.  Before creating her maze she in effect designed the installation using the Sims game with a simulation of herself inside.  This repetition of the task is intriguing,  virtual becoming actual,  this appeals to my interest in metaphysics.

I failed to make notes during this lecture but have stolen Imogen’s as they were thorough and she also attended the Q&A too.

Imogen’s notes:

St Johns. Built a big maze – maze structure in the Sims? Big wooden maze. Hair sculptures – collected loads over the years, hair saved her from art exam? Uses it in her own practice. Kim sim. Orange – white lighting, orange hue. Artificial and real – sat in a pink chair, hair the same. Sat at the end of the maze – audience sat down and she told a story. Façade – how our profile that we build for ourselves is different for reality/people’s internet personas. Story-telling is her platform, won Student Cotton award. Mexico/Equador/Columbia/New York.
Made a storybook – writing stories. Stories are not about digital/real façade. Bodily connotations. In that shouldn’t go in/off that shouldn’t come off. Influenced by South America – ritualism/spiritualism. That separation allows you to see things in a light that not a lot of people understand. South America – the day of the dead – spiritual belief. Capunchil – marigolds. When you bury the dead you sprinkle myrrh over them. The closest smell to that smell – the last smell you remember and you’re free. Gateway to come back to visit. Fictional collaborations – agenda/undertones of agenda. Gang-related agenda that religion is a gateway out of. The absence of performance.
Experiment with not being there in the performance, won’t probably be there for the show. Start thinking in advance about how she can achieve those mediums without being present. Story-telling and performance.
Two short chapters – short stories recorded. Performance/volunteers. Whispering in the volunteers’ ears and telling them what to do. Performance piece where people interacted with seeds in different ways.
After Lecture Talk:
Kim – Performance piece – completely fictional ritualism – how seriously people will take it. None of this has been shown, just stuff she’s making. Bits that worked and didn’t work. Other people doing it are meant to connect with the other people doing it. Mini marigold sculpture park. The point was nothing more than speaking to people behaving in a ritualistic manner, spiritualism is internal and meant to connect with others. Community groups but each person has a private connection with spiritualism. Dictated by someone who completely made it up – like all rituals/religion. Some people were taking too seriously. Everyone stayed in the corner – annoying. Unwilling performers won’t do what you want them to do.

Lvl6 Show @ Gostins

Some good stuff here, worth braving the weather.  I engaged with John’s offering more than any other.  Not sure why.  I really like Poor Art and his use of cardboard was very human.  I think I’ve always assumed that my life will reduce to a cardboard home and that’s what John did here.  Great animation too.  All sort of low quality and vulnerable/romantic because of it.  Strong.

Liz Smith showed a large black encaustic work.  Love how she hung it in the dark too.  All the light was from one side which brought the blackness into focus wonderfully, like a landscape lit by a low sun.  Nice.   Appeals to the goth in me.

A shelf with painted tin cans also entertained me a while.  Graphics were whimsical with strong aesthetic.